As I'm sure 99.9% of you know, there was a rousing discussion in kos's diary yesterday on the question of replying to tip jars. It seems some people don't like it. It seems some other people disagree with them. Full disclosure: I am in the latter camp.
With that said, after watching the conversation occupy roughly one-third of the diary's comment section, I decided why not write a diary about it. Everyone can speak their mind on the issue and it will live in perpetuity as a compendium of opinion, should management desire to change the rules from what they are currently.
Currently, site policy is that it's absolutely acceptable to reply to tip jars. There is no rule, or even established custom, against it. It's just something a handful of users decided should be.
There is not, and never has been, any kind of rule about where or to which comments people may or may not reply. Neither the rules nor the FAQ say anything about replying to tip jars. Meteor Blades himself has even said that replying to the tip jars is a violation of precisely nothing:
Despite popular lore, replying to the tip jar is not a crime.
It's been said that replying to the tip jar is rude. But since site management seems to disagree: unless we get some kind of ruling from on high, telling people they can't reply to tip jars is every bit as gauche as replying to the tip jar is alleged to be, especially since the net result is usually a massive thread hijack. And especially especially since the to-reply-or-not-reply debate has been waged, like most other dkos pie fights, over and over.
Hence this diary. Let's just put all the pro and cons out there right now, have the debate to end debate on the topic and see what happens. So, without further ado, I present various comments culled from previous arguments on this as to why I think the whole kerfuffle is, imHo, ridiculous.
English speakers read from top to bottom. Therefore, they tend to read the earlier comments most, and the later comments well... last. Thus the folks who read a diary first and make a comment, are more likely to have their thoughts read. People like to have their shit read.
UNLESS, someone comes along and posts to the tip jar. They're basically just making sure that their comment is seen by more people. It's kind of an attention-whorish thing to do.and every single one of those concerns just gets transferred to the second comment posted. no conversation on dkos has ever flowed linearly in time. stuff gets interjected all over the place and conversations go everywhere.
there is absolutely no way to really prevent the things of which you speak. so people should reply to tip jars all they freakin' want. and especially if you are arguing in support of one wanting his/her comment widely read, why wouldn't you encourage the exposure of replying to the tip jar?
ultimately, though, the longer you avoid replying to a tip jar because of whatever, the sooner someone else just swoops in and does it anyway.
Put another way by someone else:
The same thing could happen if someone replied to the first comment after the tip jar, or the second, or any of them, really. "Fix" the tip jar, and your pearls of wisdom will be pushed down the stack by people "jumping" the first comment. Fix that, and people will "jump" the next comment. And so ad infinitum.
This one was especially fun:
And this is different from you having the sixth comment and all of a sudden there's a huge amount of activity on the third comment - how?
That's my kind of Kossack!
how so? how does it take attention away?
more to the point, how do comments flowing from the first non-tip jar comment avoid causing the same problems? do they not "take attention away" from the comments below them? only comments appended to the tip jar result in back and forths based on the first or first few comments? that never happens elsewhere in the comments section, only off of the tip jar?
maybe the comments section should scroll left to right, like a book. that way, everybody's comment could be on top!
Another opinion against:
I don't really care what other people do, but to me, it reads like the textual equivalent of shouting over people, shoving people out of the way, or simply farting really loudly. It feels boorish, and the tip jar looks like a fucking mess after a while. There's no discernible topic or points being debated, or at least not one that can be identified on a casual scan.but that can only be true if the person commenting off the TJ comes late, no? how is it a cry for attention or shouting over others if it is among the first comments in a diary? because you said you are all for people getting attention for their comments...why not off the tip jar?
why not remove the possibility of the tip jar being "abused" later by posting to it right out of the gate?
That is to say, the complaints about replying to the tip jar only hold true in certain circumstances. Yet the stated desire is to eliminate all replies to all tip jars. Basically, every single rationale for the "don't reply to tip jars" nonsense would, if taken to its logical extension, preclude most of the conversation here.
But that is just my opinion. What's yours?