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— Site News, Baseball Talk, and a Bunch of Other Stuff

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Off-Topics, Politics, and the Redesign

FYI, in the redesign I will restrict off-topic political discussions to a new politics off-topic blog that I am setting up for the purpose. By default, members will not see these discussions in their Hot Topics until they opt-in to see them. In the interim I will restrict off-topic political discussions to a dedicated monthly thread (similar to the football, basketball, and soccer threads), which will be tagged as “politics”, marked as “OT:Politics” in the title, and which will include a disclaimer about the nature and tone of the discussion. I will also begin closing the off-topic political discussions in other threads.

In the redesign I also will be moving the sports-related off-topic threads to their own dedicated area. Like the off-topic political threads these threads will only appear in Hot Topics when members opt-in to see them. When this change takes place members will be able to submit news links to basketball, football, soccer, and golf (whichever sports that generate interest) articles, which will appear in their appropriate off-topic micro.

So, in the redesign people who wish to discuss these topics will be able to do so easily while people who wish to ignore such topics will be able to do so easily as well.


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Jim Furtado Posted: May 30, 2012 at 12:44 PM | 1369 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 31, 2012 at 09:22 AM (#4143990)
Jim, if you have site/user data that would help inform some of these questions, can you share it? I appreciate if you can't, although in that case I'm not sure why it would be a state secret.

You are clearly in a position to know things that we don't.
   102. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 31, 2012 at 09:34 AM (#4143995)
ray

i am fully cognizant of the hazards of engaging you in any direct dialogue due to your powers of distorting and mangling any point being made not by yourself

that being stated my point is very clear

there is a small cadre of posters who live to post in threads with a political bent

they live for it. thirst for it. it is their lifes blood. without it their participation here would be all but nonexistent. i suspect that having been banned and/or ignored by every other sensible chat forum this is their last means of connecting with the outside world.

so if the administrator is going to make a change that threatens that which sustains them they are making a last stand making ever more empty claims of how the site will be harmed knowing all too well it is they who will be impacted

i find nothing in the above that is unclear so while you may well respond expect no further feedback from me as i deem it unnecessary

you (and others) are free to brand me as you deem appropriate

i know what i have read and i know what is needed

jim needs to put these bleating sheep down.

for good
   103. Joey B. is being stalked by a (Gonfa) loon Posted: May 31, 2012 at 09:37 AM (#4143999)
Harvey, you are awesome. Preach on sir; you have these clowns pegged like a cribbage board. And every single last one of them knows exactly who they are, too.
   104. Morty Causa Posted: May 31, 2012 at 09:37 AM (#4144000)
Jim says this thread has gotten out of hand and he will be shutting it down.
   105. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 31, 2012 at 09:40 AM (#4144002)
Who knows how many actual baseball fans who could have been solid contributors have been driven from the site over the last several years by the endless barrage of garbage, about 90% of which is generated by a fairly small cadre of monomaniacs.


Quoted for the simple hilarity of the sentiment, given the source.
   106. Elvis Posted: May 31, 2012 at 09:40 AM (#4144003)
As a blogger that Repoz links to occasionally, I can say that my pieces get more hits from BBTF than comments here at BBTF. Anything that increases my chances to be read by the community - I'm grateful for that.

Having said that, I don't understand the need to clear threads from Hot Topics. If I see a thread has 600 posts, I know all I need to know to ignore that thread. Thinking fan and all, you know.

After years and years of freeloading, I finally made a donation to the site several months back. Many thanks to Jim and Repoz and Dan and everyone else who is responsible for keeping this site up and running.
   107. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 31, 2012 at 09:44 AM (#4144005)
morty

fine with me. i think jim is being too generous in even opening this up for discussion. my recommendation has always been to contact the known sensible posters like matt, get their feedback and move forward with the changes

maybe he sees value in letting folks vent and spew outrage but there are plenty of threads already in place that allows that to happen.

and no, i do not think i should be consulted. my view of bbtf is far different than most, i have no idea of what features appeal to the mainstream and i am clearly out of the loop on how to appeal to a younger audience

i am expressing support for his efforts and hope the output is what he has envisioned.
   108. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 31, 2012 at 09:46 AM (#4144006)
there is a small cadre of posters who live to post in threads with a political bent

they live for it. thirst for it. it is their lifes blood. without it their participation here would be all but nonexistent. i suspect that having been banned and/or ignored by every other sensible chat forum this is their last means of connecting with the outside world.

so if the administrator is going to make a change that threatens that which sustains them they are making a last stand making ever more empty claims of how the site will be harmed knowing all too well it is they who will be impacted


You can't be talking about me, since I post in plenty of baseball-related threads. I have thousands of posts in them.

So who are you talking about? I know it's not Snapper, or Andy, or David, or Sam, or Good Face, or robinred, or Lassus. All of these people post in plenty of baseball-related threads.
   109. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: May 31, 2012 at 09:46 AM (#4144007)
Harvey for President!

(Of North Korea)

(With Joey B as his media spokesman---what a 1-2 punch)
   110. Famous Original Joe C Posted: May 31, 2012 at 09:49 AM (#4144009)
I am shocked to find that exactly the people one would expect to overreact to this news are overreacting to this news. Shocked!

I think Harveys is quite accurate in noting that they frequently end up with the same relatively small group of Primates making fairly predictable arguments, and it seems in many cases, rehashing old arguments, interspersed with considerable name-calling and insults. It's not surprising to hear that many people who come to a website devoted to baseball for the thinking fan aren't interested in these spats.

Yep.
   111. dlf Posted: May 31, 2012 at 09:52 AM (#4144012)
As a ridiculously frequent lurker but very infrequent poster, particularly in any of the mega threads, let me say that I applaud any effort that will have more baseball content. I can -- and do -- just skip over threads when they pass 200 comments. But those are driving the stories I'm interested in off the hot topics bar and make them more difficult to follow. I am, however, hoping that most of the team centered talk remains on the main site rather than devolving into little team fiefdoms that will, over time, become echo chambers.
   112. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: May 31, 2012 at 09:59 AM (#4144016)
Nobody comes here to read what Davey and Ray Ray think about politics. It amuses me that anyone thinks that.
   113. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 31, 2012 at 10:00 AM (#4144018)
if any reasonable posters are reading i will point out posts 46 and 109 as the very hallmark of the political threads where counterpoints are tossed by the wayside as various smear tactics are employed in an effort to undermine the credibility of the poster being targeted or to entice the targeted poster to engage in retaliation

its garbage debating, its unworthy of this site and the folks who employ these techniques should be pushed off to hee haw at their own versus staining the larger populace
   114. fra paolo Posted: May 31, 2012 at 10:00 AM (#4144019)
Since we're on a new page, I'll repeat what I said yesterday.

As long as the moderators use the tags correctly, there will hardly be any difference to your experience of the site. All the site users have to do is to choose their opt-ins judiciously.
   115. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: May 31, 2012 at 10:02 AM (#4144021)
Jim should make me a moderator. That would be awesome.
   116. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 31, 2012 at 10:06 AM (#4144023)
bernal

as the saying going if you want to know if a bear can perform surgery give him the knife and stand back

the results of making you a moderator would be similar

screams. a big mess. lawsuit
   117. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: May 31, 2012 at 10:06 AM (#4144024)
Are we going out for spaghetti or what?
   118. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: May 31, 2012 at 10:08 AM (#4144025)
Harvey for President!

(Of North Korea)

Ooooohhhhh, he's gonna have to fight Shooty for that one.
Now in a straight up fight, I'd take HW hands down. But Shooty's a shifty little ########, he'll use no end of dirty tricks...
   119. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 31, 2012 at 10:10 AM (#4144028)
fancy

my left is shot. i can make a fist but the reaction time is nothing.

i need at least another 3-5 months at this pace
   120. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: May 31, 2012 at 10:16 AM (#4144030)
if any reasonable posters are reading i will point out posts 46 and 109 as the very hallmark of the political threads where counterpoints are tossed by the wayside as various smear tactics are employed in an effort to undermine the credibility of the poster being targeted or to entice the targeted poster to engage in retaliation

its garbage debating, its unworthy of this site and the folks who employ these techniques should be pushed off to hee haw at their own versus staining the larger populace


Harvey, I know you see yourself as some sort of plain talking Ross Perot character, and for the most part I love to read your posts, but there are times when you can just be a bunghole. If you think that you can just write words like these....

edit: i vigorously defend free thought. and in almost any scenario i would be stating let them speak. but these crackpots are just screeching for screechings sake. can't put a bullet in them so go ahead and stick'em in a box somewhere and let them relish in the echo of their own voices


....and not be answered in kind, then I really would suggest that you take a chill pill. When the most notoriously inflammatory Primate BTF has ever known starts high-fiving you three times in a row, it might be time to consider where you're coming from.

Or, as has been suggested, you could just put all us horrible people on ignore and once again be able to sleep at night.

   121. BDC Posted: May 31, 2012 at 10:16 AM (#4144031)
Say, Harv, what do you actually think about BBTF political threads? You are so ambivalent sometimes, I can't discern your attitude :)

   122. BDC Posted: May 31, 2012 at 10:17 AM (#4144032)
I admit to being part of the cadre of monomaniacs, though oddly enough when this thread started yesterday I went to a baseball game. My thoughts are similar to those of MCoA and Andy (as so often), but it seems like Jim is more than open to open discussions continuing. We'll see how it goes.

As a potential mini-moderator on Rangers threads, I am a little apprehensive about what happens when I post a story on Roy Oswalt and it turns into a discussion of Lee Harvey Oswald. Am I deputized to shut it down or move it? Do I call for backup? If I let it run too long, am I one of the lunatics taking over the asylum? :) But I imagine it will be clear enough in practice.

I do think that this site is distinctive because of the cultural debate (not always narrowly political) that occurs here. There are lots of places to talk about whether Jeter will hit .400 this year; there's only this one to ask whether Jeter is the Herman Melville or the Edith Wharton of shortstops. From what you've said here, Jim, you quite agree, and I'm sure that "feature" will survive in robust fashion.
   123. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 31, 2012 at 10:21 AM (#4144035)
bob

if jim took my recommendation of just ridding himself of these irksome pests he would not need to do any re=design. the ignore feature would never have happened.

that others promote the ignore feature is inane.

free discourse is not any discourse. i told jim he has a value proposition and a vision and if some posters are not aligned you put them down

ain't hard

just gotta squeeeeeeze that trigger
   124. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: May 31, 2012 at 10:22 AM (#4144039)
I admit to being part of the cadre of monomaniacs, though oddly enough when this thread started yesterday I went to a baseball game. My thoughts are similar to those of MCoA and Andy (as so often), but it seems like Jim is more than open to open discussions continuing. We'll see how it goes.

I agree, and as I've said above, some of the reaction to these changes is based (at least for me) on not really being able to read between the lines of Jim's explanations and know exactly what's going to happen. And in spite of my reactions to Harvey's attempt to start a flame war (and let's not mince words here), I'm more than willing to wait and see before making any definitive judgments about these changes.
   125. Kurt Posted: May 31, 2012 at 10:23 AM (#4144042)
FWIW I completely disagree with Harveys. I rarely post in the political threads but I always read them, and they're the best political discussions I've seen. I've learned a lot from many different people on those threads (including Harveys). If those threads descend into namecalling garbage after 800 posts, so be it. That strikes me a bit like complaining about Willie Mays' 1973 season.

I also disagree about the "stagnation", recent political threads have seen fresh blood that contribute new perspectives. Rants Mulliniks is the only name that comes to mind offhand, but there are others. And I don't think any of the regular contributors are valueless, by a long shot.

If that's because I'm sheltered and don't get out enough, I would love love love to know where these sensible chat forums are, because I sure as hell haven't seen them.

That's my opinion. Jim can do what he wants.
   126. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: May 31, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4144044)
Willie Mays 1973 season was crap btw.
   127. Brian C Posted: May 31, 2012 at 10:33 AM (#4144050)
Harvey's attempt to start a flame war (and let's not mince words here)

just gotta squeeeeeeze that trigger

Hmm, yes. I might not have believed it if not for those extra e's.

As for the changes ... I'll reserve judgment until I see them, because it's hard to see exactly what Jim has in mind. As an occasional participant in the politics thread myself, I admit that I get really annoyed when those threads are shut down. If the new setup actually does allow them to continue without the heavy hand of moderation, then I'll be cool. But if it "improves" the experience in the Orwellian way that my bank frequently likes to "improve" their services, then that will be unfortunate. I'll probably stay for the Cubs talk but I won't visit as much.
   128. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 31, 2012 at 10:39 AM (#4144053)
I don't know much about this business in particular, but the political discussions and almost all of the "off-topic" discussions -- music, military, mayonnaise, movies, basketball, Vera Farmiga -- are among the best to be found anywhere on the internet.(*) They're the value-add of this website, even more than the baseball -- which is also very good. Aggregating and collating material from elsewhere on the net is an overbuilt, meh business.

A business fools with its core strengths and core value-adds at its peril.

(*) And the work-around for people who don't want to get involved in that stuff is comically simple and everyone knows it -- if a thread has a certain number of posts, it's "devolved."
   129. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 31, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4144055)
brian

it's not your participation that generates shut down. or kurt's. or bob's.

again, it's the classic bad apples spoiling the barrel

why others are defending this miscreant behavior puzzles me
   130. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 31, 2012 at 10:42 AM (#4144058)
there is a small cadre of posters who live to post in threads with a political bent

they live for it. thirst for it. it is their lifes blood. without it their participation here would be all but nonexistent. i suspect that having been banned and/or ignored by every other sensible chat forum this is their last means of connecting with the outside world.

so if the administrator is going to make a change that threatens that which sustains them they are making a last stand making ever more empty claims of how the site will be harmed knowing all too well it is they who will be impacted


Harveys is ignoring me (fine), but if anyone can point out the posters he was referring to, who only post in political threads, I would be interested to learn who they are.

As to his notion that the political posters are "making a last stand," well, first, other people have registered their skepticism over Jim's changes here, and, second, the comment is odd. Jim specifically called out politics in the topic heading of this thread, so it's not exactly shocking that some political posters have shown up to register their comments. I don't know why Harveys finds that telling. If Jim had made the thread about the basketball posts, I'm sure plenty of people who post in those threads would have shown up here as well.

I also find it a bit bizarre, as far as the site admins go, to post threads like the Luke Scott threads, invite people to comment on them, and then take the position that maybe the people you invited to comment on them shouldn't be commenting on them. That seems a bit unfair. It's never been explained why Repoz posts Luke Scott-type threads if commenting in those threads is frowned upon.
   131. zack Posted: May 31, 2012 at 10:42 AM (#4144060)
I've posted 1500 times in the 8 years since new primer, that's 190 a year.

I stop reading as soon as political threads are obviously off-the-rails. But I love the off-topic sports threads. I've been coming to this site for a decade to read about and talk about baseball at a level that rises above the water cooler, and I love being able to do that about other sports occassionaly. There's no other site like this one.

Why not just have a system like this: any thread that has gone off-the-rails is tagged as past the point of no return. The off-topic sports threads can be no-return'd from inception. Users can opt-in to having no-return threads visable on their sidebars. Doesn't that satisfy everyone?
   132. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 31, 2012 at 10:42 AM (#4144061)
and i am solely focused on political based threads

i have no issue with other topics however removed from my life such as indie bands

edit:

the primary distinction is tone/tenor. the intelligent discussions don't involve scathing, fevered pitch back and forth.
   133. Chicago Joe Posted: May 31, 2012 at 10:49 AM (#4144071)
there is a small cadre of posters who live to post in threads with a political bent

they live for it. thirst for it. it is their lifes blood. without it their participation here would be all but nonexistent. i suspect that having been banned and/or ignored by every other sensible chat forum this is their last means of connecting with the outside world.

so if the administrator is going to make a change that threatens that which sustains them they are making a last stand making ever more empty claims of how the site will be harmed knowing all too well it is they who will be impacted


Harvey, have you been on the rest of the internet? Even when it gets "bad" here, it's fairly mild.

The political (and other OT) threads are the most valuable community-building tools the site has. You grow somewhat fond of your adversaries after a while. It is probably true that they wind up in a sort of pointless equilibrium after a while, but the journey to that point can be truly enlightening. I find it very hard to believe that people are *scared off* by these threads. If they are, maybe they aren't the type of posters you'd want around. It's extremely easy to ignore a thread as it stands.
As for the Hot Topics sidebar, it seems that you could make it larger and address the problem in that fashion. Considering that there's only four or five OT threads active at any given time, lengthening the sidebar could still give you plenty of active baseball related discussions.

I'd rather see an opt-out rather than an opt-in. Imagine a new member behind the veil of ignorance. You'd hope that they'd prefer more information to less, so let them experience the site as it has been. If they find that the few active threads which stray from baseball damage their enjoyment of the site, then allow them the opportunity to escape with an opt-out.
   134. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 31, 2012 at 10:52 AM (#4144072)
Two comments:

First, I like the freewheeling nature of discussion on this site, and hope that whatever changes are made don't fundamentally alter that dynamic. Imagine if you are at a party talking to a bunch of friends, and every time the subject changed the host asked you to move into a different room. "Oh, you're talking about movies now? You'll have to go to the bedroom to talk about that. What? Now you're discussing history? Walk over to the gazebo, please. That's the history area." That said, I have no problem allowing people to control what appears in their personal Hot Topics bar.

Second, it seems that the blog-like structuring of the site around web links creates limitations. If I have a question on, say, Mickey Mantle's batting stance, I either have to wait for an article mentioning Mantle to crop up, wait for the conversation in a thread I am monitoring to shift to Mantle, or find some unrelated Mantle story. It would be cool if I could post a "Hey, did Mantle change his stance in 1958?" question with a Yankees tag (maybe a history of baseball tag?) and tap directly into the knowledgeable baseball people on the site. Who knows, a baseball discussion might just break out.
   135. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 31, 2012 at 10:54 AM (#4144078)
It would be cool if I could post a "Hey, did Mantle change his stance in 1958?" question with a Yankees tag (maybe a history of baseball tag?) and tap directly into the knowledgeable baseball people on the site. Who knows, a baseball discussion might just break out.


That was the format of usenet, and it worked quite well. I think structuring the site around links works fine also, but, yes, you've pointed out a drawback to only structuring the site around links.
   136. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: May 31, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4144079)
One could pose the question in the Dugout or the Lounge now and get an answer toot suite.
   137. Kurt Posted: May 31, 2012 at 10:59 AM (#4144088)
But someone trolling through usenet would see a thread entitled "Did Mickey Mantle Change his Batting Stance in 1958" and join in as they saw fit. The world's foremost Mickey Mantle Stance expert would only see "Dugout" here, and have no idea what was in the thread.
   138. Brian C Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:03 AM (#4144091)
why others are defending this miscreant behavior puzzles me

I just don't see it as miscreant, I guess. For example, I'm not a huge fan of either Ray's political stance or the way he goes about arguing it, but there's nothing "miscreant" about offering an opinion in a conversation, even when done persistently and forcefully.

I respect you, Harv, but your complaints here seem to be mostly about your inability to deal with a handful of people you don't like. Which is your prerogative, of course, but it's not all that "puzzling" that not everyone shares your personal preferences.
   139. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:04 AM (#4144094)
I don't look at anything except the Newsstand links, the hot topics, and my bookmarks. (And Transaction Oracle when there is a significant deal or a lot of activity.) I'm not making any editorial comment about this, just stating what I personally do. I don't check the lounge/forum topics. To this moment I have no idea what the Dugout is, and that's after checking the main page for a "Dugout" link and failing to find one.
   140. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:05 AM (#4144097)
One could pose the question in the Dugout or the Lounge now and get an answer toot suite.


I never go there. Hard to find and conversation tends to focus on personal banter between posters who know each other. Which is fine, but not what I am looking for. Moreover, I have posted such questions a couple of times in the Dugout and did not get an answer.
   141. formerly dp Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:06 AM (#4144098)
I also find it a bit bizarre, as far as the site admins go, to post threads like the Luke Scott threads, invite people to comment on them, and then take the position that maybe the people you invited to comment on them shouldn't be commenting on them. That seems a bit unfair. It's never been explained why Repoz posts Luke Scott-type threads if commenting in those threads is frowned upon.

You can ask this question one thousand times, and it will continue to get ignored. This is the most baffling thing about the site-- and no one can ever explain why, if Jim hates the politics threads with such a fury, he keeps letting threads that are obviously political get posted.
   142. Jim Furtado Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4144100)
Putting so much effort and time into discussions based entirely on fears, rumor, and speculation is not great use of time. That some of you expend so much energy in such a manner amuses me. I am also amused that all the people worrying have not volunteered to be part of the beta test. They haven't volunteered I suppose because they enjoy playing the martyr's role.

The basic nature of the discussion will not be changed. The main team and topic micros will have to comply with a moderation that we be as consistently applied as possible (which means some of our members will still not be happy). This policy will not be much different that what exists now. What will change is the way emotionally-charged, off-topic threads are handled. (Again, I am not talking about the harmless tangential discussions which don't get acrimonious.) The controversial off-topic threads will be viewable within Hot Topics only if you opt to view them. Other completely off-topic stuff (like the other sports threads) will handled in an opt-in manner. People who wish to see them on their customized homepage and Hot Topics will only have to choose to see them.

The site will not be balkanized. The micros are integrated within the framework of the entire site. Having said that, if people wish to create a micro with a different moderation policy they will be free to do so. Members will be free to either join that micro or not.

The addition of more quality links will not hurt the site in any way. Anyone who believes they will is not thinking logically. If Repoz and I find 15-20 links a day ourselves and other members find 100-1000 links a day, it will only make it easier for use to choice the best ones to display on the front page. Even when we don't choose them for the front page, the addition of more links will only make finding useful information for your particular interest easier.

Case in point, the Red Sox: I often see 5-20 Red Sox links a day which I find interesting. Within the current set-up it is not workable to post them all to Primer. With the change I can post the best 2-4 links to the front page while making all of them available on the Red Sox Think Factory.

On top of that, there is currently no easy way for members to submit their analysis, commentary, and research to the site. With the redesign, members will be able to directly submit this stuff into the system and into the appropriate micros. Other members will be able to mark these submissions as interesting so that the moderators and admins can promote the best stuff from our members to the site's other visitors.
   143. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4144101)
brian

i can 'deal' with anyone. i don't know why the standard here is 'not as bad as elsewhere' versus having a place where you engage in real dialogue devoid of silliness.

i am fine with disagreements as i am inherently disagreeable

it's the noise. why do we as a group need to tolerate all this noise?
   144. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4144106)
as the administrators can attest i do not use the ignore feature on the site

i use what is called free will and choose which posts are worthy of response and which are not. i only have os much energy left in the old tank
   145. Eddo Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4144109)
I rarely post in the political threads but I always read them, and they're the best political discussions I've seen. I've learned a lot from many different people on those threads (including Harveys). If those threads descend into namecalling garbage after 800 posts, so be it. That strikes me a bit like complaining about Willie Mays' 1973 season.

This is basically how I feel. I've always found the tone of political threads, while harsher than 99% of all other BTF threads, to be several levels above standard internet discourse.

I almost never post in political threads, but I do frequently post in other off-topic threads. Probably about as much as I post in baseball-specific threads. Generally, I use the baseball threads to learn more about other teams and historical players from posters who are more knowledgeable than I. I feel like I can give better input in movie threads, or threads about pizza, or whatever.

That said, as long as when I log into BTF, all those threads are still there for me to read, I'll be happy.
   146. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:14 AM (#4144114)
Of course if the forums were used as intended this wouldn't be a huge issue. But the ####### nancyboys don't like the format. Waaaaa. I don't know why Jim even slightly panders to these people. The lounge was moved and everyting is fine.
   147. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4144117)
This is basically how I feel. I've always found the tone of political threads, while harsher than 99% of all other BTF threads, to be several levels above standard internet discourse.


And most of the "tone" is just people having fun with each other. I've hung out with Lassus, Andy, and Sam in real life, and we've had a very pleasant time. I've even witnessed Sam and Snapper raise a beer together in good cheer. And the libs and David get along just fine also.

That said, as long as when I log into BTF, all those threads are still there for me to read, I'll be happy.


Yes, but whether the discussions will exist in the same form is the question. And it's pretty clear they won't, given the opt-in structure. What remains to be seen, I suppose, is whether they will be better or worse overall.

   148. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:19 AM (#4144119)
Putting so much effort and time into discussions based entirely on fears, rumor, and speculation is not great use of time. That some of you expend so much energy in such a manner amuses me. I am also amused that all the people worrying have not volunteered to be part of the beta test. They haven't volunteered I suppose because they enjoy playing the martyr's role.

Or maybe it's because not all of us understand exactly what this would entail. Hell, if it weren't for my wife's ability to figure out how to set up my DVD recorder I'd be forced to bankrupt myself buying DVDs. The existing "submit news item" feature, OTOH, is relatively simple to figure out.

As as a more general point, once you actually put these new features in place, along with some easily understandable Guide For Dummies as to how to use them, I'm pretty sure that a lot of these complaints will wind down. But I'd definitely recommend that in the first week or so of the switch, you stick around to answer the inevitable questions.

   149. Brian C Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4144120)
it's the noise. why do we as a group need to tolerate all this noise?

That's my point, noise is in the eye of the beholder. Some conversations, even sometimes the tedious ones, I feel like jumping in on. Some I don't want to go anywhere near. The system works for me. I choose. I don't need a special way to ignore the stuff I don't care about because I already do it anyway.

Jim says that his goal is to encourage more conversation, not less. That's a noble goal. And I also agree with The Miscreants that it's worth keeping all topics open to discussion. Jim seems to agree, in theory. So I'm happy to reserve judgment to see how it works.
   150. Jim Furtado Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4144121)
If the new setup actually does allow them to continue without the heavy hand of moderation, then I'll be cool.
You will be cool.

For the record, and for the thousandth time, I can easily get rid of anything that I wish too. That I haven't gotten rid of all off-topic stuff (and I have a record of over 10 years to fall back on) is an indication that I am not against the off-topic stuff. I am against, however, overwrought, acrimonious discussions, whether they are politics-related, steroid-related, sabermetrics-related or whatever.

I am also all for giving people what they want. Most people come to the site for baseball. That anyone would dispute this fact is beyond me. Since many of those people have complained over the years about the off-topic stuff distracting them from that purpose, I have worked to manage that content in such a way to impact them as little as possible while still allowing those who feel differently to continue to engage in the off-topic stuff (and again, I am talking about the more controversial discussions and clearly off-topic threads). With the redesign I will be able to better satisfy the desires of as many people as possible as users will be able to customize their experience to their liking.

So, if people come here for links (the majority of users) they will find the best links. If they come here for the baseball discussions, they will find the best baseball discussions. If they come here for a bigger community-driven experience, they will find that as well.
   151. CrosbyBird Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:22 AM (#4144123)
By the way, where is the Dugout? Did it die for lack of participation?

There's something in the forums called the Bullpen but it looks pretty much dead since 2010.
   152. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4144125)
So, if people come here for links (the majority of users) they find the best links. If they come here for the baseball discussions, they will find the best baseball discussions. If they come here for a bigger community driven experience, they will find that as well.

Sorry, but I can't resist this:

Only under Communism will man be able to harmoniously combine spiritual wealth, moral purity, and a perfect physique.


----1961 CPSU program
   153. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4144126)
I came here for the chicks.
   154. Jim Furtado Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4144128)
Andy, I've sent some emails to HCO about moving the Wiki over to the main site. To this point he hasn't replied. Hopefully he will be amenable as I would like to build on what has been written while adding additional information.

I must get ready to pick up my wife at the airport. I then will take my son to a concert for his birthday. Although I may check out the thread on my phone (which is easier to do with the redesign), I probably won't be able to respond again until tomorrow.

If any of you wish to play a constructive part of the redesign, I invite you to send me an email so I can add you to the beta group. I am trying to make this the best baseball site that I can. I am limited by time and money in implementing my vision. I will appreciate whatever help people are willing to give me in completing the task.
   155. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:29 AM (#4144129)
That's my point, noise is in the eye of the beholder. Some conversations, even sometimes the tedious ones, I feel like jumping in on. Some I don't want to go anywhere near. The system works for me. I choose. I don't need a special way to ignore the stuff I don't care about because I already do it anyway.


I don't know how the people complaining that there are off topic threads they don't want to read go through life. When they go to the movie theater, do they watch every single movie because the movie is listed there, or do they choose which movies they want to see? Do they write letters to the theaters complaining that there are movies they don't want to see?
   156. Kiko Sakata Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4144130)
By the way, where is the Dugout?


Today's dugout is here. Dan Lee posts them daily (on weekdays) along with quotes from 100-year-old papers and "all-star" teams of players celebrating a birthday.
   157. Guapo Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:32 AM (#4144132)
I will appreciate whatever help people are willing to give me in completing the task.


I think Bernal is volunteering to pick up your wife at the airport.
   158. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4144135)
I would too.
   159. Guapo Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:44 AM (#4144148)
I should add that while I am naturally skeptical of change, Furtado has definitely earned the benefit of my doubt given his administration of my favorite website. So I am optimistic about the redesign. (Would like to volunteer for the beta, but trying to balance a newborn with work has me reluctant to volunteer for anything else...)
   160. Eddo Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:47 AM (#4144151)
I should add that while I am naturally skeptical of change, Furtado has definitely earned the benefit of my doubt given his administration of my favorite website. So I am optimistic about the redesign. (Would like to volunteer for the beta, but trying to balance a newborn with work has me reluctant to volunteer for anything else...)

Seconded. Well, except for the part about having a newborn...
   161. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4144153)
Any of you mooks been to Basilico Ristorante in Chicago out by the airport?
   162. CrosbyBird Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4144154)
Of course if the forums were used as intended this wouldn't be a huge issue. But the ####### nancyboys don't like the format. Waaaaa. I don't know why Jim even slightly panders to these people. The lounge was moved and everyting is fine.

That simply isn't true. It may work out very nicely for you, because you seem to love scrolling, whitespace, and nested quotes within quotes.

I used to love the lounge, but now I find it practically unreadable*, and I'm not the only one. The people who post most regularly there seem to like/prefer the format (even if I don't really understand why), and I'm disconnected enough from that area of the site that I think it would be wrong to make a big deal about changing things back.

I miss the lounge, and even if I could deal with the format, it would still be less enjoyable because other people who used to post aren't posting any more. My complaint is about 75% formatting and 25% people who no longer show up (or show up much less regularly) because of the formatting. It's not "fine" because it's fine for you.

*There's a post you made today in the Lounge, Bernal, that is literally one word ("Nevermind."), and takes up more than a quarter of the page with your avatar, your signature, and the formatting (and you didn't even quote anyone). If you look at the entire page, there are about 15 words of new content before you have to scroll, and about 20-25 if you turn off avatars and signatures. Post #53 is especially egregious: it takes up practically the whole page with avatars and signatures turned off to add literally one sentence.
   163. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4144157)
Or any Italian or Swedish place near O'Hare?
   164. Brian C Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4144159)
Do they write letters to the theaters complaining that there are movies they don't want to see?

Aha! Having worked several years at various movie theaters, I can answer you by saying: yes, some do.

I once got a phone call by a woman who was very upset because we were playing Adam Sandler's LITTLE NICKY. Why would we play something so horrible, with the Satanic imagery and storyline, not to mention all of Sandler's general crudeness and vulgarity? Etc., etc. She was really angry about it.

The kicker is ... she only found out about LITTLE NICKY after she paid to see it. That's right, she walked up to the box office one day, bought a ticket for a random movie she knew nothing about, and then proceeded to get very upset that we were playing a movie that she found offensive.

I explained to her that we play a range of movies, not everything will appeal to everyone, etc., but I was getting nowhere. Finally I resolved the situation by saying that I'd be happy to provide her with complimentary tickets for 102 DALMATIANS, which was a family movie and rated G. She came a few days later to watch the movie, enjoyed it and was actually very friendly and appreciative afterwards.

Anyway, my point is that - and I'm not directing this at anyone in this thread - some people really do go through life that way.
   165. Der-K, the bloodied charmer Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4144161)
I love the dugout, go through daily without fail.

As for the lounge - same as CrosbyBird, with the added bit that that part of the site is blocked in some locations where the mainland is not.
   166. squatto Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4144162)
BBTF has evolved over the years that I've been coming here. It's a lot different than the place that I found thanks to a reference that Rob Neyer made in a column many, many years ago. I can't say if it's better or worse. Some things I like more, and some less. What I don't think has changed an iota is the hysterical over-reaction that's generated whenever Jim or Dan suggests that there will be changes.

The Lounge was created because baseball thinking fans hated that first Mets fans, and subsequently Wilco fans, would hijack threads about baseball and talk about all sorts of other stuff that wasn't baseball related. Later the Lounge was moved to the Forum in response to complaints about the non-baseball content and unsavory links found there. Many, including me most likely, prophesied doom to the community. It didn't happen.

I may have an idealistic view of this, but I think there's been change in posting tone from interrogatory-understanding to interrogatory-debating to declarative-asserting over the years. I think this has been the least desirable change to have happened at BBTF. Whether this is due to general internet changes, changes to the BBTF community, or the mainstreaming of sabermetrics, the implementation of new BBTF site design is an interesting question that I can't answer.

My objection to the political threads and others is that I can see virtually no interest among participants in trying to understand why someone thinks and believes as they do. Plus the conversation has become so in-bred that it's almost incomprehensible. The political threads are simply another internet dick-measuring contest. You can claim that it's all in good fun and that there's mutual respect and all that all you want. As a casual observer I'm not buying it. I see a bunch of blowhards talking past each other, incomprehensibly. So I ignore them. I think it's telling that those yelling the loudest for the status quo aren't really involved in beta testing the new design. I think there's a belief that they are the community, in a very Louis Quatorze kind of way. But I don't think they are, and I suspect that their amour fou for their voice will be diminished not an iota.

All this being said, I keep coming back because for all the nonsense that this site generates there is valuable stuff to be found. Community, as others have said. I find articles like that awesome Bob Ojeda piece. I learn more about new music here than I do from anywhere else. I never thought it would supplant the Pazz and Jop poll, but I never thought Christgau would no longer helm that either. I see posters like Matt Clement of Alexandria, HW, Brock Hanke, fra paolo, Foghorn Leghorn, and CW providing information that I haven't seen elsewhere. I don't think that'll stop with the new changes. It may even encourage some of the quieter, more bashful voices that are drowned out by the cacaphony to be heard.

Or it may not. I see no point in prejudging it. And for those whose defense of the political threads are that it's better than 99% of the rest of the internet, I can only say that's like being the comeliest $5 hooker. I wouldn't really be bragging about it.
   167. CrosbyBird Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4144165)
Today's dugout is here. Dan Lee posts them daily (on weekdays) along with quotes from 100-year-old papers and "all-star" teams of players celebrating a birthday.

Wow. Those fall off of Hot Topics really quickly. I assumed they were buried in the forums somewhere.
   168. Lassus Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4144166)
The kicker is ... she only found out about LITTLE NICKY after she paid to see it. That's right, she walked up to the box office one day, bought a ticket for a random movie she knew nothing about, and then proceeded to get very upset that we were playing a movie that she found offensive.

I actually don't find anything wrong with this.
   169. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: May 31, 2012 at 11:59 AM (#4144168)
Wow. Those fall off of Hot Topics really quickly. I assumed they were buried in the forums somewhere.


They fall off because of all the rambling on about Politics and stupid ####.
   170. SoSH U at work Posted: May 31, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4144170)
I love the dugout, go through daily without fail.


Same here. It's always about baseball. The Birthday Team, good trivia (from Dag or others), the new Game of the Day feature from Eric and, on occasion, Tiboreau's really great posts on the old PCL, plus random baseball thought that occasionally take off into good discussions.
   171. McCoy Posted: May 31, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4144173)
They fall off because people who comment are not interested in commenting in the dugout thread. Plain and simple. There is no value in having a small amount of links on the side of the page and setting it up so that something that hasn't been commented on for 4 or 5 hours or more gets top billing.

I'm also not really understanding how people find it so difficult to use the newstand.
   172. Brian C Posted: May 31, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4144178)
I actually don't find anything wrong with this.

I didn't and never did have any problem with people going into a movie, and deciding that it's just not for them. Everywhere I worked - I worked for just about every major chain - was accomodating of people that just goofed up their choice. I would never ask for a refund just because I don't like a movie, and I see a lot of movies, but it happens and businesses have an interest in making their customers happy. Which is why I tried to understand her point of view and offered her tickets to another movie that I thought was more to her liking.

But it's extremely annoying when people take it upon themselves to decide what "should" and "shouldn't" be played at the theater. And doubly so when people of that mindset take no responsibility upon themselves to educate themselves before making a choice as a consumer. People have every right to vote with their wallets, as the saying goes, but the rest of us have every right to do the same. And I would have never paid to see a piece of #### like LITTLE NICKY.
   173. SoSH U at work Posted: May 31, 2012 at 12:13 PM (#4144179)
They fall off because people who comment are not interested in commenting in the dugout thread. Plain and simple. There is no value in having a small amount of links on the side of the page and setting it up so that something that hasn't been commented on for 4 or 5 hours or more gets top billing.


As much as I wish more people would participate in the Dugout, I have to agree with this.

Frankly, my biggest gripe was that some of the baseball-related threads were getting pushed off Hot Topics too quickly, and that multiple active OT threads were part of the problem. But now that Hot Topics menu has been lengthened considerably, I don't see much of an issue.
   174. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 31, 2012 at 12:14 PM (#4144181)
brian

supposedly the tree of life had a significant demand of viewers who wanted refunds.

go figure
   175. Chicago Joe Posted: May 31, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4144195)
brian

supposedly the tree of life had a significant demand of viewers who wanted refunds.

go figure


Probably because of the compassionate dinosaur.
   176. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 31, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4144201)
chicago

it was a different kind of film but i was entertained

of course it struck a deeper chord with me because the actress who played the mom was a dead ringer for my wife when she was young.

as i stated previously it was like having a webcam into the past seeing the wife play with the boys.

i was mesmorized
   177. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 31, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4144204)
Isn't it... ironic?... that Harveys complains about the tone of the political threads while he is spewing insults here.
   178. squatto Posted: May 31, 2012 at 12:47 PM (#4144207)
Sorry about the double post. I think there's either a glitch in the Edit function or in the poster comprehension function.
   179. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: May 31, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4144208)
I once got a phone call by a woman who was very upset because we were playing Adam Sandler's LITTLE NICKY. Why would we play something so horrible, with the Satanic imagery and storyline, not to mention all of Sandler's general crudeness and vulgarity? Etc., etc. She was really angry about it.

The kicker is ... she only found out about LITTLE NICKY after she paid to see it. That's right, she walked up to the box office one day, bought a ticket for a random movie she knew nothing about, and then proceeded to get very upset that we were playing a movie that she found offensive.


In the early 70's my GF and I used to take a collection of vintage cartoons around to college towns, everything from Melies' Trip to the Moon to early Donald Duck to Lenny Bruce's Thank You Mask Man. For marketing reasons our flyer billed it as "An Orgy of Cartoons---69 years of sex, violence, and general bad taste in cinema", but anyone who saw the playlist would know immediately that the title was mostly tongue in cheek. As did 99% of our customers, who could guess that our description of Bugs Bunny's What's Opera, Doc? as "An Academy Award cartoon featuring Bugs in drag, with Elmer as his lover" wasn't necessarily a statement about transgendering bunny rabbits and animal fetishists.

But when we took this show to the old Paramount Theater in Charlottesville, after about the third cartoon a bunch of geezers rushed the cashier and demanded a refund. Why?

Well, the theater manager explained to us that the group in question was commonly known as "the old men with newspapers", who used to come to the porno movies and jack off in the dark. They apparently didn't quite catch onto the idea that our descriptions weren't meant to be literal, and got very indignant when Gertie the Dinosauer wasn't humped by Winsor McCay. He said it with a smile, and we couldn't stop laughing for the rest of the weekend. You can't please everybody.
   180. Kurt Posted: May 31, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4144216)
Isn't it... ironic?... that Harveys complains about the tone of the political threads while he is spewing insults here.

Same thing happened to me on BBO this morning; I think it's pretty commonplace that people who compain loudest about tone and manners are the worst offenders.
   181. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 31, 2012 at 01:03 PM (#4144221)
kurt

now wait a minute

where i have called out an individual poster

name a post here. name any post by me on bbtf

i will wait patiently as you bring forward a post where i directed a personal attack at an individual poster

i know it will be a long wait because i have not nor will not

and yes, i see a difference between an attack directed at people by name versus a generic branding of the group

if folks want to take ownership of the branding that is their choice.

   182. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 31, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4144223)
kurt

i will also point out that intentional or not you are now complicit in the posters intent to distract from the actual discussion by creating a referendum on another poster

it's an old debate ploy.

i am surprised you fell for it
   183. Morty Causa Posted: May 31, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4144225)
Isn't it... ironic?... that Harveys complains about the tone of the political threads while he is spewing insults here.


It's a Flying Hellfish Soylent Green moment.

it's the noise. why do we as a group need to tolerate all this noise?


There are too many leaves in your walkway.

Does my withered face remind you of the grim specter of death?
   184. fra paolo Posted: May 31, 2012 at 01:11 PM (#4144226)
Isn't it kind of meta that this thread is nearing the generally accepted 200-post cutoff that marks one of those Bad Threads That Clog Up Hot Topics?
   185. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 31, 2012 at 01:12 PM (#4144227)
kurt

see post 185. that is a direct, pointed comment that has the single purpose of being insulting.

i see distinction between that and voicing displeasure at a "small cadre of posters"

my guess is that some will see that as wordsmithing of some kind

i do not.
   186. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 31, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4144230)
some of what i read here has the undertone of 'it's the internet. this is better than most. deal old man'.

why do we have to settle? why is the childish and the snide and the sneer accepted as the 'cost of doing business'?

   187. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 31, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4144234)
i don't know if this was fra's goal but in the interests of avoiding being part of the problem versus the solution i will end posting in this thread

   188. squatto Posted: May 31, 2012 at 01:19 PM (#4144235)
some of what i read here has the undertone of 'it's the internet. this is better than most. deal old man'.

why do we have to settle? why is the childish and the snide and the sneer accepted as the 'cost of doing business'?


It's the comeliest $5 hooker defense, HW. Or should I say, "Forget it Jake, it's Chinatown."
   189. BDC Posted: May 31, 2012 at 01:21 PM (#4144237)
where i have called out an individual poster

Never. Though, to be fair, you did drive Ned Yost to Kansas City. He still curls up in the fœtal position and starts sobbing when he thinks about your comments on his bullpen management.
   190. Morty Causa Posted: May 31, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4144243)
Harveys, you lost all credibility when you made it clear that you are in the thrall of the political threads, even though the means of circumventing their is plainly at your disposal. As a judge would say, you clearly now have your remedy. Having clicked on a thread, it doesn't take me two seconds to determine if I want to follow it, and I can't believe you don't have the same wherewithal. Use it and stop tormenting yourself.
   191. Kurt Posted: May 31, 2012 at 01:23 PM (#4144244)
Harveys, 182 was meant to be a general observation, not specifically directed at you, though I can see how it reads that way.

I will say that I've read thousands of comments in political threads, and never seen a poster suggest, either literally or metaphorically, that another poster needs to be put down or that a trigger pointed at another poster needs to be squeezed.

I don't find you to generally be an insulting poster at all. IMO your behavior in this thread is uncharacteristic.
   192. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: May 31, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4144247)
kurt

see post 185. that is a direct, pointed comment that has the single purpose of being insulting.

i see distinction between that and voicing displeasure at a "small cadre of posters"

my guess is that some will see that as wordsmithing of some kind

i do not.


And some of us see a difference between "voicing displeasure" and

these crackpots are just screeching for screechings sake. can't put a bullet in them so go ahead and stick'em in a box somewhere and let them relish in the echo of their own voices


All Morty gave you with that Simpsons link was a much wittier version of what you've been dishing out for most of this thread, and then pretending that it wasn't directed against any individuals in particular. Talk about an "old debate ploy"---you could be giving Karl Rove and David Axelrod lessons. You're a tough old buzzard and we all love you, but if you want to dish it out like you've been dishing it out, you can't hide behind that "small cadre of posters" line and expect that nobody's going to see right through it.
   193. Morty Causa Posted: May 31, 2012 at 01:32 PM (#4144253)
where i have called out an individual poster


Never. Though, to be fair, you did drive Ned Yost to Kansas City. He still curls up in the fœtal position and starts sobbing when he thinks about your comments on his bullpen management.


That's a hyper-technical quibble. Not mentioning names (if indeed he doesn't) doesn't mean it isn't known who he has in mind. It doesn't put whatever objection he has (and through experience I've learned there's nothing to be gained by following his tantrums) on a higher plain. It's just makes them more dishonest.

EDIT: What Jolly said, too.

BTW Harveys, that image of Abe Simpson is my avatar on facebook. I'm not that much younger than you, I don't think.
   194. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 31, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4144256)
To be clear...for the people who regularly participate in the political threads the experience here *will be improved* not worsened. After selecting your Hot Topic preference, you won't notice a difference.
Jim, I think you've made up your mind (based on factors we're not privy to) so comments are probably superfluous, but for informational purposes I wanted to note that this response probably misses the point. It may be the case that I personally, with the right preferences, will see all the political threads just as before, but if other people don't, there will be a noticeable difference in the quality of those threads. Much as it may seem like I talk only to hear the sound of my own voice, I don't. I want to hear what other people are saying.
   195. McCoy Posted: May 31, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4144260)
Hey, I thought this was the thread devoted to off topics, politics, and the redesign. Though why we would want to talk about the redesign when we can talk about Pavement and Obama is beyond me.
   196. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: May 31, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4144278)
Jim, I think you've made up your mind (based on factors we're not privy to) so comments are probably superfluous...


Probably?

..but for informational purposes I wanted to note that this response probably misses the point. It may be the case that I personally, with the right preferences, will see all the political threads just as before, but if other people don't, there will be a noticeable difference in the quality of those threads.


David can't live without me, Jim.
   197. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: May 31, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4144283)
This is basically how I feel. I've always found the tone of political threads, while harsher than 99% of all other BTF threads, to be several levels above standard internet discourse.

And most of the "tone" is just people having fun with each other.
Yes. I've been heavily involved in political threads, and regardless of what it might look like to an outsider, these are very civil, not just by the standards of other Internet discourse, but by BBTF standards, too. There are just a couple of posters who are actively rude to other people in a mean-spirited way. (Not surprisingly, some of them have popped up in this thread. (And I don't mean Harveys, even though his tone here has been pretty harsh.)) Most of it is just people who've 'known' each other for a very long time who are tossing stuff around.
   198. robinred Posted: May 31, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4144290)
Not mentioning names


Is not a plus. I see it as a minus. DiPerna included me on his list, which is fine, although I have been reading the political threads far more than posting in them over the last year or so. HW, if you want to call people out, call us out.

I am against, however, overwrought, acrimonious discussions, whether they are politics-related, steroid-related, sabermetrics-related or whatever.


Well, this makes it clearer. Basically, it seems there are two issues, here, then:

1. Mr. Furtado wants to redesign his site so that he can get "more and better baseball content" on it.
2. Mr. Furtado, and others, are angered and irritated by, and contemptuous of, sometimes-snarky discussions of people's political/worldviews, so they want to create a feature such that they will not have to be exposed to sidebar links that indicate said discussions are ongoing, and also feel that these discussions and others "crowd out" potentially high-quality baseball discussions.

The obvious options for Issue 2:

a) Tell Repoz and others to stop posting links like "Obama wears White Sox cap while hanging out with Wife and Kids" and start linking to more sabermetrically-inclined articles
b) Set up and consistently enforce a stricter and clearer TOS.
c) Don't click on said discussions

Are apparently not on the table.

I will continue to support the site and appreciate its being here and being free.

   199. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: May 31, 2012 at 02:02 PM (#4144292)
I would have a much easier time accepting that the changes would be for the better if I still didn't have to log in every time I wanted to make a post.

plain joe

what chat forum doesn't require a log in of some kind? some use facebook, some use captcha, some use their own approach

with the spam out there it's a must or seems to be

what site that is not an informal blog does not have log in of some kind?


Apologies if this has been addressed; if it was, I missed it (back at work after 6 days off & actually having to do a few things other than reading & posting here ... oh, the inhumanity!).

In any event, I assume the complaint is about having to log in every day &/or every damned time you call up the site. That didn't used to be the case (& it's not the case at just about every place I frequent, with a couple of very small blogs being the exceptions). It's hardly a horrible hardship, but it's irritating.
   200. robinred Posted: May 31, 2012 at 02:05 PM (#4144296)
Also, if manners are an issue here, maybe it would be possible to post, or let Primates know, if a huge number of people have them on ignore. I personally have no one on ignore, but if it turned out that 24 Primates have hit the mute button on me, that would indicate I need to look at my posting habits.
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