April 17, 2006

Follow the link: this (soon to be deleted) discussion leaves me with the impression that not a lot of people actually read the linked pieces before commenting.

posted by qbert72 to navel gazing at 09:28 AM - 51 comments

I like that SportsFilter is not just about the discussion, but also about the links. Is there anything we can do to encourage people to read the links? More and more people post semi-relevant links (if any) in order to just start a discussion they want to have. If commenters had to read the links before entering the discussion, that would probably help self-police this behaviour. How about if you couldn't comment on a thread unless you've clicked the link, and a certain amount of time had elapsed? I know it's a technical pony, and those are no go 'til 2.0, but still, wouldn't that help in more ways than one?

posted by qbert72 at 09:35 AM on April 17

It leaves me with the impression there's a large contingent of new users who are more interested in discussion. That's neither right nor wrong, but I think the intent of the site needs to be explicitly declared before it is implicitly defined.

posted by yerfatma at 09:36 AM on April 17

You're right. The idea that the links come before the discussion may be an assumption on my part. It's an impression I get from my stay around here, but it's not outright stated in the About or New User pages. This needs to be clarified (one way or the other) before any pony such as the one I suggested is considered.

posted by qbert72 at 09:45 AM on April 17

I agree. I think the links should inspire the discussions. And if one is super keen to talk about a particular subject, chances are good that they can provide some supporting documentation somewhere to link to. One of the real benefits of hanging around here is getting to know some of the real jewels of the sports writing community. I would never have heard or known about a ton of great writers without these great posters. That said, there are times, when I can't link because of firewalls, but am aware of the topic and feel okay to comment. Or to comment on a comment. That's cool too - but it all starts at the top.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:51 AM on April 17

q, for me the semi-relevant links is the thornier issue. The straight-up no link is a clear FU and gets the post deleted forthwith. But the yahoo/ AP wire URL isn't an immediate death sentence. Which makes it open season for all manner of shit discussion that one could get on any fanboard on the net. But it's tough to tell because Yahoo also republishes other columnists. Personally, I'd like to see a filter that prevents links to sportsfilter.com (and google.com, etc.) and something that looks for combinations of things like "yahoo" + "ap" and at least warns the poster this is not a good idea if it's the only link in their post.

posted by yerfatma at 10:15 AM on April 17

Or to comment on a comment. That's cool too Good point. You don't necessarily need to read the link to debunk another comment. Maybe only "force" it for the first X comments then? Could help get the discussion to a good start. The straight-up no link is a clear FU and gets the post deleted forthwith. I know, but I was still amazed at how many people just happily commented away in the first thread I linked. To me, it's a sign that a lot of people are not aware of how this site basically works. a filter that prevents links to sportsfilter.com (and google.com, etc.) I think this is coming in 2.0.

posted by qbert72 at 10:34 AM on April 17

If it is coming in 2.0 -- Good. That may stifle some people. The idiot idiots. Not the clever idiots.

posted by jerseygirl at 10:49 AM on April 17

*smiling, hoping I am not one of the idiot idiots, but not sure if being a clever idiot is much better* If you build a better idiot-proof system, do you eventually end up with better idiots?

posted by elovrich at 11:35 AM on April 17

I think the intent of the site needs to be explicitly declared before it is implicitly defined. Indeed. The posting guidelines include three rules: post something new, don't post something old, and post something "noteworthy." Can't get much grayer than that. I found this site because SportsFilter is a content option when assembling a custom Yahoo! page. And I am admittedly more in the vein of the Yahoo! posters than I should be, but it's not easy to learn and understand what makes a good SpoFite when the explicit instructions are so vague. Trying to take cues from other users can be confusing, too -- no two users seem to be on the same page about what SportsFilter should be.

posted by BullpenPro at 12:08 PM on April 17

If you build a better idiot-proof system, do you eventually end up with better idiots? Yes. The unfortunate truth of application development is the pursuit of usability creates a system like Darwinism in reverse.

posted by yerfatma at 12:15 PM on April 17

The straight-up no link is a clear FU and gets the post deleted forthwith Is there some way to stop a post that doesn't have a link? Oh, what the f#ck do I know... The main thing that I love about this site is that it has so many opinions from all walks of life. I'll be the first one to admit that sometimes I won't read a link before I post, but it's usually because I already knew the story and wanted to jump right in to the discussion. I'm not a writer or don't claim to be too smart, but I still like to see intelligent posts.

posted by wingnut4life at 12:28 PM on April 17

There seems to be two levels of people who post. Those who are "old school", been here a while, or may be new but intelligent enough to comprehend and make well thought out (most of the time) comments with the occasional wit and banter. Then there are those who don’t and likely wont read the original post, have poor grammar/language skills, and wont add anything remotely useful (most of the time) to the post or sportsfilter in general. I would like to think im in the upper tear group (most of the time). I know when I see a FPP I look to see who posted it. This usually lets me know if it’s worthwhile. I do the same with comments. There are those I skip over if posted by people who[m] I have found annoying in the past. Especially the long winded ones. Speaking of….no offence intended at all but Bullpenpro (who I do read) dude, write a column for posts you find so intriguing, your comments can be really long. I guess all im saying is, in my short tenure here I have figured if you try to weed*ymcsmokey* out the bullshit you just might miss out on a rear gem. Not to mention how much better I get to feel about myself thinking, “glad im not that guy” reading some comments.

posted by Folkways at 02:50 PM on April 17

Shit...um, rare gem that is.

posted by Folkways at 02:58 PM on April 17

Speaking of….no offence intended at all but Bullpenpro (who I do read) dude, write a column for posts you find so intriguing, your comments can be really long. Noted. Sorry. Some of my longer posts would be three or four posts of reasonable length, but sometimes I am too busy and the thread moves too fast for me to get my views in before there are half a dozen interesting things to which I want to respond. Plus I am painfully indulgent. I'm working on it, though. It would be easier if people would stop bashing Bonds, Jeter and Ruth. Thanks for putting me in the "upper tier group." I wouldn't myself, but I'm glad you do. And let me say that I read Folkways posts every time (of course, they're short, poignant and easy to read).

posted by BullpenPro at 03:12 PM on April 17

I'd "tier" you, dude. A welcome addition, indeed.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 03:33 PM on April 17

rear gem I don't even want to know what that would be.

posted by tron7 at 04:17 PM on April 17

Provided there is a relavant link, what is so wrong in just enjoying the discussion 'round these parts? I'm not defending Chitownjordandouche, I understand the importance of a link but there is not a ground breaking sports story every day, sometimes its just some run of the mill bull shit thats posted just have something to talk about. I love this site for the hockey chat which I don't really have in my day to day. Most of my friends don't really get into the ice boxing as much as I do so this site is a good outlet for me to get my hockey fix. If loving the comments is wrong, then I don't wanna be right. Folkie The spofie dynamic includes more than just the brainiacs and asswipes. Some people use the site as a way to unwind, have a few laughs and interact with people we normally would without the information super highway. I don't need the site to proclaim my interlectual superness nor do I come hear to yell "GO FLYERS". I come here to laugh, and talk hockey and listen to people who know way to much about baseball.

posted by HATER 187 at 04:25 PM on April 17

I come here mainly to find out which anonymous users are Flyers fans and which ones aren't.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 04:42 PM on April 17

Anyway, the problem with threads which have weak links "just to inspire some discussion" is that ninety percent of the time you'll just end up with crap like this. Threads need a focus. If that focus changes as the thread evolves, fine. If there's no focus to begin with, watch out.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 04:46 PM on April 17

…I know when I see a FPP I look to see who posted it. This usually lets me know if it’s worthwhile. I do the same with comments. There are those I skip over if posted by people who[m] I have found annoying in the past… …I guess all im saying is, in my short tenure here I have figured if you try to weed*ymcsmokey* out the bullshit you just might miss out on a rear gem. So which is it? You're really contradicting yourself here. I would hope that you give most of the users here the benefit of the doubt. Because declining to read a users contribution because you disagree with their POV in another topic kinda blows, they could end up surprising you. Especially the long winded ones. Speaking of….no offence intended at all but Bullpenpro (who I do read) dude, write a column for posts you find so intriguing, your comments can be really long. What? If you can't be bothered to read a comment because you think its too long, don't bother to criticize it. There are some users whose (long) comments will really crystalize an issue. You do yourself a disservice by skipping them. ...I understand the importance of a link but there is not a ground breaking sports story every day, sometimes its just some run of the mill bull shit thats posted just have something to talk about. There doesn't have to be a "ground breaking sports story" to start a thread, but it should posted if it is interesting, not just because the poster wants to talk about a particular subject and is using a weak link as an excuse to bring the topic to the table. If thats what you want, get a blog.

posted by lilnemo at 05:16 PM on April 17

Indeed. The posting guidelines include three rules: post something new, don't post something old, and post something "noteworthy." Can't get much grayer than that. I'm in agreement, and hopefully better posting guidelines are in the near future. In the beginning, many of our members were from other 'filter' sites, so they tended to understand the concept, but many of our newer members come from a more 'open sports discussion' background, and tend to just throw up a link as a springboard to discussions they want to see happen. And many times now it seems the link has tenuous connections to the discussion. I could post the red sox box score from today (a comeback win) and ask "is this the year?" (yes), but the link would have nothing to do with the discussion, and reading the link is hardly needed to join in on the discussion. A good link, really, promotes it's own discussion. And maybe it won't have 100 comments like the lazy links tend to have, but they'd probably be higher quality. With lazy links the site tends to look like the yahoo sports page with comments added. I'm not saying there's no place for the occasional lazy headline, but less is definitely more. We're filtering for the best links, and if tomorrow there are none, there's always the next day. There doesn't have to be a "ground breaking sports story" to start a thread, but it should posted if it is interesting, not just because the poster wants to talk about a particular subject and is using a weak link as an excuse to bring the topic to the table. Agreed. And I also enjoy bullpenpro's long posting style, even if he is wrong about jeter.

posted by justgary at 05:24 PM on April 17

Huzzah!

posted by lilnemo at 05:27 PM on April 17

rear gem I don't even want to know what that would be. Comment icon posted by tron7 at 4:17 PM CST on April 17 They highlight the best ones on Sportscenter every evening. Wait a sec... maybe that wasn't Sportscenter. Comcast just added a bunch of new channels...

posted by jerseygirl at 05:44 PM on April 17

We just got a new HD channel: the Weather Channel! Talk about Comcastic! Discuss.

posted by yerfatma at 06:22 PM on April 17

We just got a new HD channel: the Weather Channel! Talk about Comcastic! Discuss. Dude, that's not a channel. That's your window. I made the same mistake. We need to get out more.

posted by BullpenPro at 06:40 PM on April 17

In defense of long posts, and I know I am a prime example, it is often hard to get all that you want to say in a concise, succinct paragraph. Sometimes you need to dissect someone elses points and address them one at a time, rather than just say "you piece of whale snot, you don't have a clue". Heck, there are times I disagree and agree with different parts of the same post and want to acknowledge or defend my position in each case. Ok, getting out of this before it becomes a book.

posted by elovrich at 06:42 PM on April 17

Dude, that's not a channel. That's your window. I made the same mistake. We need to get out more I just read that while in an airport departure lounge. I laughed so much people are now walking around with that 'Oh shit I hope he's not sitting next to me' look.

posted by owlhouse at 09:54 PM on April 17

You guys are funny. Also, outside is scary. I was just there. It's good to be home.

posted by chicobangs at 01:55 AM on April 18

Wow lilnemo, you read a lot more into what I wrote than I did. Its not because of a persons POV that I may choose not to read further comments. Its when the person[s] comments are almost all such as: cody go to hell yankees rule u just wish u had fucking 26 world series. When ur "tigers" win 26 well talk. but untill then shut the fuck up ur team has been the joke for the last decade. theyre a joke this year. i cant wait till they start losing and we dont hear from u for a while. As for the long posts (sorry to cause confusion here), I do read the ones under topics that interest me. The comment I made was more a "jab" at BPP and others that can write that much at one time. Im no writer and have a very short attention span. Not to mention you kinda made my point for me with this comment, followed by this post.

posted by Folkways at 10:16 AM on April 18

Hater, I certinally didn’t mean to imply there were “only” brainiacs and asswipes here at spofi. I too come here to relax and, more over learn new stuff. While I can be an asswipe, I am no brainiac . Hell my biggest decision this month is weather to drive the 15 miles to the Talladega Super Speedway and get paid to sit on top of the press box with other “wheelers” and chat with the spotters. OR drive the 306 miles to the Florabama lounge and toss mullet. If anyone is comming to 'dega, or the florabama send me an E. Perhaps we can meet-n-greet.

posted by Folkways at 10:28 AM on April 18

rcade, can you stop the posting to that thread? Is there a kill switch under the dash or something to disable comments? The problem when we discuss this sort of stuff in the lockerroom is that the link is still valid and people just keep posting to the thread, regardless if it's on the front page or not.

posted by jerseygirl at 10:33 AM on April 18

Is it possible that the thread still shows up on the My Yahoo link to spofi? I can't beleive these people would come into the locker room, see us making fun of the post, and then decide to comment on that post like nothing else is happening. Am I overestimating people?

posted by tron7 at 11:02 AM on April 18

Is it possible that the thread still shows up on the My Yahoo link to spofi? Well, it's not showing up on mine. But while we are on the subject, can we eliminate the foul language on a FPP. That "Shit Fan, Fan Shit" was on My Yahoo! page for like a week. If proper spelling and grammer are so important to a link, then shouldn't clean language be also?

posted by njsk8r20 at 11:10 AM on April 18

Fuck no, bitch.

posted by yerfatma at 11:53 AM on April 18

You know, upon reflection, I'm not sure it's a good idea to stomp on bad posts. This thread had a terrible post (an ESPN BOXSCORE!), but it is definitely, for sheer entertainment, my all-time favorite thread. (I can only be thankful that it pre-dated my membership so I didn't kill it with some long, rambling, self-indulgent post about how great Maddux is, in the way I killed that reasonably good Ruth thread). Maybe the "old school" types of posters can see these bad links/threads as an opportunity to stretch a different muscle?

posted by BullpenPro at 02:04 PM on April 18

I think it's better if everyone stretches a different muscle on their own time. Preferably on the ESPN boards, or at least in the privacy of their home.

posted by jerseygirl at 02:12 PM on April 18

Yeah... the problem I have with taking it outside is that I suspect (without giving them a fair chance, mind you) that ESPN and Yahoo! and the like have more of a Terrance and Phillips feel to them when things go "funny." This site seems to draw a more thoughtful, creative pool, and the banter is much funnier to me than any riff on bodily functions... your post notwithstanding...

posted by BullpenPro at 02:24 PM on April 18

I can't beleive these people would come into the locker room, see us making fun of the post, and then decide to comment on that post like nothing else is happening. Am I overestimating people? Sadly you are. Spofi V.2 will have the closing of threads. So we'll have that going for us.

posted by justgary at 12:37 AM on April 19

SpoFi 2.0? i've heard this before. thanks for nothing, jesus.

posted by ninjavshippo at 07:03 PM on April 19

OR drive the 306 miles to the Florabama lounge and toss mullet. I pass the florabama at least once a week. I doubt I'd drive 300 miles to get there though. Of course, any hurricane could be the end of it.

posted by justgary at 12:42 AM on April 20

why does tossing mullet sound like a hockey hairball?

posted by elovrich at 09:48 AM on April 20

why does tossing mullet sound like a hockey hairball? ok that made me laugh out loud. Maybe its a southern thing to stand in one state and throw dead fish across the state line into another.

posted by Folkways at 02:22 PM on April 20

I think it's a drunk thing. At least it was the last time I went.

posted by justgary at 02:25 PM on April 20

You mean like punkin chunkin?

posted by njsk8r20 at 02:30 PM on April 20

Another case for "Newbies shouldn't be able to post." 0 for 2 in the link attempts.

posted by jerseygirl at 01:06 PM on April 21

0 for 2 in the link attempts. Are you saying that he is due...or that he is a fucking moron?

posted by chris2sy at 01:26 PM on April 21

the last part. And how!

posted by jerseygirl at 02:14 PM on April 21

Wow...a Florabama reference. I'm heading down to the Panhandle next week, might have to stop off. Doesn't hold a candle to the Opp Rattlesnake Rodeo, though.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 05:19 PM on April 21

Speaking of Opp, did ya hear the one about the two Alabama state troupers that started to pull a car over in Andalusia for speeding and one asked the other, "How do you spell Andalusia.", and the second said, "I dont know, lets let him get to Opp before we stop him." ok its a local joke and sounds better than it reads

posted by Folkways at 05:32 PM on April 21

Good one, Folkways. I'm reminded of a joke I heard years ago concerning the integration of the Alabama and Auburn football teams, but I dare not tell it, because it's bound to offend somebody. Well, not publicly, anyway.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 02:42 PM on April 22

The Florabama, tequila, and the Texas Rubies. Good times. folkways: That reminds me of the Alabama State Trouper discovering the fatal accident on Martin Luther King Boulevard. Unfortunately, it's a joke best told not written.

posted by ?! at 10:13 AM on April 29

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