When is a Rec - or a collection of Rec's - a hot mess, or truly Wrecked?
It's when people start assigning meaning beyond the basic definitions, sometimes to an extreme, or when they narrowly focus on one - and only one - aspect of the actual definition (as defined in the official FAQ or by predominant usage).
We have this thing called a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) for that. As is almost any set of rules and guidelines, a FAQ is a starting point. It's used as a foundational basis to set & establish ground rules recognizable and employable by all, so that in the event of a disagreement, challenge or issue, it can be referred to as the official rulebook. If an argument or issue requires a bit more finesse or nuance, then the standards of community practice may be referenced - or, if the issue is particularly divisive, explosive or otherwise potentially highly disruptive, Kos might step in and make a summary judgement.
That's pretty much my understanding of how things work. YMMV.1
And that's where I'll start, with a mild digression or two, in support of my opening response to my initial question.
Make the jump, if you dare.
1 YMMV = "Your mileage may vary."
Inclusion of a Rec on a comment may indicate acknowledgement of, or support of, a comment - it may also mean (but may not indicate) a desire for others to read it. Yes, by rec'ing a comment I put my name on it as not HR'ing it - maybe that means support, maybe that's just an acknowledgement, maybe that means I want to call attention to it, or maybe it's all of the above or some insidious combination of the above.
Meteor Blades has a disclaimer in the opening of Green Diary Rescue posts that illustrates a similar thought process, so I'm including it here - the logic can be applied to how I choose to rec comments, or even diaries for that matter:
[Disclaimer: Inclusion of a diary in the rescue does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it.]Failure to Rec a comment a does not indicate an intentional disagreement, or that I haven't read it, or that don't support or acknowledge it.
HR'ing a comment means that I think it's inappropriate.
For the most part, my philosophy somewhat follows the DailyKos FAQ:
Any registered user can rate comments in a diary. Buttons to give these ratings are at the bottom of each comment. For regular users, comments can be recommended; trusted users can recommend or hide comments. The number of ratings that your comments gather, and their average value, determines your comment mojo. Mojo is used primarily for determining whether a user has trusted user status. So, when is each rating appropriate? Much virtual ink has been wasted in arguments, but the following is generally accepted:
Hide rating: Comments whose only purpose is to disrupt the discussion. Do not hide posts simply because you disagree with what the commenter is saying. Any given user can give out a maximum of five hide-ratings per day.
Recommend: Good comment. Also usually a shorthand for 'I agree', or also 'good job'. Most ratings given out tend to be recommends.
Want to know how to tell, or how to at least gauge my purpose for rec'ing, HR'ing, or not marking a comment in any way? See if I reply to it - read the reply. Easy-peasy!
This pretty much says it all re: how I approach rec'ing diaries:
When should you recommend a diary? Very simply, recommend a diary if you think other dkos users should read it. That may mean that the diary is covering a breaking news story, or it has an insightful bit of analysis, or even is an extremely funny bit of humor. Note that diaries can have much more content in the comments than in the main text; it is perfectly legitimate to recommend a diary because of an interesting discussion in the comments. Don't recommend a diary simply because of who the author is.For the most part, I don't care who an author is - but that's not an absolute. I won't rec something just because someone I know wrote it - and I don't often get to catch the time to read pieces by folks who I like to read, so there's a pretty long list of folks who write things I'd probably rec but haven't seen. That doesn't mean I don't support them, or their writing, or particular pieces I might've missed.
There's a lot of diaries being posted here; there are a ton of contributors, many of whom I'd like to read far more often, and quite a few of whom I'm certain I have yet to encounter.
My Rec history, on both comments and diaries, is only one slice of "who" and "what" I am.
My diaries are another slice. And my comments are a third - and, probably, the best way to get a clearer view of the larger picture of "who" and "what" I am, albeit spread over a much larger area in smaller bits & pieces.
Knowing that, I try to keep it all in mind when I'm reading other people's words & thoughts. I won't shy away from a robust discussion unless I'm time-constricted: a few folks have seen some of my more pointed comments, some elaborate (with footnotes, links, lists, etc.) and some short.
That doesn't mean I'm always going to "get" what someone says, or know when or whether to cut someone slack. It doesn't mean I'll realize something is snark or that I'll always properly recognize where a line should (or should have been) drawn.
I try to remain aware of the fact that everyone here has a different perspective and set of experiences from which to draw upon, and which shapes not only how they see & interact with people here, but also how they'll read & interpret what is said, how, when and by whom.
The same set of wildly differing experiences and perceptions go into determining how and why people will (w)Rec, HR, or withhold making any mark on a given comment or diary.
That's one other thing that the FAQ helps with - it provides a common starting point for folks to refer back to, when they may not understand why someone did or did not rec a diary or comment.
...but, perceptions and background can matter in how we choose to see things.
A "Front Pager" is someone who is able to post to the Front Page. That means the person has established certain "chops" - s/he's got some "street cred" in topic(s) and a capacity for communicating that earned the recognition needed to be asked to contribute to the front-facing portion of this community.
But, regardless, a "Front Pager" is still also a community member. Not everything s/he writes is destined for the front page. There's a certain level of respect and recognition that goes with FP status, so - regardless of the fact that the person is still a community member as well as a leader with respect to his or her FP status - the FPers have an additional responsibility (burden): whether they intend to or not, their actions may have more notable impact or consequence while they're a FP'er than they otherwise would.
With "great power" (real or perceived or conflated) comes "great responsibility" - and a tendency for folks to sometimes interpret actions as something over and above what a particular post, comment or rec might have intended.
I think it's important to remember that what makes this community stronger is when we, the individuals who are not Front Pagers, recognize that we are all, allegedly, mature individuals of at least average intelligence - that our individual opinions & perceptions matter (whether we think they do or not), and that we need to respect each other in our exchanges insofar as we are able.
That also includes understanding that FPers are community members, too, in addition to their elevated status & responsibility. Their stints as FPers vary in duration; they don't give up their membership in the community. Yes, their actions can reflect, good or bad, on the community - but they, like everyone else, have the right to be frustrated and to rant, rave or snark wildly.
The one person who has, perhaps, the greatest power to negatively impact the community is also the one person who has the capacity to set policy - that's Kos. You'll see him rant on occasion - and it doesn't always precede an angry purge of users, or the rise of rebellious marmots, or the sinking of small island nations.
I'm sure - speculatively speaking - that kos keeps in mind that his actions can be taken out of context or have more context than intended applied nearly any time he recs a diary or comment, or whenever he adds a comment. That doesn't stop him from participating: hell, it's HIS community. But it does have, I'm presuming, a mildly mitigating effect on him.
FPers have more leeway. Yes, they also have to set an example: no, I don't think we, individually, get to define what that entails.
That's partly what we get to do as a community. And the rest is on them - rightfully so. If we expect our FPers to change who they are, however, or how they write, or expect them to avoid posting anything else but FP material, we may be over-extending and projecting a too-stringent set of expectations & constraints upon them.
In summary, regardless of whether you're reading or writing a diary or comment, or observing who has rec'd either of the same, everyone here has a right to an opinion. Ideally, we're also all working how to share those opinions in the interactions we have, and we learn to mitigate our own tendencies to assign meaning to actions - particularly whether we're interpreting intentions as explicit, implicit or out of context.
Anywho - just my meta-blathering for a morning. I'll be in & out - can't babysit, but can check in from time to time.