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View Diary: Hey Newbie! (413 comments)

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  •  Amen (4.00)
    I'm recommending because this needs to be heard.  I've tried to break through a few times myself (mostly writing about what I term the "signal-noise ratio" problem) but don't have the name recognition nor gripping writing style to find myself on the recommended list.

    I would add that, aside from having more quality in the diaries, people need to put more thought into what they recommend (as was pointed out in the controversial discussions awhile ago about the sensationalistic and non-factchecked manner of many recommended diaries - as I joked to a friend, it seems a convincingly written "Octopus sponsored by Republicans eats 5 Democrats!" diary could get recommended around here), and even into the comments.  This whole community is becoming harder and harder to distill, and we all need to act if we want to fix it.

    At least, that's my apparently elitist (as I've been told when I've posed such arguments before) stance.

    •  And so it goes (none)
      The more people you get, the lower the average intelligence will be.  I'm not insulting anyone in particular, just average-joe americano.  

      When this place started, you either wound up here on account of being a web-junkie, or you heard it by word of mouth from a web-junkie.  Now people come from all over, and the site is simply being diluted.  

      I've never posted a diary, but the idea that one would look to see if other diaries exist along the same vein seems pretty simple to me.  But I also don't require instructions on my shampoo bottle either.  

  •  Yes and no (none)
    Variety is good.  Having no standards isn't.

    This became a huge issue in my most controversial diary ever (managed 100 comments without seeing the recommended list, mostly because it degenerated into a flame war - not my doing, we had a bad case of the trolls).  I criticized the huge numbers of "Yeah!" comments that flood threads, essentially saying that they don't add anything substantial (because they don't).  I specifically exempted "rallying" threads (C&J, etc.), but said that threads meant for dialogue become cumbersome when they're full of "Right on!" type comments.  If you want to show support, use a rating, not another comment.

    Anyway, some people criticized me for wanting to "shut down new voices in the choir" (though ironically the only new user to participate in the diary agreed with me and said that the redundancy actually makes the site less accessible) and said I was an "elitist" and that I should appreciate that not everybody has the same writing skills/education/etc.  Well, I do appreciate that, but that doesn't change the fact that we need standards.  If you're going to speak up, you best have something to say, or else you're really just wasting everybody's time and hurting the site (again, "rallying" threads excluded).

    But I digress - thank you for your diary, maybe now this whole mess will get some notice from the actual bigwigs around here.

    •  The worst offenders (none)
      of the one-line "yeah!" type of comment are when people like Representatives Conyers or Slaughter, or Senator Kennedy, post a diary.

      I don't mean the Congressfolks themselves, I mean each one of these diaries is inevitably littered with one-liners that detract from the subject at hand.  I absofuckinglutely HATE that!

      I ranted about that a bit in a C&J comment a few weeks back. (And enough with the damn poll diaries while we're at it!)

      He has oil. He tried to kill my daddy.

      by kensa on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 11:30:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh My God (none)
      I had almost forgot about that. The instant gasoline-fueled flash-fire firebomb train-wreck
      from Hell diary.

      I still can't believe how fast (almost instantly) that turned into a fire fight. And then I had
      to go and smack down someone for making joke about autism who it turned out had some kind of deranged grudge against me.

      I know people were already getting flamey before I stuck my foot in, but I apologize for further derailing things in your diary. I still can't believe how badly people reacted to it, though.

      Come see the house that Tom Delay built.

      by Goldfish on Thu Jul 07, 2005 at 01:30:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What isn't addressed (3.90)
    Is the cliqueshness that has developed on the site since the election.  It crept in, and now what we have are the same names always in the reco list, just because of who they are and not necessarily because what they are saying at the moment is particularly important to current events, or even (in some cases) well written, but rather more of a rant or a "I haven't posted in a while so I'm gonna post anything to keep my name recognition out there".

    It's ironic that this diary is just that sort of thing.  It didn't leap to the reco because we all needed to be scolded/reminded about how things work today, but because it is a g10 diary.  Period.  (and no, I don't mean to imply that g10 is trying to keep the popularity up, I'm just illustrating a point)

    While I like g10's work, and several of the others, but (JHC!) what does it take to get these frequent posters onto their own venues?  Seriously, if you are posting more than 4 times a week, or get 2+ reco's in a week, you need your own site.

    The second issue is cross posting (yes, I am ashamed to admit that I've done it once).  But how many times do we need ePluribus cross posting?  Or Boomantrib cross posting?  There reaches a point when these venues cease to be "promoting" and devolve into "coattailing."  My approach, if I feel it needs the wider exposure of dkos, is to post it here first, then wait a week and then put it on my site too.  No fanfare.  But that's just me.

    But it's the cliques that have put me off this site the most.  The same names in the reco list so often, they may as well be frippin front page posters, 'cause they practically are now.

    /rant

    If hating Republicans is wrong, I don't want to be right

    by bionicKitty on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 07:44:45 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  "Since the election"? (4.00)
      dKos has been "cliquish" going back to pre-Scoop days. That's nothing new or unique to dKos of course, but characteristic of heavily trafficked internet communities of every time, from blogs to message boards to chat rooms to email groups.  Always the alpha males and queen bees that establish pecking orders that the rest of us have to live with.  I do agree that many diaries get recommended because of who wrote them rather than what they contain, but I don't see how that's avoidable given human nature.  dKos does better than some internet communities on this, most of the people that are on the "automatically recommended every time" list often to make substantial contributions.  For others of us, there comes a point when you realize that no matter how much time or effort you put into a diary, you'll never make the recco list.
      •  asdf (4.00)
        there comes a point when you realize that no matter how much time or effort you put into a diary, you'll never make the recco list.

        You get a 4.  This is a huge problem, not only because good people get discouraged and quit, but also because the same voices all the time creates a homogeny.  How many issues made the reco list with a stance that you disagreed with?  Did you try to comment your counterpoints?  Did they even get noticed in a sea of >300 other comments?

        I doubt it.

        Cliques may be an inevitable byproduct of human communities, but that doesn't mean they're beneficial to the community.  They've become downright destructive here, but short of the elite voluntarily taking a hiatus from posting to give some of the newer members a chance to be heard, I don't see how it'll improve.

        (I know I'm being rather harsh on some folks that I happen to like otherwise, but I can't help but think the intra-kos politics that happen around here represent a little diarama of the inherent human urge for fame and glory that we see played out on a larger scale in government, wherein we detest such behavior from BushCo but gleefully indulge ourselves in it on a smaller scale, e.g. elitism-lite; only acceptable because we're liberals.)

        If hating Republicans is wrong, I don't want to be right

        by bionicKitty on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 08:36:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Big name, small message (4.00)
        I do agree that many diaries get recommended because of who wrote them rather than what they contain, but I don't see how that's avoidable given human nature.

        That has been my complaint about recent recommended diaries.  Tweaking the recommended list's parameters could help.

        I would also like to see more about the environment, energy, sustainability, Iraq, elections, health care and other topics, and less about media personalities, Gannon, framing every last little thing, tinfoilery, and overuse of the narcotic of Bush-bashing.  I'd like to write about some of my favorite issues, but feel quite certain that it would be an empty exercise, based on past efforts.

        "¡Juntos Pedemos!"

        by rhubarb on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 08:48:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  ha! (4.00)
          an anonymizer function!  a diary's author would only become known 24 hours after publising!

          : p

          •  Wow! An implementatble suggestion!Wow! An implemen (4.00)
            A 4 to you for suggesting something that can be done, rather than just moaning fatalistically about the situation or begging the growing dKos crowd to change its behavior. (Yes, the begging is valuable, too -- just not in the same class.)

            This small, easy tweak to the software would change the dKos community in a significant way, permanently. This makes it an important option to consider. I think we would benefit from more such suggestions, and from serious discussion of them. The payoff of innovations in increasing community effectiveness could be enormous.

            OK folks: exercise your social-process imagination. What is good and bad about this suggestion? What would be its likely effects? Can you think of a similar but better proposal? Show that you can think creatively about the evolution of the medium you swim in.

            Stem-cell graphical snark for your use: http://img206.echo.cx/img206/535/blastocyst0ya.gif

            by technopolitical on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 10:43:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ooops (none)
              Pasting a title containing a carriage return can add repetitive text that is invisible in the submission form... preview, preview...

              Stem-cell graphical snark for your use: http://img206.echo.cx/img206/535/blastocyst0ya.gif

              by technopolitical on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 11:47:50 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  my other pet one: (none)
              the ability to unrecommend a diary without having to recommend it first.  every 'unrecommend' knocks the dairy down a place on the recent list...
              •  meh... (none)
                that should read "my other, pet one" since i only just thought of the anonymizer this morning, but have been praying for a pre-emptive unrecommend button for a while now.

                : p

              •  I'd use a different rule (none)
                Letting a single person knock a diary down a place seems too powerful, but letting overwhelming community opinion purge a diary from the recommended list seems like a good idea. A broad middle ground would be to let people vote to disrecommend a diary, but have this vote count against the diary by X times as much as a positive recommendation. If X were 1.0, disrecommends would be as powerful as recommends, and the recommended diaries might become quite bland. If X were 0.01, it would take a 100-to-1 opposition to purge a diary from the recommended list. Set X = 0.0 would make disrecommends just powerless protests.

                Setting X = 0.2 might be a good choice, but the number could be fiddled with based on experience -- if the mechanism were in place.

                Stem-cell graphical snark for your use: http://img206.echo.cx/img206/535/blastocyst0ya.gif

                by technopolitical on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 01:39:06 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  I don't know (4.00)
              There are some posters who have certain expertese in one area or another.  These posters have staked out an area that we all know them to be knowledgeable in.  Just as a for instance, a diary on religion by Pastor Dan is probably going to be a better read then the same diary by me.  That's just one example, there are numurous other examples.  Also, some authors have built their credibility up such that an outrageous claim from them is less outrageous.  There are things that a newbie could write that I'd probably not look at twice because they seemed so out there but if someone that I've read frequently and found to be a generally good source were to write the same story I'd be more likely to look into it.

              "I think war is a dangerous place." - George Bush

              by Nameless Soldier on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 01:24:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  This might be a more substantial use for mojo (none)
                The respected posters you refer to tend (I expect) to have lots of mojo from tip-jars and so on. Having a person's posting-rate limit increase with more mojo would accomplish some of what I think you want.

                See my comment above on making a posting-rate limit more flexible.

                Stem-cell graphical snark for your use: http://img206.echo.cx/img206/535/blastocyst0ya.gif

                by technopolitical on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 01:42:55 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Amen (4.00)
        "For others of us, there comes a point when you realize that no matter how much time or effort you put into a diary, you'll never make the recco list."

        I've put my heart and soul into some of my diaries only to have two or three comments here at kKos, whereas at some other site I'll get a much better response.

        Yet, when I do a "cut and paste", or a link with a perfunctory comment, I tend to get more traffic.

        I dunno. I haven't been posting here much of late. While I enjoy reading Maryscott, Georgia10 and the others who regularly make the Rec List, I have to say that I think it's more of a "brand name" thing in some cases. Maryscott (please don't take it personally Maryscott, I respect you and enjoy your sense of humor)... Maryscott can write about taking a nap and it's going to get recommended.

        While I understand what Georgia10 is saying in this diary, I can't help but feel like it's a little demeaning to those who aren't as good at writing diaries as she is. Be happy that people are paying attention period... in my experience there aren't too many people out there who care enough to even read the headlines, much less post'em somewhere.

        Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. -Samuel Johnson

        by bhlogger on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 09:36:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hey, cut MSOC some slack (none)
          the "fan club" kinda creeps HER out too

          and I really had a good laugh at this one:

          (please don't take it personally Maryscott, I respect you and enjoy your sense of humor)... Maryscott can write about taking a nap and it's going to get recommended.

          that's not offensive:

          somebody once said MSOC could post an audio recording of one of her farts and still make the recommend list

          now THAT was offensive

          humans can grow up, but we never really leave the school yard. we have a hard wired instinct to travel in herds

          the smartest guy I've seen post a diary here (fester) only recieves about 5 recommends for his brilliant analisis

          instead of bitching about MSOC and Georgia10, find out what they've got that you ain't got

          stop worrying about the recommend list so much, one of my lame diaries actually made the recommend list for about 10 seconds once. Making the list is a crap shoot

          and some of us have a better chance of winning the lottery

      •  new names every other day (none)
        I think it is true that it is easier for established names to get on the rec list.

        but this happens everywhere.  A mediocre movie/novel/song by someone who has already had a string of hits is more likely to get noticed and promoted than a quality effort by an unknown.

        but every now and then someone new breaks out and produces something extraordinary.  something that is too good to be ignored.  on dKos it happens quite frequently, actually.  It seems to me that there are brand new names on the rec list just about every other day.

        So I don't think anyone with a talent for commentary should despair of "never" making the rec list.  It can be done, if what you have to offer is unique and well written and of interest to the community.

        Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

        by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 10:50:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  New names writing what, though? (none)
          The very few times I see something new break through, it is typically sensationalistic.  I haven't seen a thorough policy-analysis type diary on the recommended list in some time now.  Usually it's a "you won't believe what those crazy Republicans did this time!" diary, certainly suitable for the times, but somewhat monotonous when it's all you hear.

          To get on the list, you're right, you need to be of interest to the community.  And unique and well-written isn't always what interests the community (not should it, but that's another sociological issue).

    •  not true, not true, not true (4.00)
      It's ironic that this diary is just that sort of thing.  It didn't leap to the reco because we all needed to be scolded/reminded about how things work today, but because it is a g10 diary.  Period.  

      poppycock and piffle!  this diary is on the reco list because its message is sorely, desperately needed.  a high noise-to-signal ratio is bad news in any system and the noise around here has been deafening lately.

      •  LOL! (none)
        i knew it was bionickitty as soon as i saw "crab rangoon..."

        LMAO!

        isn't acquiring your own personal dkos ratings stalker a sign that you've truly arrived?

        : p

        •  A ratings stalker (1.00)
          implies that I actively look for your comments.  I don't.  I happened to be here, and then bam there you were, no doubt thrilled to find a thread where you could quote rules and regulations without being troll rated or asked to refrain from being the diary police for a change.

          And I haven't rated you at all, except for a 4 above for offering a good, and original, thought for once.

          But I have a huge problem with frauds and self-righteous types.  You fired the opening volley,  and I don't forget easily.  And I get irked far more when an opportunist such as yourself gets high marks for coattailing when all one has to do is review your user history to see that you enjoy policing other people's contributions far too much.

          Kossacks love to expose posers for what they are.  I'm simply doing my part.

          If hating Republicans is wrong, I don't want to be right

          by bionicKitty on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 10:33:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Oh yeah, for sure (none)
          I had one too, awhile back. Take a look at Aaron's most controversial diary ever (which he linked to upthread) to see how that turned out.

          bionickitty would be wise not to follow in the footsteps of a certain user who couldn't let the fact I had once snarked at her go.

          Come see the house that Tom Delay built.

          by Goldfish on Thu Jul 07, 2005 at 01:54:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Yes and no (none)
        This message is needed, but it is not the message alone that got this on the recommended list.  This message has been written many times before and swept aside in a torrent - I know because I've seen and participated in those diaries.  They get maybe 10 comments at best before they're swept into oblivion.

        So it is ironic that one of the "bigger names" is doing this, but at the same time, I am very glad (hence I recommended it).

    •  interesting points (4.00)
      but as far as a "g10 diary" making the recommended list....I have had MANY diaries lately that haven't mustered 30 comments, let alone a recommend.

      As far as posting in your own venue, I do have a woefully neglected blog....setting up the DSM.com site kind of sapped me of time and energy, as has starting a 12-hour-work-day job.

      by Georgia Logothetis on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 09:29:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Cliqueshness isn't the problem (4.00)
    Seriously, if you are posting more than 4 times a week, or get 2+ reco's in a week, you need your own site.

    I think this is even part of our unofficial community standards, or should be.  But I certainly don't think people who get reco'd all the time should leave!  They're reco'd because they've set a standard expectation for their writing - sometimes they don't meet it, but quite often they do.  Should we dumb down the place everytime someone gets good?  The cliques change all the time; it is possible to break in.  And the reco list is partly a matter of chance, anyway.  I've written some multi-hour diaries that I still feel were really good, and gotten one recommend, two comments and a kick in the ass, while a shit diary I wrote in three minutes to poke fun at Bill in Portland Maine spent the better part of a day reco'd.  Quality does matter, so does luck, so does name recognition.  It's the way of the world.

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