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[editor's note, by pastordan] Basta! Enough!! This thread is already over 400 posts. If you'd like to continue the discussion, go here. In Markos' post on community last night, he mentioned his anxiety when the community experiences some turnover.  The history of the community gets lost for a time, and eventually re-establishes itself, though not without a few knuckle-biting weeks or months of pissing, moaning, sniping and bitching.

Now, this is a phenomenon that I am familiar with.  Part of what I do in real life is help communities get back in touch with their history and claim it so they can move into the future.

There's two ways they do that.  One is to tell stories about themselves.  Kos, if you or any of the other front-page diarists are reading this, I think it'd be great to open up a "reminiscing" thread, where folks can add what they know about the history of the place.  They might even say a nice thing or two about you.

But the other way communities get ahold of their history (specifically the "rules" that define the community) is to spend some time spelling them out.  That's what I'd like to focus on in the extended text.

We all know (or ought to know) the diary rules:

  1. Two diaries daily maximum. If you need to post more, perhaps it's time to start your own blog.

   2. No single-line diaries. If you want to bring attention to a single link, or make a one-line pithy comment, head on over to the Open Threads or an appropriate post or diary entry.

   3. No repetitive diaries. If it's been blogged or diaried, there's no need to repeat it. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged. And if you post your same diary entry twice, consider it grounds for banning.

   4. Use "Extended Copy" box. If your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs, use the extended entry box. Be considerate and don't clutter up the Diaries home page with epic entries.

To which we might add a word of explanation:  the diaries go by mighty quick around here.  The last I heard, we had somewhere north of 200 entries per day.  That's a lot of information to wade through, and it's helpful for everyone if we don't have to waste it hearing the same stuff over and over, or getting a morsel of perspective that might have been better appended to somebody else's thread.

Update [2004-10-4 13:57:14 by pastordan]: If you plan on posting regularly, you may want to reset your diary display to show more than 10 diaries at a time. Many people use 50--it gives you a fair number of things to look at without getting to be too out of date. See the comments below for directions on how to do this.

Remember as well that you can always delete a diary, if you've accidentally duplicated somebody else's, or if you're just not satisfied with it.

Next, we might want to explain the rating system.  There are almost as many systems as there are users, but the way it's designed to work is this:

  • A 4 means the comment is superb.  Generally, 4's get handed out for comments that are particularly insightful, informative, moving, or just plain funny.
  • A 3 is for above-average comments.  Not great, not terrible.
  • A 2 is for a fairly marginal comment.  These comments don't add much to the conversation, and the 2 serves as a kind of "shot across the bow" to warn that you may want to reconsider adding such comments in the future.
  • A 1 is a "troll-rated" comment.  These are comments that are basically devoid of content, add nothing to the conversation, and/or are offensive.
  • A 0 is a "super-troll" comment.  Generally speaking, 0s are reserved for auto-generated comments, or for comments that serve no other purpose than to sow hurt, confusion and dissent among the posters.  Only Trusted Users may give 0s.

Comments that fall below an average ranking of "1" become hidden comments, meaning they disappear off the thread.  Trusted Users can see hidden comments, and are allowed to either rate this comment down to keep it off the board, or to give it a higher rating so it remains visible, if this helps the conversation.  If a comment collects two 0 ratings, it automatically becomes hidden, regardless of its average rating. (n.b. #1: a comment's rating does not become visible until two users have rated it.  A rating of 0/1 is not necessarily a zero; it simply means only one person has rated that comment.  n.b. #2:  Comments currently cannot be edited, and ratings can be changed, but not removed altogether.  Users are encouraged to exercise caution in what they say and how they rate.)

Ratings reflect an evaluation of behavior, not of agreement.  Users should not give 1s or 0s to comments simply on the basis of disagreeing with another user's perspective.  They should give out 1s for language that is rude, abusive, insulting or otherwise offensive.  This is a self-policing community, and we covenant with one another to make this board a place where all voices can be heard without fear of ridicule, hostility, or overtly hurtful responses.

There is some disagreement about how best to apply these standards, and about what exactly "all voices" means.  The first is probably an intractable argument; many users means many standards, unfortunately.  But there is general agreement on the second that Republicans, Naderites, etc., are welcome on the board, as long as they're respectful, and as long as they don't try to sidetrack or defeat the overarching goal of the site:  to build up a strong Democratic party capable of resisting Republican political domination. Update [2004-10-4 14:55:4 by pastordan]: As KidOakland points out in the comments, a good basic rule is to debate or rate, not both at the same time.

Onwards:  this site relies on what's called the mojo system.  The system boils down to this:  hang around the board long enough and collect enough 4s, and you become a Trusted User.  This enables you to see and review hidden comments, and to give comments a 0.  In return, Trusted Users are asked to take extra responsibility in policing the site by helping to banish trolls and ensure the fairness of comment ratings. Trusted User status is not permanent for most folks: if you collect enough 1s and 0s, you can lose it. But it can also be regained by more productive contributions.

Hang around long enough and collect enough 0s and 1s, and you become a troll, and are liable to get kicked off the board.  While Kos and some other users have the ability to summarily eject particularly difficult users, most banishees are removed by an automated system.

A dKos tradition for dealing with trolls' diaries is to post recipes on them, rather than address the substance of the post. This has caused a number of trolls to stumble off the board in confusion, as well as distributed some delicious food ideas.

The precise workings of mojo are shrouded in mystery deliberately to prevent gaming the system.  How do you know you've become a Trusted User?  When you see 0 included in your rating options, or when you can access the "Review Hidden Comments" page.  How do you know when you've become a troll?  Presumably, you get a notice informing you that you're no longer welcome to post.

General guidelines:  generally speaking, the lower the User ID number, the more respect a user is accorded.  (You can find the UID by holding your cursor over a user's handle in a comment.)  This for a couple of reasons.  One, they're assumed to know more about the ethos and history of the board, and therefore to be better instructors.  Two, they often have established themselves as welcome and appreciated members of the community.  It's considered bad form for a newbie to insult or mark down an established user without some strong justification.

Discussions on the board can get heated at times.  Many Kossites (Kossacks, Kosopolitans) are people with strong opinions.  Again generally speaking, it's acceptable to hold a contrary opinion; what's not acceptable is to shove that opinion in somebody's face, or to stick to it for so long that your insistence becomes obnoxious.  If your exchange isn't producing new understanding on either side, or if other users are telling you that your enthusiasm is a bit misplaced, it's probably time to let it go.  This is particularly true if your conversation is sidetracking the main thread or making it difficult to carry on the main conversation.  

As Kos himself pointed out, you're liable to reap what you sow.  Trash a candidate, and you'll hear from that candidate's supporters.  Offer constructive criticism (outside a rallying thread), and you're likely to be thanked for your insight.

It's considered rude to insult or swear at a conversation partner on the board, and it is never acceptable to threaten physical violence.  (Kos, if you're reading this, making threats should probably be grounds for automatic expulsion.)  If you can't get through a conversation without telling the other person to go Cheney themselves, or threatening to hit them so hard their vertebrae come popping out like Chiclets, it's probably time to turn your computer off and go get drunk.

My personal guideline is to treat people as if I were meeting them at a diner until I get to know them:  be polite, don't make assumptions, listen carefully to what they have to say.  They may be the biggest jerk you've ever met; but they may also have something to teach you.

Whew.  Anybody have anything to add?

[editor's note, by pastordan] Guess so. Thanks to everyone, whether you're credited or not!!

Originally posted to pastordan on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 10:31 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Here's something to add: (4.00)
    You can recommend a diary by hitting the "Recommend this diary" link up toward the top of the page.  With enough recommendations, the diary moves into the elite "Recommended Diaries" box on the main page.  That allows it to hang around a little longer so more people can see it.

    Go ahead, hit "Recommend this diary."  See what happens.

    •  Someone already diaried this. (3.75)
      (just kidding)

      I would add that for reasons passing understanding, posts titled, "FIRST" or "FRIST" with no additional content are likely to recieve between one and a thousand zeroes.

      Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children. - Khalil Gibran

      by PBJ Diddy on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:26:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  3s are just useless (3.00)
      I personally only use 2's and 4's, and let the hawks hit the zeroes.

      http://www.katemckinnon.com

      by kate mckinnon on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:39:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  also (none)
        User ID numbers reflect nothing more than the order that we all signed up for the new Scoop site, Dan, not how highly regarded we are by our peers.

        I was the 4,520th person to sign on to Scoop, although I've been around for a hella long time.  It took me a few days to register.

        http://www.katemckinnon.com

        by kate mckinnon on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:43:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Indeed (4.00)
          I was quick to register, but as a lurker (going back to the early Dem primary days) I am certainly not regarded as an established member of the community.

          returns to the shadows of lurkerdom

        •  I always look (none)
          to see if the UID is less than 10K - seems to be the approx dividing line between 2nd generation (primary battles) and the 3rd (Kerry the obvious candidate before the convention running until recently) - to judge how much credence to give a comment.  If you've been around that long, you probably aren't a stealth troll.

          Now that we on on 4th generation, I guess I will have to rethink my metric...

          bloggers: we watch the watchmen.

          by Ugluks Flea on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 03:45:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I noticed that, too (none)
            If you're below 10,000 you probably did battle here for your favored candidate (or against a hated one) during the primaries. That doesn't necessarily mean that you deserve more respect on dKos, but for me all the names I remember from the primaries carry a different weight. It's like we're the battle-hardened troops, and the newer ones are fresh meat for the grinder.

            Kerry is the new Dean

            by jd in nyc on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 06:03:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's a rough guide but... (none)
              Some of us are very long-time readers and much later posters. I was certainly caught up in the primaries (memory: doing visibility Iowa caucus morning, waving a sign in what the bank thermometer assured us was minus zero degrees).

              And it was uphill! Both ways!!!

              (Ahem.)

              Anyway. I've been reading since pre-Scoop, have greatly admired and benefited from the extremely high quality articles and diaries, and often didn't feel I had much to add except "You rock! 4!" (Maybe I should have done more of that ;-).

              But lately I've seen some things I wanted to respond to, and it's felt like there's the space to do so. Hence, new user ID. 18492. Embarassingly high, but then, we seem to be on that hockey stick growth curve...

              •  Wow, I'm a long termer (none)
                I didn't realize how long I'd been around here:2704. I used to be fairly obsessive about DKos. But, as the site has gotten bigger and there was, at least for a time, a feeling of competition around here for status, I've stopped posting and become more of a lurker. Well, one of the advantages is that I've now been spending quite a bit of time writing on my own blog.

                I have to say, though, that I credit DKos with waking me up politically or at least it was a significant part of that awakening.

                Things have definitely changed, and I have to say I miss the old days. But, I still learn a lot from the site everytime I come here. I just don't engage as much anymore. Hell, I don't even work right now and could spend two-thirds of my waking hours here ;-)

                "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." Mahatma Ghandi

                by blackmahn on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:43:48 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Holding The Cursor (none)
            over the person's handle in a post doesn't show a UID or anything. Is there something I'm doing wrong? Is there some other way to get a UID?

            Iraq is deja vu all over again.

            by chuco35 on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:21:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  look down at the bottom of the window (none)
              while you're holding the cursor over the user id at the bottom of a post. When I hold the cursor over your user id, the status bar (strip at the bottom of the window) gives a URL that includes the number associated with your used id (uid:10617)  so I know you were the 10,617th person to sign up for an account here.
          •  "Stealth troll"???? (none)
            Sir, the day of such cold war technology has come and gone.
          •  Naw, (none)
            Now that we on on 4th generation, I guess I will have to rethink my metric...

             there's an infamous troll, rmg who has many, many sockpuppets and has bragged on this here. He also says that a "prominent female poster" is one of his so your original metric has some room for error too. Also we had obvious trolls pre-scoop whose names I still see around here.

            "...the definition of a gaffe in Washington is somebody who tells the truth but shouldn't have." Howard Dean

            by colleen on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 07:12:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I only give 4s (none)
        in the general course of things.  I have given a couple of 2s.  I limit my rare zeros to:

        1.  Unrepententedly racist, sexist, or homophobic comments.
        2.  The use of perjorative language to demean another Kossack.
        3.  And the very occasional evil remark against Our Guy that no true believing Democrat would ever make, the kind of comment that automatically suggests the writer is a Wolf in Lamb's clothing.

        The First Primate: Wrong on Security. Wrong on defense. Wrong for America.

        by DCDemocrat on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:46:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  counter example (none)
        I have to disagree that 3s are useless: I use them to uprate posts that I don't think should disappear.  Its too much to give them a four, since for the most part I don't think they deserve them, and the three isn't used for anything else, so it counter acts a zero enough to make the post visible again.

        Just a personal system, however. (I don't use them that often, but they do come in useful on those rare occasions that I disagree with the prevailing ratings sentiment).

        "Consult the genius of the place in all things" - Alexander Pope

        by a gilas girl on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 02:51:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  good point. (none)
          n/t

          http://www.katemckinnon.com

          by kate mckinnon on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 04:58:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  similarly (none)
          I've seen people use 3's to counteract 4's. Sometimes a post will get lots of 4's and someone will think that the post was OK, but not deserving of so many accolades and so the 3 is a way of saying: don't get too full of yourself. I've never done it, but I've seen it done (including to me) and have no problem with it. Though it is a drag to see that perfect 4 rating tarnished sometimes.

          Kerry is the new Dean

          by jd in nyc on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 06:06:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I get this all the time (none)
            I'll get half a dozen 4's, then someone will throw me a three. Probably good for me, as most of my comments are just attempts at witty humor, and God knows I'm no John Stewart.  But it does wreak hell on the ego.

            Plus I'm famous for my stupid typos, so I probably deserve lower ratings anyway for appearing to be semi-literate some times!

            The more I know the more I find I know very little.

            by michael in chicago on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 07:23:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I agree, 3's are vital. (none)
          Think about it, Kos gave us a 3 rating to use, if he didn't want us to use it, he'd remove it. Therefore people who don't use 3's think Kos is wrong about how he runs his own site - and should probably break away and form their own site. In fact, there's already a much older Scoop site out there which doesn't give you the "3" option: http://www.kuro5hin.org/. Those people should leave Kos and go there.

          If you think about it, it's the only logical conclusion.

      •  I like them (none)
        for bringing down 4 ratings on posts that aren't really the greatest thing ever. I've never used them that way, myself, but I find it's good when I'm doing a little jig because someone who's posts I appreciate has given me a 4 to look back and see a 3 and get a little control over myself :)

        "You're born naked and the rest is drag." -Ru Paul

        by cshardie on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 07:59:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  geez, polly, was it something I said? (none)
  •  As someone who was trolled (4.00)
    simply for having said something someone ended up disagreeing with, I very much appreciate your reminding us that "Ratings reflect an evaluation of behavior, not of agreement.  Users should not give 1s or 0s to comments simply on the basis of disagreeing with another user's perspective.  They should give out 1s for language that is rude, abusive, insulting or otherwise offensive."

    Thank you!  

    •  So, should I troll you for saying that? (none)
      ;-)
    •  And as someone... (none)
      ... that trolled someone else simply because I didn't like their tagline and thought it was a good way to make a point...

      ... I too appreciate being corrected and advised of the error of my ways.

      I recommended this diary as it is an excellent piece, fairly written. As a long time netizen and veteran of many boards, but relatively newcomer to activity on Kos, it is good to know the particular approach of a community.

      I too, have seen communities change over multiple times and it is incumbent on the long-timers to maintain the continutity and spirit of a place.

      It is also important however to note that as a Democratic (large D) community we are disorganized chaos by nature and design. Disagreements will occur. Opinions are rampant, and frankly the whole point of a blog. If one does not particularly care for a candidate's viewpoints or statements, Democrat or not, then they should be free to say so without being attacked.

      Disagreed with, sure. Attacked, no.

      We are not freepers. We do not enforce party discipline. Any attempt to do so beyond a spirit of common benefit will and should be met with comments akin to telling the enforcer to go Cheney themselves. We are not dittoheads. We are not freepers. It does us no good to become just like them. The moment we do that they win.

      Peace,

      Andrew

      "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." - Theodore Roosevelt

      by Andrew C White on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 10:50:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I waited a week to give a zero once (none)
        What pisses me off is the people who use zeros to sabatoge another user

        It happened to me back in July

        Some asshole gave me 3 zero ratings on innocent comments, and I lost my TU status

        When I got my Tu statuse back, I zeroed every comment of his that I could

        I aint proud of it, but I was really pissed

        So everybody remember, what goes around comes around

        It's kinda like Karma, but without all the reincarnation stuff

        •  That's not right (none)
          I wish there was some way to combat this sort of thing. I've seen it happen to other users when people didn't agree with what they were saying. It's just not right.

          I probably give zeros less than I should as I worry about not getting the reference or reading too quickly or just being hot headed. If the post is violent or degrading or obvious troll BS (Kerry is a pussy, etc.) that gets a zero. But I hate to rate people who are arguing a point passionately anything below a 2, unless they get blatently disrespectful.

          The more I know the more I find I know very little.

          by michael in chicago on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 07:27:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Great point (none)
      This is an awesome summary of the rules of engagement.  

      I would add one more thing.  Don't post here unless you have a thick skin.  Politics is an emotional subject - it is natural to ascribe bad intent to those with whom we disagree.  This tendency should be resisted.  As Yeats wrote:

      They must to keep their certainty accuse
      All that are different of a base intent;
      Pull down established honour; hawk for news
      Whatever their loose fantasy invent
      And murmur it with bated breath, as though
      The abounding gutter had been Helicon
      Or calumny a song.  How can they know
      Truth flourishes where the student's lamp has shone,
      And there alone, that have no Solitude?
      So the crowd come they care not what may come.
      They have loud music, hope every day renewed
      And heartier loves; that lamp is from the tomb.

      We need to keep the freepers out - and we should be agressive about rating them.  Also, we are 4 weeks out from an election, and many of us are working for Kerry.  And so a suggestion - if you disagree with the something the campaign is doing, by all means express it.  But be respectful of the efforts many of us are making.  

      •  Disagree (none)
        No, post here in order to develop a thick skin.  Learning to engage in political dialogue without taking disagreement personally is an essential prerequisite to being an effective Kossack - and a successful political communicator beyond this site.  Try to battle ideas, not individuals.
        •  I agree (none)
          I'm passionate in my political beliefs, but I'm extremely mousey and inarticulate when it comes to discussing them with others.

          Being here (well, lurking here more than anything else) helps to provide me with with a little bit of backbone, as well as helping to give me the words to use that I may not necessarily have been able to come up with on my own.

  •  Addendum (2.60)
    Never, under any circumstance should a link to Indymedia be posted.  No matter how interesting you may personally find it, it is almost certainly devoid of useful information.  In rare circumstances an Indymedia thread may highlight useful information from other sources.  In that circumstance, find the original source and post that instead.

    Ditto Democratic Underground.

    •  Ditto Drudge. (none)
      •  It's a good thing... (4.00)
        I'm such a powerful Heather with so many drolling lapdogs in my corner.

        Otherwise, my HUGE ratio of swear words to verbs would have got me trolled off this site a long time ago.

        : )

        Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

        by Maryscott OConnor on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 10:53:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Freaking right! (none)
          Foul-mouthed Heather, anyway!
        •  re:Depends on How You Define "Offensive" (none)
          They should give out 1s for language that is rude, abusive, insulting or otherwise offensive.

          Unless it's inspired by or directed at Bush or anyone in his administration.  Or any other Republicans.  Or Zell Miller.  Lieberman, too.

          Actually, I think the offensive language section of our dKos rulebook should have a Maryscott exception clause.  I just plain like it when you cuss!

          My prediction: Kerry 405 - Bush 133

          by deminva on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:10:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I've said it before, (3.00)
            and I'll say it again:  Maryscott doesn't typically cuss at other users.  

            Now, when she opens up on the whole Red side of the country, it's like a drunken pirate's drunken parrot got loose...

            Woe to the first kind of cussing!  Cheers to the second, matey!

            •  You should have heard her (none)
              the other night. Saturday. She went off on this Naderite troll named politizine.  We kept hitting him with zeros and he kept reposting, saying that Kerry was a flipflopper and all of us were babies. Finally he posted a diary and Maryscott let him have it.

              It was quite a smackdown.

          •  They're just adjectives (none)
            Swearing at others is not good, but you got to admit, especially reading Mary Scott, that cussing when used effectively, does add a lot to the post. Let me explain...

            I generally thing that people who swear every other word tend to make themselves look stupid. However, this is a different medium. Post are so cold and unemotional, just like email. Swearing, while I don't think it helps in person, does help to liven up these posts, and I generally enjoy it when used masterfully as Mary Scott and other can. It gives one the sense of what the person really really feels in a passionate way.

            Maybe it's a substitute for larger vocabulary, and the use of words like "invective" and "obfuscation" could be more descriptive. But who talks like that? Maybe I should. But I don't.

            Maybe that makes me a low brow or intellectually inferior. So be it. I've learned many new words reading on this site, but I'd rather get the emotion behind the post directly instead of through my dictionary.

            The more I know the more I find I know very little.

            by michael in chicago on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 07:36:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Locklear (none)
          Ooooooh -- I get it!  You are the Heather everyone is worried about!  Mystery solved.

          Class warfare IS the answer.

          by bink on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:24:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Origins of Heather (none)
            Heather comes from the movie "Heathers" in which the cool girls were all named Heather and everyone aspired to be "a Heather."
          •  The theory is (none)
            MaryScott leads a Cabal of Heathers who will smite anyone who disagrees with them, dares criticise them , Dares criticise Kerry, is controversial, is annoying, pisses people off....

            Speaking as someone who often disagrees with.. everyone, criticises too much, criticises Kerry, is controversial, is extremely annoying and always pisses people off...

            I think MaryScott rocks and have applied for Cabal membership. I was rejected for having a conflict of interest though dammit.

            "I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn't do my job." - pRresident Bush | My other Drunken ravings

            by cdreid on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 04:19:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  "drolling lapdogs" (none)
          A nice neologism, and pretty spot-on. They are droll, aren't they?

          I'm Blue the Wild Dog, and I approved this message.

          by Blue the Wild Dog on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:46:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  sigh (4.00)
            They get by me sometimes, them typos.

            I can always count on my kindred spirits in Schoolmarmishness to let me have it right back.

            Considering the number of snippy corrections I make to others, I think it's only karmically proper to call me on mine. : )

            Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

            by Maryscott OConnor on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:51:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Now we're even ... (none)
              for 'solipstic'. (Long memory, I know.) I do like "drolling lapdog" - it sounds like Joyce to me ... but I've never read "Ulysses".

              I'm Blue the Wild Dog, and I approved this message.

              by Blue the Wild Dog on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:56:55 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I thought you meant droll (none)
              and that is was very erudite. ;)

              It's hard work to love Poland the best we can.

              by Unstable Isotope on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 04:15:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  The only time I've taken offense (none)
              To anything you've corrected is when the poster is, like I am, obviously dyxlesic and unable to correct spelling. (And the spell checker's gone now, so it's gotten worse recently.)

              I keep at both my journalism career and my posting career because I know my fucked-up brain wiring has hidden benefits, the ability to think in patterns that those more blessed then I might not have.

              It's hard to feel safe expressing yourself in writing when the basic tools are just beyond your grasp, no doubt like feeling comfortable speaking when you have a lisp. Be sensitive to us dyslexics.

            •  Not sure what you mean by this (none)
              I can always count on my kindred spirits in Schoolmarmishness to let me have it right back.

              as you are writing a bit cryptically here, but my initial response to this is to get my back up: it follows that same pattern of denigrating those with a different outlook about your mode of expression and rather than dealing with it like an adult, you just ridicule and diminish.

              Now, you aren't the only one who does this, but it is such an ingrained pattern here, that I've decided to call people on it when ever it comes up. Its a cheap tactic.

              If I've misread, I'm happy to have you correct me, but the pattern is too glaring to overlook. Call it pre-emptive, I guess.

              "Consult the genius of the place in all things" - Alexander Pope

              by a gilas girl on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 06:44:29 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Definitely a misread (none)
                No ridicule intended. I have a horribly annoying habit of correcting spelling and grammar; have managed to curtail it to a great extent here on this blog, but occasionally it slips out.

                The person to whom I responded and I have a very cordial acquaintanceship here -- no animosity or snarkiness at all.

                I think you might have read a subtext that wasn't there.

                Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

                by Maryscott OConnor on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 07:55:13 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  OCD (none)
                  Some people count, some people scrub their hands, some people live with a red-pencil-imp in their brain :)

                  (Once when I was much younger and dumber, I actually corrected a spelling mistake in a love letter -- he never really forgave me....)

                  No retreat, baby, no surrender

                  by rincewind on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 08:16:36 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  not only can one cuss at dkos (none)
          I've seen Kos defend the practice... and use it on the front page.

          Offensive language doesn't mean "cussing"!  geez.  

        •  In all fairness (2.10)
          you're not really a Heather.  True Heathers wouldn't hang around a blog like dKos.

          You're more a highly ambitious "beta." Other ambitious "betas" have arrived and departed over the past two years, and in the absence of true Heathers you only pass for one for those who have never been close enough to any to actually know them.

          But it's the regular "betas" and "gammas" that most of the women here belong to, and the latter is way more represented at dKos than they are in the general population.

          See:

          AL GORE AND THE ALPHA GIRLS
          "The Enduring Power of Cliques in a Post-High-School World"

          http://rittenhouse.blogspot.com/2002_11_01_rittenhouse_archive.html

          •  with all due respect... (none)
            I read the article. Your assessment of me is, to say the least, insulting and inaccurate.

            For the record -- in high school, I was a freakish outsider and loner. It was only much later that discovered most people were intimdiated by me, not repelled.

            I've spent the rest of my life in basically the same state, with alterations according to whatever area of life I entered.

            To now be reduced to a "Beta" under the definition prescribed by the author to whom you referred is beyond insulting.

            I'm slightly curious as to where you see yourself in that wretched hierarchy depicted, but not curious enough to halt any future further contact between us with a hearty "Fuck you, pal."

            Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

            by Maryscott OConnor on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 05:19:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well he did leave out the (2.00)
              zeta, theta and iotas.

              Sorry for giving you more credit for interpersonal skills than your response and self description betrays.

              ..discovered most people were intimdiated by me

              And you wield that cudgel like a true wannabe Alpha.  (hint: you'll get there faster by developing a bit more class.)

              gammas aren't intimidated by any women and know them all well.

              •  Marie. (4.00)
                Intimidation of others is not something that interests me. It's only in the past few years that I've come close to learning how not to get my feelings hurt by people's misapprehension of my personality. Your approach -- snarky hostility and cattiness -- still manages to pierce my armour, and I lash out when my feelings get hurt.

                Do me a favour and just stop talking to me, okay? You obviously have developed some issues with me and I'm really done trying to get past them with you. Whenever you make a comment directed at me, you manage to hurt my feelings. I don't like getting my feelings hurt, so please just stop talking to me, okay?

                Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

                by Maryscott OConnor on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 06:02:30 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Maryscott (2.28)
                  What do you expect others to do when you engage in bullying behavior for weeks on end?  Suck it up?  Appease you?  Tell you that you're wonderful?  That's what our DC DEMs tried to do with Bush and it didn't work too well as far as I can see.

                  I did try other approaches and even suggested to you that we could take this offline if you wanted.  But I will not stand silently as you continue to abuse others who simply disagree with you.  If the only way to pierce your armor was to be a bit brutal, then so be it.  On occasion you betray that you are better than most of your comments, why not go with that more often?  Might not produce the same level of high that unnecessary and provacative profanity and hanging with the guys gives you, but it will be more nourishing in the long run.

                  Think if this as just some tough love.

                  (btw - I happen to think that is one of the most elegantly written and insightful essays I've seen on a blog.  Much food for thought and maybe some tears for many of us women.)

                  •  Whatever. (4.00)
                    That's not tough love, that's just sanctimonious abuse. Your self-image as a paragon of manners seems pretty sturdy, but I've never asked for your continuous criticism of my behaviour.

                    As for what you see as my "abuse" of others who "simply disagree" with me -- it's not there. I make harsh comments at times, I don't hesitate to call someone on his bullshit, and when someone is being a dick, I say so.

                    You're being a dick.

                    I find it fascinating that you have homed in on me and my particular style as your primary target for "tough love." There are a lot of people posting far more egregious crap on here than I; yet for some strange reason, you find me offensive. This ludicrous obsession of yours with my use of foul language, for instance -- where does that come from? I'm sure as hell not the only person who swears here.

                    If I had to guess, I'd have to say your focus on me has more to do with your own insecurities than with my personality or behaviour.

                    Seriously -- if you need to have the last word, take it -- but after that, lose my fucking number.

                    Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

                    by Maryscott OConnor on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 07:26:36 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  All due respect: (3.33)
                      as I said to Marie, it's about time you two wrap this one up.

                      Smoke a butt, and we'll see you in the morning.

                      •  Not much respect due me, I'm afraid. (none)
                        But I agree with the "wrap it up" portion of your message.

                        I am SO wishing I could get fucking high right now.

                        Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

                        by Maryscott OConnor on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 07:44:18 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  respect (none)
                          FWIW, you've got mine. It wasn't easy for me to even read your honest hurt; doubt if I would've had the guts to write it.

                          I don't understand why some women get off on attacking other women with this kind of "flawed-female" psycho-babble, but mostly I'm just glad I can't get my mind around that way of thinking.

                          I suppose there might be a thing or 2 in this life worth drinking over, but she's not one of 'em.

                          No retreat, baby, no surrender

                          by rincewind on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 09:04:14 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  Projecting your defensiveness (1.33)
                      onto me isn't going to work.

                      While I stuck to describing your behavior here, you have found it necessary to hurl insults and labels at me:

                      self-image as a paragon of manners seems pretty sturdy

                      Don't have that self image and never claimed to be a paragon of anything.  No words are verbotim as far as I'm concerned, but when they don't facilitate communication and are overused to shout out others, they aren't very effective and are at a minimum tiresome to read.

                      There are a lot of people posting far more egregious crap on here than I...  I don't need to tell you about this defense mechanism.

                      You're being a dick.  Nice.

                      ...lose my fucking number.  Oh, do I have it?  Take it to your sponsor.

                      •  aoeu (none)
                        What was that SNL skit? Passive Agreesive Pam or something?

                        My turtles laughter
                        was loud when the Yankees lost
                        22 to zilch

                        by TealVeal on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 08:43:49 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  NOthing.... (3.50)
                          passive about this.

                          It does seem to have served one purpose, however unintended. While up till now Marie's incessant ragging on me has really gotten under my skin, I now feel pretty much inoculated.

                          It also helps that I'm assured it's not just me perceiving the bitter hostility beneath the veil of affected gentility. That seems to be pretty much shredding as the night goes on.

                          Okay. I realy AM done with this now.

                          (And, Pastor -- apologies for the detour -- on the other hand, gracious, what do we EXPECT in a thread about Getting Along? I notice further down thread we had a wee bit of a flare-up from one of the Usual Suspects. Now, if I can just get MY name off that list...)

                          Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

                          by Maryscott OConnor on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 08:53:48 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  TOO far (4.00)
                        "Take it to your sponsor."

                        Intentionally fucking with somebody's recovery is beyond base. I don't want what you have, and I hope that has meaning for you.

                        No retreat, baby, no surrender

                        by rincewind on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 09:14:43 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  If, and I do mean (2.40)
                          if because I have no personal knowledge whether anybody here is in a recovery program, it it not messing with it to suggest that a sponsor is a good place to go when the an individual expresses the level of defensive vitriol that has been spewed at me here.  If drugs have been an issue, it is probably not a good idea not to have a sponsor.  I learned long ago not to act like an enabler. Sorry that offends you.
                        •  In case you missed it: (none)
                          Update [2004-10-4 14:55:4 by pastordan]: As KidOakland points out in the comments, a good basic rule is to debate or rate, not both at the same time.
                      •  ummmm (none)
                        While I stuck to describing your behavior here

                        How is calling someone a "beta" not a label? It's pretty easy to see basically calling someone a "wannabe" as an insult, too. Maybe moreso for anyone who thinks the people you say she "wants to be" are twits.

                        "You're born naked and the rest is drag." -Ru Paul

                        by cshardie on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 09:20:44 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Well, it beats being called a "dick" (3.20)
                          However, "beta" isn't a negative term.  "Alpha" and it's more common variant "heather" is only negative for some people and definitely not for heathers themselves.  "Betas" and "gammas" are merely descriptive of styles, ways of being the in the world, no more inherently value laden than introvert or extrovert.
                  •  Oh, sweetie... (3.50)
                    if this is one of the better online essays you've read, you need to get out more.

                    And may I suggest (as I will to Maryscott below) that getting into it with one another on a thread devoted to How We All Get Along is perhaps not the best use of your time?

                    •  Ever heard of people (2.66)
                      "working it out?"

                      Exactly what purpose did you intend to serve in not only adding your critique of the essay but also suggesting that mine is deficient?  Exactly how does your comment belong on a thread devoted to How We All Get Along?  And exactly what purpose does it serve a community for people like you to encourage and enjoy unnecessary, provocative and unrelenting profanity from some posters at dKos?  She's a big girl and at least I have enough confidence in her ability to fight her own battles without the need for "daddys" come to her rescue.  

                      •  My bad. (none)
                        Thought you were referring to this essay, not the one you cited to Maryscott.  

                        As for encouraging excessive profanity, I don't really.  Maryscott can cuss all she wants, because that's who she is.  That's all.

                        And as for me playing the "Daddy" role, well, I'll let that one just speak for itself.

                        •  Daddy role (4.00)
                          I don't know about this one pastor dan: I'm reading this thread late, but I must say, there is quite a bit of "male rescuing" that seems to be going on here.  The fact that you raise the issue of Maryscott's profanity (which by any measure I can think of is excessive, though she may have her reasons) is "who she is" leads me to wonder how much of her fan base is made up of male readers who simply like the idea of a young attractive woman who talks dirty?

                          I'm not asserting anything, but many of Marie's points are valid, if harsh.  She's being as "outspoken" and "straight forward" as Maryscott is often praised for being, yet Maryscott's "straightforwardness" is all bound up in the amount of cuss words she throws around and her refusal to even consider alternative viewpoints about that issue.

                          I have no space or patience for psychological analyses of either political or personal issues (I'm a big believer that psychiatry is one of the curses that the twentieth century bestowed upon humankind) but to be fair, Marie is, I believe, by training a psychologist (at least I have that impression), so it is a bit unfair to expect her not to have that outlook or to bring that expertise with her when she comes here. No one holds Maryscott's outlook as an addict/recovering alcoholic/ (no disrespect intended, I just forgot which one it was) against her when she brings that along, in fact she's oft praised for sharing it. Something is fishy about this thread, and I don't know exactly what it is.

                          "Consult the genius of the place in all things" - Alexander Pope

                          by a gilas girl on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 06:37:59 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Marie's probably right (none)
                            Most of us outnumbered females here are probably more like "gammas", to put it nicely (yes I know many of you hate boxes--I happen to like them--they help me make sense of things)--or GEEKS (because men who hang out on electronic bulletin boards are geeks, but women who do it are mega-geeks) and, sorta like Steph Herseth, Maryscott is different enough from the rest of us to be, judged by the fairly low standard to be used for the appearances of geek-girls and politicians, to be drooled over. And don't think she doesn't know it and like it (I seem to remember links to some headshots on her website--maybe she needs to hook up her photographer with kos so that he can have some nice headshots for his appearances in print). It's been nothing but male rescue she since arrived--but under the circumstances, it's not surprising.

                            But before anyone gets too wrapped up in all of this--my goodness, think of the milieu--it's like that "50 most beautiful people in DC" bit--maybe one or two might be able to vault onto a "50 most beautiful people" in some other context, like acting or modeling, but in somewhere like Hollywood, most would be considered average or subaverage. (also interesting that Maryscott operates in that millieu--it must be pretty refreshing to come here and be made much of) These things are relative.

                            Anyway, these are just observations. I find that this level of hubbub is pretty easy to ignore, but on the other hand, I wonder if there are people who are actually oblivious to it...

                            I'm happy with my $20 of influence

                            by JMS on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 07:16:48 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  "Male rescue" (none)
                            rincewind and kate mckinnon are both female. So are many of the people who "come to my rescue" in this ongoing series of personality conflicts.

                            Instead of focusing on this irrelevant and, I believe, erroneous line of analysis, I wonder if it wouldn't be more instructive to take issue with the fact that these personality conflicts keep coming up with me? That's the part I find truly disturbing; a lot of reflection and introspection is being inspired in me by this phenomenon.

                            Seems to me I have plenty of character flaws to pick on -- I don't think we need to go inflating non-existent ones (reliance on male rescue? please -- I can't even tell who's male or female unless their names indicate it).

                            I stipulate to all the flaws and all the misbehaviour. I'd like to promise to improve, but that might be pushing it.

                            Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

                            by Maryscott OConnor on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 08:24:14 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  it's not as black and white (4.00)
                            as that of course--you can always find exceptions--but I have noticed that you'll see things like Pastor Dan making a cute exception for the swearing rule for you--personally, I don't really see why he mentioned swearing in the first place--that's something that would be extremely difficult to control here in the first place. But I've seen the pattern enough to find it interesting that the people involved don't seem to realize what's going on. It's like the cute girl who flashes her dimples to get out of trouble. Obviously you've got a lot more going on than that--so don't take that to mean that that's all I think of you--but you do have an element of that going on.

                            But we are what we are. You are what you are--and I'm not suggesting you change unless you want to. But what I'm saying is that I observe that you do certain things that provoke certain responses, both positive and negative. You are (in the context of this board, which could be quite different from real life, so don't read more into this than that)a highly charged, potentially polarizing person--so is Howard Dean (and you know that coming from me, that's not an insult). If you don't like the negative responses, you can think about whether you want to change anything, but I suspect that if you did, you might forego some of the very positive responses you get too... so that's really up to you. I mean it's not like you're Petey or GenF (so many people with issues here...) or anything like that...but I do think that you sometimes "get away" with things that other people can't, and that may annoy certain others of us.

                            I'm happy with my $20 of influence

                            by JMS on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 09:33:10 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  anyway (none)
                            I can get pretty cranky. I once called a gilas girl "sanctimonious"--I don't think she let me forget that...

                            I'm happy with my $20 of influence

                            by JMS on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 09:41:29 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No argument (none)
                            I haven't done much deep thinking about the dynamics, but your points are all valid.

                            I will say this much, though: I don't put any forethought into what response I might elicit when I post. Certainly, it's nice that people respond positively. Certainly, it's troubling when a few respond with hostility. Since I've been this way for 36 years, I don't see much chance of my changing significantly -- though I do hope that maturity will soften the rough edges and toughen the sensitivities.

                            While in real life I'm not nearly as rough-spoken as I am online, I have always been a polarizing, outspoken sort. It's led to much pain and much joy -- manic-depression personified. And as long as I'm not willing to let go of the highs, I'd better be prepared to deal with the lows. It's been a constant struggle; at certain times, I've resolved to try to be someone I'm not -- quiet, unassuming, unopinionated, dispassionate. But I can never adhere to that resolve for very long. The impetus to speak up has always outweighed the desire to fit in. On a regular basis, however, the pain I cause myself pushes me inward and I isolate myself for a while, until the batteries recharge.

                            I feel the time coming when I will quietly slip away from this site; the rewards and joys of being allowed to express myself and getting positive feedback are becoming overshadowed by the rare but potent sources of animosity issuing their judgments. That's not a complaint and when I go it won't be a "flounce" -- just the inevitable conclusion to a familiar pattern. At the moment, my addiction to this blog is stronger than my aversion to personal criticisms; but I'm reaching maximum density and eventually it wll be necessary to slink off and regroup.

                            Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

                            by Maryscott OConnor on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 09:48:03 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  it's always good to take a break (none)
                            if you think things are getting overheated and what's nice about this forum is all you have to do is not turn on your computer. Maybe you want to take a break from you co-workers or family, but that's not so easy to arrange--but here--sure...

                            I'm now down to not blogging from home--given the choice, I'll let my job suffer :)

                            I'm happy with my $20 of influence

                            by JMS on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 10:07:53 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Then she ought to know better (4.00)
                            Marie is, I believe, by training a psychologist (at least I have that impression), so it is a bit unfair to expect her not to have that outlook or to bring that expertise with her when she comes here.

                            You don't do therapy in a public forum unless everybody there is there for that reason. I know I don't come to Daily Kos for group, and it doesn't seem like most other people do, either.

                            Plus, if Marie really is a psychologist, she should have better control over her anger than to lash out at someone who has questioned her. Especially after she's been pretty damn harsh herself. I wouldn't want her for a therapist, if this is the way she behaves in clinical settings.

                          •  Except I don't agree (none)
                            that Marie "lashed out".  And in a thread about MSO who's so praised for her own anger, I find it a bit ironic that someone else would be called out for "anger".

                            She was harsh, which is her style.  Believe me, I know. I've had many go rounds with Marie and we disagree stringently and she pulls no punches.   But I don't take it personally.  But Marie was no harder on Maryscott than she is with everyone. If we're granting leniancies to folks based on "who they are" (as pastordan says, if Maryscott cusses at dKos, well that's just who she is) then that leniancy should be extended to everyone, especially someone who's been around as long as Marie and has contributed substantially more than the majority of folks here, for an extended period of time.

                            Maryscott puts herself, her personality and all sorts of personal matters out here as part of her dKos identity, thus making those things fair game.  If she can't take it and gets her feelings hurt, then she might want to rethink that mode of online personality, since it does invite closer observation of personal matters from those who don't agree with her, or with that style. She's the one who opened the door and if she doesn't like what people will come up with, then the there's always the option of not providing so much personal information and making every thing she posts in some way always about Maryscott even when the topic is ostensibly something else.  

                            "Consult the genius of the place in all things" - Alexander Pope

                            by a gilas girl on Wed Oct 06, 2004 at 07:03:32 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Fine (none)
                            She was harsh, which is her style.  Believe me, I know. I've had many go rounds with Marie and we disagree stringently and she pulls no punches.   But I don't take it personally.  But Marie was no harder on Maryscott than she is with everyone.

                            I haven't been here long, but I've seen a couple of Marie's outbursts. "Harsh" is being charitable. And I still think a mental-health professional should be better able to keep her cool than Marie seems able to do. It doesn't matter who started what or who put what on the table: someone who gets paid to help other people through piles of personal crap should be better at coping with that kind of crap than the average dKos poster.

                            But maybe that's just me.

                          •  I can't say with any (none)
                            authority that Marie is "a mental health professional", only that from my dealings with her and my reading of her posts and interests from a long time, she does have some training in psychology it appears to me.  That doesn't necessarily translate into "mental health professional", so we should get that straight for the record.  

                            I included that observation more to provide context for why she might be more inclined to take up more intricate dimensions of the mostly colloquial use of "Heathers" that had been tossed around on this thread (and which started the whole dust up in the first place).  

                            Marie's posts nearly always relate in some way to on-going dynamics and aren't just "personal attacks", at least in my experience, and her first post, which got so many people in a dander and started the whole back and forth on who's attacking whom" was really of that nature.  And I don't use "harsh" lightly, as much as I hate the pop psychology terms, Marie's pattern really is to practice a kind of comment form of "tough love" (egad how I hate psychology, especially in its popular forms) but there's generally always something INSIDE the harshness, that has a constructive purpose even if people don't want that from her.  She almost always contributes something even when she's going at or around with people, which is not something you can say about most people who get into flame fests.  Maryscott chose to take it simply personally (as did most other people, but there was more there from my after-the-fact observations).  There wasn't anything wrong with what Marie said, in the context of a throw-away remark about being a "heather", and what her original comment did was actually shed some light on the dynamic of what was happening.  Now in the moment, I know that's hard to see and neither Maryscott nor anyone else did, which while unfortunate is understandable.  But that, too, is an ongoing pattern with Maryscott: she immediately turns to the personal.  In fact, without Marie's observations, I would not have been able to see that, and I'm grateful because I've been asking myself for a while now, what exactly it was that bugged me so much about the dynamic that traveled with Maryscott across the dKos-scape.  So from my vantage point (time and distance from the orginial flamefest) Marie's comments actually shed some light for me.  In that sense, Marie's comments came across to me not as mean, nor unkind, but harsh, that is, making observations that may, in fact, make people uncomfortable, but nonetheless add a not yet articulated perspective to the ongoing conversation.  And, since Maryscott herself often resorts to psycho- and addict- speak in her own posts, and in the way she talks about not only other people, but also herself, I don't think its completely consistent to berate Marie for taking up that same discourse when she responds to Maryscott.  

                            If you let yourself get "hurt" over the internet, then you have invested yourself, perhaps a little bit too deeply in an environment that can't really, if you think about it, do you any real harm.  Granted there's a lot of ego around here, and Maryscott is by no means not the only perpetrator of that particular internet bad habit, God knows, but geez, I do wish that we could at least turn down the intensity on the ego settings sometimes.  

                            In a democratic society some are guilty, but all are responsible. -Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

                            by a gilas girl on Wed Oct 06, 2004 at 02:37:26 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  "Refusal to consider other viewpoints" (none)
                            This refusal to consider other viewpoints about my use of swear words that you ascribe to me is simply false. I have considered other viewpoints.

                            I'm sure you don't pay much attention to the goings-on beteen me and many people around here, but a long time ago a poster whose screenname escapes me but who is named Tom called someone out for using "cocksucker," which he considered to be homophobic.

                            At the time, I stood with the perpetrator of the verbal crime (</snark>) -- and Theoria, he was on the "cocksucker is a perfectly fine word" side). Over the course of a few weeks, after several conversations about it here, I shifted my perspective and am now of the opinion that it ought to be used sparingly, if at all. And have adhered to that belief.

                            If I were not open to criticism and altering my behaviour, such a thing would not have happened.

                            As to Marie's pathological obsession with my use of swear words, that is another matter, entirely. I have suggested repeatedly over the weeks that she simply bypass my comments and that I would be happy to do the same. Such has not been the case -- and now we find ourselves at this unhappy station.

                            As you may have noticed, I am perfectly capable of expressing myself without vulgarity. I choose to use it. To be constantly harangued for it by one or two people who seem to have made it their avocation to make sure everyone knows how very much they disapprove of me is, to say the least, tiresome.

                            Just thought I'd put in a little more from me on the topic, as we could ALL use a little more from ME, god knows.

                            (As for your marking a 4 on Marie's excrutiatingly cutting assessment of my status in her adopted view of the hierarchy around here, I simply couldn't begin to understand it. Anyone who reads that essay can see perfectly well that calling someone a "beta" is even more vicious than calling her an "alpha" -- and your rating of Marie's viciousness with a 4 seems to indicate your hearty agreement with her assessment. Pity -- I harbour no such ill-feelings against you.)

                            Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

                            by Maryscott OConnor on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 03:12:37 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I had forgotten about that discussion (none)
                            now that you mention it; my apologies.  You did actually reply to one of my posts mentioning that you had been rethinking.  I should have remembered that.

                            My annoyance here isn't so much with you as it is with the aura that travels with you through dKos.  Its the same problem I had with much (not all) of the Dean discussions around here. But, I do think that JMS has really captured a big part of the dynamic and her post is quite sensible.  

                            If "male rescue" seems harsh, then I understand your extreme defensiveness, but throwing up a couple of female examples as a counter to an argument about feel (and I was speaking specifically about pastordan's comments which felt very much like that and that's what I was explaining) shows a pretty weak understanding of how phenomena in our culture are "gendered" -- something I know you understand.

                            While you are at the center of it, this isn't just about you, its about a dynamic within the community.  Of course that doesn't make it any easier to be the person at the center of it. But that's something you might want to consider. One thing I have noticed, and I don't mean this harshly, is that almost every time I read one of your posts, you always manage to make your post be simultaneously a post about what ever topic there is AND a post about Maryscott O'Connor.  I don't know if this has ever even occured to you, or if it is by design.  My intent is not malicious here.

                            At any rate, I am sorry for forgetting about the "c*ks**er" incident, that really did slip my mind.  I misspoke about the unwillingness bit.

                            "Consult the genius of the place in all things" - Alexander Pope

                            by a gilas girl on Wed Oct 06, 2004 at 07:18:22 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  May I say something in my own defense? (none)
                            I was not, and do not, defend Maryscott's habit of sometimes cursing at other users.  See this comment downthread.  I am a practical person, however, and I know better than to waste my breath on getting MS to give up cussing altogether.  That's all I was trying to say.

                            And sorry if I seemed like I was riding to her rescue.  If you go back and look at my first two posts in their flamefest, you'll see that I said essentially exactly the same thing to both of them:  knock it off.  Believe me, I know Maryscott's capable of fighting her own battles.

                          •  Point taken (none)
                            that such as thing as "riding to the rescue" may never have occured to your, or was your intention when you made that comment, but the comments don't stand alone, ever.  Just as I said that my complaint/concern wasn't really about Maryscott even though she's at the center of it, but the dynamic, the same holds true for you.  Your comment came after an entire thread of this kind of "rescue" behavior that was, primarily but not exclusively, from male posters (as much of the celebration of Maryscott's choice of language and mode of expression is).  Now, I have an advantage over Maryscott in that I've been around here longer so I actually know who is and isn't male in many cases, just because of my "dKos old age" (and probably also real life "old age", because its not really all that hard to tell if, like me, you've been paying attention and studying these things for most of your adult life), but there was already a pretty deep pattern established, and I had been reading this thread well after the fact of the intensity of the moment, so I got the whole picture.  And from that perspective your comment fit that on-going dynamic that I named -- perhaps less diplomatically than most folks here at dKos are comfortable with -- "male rescue".  It wasn't a personal rebuff, even though it was addressed TO you, it was an observation (and a subjective one, Ill grant you) of what reading your comment felt like in the context of those other comments.  

                            Honestly: My intention wasn't to criticize, but to try and point out what the larger dynamic was precisely because I was fairly sure people hadn't necessarily intended their individual comments in that sense, or were even thinking along those lines, but that in spite of direct and individual intentions, these patterns still manage to get reproduced.  That's because the dynamic IS more than simply the sum of individual contributions.  

                            --sorry, that's the sociologist in me coming out again.  annoying, I know, but just like Maryscott, Marie and everybody else, that's who I am.  

                            In a democratic society some are guilty, but all are responsible. -Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

                            by a gilas girl on Wed Oct 06, 2004 at 02:13:53 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I guess (none)
                            you and I have a different read of the dynamic, but whatever.  It's not worth arguing over.

                            Let me just leave it at this:  I don't think threads like this are the proper place to hash out personal differences.  I don't like it when I see it on other threads, sure don't like it when I'm one of the participants.  But since I was in theory the "host" of the thread, I thought I was within my rights to say something.

                            If that plays into a larger dynamic, I apologize, and offer my thanks for making me aware of it.  I'll look a little more closely before I leap next time.

                            'Sallright?

                          •  The point I was trying to make (none)
                            is that there was more to it than simply "hashing out personal differences". But I seem to be alone in that perspective, (not an unusual place for me to be), so there's no more productive discussion to be had here.

                            BTW: I don't think there's anything wrong with people taking part in those threads, the dynamic wouldn't have become so clear without the participation of other people.  I'm alway a bit distressed with the norms of politeness that say better to say nothing than to engage in confrontation, but I've lived the largest part of my adult life in middle class America, so I am used to it.  I don't see any reason for you to stay out of something if you have something to say.    

                            In a democratic society some are guilty, but all are responsible. -Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

                            by a gilas girl on Wed Oct 06, 2004 at 08:50:05 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Without being pejorative, (none)
                            I agree:  you're probably in the minority in your perspective on the dynamics here.  Which is fine; who doesn't hold a pretty lonely opinion at some point?

                            I guess the analogy I would make is that if you're tangling with someone at a party, the polite thing is to take it outside, and not ruin everybody else's evening.  That doesn't mean don't have the fight--just do it somewhere where you're not bothering everybody else.  As you say, that's pretty conventional middle-class mores.  But I've long since embraced my inner bourgeois...

                          •  please email me off-list (none)
                            emdash AT liberalstreetfight DOT com

                            People of the world. Join in. On the love train. Love train. Liberal Street Fight

                            by em dash on Wed Oct 13, 2004 at 01:08:51 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  My comment was not subjective (none)
                            and was not intended to be directed exclusively  at you -- it was just that you jumped into the fray and had previously made the exception to your profanity rule for MsOC.  Like A Gilas Girl I too had noted the same dynamic over the past couple of months.  As well as how clever MsOC is at manipulating that.  Would also be interesting to know how many people actually read the linked article or merely took MsOC's word that it was insulting.  Had anybody directed me to it and said I was X -- I would have read it and either agreed or pointed out why I have a different take on it.
                          •  Again, (none)
                            see my comment on profanity downthread.  Maryscott is not exempt from my general (unenforced) norm about swearing at other users.  It's funny when she curses at W.; it's not so funny when she tells somebody else on the board to take a flying, er, leap.

                            And again, apologies for the confusion on the article.  You said "essay," I jumped to the conclusion that you were talking about my essay, hence the comment.  I wouldn't care to comment on whether or not it was insulting because--you guessed it--I haven't read it!

                          •  Thank you for your honesty (4.00)
                            At the time I first responded to you, I had only seen your MsOC exception -- as long threads play havoc with my computer, I rarely scroll back through them when engaged in an argument - so, did not see your amendment.

                            However, the larger process issue is the ease with which so many are willing to take the word of someone they prefer for whatever reason without checking source documents, particularly when they are only a click away and take a few minutes to read.  I would guess that most who participate on this blog would describe themselves as thoughtful and make an effort to obtain relevant information before drawing conclusions and making assessments.  Yet, as we have seen here, it was easier to trash me in both ratings and comments than it was to expend a few minutes of effort to consider that maybe there wasn't a bad actor in this little drama and maybe, just maybe, all the invective thrown at me was unwarranted and I lost my cool a bit when fighting it on several fronts.

                            That same dynamic operated in this country and  allowed a majority to buy into the absurd notion that Saddam had stockpiles of WMD that were gonna come and get us.  I managed to get all of one person to read and think enough to allow that it was unlikely that WMD were there and a war was therefore unwarranted.  But I sure convinced a lot of people that I was nuts.  It doesn't comfort me that I was right because the damage we have done is so great.

                            This drama here in and of itself is almost meaningless -- but as A Gilas Girl and I have pointed out there are larger dynamics embedded in this that have been as conveniently overlooked as this country has overlooked the non-existent WMD.

          •  I should not get in this (none)
            but if this were not going on in public, I couldn't.

            So how about if I step in.

            Your posts are probably more indicative of your own state than Maryscotts... since that heirarchy is bogus.  OH, maybe it's true for those that share that vision of heirarchy... and I only vaguelly recall some history between you to.

            But on the issue of that alpha gamma crap... blech... that's herd animal mentality.  

            •  No, you shouldn't have. (none)
              But I don't know what kind of world you live in where hierarchies don't exist. (Even here at dKos.)  Denying them will not make them go away -- but knowing about them can help us level them a bit should we so choose.
              •  if you bring it up in public (none)
                you are assigning roles in that heirachy.  Yeah heirarchies exist... a lot of things exist... that doesn't mean everyone is a part of them.

                You posted a link, and analysis.  I wasted time reading it (and the link) and the payback is I comment.  Otherwise you could find a private channel of communication and LEAVE ME OUT OF IT.

                •  come in at your own risk (none)
                  sorry you found the article a waste of time.  I think it is very insightful or I wouldn't have linked to it.

                  Sorry, we are all a part of many hierarchies whether we like it or not.

                  •  um, I'm getting defensive (none)
                    because I've intruded.  I did so because I spent the time reading that article.  It wasn't a total waste, as it's food for thought, it's just those sorts of analysis get my blood boiling as they tend to assume the value of that heirarchy.

                    Having spent my time reading it is my justification for "intruding"... that and a strong feeling that private conversations held in public are actually public conversations.

                    I disagree with your perspective on being part of heirarchies.  This is not true.  There is NO network that actually operates according to heirarchical rules.  Heirarchy is but one type of organization projected onto the network in an attempt to understand it.  In every case there are more apt descriptions for the network.

                    However, I will attempt to back off one implication of my comment: it's not wholly without merit to make a heirarchical analysis, in spite of it's inherent inaccuracy.

                    •  Private conversation in public (4.00)
                      Oxymoronic, to say the least.

                      My email address is available to the public. If anyone wanted to have a private conversation with me, it wouldn't be too hard to initiate.

                      I cannot recall if Marie ever actually emailed me, or simply suggested a correspondence, which I likely refused. Why on earth would I volunteer for more abuse, but in private?

                      At any rate, I believe the Pastor has made an excellent point.

                      One of these days, I will goddamned well learn not to take the bait on this blog. But I am a ridiculously sensitive and defensive person, riddled with pride and ego -- it's a wonder I ever manage to ignore anyone who insults me.

                      Oh. Wait. I haven't made it that far yet. Ah, well -- tomorrow is another day.

                      Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

                      by Maryscott OConnor on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 07:40:06 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  It was IMO merely (none)
                      descriptive and did not indicate value for the hierarchy.

                      There have been some cultures on this planet that are not hierarchal -- they are rare and maybe as we evolve they would become more common.

                      (Didn't object to you jumping in -- was merely responding to your opening question.  Doubt that I would have taken the plunge had this been between two other people.)

                      •  well, I'm drawn to certain debates (none)
                        there has never been a pure heirarchy, and royal attempts to secure one are the purest example, every sort of violation of the heirarchy takes place precicely becuase it's not a truly natural explanation of what's going on.  Every place in the network is unique, firstly, that's a universally true layout.  Also certain patterns happen.  Patterns are deference in human culture are usually conditional on the subject matter.

                        So something like a hierarchy is a template that is placed by humans on the situation.  Pecking orders exist in some cases, but that's fucking sick.  What humans have is specialization, we have people willing to be doctors, people willing to be cooks.  Heirarchy is nothing but a mind set created to justify aristocracy.

                        It's really an attitude about a subject matter.  If someone refuses to be part of the heirarchy... of course, they are still subject to it's behavior, it's possible punishments, which is a universal truth when individuals stand up to groups, but then, individuals have made a lot of headway in this regard in the last few hundred years, so maybe it is possible to will this thing away.

                  •  the offensive part is (none)
                    the offensive part is that heirarchies are not projected on the network JUST to "understand it" but more often as an attempt to control it.
          •  that was incredibly (4.00)
            personal and hurtful, marie.  really unkind.  it went way beyond a criticism, that was a knife.  I'm honestly taken aback by that.

            sometimes we all have the deep need to smack down someone else on principle, in fact, I am guilty of it myself downthread, but man, have a heart.  

            shake it off, maryscott.  you're cool.

            http://www.katemckinnon.com

            by kate mckinnon on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 07:36:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Kate - she's been (2.75)
              dishing out personal attacks on these threads for months.  You have no idea how hurtful some of those may have been to others.  I didn't actually say anything even as nasty and personal as some of her attacks have been.  If what she read cut a little deep, then maybe she's trying to tell herself something.  
              •  Bullshit. (4.00)
                You phrased that to make it seem as if I've been attacking YOU.

                Whether I have attacked people or not (and I don't think so) may be a subjective thing, but I have NEVER attacked YOU.

                but please -- keep this shit up. I'll be happy to oblige.

                Jesus.

                Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

                by Maryscott OConnor on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 08:09:10 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I'm sorry, Marie, I don't agree. (4.00)
                Your post was cruel at a deeply personal level and unworthy of you.

                http://www.katemckinnon.com

                by kate mckinnon on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 08:16:35 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                  •  Oh please (4.00)
                    It was personal in a faux analytical diatribe. You need no explanation of the pretentious shit you posted.

                    I usually don't jump into other people's flame wars that often but this is faux analytical passive-aggressive hokum directed personally at a specific poster has motivated me to make an exception.

                    Why?

                    Because your pretense at being confounded as to how it is a personal attack is indicative of either staggering obliviousness (which is the height of hypocrisy given the subject of the flaming in questions) or pretentious bullshit writ large.

                    cheers,

                    Mitch Gore

                    No one will change America for you. You must work to make it happen.

                    by Lestatdelc on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:17:09 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  What the hell is a "Heather"? (none)
            Never heard that one before...

            The more I know the more I find I know very little.

            by michael in chicago on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 07:38:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Refers to characters from movie of the same name (none)
              Never heard of that movie from 1989 called Heathers with Winona Ryder and Christian Slater? It's about a vicious clique of high school girls. I won't go into all the sordid details. For more info, go to this website.

              "Strength and wisdom are not opposing values" ~ The Big Dawg

              by John Campanelli on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 10:38:26 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  The irony of this vicious attack (4.00)
            by marie, within a blockbuster thread on
            community norms, is quite striking.

            I don't always agree with Maryscott. In fact, I
            have extremely strong disagreements with her on
            a few important points--I just don't always jump
            in whenever I see something I don't like.

            But I like her voice, honesty and fire. I don't
            like the way marie kept trashing her and trashing
            her and trashing her in this thread here. Very
            ugly. I even gave marie a dreaded 0 on one of her
            claw-swipes, because you don't fuck with somebody's
            sobriety.

            •  merely responding in kind, baby (2.40)
              she was dishing it out at least as well as she was getting it.  And if you go back you will see that I actually said something at least half kind about her, in spite of total invective from her towards me.  (and contrary to her statement, this is not the first time she has done this)
            •  my only post in this battle (4.00)
              When I saw Maryscott's post in which she said she wanted to get high, knowing nothing about her personally, I assumed she might be in recovery. My second reaction was that if someone in recovery is driven to that point in a blog thread, it's time to walk away, refocus, and regroup which, I suppose, equals what Marie said, "call your sponsor". I'm a recovering addict coming up on 18 years clean and worked as an addictions counsellor. I know the struggles. I know the pitfalls. I know my weaknesses. And, I know what to do about them.

              I don't necessarily agree with the fact that Marie said it out loud but she seems to know more about Maryscott personally. As for screwing with anyone's recovery, telling someone to call their sponsor when they're going off the rails to the point where they state they want to get high is not an insult. It's the best advice. I can see Marie being slammed if she had told Maryscott to just go and get high - that would have been much different.

              One last thing, no one is responsible for an addict choosing to use. That one's on the addict themselves.

              (This has been a very uncomfortable post to write because I believe in anonymity in recovery but if someone puts it out there, they've pretty much given up their own anonymity, as I just have as well.)

              •  Oh my goodness. (4.00)
                Before this goes any further, let me assure you, I did not and will not get high. YIKES. I'm coming up on 8 years of sobriety and if a spat with a bunch of 1s and 0s drove me to drink, there'd be something intrinsically missing in my program.

                So I thank you for the concern on that point; no worries. As for my statement ("I SO wish I could get high right now" or something close to it), as a recovering person yourself, you probably know some sober people who never lose the desire to drink or use. I am one of those people. I simply haven't ben blessed with that level of grace. Ah, well. I still don't drink.

                As to the conversation driving me to the point of wishing I could get high -- frankly, breathing in and out on a regular basis makes me wish I could get high. It doesn't take any provocation for that desire to arise. I give voice to it when I am particularly perturbed; I am of the school that believes one should not ignore the impulse, but expose it -- that the impulse loses its power when we say it aloud.

                Now, as to Marie's snarky remark that I should "take it to my sponsor." Leaving aside the obvious fact that Marie's behaviour toward me on this thread betrays nothing so much as a desire to hurt -- certainly not HELP -- and leaving aside her obvious lie about not knowing whether 'anyone on this thread" is in recovery (she knows perfectly fucking well I am -- unless the claim here is her ability to recall in great detail my comment three months ago that I had once been promiscuous, but that she cannot recall the scores of instances in which I have referred to my sobriety and my past life as a drunk)...

                It's tacky. It's -- dare I accuse her of the very thing she accuses me of? -- CLASSLESS. "Take it to your sponsor," indeed.

                On the other hand, it's perfectly in keeping with the entire line of attack she chose in this thread -- and, I might add, in many others. Her fixation on me and my use of vulgarity would be fascinating if it weren't so pathetic.

                I had a night's sleep and chose to check back on this thread, against my better judgment. It might as well get finnished off properly, though, so here I sit, adding to the brouhaha. It is, however, my final contribution to any conversation of this sort begun by her sort. (And, by the by, that sort? The very beta of which she accused me of being.  Just my opinion, blah blah blah.)

                What a desolation.

                Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

                by Maryscott OConnor on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 09:00:16 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I have to disagree (none)
                Maryscott and others are probably right that we should just let this die, but there is one thing I feel too strongly about, and it seems to me to go to a meta issue beyond the personal invective. You wrote:

                As for screwing with anyone's recovery, telling someone to call their sponsor when they're going off the rails to the point where they state they want to get high is not an insult.

                Intent matters; and insofar as we can reasonably determine intent from the context of a particular post and the pattern of numerous posts, I think an otherwise innocuous remark can definitely be an "insult".

                We don't have tone of voice or facial expression to rely on here, but I don't believe anyone could read last night's exchanges as anything other than Marie intending to wound, not to 'help'.

                In the broader discussion, I would argue that "intent matters" also holds up as a principle. I don't see how it could be implemented as a "rule", due to the difficulty of absolutely determining every poster's intent in every single post; that doesn't invalidate the principle though.

                (BTW, I'm already outed here as recovering since Mar 17, 1977 -- I confess I was kinda chuffed with myself when I passed the 10,000-day mark a month or so ago)

                No retreat, baby, no surrender

                by rincewind on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 10:12:40 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  question (none)
        What do you do when Drudge gets a scoop as he did the other day on the Newsweek poll numbers? It wasn't even up on the MSNBC site yet. I don't agree with a blanket ban on linking to some sites' articles. But, if people think there should be, we need a list of those not recommended at the very least.
    •  Hey! (none)
      I just linked to the Democratic Underground!  I wrote the piece, and have been published there 17 times.

      Oy.  Talk about a whap in the gut.

    •  totally disagree (none)
      though I don't read either site... link to what you want!
    •  A 2 (none)
      Because sweeping generalizations are counterproductive. If someone happens to find something noteworthy and newsworthy to Kossacks at Drudge or IndyMedia or DU or the local supermarket, then do it. IF it's worthy.
      •  How about (none)
        if you are considering posting a link from DU, Indymedia, Druge, WhatReallyHappened.com, FreeRepublic, or any other of a myriad of sites that are widely known to be unreliable at worst and inconsistently reliable at best, PLEASE try to find another source first.

        Because if Mommy starts seeing posts about "chemtrails" (or anything equally ridiulous) on Kos, Mommy is going to break something. Or someone.

  •  Well somebody had to take a stab at it... (4.00)
    and that's not meant to be a threat of physical violence. Two more things to add. You can DELETE diaries. So if you accidentally repeat a diary or you've broken some "breaking news" that was broken by another diary 2 entries down, or if you just don't like your diary--DELETE IT. It's difficult to see your creation disappear, I know, but it can be of some small help with the "too many diaries" problem.

    As far as the ratings are concerned, the other point I'd like to hit home is that you should only rate something a 0 if you want that particular comment to disappear, or be unreadable to non trusted users. That is, the comment is so harmfully irrelevant or offensive that it would be better if nobody were able to see it. If you want to register strong disagreement via ratings (some use ratings to register agreement and disagreement--you won't break them of that habit), use a 1.

    I'm happy with my $20 of influence

    by JMS on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 10:37:44 AM PDT

    •  Please don't rate me a 1 for saying this, but (none)
      I respectfully disagree with the last point about registering strong disagreement.  I really feel that "troll" should mean what it is-- "troll."  Someone's saying something that you disagree with, is not their being a troll necessarily.  There are trolls and then there are people whose opinion one might violently dislike even though they are not trolls.  If you strongly disagree with someone, hit the reply button and tell them so in words.  That just seems to me to be the most constructive-- in terms of building discourse-- thing to do. You're right though about how it will be hard for folks to break the habit of using the rating system to register disagreement.  Ah well.  
      •  perhaps you misunderstood (none)
        I certainly don't advocate that people reflexively give low ratings to people they disagree with. I'd much rather see a discussion take place than a rating in that situation. However, it's a fact of life that many many people here do just that, and in some ways it's human nature. I'm suggesting that if you are one of the louts who will keep doing that regardless of what other people say, use the 1, because the 0 might cause the comment to go away.

        I'm happy with my $20 of influence

        by JMS on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 10:51:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  After a while, (none)
        you begin to discern the motivations behind some of the comments.  Yoiu're absolutely right that one should not be trolled for expressing a dissenting view, but over time it's often clear that the person making the comment has ulterior reasons for doing so (such as sowing uncertainty or fear).  I suspect some of the "0" ratings or for comments that we've seen before, from the same people, that are designed to quell discussion rather than promote it.

        November 2, 2004 is just around the corner. And we WILL win!

        by Passing Shot on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 10:59:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You put this really well: (none)
          " designed to quell discussion rather than promote it."

          It's also one of the scary aspects of "1" ratings, to me at least.  Scary in the sense of how when someone does give one a low rating to communicate the sentiment "shut up!" or "f* you!", it's a little frightening that they've brought that element into the discussion.

    •  Just a clarification, and agreement, (none)
      I do indeed agree that if someone is being really nasty and unconstructive, or hyper negative and closed-minded, or just trying to piss people or a particular user off (all of them kinds of disagreement), then a "1" is probably the best thing to do.
    •  remember that 'disappearing a comment' will make (4.00)
      the replies hidden as well (except to TU's). Sometimes the replies are superb.

      Sometimes you have no choice. I will use a zero, e.g., when we are accused of wanting to see troops die to help Kerry get elected. Not much of that now, but in the old days...

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 10:47:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  btw, a personal peeve is if someone uses a 1 or 0 (4.00)
        it should be clear why. I hate drive-by troll ratings (even when they're not my comment) and you look at the comment and say 'WTF was that for?'

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 10:50:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  yes please! (none)
           I think it's good form to say why if the reason for a troll rating is at all vague. This will also provide a way for the community to correct people if they give out troll ratings for the wrong reasons (e.g. disagreeing with a post)
          •  agree (none)
            I got a 2 rating without a comment and I'm still wondering why. And, I'm guilty of troll rating without comment mainly because I don't want to end up sidetracked by a justification discussion. I'll add reasons from now on and try to leave it at that.
            •  agreed once more (none)
              I like to know.  I've hunted down the person for explanation on a few occassions, which inevitably makes people think I'm protesting or asking for a rating change.

              No... entirely different compulsion here, which is to know why the opinion was offered.  I'm very curious that way which is why I like network forums in the first place... attitude junkie, perspective collector.

              I hate it when they change their rating higher... just explain it!

              •  If it's obvious then I don't bother (none)
                but if it's at all vague I think people should let people know why.

                I got a one from a long time poster and 3 fours from others and I'm still wondering what what on that person's mind (actually when I look at their comment history I see a LOT of 1's so my overall impression is that they abuse the ratings to run down people who disagree with them. I don't care enough to pursue it though - they'll get schooled in time.

            •  Since you ask, (none)
              I was the one who gave you a 2 on the original DKos Community thread.

              http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/10/4/2919/85332

              I didn't want to go on the thread and say anything, because I didn't want to be overtly hurtful.  I felt that my placing a 2 on one of the more annoying comments would get the message across to you personally, without adding to the distraction.  

              Whatever your feeling about what Kos said (and I think that you mis-characterized it), you took up too much of an important thread arguing your highly tertiary point, and at some point, it was dead-horsy-enough and all-about-you-enough to be of negative or marginal value to the topic and the community.  

              When new people with old numbers keep stepping up to the plate to try and explain why you might be wrong about your interpretation of something Kos said or did, or that you are repeatedly stating your point in a way that makes people irritated, maybe your original assumption should be reviewed.

              At some point, the sniping and squabbling, done in a way that derails perfectly good discussions, is going to get you low ratings.  The 2 came only after two screens were filled with the distraction, and Hamletta had to scream at you a little bit.

              I almost never give out 2s.  But it can be a more civilised way to say "enough already" than other, more vocal expressions of exasperation on your contribution to that thread.

              I don't mean to be personally hurtful,  or degrade the value of Catnips other possible contributions, but this particular example does bear on the topic of community standards.

              http://www.katemckinnon.com

              by kate mckinnon on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 03:29:17 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Let's see (none)
                Here is the comment of mine that you rated a 2 which pastrodan decribes as: "A 2 is for a fairly marginal comment.  These comments don't add much to the conversation, and the 2 serves as a kind of "shot across the bow" to warn that you may want to reconsider adding such comments in the future."

                http://www.dailykos.com/comments/2004/10/4/2919/85332/102?mode=alone;showrate=1#102
                (for which 2 other readers gave me a 4)

                I give up (3.33 / 3)

                seriously...if you don't or won't understand where I'm coming from and choose to label it 'spin', we really have nothing further to discuss.

                "I didn't want to go on the thread and say anything, because I didn't want to be overtly hurtful.  I felt that my placing a 2 on one of the more annoying comments would get the message across to you personally, without adding to the distraction."

                I didn't find it hurtful. I just did not understand why you chose a 2. And I still don't see how that comment is "one of the more annoying comments".  

                When new people with old numbers keep stepping up to the plate to try and explain why you might be wrong about your interpretation of something Kos said or did, or that you are repeatedly stating your point in a way that makes people irritated, maybe your original assumption should be reviewed.

                My original post got all 4s. Some people did not understand my point so we discussed it. Non partisan and I worked it through. Hamletta attacked my for being a "pampered librul" because I'm from Canada. Hamletta got 4s for that trollish post. I responded with the truth about that "pampered librul" misnomer and, of course, got no response from hamletta who was quite happy to walk away with the majority support of the crowd. IOW, make a trollish post, get 4s, come back and do it again. We don't mind.

                "Whatever your feeling about what Kos said (and I think that you mis-characterized it), you took up too much of an important thread arguing your highly tertiary point, and at some point, it was dead-horsy-enough and all-about-you-enough to be of negative or marginal value to the topic and the community."

                I didn't mischaracterize what kos said. Others misinterpreted my response and most of us were able to work that out. It wasn't about me. It was about kos's policies. If you thought my original comment was out of line, you should have low rated that one - not one further down the thread because you were annoyed by the discussion. It's not like you were forced to read any of it.

                Contrary to what you believe, I'm not some egotistical, hard-headed jerk who's just around to focus on me me me while throwing everybody off the topic. Read more of my comments if you want to know what I think about things and don't worry about being 'hurtful'. I may not like criticism but I do read it and am even known to bend because a willow is much stronger than an oak when the winds are blowing. I'd rather bend than snap.

                Now, having said all of that and even though I don't agree with your rationale for the 2, I do want to thank you for speaking up and telling me why you chose it! That's more than a lot of people would do and I do appreciate it. The more I learn about where people are coming from, the more I can understand and that's important to me. So, thank you and hopefully we can just agree to disagree and get on with more crucial things.

                •  Don't take it personally... (none)
                  Half the people here are idiots and the other half are assholes.  And I'm probably one of them.

                  Frankly, if not everybody likes what you say then you're probably on the right track.  On the other hand, if nobody likes what you say, then you're probably a Bush supporter and deserve to get troll rated.  

                  I'm always kind of amazed that I manage to keep TU status because I disagree and refuse to go along with the Kerry crowd here.  I'm just not willing to polish his behind like he's some sort of messiah.  I guess I manage to say enough good stuff that I don't totally get flushed down the tubes.  

                  By the way, don't take it personally that Hamletta did not respond.  I know that I often do not go back and check responses to older threads.  Even with the recent responses feature, I barely have enough time to keep up with the new stuff, let alone go back and discuss old news (also some arguments can go on for days and I don't care to get mired down in that sort of a quagmire).  

                  In Britain they admit to having royalty. In the United States we pretend we don't have any, and then we elect them president.

                  by Asak on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 06:05:25 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Signal to Noise Ratio (none)
                  it's just my personal opinion that you are using up too much valuable screen real estate defending your own opinions, and behaviors.  This is the case here as well.  Eight paragraphs?   It just isn't that important, man.

                  These posts contain too many words, for too little content of value to the rest of the community.  How many full screens have you taken up in that thread and this one?  

                  It's best to get it said with as few lines and posts as you can, as there are hundreds of thousands of people actually trying to read the substance here.   Please forgive the bluntness of my reply, I mean you no ill will.

                  http://www.katemckinnon.com

                  by kate mckinnon on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 07:38:23 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  all I ask (none)
                    All I ask is that you apply that opinion fairly. There's been a lot of screen time taken up on this thread in the battle between Maryscott and Marie. I haven't seen you comment about that supposed waste of screen space.

                    And, yes I'm long winded. I will work on that. It would have been a choice between 8 longer posts or 16 little ones. Sometimes, short posts don't get the point across and just cause more confusion. Why back and forth endlessly when the point can be made in a longer post?

                    That's about all I want to say about this, respecting your desire to ending things succinctly. I'm not a man. I'm a woman. ;-)

                    •  Mind if I butt in? (none)
                      It's all a waste of space, imho.  : )

                      Man, we're all so freaking sensitive. I find it... refreshing to discover that I am not the ONLY one who gets bent out of shape because of something someone said on a blog. : )

                      Thanks again for your thoughtful reply up-thread, re: sobriety etc.

                      Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

                      by Maryscott OConnor on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 09:23:35 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

        •  Shouldn't it be obvious? (none)
          If I lay a one on somebody it's because they were being an asshole. I shouldn't have to explain why I thought they were being an asshole, it should be obvious. Besides, at least a couple of people here have suggested it's not good to rate and comment on the same thread.
    •  A lesson from personal experience: (4.00)
      "If you want to register strong disagreement via ratings (some use ratings to register agreement and disagreement--you won't break them of that habit), use a 1."

      I would add a corollary from my own experience of handing out zeroes  Some months ago I was reading an extended thread (as an East coaster, by the time I start reading an interesting thread it's at least 30 comments old), and decided to rate as 0s and 1s some of the comments I felt were over the top.  It didn't dawn on me that the commenters on the thread had a history of going at each other and that I was improperly interjecting myself into their contretemps.  I realized that perhaps a better way of registering disagreement with someone is to post your own comment in response, rather than just rate them.  

      November 2, 2004 is just around the corner. And we WILL win!

      by Passing Shot on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 10:52:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  doesn't help (none)
        either way you interject yourself. I tried both methods back in the Dean vs. the world days, and just like intervening in a domestic dispute, I managed to get both parties pissed at me as well as at each other. This is where a thick skin comes in handy.

        Kerry is the new Dean

        by jd in nyc on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 06:13:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Zero them out... (none)
        If two people are going at one another then just give them both troll ratings.  There's much more worthwhile forms of discussion than two people pissing at one another.  

        In Britain they admit to having royalty. In the United States we pretend we don't have any, and then we elect them president.

        by Asak on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 06:07:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  thanks (none)
    like a lot of people when they first get involved, I've been more interested in the actual content of the site then how it works. I've only really started trying to learn all the misc bits about the site. Becoming a trusted user was one of the things I was wondering about - I've gotten a fair number of 4's but they're spread out - one here, another there and was wondering what it took.

    A question, is there a way to show more than 10 recommended diaries? Esp after the debate when I was on continuously I read through all of the top ten and I wanted to go deeper (I also had a diary that probably peaked at 15 or so and it would have been nice to track how it was doing).

    As a followup, I'd love to hear more about the other features: dKosopedia etc.

  •  Having trouble here (none)
    Can't seem to do this:

    (You can find the UID by holding your cursor over a user's handle in a comment.)

    Any advice on how to do this exactly?

    Will James R. Bath reveal the secret behind George Bush's National Guard Service before it's too late?

    by pontificator on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 10:40:50 AM PDT

    •  bah! (4.00)
      and you're user 77 too...

      I'm happy with my $20 of influence

      by JMS on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 10:42:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah -- I just realized that (none)
        I still remember the day Kos switched from the old movable type format to this new Scoop layout.  There were a lot of people who thought it would be a complete disaster. (HA!)  Anyway, I signed up on the first day, which I guess explains my low userID.  I was inactive for a short time when I got extremely busy at work, but, now that we're approaching the election, I'm obsessively checking the site dozens of times a day.  I remember during the primaries I kind of felt a bit "out of the mainstrea" because I wasn't a Dean backer, and made a few posts saying Dean would be a bad post.  But, now that we're approaching hour zero, I feel 100% involved.

        Will James R. Bath reveal the secret behind George Bush's National Guard Service before it's too late?

        by pontificator on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 10:50:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I tried too, and can't do it either. (none)
      Any suggestions out there on how to do it?
      •  Just hold your cursor over my name (none)
        in this comment.  That should bring up a number in the link whatchamacallit down on the lower-left side of your browser.
        •  Thank you! (none)
          I appreciate it!
        •  Geeeeeez (none)
          Nobody ever made clear that part about the "lower left part of the browser" showing the ID with the cursor over the name.

          And here I've been opening new windows all over the place when looking for the ID#.

          Sheeeeesh.

          Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

          by Maryscott OConnor on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 10:55:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Number (none)
            Ah, No. 8540, you have just taken your first step into a larger world.

            Just a corollary to Dan's point about user numbers: Sometimes, when I see someone post something inflammatory, or silly, or just not in keeping with typical DKos norms, I'll mouse over their name and check the user number. If it's high (by which I mean, relatively close to the highest existing number, which I think is around 22,400), then I'll likely cut `em some slack, perhaps gently explain to them why they fouled up, or most likely, just let it slide.

            BTW, no one better steal my plan to register Jean Valjean for user 24,601 (coming up soon)!

            Swing State Project - Analyzing the 2004 battleground states.

            by David Nir on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:10:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Lurkers and milestones (none)
              Then there are those of us who lurked for a while (or long time) before bothering to say anthing (hence needng to register). I still mostly lurk, given that most of what I have to say has been or will be said by someone else - probably more articulately.

              So, ID is not always a perfect corollary with site experience or activity (like #77 up above, who was gone for a while but is very active lately). Given that there are so many unique hits per day, clearly not everyone reading this site bothers to register or participate.

              But I am curious about userids. When do the site hit 1000? 10,000? 20,000? Where are we now? (I bet I can look at hidden comments to find some recent joiners).

              •  i have it on authority... ;-) (none)
                ... that the site hit 1,000 within a week or two of the change to Scoop.  Most signing up at that time, and for at least the next 500 IDs, were simply dilatory legacy folk.

                Immune system recovery! American body politic rallies to reject the NeoCon-tagion.

                by Civil Sibyl on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:08:16 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  That's me (none)
                  #1004.  Lol I was here when Joey Dee made half the comments.  Anybody else remember that?
                  •  Joey Dee (none)
                    I loved Joey Dee. He was my favorite old-time poster. Then he went up to Burlington and we never heard from him again.

                    Swing State Project - Analyzing the 2004 battleground states.

                    by David Nir on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:20:17 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I'd forgotten about him (none)
                      Until TealVeal reminded me of him from one of his comments a few days ago.

                      God I wonder how he is.  He's a good man.

                      •  Diary (none)
                        Paradox, how long have you been on Kos? At least as long as I have, I think. You're one of the few old, old timers still around, I think. We should do a roll-call diary. Ah, instant nostalgia.

                        Swing State Project - Analyzing the 2004 battleground states.

                        by David Nir on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:39:13 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I remember it like it was ten seconds ago (none)
                          I think it was November 4th, 2002.  One or two days after the midterm elections.

                          Lol I was almost trembling as I posted how angry I was at the Democratic leadership and how stupid they had been.

                          Somebody agreed with me.  My words were right there on the www in seconds.

                          We forget too easily what a magical, almost mystical experience this was for many of us the first time we used it.

                          I should have been a blogger myself, but I just can't get chained to the machine.  My career or wife will not allow it.

                          •  2002 (none)
                            I was Nov. 1st - I read about Kos (and MyDD) in a post on Tapped. I got here just in time to get seriously pumped about how well we were going to do in the mid-terms. Sigh!

                            I think Maxwell's been around that long, and Angry White Dem. Who else among us crusty old-timers? By the way, if you want a blast from the past, check out my comment (it's the second one) on this ancient post.

                            As for blogging, the beauty of DKos diaries is that you can post one whenever you feel like it, as opposed to having your own blog, where it's pretty essential to post regularly if you want to keep up a good comments section.

                            Swing State Project - Analyzing the 2004 battleground states.

                            by David Nir on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 01:04:46 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Wow David (none)
                            Your linked comment is from a few months before I arrived here.  

                            Were things really that decent then?  So collegial that Chuck, a dedicated Republican, could graciously reply to your observation to say that's why he could feel comfortable at dKos?

                            Ah the days when Chuck, and even Tacitus, contributed to the civil dialogue here.

                            Immune system recovery! American body politic rallies to reject the NeoCon-tagion.

                            by Civil Sibyl on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 01:24:12 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Civil (4.00)
                            Things really were that collegial then. There were a handful of regular conservative posters - folks wise enough to understand that they were visiting a liberal blog, but interested in discussing the political implications of policy.

                            (By that I mean, you won't get right and left having a civil or even interesting discussion on the merits of, say, reproductive rights. But you can have a worthwhile debate about the political consequences/benefits/fallout, etc. of certain positions and strategies.)

                            The one fellow I remember in particular was Moe Lane (who also posted to that thread). He had a very good sense of humor. Even Tacitus wasn't a total jerk back then. And there was an amusing conservative named John Cole (who has since moved on) who would occasionally post while drunk, to much hilarity.

                            Things probably hardened up not long after that "golden age." People were very bitter about the 2002 loss (especially Kossacks, though we weren't called Kossacks then - god, I sound like Grandpa Simpson), and then, shortly after, Bushco started beating the drums of war in earnest, and the Dean campaign caught fire. The lovefest was soon snuffed out, and conservatives disappeared.

                            Not that I bemoan any of this. I'm not one of those old-timers who says, "They ruined the place!" Hardly - I recognize that things change, especially in the online world, and that they change fast. I still think DKos is the best political site on the web, bar none. Yeah, it's not quite as civil anymore, but Markos always spent a lot of effort deleting & banning trolls on the MT site, and Scoop has flushed them to a bare minimum.

                            Things will probably calm down a lot after 11/2, though if we lose, there may be a lot of recriminations. But I think 2005 will be a great year for DKos no matter what.

                            Swing State Project - Analyzing the 2004 battleground states.

                            by David Nir on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 02:03:10 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  thx (none)
                            Thanks for the retrospective "community context" and also your analysis of it.

                            Immune system recovery! American body politic rallies to reject the NeoCon-tagion.

                            by Civil Sibyl on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 02:21:42 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Ah, John Cole... (none)
                            Thanks for the memories.  His alcohol-fueled ramblings were priceless...

                            November 2, 2004 is just around the corner. And we WILL win!

                            by Passing Shot on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 06:45:54 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  civil republicans (none)
                            It was easy for them to be civil when they felt invincible.  Not so much now.
                          •  It took two or three (none)
                            I got here just in time to get seriously pumped about how well we were going to do in the mid-terms.

                            months here and at MyDD for my despair at the coming election to turn into what I thought was only hopeful optimism.  But the body blow I felt from the results suggested that I too was pumped.  It was great to have a place that made me not feel alone and where the anger/disgust at the DEM Party quickly turned into "how are we going to fix this mess."  

                          •  Want to know why I love Paradox? (none)
                            He led the fundraising drive that allowed me to buy the first Daily Kos server -- the very server that was just retired as our database server.

                            At the time, it was everything -- webhead, database, email, you name it. Now, the poor thing has been put to pasture. (Not really, it still has plenty of life left.)

                            I had no advertising, my hosting provider was kicking me off because of growing traffic, and I had a baby coming in two months. But thanks to Paradox's exhortations, the community raised, in a matter of two days, the $3,000 I needed for the server.

                            Amongst my worst failings is that I don't say "thank you" enough. Here's a hearty thank you to Paradox and all the people who chipped in to help dKos grow up.

                          •  we sensed the tide and cared for you (4.00)
                            Paradox was a gem.

                            The honor was ours.

                            Your dedication, your courage, your daily care and empowerment have thanked us a thousand-fold more than words ever can.

                            Plus, you were supporting dKos from your own coin back then too.

                            I feel abashed but want to share this testimony:
                            My small piece then was the best-deserved and most multiplied support I ever gave to anything or anybody.  And having glimpsed your vision and soul, Markos, this Sibyl knew it would be so.

                            Immune system recovery! American body politic rallies to reject the NeoCon-tagion.

                            by Civil Sibyl on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 02:54:59 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                •  oooh user 1000 (none)
                  a nice round number!
                •  #2373 here (none)
                  I was here before Scoop but never posted until after the change and I saw that the switch not only maintained the appeal of Kos but definitely improved it. I would agree that some people lurk and linger before getting their # so don't put too much stock in it although I think a newer user should get a friendly reminder of the rules before downrating their comment.

                  I wish more people could control themselves with new diaries.  Nothing sucks worse that posting a nice, long essay that you want to get a wide readership, and possibly open a dialogue or spread an important idea or way of looking at an issue, only to have it trampled within 2 hours by Drudge headlines and one paragraph comments that would be more appropriate in an open thread. I realize the more people that come here the more this becomes a problem so I'll probably just have to learn to live with it- the diary recommendations have come a long way in rescuing good diaries from oblivion though sometimes they still fall by the wayside too quickly and recommended diaries stay up past their freshness date.

                  I like watching the evolution of daily Kos. I think new blood only improves us by questioning our assumptions and injecting new ideas. I've seen enough times over the course of this campaign the effect this site has had. I've even heard our candidate adopt ideas that could only have come from Kos posters. I've said for a long time that Democrats have done poorly at drafting the most talented to their campaigns. I think this site is allowing good ideas to finally bubble up to the surface in a way our side hadn't been allowing for a long time.

                  •  yes, I was here (none)
                    pre-scoop, but I was more of a lurker then. The comments were too haphazard, and I didn't comment much, so I didn't sign up for a userid until some time had passed. It wasn't until I wanted to try out the diary thing for myself that I bothered to get a userID

                    I'm happy with my $20 of influence

                    by JMS on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 01:07:53 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  not quite that long (none)
                  far be it from user #1050 to contradict someone 50 uid's senior, but my recollection is that i signed up within 3 or 4 days of the great change (as we referred to it at the time).

                  sure, it seemed like a week or two at the time, but that was because even before scoop we were addicted.  when the scoop site first started (on a saturday night, i think?) i came and checked it out, but it seemed kind of SNAFU'd, so i held out for a couple days, and wound up with a 4-digit uid, as you see.  anyone with a uid under 100 must have been ultra-dedicated to getting through and registering in the first couple hours.  and my recollection is that the very first spurt got us somewhere between 2000 and 3000, so any of those folks were the kos crowd at the change from MT to scoop.  

                  bear in mind that 3000 people is quite a lot, and it's not a given that all of them were actively posting at the time.  some were lurkers, and it stands to reason that some of those accounts may in fact be freepers and trolls who were around then and could be biding their time...

                  great work on this by pastordan, one of our premier community-builders here on kos.  that to me is far more important than arbitrary status-markers like who has the lowest user number and the like.  and trusted user is way overrated, IMHO.  i stopped posting for lent and lost it, and was kind of concerned, but it really doesn't matter.  as long as there are a few around to give real trolls the boot and pull unfairly zeroed comments out of obscurity that's all that counts. i don't even keep track anymore.

                  telling our stories is an important way to build and transmit culture.  i'd do that now, but this thread is way too big already. one way to see it for yourself is to go and cruise through the legacy kos threads.  there was a brief period when kos had to fall back to haloscan for comments, and those weeks may be lost to history, but otherwise i think it's all still there.

                  courage, faith and truth my brothers and sisters

                  by zeke L on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 05:23:21 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  no contest (none)
                    I won't dispute your memory of the timing, zeke L.  I could easily fog on that type of time increment when it was soooo long ago. :-).

                    I think your explanation of "addiction" time-perception warp could well explain that and many other mental artifacts I perchance still harbor.  

                    Nice hearing your voice again.

                    Immune system recovery! American body politic rallies to reject the NeoCon-tagion.

                    by Civil Sibyl on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 09:04:14 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Sooner than a week I would think (none)
                  I posted briefly on the old movable type format and then registered 2 days after it went to scoop which was not long after I found my way to dKos... and I am #731

                  cheers,

                  Mitch Gore

                  No one will change America for you. You must work to make it happen.

                  by Lestatdelc on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 05:39:29 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  aoeu (none)
              you mean this? Jean Valjean

              (j/k)

              My turtles laughter
              was loud when the Yankees lost
              22 to zilch

              by TealVeal on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:58:10 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Only if you include the proper sound effect (none)
              If you succeed, you'd better record the "24601" snippet from the Les Miserables musical and link it into your first diary and your Valjean sig.

              And do it in your own voice, which I've grown to like here.

              Immune system recovery! American body politic rallies to reject the NeoCon-tagion.

              by Civil Sibyl on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:02:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Here's what works for me: (none)
      Right click the name (after "by").

      Open in new window.

      The url lists the user's #

      Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

      by Maryscott OConnor on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 10:48:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  NEVERMIND (none)
    figured it out!

    Thanks for a great post.  I've been on this site a long long time (although I haven't always been a heavy user), but I nevertheless learned a ton about DKos from your post.

    Will James R. Bath reveal the secret behind George Bush's National Guard Service before it's too late?

    by pontificator on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 10:42:00 AM PDT

    •  "heavy user" (none)
      Funny, that. My wife worries I'm addicted to dKos - and sometimes I worry she may be right. I try to use in moderation, but it's oh so hard.
      •  My husband asked (none)
        the other day why I spend so much time reading "Daily Kaos" when politics makes me so annoyed these days.... :)

        It's the community! I tell him.

        Like right now. I should have been knitting my sister's Christmas present these last 2 hours....

        And my god! I just realized I have a 4 digit UID. How the heck am I no longer a newbie?! When did that happen?

        "You're born naked and the rest is drag." -Ru Paul

        by cshardie on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 08:22:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Acknowedgement of Ratings Inflation (3.66)
    Although a "4" should really only be for an excellent comment, it is here as in academia, impossible to turn back the tide of inflation without doing harm. I used to be strict with 4s, giving 3s for good comments I agreed with instead, but discovered that most people are displeased to get a 3. I think it is bestto acknowledge that a 3 is now, through community definition, something less than good. It's not bad, not even marginal, but certainly not good. I wish that it were not so, but the vast majority here treat 4 as both good and excellent, while 3 is just not quite good enough.

    "The revolution starts now / When you rise above your fear / And when you tear the walls around you down" - Steve Earle

    by pHunbalanced on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 10:49:01 AM PDT

    •  My impulse was to give you a '3' (4.00)
      but I was worried you'd take it personally. :-)

      I'm Blue the Wild Dog, and I approved this message.

      by Blue the Wild Dog on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 10:53:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  On "3s" (none)
      I like to give out 3s for good one-liners.  The comments themselves may not advance the conversation, but if you can get someone to crack a smile, it's worthy of a decent rating.  (Anything that elicits a spit-take gets an automatic "4".)

      November 2, 2004 is just around the corner. And we WILL win!

      by Passing Shot on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 10:54:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I can count on... (none)
        my fingers the number of 3s I've given out.

        I figure, if it struck me positively enough to elicit a rating from me, I'll give it a 4. I am overly generous with the 4s, I guess some might say -- but then I'm the schmuck who gvives a dollar to anyone who asks for it on the street.

        I have occasionally given a 3 for a point well made but with which I wholly disagree.

        Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

        by Maryscott OConnor on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 10:57:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That seems to be (none)
          a popular use for the 3.

          I use the 3 rarely nowadays, primarily, as you do, for a well made point that I think is totally wrong. The other use I have for the 3 is to acknowledge a really sloppy half-right point that I think is important enough to require a rating.

          "The revolution starts now / When you rise above your fear / And when you tear the walls around you down" - Steve Earle

          by pHunbalanced on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:08:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Three (4.00)
            I personally think we should have just a three-tier rating system: Good, not good, and zero. That way we can all agree on what each means.

            Swing State Project - Analyzing the 2004 battleground states.

            by David Nir on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:11:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That would be (none)
              too perfect and too simple.

              "The revolution starts now / When you rise above your fear / And when you tear the walls around you down" - Steve Earle

              by pHunbalanced on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:14:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Perfect, yes. Simple, no (none)
                I want to do this desperately -- 0,1,2. The problem is that mojo is calculated using the 5-point scale. So if I change the rating system, I will probably have to flush the entire mojo system and start from scratch.

                It's something I'll be willing to do after the election, when site activity cools a bit. Right now, I don't want to lower the troll defenses one bit.

        •  Likewise (none)
          My rationale for 4s and 3s is very similar to your own.  If a post isn't a 4, it often doesn't get any response from me at all.  

          Which is not to say that other posts are unworthy--there are just too darn many of them for me to rate them all.  But I do give the occasional 3 for posts that are good, but not quite accurate, or not quite as well written, etc.

          On the other hand, I give even fewer 1s and 0s than 3s.  I hardly ever troll-rate (though that's usually because by the time I see a comment that's sufficiently troll-like to warrant it, the rest of you have beaten me to it, and there's no need for me to toss my 0 onto the pile).  I'm more likely to give a 2 unless the post is really egregiously abusive, because I don't like censoring comments.

          No man is justified in doing evil on the grounds of expediency.--Teddy Roosevelt

          by Leslie in CA on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 02:41:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  It's because most comments don't get graded at all (none)
      I think a three would be okay if every comment were graded, but in fact most are never graded. Most people go out of their way to grade only when they're impressed (grade 4) or appalled (grade 1 or 0).

      This translates for most people into the 2 and 3 grade being irrelevant, or as you point out, seem like a dis.

      Two potential fixes are to 1)try to give every comment a grade, although this seems overly time consuming, or 2) make grading binary, with just troll and excellent.

      •  re:3's Seem Unnecessary to Me (none)
        I think the good pastor's description of a 2 as "a shot across the bow" is excellent.  If we think broadly of dKos as a grand, neverending party, then the posts are all contributing to the many conservations going on.  My hope is that the default quality of the comments made in these conservations is 3: they're worthwhile comments, or they're funny, or informative.  They're adding something.  4's stand out: They may be the big laugh lines, or excellent analyses or insights.  The bearers of good news often get 4's.  2's are the comments that are not adding welcome information to the conversation.  They may be comments that people roll their eyes at, or non sequiturs that leave brief, pained silences, or rude statements about respected friends at this party.  1's and 0's: I think we've got them down.

        My prediction: Kerry 405 - Bush 133

        by deminva on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:27:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Agree except for "2's" (none)
        I never give 3's, but I find 2's right for someone who's very offensive but not quite a troll. "Marginal" seems like the perfect comment for them.

         

        •  I huse 2s as mentiond at top (none)
          As a shot across the bow.

          I will use 3s occasionally for a well argued point I vehemently disagree with, but was well crafted... or cleaver bemusing quips that aren't quite 3D world laugh out louds.

          I usually use 1s for posts that are simply out of bounds but that shouldn't be hidden.

          Overt personal attacks, unwarranted denigration's, obvious real trolls, get zeros form me.

          Though I misread the context of one post a week or so ago, where the person was speaking in the 1st person giving and example of an insult being discussed (i.e. in the Maya Keyes thread(s) ) which I zeroed, but the person asked me why and pointed out they were not expressing that view, but showing an example, in a 1st person context... I moved it up and apologized because It was my misreading of it.

          cheers,

          Mitch Gore

          No one will change America for you. You must work to make it happen.

          by Lestatdelc on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 05:49:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You Can Be As Offensive And As Personal (none)
          as you want, and you won't get a 0 or a 1 from me. I reserve 0's and 1's only for posters I suspect are trying to sabotage the site. That is, people I consider an actual Freeper-type. I will give out 2's for abusive, insulting behavior, but unless you're consciously trying to stop what we're doing (electing Ds), you won't get less than 2's from me -- regardless of the intensity of the flame-throwing.

          Iraq is deja vu all over again.

          by chuco35 on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 12:06:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I Might Add (none)
            that abusive insulting behavior is often an indication of sabotage, but not necessarily. I've become exasperated with trolls before, and have nuked them to the extent that I've earned 0's myself for my abusive and insulting behavior (and even lost my TU status for awhile). It might have been unfair, but it has caused me to to be much more mindful on how I use my troll ratings. But I still love to knock-em down whenever they stink up the place.

            Iraq is deja vu all over again.

            by chuco35 on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 12:13:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed (none)
      I think most of us simply don't rate a comment that is just good. Nobody has enough time to rate every comment. So the average to good comments go unrated, while only the excellent or sub-standard comments actually get rated. If it is excellent enough to be rated, it is worth a 4. On the other end of the scale, if it is so bad as to be rated it doesn't deserve a 3.

      So I usually only give 1s, 2s, and 4s. I know this seems silly, it's just the way I do it personally. I don't get offended if someone else wants to give me a 3, though--that's their right. I just think it is a waste of time to give 3s.

      •  You beat me to it. (none)
        4 is "Excellent", and 3 is "Good" on a board with so many high-caliber comments.  If I gave a 3 to every comment that I thought was good, then I'd never have time for anything else.  

        I give 4's to comments that either make me laugh unexpectedly, or are thought provoking enough that I wish I had said them.  

        I'll sometimes give 2's to comments that I believe are well-intentioned but come off too angry or hostile to be productive.  (A lot of the "Shut Your Fucking Pie-Hole" thread fell into this category for me.)  

        I'll give 1's for comments that are non-productive in general, and 0's if they're non-productive and targeted at a particular user.

        I rarely give 3's at all; the few times I have are when I believe a post has been unfairly zero-rated, and I want to keep it visible, but don't believe it deserves a 4.

      •  Trinary? (none)
        I would say that 95% of the ratings I give are 4,2 or 0. I use 3 only for those rare comments that are brilliant but wrong (woulda been a 2, but for the sheer intelligence) or kinda right but getting a lot of attention, therefore deserving a rating. I use 1 only for troll comments that have had fine comments attached to them which deserve to survive. Sometimes I will even give a 2 or 3 in this case in order to save a disappeared thread which has some really good stuff on it.

        "The revolution starts now / When you rise above your fear / And when you tear the walls around you down" - Steve Earle

        by pHunbalanced on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:13:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I still give the full range (4.00)
      A 3 is a comment that's just that--good. Not great, but not mediocre. I will sometimes use it as an indication that while the commenter makes a good point, there are parts of it I don't agree with, so I can't go all the way to a 4.

      I use 2s a lot. It is a good way of firing a warning shot, as someone else mentioned. It's also a way of expressing disagreement with the content without dipping into the troll bag. I can't remember who did it or in what context it was, but I do remember getting slanged in a comment for dishing out a 2 awhile back, as if that was an illegitimate ratings strategy. I laughed.

      The 1 is for things that are mean-spirited, out-of-place, and/or largely content-free, and which appear to be designed primarily or exclusively to piss off one or more other users.

      And zeroes, of course, are for comments that are utterly without form and void, which are too vile to be left visible, obvious trolls, and any "First!" or "Frist!" (or variations thereon) comments that I happen to catch.

      I don't rate every comment I read, but I generally try to rate comments in the threads that I do read. Fewer and fewer people seem to rate anymore, and it's really a good way of keeping things going around here. I like to encourage the practice.

    •  I agree (none)
      People started complaining 'bout their "feeling" when getting 3's.  But I was resolute... "good" is good... excellent was special.

      But I've caved in... when I give a 3 now it feels like an insult because people have said that!

      I would like some grade deflation because I hate the loss of granularity.  Well.  Hate is too strong a word.  Don't like in an it doesn't really matter sort of peevish way.

      •  3s and value (4.00)
        to be honest anything that deserves a three, is sort of the default level of value that I expect, so rating something "the norm" does seem redundant.  That's why I use the three to uprate posts that have been made to disappear that I don't believe should disappear.  That's the only thing I use them for any more.

        2s on the other hand are the most important rating, I would submit.  If the point of trusted user status is to help maintain the standards of the community then that's the tool to do it with.  Far more useful than a 1 or 0, which doesn't feel like "a teaching tool" but a punishment tool (and is mostly used that way, or interpreted that way).  Twos allow people to see that they may be headed in the wrong direction and some discussion can ensue.

        Clearly 4s are overused, but there's no real way around that. Everyone's probably guilty of that and tip jars sort of cheat the system in that regard, too. As someone who received more than her fair share of 4's, I'm pretty cognizant of the fact of dKos life that is ratings inflation.   But to be fair, I don't turn them down, those inflated 4s that folks so generously toss my way, so take my comments with all the necessary sodium required for swallowing.

        "Consult the genius of the place in all things" - Alexander Pope

        by a gilas girl on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 03:22:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Please, What's A Tip Jar? n/t (none)

          Iraq is deja vu all over again.

          by chuco35 on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 12:16:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  in a diary, the first comment by the author (none)
            is ofthen labelled 'tip jar'. Folks rate the commentr in lieu of the diary. Some people love it, some don't. Seems mostly accepted by now (as an excellent diary might get 49 tips of 4, whereas an awful one get hammered).

            Not everyone puts one out. In no way is it required.

            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

            by Greg Dworkin on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 05:35:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  2.5 is the default rating (none)
      When this site first went Scoop, a new posting showed up as "2.50/0". This was explained as the "default rating", the implication (and the explication as well, if I remember correctly) being that a 3 or 4 meant you thought it was better than average, and (0,) 1, or 2 that it was worse. I think it counts that way for the mojo calculation: a 3 doesn't hurt you, it just doesn't help you as much as a 4.
  •  Thank you for a great post! (4.00)
    I really appreciate the thought you put into this.   (And I've recommended this diary in hopes more people will see it.)

    A few suggestions:  

    • Trusted User status is not a permanent designation. (Is Distrusted User status?)  Once you get the ability to give zeroes and review hidden comments, you can lose that ability if you become inactive in the community.  (I'd like to see TU's be able to give 5's as well as 0's with the understanding that a 5 is truly exceptional, and something that shouldn't flow as readily as 4's do around here.)

    • I'd move to strike the paragraph about user numbers.  IMO, people earn respect around here through mojo.  Mojo can be gained or lost based on the contribution of the poster.  By contrast, user numbers are assigned sequentially, and once assigned are immutable.  No matter how valuable my contributions here are, for example, I would never ever be able to earn a four-digit user number.  The deference awarded simply on the basis of having arrived here first should be minimal, if any.  

    • You've offered no standards for recommending diaries.  This feature may be too new for 'standards' to have emerged, though.

    • Thanks for mentioning that troll-rating aren't to be given on the basis of disagreement.  I'd also point out two other abuses of the rating system:  Retaliatory troll-rating, in which you troll-rate an undeserving post just because the poster troll-rated you; and rate-spamming, where you decide you dislike a user so much you go back in time and troll-rate everything they ever wrote.

    Again, kudos for an excellent diary.
    •  How does mojo work? How is it accumulated? (none)
      I haven't been able to figure this out yet; I'd appreciate any explanation you might give.
      •  As the pastor said (none)
        the system is left intentionally vague to prevent people from trying to game it. But pastordan's description is essentially correct at least insofar as my experience is indicative. If you make above a certain unspecified number of comments, and enough of those comments are rated highly enough, you acquire trusted user status. If you then get flame-rated, or if you stop commenting for weeks at a time, your mojo drops and you lose TU status, and have to work back up to it when you come back or when your allies do enough up-rating to counter the effect of the zeroes and ones you garnered in the flame-fest.
      •  The systems not vague, (none)
        it's incomprehensible.  But here goes...typical scoop protocol works like this:   You need to post for at least 30 days, or have at least 60 posts to qualify for trusted user status.  Your mojo needs to be at a certain level (say an average of 3 or something like that, different sites use different threshholds).  Your mojo is calculated based on RATED comments only, and is calculated thus:  most recent comment counts 30 times, next most recent comment counts 29 times, next, 28 and so on down the line, so that out of thirty rated comments, the oldest one has a value of 1 times its rating and the newest 30 times its rating, they are then averaged together to come up with your mojo.  Sorry you asked yet?

        Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children. - Khalil Gibran

        by PBJ Diddy on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:42:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  really? (none)
          I'm not so sure it works like this - I've probably gotten 30 4's but they're scattered out across 3-4 months - my mojo rating per what you've written would be straight 4's. There must be an aging factor in there too or something else cause I'm not a trusted user.
          •  There is an aging factor, (4.00)
            Typically comments older than 60 days would not be counted.  This is the basic, default formula for scoop ratings, although as noted in the example, ratings can go to 5, and kos is configured with 4 as the max rating, so there are preferences which can be changed for individual sites, kos may have selected higher threshhold # of comments, and fewer days for those comments to be eligible to be calculated into mojo, he hasn't posted the specifics, so we can only guess based on what the typical defaults are:  (10 rated comments minimum.  30 TOTAL comments minimum.  60 day limit.  Mojo rating of 3.5 minimum.)

            Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children. - Khalil Gibran

            by PBJ Diddy on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:29:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It seems to me that a four only counts (none)
              if a comment get two 4s.  That is one of the mysteries of this thing to me.

              The First Primate: Wrong on Security. Wrong on defense. Wrong for America.

              by DCDemocrat on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 01:20:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  right (none)
                the rating only counts once 2 people have seen fit to rate it.

                One benefit is that a single rating - say a 0 then means nothing - so one poster can't hide a comment - there has to be agreement.

                on the flip side - right - a 4 by itself means nothing until a 2nd comes along - but that's part of the system I like  - ratings only count/accumulate if there's at least a "motion and 2nd"

                •  yes, that was my impression (none)
                  and I also liked the idea when it occurred to me that that was how it worked.

                  The First Primate: Wrong on Security. Wrong on defense. Wrong for America.

                  by DCDemocrat on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 01:49:52 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Oddity of the system... (none)
                    However, if I understand the formula correctly (and I don't), a post with two 4's has a higher average than a post with 100 4's and one 3...and thus, is worth more in the mojo sense of the world...

                    Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children. - Khalil Gibran

                    by PBJ Diddy on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 01:59:34 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I also had wondered about that (4.00)
                      It seems to me that that is a weakness in the system.  I am founding a local chapter of Mojo Reform for a Better America (MORE BETTA).

                      The First Primate: Wrong on Security. Wrong on defense. Wrong for America.

                      by DCDemocrat on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 02:06:00 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I admit (4.00)
                        that I don't understand it myself - but I have to figure that all the extra 4's in your example help somehow

                        and since the only real meaning of "mojo" is if you are a TU or not - there is no qualitative difference between 3.95 and 4.0 anyway.

                        when I find myself really worrying about mojo, or obsessing over why I got that one 3 when 10 other's gave it a 4, I realize that it's time to go make a donation, write a letter, put up a yard sign, or knock on a door.

                        TU don't get Kerry elected, majority in the Senate or Speaker Pelosi. (mmmmmm, Speaker Pelosi - don't it just sound wonderful).  

                        •  I confess that (4.00)
                          I often have reflected on my reaction to this aspect of dKos participation.  I love the dialogue here.  The part of it that leaves me a little queasy is the mojorama stuff.  Don't get me wrong:  I do pay attention to how people rate my comments.  But my real goal in coming here is to get skinny that just ain't anywhere else to be had.  And folks here tend to think the way I do, and I find that comforting--kinda like I ain't flippin' nuts out on summer desert island waiting to get saved.

                          The First Primate: Wrong on Security. Wrong on defense. Wrong for America.

                          by DCDemocrat on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 02:30:38 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  No no No (none)
                      POsts don't compete against each other but add to your aggregate "pot" of mojo. As a post ages.. it's "potency" or contribution slowly decreases, then drops out altogether.

                      So a post with a 100 4s and a couple of 3s have added 403 X what its age multiplier is into your aggregate. Where as a Post with 2 fours post at nearly the same tim only ads 8 x what its age multiplier is.

                      The aging means you can't rely forever on past "glories" or contributions to the community to keep your TU status. This is meant to reward continued high-level contribution to the community.

                      I personally don't bother much about my status anymore... though I like getting the rewards for the work I put into some of my diary entries or meaty posts... and I appreciate being able to nuke the bigots and trolls when they wander in.

                      cheers,

                      Mitch Gore

                      No one will change America for you. You must work to make it happen.

                      by Lestatdelc on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 06:01:24 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

        •  No I'm not sorry at all, I'm IMPRESSED (none)
          by your explanation.  The calculation explanation clears it up completely for me.  You are a great explainer-- in my line of work (teacher) it's an asset more precious than gold, so kudos to you!  Thanks!
    •  I'm of two minds (none)
      on your second point. On the one hand, there have been a number of really excellent contributors that came in with the last wave, and I have tremendous respect for some of them, which supports your point.

      But on the other hand, a low user number does often indicate both quality and stability. Certainly when I'm rating comments I'm more likely to go easier on an established member who's maybe gotten a little heated than I might on someone who's just gotten the ability to comment and has learned how to flame-rate.

    •  Thanks for your comments. (none)
      I put in the UID thing for two reasons:  1)rightly or wrongly, the "elders" are accorded more respect around here than the average schmoe; and 2)mojo isn't immediately visible.  It's a fairly safe assumption, however, that if someone's been around for awhile, they have a fair amount of mojo behind them.

      And you're right--beyond wanting to see the discussion stay visible for longer than the average diary, there aren't really any standards for recommending diaries.  Anyone want to suggest some?

    •  As someone who has a two-digit User ID. (none)
      I completely agree that user id is a poor guideline for respect.  

      Instead, pay attention to the poster ID's, figure out which ones post consistently good comments and diaries, and then go out of your way to give that poster mojo.

      Will James R. Bath reveal the secret behind George Bush's National Guard Service before it's too late?

      by pontificator on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:13:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I disagree (4.00)
      that people earn respect with mojo: a lot of that is just a popularity contest, or is deeply ego-driven, people worry so much about their mojo that they ask for "contributions" to maintain it.  That's not really a sign of respect, but a kind of tupperware party tactic where you hit up your friends and relations to buy stuff and keep you in the prize categories.

      mojo CAN be a sign of earned respect, but it isn't necessarily.  User numbers can provide some useful information.  Remember, folks with low numbers have now been here for 2 years, is it?  Haven't been driven away, banned or gotten burnt out.  That alone is something worthy of respect, it seems to me, as I've succumed on more than one occasion to dKos fatigue and have had to "go dark" for a while. That doesn't mean that those with higher numbers haven't also earned respect, but it is a useful piece of information to have before one goes around yelling "troll".  If you want to do that, its wise to check the user number, I think is what pastordan is getting at.

      "Consult the genius of the place in all things" - Alexander Pope

      by a gilas girl on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 03:05:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  confused. (none)
      What paragraph about user numbers? Where do you see user numbers. Im confused.

      I know how much this election means to you. And I know how much you are counting on me. I am counting on you too. Let us work side-by-side and win. - John Kerry

      by Hollywood Liberal on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 07:39:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here it is: (none)
        General guidelines:  generally speaking, the lower the User ID number, the more respect a user is accorded.  (You can find the UID by holding your cursor over a user's handle in a comment.)  This for a couple of reasons.  One, they're assumed to know more about the ethos and history of the board, and therefore to be better instructors.  Two, they often have established themselves as welcome and appreciated members of the community.  It's considered bad form for a newbie to insult or mark down an established user without some strong justification.
  •  Kos, let me suggest (4.00)
    you keep this diary around as a site FAQ. Or at least quote from it heavily.
    •  I third that suggestion (none)
      or 4th it. A lot the time, our "good suggestions" have to be tabled because they involve technological gimmicks that aren't available or are too difficult. However, updating the FAQ or user instructions involves no new technology--do it.

      I'm happy with my $20 of influence

      by JMS on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:14:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  you could store it in the (none)
        dkosopedia... and kos can link to it there!

        It's a bird, it's a plane, no, it's an idea!  

        •  I feel like a total newbie (4.00)
          and I guess I am, but if all you greybeards would allow me an opinion (cough, cough), it seems to me linking to this discussion from dkosopedia is a much better way to go.

          Going back to pastordan's original diary, there are two ways to establish community, and one is by trying to set down rules (which is kinda like a faq) and the other is by compiling a collective memory.

          Unless I read him wrong (always a distinct possibility, considering this reader), I thought pastordan was trying to lay down or clarify some of the site rules. What he wound up doing, though, was provoking a very fruitful and rich collective discussion of the history of the site.

          I've been lurking here for a few months off and on, more regularly as the election approaches, and only recently got my union card so to speak so I could start posting. There are lots of good threads on the site, but this one is particularly productive and is definitely worth saving somewhere.

          Looks to me like's pyrrho's idea is worthy of taking flight!

  •  Great Post (none)
    One more suggestion:  this diary, or something like it, should be linked to the site FAQ.  It's important for new users to be able to see something if they're looking to better understand what's going on.

    In a "safe" state? Consider a vote for David Cobb, the Green Party's candidate for President.

    by GreenSooner on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:05:17 AM PDT

    •  I agree (none)
      I'm from the paleozoic Kos era, and I still learned a ton from that post.  I would add it as an addendum to the FAQ link.

      Will James R. Bath reveal the secret behind George Bush's National Guard Service before it's too late?

      by pontificator on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:15:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I feel dumb asking this (none)
    but when do ratings "take"?

    If I am reading through a thread and make a reply, do all the ratings I'd made (without clicking "rate all") disappear?

    What if I follow a link out of dKos? Do the ratings I've made without clicking "rate all" disappear?

    I think in the former situation the ratings are still there, awaiting my "rate all" but in the latter they are gone.

    Sorry if this is obvious to everyone else, but I have been confused about it for awhile now.

    America is a broken promise, and we are called to do what we can to fix it. -- Bill Moyers

    by janinsanfran on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:22:15 AM PDT

    •  aoeu (none)
      I generally open a new window and rate that.  right click on the date of the post and you can open a new window then rate it, click "rate all" and then close it.

      My turtles laughter
      was loud when the Yankees lost
      22 to zilch

      by TealVeal on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:01:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes (none)
      Ratings don't take until you hit the "rate all" button--whether on the particular comment you've rated, or on the last one you've rated out of a bunch, or on the last comment in the diary after you've read and rated as many as you're going to. If you reply, you lose your unsaved ratings. If you go someplace else and then bookmark your way back here, you lose your unsaved ratings. (I don't remember what happens if you just hit "back" until you get back to the page you were rating comments on; you may keep them that way or you may not.)

      Generally, if I'm replying, I'm not rating. And if I'm rating, I'll either open a new window (or, since I use Firefox, a new browser tab) and comment there, or else I'll wait until I've done all the rating I'm going to do and then go back and answer the comments I want to reply to. (I find this also helps with anger issues in the testier threads.)

      •  Thanks -- nice to know I figured this out right. (none)
        The efficient way to deal with this seems to depend on browser -- not surprisingly.

        America is a broken promise, and we are called to do what we can to fix it. -- Bill Moyers

        by janinsanfran on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:40:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What I do is... (none)
          I rad down the thrad... setting the ratting as I go but not hitting the rat all yet.. any replies I want to make.. I click reply while holding the key combo over the "Reply to this" link... to open the positng window in a new window and make reply there.... then when I get to the bottom fo the orgianl window... I hit the rate all...

          ...then check in the reply window(s) after hitting the "post" button and it reloads... do a "find" commmand in new browser for "[new]" to read any newly added posts that might have been posted in the interum between the first opening of the thread and my reply(s). If there are no "[new]"s found in any of the more recent windows created form my postings.

          It cna get a little involved at times.. but it assures me I get a through read and all in a thread.

          cheers,

          Mitch Gore

          No one will change America for you. You must work to make it happen.

          by Lestatdelc on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 06:12:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Commercial Peeve... (none)
    With site popularity increasing, there may need to be guidelines on selling/promotional posts (e- or otherwise) that have nothing to do with current affairs.  These promos remain few and far between, fortunately, but finding one--especially in diaries--is like stepping on dogpile.  Anyone else for a no-commerce clause?
    •  How about a no-Spam clause (none)
      I've only probably seen one or two in my 6+ months of coming to dKos, but the ones that are obvious spams, something posted to sell something by someone who is not a trusted user... yes, get rid of 'em.

      However, we should be careful as many bloggers are also promoting their sites and other ventures (in signatures or otherwise) all the time. The line is blurred in these instances. That's the nature of blogging, so we should also leave it open to that sort of thing, IMO.

    •  They don't tend to last long (none)
      when they do appear. Blogwhoring is one thing; shilling for a product is quite another: it will quickly get one troll-rated.
  •  Excellent diary. (none)
    My biggest pet peeve is duplicated diaries.

    I try and let someone know when it's a repeated diary and to link to a previous discussion.

    Usually, the poster will delete their diary, but there've been a few people who get a bit touchy when I ask them to delete.  

    There are so many diaries here, and really good diaries often get pushed far to the bottom before anyone gets to see them.  Therefore, we really need to avoid duplicated diaries. I thank you, for bringing some attention to this issue.

    •  How do we find duplicated diaries? (none)
      I posted a diary pointing out that Bush had essentially given a veto to China. I did a search on "China" in the diaries ahead of time, and got two open threads, but when I searched them for the word "China" using the browser's search, I got no hits. So I believed that it was not a topic that had been covered.

      However, later I was trying to find my own diary, so I did a search on "China" and it didn't come up... although the word China was in both the header and the text of the diary.

      My diary was posted on Saturday, I think. I see that other people are posting diaries about the China issue today. But given that yesterday, I had to scroll back over 200 entries to manually find my diary, and it did not come up on searching for China, how could they have reasonably avoided this duplication? How could I have been sure to find any mention of this issue before posting a diary if it wasn't in the top 50 and a search didn't find it?

      I have been reluctant to post diaries for exactly the reason of duplication, and too many diaries, but I thought it was an important point that deserved its own topic... but I'd have been just as happy to reinforce someone else's diary on the subject.

      •  the first and easiest (none)
        thing to do is set your preferences to "display 50 diaries". That's the maximum, so if someone has diaried the topic over 50 diaries ago, it's not as blatant a "duplication" since users won't easily see the first one unless it's also a recommended dieary.

        Then, scan the diary titles. If something seems like it might be like what you wanted to post, scan the diary itself.

        This will probably take care of most of the cases.

        However, sometimes the first diarist will write a "cutesy" title that makes the content less than obvious. In that case, your first indication might be someone in the comments telling you that you're a repeat, because they've read all 50 diaries in a row (and then some). Graciously delete your diary.

        The other possibility is that you and the first diarist write and post at about the same time. After you post your diary, scan a few places down to see if someone else already posted. If so, then delete yours.

        Note that this happens most often when the topic is "breaking news"--usually a news story or a new poll or something--and the diary usually just reports the gist of the news with a link, but without much analysis. If you have put up this type of diary and it's a repeat, please delete it.

        If you think your analysis is unique and stellar, that's a bit more of a gray area--especially if you've already gotten some substantive comments before you realize you're a repeat. I'd let something like that stand.

        However, most of the time, a "first come, first diary" rule should be in effect. If all you're doing is spreading the news, you shouldn't be offended that someone else got to it first.

        I'm happy with my $20 of influence

        by JMS on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:03:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually (none)
          However, sometimes the first diarist will write a "cutesy" title that makes the content less than obvious. In that case, your first indication might be someone in the comments telling you that you're a repeat, because they've read all 50 diaries in a row (and then some). Graciously delete your diary.

          The other possibility is that you and the first diarist write and post at about the same time. After you post your diary, scan a few places down to see if someone else already posted. If so, then delete yours.

          Note that this happens most often when the topic is "breaking news"--usually a news story or a new poll or something--and the diary usually just reports the gist of the news with a link, but without much analysis. If you have put up this type of diary and it's a repeat, please delete it.

          The thing is, deleting a diary also deletes all of the comments (and comment ratings) that were attached to it. As an alternative, let me recommend that if you discover your diary is a duplicate, delete the diary content, replace it with a reference to the original diary, and then encourage your commenters to migrate to the other thread.

          •  as I said (none)
            once the diaries has (substantive) comments--that's more of a gray area. You still have the problem of the "too many diaries", but I wouldn't feel right about nuking a bunch of (again substantive) comments.

            Sometimes you'll find 2 diaries in a row on the same news story and the second one will have more comments than the first.

            But that's going to happen once in a while. Deleting in good faith will cut down on it happening more frequently

            I'm happy with my $20 of influence

            by JMS on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:46:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  aoeu (none)
              Maybe there is a way to "reattach" comments from one diary to another?  I'm not sure exactly how the db is structured but you might just have to move each of the base comments and all the comments of comments would move as well.  But that's something for after november.

              My turtles laughter
              was loud when the Yankees lost
              22 to zilch

              by TealVeal on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:56:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I disagree with this approach (none)
          "However, sometimes the first diarist will write a "cutesy" title that makes the content less than obvious. In that case, your first indication might be someone in the comments telling you that you're a repeat, because they've read all 50 diaries in a row (and then some). Graciously delete your diary."

          that "first" diary's cutesy title is a flaw, a fatal flaw.

          dkos is not a race for frist psot!  Maybe that third diary is the one that was actually well written.

          •  that's a subjective judgement (none)
            isn't it? That's why I have great respect for those who take down their repeat diaries voluntarily. If one is a masterpiece and the other a piece of crap, sure, but sometimes people seem to want to fight to the death to keep a diary that's pretty similar to something that's already up.

            I'm happy with my $20 of influence

            by JMS on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 01:12:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yup, the worst is when (none)
              It's a one line diary to a news story with no replies yet and is also the 5th diary in the last 50 on the same topic. I ask the person to please delete the diary, and I get an attitude and that "fight to the death" you're talking about.
              •  balance, as with most things (none)
                I agree in deleting them, but not to the point of stopping diaries as a source of breaking news w/commentary.

                I do think there has to be community pressure, go ahead and point out the diary was duplicated.  And if there is no commentary, just a link, no comments it should be deleted... even if it was first. :)

                I don't usually do breaking news diaries... but I don't want it to be because of the times I blew it and made a duplicate.  I guess what I'm saying is better a duplicate than the story doesn't get posted at all.  

                Also... what is a duplicate?  I feel it if was more than 20 posts earlier... it might just be time for it to come around on the news wheel of the day.

                please don't think I'm defending all duplicates... I especially hate them when I don't like the topic in the first place.

                As in... "hahahahaha feeble old Novak broke a hip... hardy har har..."

                •  if i post a diary and it turns out that mine is (none)
                  not the first, and just a duplicate (IMHO), I delete mine.

                  If I add something that others haven't, I leave mine and direct comments (with a link) to the earlier diary. A one-liner that precedes me, but clearly got there first might be an example (I don't do one-line diaries.; against the rules, but...).

                  Suggestions welcome.

                  Oh, yeah, and speaking of diaries, use the extended text box for long ones.

                  "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                  by Greg Dworkin on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 05:45:13 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  btw, yes, it's subjective (none)
              and that's sort of part of my point... it's hard to know which one to delete, and people's self image gets in the way... it may not be the right person that decides theirs is the one to go... if the matter is blurry, I say leave them, update with links to the others, and let recommended diaries sort it out.

              But in the not-blurry instances you and newsie mention... yes, delete them... there is a rule in that case.

              •  I like suggestions (none)
                of creating a seperate "breaking news" section. I'm militant about cluttering up the front page, but with the new menu box (three old boxes collapsed into one), the space might be available.

                Something to consider carefully after the election.

    •  Also (none)
      diaries that consist of little more than what one would read in a open thread posting. One guy posted a diary consisting of his review of a Michael Savage book. One of the worst things I've ever read. It wasn't funny or informative.

      But I guess there's no clear rule for what makes a good diary. You just know it when you see it.

      •  Rating Diaries (none)
        Above and beyond just recommending Diaries, could there be a rating system for the Diaries so that people could come and check out what the highest rated Diaries were for the last 24 hours or the last week or month?

        Might be good to keep around some of the gems for more people to see.

    •  duplicates (none)
      I try not to duplicate but have a couple times.  I have trouble deleting a diary if there are comments.

      I far prefer to update the diary with links to the previous ones.

      A certain amount of duplication is just the news going around the news wheel... and not all people capture the essence of whats going on... it's not always or even usually the first diary that gets recommended, for example, which catches peoples attention.

      The recommended diary system is a way of dealing with good diaries pushed off the bottom.  But the other thing is that good diaries will get pushed off... a wealth of riches.

      •  That's true. (none)
        Usually when I ask someone to delete their diary and refer to a previous diary, I'm usually the first person to post. If there are a ton of replies in the duplicate diary, I obviously won't ask the person to delete their diary.

        I don't mind some duplication; it's natural and inevitable.

        However, 8 diaries in the last 50 diaries on the same Gallup poll is excessive, especially if one of them is already on the recommended diary list.  These are the situations where I get annoyed. It's also really annoying when DemFromCT has a main polling thread up on Saturday or Sunday, and people still feel the need to post 8 diaries on the same poll.

  •  Mouse Over (none)
    Mouse over my name and view the majesty of my three-digit user ID!

    Class warfare IS the answer.

    by bink on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:25:59 AM PDT

  •  One thought... (4.00)
    aside from saying "nice post" PastorDan is this:

    Rate or Debate, but not both.

    Most folks who get into trouble with ratings...which isn't that much lately as far as I can see...make this mistake.  ie.  Either you rate someone, or you debate with them, but don't downrate someone and then try to engage them.  #1:  Your comments speak louder than any rating could.  #2:  Rating alone is for when you don't have anything to say but feel compelled to play the "cool" referee.

    Imo, debates about ratings that have  been given are about the most boring things on dKos.  Boooooooring......(except when something exciting happens like Marisacat sleuthing out users with multiple identities....incidentally, Marisacat where are U?  We miss you!)

    Further, I come from the New York school of political discussion.  ie. knock down, drag out bar fights.  (We used to have them at the now defunct Marlin on 110th street, and the now "frat boy" Chumley's on Bedford and Barrow in the West Village.)  Keep it sharp, say what you think and by all means get hot under the collar if you need to.

    Just don't lose it.   No one likes that.  Too much spilled beer.

    2004's the election, 2005's the prize...let'sTCB!

    by kid oakland on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:29:33 AM PDT

    •  Solid advice. (none)
      The only time I rate in a heavy-duty conversation is to give a tacit admission that the other party has scored a point (or 4) on me...
    •  I like to know (none)
      Maybe this matters more with 4's than with 1's or 0's, but I appreciate comments that tell me what somebody liked about my comment, or further develop my point, or take it somewhere I hadn't thought of. Although I've often given 4's without commenting, if I had to choose between a comment OR a rating, I'd rather get a comment.

      Also, 2's frequently are 'borderline' enough to benefit from some explanation of just what the rater found inappropriate.

      Wonderful diary, pastordan, and fascinating discussion of how we perceive us.

      No retreat, baby, no surrender

      by rincewind on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 01:19:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I see no problem in that... (none)
        I am just talking about folks who rate someone who they KNOW here not to be a troll, as a troll...and then continue to go at it in the comments.

        I've been so pissed off that I hit the ratings and then made a comment....and well...I've always regretted it.  (Sorry, Bob Johnson if you remember that.)

        Anyhoo...whatever you think is appropriate usually is....folks who are off base usually have at least a little clue that...well...they are over the top.

        2004's the election, 2005's the prize...let'sTCB!

        by kid oakland on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 01:42:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I kinda disagree with the rate or debate SOT (none)
      If I am in a debate and someone starts hurling personal invective, I have no compunction in firing a 2 warning shot and a pithy (in my eyes of course) retort and continue to debate the issue.

      If the person goes nuclear, I will 1 or zero rate and stop stop the debate, though continue to post as to why if the person needs and explanation.

      This would seem to violate the "rule" of debate or rate not both school of thought... but I don't see the problem with doing that.

      cheers,

      Mitch Gore

      No one will change America for you. You must work to make it happen.

      by Lestatdelc on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 06:23:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hey...not a rule on my account (none)
        just trying to speak from experience is all.

        In my experience, rating and debating leads to sorrow most of the time.

        Personally, I'm for free speech and everyone using their good judgement.  Too many rules is stifling.  Plus, there are always "rules" types who want to "enforce" them...rrrg.

        2004's the election, 2005's the prize...let'sTCB!

        by kid oakland on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 06:37:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Just A Suggestion, But... (none)
        IMHO a perfectly good D who is a TU for example, can go nuclear and still not deserve a 0 or a 1. The poster may have "lost it", but he's not a troll. He's a member of the community, irascible or angry as he might be at that time. He might be pissed-off, but he's not trying to wreck our objective of electing Ds, and thus not worthy of a troll rating despite having lost it (speaking from experience). Exceptions might involve wholly objectionable behavior like using racial slurs, or humiliating people to the extent that they deserve to be deep-sixed because no one should have to read that shit. But otherwise, flame away -- if that's where you're at, and pass the ammunition.

        Iraq is deja vu all over again.

        by chuco35 on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 12:49:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Quite majestic! (none)
    I must post to find out what my own number is.  (Not that it makes any difference, you understand... I am just curious.)

    I appreciate the clear and concise setting out of the rules, Pastordan.

  •  About That "Reminiscing" Thread (none)
      As a newbie I'd love to learn the history and hear
    the stories.  But I'd suggest waiting until after the election so they don't all get lost in the flood...
  •  Great diary- tell people about recipes though (none)
    One thing some new people are sometimes surprised by is a trollish diary that starts accumulating recipes. It started during the days when there was no way to rate a diary, and there still isn't a good way to rate one down, so when there's a clearly trollish diary people start making their own cookbook (or sometimes their own movie reviews). It beats flaming the author, and is especially useful psychologically when the troll did a drive-by diary and left no comments to rate.
  •  Good job, PastorDan... (4.00)
    This community, like every other, virtual or physical, evolves. It is, as with anything digital, operating at a much higher cycle-rate than RL, so 6 months becomes a lifetime here, and folks I read everyday a year ago are long forgotten.
    This is the value of the UIDs--- in fact a few days ago they were used to settle a disagreement about a suspected troll-- I think the final judgement was non-troll with heavy troll tendancies--- what I like to refer to as bi-troller.
    Usually, a UID lower than, say 1000-1500 indicates someone who came over from legacy Kos. Older is not always better, but chances are if someone is a longtime user, they at least will have a perspective on the ebb and flow of things, and what is expected, and a knowlege of some of our little quirks, like recipe comments in response to obvious trolls.
    Ratings are often mis-used, but the big mis-users usually don't last too long here. And there are some very highly valued posters here who will rate and post in the heat of battle (Yes, James and Maryscott, I'm looking at you!) who have the integrity to go back and change ratings and delete diaries that were made emotionally. This counts for a lot.
    The rule here is the same as with any community---- lay low, trial balloon, see how you can contribute, learn from your elders--- and then trash them in comments :)

    We will win because our music is better...

    by IsraelHand on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:35:22 AM PDT

    •  I gave you a Zero... (4.00)
      for a few seconds, just to fuck around. : )

      Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

      by Maryscott OConnor on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:54:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  seniority (none)
      The rule here is the same as with any community---- lay low, trial balloon, see how you can contribute, learn from your elders--- and then trash them in comments :)

      This is the part of the diary (there was something akin to it in the original diary) that bothers me most. The seniority idea. It didn't fly with me in high school, it doesn't fly with me at work, and it doesn't fly with me on message boards. First of all, you have no idea how long someone has been reading by their ID # (they can read before they register), but even beyond that, someone's worth is not intrinsically changed by seniority.

      Of course, I give out low ratings very sparingly, usually only to offensive or substance-free posts (once, I got into a ratings war with someone, after they gave me a zero, and I gave them 2s, partially in retaliation, partially because they seemed determine to cause offense) --- said person tried to use this "I've been around longer" line on me. (Also went with "I'm older.") It's not a cornerstone of every community, believe it or not, and the benefits of seniority ---- everywhere ---- are dying out. Why try to keep them alive on a progressive message board? To me, that's very reactionary.

      Just some random thoughts. Other than that, the diary was a great addition filled with useful information, so thanks for that. I always love the recipes. That's when you know the discussion has sunk to a truly low level, when people stop responding and just start posting recipes for Pecan Pie and such. ;-)

      Ally

      "I know there's a saying about not changing horses midstream, but look, this horse has no legs, and it has no friends." -- Vanessa Kerry

      by ally on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:34:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This was less about senority (none)
        than common sense for any kind of newby.
        Ever been a member of an organization when some fireball new guy comes in, tells everyone how to fix everything, trys to wrest control of the organization, and thereby kills any desire to participate by anyone there?
        We have a meritocracy system here in the ratings--- and it is the active system. The UID is passive, enough so that I would wager 96 % of all users don't even know it is there.
        Yes, in the best of all possible worlds, on his day one, hypersuperuser521 could come in, be rated supreme commenter of all history, and the rest of us dinosaurs would be relegated to the dustbin of DKos history. Just as in the platonic ideal, there would be no need for all of this other stuff that allows us to judge the weight to give a particular user, there would only be the ideal system of weighting, immediatly intuitive and instantly viewable for all who were privilaged to read.
        In the meantime, ally 15884, allow those of us who aren't as clever or quick to type, but who have been here awhile our one cheap little standard of self-congratulatory glory, willya?

        We will win because our music is better...

        by IsraelHand on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:58:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Didn't mean it as a "snap" (none)
          Less about senority than common sense for any kind of newby.

          Actually, I think common sense for all would be better than for newbies. I see plenty of ratings abusers (anyone who troll rates a post only because they a) disagree with it or b) dislike the poster is a ratings abuser in my book) with low UID numbers too.

          We have a meritocracy system here in the ratings--- and it is the active system. The UID is passive, enough so that I would wager 96 % of all users don't even know it is there.

          I do agree that the ratings system, despite some occasional abuses (which are bound to happen with any system), works quite well. It's one of the things that keeps this site fairly troll-free, and I certainly appreciate that.

          Yes, in the best of all possible worlds, on his day one, hypersuperuser521 could come in, be rated supreme commenter of all history, and the rest of us dinosaurs would be relegated to the dustbin of DKos history.

          Wow. :-) I don't take the comments that competitively myself. I just get mad when someone tries to devalue anyone's opinion because they haven't posted as much (or have a higher UID, I guess) or some strange standard other than the merit of that post and, perhaps, if relevent the poster's previous comments.

          The whole, "You aren't from here," notion is very restrictive and not conducive to community. Therefore, I personally tend to reject every inkling of it when it appears. You probably didn't mean anything by it, but, like I've said, I've seen it at work.

          When it happened to me, I was actually debating something substantially with a member, and they made it dissolve into an issue of who was older, who had been here logner, etc, for some reason and then troll-rated me (the comments were rated back up by others and never hidden though because they were not, by any means, troll comments: they were somewhat documented, substantive disagreements with the poster's point). I almost left DKos because of that experience, actually. Luckily, most of the community doesn't have that attitude, but I don't like the idea of feeding into it with certain statements about ettiquette, that's all.

          In the meantime, ally 15884, allow those of us who aren't as clever or quick to type, but who have been here awhile our one cheap little standard of self-congratulatory glory, willya?

          When you put it that way, it's hard to say no.

          I guess I'm just sensitive because of my own experiences, mentioned above. Some people think  that anything that disagrees with that is simply unallowed, especially if presented by someone "new." It's not entirely welcoming. I don't think anyone should feel they have to "jump through hoops" and prove themselves before feeling a full member of the community, that's all I was saying, but if it makes you feel better, you can certainly take pride in being member #213. ;-)

          Ally

          "I know there's a saying about not changing horses midstream, but look, this horse has no legs, and it has no friends." -- Vanessa Kerry

          by ally on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 01:49:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  merits of longevity (none)
        If a poster has a low UID, you can make an informed assumption that s/he:

        Is committed to the community.

        Is unlikely to be a troll.

        Has been through at least a few community shakeups without bailing out.

        Has a perspective on the community-as-a-whole that isn't available to newcomers.

        These qualities aren't the be-all and end-all, and seniority doesn't automatically confer wisdom, but they do have value and shouldn't be discounted out of hand.

        No retreat, baby, no surrender

        by rincewind on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 01:50:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  as far as "discounting" people (none)
          I guess I don't think anyone should be "discounted out of hand," --- for someone to be "discounted," by me requires somewhat persistent troll-like behaviour. One post won't do it, usually (unless it's really bad, I guess, like blatantly offensive).

          Ally

          "I know there's a saying about not changing horses midstream, but look, this horse has no legs, and it has no friends." -- Vanessa Kerry

          by ally on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 02:16:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  ooops (none)
            Sorry if my sentence wasn't clear -- I wasn't suggesting that you were suggesting (digging an even more complicated rhetorical hole...) discounting people. I just wanted to point out that there are positive characteristics that can be reasonably inferred about a poster with a low UID.

            No retreat, baby, no surrender

            by rincewind on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 02:28:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Gotcha. (none)
              And I have no problem with that. It's when people go the other way, and they assume negative characteristics of new members that I get annoyed. Of course, if you "know" someone, you're more likely to know their humor, know if they're being ironic, understand where they're coming from. That's natural. I rarely look at the UID unless I remember the person, personally, but I think looking at the comment history can be very telling sometimes and do so to educate myself on the "source."

              And I'm not trying to be difficult. If you were to look at my comment history, you'd see that I like to discuss minute points of a subject..... it's just my nature. ;-)

              Ally

              "I know there's a saying about not changing horses midstream, but look, this horse has no legs, and it has no friends." -- Vanessa Kerry

              by ally on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 02:45:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I don't think anyone is saying (3.33)
            that folks with higher UIDs are less valuable, just that there is information to be had in the uid numbers that can help folks make judgements.  I have seen on more than one occasion someone with a UID in the tens, twenties or thiry thousands calling someone with a two digit uid "troll".  That kind of thing can easily be avoided by simply checking the numbers before screaming.  Then you might want to change your assertion from "troll" to "asshole", or something of the like, which is probably a more accurate assessment.

               

            "Consult the genius of the place in all things" - Alexander Pope

            by a gilas girl on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 03:56:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm curious (none)
              What exactly makes a "troll" different from an "asshole."

              Usually particularly extreme asshole behaviour is what merits a troll-rating in my book.

              Ally

              "I know there's a saying about not changing horses midstream, but look, this horse has no legs, and it has no friends." -- Vanessa Kerry

              by ally on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 04:38:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Trolls (none)
                I always thought were people who came to purposely hijack a thread or to disrupt the normal flow of discourse on a site.  To me, its unlikely that somebody who has a little bit of history invested in an endeavor like dKos enough to have engaged in the discourse and through the crap for as long as a two digit uid would reveal, would be interested in disrupting the discourse.  I'm not saying that everyone with a low uid is a peach of a human being, there's plenty of asshole behavior to go around throughout the community, but being an ass isn't the same thing as being a troll because of that objective of disrupting the thread/discourse.  There are all sorts of reasons people will behave like asses, but trolling seems to have one major purpose.  

                "Consult the genius of the place in all things" - Alexander Pope

                by a gilas girl on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 05:40:44 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well, either way (none)
                  Just because they don't intend to disrupt the site, doesn't mean they don't hijack threads. Some of the Old Guard hijack things better than anyone here --- they're oftentimes the least permissive of dissenting opinions in my experience. Some of them are the quickest to attack other members personally. Of course, acting like a condescending asshole isn't enough to make me troll rate (unless they get really nasty with someone or do it repeatedly in the same thread --- I've troll-rated people for engaging in needless, unfair, personal attacks of other members).

                  I'm sure that longevity means someone is slightly less likely to be a troll, but we don't troll-rate people: we troll-rate posts. Anybody can tell, without even reading the name, if a post is blatantly disruptive/vile (this is not just disagreement --- it's something more, mind you) or content-free. And people shouldn't get a free-ride in posting unacceptably just because they have a low UID number (and I'm sure they wouldn't).

                  So, really, the UID number is not neccesarily used for anything except some false symbol of status. We have an easy way to base our opinions of a post --- reading it. As far as troll-rating, it should be done rarely and used with caution, but you can disagree with or even give a marginal rating (I use them rarely personally) to any post that's not well-thought out, etc, no matter how high or low the UID.

                  Ally

                  "I know there's a saying about not changing horses midstream, but look, this horse has no legs, and it has no friends." -- Vanessa Kerry

                  by ally on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 06:23:46 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Once again (none)
                    it provides another tool to determine context. Information is power-- disregard it if you want to, but sometimes knowing just a little more can make a difference. I strongly suspect if your number was lower, your opinion might be different :)
                    No one has claimed it to be the most valuable tool-- just a tool.
                    Yes, there are many exceptions--- just as there are with anything. But for the most part, it allows one more way of learning something about someone.
                    What you do with the information is up to you.

                    We will win because our music is better...

                    by IsraelHand on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 06:33:29 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Tool is fine, but that wasn't my objection (none)
                      it provides another tool to determine context.

                      That's cool and all, but why give advice to new posters that they need to watch or respect the Old Guard. That was the part I disagreed with.

                      Information is power-- disregard it if you want to, but sometimes knowing just a little more can make a difference.

                      The number doesn't really tell much, though. If I want context, I can look at some of the posting history. That's a more thorough and accurate picture.

                      I strongly suspect if your number was lower, your opinion might be different :)

                      I can assure you it wouldn't. I have senority at work, and I always claim it's bullshit there too.  I get really pissed when some of the other people, who've been there either as long as me or some not as long (very few have been there longer, as there's a high turnover in my department) who think that means they're somehow more in charge or more knowledgable. In some cases, they're more knowledgable, and in some, they're not. It takes about two weeks to get the hang of things, on average, so it's not that long. I was better at my job my first month than many of them are now. In every instance, I'd rather be judged on merit rather than seniority.

                      No one has claimed it to be the most valuable tool-- just a tool.

                      I didn't object to it in that way. I objected to the context of "respect" --- I think all people should be respected equally until they prove otherwise.

                      Ally

                      "I know there's a saying about not changing horses midstream, but look, this horse has no legs, and it has no friends." -- Vanessa Kerry

                      by ally on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 08:35:50 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  an example (none)
                I would consider Bush to be an asshole because I think he really does mean to do the right thing he just has no idea what the right thing is. I would consider Cheney to be a troll because I don't think he cares at all for anything but him and his own.

                Of course, the more I hear from Bush these days, the more like Cheney he seems.

                "You're born naked and the rest is drag." -Ru Paul

                by cshardie on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 07:46:53 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  A Troll (none)
                in my opinion is simply someone who is seeking to disrupt our efforts to elect Democrats. I use this site because it's helping me and allows me to help others elect Ds. You can be an asshole D who is committed to our goel, and even be misguided in how to do it, but you're not a troll IMHO because you are not consciuously trying to sabotage our efforts. After all, they're voting D. D assholes are ok on this site, as far as I'm concerned. R assholes -- they get nuked by me as trolls in all their disguises.  

                Iraq is deja vu all over again.

                by chuco35 on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 01:13:23 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  I Think (none)
          your post points out a key point about "seniority". Trolls are not likely to have low UID numbers, just because of how they operate. If you use 0's and 1's as I do, reserved only for Freeper-types, a low UID warns me that I'm probably off if I'm about to troll rate a post. A good rule before using 0's and 1's, I've found, is to check the poster's prior postings. This will usually tell me whether the poster has just "lost it", or is innocently clueless, as opposed to being a wolf hiding amongst the sheep.  

          Iraq is deja vu all over again.

          by chuco35 on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 01:02:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  This may be a stupid question but... (none)
      I'm a newbie and have just started posting. I was unaware of the rating system until this morning, and then checked some of my posts to see if they were rated. I found a few rated with 3.something and one comment that had been hidden. How do I find out which comment was hidden?

      I try to be agreeable in my posts, so I was curious as to why someone graded the post so low. From reading this thread, it seems there is no way to review a hidden post to learn what might have been objectionable. Might I suggest that, if technically possible, some broad 'reasons' be stipulated when giving someone a 0 or 1 rating. Something like a) you're too rude, b) your facts are just plain wrong, c) you're a stinking Republican, or something like that.

      Thanks for the info in this thread, I learned a lot.

      •  aoeu (none)
        you have no hidden comments, are you talking about posts which are rated as (none/1)?  the "score" of a post is only calculated after it's gotten 2 ratings, so that's why it's "none" and "1".

        here you've only gotten one rating of a 4 so it's (none/1), were I to give it a 4 it would be (4.00/2)

        My turtles laughter
        was loud when the Yankees lost
        22 to zilch

        by TealVeal on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:41:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  thanks pastordan (4.00)
    I'm intimidated by the ratings system even though I'm new and am a trusted user. I don't rate as many posts as I think I should because IE6 has a quirk. If I select the ratings box be shown on a page, IE6 only allows me to go so far down the page before little "none" boxes repeat themselves all over my screen and I just can't rate posts as I go down the page because the ratings number box just disappears. This bothers me because I've missed rating some excellent posts thus giving users enough mojo to become trusted themselves. The wonders of modern technology...

    I'm also intimidated because I'm just starting to learn who's who and see people who have been labelled collectively as trolls themselves. A lot of their posts are then troll rated simply because of their history, regardless of what some of their individuals posts contain. OTOH, some regulars' posts that, according to the guidelines, should be rated as trollish aren't because of who they are. I cringe already over giving them a low rating because I worry about repercussions (and I've already had those as a result). But I think I'm doing the right thing by rating the post, not the person (?).

    One more thing - I've been clearly reminded that because of the emotionality here any post I make can be misconstrued as coming from a place of anger, derision, being overly critical etc because many people tend to frame things from their own perspective instead of walking a mile in the shoes of the poster. In my case (and let's not rehash this here in this thread) coming from a place of humility was misunderstood as being overly critical. There just isn't a useful emoticon to express that. I'll be more careful about how I express myself.

    As a result, I now realize how important it is for me to read others' posts more thoughtfully and to ask questions if I don't understand exactly where they're coming from - not in a confrontational way but, hopefully, in a way that invites further discussion. I try to treat people here as I would in real life because I've never believed that the anonymity of the internet gives me a free pass to come unhinged or to blast people unfairly.

    The last couple of days have generated some great discussion about the kos community and its' function. Thanks for taking the time to spell it out so clearly so we can all be reminded of what Dkos is about. I really appreciate that and I'll work on my quirks as a result.

  •  Excellent diary (4.00)
    But then, all of your diaries are excellent.  Indeed, the excellence of your and some others' diaries is what usually prevents me from posting my own random thoughts, because I doubt they would measure up to the quality of some of the things I have read here.

    This is not the first message board I have been on, and I have always found that a community does tend to change over time.  In fact, I have suggested from time to time that evolution of message boards would make an interesting study for a sociology thesis (after all, most social science is b.s. anyway, so you might as well study interesting and current b.s.).  However, dKos is different from an ordinary message board because it is Kos's blog and Kos (correctly) sets the tone here.

    One point I would like to make is that if the community of users just practices common courtesy, much unpleasantness can be avoided.  I certainly don't mean that there shouldn't be any contention--sometimes the arguments can be among the most interesting discussions.  Avoiding ad hominen attacks or contentless diaries or comments improves the board as a whole (I spend about 1-2 hours reading this board every day and often do little more than recommend diaries and give out the occasional 4 where I feel it is deserved).  Making sure that you are not posting the same thing someone else posted two minutes before is also common courtesy--just like you wouldn't suddenly join a conversation by repeating something somebody just said.

    A lot of really smart and very well-informed and passionate people post here.  As the community grows, I hope there will be even more of them.

    "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." Bertrand Russell

    by Emerson on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:19:12 PM PDT

  •  When you reminisce ... (2.00)
    ... remember that history is written by the survivors.

    And note that one thing about dKos has never changed from generation to generation: the propensity to run our most knowledgeable posters out of town on a rail.

    •  question from a newbie (none)
      Isn't that more a matter of choice though?
    •  Granted, sometimes, RonK. (none)
      So here's to sticking around anyway!

      Community memory --
        and your case, in your best place,
        a poetic expression that rings...
        true --
      is something worthwhile to share, here and there.

      Immune system recovery! American body politic rallies to reject the NeoCon-tagion.

      by Civil Sibyl on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 01:01:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Propensity (4.00)
      And note that one thing about dKos has never changed from generation to generation: the propensity to run our most knowledgeable posters out of town on a rail.

      I would argue that there is a propensity of some of the people who think themselves to be the most knowledgeable posters around here to move on because they became disinterested in DKos, for whatever reason.

      The first two guest posters, Steve Soto and Billmon, both left to start their own blogs - which Markos set up for them, as he had offered to do. The same was true of Steve Gilliard (though he just went with Blogger). They've all had tremendous success, even though Billmon is now taking a leave of absence.

      The current crop of guest-posters are all still here, and active - even the redoubtable Meteor Blades, who was temporarily waylaid with health issues.

      Don (the former Theoria) has now said publicly that blogging here as Theoria had become too much of a distraction from his personal life.

      Tom Schaller had his "Live, Brutus!" moment, as did JamesB3. I thought both episodes were a bit melodramatic, but perhaps we all learned from them, and ultimately, no harm done.

      Melanie - yeah, she did take a hike due to some bad blood, but she still had plenty of admirers. (At least, that's my observation having read over all of those semi-ridiculous threads after the fact.) And she still comments here.

      Stratagem - who was pretty close to a wise contrarian, though sometimes a definite jerk - did take off, but that was of his own free will - because he proclaimed that he did not "think like a Democrat." Sure, you could argue he left because he was disgusted by what some here call "groupthink," but this blog isn't going to be all things to all people.

      Paper Tigress took off, but her complaint was about not getting her diaries recommended. Sorry, but blogging had better be a labor of love. If you crave recognition, this is probably the wrong arena - there are 20,000 registered users here and some 2 million blogs in existence. It's hard no matter what to get your voice heard. (And besides, those Iraq timelines - as useful as they might have been - were hardly ever good material for discussion.)

      The conservative posters I talked about upthread all left long ago, but truly, this was never going to be their home.

      So who exactly does this leave - who has actually, legtimately gotten run outta here on a rail, never to return?

      Swing State Project - Analyzing the 2004 battleground states.

      by David Nir on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 06:51:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You list a number of lesser lights, but ... (none)
        ... among others there's Rick in Davis (Politus), Wes Clark II, and Petey (NoDissentAllowed).

        Others became marginalized either in the war frenzy or the kool-aid epidemic, and still participate occasionally but know better than to challenge the local groupthink (which by my scorecard has proven almost unerringly misguided).

        Billmon was first-rate, some of the others vastly overrated. For my money, Petey was in the top two for both political knowledge and political acumen.

        •  People (4.00)
          I was going with "high profile," because that's a little easier to agree upon than "first-rate."

          Petey may have been bright, but he had (and still has) a severe problem when it comes to expressing his opinions in a way that doesn't drive people bonkers. It was always his tone and style, and NOT his content, that drove people up a wall. (I harshly criticized Dean, for instance, a number of times, and I never made any enemies.)

          Part of having "political acumen" in my book includes speaking in such a way that people want to listen to you - even if the audience isn't necessarily your most favorable. I don't think Petey was capable of that. Billmon, for instance, often got me quite steamed, but he was respectful and intelligent, and I always wanted to come back for more. Petey was quite the opposite of that - in tone and style. I attribute his departure to failings on his part, not ours.

          Politus is still posting here, as of just days ago. (And he said that Markos was "Green in 2002" - so I have no idea what planet he lives on.) In any event, he's not gone. (But maybe he counts as "marginalized," though that is quite different than being "run out on a rail.")

          And I also barely recall the name Wes Clark II, but maybe that one didn't stick in my mind because of its similarity to the actual candidate. I'll give you that one on summary judgment.

          But truthfully, this seems like a pretty feeble list to me, Ron. People come and go because they lose interest. A few happened to be high-profile, some happened to be very clever, and the rest were probably forgettable. But leaving because you get choose to spend your time on a different activity is quite a bit different than getting "run out on a rail."

          And I'd love to see a detailed scorecard from you - backed up, of course, with facts, not opinions.

          Swing State Project - Analyzing the 2004 battleground states.

          by David Nir on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 07:53:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  feeble is as feeble does (1.00)
            Some people have the hype, some people have the chops, and some people don't know the diff.

            This is a great place for people who don't know the diff.

            Suit yourself.

            •  ... who need people... (none)
              I consider your reply a cop-out - or, as you might put it, slinking off. You didn't even address a single substantive point I made.

              But thanks for the backhanded insult about not knowing the difference between brains and hype. Yep, I definitely deserved that!

              And yes, I will suit myself. Toodle-loo!

              Swing State Project - Analyzing the 2004 battleground states.

              by David Nir on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 09:35:17 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  It seems to me (3.50)
      that a lot of those who cry censorship expect everyone here to agree with them at all times.  

      Generally, this seems to be more about disillusionment than actual events, and disillusionment only happens when one has unreasonable ideals.  This is a community, and people will disagree; if someone here can't handle that, that isn't a flaw in the community but in the expectations of the individual.

      "How do you ask someone to be the last man to die for a mistake?" -John Kerry

      by tryptamine on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 09:06:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My 10 cents. (4.00)
    Here are some principles I aspire to in my community norms.  (But there's a lot of great members I respect who don't follow them too strictly.)

    1. When I disagree with someone, especially if I'm getting steamed, attack their argument.  Not them.

    2. If I'm so riled and out-of-conrtol that I want to attack someone personally, and taking a few breaths doesn't work...  At attack with some panache, wry-humor, clever lampooning, artful English, or mangled Spanish.   Don't resort to mere name-calling or foul language, which seems facile and weak.  (Horridly, I'm more likely to be facile with sanctimony.)  At least try to realize when my venting is undermining my effectiveness.

    3. Use graphic language sparingly, and so that it lends power to a point instead of adding noise.

    4. Go out of my way to mention areas of agreement -- with both friends and debate opponents.  Try my best to see the value in an opponent's argrument.  Even if they are knocking me.  (Of course, sometimes such value just ain't there to be found.)  Find ways to reply based on shared values or opinions, if possible, while still illuminating key differences.

    5. Try to not get sucked in by trolls.  Try to egg the temporarily trollish into returning to their better natures.  Zero or One the committed trolls, without compunction.  Being raucous is healthy, but don't let trolls destroy community.

    6. Spend some time and energy to support new folks here, and to occasionally suggest how they'd earn greater respect here by following certain norms.  (Communities require ongoing maintenance, as well as "freshman orientation" to succeed.)

    7. Call friends, our luminaries, or even Kos on something if it seems like real crap or danger is involved.  Do this with the greatest of care and respect.  Fortunately this is very rarely called for.

    8. Show sincere appreciation pretty regularly.

    9. 90% of the time, be enjoyable, and enjoy my fellow Kossites.

    10. Figure that Pastor Dan is right about almost everything, and try not to get too infuriated about that.  Not that I'm so tempted, compadre!

    Immune system recovery! American body politic rallies to reject the NeoCon-tagion.

    by Civil Sibyl on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:52:10 PM PDT

    •  No no no no no no no.... (none)
      I'm not right about most things.  Have a memory like Swiss cheese...

      The hell you say?  dKos norms?!  Poppycock!!!

    •  Like (none)
      I like you a lot.

      Swing State Project - Analyzing the 2004 battleground states.

      by David Nir on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 07:53:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank You (none)
      As a country, I feel that we need to learn to debate with integrity once again so I especially appreciate a voice as clear as yours. thanks
    •  What recourse for an abuse of the ratings system? (none)
      In the thread "Without Arafat, Whither Palestine," a member called FullDisclosure wrote of another poster: You, sir, are a scumbag.  Regarding FullDisclosure's comment as offensive, adding nothing to the conversation, and devoid of content, I troll-rated it as a "1."

      In retaliation, FullDisclosure troll-rated three of my comments, giving the following rationale:In the true spirit of Israeli military "proportional response", I troll-rated 3 of your comments.

      What recourse, if any, is there against (what I take to be) this abuse of the ratings system?

      Here are the three comments that FullDisclosure troll-rated:

      Arafat's No Saint (none / 1)

      All sides bear a measure of responsibility for the present situation, most certainly including Arafat.

      More specifically, as part of the Oslo Accords, Arafat promised:

      The PLO commits itself to the Middle East peace process, and to a peaceful resolution of the conflict between the two sides and declares that all outstanding issues relating to permanent status will be resolved through negotiations.

      The PLO considers that the signing of the Declaration of Principles constitutes a historic event, inaugurating a new epoch of peaceful coexistence, free from violence and all other acts which endanger peace and stability. Accordingly, the PLO renounces the use of terrorism and other acts of violence and will assume responsibility over all PLO elements and personnel in order to assure their compliance, prevent violations and discipline violators.

      Both during and after Rabin's assassination, Arafat has failed to honor these undertakings.

      by one of the people on Thu Oct 28th, 2004 at 19:30:05 EDT

      Obviously, I should have written "before" rather than "during," but I doubt this mistake should affect a rating.

      The question is peace (none / 1)

      My comment pointing out Arafat's failure to honor his Oslo Accord undertakings to resolve all disputes through negotiation was not meant to be comprehensive.  Indeed, I expressly said that all sides bear a measure of blame.

      That said, one has a judgment to make.  Mine is that the Israeli public has responded positively when the Palestinians have appeared to them as a credible partner for peace; that the Clinton proposals -- which Prime Minister Barak accepted as a basis for negotiation -- embody a just and reasonable basis for a peace settlement; and that the Israeli public would have supported, and still would support, a peace agreement based thereon.

      This judgment puts the onus on the Palestinians and their leadership, i.e., Arafat, for rejecting the Clinton proposals and failing to put forward their own (plausible) alternative.

      by one of the people on Fri Oct 29th, 2004 at 06:31:32 EDT

      Extreme difficulty dealing with Arafat no pretence (2.50 / 2)

      One need only read President Clinton's and Ambassador Ross's accounts of their attempts to bring Arafat on board a reasonable peace agreement to learn that it's no pretence to say that it is extremely difficult, perhaps even impossible, to deal with Arafat.  Arafat refused either to accept President Clinton's proposals even as a basis for negotiation or to present his own counter-proposals. Arafat's legacy will be that he made the Palestinian  question a perennial international issue at the expense of actually achieving peace and a Palestinian state alongside israel.

      by one of the people on Thu Oct 28th, 2004 at 19:50:44 EDT

  •  One Solution (none)
    A good solution to ensuring seperation of debating and rating is to adopt the Slashdot approach.  That is, you cannot do both within the same thread.  (perhaps with the exception of trusted users)

    This approach makes perfect sense to me.

    -- Nacho Cheese and Anarchy - boy, that sure sounds good to me!

    by spin2cool on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 01:03:13 PM PDT

  •  You forgot more recent rules (3.50)
    Like "watch what you say" and "shut your fucking pie-hole" if you don't have glowing praise for Kerry and optimistic views of the race.  We are supposed to adhere to the accepted group norms here at Kos, basically toe the party line and conform to all others.

    During the primaries dKos was similar, in that anyone who didn't support Dean was hectored and denigrated and given troll ratings.

    dKos is a great exhibit of groupthink and would make for an excellent study.  

    This, of course, is coming from a "GOP-stooge", labeled thus because I have the audacity to point out flaws in our fearless candidate.

    "Revolutionary debris litters the floor of Wall Street." -Kurt Cobain, Diaries

    by Subterranean on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 01:40:49 PM PDT

    •  consider the difference (none)
      people have hectored you, perhaps even been rude.  However... you have not been banned, for that, have you?

      it is an example of group think, I agree, but groups should think.

    •  Wow Sub... (4.00)
      if you want a real example of "groupthink" check out some of the right-wing blogs. Here you will get lively disagreement, even a little abuse. Most of the RW sites, anything less than Bush uber alles and you will get banned. This is a free exchange of ideas here, but there is a theme, and if you post something controversial, you are gonna get beat up a little just like in real life.
      About a billion years ago, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. told me a story about his first venture into politics, and how someone who destroyed him the the subsequent debate was kind enough to explain to him that if you play in the public pool, you are gonna get wet. Even if the attacks take a personal form, it ain't really personal. It's just beanbag for grown-ups.
      There is a fair amount of "confirmation bias" here, just as there is in any themed media--- but there are also plenty of people here who appreciate a dissenting voice, if for no other reason than to provide a target for our snark :)

      We will win because our music is better...

      by IsraelHand on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 02:15:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  For the benefit of new readers: (none)
      During the primaries dKos was similar, in that anyone who didn't support Dean was hectored and denigrated and given troll ratings.

      That wasn't true pre-Scoop (the hectoring part).  Dean supporters were regularly pummeled here -- mostly by the Clarkistas (and I haven't lost my TU status once since Clark ended his campaign and could rarely hold on to it for more than a few days before then) but Petey (Edwards' guy) and others were also relentless in going after the Dean supporters.  Didn't hear much from the Kerry Kamp in those days -- we were always a bit to wild, energetic and boisterous for them.  Trapper John did all the heavy lifting for Gephardt here and was quite polite about it.

      (Also UID is not a perfect guide.  Been here since Aug/Sept 2002 but delayed registering when Scoop was installed.)

      •  Yah (none)
        Petey was a little...enthusiastic sometimes. UID is a tool, and only just one you can use to figure out the trollishness of variuos users. I am more likely to look at their last 30 comments, and check out their diary before calling someone a troll-- still not infallible, but thems the tools we got.

        We will win because our music is better...

        by IsraelHand on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 04:39:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  dkosopedia (none)
    this diary's text has been copied by myself to the dkosopedia as a starting point for a collaborative community standards statement... it's ugly right now, the formatting doesn't cut and paste well, it needs to be editted to not be diary language (first person singular) and needs update... i.e. the comments in this diary and future ideas.  There it is.
  •  WARNING!!! (none)
    I've been in a lot of political organizations and action groups. Most of them started with progressive ideas and nobody cared about rules as long as things got done. Many of them went down, when people started to define collective identity and rules.

    Seriously friends: This is an amazing place to debate freely and there is no need for change. I for myself never cared about being TU or not, I was interested on substance. So please, relax. Do not put too much energy into rules and procedures. Because regulation will lead to limitation which will lead to decline.

    Get out and campaign instead.

    •  I disagree (mildly) (none)
      One of the magic things about dailyKos is that the community is self-moderating for the most part - that took serious skill and it's worth discussing it a bit. There are lessons here for many other groups. I believe that this kind of forum is the new face of politics in this country so this activity we are engaged in right now: discussing how we meet and talk with each other is critical.

      That said, if we ever head off into Robert's Rules of Order then all is lost.

    •  don't worry too much (none)
      We're not setting down rules in this thread so much as discussing and debating the merits of the ways each of us act around here.

      I think it's a good thing hearing everyone's ideas and points of view.

      "You're born naked and the rest is drag." -Ru Paul

      by cshardie on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 08:37:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is a great diary... (none)
    I've been around dKos since late summer or early fall of 2002 (by way of MyDD, which I think I found via MWO discussion board.  Anybody remember that?)

    I'm a pretty unsophisticated when it comes to computers, so I hated the move to Scoop at first because I didn't understand it.  Now I love all the changes.

    Thanks for this diary.  I had no idea about some of this stuff!  

  •  Another use for 2 ratings (none)
    According to the user guidelines, Trusted Users are supposed to try to police the suppression function of troll ratings. Sometimes a low 2 rating can actually be a positive. For example, over the weekend I noticed one comment that had been hidden, which had received one 0 rating and one 1 rating. Those two things--two ratings, and average rating under 1--made it a hidden comment. I thought it was an obnoxious comment with which I strongly disagreed, but that's beside the point. I also thought it was a sincere attempt at reasoned thought, and not designed to disrupt or attack. So I gave it a 2, which very very very narrowly lifted it back into hidden comments. It may be another six months before I ever do that again, but I thought it was an interesting example of how this very sophisticated system works.
  •  Thanks Dan (none)
    I'm going to add a link to this thread in the FAQ.
  •  one more comment about ratings (none)
    How useful is it for people to rate an all out troll comment by someone who is liked here against someone who is unknown? To me, this just serves to encourage troll posts because people see they can get a 4 rating if they yell loud enough, use expletives to tell the person where to go followed by nothing but insults, berate another poster personally that they know nothing about, and still enjoy the popular crowd's applause. It's herd mentality, it's avoidable, and it encourages the originator of the troll post to just continue along with the same method of diagreement in response to other people.

    Just a parent's view, but that only rewards the negative behaviour we're trying to get rid of.

    •  See how it works at Slashdot (none)
      Where they actually understand how to manage large-scale community, and have a community-service orientation:

      http://slashdot.org/faq/com-mod.shtml#cm600

      Read down the list, there is more than one entry.

      "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

      by galiel on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 06:59:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Holy shit (4.00)
        Slashdot is your example of a harmonious large community?

        Um, you might want to hang out there before you hold it up as a gold standard.

        A great site? No doubt. A troll-free, flamer-free nirvana? No way. User friendly for a non-techie crowd? Not even close.

        But keep claiming that I have no idea how to manage a large-scale community site despite the fact that I've built the second-largest political community (behind the Free Republic), and the second largest blog (behind Slashdot). It didn't happen by accident, and it definitely didn't happen because of my stellar writing. I've made one conscious decision after another to build this community, so don't go around thinking this has all been a big cosmic accident.

        Can improvements be made? Always. But claiming that I have no understanding how to manage large communities -- when I'm managing a large community -- is not just asinine, but downright counterintuitive.

        That's probably why people, including me, aren't taking you seriously.

        •  Please stick to substance and specifics, kos (1.00)
          No, slashdot is not my example of a harmonious large community.

          I linked to the moderation FAQ. The way slashdot structures community moderation is worth discussing.

          For example, in a given thread, you can moderate, or you can post -- you can't do both. This tends to discourage people from rating responses to their comments based on personal emotional stake.

          Another feature to examine is meta-moderation - a means by where moderation abuses can be fixed.

          Another aspect worth examining is that slashdot ratings are not just numbers; there is a differentiation between comments rated highly because they are insightful, or funny, there is differentiation between comments rated poorly because they are trolls, or because they are flamebait.

          By including "Flamebait" as a detrimental rating, an inherent cultural message is sent, which is not sent when all you have is "troll" and "super-troll".

          As well, this helps differentiate between true trolls, who are a community problem, and flame-fests, which are a behavioral problem usually between committed members of the community.

          The design of slashdot is not intended to make it "troll-free". Instead, the designers found a way to make trolls irrelevant. A casual visit to slashdot by someone who doesn't understand the community tools would lead you to believe that it is nothing but a repository for "first post" comments. But members of the community do not browse slashdot with their filters set on the default 1, they browse the community with their filters usually set to 3. this makes trolls essentially invisible, disarms their ability to disrupt the community, and allows quite productive and constructive discussion to occur.

          Your comment about "user friendly for a non-techie crowd" is similarly misplaced. Slashdot is not intended for a non-techie crowd. It serves its audience quite well, is tremendously influential within its sphere, has high levels of regular participation, and has sustained community for a very long time.

          It is interested that, in this entire discussion, the only thing you can focus on is percieved criticism of you personally, kos, and that you have chosen to ignore the specific substance of my comments.

          There is a difference between being at the front of something by circumstance, and doing the best job one can, and between designing something deliberately. Community design and management is a full-time job. It is not something that has ever been done effectively by someone part-time whose main focus is on other things. In fact, at the large-scale, it is not something that can be effectively managed by an individual or group of individuals at all, without the proper technologies that enable most management to occur by the community itself at the grass-roots level.

          There is a lot to learn from slashdot, but it is not the lessons you assume. That is why I linked to a specific section in the FAQ rather than to the home page.

          Online community existed long before dailykos, and  every mistake you have ever made and will ever make has already been made countless times by many people. Some lessons have been learned. You can choose to plow ahead blindly and rely solely on your own intuition, or you can choose to learn from history and your peers.

          "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

          by galiel on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 05:16:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Further comments (none)
            None of my comments above should be contrued to suggest that you should just import slashdot's way of doing things to dailykos. Slashdot is designed to support the needs of its members and the goals of its community. To copy solutions to a different population with different goals is always a bad idea.

            However, one can learn from the thought process behind the development of solutions---particularly in the case of slashdot, where the founders have written extensively about the behind-the-scenes thinking and about the slow evolution, the correcting and improving and tweaking of the moderation system to bring it to the point it is today.

            I have been a member of slashdot for a very long time. Making prejudicial assumptions about the messenger can often cloud reception of the message. Let's focus on substance, not personalities.

            "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

            by galiel on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 05:40:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  from a long experience (none)
            I've taken part in on-line communities continually for twenty years, from BBSes through all the forms of newsgroups, etc, including developing online communities, virtual worlds, and games.  I still have only one person's opinion, but daily kos is one of the best managed communities ever.

            Indeed it's ability to have an ideological perspective, by design (as opposed to slashdot which attracts a kind of geek and gets the ideology that this interest group happens to have statistically), is somewhat unique.

            Dkos is in fact facing some very unique problems.  On-line community is something with very little history, and the tools we need for them are in their infancy... I agree "some things have been learned" but I see them in use here... that is, that some form of community moderation is required.  

            Would you mind creating a paper we could work on comparing various moderation methodologies and what their philosophic and culteral impact might be, in the dkosopedia?

            •  Response (none)
              Starting with the last one first:

              moderation methodologies and what their philosophic and culteral impact might be, in the dkosopedia?

              Yesterday, I put up a link to a paper by Lakaff that does exactly that. It is at the very top of the dkosopedia page you created. It has been there since--I just checked, and it is still there.

              I agree with the rest of your comment, with two significant exceptions.

              On-line community is something with very little history, and the tools we need for them are in their infancy

              I'm sorry, but this is simply not true. Not a matter of opinion, a matter of fact. On-line community has two decades of recorded history. The tools are now in their third generation and there is a significant body of evidence about their efficacy and application.

              I agree "some things have been learned" but I see them in use here...

              That is also untrue, but my assertion here can be dismissed as a matter of opinion. I can assert that I reach that conclusion based on a great deal of empirical evidence and by comparison to many other communities that I have studied and/or been involved in, but that can be dismissed as an argument from authority.

              It doesn't matter, because as long as kos takes the same attitude, that he knows how to do this better than anyone else---certainly better than the community as a whole--and that any support of a community discussion is somehow tantamount to an admission of personal failure or inadequacy--we will not get to a productive result.

              The advantage of an open, democratic forum is that noone, and everyone, is an expert. The wisdom comes from the collective input of a large number of sentient human beings.

              That should not be percieved as a threat to kos, as it is still up to him whether to implement any of the suggestions and how. The fact that the very idea of even supporting an open discussion is so threatening, and the fact that people like you feel the need to impose this myth that there is no history, that there are no examples of communities that we all and kos can learn from, and that kos is a wonderful community manager, is counterproductive.

              The first step is admitting the problem. Saying "some form of community moderation is required" assumes that you already know what the problem is.

              Without asking the community.

              Like the post about "norms", it is jumping to solutions without defining the need.

              Unlike you, I don't presume to know the answers. I have only advocated an open discussion about the issues. Invite the entire community to talk about what is broken, what doesn't work, what could be better, what they have experienced elsewhere, and a consensus will emerge. Discourage people who just want to say "everything is great, kos is god, anyone who critises anything should leave and create their own blog", because those comments are not constructive and will not lead to a productive result. If you think everything is fine, don't participate in the suggestion forum. But don't try to shout down those that want to help.

              So, if we can have a discussion about problems that doesn't presume that everything is already perfect, and that there is no history to learn from, and that we just have to trust that kos is doing the best he can all by himself and no assistance is welcome, if we can actually focus on identifying the needs the community has, we can get somewhere.

              Then we can talk about solutions.

              Otherwise, I agree with you.

              "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

              by galiel on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 02:59:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  scale (none)
                >>On-line community is something with very little history, and the tools we need for them are in their infancy

                >I'm sorry, but this is simply not true. Not a matter of opinion, a matter of fact. On-line community has two decades of recorded history. The tools are now in their third generation and there is a significant body of evidence about their efficacy and application.

                I've been there just about every step of the way, developing solutions, in fact, and not just textual but other sorts of rendition (on line games with tens of thousands of users).  This is not an argument, but I claim this to assure you that at least my ideas are mature (even if they are in error).  I say two decades is "infancy", that's the opinion here.  Third generation... that can be debated, software revisions are hardly CULTURAL generations or completely new approaches... what you call generations I call development within a single generation.  Infancy.  In fact, software in general, a good 50 years old, is still in it's infancy.  It's life span is going to be measured in centuries... millinia maybe, three STEPS maybe, not generations in a communal sense of generation.  We have the first solution still place, with moderation and threading added.  Game makers are working on a second generation, but it's not even actually BORN yet, using a time scale I prefer.  It's still in the womb.

                ----

                now I miss a lot of kos' posts and comments, but I have seen him ask... and even more importantly, I've seen him refuse to answer and say the community itself should come up with the answer.  His diary posting rules are minimalist and hardly cover the spectrum of ideas that have come from the community.  

                The "norms" post is to let off steam for people that want newcomers to understand the agreements of the oldcomers... to understand even if they subsequently change those norms.  I don't have a strong urge to do that myself, but I like when the norms are expressed, and I like the study of culture and community which is a part of that.  It is better to state the norms that have grown, sometimes because of a need, sometimes because of a historical accident, than to "find a problem" and propose a solution.  Why?  Because the latter is restrictive, you attempt to force a solution which may be the wrong solution, may just suit the creator.  By expressing the norms which have grown naturally (not that such norms are not suspect, they are) you have at least caught that statement of the community.

                The only thing I detect in your comments with which I disagree is your idea that kos doesn't care what the community thinks, that he hasn't left it to the community or gone to the community, or that he has done poorly in the autocratic portions of his responsibility regarding this community/site.

                And at any rate, thank you for the conversation on this, which is interesting although I can see niether of us will  end it saying, "you're absolutely right!"

                •  YMMV (none)
                  now I miss a lot of kos' posts and comments, but I have seen him ask... and even more importantly, I've seen him refuse to answer and say the community itself should come up with the answer.

                  I would like to see your evidence. I have not seen this at all. On the contrary, I have seen him a) deny there is a problem b) shrug it off as "natural" and "inevitable", c) say "I can manage the trolls myself, why would you complain about that?" and d) insist that, because dailykos is this giant "community", then of course he knows all about community and any suggestion that everything that has occured here has not been the result of his informed and deliberate design is tantamount to a personal betrayal.

                  I would love to hear kos, just once, say, "I don't  really know much about community design, it's not my field, I'm sure I am making my share of mistakes, but I think that if we all work together as a community, all of you can help me come up with better solutions to manage this" and "I really have no intention of being a full-time community manager when I have so many other things that are important to me. But obviously this community deserved better. Would the community as a whole like to help me?"

                  Or even, "thank all of you who have spoken out and drawn my attention to unmet needs of the community. What do you all think we should do about it?"

                  Incidentally, if you are sincere when you say this,

                  "The only thing I detect in your comments with which I disagree is your idea that kos doesn't care what the community thinks, that he hasn't left it to the community or gone to the community, or that he has done poorly in the autocratic portions of his responsibility regarding this community/site,"

                  then why haven't you supported the proposal of having a permanent suggestion forum linked on the home page, open to all community members, where we can have productive discussions about community design? Because that is 90% of what I have talked about, and you say the only thing you disagree with is my critique of kos.

                  "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

                  by galiel on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 05:16:53 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  two things (none)
                    maybe I don't agree with every detail, first, but moreover I don't disagree with that idea, but I don't see the need either.  I think a repository to store the results of these discussions (the wiki) plus diaries bringing up issues point by point are sufficient.

                    But I'm not against your idea of a side link.

                     

                    •  Fair enough (none)
                      All I am asking is, if the wiki plus diares prove not to be sufficient, are you then willing to join the call for a permanent suggestion forum instead?
                      If not, why not?

                      "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

                      by galiel on Wed Oct 06, 2004 at 05:16:34 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I think diaries ARE that (none)
                        Diaries work as a permanent suggestion forum, don't they?
                        •  Not at all (none)
                          A diary is not a discussion forum. Diaries are just mini-blogs, with extra limitations--you can only create two topics a day. A diary owner can delete an entry and make an entire discussion vanish. There is no continuity between comments on one diary and the next, which is why there is so much repetition of the same arguments over and over. Diaries get lost in the multitude, and aren't visible on the home page for more than a few hours. Diaries are inherently one person's thing, not a community thing. Community members can't create their own topics in a diary. Nor can the diary be organized by topic--there is not more than a few entries "above the fold" at any one time.

                          You might as well say that Open Threads are a suggestion forum.

                          A discussion forum is a completely different environment, like a bulletin board. Blogs are designed primarily as a broadcast medium, with the ability to comment on the broadcast stuck on as an afterthought. Discussion boards are designed primarily to support non-hierarchical open community discussions. Discussion boards also have, built-in off the shelf, many more community management features (you can have them in Scoop as well, but they require programming and design work).

                          The whole thing would take up virtually no time for him or his programmer, and, presto--he'd have the kind of customer support and feedback tool that all the serious community service sites have.

                          Of course, you can build in all sorts of community-management tools, plug ins, reputation systems, ranking systems, etc., but what for? We don't have much going here, and the only purpose of the board will be to move these discussions to one place where everyon can participate while keeping the blog--and the diaries--clear for political discussion.

                          I'm just about done, anyway. There is such institutional resistance here to any attempt to freely offer help that the end result is people like me who have the inclination to pitch in and make a difference for the benefit of all rather than their own personal agenda will simply go elsewhere and there will be less creative resources available to help share the administrative and management burdens. It is short-sighted and counter-productive to react as kos has to all the suggestions (those that are actually designed to accomplish something, as opposed to those that are just designed to shut up dissent), but it's not the first time someone's ego has gotten in the way of their own interest. The sad thing is that the real losers out of all this are the thousands of people who invest their time and energy to hang out here.

                          "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

                          by galiel on Wed Oct 06, 2004 at 02:00:44 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  sorry if you find this tedious (none)
                            I don't.

                            (1) I'm not getting what you think is missing.

                            (2) "Community members can't create their own topics in a diary."

                            huh?  whahuh?  what?!?

                            (3) "[Diaries] aren't visible on the home page for more than a few hours."

                            pastor dan's was... and so have other community oriented discussions been.

                            (4) "There is no continuity between comments on one diary and the next, which is why there is so much repetition of the same arguments over and over."

                            Not true imo.  And the continutity is generally offered by those most involved in the community, or at least, those that read the bulk of it.  Please note: I understand why you say there is a discontinuity.  This is where I believe we may differ.  Since I think understanding of online community is so young, I like to see things reworked from scratch.  I don't think the solution is a long discussion forever aggregated to.  I think when a discussion gets a lot of backage and a lot of twising passages (sub threads) it's good to rip off a new piece of paper and try again.  Some arguments are repeated (the origin of the FAQ) and some are not.  Some are repeated but in more refined forms.  And the repetition itself, anew, is informative as to what the recurring concerns are.

                            I also disagree, however, that diaries are not discussion form.  As a tool they CAN and DO work as that.  As to the idea that forums in general are not really communities... right, but the largest online communities are around forums.  This is part of why I see the current generation of online forum as more or less part of the first generation, with the second generation "still in the womb".

                            NOTE: I'm not resisting your ideas, I'm trying to understand them, and present my own.  None of my questions is meant to stop you from answering!

                            PS: I'm reading the lakoff thing (printed it out) and it's quite interesting.  Thanks.

                          •  Not tedious at all, substantial (none)
                            Have you ever participated in a bulletin board or discussion board? That is a medium designed to facilitate and support symmetrical, many-to-many discussions. Blogs are created primarily as affordable broadcast media, with comments for feedback tacked on as an afterthought. That is one of the reasons they are so awkward for productive community interactions, particularly ones that, rather than being open ended philosophical discussions, are geared toward producing tangible results within a given time period.

                            Blogs are productivity tools for publishing. A design discussion requires a different, appropriate tool)

                            (Incidentally, Community Management Systems like Scoop have the ability to incorporate features of many different communications media, including blogs and discussion boards and other forms. They they are more like an operating system for community than a specific program like a word processor or spreadsheet, to use an analogy.)

                            On a diary, the diary owner is the only one who can create a new discussion, they can create only two a day, and the diary owner can delete an entire discussion by deleting their entry. Blogs are an inherently assymetric architecture, not the best thing to use for an open community discussion.

                            If a diary post is about top-down moderation vs. distributed moderation, and an interesting side-discussion gets going about comment ratings, there is no way to move that discussion to its own "topic". And there is no way to have more than one top-level topic going at the same time, because diary entries are consequetive, not parallel.

                            It's like using an empty swimming pool for a company barbeque. Sure, you can make it work, but it works a lot more smoothly in a nice open park.

                            "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

                            by galiel on Wed Oct 06, 2004 at 06:04:43 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  ok (none)
                            As for the side topic that sprouts off... the way you make that it's own discussion is by making a diary on that subject.

                            Yes, it is a little like the swimming pool analogy.  What tool did you want Kos to link to?

                            PS: I've been using BBSs since about 1982 or so, and spent many years programming virtual worlds, network games, and associated community tools.

                          •  Tools, and narrowing columns (none)
                            I don't care what tool, whatever is easiest. Most webhosts already have phpBB or another discussion forum application already installed, perhaps kos's does as well. If not, it is trivial to set one up. We don't need anything fancy, as it is not the focus of dailykos, the blog is. This is just a suggestion forum.

                            Incidentally, this thread points out another reason diaries are a poor choice: if you browse with threading, which is essential to follow multiple conversations, the comments get squeezed into narrower and narrower columns until it is impossible to read.

                            It is just silly to try to force the wrong tool when there are so many freely available right tools for the job.

                            "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

                            by galiel on Wed Oct 06, 2004 at 06:20:18 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Terminology clarification (none)
                            1) By "Discussion forum" I am referring to what used to be called "bulletin boards". An example is here:

                            http://www.phpbb.com/phpBB/

                            1. We may think we all know what a blog is, but I just want to emphasize that Scoop is not a blog. It is being used here to support a blog, but it can be used to support different kinds of online activity.

                            2. Finally, there is the next generation of software, Community Management Systems, which are what I talked about as being more like operating systems for online community rather than specific applications.

                            An example is Drupal. Drupal runs some of the most well-known blogs, but also manages content for large commercial sites, and has been extended and modified to support community in completely different ways, such as CivicSpace, which is a tool specifically designed to support grass-roots political activism (it is the next-generation of DeanSpace, generalized and elevated to a professional platform. You can check it out at http://www.civicspacelabs.org/, if you are interested.).

                            Each specialized communication tool features different affordances for users. Discussion forums, blogs, chat, mailing lists, wikis, MOOs, virtual environments, each has evolved to support a particular kind of interaction. Community management systems incorporate the ability to support many or all of them.

                            Regardless, the critical point is to use the right tool for the right purpose to optimize the chance for success.

                            "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

                            by galiel on Wed Oct 06, 2004 at 06:15:53 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

        •  Introductory reference (none)
          Folks might want to check out Derek Lackaff's article, "Norm Maintenance in Online Communities: A Review of Moderation Regimes", at http://lackaff.net/research/moderation.html

          It is an accessible overview to community management.

          "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

          by galiel on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 05:50:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  oops (none)
            I recommended you write this sort of think in the dkosopedia, I don't withdraw that request, but I hadn't read this link which I now will.

            online community is a serious interest of mine in it's own right.

            •  Community design links for pyrrho (none)
              Since you indicated an interest in the subject, here are a few interesting links, in addition to the article I linked above:

              Christopher Allen, in his blog Life with Alacrity, had a great post early this year about the Dunbar number, it's importance in community design, and the way it has been misinterpreted and misused.

              "The Dunbar Number as a Limit to Group Sizes"
              http://www.lifewithalacrity.com/2004/03/the_dunbar_numb.html
              ---

              Ross Mayfield has a comment about a research paper on "Phantom Authority" in Wikipedia. His comment is well worth reading, and then so is the paper by Andrea Cifftolilli that he links to there.

              "Phantom Authority Network"
              http://ross.typepad.com/blog/2004/01/phantom_authori.html
              ---

              Joel Spolsky ("Joel on Software") has a great recent post about social interface design. Not sure I agree with his conclusions, but great post.

              "It's Not Just Usability"
              http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/NotJustUsability.html
              ---

              Here is an example of an interesting, productive discussion about comment ranking and "mojo systems" on kuro5hin. Interestingly, it focuses on a critique of slashdot's moderation system. However, unlike kos's comment when I linked to the /. moderation FAQ, this critique is informed. While I personally disagree with its some of the analysis, it is a good example of the kind of constructive, productive discussion that can happen in a Scoop-based community, when the community is properly and deliberately designed.

              "Notes Toward a Moderation Economy"
              http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2003/10/28/152730/78
              ---

              I also recommend reading Clay Shirky. I happen to disagree with his conclusions on a lot of things, but I learn more from people I think are wrong than from people I think are right. Too often, online, it is easy to fall into the lazy pattern of only frequenting websites that reinforce our existing beliefs, rather than challenging them. Clay Shirky is essential reading--and he's not wrong about *everything ;-)

              Acually, this article, "A group is its own worst enemy", is excellent.
              http://shirky.com/writings/group_enemy.html
              ---

              Finally, some social network research from Ronald S. Burt, Professor of Strategy and Sociology at the University of Chicago School of Business:

              "Bandwidth and Echo: Trust, Information and Gossip in Social Networks"

              About the relative advantages/disavantages of closed and open networks, based on empirical data
               (warning, this links directly to a PDF file!):
              http://gsbwww.uchicago.edu/fac/ronald.burt/research/B&E.pdf (PDF alert!)
              --

              And finally-finally, Valdis Krebs, who developed the InFlow network software and has great insight into network dynamics, has a good article about the basic principles and common features of healthy community networks:

              "Building Sustainable Communities through Network Building", by Valdis Krebs and June Holley
              (warning, this too links directly to a PDF file!):
              http://www.orgnet.com/BuildingNetworks.pdf [PDF alert!]

              That is all I can think of at the moment. My bookmarks are broken so I had to draw these from memory and do a search online to find the links.

              There are, of course, many communities dedicated to discussions about community design and social network analysis, but that will have to be the subject of another post when I have the time.

              Hope that is useful to you, pyrrho. I wouldn't put these on the dkosopedia, because many of them are not necessarily relevant to this discussion, they are more something who has a general interest in the topic might be interested in.

              (The Dunbar number discussion is very relevant if we ever get to a discussion about community design as opposed to voluntary norms, but at the moment it doesn't matter)

              "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

              by galiel on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 04:59:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  One thing about old timers... (none)
    I'm more likely to read their diaries when things are moving fast.  
  •  And but so... (none)
    ...are my cartoons OK to post as diary entries...?

    Yo, Slappy: http://www.batemania.com

    by scottbateman on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 03:38:03 PM PDT

  •  I think.... (none)
    men should be referred to as "good and gentle sir" and women should be referred to as "dear m'lady".

    That would increase overall kindness in the diaries ten fold.

    Caution! These are shark-infested waters! http://jayshark.blogspot.com

    by Jonathan4Dean on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 04:32:32 PM PDT

  •  Shit, Bullshit and fuck (3.66)
    I use shit, bullshit and fuck as punctuation.

    So I think it is worth clarifying that swearing in an exchange, is not synonymous with swearing AT the person your replaying to, per se.

    Calling bullshit on a point, argument, factoid, etc. is not always (or by me usually) a vulgarity directed at the person, but at the argument or point, etc.

    Worth noting.

    cheers,

    Mitch Gore

    No one will change America for you. You must work to make it happen.

    by Lestatdelc on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 05:11:18 PM PDT

  •  One observation (3.00)
    Online communities, particularly large, public online communities, are subject to different dynamics than offline, physical communities.

    Yes, people are people, but studies show that groups behave differently online than offline.

    A discussion of all the differences would both be lengthy and besides the point of your post, which is itself a great contribution to the community.

    Most relevantly:

    a) Online communities are potentially much more vulnerable to disruption by destructive individuals. A determined, hostile individual can perform much greater harm to an online community than an offline community.

    b) The barriers to destructive behavior are lowered in online communities. Behind masks of anonymity, people feel less restrained, and faced with other anonymous masks, people feel less empathy and tend to be less sensitive to the consequences of their communications. There are far fewer of the cues (visible, auditory, and other sensory) that humans have evolved to rely on beyond pure content to enhance and evaluate communication.

    c) Online communities, because they are not limited by physical geography, and because of the nature of their many-to-many discussions architecture, end up involving much larger numbers of people in continuous conversation than is feasibly sustainable offline.

    All of the above, plus many more that I don't want to get into here, mean that offline conventions are not necessarily useful or practical online.

    What is more, as online community scales, the dynamics change. Humans sense of relationships tend to max out at about 150; more than that, and we tend to divide our community relationships into multiple groups. But that only carries so far. When you start to get into the thousands, tens of thousands and beyond, an online community that doesn't have the proper architecture begins to deteriorate.

    Community norms, such as the ones you enumerate here, cease to hold; interactions tend to be more discontinuous and aggressive; people's sense of being a "stakeholder", having an emotional investment in the community, and thus a willingness to invest effort in maintaining civil society, diminishes.

    A whole slew of other dynamics come into play; the above is a very simplistic and partial description of these issues, there have been entire books written about this that barely scratch the surface.

    The relevance to your post?

    All of this is nice, and correct, and I support it wholeheartedly.

    It is also futile in a community of this scale, with no tools and architecture to suppport it.

    Only a handful of dailykos visitors will even read it, much less abide by it.

    As I am sure you know from your experience leading offline communities, people behave responsibly when they have a sense of belonging, a stake, a connection. People tend to behave worst when they feel that they are up against the world, when they see things in terms of a narrow "Us" against a great amorphous "Them" "out there", and when they find that they have the power to be noticed and affect the world destructively disproportionately to the effect and effort required to affect the world constructively.

    So, well-intentioned and all, but saying "please behave" simply doesn't work with an online community of this size.

    There are things that work, but no one wants to even have a discussion about them.

    "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

    by galiel on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 06:14:32 PM PDT

  •  User IDs... (none)
    Kos is "3", who the hell are "1" & "2"?

    This has been bugging me since I first found out about user IDs (I really need a life)...

    "Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not some farcical aquatic (judicial) ceremony"

    by bakin4mymomma on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 06:24:23 PM PDT

  •  asdf (4.00)
    I have never posted a diary and doubt I ever will. Mostly because of the complaint that there are too many diaries and I figure there is nothing I will say that someone else won't say first. And If I will compelled to write down my thoughts I can use an open thread. I am not a trusted member here, so I can not give out zeros. I have given out a few ones mostly to people who slur autistics and people with similar disabilities when basing Bush. I resist the temptation to one rate Nader haters. (Who cares? Kerry is probably going to pouch more Republican votes than Nader can tempt Democrats.) I mostly give out fours and don't bother with 2 and 3 at all.  Mostly, I lurk around reading and keep my opinions to myself. I don't know if I should have even posted this.
  •  I wonder (4.00)
    If I will gain trusted user status in my lifetime.

    They (the Republicans) remind me of teenagers who got their inheritance too soon and couldn't wait to blow it. -- Bill Clinton Democratic Unity Dinner 3/25/04

    by brooklyndem on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 09:35:47 PM PDT

  •  question what does (none/1) mean? (none)
    I see this next to my comment header often. Just wondering what does this mean.

    "Strength and Wisdom are not mutually exclusive"

    by mihirbhatia on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 10:26:16 PM PDT

    •  need 2 to tango (none)
      or rather, 2 to tally.

      none / 0 = no ratings.
      none / 1 = 1 rating but it isn't gonna display it yet.
      X.X / X = more than 1 rating and the average.

      you can still click the none/1 to see the individual rate.

    •  means someone has rated your post (none)
      but the rating hasn't been applied to your "mojo" yet because it takes at least two ratings on a post for the numbers to be applied to your overall "mojo".

      cheers,

      Mitch Gore

      No one will change America for you. You must work to make it happen.

      by Lestatdelc on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:39:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for this, pastordan, (none)
    and I'm glad to read that it will become part of the site's reference materials.  I looked for something similar when I arrived here.

    Would you please explain the "Subscribe" key?  I assume it's how one denotes a "favorite" diarist; if so, how/where am I notified of new writings by my subscribed diarists?

    Thanks again for putting this together and instigating the insightful comments.

  •  I agree with pastordan (none)
    there are way too many people posting wasteful diaries.

    Which is why I demand that Kos BAN FOREVER the cretin who keeps posting diaries like "Favorite Patti Smith Cover By an Anglo Post-Punk Band from February 1981 - June 1983"

    This is a serious political board, and we cannot be expected to wade through such gibberish!  Damn it, let's police this community!

  •  On the rating system (4.00)
    I radically disagree with your suggestion for ratings. Radically. Your post seems to indicate that ratings should be used to indicate how "worthwhile" or "worthless" a post is. IE a comment that adds facts, useful analysis, and is politically correct (sorry cant think of another term for it) recieves a three or four. Anything else is an "evil comment".

    I'd suggest the rating system should be exactly as most people use it.

    1. Excellent post all around.

    2. Good post overall. Rater agrees to some extent      or post has very good analysis but wouldnt truely qualify for excellence.

    3. Rater strongly disagrees with the posting however the post is not a Troll. The rater simply strongly disagrees with the statement post.

    4. Post is a Troll and should be withdrawn by the poster. It should not have been said. But the poster is not necessarily an intentional troll and should just be chastised.

    5. The post is a troll. Repulsive. Extremely offensive on multiple fronts and should be removed from the site. Good example are Freeper posts, offensive and unwaranted personal attacks, vile racist, sexist or homophobic remarks etc.

    I post this because i believe this thread first of all promotes censorship, intentionally or not. Second attempts to set up a false heirarchy via ratings when the real heirarchy here is and should be based on the value of a community members postings (an example: MB upsets the delicate sensibilities of some and would do much less well ratings wise id think than someone like DemFromCt who is more of a uniter than a warrior).

     The value of KOS is the ability to see diverse democratic opinion and thought. To argue the future of the party. To unite to forward our shared ideals in the present. To learn together from the past. We shouldnt damage that with artificial power constructs.

    "I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn't do my job." - pRresident Bush | My other Drunken ravings

    by cdreid on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 04:52:50 AM PDT

    •  This seems (none)
      a lot closer to censorship than what pastordan suggested: Rater strongly disagrees with the posting however the post is not a Troll. The rater simply strongly disagrees with the statement post.  Isn't trying to silence someone because you don't agree with them censorship?  (And I'm not saying you're trying to silence them, because a 2 obviously won't do it, but it comes close.)

      I think it is perfectly valid to rate according to what is good for the community.  Otherwise, we'd have chaos.  I've been on plenty of message boards like that and abandoned all of them because people felt free to be complete assholes. They didn't feel any sort of obligation to actually contribute something meaningful or useful.

      "How do you ask someone to be the last man to die for a mistake?" -John Kerry

      by tryptamine on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 05:59:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I understand your point (none)
        But a 2 is a "middle" rating literally. It isnt rating them a troll. It isnt approving of their post. It gives the poster an indication you strongly disagree with them but far from think them a troll.

        "I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn't do my job." - pRresident Bush | My other Drunken ravings

        by cdreid on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 02:43:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This community never lacks for an opinion (none)
    413 comments at 9:38 AM (EDT).  Quite a congregation you've got in church this morning, Pastor Dan.

    The First Primate: Wrong on Security. Wrong on defense. Wrong for America.

    by DCDemocrat on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 06:39:17 AM PDT

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