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Jim's Lab Notes
— Site News, Baseball Talk, and a Bunch of Other Stuff

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Call for Help

My father always told me to never be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Well, we need your help.

Due to a number of factors, it’s been a while since we’ve undertaken any major site changes. Although the site seems to satisfy a still-growing number of visitors, there are a number of feature changes/additions we believe would improve things. That’s where you come in. We need your help improving the site.

What do you want?

From past experience, we’ve learned it’s better to garner as much feedback before implementing changes, rather than thrusting them upon you without warning. With that in mind, and since we’re just beginning the process, we’d like to solicit ideas for ways to improve the site.

What types of features would you like added? How can we improve the way things are configured here? What types of new content would you like to see? How can things be better organized? Would you like to see social network functionality (like some Facebook-type stuff) integrated into our design? Would you like a dedicated section for more off-topic material? Would you like blogs for every team? Again, what do you want?

Alpha/Beta testers needed

We’ve already begun tinkering with some ideas for improvement. Since we’re also sure you’ll be able to suggest nice ways we can improve the site, we’ll need more feedback when your ideas move into tangible features. We’ll also need people to try the stuff out to make sure it works properly. With that in mind, we’re looking for volunteer testers. If you are interested, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Team Blogs

Dan has been pushing the creation of enhanced team-oriented blogs for some time. We already have a few volunteer editors on board and we’re looking for more. So, again, if you are interested .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Baseball Newsstand

We’re considering moving the Old-School Newsstand back to its own domain, BaseballNewsstand.com, and expanding the links and content. We’re looking for ideas about the structure of the updated design and suggestions for links and RSS feeds that should be included. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Primer Blog

We’re considering moving the main blog onto its own domain and bringing back the BaseballPrimer.com domain. We believe by moving the blog over to its own domain, it will be easier to spotlight the best daily links. Plus, over the years many people have written to say they miss the old site name. We recognize the attachment, and hope you’ll welcome the return. What do you think?

Contribute a Few Dollars

We’ve appreciated your contributions in the past. With these tight financial times, we’d appreciate your assistance more than ever. We’ve always been dedicated to freely providing all of our content. With the depressed ad market and every-growing traffic, doing so has gotten harder and harder. What would we like you to contribute? Anything you could give us would be greatly appreciated and will help keep the site up-and-running.

Whether you can help out in these areas or just have time to post an occasional link or comment, we thank you for being part of our community and for helping to make this such a fun place for us to hang out.

 

Jim Furtado Posted: May 27, 2009 at 06:24 PM | 542 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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Reader Comments and Retorts

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   401. caprules Posted: June 02, 2009 at 02:51 AM (#3202840)


I thought it was a good idea, and then Dan stopped doing it. Who didn't receive it well?


To be too general, mostly the participants of the political threads. Some didn't like being herded, others didn't like when Dan closed other threads that had political comments so that they would have to go to one thread, meaning that some discussions were interrupted. Plus it would have taken a fair amount of moderation to keep up with that, and that is one thing this site really hasn't had (in my experience).
   402. karkface killah Posted: June 02, 2009 at 03:03 AM (#3202858)
Maybe that's a way for Furtado to get some more money flowing...sell a BTF program with all top posters name(s), uniform number(s) and stats and history. Five bucks, and it comes with a stubby little golf pencil.

I'd lay out ten bones for this.
   403. We don't have dahlians at the Palace of Wisdom Posted: June 02, 2009 at 03:30 AM (#3202877)
Idea: create a politics tag. Not everything should get this tag from the beginning, but when it's clear that a thread has gone off the rails someone like Szym or another moderator should add the tag to the thread. Then create an ignore thread feature (ideally just for hot topics) that allows you to block all threads of a particular tag.
   404. Harold can be a fun sponge Posted: June 02, 2009 at 08:46 AM (#3202947)
To be too general, mostly the participants of the political threads. Some didn't like being herded, others didn't like when Dan closed other threads that had political comments so that they would have to go to one thread, meaning that some discussions were interrupted. Plus it would have taken a fair amount of moderation to keep up with that, and that is one thing this site really hasn't had (in my experience).

Right, the problem wasn't the creation of a politics thread, it was the closing of other threads. And IIRC, at least once Szym accidentally deleted a thread (or closed it even from reading) when he meant to close it to commenting. I might be wrong about that, but I think that was the source of the uproar -- not that people were herded into a single thread, but that (an?) earlier thread(s) had disappeared.
   405. Harold can be a fun sponge Posted: June 02, 2009 at 08:48 AM (#3202948)
Vinay,

I fully understand what you say about the site organization. The nice part of taking a break from updates is it gives perspective. I've been able to step back a little to look and think about things. I agree about Blogpen, Newsstand, and Blog. One of my priorities is simplifying the groupings.

I have some things I've been playing around with and will start sharing some things in the new work/sandbox/beta area I'm putting together.


Jim, thanks. I'm glad you've put some thought into it and see what I'm getting at. Please keep in mind that my criticism of the site organization wasn't a dig at you or anything; I know this stuff isn't easy, and when I criticize, it's just because I care about the site so much, too.
   406. Jeff K. Posted: June 02, 2009 at 12:26 PM (#3202972)
I don't understand what's confusing about Newsstand. It's the same thing it's always been: a bunch of links to papers. Been there since I first came to Primer. I forget what it used to be called, but still.
   407. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 02, 2009 at 12:42 PM (#3202977)
To be too general, mostly the participants of the political threads. Some didn't like being herded,


boo ####### hoo. The forums were set up specifically to keep off topic threads off the mainland. Why reinvent something that already exists. The excuses "We don't like being herded" and "The interface it scary" is just plain old bullshit used by people too stupid, arrogant or lazy to use the forums. Or all three.
   408. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 02, 2009 at 12:50 PM (#3202983)
boo ####### hoo. The forums were set up specifically to keep off topic threads off the mainland. Why reinvent something that already exists. The excuses "We don't like being herded" and "The interface it scary" is just plain old ######## used by people too stupid, arrogant or lazy to use the forums. Or all three.

Yes, as opposed to people who are too stupid, arrogant or lazy just to ignore threads or people that they're not interested in, and who want a nanny to do their work for them.
   409. JJ1986 Posted: June 02, 2009 at 01:13 PM (#3202997)
I wish the hot topics was longer. I like the idea of a cookie that remembers the last post the last time you clicked on a thread. Those are really the only improvements I'd make. Oh, and an edit function in chatter.
   410. fra paolo Posted: June 02, 2009 at 01:29 PM (#3203010)
I wish the hot topics was longer.

I wish the Hot Topics didn't include non-baseball-hijack threads. I've reached the conclusion that this would be the best solution to the irritating problem of finding threads ostensibly about baseball but which have actually been hijacked so that, for example, 300 posts are not about the 1994-5 strike.

Those who want to follow such things can bookmark them.

This is my suggestion:

Have an Off-Topic Meter, like a rate-the-thread. As soon as enough people have clicked that it's off-topic, it vanishes from Hot Topics.
   411. Jeff K. Posted: June 02, 2009 at 01:32 PM (#3203014)
BD, you'd have an argument if the Forums weren't so...different. It's like a completely different site. (One from 1998, but I digress.) They're relatively hard to find, every attempt to move discussions there has failed, either because of the half that can't find their way there or the half that don't want to. The Forums, outside the Lounge, didn't work. Team pages, general pages, trivia, whatever, people tried it and it didn't work.
   412. Craig in MN Posted: June 02, 2009 at 01:48 PM (#3203035)
Idea: create a politics tag. Not everything should get this tag from the beginning, but when it's clear that a thread has gone off the rails someone like Szym or another moderator should add the tag to the thread. Then create an ignore thread feature (ideally just for hot topics) that allows you to block all threads of a particular tag.

I think this might be the best idea so far. If people want to ignore all threads that get into politics, they can check a box and their wish is accomplished. They wouldn't even show up in the hot topics. You could use the same idea to re-integrate the lounge, if you wanted. Have an off-topic of lounge tag for them. Have accounts set up to have topics with that tag ignored by default. If a brave soul wants to venture there, they could, but it would be obvious that it isn't a core part of the site and they should do so at their own peril.
   413. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 02, 2009 at 02:05 PM (#3203056)
I agree that this is a good solution, because it lets those who choose to do so ignore entire categories, while at the same time it doesn't play nanny to those of us who don't feel a need for this sort of pre-screening of topics. I can't see why anyone would object to this.
   414. UCCF Posted: June 02, 2009 at 02:15 PM (#3203064)
BD, you'd have an argument if the Forums weren't so...different. It's like a completely different site. (One from 1998, but I digress.) They're relatively hard to find, every attempt to move discussions there has failed, either because of the half that can't find their way there or the half that don't want to. The Forums, outside the Lounge, didn't work. Team pages, general pages, trivia, whatever, people tried it and it didn't work.

The only reason the Lounge worked in the forums is that Loungers were given no other choice - it was Lounge there or don't Lounge at all. If Jim had kept a Lounge on the main site and also opened the forums as an alternative, I doubt that the Lounge would have changed at all. It certainly wouldn't have migrated full-scale on its own to the forums.

If we shut down the off-topic discussion on the main site, people would use the Forums simply because they had no other alternative.

(As an aside - hijacking baseball threads for off-topic discussions has been implicitly deemed perfectly acceptable for some bizarre reason. If the Loungers had taken a low-traffic baseball thread and made it into a Lounge every day, how would that have been received? My guess is - not that well. Jim would have shut that down pretty quickly.)
   415. phredbird Posted: June 02, 2009 at 06:24 PM (#3203472)
sometimes threads going off topic is a comment in itself. for instance, the rice threads that became movie threads. to me, that was everybody realizing the debate was pointless, and moved on to something more worthwhile. i was glad to see it happen.

btw, robinred i'm older than you. in fact, i'm the same age as kevin iirc. but don't mistake me for him, we're not much alike.
   416. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 02, 2009 at 07:02 PM (#3203528)
Quiet as it's kept, the purely baseball threads are often repetitive to the max, and that hijacking them is sometimes almost an act of mercy. Is there a living soul out there who doesn't know that Derek Jeter can't range far to his left? How many "baseball" threads do we really need proving that Jay Mariotti is a doofus, or that Babe Ruth also "cheated"? And if Paul McCartney's going to play a concert at Citi Field, what does that really have to do with baseball to begin with? But that doesn't mean that it should be forced into some BTF ghetto---just let those who don't like it tag it as "Off Topic" and zap it any time they want to, and let the rest of us enjoy it.
   417. Backlasher Posted: June 02, 2009 at 07:17 PM (#3203548)
Is there a living soul out there who doesn't know that Derek Jeter can't range far to his left?

But what is his WARP factor?

FWIW, I agree with you. I could give a rat's ass to get a link every time Rob Neyer decides to take a sh1t. It doesn't cause the least bit of problems if that is what people want to post. If they end up dying on the newsstand, its also fine. If people can't see them because there are too many links, just create a "Rob Neyer" tag and let people ignore it.

I probably would never ignore it, b/c I am more interested in the real content providers of the site, the posters. If I get "Andy on Neyer" its probably going to be worth a read.

I think they should put a donation button on Andy, Nieporent, Emeigh, Jeff K. etc.'s user page, so the people that are interested enough to know the screen name history can give a little something for the effort.
   418.   Posted: June 02, 2009 at 07:40 PM (#3203560)
That is the nicest thing anyone has ever said about Jay Mariotti.

But yes, I agree with both of you. I like it when threads randomly meander in whatever direction the posters take it in. I think that discussions should form organically, and not with a forced "here's the topic, now go" type thing. The reason I come here is because I like the community, not really because I like the site.

However, having the option of being able to ignore every thread that wanders into a USA Politics thread, or every damn Simers column would be wonderful.

Even if an OT thread gets its title changed to "Plaschke: DeWitt is the best [Now: about NBA]" or something like that would save a couple clicks, and wouldn't require much additional programming.
   419. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: June 02, 2009 at 08:17 PM (#3203621)
I don't think that Neyer gets linked here as often as BL thinks he does. Pinto was linked today. I think that's the first time in ages, but his Musings are more twittery than bloggy.
   420. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 02, 2009 at 08:53 PM (#3203712)
But yes, I agree with both of you. I like it when threads randomly meander in whatever direction the posters take it in. I think that discussions should form organically, and not with a forced "here's the topic, now go" type thing. The reason I come here is because I like the community....

I think you speak for a lot of us here. The variety of perspectives and interests is what makes this such a standout site.

However, having the option of being able to ignore every thread that wanders into a USA Politics thread, or every damn Simers column would be wonderful.

Even if an OT thread gets its title changed to "Plaschke: DeWitt is the best [Now: about NBA]" or something like that would save a couple clicks, and wouldn't require much additional programming.


As long as that's technically feasible, that seems like a good and fair way to go. But leave it up to the individual to do the ignoring. And if a person's too goddam lazy to click a mouse to achieve this end, the nanny shouldn't be required to do it for him. Let him slip on his own sensitivity condom.

-------------------------

I don't think that Neyer gets linked here as often as BL thinks he does. Pinto was linked today. I think that's the first time in ages, but his Musings are more twittery than bloggy.

IMO Neyer's one of the better writers we see here, and I wish we had more of him. He knows and loves the game, provides a good mix of statistical analysis and narrative, and writes fairly well. Same with Posnanski and a handful of others. And more power to the advanced stat mavens like Dial, and the analytical articles from the THT people like Treder. They're a hugely important part of the BFT mix, whether or not we always agree with them.

The problem isn't with links to the likes of Neyer; it's with the endless stream of genuinely stupid columns that are little more than snark magnets. I guess they're necessary to fill the page hit quotas (whatever those may be), and they're no harder to ignore than any others, but the cumulative effect of all the Mariotti / Chass / Feller / etc. links on the whole atmosphere of BTF is infinitely worse than the occasional thread that goes "Off Topic." If you could take all those pinata links and stick them on the next Air France flight from Rio to Paris, I doubt if you'd have many people show up for the funeral.
   421. rr Posted: June 02, 2009 at 09:09 PM (#3203753)
Again: it is easy to link articles. People who want to read/talk about stuff can link to it. (Not directed at you, Andy). I wanted an NBA thread, so I made one. Jim and Dan et al had the option not to approve it, and I am sure they would approve almost any reasonably well-done stuff about baseball. People who want less Mariotti/more THT--just link to it, and then comment on it.
   422. fra paolo Posted: June 02, 2009 at 09:19 PM (#3203778)
The problem isn't with links to the likes of Neyer; it's with the endless stream of genuinely stupid columns that are little more than snark magnets.

Well said. It's absolutely pointless posting a link to some mainstream media clown having a rant. The only difference between them and some of the people one hears on talk radio is that a fool with too much money decided to pay the columnist. But...

I think that discussions should form organically, and not with a forced "here's the topic, now go" type thing.

Well said x 2. In the olden days, discussions tended to emerge from the give-and-take of the posts, which was good. Now, like some of these 'Retro' ballparks, they are increasingly contrived. I think the 'forced topic syndrome' deserves more moderation. Today we got a link to Vin Scully saying something about tattoos on basketball players. I haven't bothered to see what Scully said. I am not interested in basketball, nor in tattoos, nor in Vin Scully's opinions of modern fashions. I am therefore unaware of any connection between this link and the subject matter of this site.
   423.   Posted: June 02, 2009 at 09:32 PM (#3203802)
I don't think that Neyer gets linked here as often as BL thinks he does.


Does Neyer ever get linked here at all? I remember regular links to "Rob and Rany on the Royals" but ever since that stopped, I don't see him much. Just doing a ctrl+f on Neyer I get nothing on the first 6 pages. I think HatGuy gets more links. . .
   424. Backlasher Posted: June 02, 2009 at 09:44 PM (#3203824)
Does Neyer ever get linked here at all? I remember regular links to "Rob and Rany on the Royals" but ever since that stopped,

That is the lesson taught to us by rr and Andy. The posters themselves will make the needed "site improvements" for content. We have seen a decrease in Neyer and that is a good thing. As rr mentioned, if people wanted more Neyer, they could link to him.

Letting the site flow, evolve is better than having things imposed by a site administrator.
   425. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: June 02, 2009 at 10:23 PM (#3203866)
I don't think it's a question of consumer sovereignity, BL. It's all depends on who wants to link to stuff. Lately, Tripon and Gamingboy have been more prolific than anyone except Repoz. In any case, I think Neyer writes shorter pieces nowadays than he used to and that probably explains why he isn't linked as often.
   426. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 02, 2009 at 10:42 PM (#3203881)
Speaking of people who might want to put up their screen name history, who this guy with 43,207 comments and 68,890 posts? Who is this mystery man with the good taste to list his all-time favorite as Bernabe Williams?
   427. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 02, 2009 at 11:01 PM (#3203894)
OK, but who is rLr?
   428. Jeff K. Posted: June 02, 2009 at 11:13 PM (#3203915)
While we're on the topic, I'll point out that I've been posting quite a few tangential baseball threads over the last few weeks (the Keith Law quiz, the baseball movies thread, etc.) from random blog posts. With the exception of one, they've been pretty damned popular. I've probably done 10-12 in the last three weeks, and I'd say all but 2 or 3 were the busiest threads on whatever day they were posted. People have seemingly had a lot of fun talking in those threads. I think goes to the point that the off-topic stuff is what gives the flavor to the site.

We have more than our share of baseball wonk threads. Hell, I lit off that Mussina HOF thread this offseason and that sucker went 500+ posts, all squarely on topic. You don't get that elsewhere. That doesn't mean every thread should be like that, even if you could make it so, which history has proven impossible.
   429. Jeff K. Posted: June 02, 2009 at 11:13 PM (#3203917)
Are you ####### with us, Andy? Who is rLr?
   430. Jeff K. Posted: June 02, 2009 at 11:24 PM (#3203940)
You know, one thing this site and the people here do really, really, exceedingly, 99.9999th percentile for the internet well is treat new posters. I just thought someone should mention that.
   431. CrosbyBird Posted: June 02, 2009 at 11:30 PM (#3203953)
Quoting #413, <U>Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder.</U>
boo ####### hoo. The forums were set up specifically to keep off topic threads off the mainland. Why reinvent something that already exists. The excuses "We don't like being herded" and "The interface it scary" is just plain old ######## used by people too stupid, arrogant or lazy to use the forums. Or all three.

The original reason for setting up the forums is immaterial as to whether they are a good or bad thing for the site. (I suspect that the forums were created more for technical reasons than for community-based reasons, but I'm not certain about that.)

For some users, the forums might as well not exist. The interface isn't "scary." It's clunky. It's slow. It's ugly. It's inefficient. I normally wouldn't put that first line but I left it just to show how incredibly simple it is to quote someone without adding tons of useless whitespace.

I'm not afraid of the Lounge. I used to love posting there. I miss posting there. The problem is that I have limited time on the internet, especially now that I'm never working in front of a computer these days. I don't think it's stupid, or lazy, or arrogant to avoid areas of a website where the interface drastically slows the amount of information that I can process in a sitting. I could literally read the lounge no less than three or four times more quickly before it was moved to the forums. It's painful to use that interface and I don't have enough leisure time to spend more time scrolling and waiting for page loads than reading actual content.

If I were in the mood to pick a fight, I might say that only a stupid person can't hold more than one online conversation at a time or that only a lazy person can't click a different thread if it veers off-topic. That said, I think it's pretty laughable for a person who blows off a number of posters in this very thread who give specific reasons why they dislike an interface or enjoy a certain free-flowing nature of the site to be playing the arrogant card.
   432. Johnny Chimpo Posted: June 02, 2009 at 11:42 PM (#3203989)
I am more interested in the real content providers of the site, the posters.


Obviously I can speak for no one but myself, but I disagree. The posters are almost never the reason I come here. Rather, it serves as a clearinghouse of whatever is happening in baseball on any particular day. I think some of the poster's significantly overrate how many people come here to read their pithy opinions.

I mean, it would be different if some of you ever said anything new or interesting, but that hasn't happened in years, This thread, for example.
   433. Jeff K. Posted: June 02, 2009 at 11:53 PM (#3204010)
I don't care who rLr is "really".

You know, it's his birthday today. (True story.)
   434. Backlasher Posted: June 02, 2009 at 11:58 PM (#3204026)
I could literally read the lounge no less than three or four times more quickly before it was moved to the forums.

One thing I've noticed with the Filp number is that people may not RTFA nor RTFT, but they usually RTF Page. I'm certain there is probably a number of diminishing returns, and there are a class of people that care nothing for the conversation, they just want to pile on, or go on record.

RE: Daly's post

I'm not sure I understand your point Daly. I think its virtuous that any non-banninated user can post a thread or comment. I think its wonderful that there are posters that out of love of their fellow posters and without further compensation do post threads and comments. I think of those that do post threads and comments, the items that are of the most interest will generate the traffic, conversation, topics and generally the better content.

If there is a determination by the site admins that WARP factor threads are inherently greater than Hat Guy threads, I'm sure there are plenty of people you can pay for WARP factor content. I don't think there are a heck of alot of WARP factor content on the internets that doesn't get linked. I'm not advocating less Neyer content. I'm just not terribly interested in reading him calling people Grimace, posting somebody else's research and commenting on it, or calling some GM an idiot. If people like that, more power to them. If it generates good conversation then I'll probably join the conversation.

I've never advocated less content in any means. The only times when I thought there was too much content is when we had people that had their own blog, who would join a thread, poison it with vitriol, then post an original "article" in their blog (which didn't cover the subject matter of the blog) to divert or dilute the conversation. The biggest offender no longer blogs here and the second biggest offender has not done that in awhile.


Where is our disconnect or disagreement?
   435. Backlasher Posted: June 02, 2009 at 11:59 PM (#3204030)
You know, it's his birthday today. (True story.)

I thought it was on Thursday.
   436. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: June 03, 2009 at 12:06 AM (#3204046)
Yeah, happy birthday, whoever you are.
   437. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 03, 2009 at 01:02 AM (#3204257)
People are forgetting that the primary purpose to moving the lounge wasn't because it was off-topic, but to make some of those off-topic subjects non-Googlable and thus, keep the complete freedom of topic that the Lounge currently has. With the Lounge being limited to registered posters, for all I care, posters could write fan-fiction about raping Santa Claus, which is something that would be discouraged a good deal more strongly on the mainland.
   438. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 03, 2009 at 01:04 AM (#3204261)
I never even considered that the forum existed as a place for off-topic threads. Having made, I believe, 1 comment there in my career, I thought it was just for people who wanted to communicate in a more immediate, back and forth way, like a chat room or something. Ergo it was hard to see why someone would be expected to go there for anything.
   439. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 03, 2009 at 01:15 AM (#3204287)
Are you ####### with us, Andy? Who is rLr?

I wouldn't have asked if I'd known. Not that I'm lying awake nights trying to figure it out. I can probably think of about a hundred BTF names I'm familiar with, but that's not one of them. I guess he's some sort of a chess champion.

But Happy Birthday, whoever you are. I just told Matsui you were in the hospital and he told me that that 3 run dinger was just for you.
   440. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 03, 2009 at 01:24 AM (#3204314)
Oh, and rLr, Jorge sends one your way as well. Good thing you're a Yankee fan, too.
   441. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 03, 2009 at 02:13 AM (#3204436)
I enjoy the Lounge.

I do miss the Cookie Monster
   442. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: June 03, 2009 at 02:54 AM (#3204492)
BL, we're probably just talking past each other.
   443. Jeff K. Posted: June 03, 2009 at 03:33 AM (#3204515)
Andy, rLr was far and away the most prolific poster on Primer pre-registration (as you can see), he's a huge Yankees fan, and he was in every Game Chatter until they sort of went away here.
   444. Obama Bomaye Posted: June 03, 2009 at 03:35 AM (#3204516)
Andy, it's rather difficult to believe you really have no idea who RLR is. As you noted, he's made about 45,000 posts or whatever. If you've only seen 10% of them, it's still hard to believe that name has never registered with you. As Yankee fans, I'm sure you've both posted in the same threads (and probably responded to each other) hundreds of times.

But perhaps I (and everyone else) are missing some deep joke.
   445. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 03, 2009 at 03:41 AM (#3204521)
I think Andy is under the impression that because people are unhappy with him for changing his pseudonym without any warning or indication of what his old name used to be, that means people are unhappy with him for using a pseudonym at all. So he's reminding us that lots of other people also use pseudonyms. I think that's his point. Although the percentage of people here who use pseudonyms is around 95%, so there's no need for a reminder, so maybe his point is something else.
   446. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: June 03, 2009 at 03:46 AM (#3204524)
For the record, rLr is, with the probable exception of Dan Werr's various names, the most prolific poster in the history of the registration era of BTF. Pretty much always as rLr.
   447. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 03, 2009 at 03:48 AM (#3204526)
It seems to be possible.
   448. Harold can be a fun sponge Posted: June 03, 2009 at 03:50 AM (#3204527)
For the record, rLr is, with the probable exception of Dan Werr's various names, the most prolific poster in the history of the registration era of BTF. Pretty much always as rLr.

Yeah, but it's almost all been in the lounge and game chatters. I can see how somebody who spends all their time on the regular site wouldn't see much of him, though I'm still kinda shocked that Andy has no recollection of rLr.
   449. Harold can be a fun sponge Posted: June 03, 2009 at 03:51 AM (#3204528)
Incidentally, I've never tried it, but is it possible to change your handle to someone's old, unused handle? Like, if went in and changed my name to "Kevin" or "Moscow on the Hudson", would that work? Because if it would, I think that's awful and should be disallowed somehow.

I don't think it's been a problem at all, and so disallowing it would be at best a misallocation of resources. We've already been asked nicely not to use other people's names/handles, and nobody has abused it, so I think we're fine.

Really, it's kinda impressive how well the community here has behaved when asked. There are a number of things any of us could do to really break the site, and nobody does any of that stuff. I much prefer this solution to technical solutions.
   450. Obama Bomaye Posted: June 03, 2009 at 04:01 AM (#3204536)
Yeah, but it's almost all been in the lounge and game chatters.

I hardly ever look at the lounge and I hardly ever game chattered even when they were thriving, but I've recognized his name for years. He's had plenty of posts in the mainland to be recognizable (to me) for many years.

Whatever, it's silly to argue over what Andy knows or doesn't know. Even though we all know he knows a lot, so we know he must know rLr.
   451. Obama Bomaye Posted: June 03, 2009 at 04:01 AM (#3204537)
It seems to be possible.

You have to do it with all lower-case.
   452. We don't have dahlians at the Palace of Wisdom Posted: June 03, 2009 at 04:34 AM (#3204554)
rLr sucks.
   453. Jeff K. Posted: June 03, 2009 at 04:57 AM (#3204566)
And what would you use to insult him?

Jeez, read the Lounge. Um, his hair (his self-proclaimed Jewfro), shiftlessness, his Yankee fandom...
   454. Lassus Posted: June 03, 2009 at 05:12 AM (#3204571)
This conversation has become so meta that I feel like I'm eavesdropping on myself.
   455. Harold can be a fun sponge Posted: June 03, 2009 at 05:18 AM (#3204577)
Crispix, please change your handle back. You've made your point. Now you're just confusing people. Especially in other threads.
   456. Harold can be a fun sponge Posted: June 03, 2009 at 05:19 AM (#3204579)
Wow, now that's timing.
   457. Dr Stankus and the Semicolons Posted: June 03, 2009 at 05:32 AM (#3204587)
In use would just mean that someone was currently logged in, though.
   458. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: June 03, 2009 at 06:08 AM (#3204602)
Ooh! Now I'm wondering if you can change your handle to match one that's currently in use!

(EDIT: Apparently not. That's good.)


For the moment, Crispix is demonstrating otherwise.
   459. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 03, 2009 at 11:04 AM (#3204655)
Andy, it's rather difficult to believe you really have no idea who RLR is. As you noted, he's made about 45,000 posts or whatever. If you've only seen 10% of them, it's still hard to believe that name has never registered with you. As Yankee fans, I'm sure you've both posted in the same threads (and probably responded to each other) hundreds of times.


For the record, rLr is, with the probable exception of Dan Werr's various names, the most prolific poster in the history of the registration era of BTF. Pretty much always as rLr.


Yeah, but it's almost all been in the lounge and game chatters. I can see how somebody who spends all their time on the regular site wouldn't see much of him....

That probably explains it. Since game chatters died out, 100% of my posts have been here on the main site. And the truth is, I didn't really know rLr was a Yankees fan---like all people of good will, I just assume that about all Americans until proven otherwise.
   460. CrosbyBird Posted: June 03, 2009 at 11:52 AM (#3204662)
People are forgetting that the primary purpose to moving the lounge wasn't because it was off-topic, but to make some of those off-topic subjects non-Googlable and thus, keep the complete freedom of topic that the Lounge currently has.

Really? A dying brain cell seems to recall something about the lounge generating just too much traffic and page reloads, and crashing the site. I guess that was a dirty lie spread by those who cared only for the freedom to post topics so vile that the general internet audience took a step back and said "hey, that's a little much."

With the Lounge being limited to registered posters, for all I care, posters could write fan-fiction about raping Santa Claus, which is something that would be discouraged a good deal more strongly on the mainland.

Is that really worse than posting this?
   461. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 03, 2009 at 11:56 AM (#3204664)
It's not technically possible to change your name to one that's currently in use. But I was able to do it by having two spaces between words instead of one. And then, I could have it look exactly like your name by replacing the o with the greek letter omicron, which looks exactly like an o.
   462. Backlasher Posted: June 03, 2009 at 12:12 PM (#3204671)
People are forgetting that the primary purpose to moving the lounge wasn't because it was off-topic, but to make some of those off-topic subjects non-Googlable and thus, keep the complete freedom of topic that the Lounge currently has.

Really? A dying brain cell seems to recall something about the lounge generating just too much traffic and page reloads, and crashing the site. I guess that was a dirty lie spread by those who cared only for the freedom to post topics so vile that the general internet audience took a step back and said "hey, that's a little much."


If the reason for moving the lounge was to allow for more slash fiction, why does the lounge have a nanny?
   463. Jeff K. Posted: June 03, 2009 at 12:33 PM (#3204680)
Andy, how long do you wait for them to not eat babies before deciding they're fans of another team?
   464. Jeff K. Posted: June 03, 2009 at 12:36 PM (#3204684)
If the reason for moving the lounge was to allow for more slash fiction, why does the lounge have a nanny?

Bernal wets himself. As does the night crew after tipping back a few.
   465. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 03, 2009 at 12:47 PM (#3204694)
Andy, how long do you wait for them to not eat babies before deciding they're fans of another team?

I'm not sure what you mean by that, but well-fed Yankee fans often have opposing fans for pre-game dinner at the Stadium's fashionable Boar's Head Deli, whose chefs treat them with all the lavish attention they deserve. This partially explains the number of empty seats you may notice once the game begins.
   466. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: June 03, 2009 at 12:48 PM (#3204695)
I hardly ever look at the lounge and I hardly ever game chattered even when they were thriving, but I've recognized his name for years. He's had plenty of posts in the mainland to be recognizable (to me) for many years.


Did you use to have another handle, OB. Or did you lurk for a while?
   467. Jeff K. Posted: June 03, 2009 at 12:50 PM (#3204697)
I mean that Yankee fans eat babies.

rLr stated the other day that Mets fans are either sex offenders or mental defectives. The truth is out on both fanbases.
   468. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 03, 2009 at 01:05 PM (#3204709)
I mean that Yankee fans eat babies.

Yes, but as you should have noted from the above post, at least we give them a nice meal or two before doing so. Whereas Red Sox and Mets fans just rummage the dumpsters at the abortion mills for their pre-game meals---but then what else would you expect from sex offenders and mental defectives?
   469. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 03, 2009 at 01:27 PM (#3204738)
Bernal wets himself. As does the night crew after tipping back a few.


I don't wet myself, I used to #### myself. Get it right Fonzie.
   470. Jeff K. Posted: June 03, 2009 at 01:31 PM (#3204748)
I wrote that oddly, but the night crew doesn't wet itself after a few beers, it finds Bernal. You can see why.
   471. Dr Love Posted: June 03, 2009 at 06:06 PM (#3205119)
EDIT: I asked a question then immediately finally found the answer.
   472.   Posted: June 03, 2009 at 06:32 PM (#3205145)
"Immediately finally?"
   473. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 03, 2009 at 06:42 PM (#3205158)
Really? A dying brain cell seems to recall something about the lounge generating just too much traffic and page reloads, and crashing the site. I guess that was a dirty lie spread by those who cared only for the freedom to post topics so vile that the general internet audience took a step back and said "hey, that's a little much."

That was a problem, too, especially earlier on, but the big thing for the lounge movement was to try to remove it from Google. The chatter was more of a page issue, simply because it was an additional couple of thousand of extra posts a year, so we tested out a beta of a java chat applet, but decided to go with the regular chatters after that. The site has a lot more bandwidth than it did then, so it's not as much of an issue now (our problems are more provider-based than OMGTEHDATABASE VOMITED nowadays).
   474. Dr Love Posted: June 03, 2009 at 06:46 PM (#3205162)
"Immediately finally?"


Well I searched for an answer on my before asking it. And of course immediately after asking it here, I finally stumbled upon the answer.
   475. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 03, 2009 at 06:46 PM (#3205163)

If the reason for moving the lounge was to allow for more slash fiction, why does the lounge have a nanny?


The "Word Censoring" setting in the Sysadmin menu only allows on and off, not specific on/off settings for individual modules (the forum is under the same software as the mainsite, it's the Discussion Forum plugin).
   476.   Posted: June 03, 2009 at 07:36 PM (#3205218)
They can disallow special characters and use a function to trim the whitespace. You could still do it by using ! instead of i, etc. but obviously that's more obvious.
   477. CrosbyBird Posted: June 03, 2009 at 09:16 PM (#3205379)
the big thing for the lounge movement was to try to remove it from Google

That's an entirely different thing. It has been a long time since my tech days, but I'd be very surprised if there were no solution that didn't involve the drastic change in interface. Unless it's one of those things the average person doesn't find at all bothersome and I'm on an island over here with the few other <strike>sane people</strike> nitpickers and tech snobs.
   478.   Posted: June 03, 2009 at 09:21 PM (#3205386)
Yes...Norobots....
   479. Jim Furtado Posted: June 04, 2009 at 01:54 PM (#3206120)
I understand some people don't like the forum interface. For the most part, however, I've gotten far more positive feedback than negative. (In particular, people appreciate not having "stuck posts" any longer.)

The setup isn't perfect, but there will never be a perfect setup. Ultimately it's all about trying to come up with something that satisfies as many people as possible within the site's budget.

I truly want to better the site for as many people as I can, so I appreciate the many comments posted here. As this process evolves, I hope to get as much feedback as I can. I just hope people recognize I can't satisfy everyone.

Thanks for the feedback so far.
   480. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 04, 2009 at 02:13 PM (#3206155)
Has anyone else had this problem? I posted just a few minutes ago on another thread, and yet as soon as I came over to this one, I had to log in again. This is about the third or fourth time this has happened in the past few days, where one part of BTF doesn't seem to recognize the other part. It's bizarre.

And when I click on the "newsstand" link at the top of this page in order to return, I get a "The page you're looking for is either temporarily unavailable or no longer exists" message. I feel a bit like a Cuban who just wants to visit his relatives in Florida.
   481. SoSH U at work Posted: June 04, 2009 at 02:18 PM (#3206171)
Has anyone else had this problem? I posted just a few minutes ago on another thread, and yet as soon as I came over to this one, I had to log in again. This is about the third or fourth time this has happened in the past few days, where one part of BTF doesn't seem to recognize the other part. It's bizarre.


Yes, and frankly I'm stunned that it took 493 posts in the "help" thread for someone to point this out. I've never had to relog in anywhere else except to post in this thread, which I've had to do a half-dozen times.
   482. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 04, 2009 at 02:26 PM (#3206184)
Maybe it's part of an Exclusivity pitch in order to attract a more upscale breed of PED advertisers.
   483. Dr Love Posted: June 04, 2009 at 02:59 PM (#3206221)
Yes, and frankly I'm stunned that it took 493 posts in the "help" thread for someone to point this out.


It was pointed out earlier in the thread.

I had to log in again to post that. Fitting.
   484. SoSH U at work Posted: June 04, 2009 at 03:05 PM (#3206229)
It was pointed out earlier in the thread.


Makes sense. I obviously missed it.

Not sure if this is "help" worthy, or remotely relevant, but the fantasy baseball girl in the top right corner is just skinny enough, just underdressed enough and just dirty enough to make me feel uncomfortable when it's on screen in my office.
   485. Lassus Posted: June 04, 2009 at 03:20 PM (#3206250)
Has anyone else had this problem? I posted just a few minutes ago on another thread, and yet as soon as I came over to this one, I had to log in again. This is about the third or fourth time this has happened in the past few days, where one part of BTF doesn't seem to recognize the other part. It's bizarre.


Actually, I do not now, nor have I ever had this problem. Could it be browser-related? I've been on Firefox the the whole time and this problem you describe has literally never happened to me.
   486. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 04, 2009 at 03:28 PM (#3206260)
Actually, I do not now, nor have I ever had this problem. Could it be browser-related? I've been on Firefox the the whole time and this problem you describe has literally never happened to me.

I use almost nothing but Firefox myself, but I've had a similar problem when I've switched to IE. And as I said, it's totally random. I've been back and forth a few times since I made that complaint, with no problems.
   487. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: June 04, 2009 at 03:39 PM (#3206275)
I think it is browser related. I have this problem at work where I use IE, but at home everything is cool.
   488.   Posted: June 04, 2009 at 04:58 PM (#3206396)
Not sure if this is "help" worthy, or remotely relevant, but the fantasy baseball girl in the top right corner is just skinny enough, just underdressed enough and just dirty enough to make me feel uncomfortable when it's on screen in my office.


Ditto.

Although I've installed FireFox on my work computer and a little adblock-plus should take care of that . . .

Sorry Jim.
   489. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: June 04, 2009 at 05:07 PM (#3206412)
Note the url at the top: labs.bbtf.org.

Everywhere else, it is www.baseballthinkfactory.org. The site is trying to get way too cute with domains, and cookies hate that. Similarly, try this: get rid of all your cookies, go to baseballthinkfactory.org, without the www. Then log in. Then surf somewhere else. Then go to www.baseballthinkfactory.org. You will not be logged in.

For that matter, from this thread, click one of the links on the thick red bar: Forums, Newsblog, whatever. It won't work, because it uses relative links, and we're on a different domain.

THIS is what the improvements to the site have to be. We can talk about changing all sorts of things about the content of the site, but until the hosting and coding are up to any sort of presentable standard, it's wasting time.
   490. A Fatty Cow That Need Two Seats Posted: June 04, 2009 at 05:21 PM (#3206452)
I'm very anal about postings on the newsblog. The format should read 'Publication: Author: Title', which Repoz, of course, almost always does. Still, I would happily trade that format in for Gamingboy never using 'Haw-Haw Heyman' again (I got the chills typing it), especially in links to articles.

Also, someone needs to get J. Walter Weatherman on the case to teach happysky a lesson about posting on the newsblog.
   491. SoSH U at work Posted: June 04, 2009 at 05:26 PM (#3206465)
Still, I would happily trade that format in for Gamingboy never using 'Haw-Haw Heyman' again (I got the chills typing it), especially in links to articles.


I raised that objection in a previous Haw Haw thread, but it seemed I was largely alone in that sentiment. I think if you want this to be a place where people, including those in the media, feel welcome to come and discuss baseball issues, mocking them in the thread title is a piss-poor way to encourage it.
   492. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: June 04, 2009 at 05:28 PM (#3206475)
Who's happysky? Levski?

I'd go one step further and advocate the NTNgod apporach of including the frist name in parens when a common last name is in the title.
   493. Repoz Posted: June 04, 2009 at 05:50 PM (#3206526)
I raised that objection in a previous Haw Haw thread, but it seemed I was largely alone in that sentiment. I think if you want this to be a place where people, including those in the media, feel welcome to come and discuss baseball issues, mocking them in the thread title is a piss-poor way to encourage it.

Totally agree.

I try and edit some of this stuff out or just delete them, but a few get through.
   494. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 04, 2009 at 06:21 PM (#3206615)
Comments can now be edited in the Hall of Merit discussion. Sorry about the oversight.


Jim, you're a mensch!
   495. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 04, 2009 at 06:43 PM (#3206661)
I raised that objection in a previous Haw Haw thread, but it seemed I was largely alone in that sentiment. I think if you want this to be a place where people, including those in the media, feel welcome to come and discuss baseball issues, mocking them in the thread title is a piss-poor way to encourage it.


I agree about that and we should also act that way as posters. I personally know its difficult sometimes to respond to a particular column without taking it beyond healthy criticism, but I think reining in ourselves is the better course in those circumstances, IMO.
   496. Jeff K. Posted: June 04, 2009 at 10:35 PM (#3206989)
I've had the relogin problem, and I'm exclusively Firefox (latest build of the 3.0 branch, 3.0.10), so.
   497. Gamingboy Posted: June 05, 2009 at 12:25 AM (#3207094)
Thanks for the comment about the Haw-Haw Heyman thing. It was originally just a one-time joke, but then some people thought it was funny so I kept doing it. I'll stop if you want.
   498. Paul D(uda) Posted: June 05, 2009 at 12:52 AM (#3207110)
I was about to post that I'd prefer not to see ads which show the woman on the top of the page, but I see that's already been done, so I'll agree with it.
   499. Howie Menckel Posted: June 06, 2009 at 02:28 PM (#3208632)
Another FireFoxer who now had to re-log in on almost a daily basis now in spite of checking the "remember me" box.
   500. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 06, 2009 at 06:02 PM (#3208751)
Another FireFoxer who now had to re-log in on almost a daily basis now in spite of checking the "remember me" box.


I was knocked off on FireFox yesterday for the first time in months. So far so good today.
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