A couple of diarists today--you know who you are!--have focused on meta-issues, including reinforcement of the rules, you-can't-make-me-follow-the-rules, and various pleas for peace, love, and understanding.

Part of the problem with dKos, as seen in the diary police/freewheelin' hippie divide and, to a lesser extent, in the old fart/newbie divide, is that people don't understand A what this site is and was designed to be (and not be) and 2 people don't make full use of the site's functionality, thus trying to make the diary page do things that other parts of the site already do--including breaking news.

Click through for some advice, consent, and general snot-brainedness.  Plus--and I'm not kidding here--a shocking revelation.  Don't miss the first five paragraphs!

One:  The Rules
Gather 'round, young'uns, and let old grampy folkbum tell you a story.  In the olden days, when we carved out dKos on slate tablets, there were trolls.  Lots of them.  I mean, like, trolls from here to Dayton and back.  Some trolls even used to pretend to be other posters.  Some trolls were just plain old trolls.

Scoop solved all that.  Yes, you had to register.  Yes, it was still bloody orange.  But it stopped the trolls.

And it created a whole mess of other problems:  People who thought the diaries were their own blog, deserving a dozen posts a day; people who wrote one-line diaries with just a link.  People who wrote two- or three-thousand word diaries without using the "Extended Entry" box; people who wanted to turn dKos into some kind of circus.

Believe me--within weeks of the Scoop migration, there was moaning and gnashing of teeth about what stupid people were doing to destroy what Markos had built.  In fact, he repeatedly called for people to actively police the diaries while he worked on code that could solve some issues.

So, in early December 2003--2003, people!--I created the user diary police.  Yes, goyim and burls, I am diary police.  All those clever passive-aggressive comments and flashing lights?  Me.  Moreover, diary police's user ID:  3871.

Markos set up this site as an incubator for the best the left half of the blogoversosphere had to offer, not as an upscale Democratic Underground or orange BuzzFlash.  If people want that, they can go there, he reasoned.  dKos was something different.

So, there are rules, people.  They are there for a reason.  They mean something.  Follow them.

Two:  BREAKING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Daily Kos is not a news site.  If you want it to be a news site, you're in the wrong place.  If you want to turn it into a news site, you're doing the rest of us a disservice.

Is it nice to know what's happening out there in the 3-D technicolor world?  Sure.  Is the Donald Rumsfeld self Q-and-A thing annoying?  You bet.  But this is not a news site.

So, you might ask, how do I get my news?  Easy:
Click on [user]'s Page there on the right.  Click on the "My Profile" tab.  Click on the Display Prefs link under the tabs.  Scroll down.

I know that's a lot of steps.  But you'll see, if you do this, that you have a chance to subscribe to feeds from over 100 different websites, including, for example, Media Matters and Guardian Unlimited.  These feeds will show up on the front page below the "Recent Diaries" list.  There's your dKos breaking news section, people.

Three:  But I Repeat Myself a Dozen Other People
Every day, just about, somebody tells somebody else how to set their "Recent Diaries" list to 50.  It's easy--type 50 in the "Show [] diaries" box.

But let's take just now as an example:  Two diaries (here and here) write up the Zogby poll that shows 42% of Americans would vote to impeach Bush if it were proven he lied about the war.  Sure, they're both--20 diaries apart--citing today's WaPo, but that poll was covered extensively over the weekend on the front page and in diaries.

See what I just did there?  I used the search function.  Yeah, yeah, every day someone complains that the search function doesn't work.  It most certainly does--if you change the pull-down menu from "Stories" to "Diaries" first.

Oh, and then there are the people who post their own diaries over and over.  There is a special place in hell for them.

Four:  Slow Down!
One common complaint--from old farts, newbies, diary repeaters, men-on-the-street, the leprechaun that tells me to burn things--is that there are too many diaries.

Put simply:  If people used the RSS feeds instead of the diaries to get their news; if people used the diary search to find what they want to read and write about instead of repeating; if people actually followed Markos's rules; then the diary rate would slow probably by half.  Sure, that's still 300 diaires a day; but, dammit, they would all be signal, not noise.  And old farts like me--and my donut-eating, truncheon-wielding alter-ego--will stop whining.

Originally posted to folkbum on Wed Jul 06, 2005 at 06:49 PM PDT.

Your Email has been sent.