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blog nicely!
May 21, 2000 4:22 PM   Subscribe

blog nicely!
posted by efader (179 comments total)

 
Aaahhh.... How refreshing. What a happy, wonderful world we will have when more people adopt this simple pledge. "I pledge to do my best not to say negative things about other people" Gee, that sure sounds peachy keen. I feel happier already. I can feel the web log community becoming a flowery, smiley example that will lead others away from the negativity that has turned the world into such a pile of poop.

(I'd add a freakin smiley, but why bother.)
posted by y6y6y6 at 5:03 PM on May 21, 2000


If you can't say something nice... come sit by me.
posted by Dori at 10:27 PM on May 21, 2000


*sits down next to Dori*

Fuck happy, shiny blogging. Sometimes the world sucks. Not talking about it won't make it go away.
posted by jkottke at 11:24 PM on May 21, 2000


i'm not one for pledges but i think the phenom she is responding to is worth looking at.

someone with a popular site (or weblog) decides that someone else is doing something wrong. they link to this "wrongdoer." soon the wrongdoer's mailbox is flooded with nasty mail. often those mailing are behaving like a herd, and (consciously or unconsciously) trying to suck up to the popular web designer or blogger. the recipient of the nasty mail may become discouraged or depressed; they may even take down their site. i've seen this happen. haven't you?

in another instance, a person with an unpopular site (or blog), obsessed with their lack of readership, feels bitter and vengeful. so they post something antagonistic and spiteful toward whoever seems to be having a little "too good a time," or "too much success" and therefore becomes the focus of their resentment. a few people see this negative comment and they respond to it on their blogs (since they have nothing much else to say that day, and god forbid they simply skip a day). now it becomes an "issue." maybe the "popular" person gets wind of this and feels hurt. they post a response - and some of their fans jump on the bandwagon.

so what we are looking at is a lot of wasted bandwidth, together with the constant possibility of hurt feelings.

yes, it's all a lot of bullshit. people should create what they wish to create. they should not worry about its popularity or lack thereof. they should not worry about what other people think of them. they should not encourage others to "punish" someone whose words they find disagreeable, especially if their wide readership empowers them to actually get others to "carry out the punishment" for them. it's all pretty wrong-headed and silly. but people are people, and these things will happen.

thinkdink is just asking us to chill out and think before we attack. maybe the pledge idea is a bit naive, but the thinking behind it is very well intended.

the idea, as i see it, was not to say "don't talk about things that suck in the world" (jason's take on it). the idea, as i see it, was let's not make personal attacks on other people. she's not saying hold your tongue about copyright violations or evil corporate schemes. she's saying think before you write "this guy (link) is a jerk."

what's so wrong or funny about that?
posted by Zeldman at 12:06 AM on May 22, 2000


nothing wrong or funny
just that if the person in question is a mensch they'll realise they've been an arse themselves & that's a better deterrent than pledging to be a 'positive blogger'

the word pledge is enough to send me running, i'm afraid. i see flags, i see hands on hearts - we're kind of allergic to that over here. i know that's not what thinkdink's on about, but that's just my gut reaction to something like this - and i don't need it to try and be nice. nobody sets out not to be nice, we all just stumble once every while, on a bad day.
posted by prolific at 12:28 AM on May 22, 2000


i hear that. i screw up all the time. screwing up in public, growing up in public.

in ireland, for years, men have "taken the pledge" when they mean to quit drinking. it almost never works.

the only thing that stops problem drinkers from drinking is a profound psychological and spiritual change.

maybe that's really what's needed (if something is needed). and maybe things like the "positive blogging" pledge are simply signifiers. maybe, whether we sign such things or not, they serve their purpose simply by making us stop and think for a moment about the power of words on the web.
posted by Zeldman at 1:32 AM on May 22, 2000


I say let people be what they want to be, let them say what they want to say. If you can't shoot your mouth off on your own personal site, where can you shoot it off? :P

No one is forcing anyone to sign up, so if there are a bunch of shiny, happy people out there who want to band together against the hoards of meanies, go right ahead.

If, however, you just can't take the sustained stupidity of some individual, please, go right ahead and use your personal site to take a big strip out of them. We're all responsible for our own actions, and can make up our own minds as to what we will and will not say, and bear the consequences of our actions and words.


posted by Calebos at 5:25 AM on May 22, 2000


> Fuck happy, shiny blogging.
I don't have a problem with happy, courteous blogging. But I do have a problem with an organized effort to curtail things that thinkdink feels are rude or discourteous.

Thanks for raising the issue and all, but isn't this getting a little frightening? The site doesn't ask people to stop and think. It asks them to take a pledge. Here are some quotes:

"When you attack a personal web page, you are making a personal attack. That is bad."

"... will pledge to promote a happy, loving blogging enviroment."

"I pledge not to spread the hate. I pledge not to personally attack anyone in my blog"

"using one's personal site to piss on other people in a strictly personal manner is bad "

This is does not sound like a good thing. This sounds like brainwashing. I thought one of the ideas behind a web blog/dairy was for it to be our place to make our inner thought process public. Now there's a group that wants me to run everything through their "friendly filter"???

> thinking behind it is very well intended.
I agree, but it's now turned rather cult like. I even thought it was pretty cool until I started reading all the postings. Now it sounds like sounds like some sort of peer-pressure, thought police thing.

I keep seeing this tightly packed crowd of smiling people holding flowers and explaining to me that I am a bad, negative person. Negative is bad. Criticism is bad. Being "catty" on you personal web page is bad.

How about this pledge instead: "I pledge to remember that if I don't like what someone has to say, I don't have to read their web log."
posted by y6y6y6 at 6:55 AM on May 22, 2000


Call me unmutual, but I have the same misgivings about this "pledge" business as y6.
posted by harmful at 8:07 AM on May 22, 2000


blog however the hell you wanna blog. Stupid thread.
posted by attitude at 8:11 AM on May 22, 2000


attitude obviously hasn't taken the pledge. ;)
posted by Zeldman at 9:59 AM on May 22, 2000


Good thing I don't blog, cause I can say all the mean things I want and not have anybody tell me not to!
posted by benbrown at 10:14 AM on May 22, 2000


I find it amusing that most of these personal attacks on web sites probably would never happen in meatspace...or if they did there would be much more civility involved.

Etiquette on the web has been discussed to death on many forums and venues and the discussions rarely yield with positive results. I've noticed people tend to hide behind the weak rationalization "Its my web site, I can say whatever the hell I feel like" to explain away their hate.

It's a personal decision to be angry and hateful towards other people. All this web site is asking is that everyone be a bit more respectful towards each other and to make a conscious decision to be civil towards you're fellow netizens. Which from glancing through this thread is pretty much like asking someone to squeeze water from a stone.
posted by dangerman at 10:47 AM on May 22, 2000


I think that Adam over at webloglog summed up my position pretty nicely when he said "How am I supposed to point out the hilarity of inter-blog squabbles if everyone acts like mature adults and there are no inter-blog cat-fights?" I think a lot of the nastiness in weblogs is just petty and lame, and I'd like to think that is the stuff that thinkdink is talking about... I also think that it's important for me, as a self appointed arbiter of what's petty and lame, to be able to point that out in a way that makes other people laugh at the expense of the person that I, as arbiter, have deemed petty and lame.
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 10:48 AM on May 22, 2000


I think there's just as much choice involved in how you interpret this pledge thing as how you approach other people. it's not like dink is saying "be friendly or else." being nasty is a choice. being petty is a choice. being saccharine-sweet is a choice. the degree to which you follow a vaguely outlined pledge is a choice.

(in other words, no one can brainwash you if you don't want to be brainwashed. at least not with something as innocuous as a website that says "I'm going to try and be nice.")
posted by rabi at 11:58 AM on May 22, 2000


I have my own personal code of conduct for how to behave on the web, on my own site and on others. Admittedly, I have broken it from time to time (prol's comments on self-realization describes those experiences pretty well), but I've learned a lesson, shrugged my shoulders, and gone on with my life. If I were to ever formalize and write up my code, I doubt many of the "positive bloggers" would object to it. However, I have come to distrust public displays of piety over the years, and this "pledge" seems like much the same kind of thing.
posted by harmful at 12:14 PM on May 22, 2000


I have stopped reading personal sites that make petty, unfair attacks on other personal sites - and never retract them. Keywords: petty, unfair, retract.

I have no problem with clever sites that attack everything. Nor with witty sites, where the narrative voice is a semi-fictional construction that is related to, yet distinct from, the author's own personality and innermost feelings. Parody? Satire? They're swell.

I don't even have much of a problem with obscure personal sites that vent and rant.

To me, those are all quite different in nature from petty little ego-based personal attacks. And again, my solution is to just stop visiting.

Several years ago, a kid (or an adult masqueradaing as a kid) put up a page where he ridiculed the authors of numerous "influential" personal sites. Riddled with (deliberate?) mis-spellings, this site called one well-known web designer "a filthy hippy," and made insulting and crude observations about the sexual orientation of another well-known web designer. Those were far from the worst of the comments, which also included stuff like "fat" and "ugly."

This Beavis-and-Butthead-like insult-o-rama got so many hits, I considered interviewing its author for 15 Minutes. Several people I respect wrote to strongly urge that I reconsider the interview. In the end, the site's very authorship was in question, some ugliness went down, and that was the end of my involvement with the thing. The site disappeared soon after.

I mention this because a number of people felt extremely hurt by that site.

I agree with Dangerman that most people who insult others behind the relative safety of their personal page would not behave this way in the real world. And I think, if you would not behave like a rude and raving imbecile in the real world, maybe you should apply the same standards to what you publish online.

The Net and the Web allow us to publicly express our deepest selves, but they also allow us to behave like jerks. (Which may be some people's deepest selves.)

It's both sad and amusing that a good designer's plea to think before we post rudely harmful remarks should generate animosity here.
posted by Zeldman at 12:50 PM on May 22, 2000


Danger has a point. I know I wouldn't knock anyone in the way I might on my blog (though that makes me sound as if I'm just trying to pull my foot out of my mouth). Well said, Zeldman. :)
posted by Cavatica at 1:19 PM on May 22, 2000


I suspect that most people, like myself, follwed the link above and read the text "I pledge to do my best NOT to say negative things about other people on my blog," and didn't bother to read the "about" page.

Shame on us. The about page explains the idea a bit better, but still, there's a difference between "not cutting other people down" and "not saying bad things about people." Just like there's a difference between "[thinking] before we post rudely harmful remarks" (to quote Zeldman) and not saying bad things.

Having a page where people sign up pledging to not say bad things about other people is a bit too sunshiny, a bit too PC for me. I view the web not as some big group hug, but as a space for individuals to express themselves. I will gravitate towards the sites of people who behave like responsible adults, and who are honest and sincere, even if I do not always agree with them. (I've also been known to frequest the sites of folks who do not behave like adults, but are still somewhat entertaining.)

I'll take an honest person over a perpetually pleasant, happy (and thus obviously insane) person any day.

(I'm not suggesting that the pledgers are insane. They are, in fact, all very nice people.)
posted by Calebos at 1:36 PM on May 22, 2000


>Several years ago, a kid (or an adult masqueradaing
>as a kid) put up a page where he ridiculed the authors
>of numerous "influential" personal sites.

If I can guess at what you're talking about here (the Matty L "Who I Would Fuck on the Internet" page?), I thought it was really quite good. It played right into the navelgazing, name-dropping, hey-look-at-me, insecurity-ridden personal Web publishing crowd quite well and almost everyone involved bit *hard* (and just in case anyone thinks I'm placing myself above this, I got sucked in along with everyone else...I only came to appreciate it in hindsight). It even added an element of mystery to the whole circus because no one knew who was behind it.

Anyway, I don't think the Matty L site came from a place of anger or hate...it was more of a roast/media experiment/what-have-you that needed to get personal to engage people. I don't think he meant much of it. Plus, the stuff he's come up with since then has done a lot of people a lot of good. That doesn't excuse his actions to those he offended, but it gives me good evidence that he's not really all that hateful.

Of course, that's just my opinion.

posted by jkottke at 1:38 PM on May 22, 2000


hmm ... jason: who IS he really, and what else has he come up with? URLs please.

on the navelgazing namedropping tip, yeah, that's another thing i try to watch out for in my own work (with mixed success) ... and i won't say how much of a turn-off i think it is in other people's work, because, uh, that wouldn't be positive blogging.

but as a general principle, i think writing, design, and multimedia experiments are more interesting webbery than who anybody had lunch with - including me. i mostly don't post that stuff, as the many wealthy celebrities and superstars with whom i am constantly lunching and jet-setting will readily attest. (just last week, beck whined because i didn't mention our delightful lunch at 21 in my daily report.)

seriously, nobody cares except the participants, and why should they?

for some reason, when joe2475@geocities.com writes about his friends i find that just ducky, but i get uncomfortable when "web influentials" do it, unless it is in some kind of context that might be meaningful to others. (such as "good design on the web," or "an interesting article" or "our night at the webbys.")

oh dear god, i think i have just bungled this thread.

i blame jason.


posted by Zeldman at 2:39 PM on May 22, 2000


If you're weblogging for yourself, who cares what anyone else says?
posted by Calebos at 2:42 PM on May 22, 2000


>i blame jason.

I accept full responsibility. :P

>If you're weblogging for yourself, who cares what
>anyone else says?

I don't know if you were being serious or not, but this is one of the biggest fallacies of personal publishing on the Web: no one does anything just for themselves. If someone were truly doing it for themselves, it would be on their hard drive or in a journal under their bed or something, not scrawled where all can see with their name signed to it.
posted by jkottke at 2:53 PM on May 22, 2000


Well fuck this for a lark.
Free expression on the web, so long as you don't say what you think. Woopee! Can't wait for the web's malice and anger to be nicely folded and tucked away in the sock draw.
So what if I'm spiteful and jealous and sick of knowing that every man and his blog gets more hits than mine in a year, and I'm gonna tell everyone that I am. So what if I'm rude and crude and lewder than lewd.
Sure, I could be polite and shoot of an e-mail to those I hate and never hear from them again. Or I could tell the world what I think and guarantee a response, holding your reply to ransom...
We could all play the bigger person and be the happy shiny bloggers holding hands. We could organise group hugs via IRC and have mutual-link-days, and 1000 bloggers can beat off at night knowing in the morning they can check their stats and see exactly 1000 visitors have graced their site.
Think before you post. What a nice little meme. Very well intentioned. And as they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
What a stale new world we strive to live in.
posted by Neale at 4:50 PM on May 22, 2000


Zeldman-- kottke already provided the URL... just visit the Geoshitties page.
posted by chaz at 5:02 PM on May 22, 2000


Nicely put, Neale.

We were *wondering* where you were.

How have you been feeling lately, BTW?
(and no, *that* wasn't a sarcastic comment...)
posted by baylink at 5:04 PM on May 22, 2000


jkottke wrote: >>no one does anything just for themselves<
I think that there are people out there creating works on the web because it is something that they want to do. They have some inner motivation that drives them to create, to express an idea or a thought or themselves in some way. The drive to create something, and the criteria against which they will measure its success, comes from within them.

They put it on the web to share it with others. However, they don't necessarily create it with the others in mind. They create it for themselves.

Now, some people will like what that person has done. Others less so. Some will hate it. Most will ignore it. The only way that a person can be offended by a negative or indifferent reaction to their work is if they specifically created their work to please these people.

Just because people share their works with other people, does that negate the possibility that they were creating it for themselves?

I agree that no one (or few people, at least) is completely impervious to the opinions of others. Still, I think there is a gradient ranging from people who create for themselves to people who create solely on the web so that other people will like them.
posted by Calebos at 5:09 PM on May 22, 2000


I guess it's about time I join the conversation. I do not feel that I need to defend myself. I made a statement, allowed others to join in and WOAH - got much bigger response than I expected.

HOWEVER, I will say that the dialog in the wake of launching this a few days ago made me realize that I had not presented myself clearly. Learning that, I have removed the word "pledge" that so many have a problem with, I've addressed some of the comments in the about section that I added to, and added some more comments - some from here.


Thank you everyone for your comments both pro and con... I wanted you to think - you're thinking, I think.
posted by thinkdink at 7:32 PM on May 22, 2000


I think people take themselves and other a little too seriously. Bloggerville is really starting to suck. There are way too many comments for such a simple post like blog nicely!
posted by joecool at 7:40 PM on May 22, 2000


I wish more people would take themselves seriously.
posted by Calebos at 7:49 PM on May 22, 2000


And why does that geo page now link back to Andrew? Hmmm.
posted by dhartung at 8:27 PM on May 22, 2000


Criticizing a web page is so totally NOT the same as criticizing the person who made that web page.

Thing - Person. Thing - Person.

Totally separate.

To live otherwise is to invite insanity.
posted by gsh at 9:09 PM on May 22, 2000


Sir Zeldman, I truly have taken to heart a lot of what you said regarding personal sites and attacks, as I was involved in one earlier this year. A fellow came and flooded my guestbook with - first - insults about my design (which I can live with).

I poked back at him that his site was no walk in the park either, but I didn't mean it in a mean-spirited way - I included emoticons, etc. to pass this along. He retorted with personal attacks - even though this guy didn't know me in real life. He sent harassing emails, insulting me, my friends, my family, and everyone involved in my life in some way.

I wrote back, so I did spur it on, but I took it off my site. Which, at the time, I was closing up shop on. Unfortunately, the fellow I was writing to took that as a sign of "victory" and since then, has linked to my site from his. He claims full responsibility for "taking down" my site, and accompanies his words with a random image that personally insults me ("fat geek" being my favorite, considering he's never seen me) - he added this only after I complained about his stealing a graphic from my site.

Things died down for months, and then he came back to the site and claimed that he was the only traffic to the site, etc. ... at this point, I took it all in stride and really didn't care. He still did and emails from him resumed. ::shrug::

Can feelings get hurt? Sure they can. But for some people, it's just an egotrip. They get a rise out of petty insults.
posted by hijinx at 9:25 PM on May 22, 2000


hijinx: i think "positive blogging" was written in response to exactly that kind of juvenile stupidity.

but anyone who would do what you've described is not going to even consider something like "positive blogging." that's the problem.

btw, your work is really nice, so the person you're talking about was doubly wrong, in my opinion. not only was their behavior bad, they picked the wrong site to criticize.
posted by Zeldman at 9:37 PM on May 22, 2000


Thanks, Zeldman. To wit, the design insults I fielded were for the previous version of my site which was markedly different. (Frankly, once I saw his design skills - or lack thereof - it changed my opinion on his design-related critique of my pages entirely.)

Hm, you know, everyone knows people like this exist in the real world too. Deal with them daily, even. Maybe a better question is that there is an opportunity to change this, online. The big question is, do we want to?
posted by hijinx at 9:53 PM on May 22, 2000


In the grand scheme of things, I doubt anything will change. The same ones that are vengeful and mean, will continue to be. The people who opt to make a real change - it may fade.

Despite all the smiles and flowers. I AM a total realist. I know that if there is change, it may be brief, and you know? that's okay.

But just as everyone is whining - "I have a right to speak my mind" so do I and non-neg was what was on my mind.

What I don't understand is why everyone has gotten so hostile about this. Instead of just blowing it off like any other frilly froo froo site that you don't agree with and don't want to read - there are people who have gotten their feather's MAJORLY ruffled. Why is this?

Yes, that is a rhetorical question, sort of. I know there is probably no answer. I'll throw this out for consideration - was it the link on Blogger? I didn't ask for that AT ALL, but is it the high profile link that is causing the attacks? Much like what Zeldman said above? I got traffic that someone else didn't?

This has been an interesting look into web culture and the blogging community. I couldn't have predicted the responses in a kajillion years. This, my dears, is people watching at its finest.
posted by thinkdink at 10:26 PM on May 22, 2000


Keep playing us thinkdink, play us for fooooools... the whole thing is just crying out for a parody. Anyone who receives the linksluts newsletter should know what to do.
In no particular order:
"How have you been feeling lately, BTW?" - Baylink
Overwhelmed by my latest project. I'm in too deep and need help badly. 50 pages of content to come up with. Will the inevitable lawsuit be worth it?
"Criticizing a web page is so totally NOT the same as criticizing the person who made that web page." - gsh
That's like saying criticizing a book isn't to criticize the author; untrue. If I comment negatively on someone's work, I reflect negatively upon their level of skill to create that work. People put a little bit of themselves in what they do. The two are not separate entities.
"...i won't say how much of a turn-off i think it is in other people's work, because, uh, that wouldn't be positive blogging." - zeldman
I hope that was sarcasm (i sure wish MS would implement sarcasm tags properly in IE). Otherwise it's exactly the type of god-awful self-censorship that "positive blogging" is going to produce. If you want to say something, say it goddarnit. Some of the best posts are heat-of-the-moment-should-never-had-been-said posts.
I think people take themselves and other a little too seriously. Bloggerville is really starting to suck. - Joecool
Well, we've entered the dark ages of blogging, so what do you expect? People will always take themselves too seriously when they think their territory is being encroached; thus the mammoth discussion around the blog/journal meme a while back. It's human nature; fight is the easiest option of flight/fight on the web, as it's so easy to do, and the repercussions are often, in reality, few.
"Can feelings get hurt? Sure they can. But for some people, it's just an egotrip. They get a rise out of petty insults." - hijinx
They do not, you ill-bred galloot.
"I'll throw this out for consideration - was it the link on Blogger? I didn't ask for that AT ALL, but is it the high profile link that is causing the attacks? Much like what Zeldman said above? I got traffic that someone else didn't?" - thinkdink
Yes.

How about this: I'll make a little page that will serve up random "positive posts" that you can cut and paste into your blog, insert a URL, and then fun-fulled and inane smoochy-smoochy chatter will filter across the blogging nation.
I'll call it "the posopostomatic". It will require no brain power at all. Ironic, heh?
posted by Neale at 11:12 PM on May 22, 2000


>"...i won't say how much of a turn-off i think it is in other people's work, because, uh, that wouldn't be positive blogging." - zeldman

>I hope that was sarcasm

it was, sir. i congratulate you.

what was the clue? the fact that i went on to talk about the issue in the very next sentence? (>but as a general principle, i think ...)

yes, that was probably what tipped you off.

i am behaving rudely. it is directed to you. do you enjoy it?

i'm biting into this apple to make a point about denture adhesives.

a heavy workload doesn't justify bad behavior. you have "50 pages of content to come up with?" i have a workload that would stun an ox. that's still no excuse for animosity and rudeness. and frankly, i've had tougher jobs than web design. if you haven't had tougher jobs than web design, then you've led a charmed life. all the more reason to be grateful and be polite.

>If you want to say something, say it goddarnit.

i just did.
posted by Zeldman at 12:08 AM on May 23, 2000


thinkdink - "there are people who have gotten their feather's MAJORLY ruffled. Why is this?"

I don't think anyone has gotten majorly ruffled. 'Cepting Neale, but we do enjoy his penetrating insights. Anyway......

The problem is people's perception of what you were trying to do. I didn't read any changes you made today, but I read everything yesterday, and I came away with the impression that you were (not subtilely) drawing a line in the dirt. Basically saying, "Nice people should gather over here with me. Rude people are ruining things. And we don't like them."

You said in several places that you didn't mean it that way, but I think you did. You've kept backing off what you meant by negative, and whether it was a pledge or not, but you started something that got bigger than just you. And honestly I didn't have a problem with what you said. It was all the happy, smiley people that made those ridiculous posts. "I pledge not to make negative comments about others" How is this a good thing?

If I'd started something like this I just would have dumped it and started over. This cult of "positive blogging" you've created is just a little frightening. You asked people to gather under your banner, and the general consensus of your group seems to be that negative comments about people are bad.

That's such a simple-minded generalization that it's just sick and wrong.

Reading your new mission statement...... Hmmm. Rather watered down, don't you think? I guess you just can't win huh?

Bottom line - It's just not that big a deal. I'll continue to say negative things on my website. I'll also say positive things. And neutral things. Who cares? Only a bunch of people who have promised not to be negative anymore.

As for the butt wads that Zeldman and hijinx mentioned, we don't need to be reminded that they are stupid and mean. That's the other problem. You've decided that you need to reminded us not to be assholes.

I'm rambling. Some people seem to think this is naive but still a good thing. I think it's naive and a bad thing.
posted by y6y6y6 at 12:10 AM on May 23, 2000


> i am behaving rudely. it is directed to you. do you enjoy it?

I think he does. That's the problem.
posted by y6y6y6 at 12:14 AM on May 23, 2000


I think this whole schmeer is really all about getting hits.

Anyway, I took one look at the page with all the damn flowers on it and stuff and said "Uh...no." I really am not that much in a habit of posting malicious things about other people but by golly! When the time arises to do it, it's going to get done. There's nothing that makes me feel less like playing nice than being told not to.
posted by monde at 1:07 AM on May 23, 2000


Uh, whoops...take two...I meant: "There's nothing that makes me feel less like playing nice than being told to play nice." (whackself on forehead)
posted by monde at 1:19 AM on May 23, 2000


"you have "50 pages of content to come up with?" i have... ...tougher jobs than web design" - zeldman
I'm not getting into an argument about workload. I'm going to assume most of the readers of MF are in IT - and therefore overworked. I will say my "project" has nothing to do with work. That's entirely different kettle of fish.
"i am behaving rudely. it is directed to you. do you enjoy it? - zeldman
Enjoy it? Hell, it's my new tag line.
"If you want to say something, say it goddarnit.
i just did." - zeldman

Congratulations! You've taken the first step. Don't stop. Go against the meme.
"That's the other problem. You've decided that you need to reminded us not to be assholes" - y6y6y6"
Agreed. Please don't force your political correctness down my throat, or tell me what do say. If the world were frictionless we'd all get sick of simply gliding on by. A little friction helps the world go round.
"I don't think anyone has gotten majorly ruffled. 'Cepting Neale" - y6y6y6
Don't worry, I'm not majorly ruffled. I'm not even minorly ruffled. I'm usually thin & crispy. I'm just tired of people telling other people getting on their high horse and spouting hollier-than-though attitudes.
Look, the meme is a nice one. It's just so inane as to be not worth stating. And if you really have to ask people to be nice, do you think they will?
No-one should water down the writing and opinions they publish online. Shit happens. Let's not shut our eyes and mouths and ears and pretend it doesn't.
posted by Neale at 4:19 AM on May 23, 2000


"No-one should water down the writing and opinions they publish online. Shit happens. Let's not shut our eyes and mouths and ears and pretend it doesn't."

Are you telling ME how to write now? (see how sily that sounds)

It wasn't "watered down" - it was made more clear. Apparently, even as simple as it was it was too complex - so I had to simplify even further. Yes, in a way I had to dumb it down.

The ruffled feathers extend beyond mefi - believe me.

If you don't like the idea or the message or my "high-horse" don't listen, don't read.

It's just funny how everyone who says what a shitty idea this is is linking it all over the place. If you don't like it - don't promote it. Parody it. That would be great! It's the same thing - if all of you don't like it, shut up about it, ignore it, let it fade.

Is this not all ridiculous? Why is everyone so defensive?

"I think this whole schmeer is really all about getting hits."

And that is one of the more fucked up statements I keep hearing. Please tell me - How could I have known that I would get the response I did from this? How could I have known it was going to get linked on Blogger or by some other higher traffic sights? I don't see the logic in that.

I'd bitch more but I have to get to work.


posted by thinkdink at 6:57 AM on May 23, 2000


Neale: "They do not, you ill-bred galloot."

Cute!

Don't get me wrong: I wholly believe there is a place for (bad pop-culturish term ahead) "negative blogging" on the web. And there is a place for personal attacks, professional attacks, and everything else. My beef is with those people who use personal attacks to better themselves - and there are plenty of people who do, although I should note that there are also plenty who don't. Thinkdink says a veeery similar thing on his sign-up page.

And to that end, I agree with him. The sign-in isn't about censorship or making a "shiny happy web". It's about thinking before you post. That's it. If you don't want to do it, don't. ::shrug:: No one is forcing you to do it.

I brought up my example because I thought it was a nice, concrete one that would support "positive blogging". I know that (gasp) bad things happen in real life and online. I don't think positive blogging is necessarily a bad thing. Of course, my opinion isn't yours.
posted by hijinx at 7:00 AM on May 23, 2000


Where, exactly, does one draw the line between thoughtful, civil disagreement, and personal attacks?
posted by harmful at 7:16 AM on May 23, 2000


harmful - that is for YOU to decide. This is why non-neg it is "watered down" and non-specific.

YOU decide where your level of civility is.
posted by thinkdink at 7:53 AM on May 23, 2000


I think for the most part it's reasonably simple to tell the difference between thoughtful disagreement (otherwise known as constructive criticism :-) and plain old flamage.

If someone were to email me in regards to my site saying "You dumb, ignorant bastard useless waste of bandwidth piece of crap idiotic flame blah flame flame" that would obviously be a personal attack.

On the other hand, if someone were to email me saying "Hey. I just visited your site, and the grey dates & times are REALLY frustrating on the white background, and they're too damn small, too" then I'd know that there's a big of intelligence behind they're keyboard, and for whatever reason they're interested in helping me, rather than deriding me for the sake of deriding me.

Replace 'email' for 'linkage' where necessary, and my point suddenly becomes applicable to blogging and link text. :-)
posted by cCranium at 9:00 AM on May 23, 2000


Blogging is among the least important writing on the web.

If you provide useful information and links about a certain subject area (Camworld, Tomalek) then your weblog is worthwhile to a number of readers. If you merely amuse yourself, then the activity is valid but not terribly important.

Given that most blogs are not terribly important, competitiveness and meanness further devalue what is being created. It's like winning the retarded people's spelling bee by whacking the other contestants on the head with a board.

Many bloggers appear to be in search of something they missed in high school: popularity. Some will try for it by behaving like the characters in Heathers. Lots of air kissing. Others will behave like Christian Slater in Heathers.

If you truly seek popularity and admiration, maybe you should create something other than a blog.
posted by Zeldman at 10:38 AM on May 23, 2000


Like a macaroni noodle mosaic?
posted by dangerman at 11:40 AM on May 23, 2000


...or a really big head-whacking board.
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 11:44 AM on May 23, 2000


Non-negative blogging is a noble concept.

Let me repeat -- a concept.

I read the page when it was first posted, before TD had to "dumb it down," and anyone with basic comprehensive skills could ascertain the following:

1) it's not an "us nice people against those bad people" thing.

2) it's not "brainwashing," it was an expression of how SHE personally felt, and an invitation for people who felt the same way she did to consciously make the choice to be more positive.

Yes, the world sucks. Yes, the world is full of people who know that they have the freedom to be bitchy and take full advantage of it. That, however, doesn't justify the attacks on people who decide to think first before they speak.

It's an exercise in self-control, a censoring of self. It's the same thing as a bunch of people pledging to stop smoking, or to stop eating meat, or to stop doing something that they find makes their life a bit more negative than it needs to be. Taking the initiative to make the world a bit better, as naive as the idea may be, is something to be applauded.

Actually, the cynical attitudes that have arisen over something as non-threatening as a pledge that one doesn't even have to keep is rather funny. I could see being upset if, once you pledged, an armed man with an itchy trigger finger stood at your shoulder, just waiting for you to say something snide so he could blow your head off.

I'm with TD on this -- I don't get the negativity. If you don't like the concept, or can't agree with it, then don't join. But complaining about it in such a manner, really. And I bet you're right there in the forefront when others complain about the Spice Girls or Hanson.

It's so trendy to be cynical nowadays, you know.
posted by precocious at 2:31 PM on May 23, 2000


>It's so trendy to be cynical nowadays, you know.

Cynical? That's so last week.

I agree with Precocious.

Has the horse stopped breathing? My arm is tired.

posted by Zeldman at 3:03 PM on May 23, 2000


*kick*
posted by dangerman at 8:40 PM on May 23, 2000


thinkdink:

"And that is one of the more fucked up statements I keep hearing. Please tell me - How could I have known that I would get the response I did from this? How could I have known it was going to get linked on Blogger or by some other higher traffic sites?"

Clarification: I don't think it was about hits for you as much as it was for other people who signed your pledge. But you did have a little thingie that was supposed to be linked back to your positive blogging page, no?

I really don't like being told to be a good person. It just ruins it for me. Call it a neurosis, but that's just how I am. When I start being a good person after being told to be a good person, then it Just. Does. Not. Feel. Good. To. Me.

Precocious:

"It's an exercise in self-control, a censoring of self."

I don't want to censor myself. What makes you think that this is an appealing idea? Why should self-censorship be encouraged en masse? That is not what I come to my web browser to see. But that's just me.


"It's the same thing as a bunch of people pledging to stop smoking, or to stop eating meat, or to stop doing something that they find makes their life a bit more negative than it needs to be."

I don't really see things so black and white like this. Saying critical things is BAAD, saying nicey nice things is Gooood. Uh, no. There's a huge, vast spectrum of grey (and colourful) area inbetween.



"Taking the initiative to make the world a bit better, as naive as the idea may be, is something to be applauded."

I'll hold my applause. This is NOT NECESSARILY MAKING THE WORLD BETTER. Granted there's some flame crap which is puerile and stupid. There's some dippy flowery pap that's puerile and stupid too, though. "Nice" does not equate to "entertaining" or even "good". Not in my book. Or blog.


"I'm with TD on this -- I don't get the negativity. If you don't like the concept, or can't agree with it, then don't join. But complaining about it in such a manner, really. And I bet you're right there in the forefront when others complain about the Spice Girls or Hanson. It's so trendy to be cynical nowadays, you know."

Uh, whatever. Just assume I'm being trendy if I'm being myself. That's simplifying it a wee bit, isn't it? Hey, you don't get the negativity, then don't be negative. Just don't make a point of telling me
I'm doing something bad if I want to be myself.

That's where the difference lies. I don't say "Shiny happy blogs are immature." TD is saying "Non shiny happy blogs are immature, and something to join forces against the creation of." More or less, anyway.

You don't see anyone making a page telling people to join up and pledge to not make shiny happy blogs. I wouldn't join one if there WAS one to join - and for the very same reasons I'm not joining this one.

posted by monde at 10:07 PM on May 23, 2000


this is great. I haven't seen so many repressed Oedipal issues boiling to the surface since I quit reading usenet.
posted by Bryan at 10:30 PM on May 23, 2000


Back off, dad.
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 10:35 PM on May 23, 2000


I knew this horse still had life in it.
posted by dangerman at 11:13 PM on May 23, 2000


1. Bring repressed Oedipal urges to a boil.

2. Lower flame and simmer for three days.

3. Add Dead Horse flavoring packet and stir.
posted by Zeldman at 11:50 PM on May 23, 2000


When I first saw this thread, I expected that some of The Usual Suspects would post some pretty nasty remarks. I was hoping, however, that there would be some healthy, civil debate about (whether you agree with them or not) some pretty sweeping statements about how people do and should write their weblogs. That kind of debate was how I saw (with, admittedly, a few exceptions) the first couple of dozen comments here. What I didn't expect was for some of the pro-positive-blogging people to apparently lump the mild and harsh opposition together, and take exception to any objection to what was then known as the Pledge. I bear no ill will towards thinkdink her(?)self, who I think has maintained a rather level head through all the brouhaha, especially all of the unnecessarily vicious private mail she must have been receiving.
posted by harmful at 7:14 AM on May 24, 2000


No the horse won't die...

"I don't really see things so black and white like this. Saying critical things is BAAD, saying nicey nice things is Gooood. Uh, no. There's a huge, vast spectrum of grey (and colourful) area inbetween."

And neither do I. I am sorry that this is how you view non-neg.

"I really don't like being told to be a good person."

then don't listen.

"TD is saying "Non shiny happy blogs are immature, and something to join forces against the creation of." More or less, anyway."

I said this? hmmm. I must be suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder, must have been another me.

"But you did have a little thingie that was supposed to be linked back to your positive blogging page, no?"

Actually it was just part of the initial design of the page, created the exact same size as the blogger button to fill space. I never suggested how to use it or to use it at all.

"I don't want to censor myself. What makes you think that this is an appealing idea?"

Perhaps it isn't for you, perhaps it is for someone else - can you respect that?

"...especially all of the unnecessarily vicious private mail she must have been receiving."

Yes, there has been quite a bit. It was surprising. I made non-neg, because I honestly believe in it, live it, and support it - because of this it is not difficult to stand behind it. I like to think that the people who chose to make their voice public on the website feel the same way.

I hear you (big general you, not specific) saying that you have a right to post whatever you want and that that deserves respect. VERY VERY true. I ask of you to extend that same respect to the people who choose to go about it in a more positive way.

posted by thinkdink at 9:11 AM on May 24, 2000


Lead by example. Be honest. Show people the respect they deserve: no more, no less. Take responsibility for your actions.
posted by Calebos at 9:26 AM on May 24, 2000


I just got round to reading this whole thread now and I have to say: what a cranky bunch of idiots I hang out with (virtually, sometimes). Some of you are far dumber than the barely preliterate philosophy 100 students whose papers I used to have to mark with reasoning skills that make the specious meanderings of veteran politicians look like Euclidean perfection.It is hard for me to understand how any person with sufficient skills to operate a computer could genuinely interpret ThinkDink's effort as a means of censoring anyone. By all means, if you don't agree, don't sign it. But telling her what to do under the guise of trying to prevent her from telling you what to do is indicative of psychopatholgy. I'd say "grow up", but medication is probably required.[This negative comment was posted in support of positive blogging. Not that I would sign any such pledge.]
posted by sylloge at 2:23 PM on May 24, 2000


Alright, this thread has obviously gone on long enough. It's time for someone to close it out. That someone is me:

"The Nazis would have made bloggers sign that pledge."

There! Godwin's law should take care of it now. Man<./i> I have never seen so many words over such a harmless thing.
posted by mrmorgan at 3:13 PM on May 24, 2000


Nor have I ever seen such crappy HTML coding.
posted by mrmorgan at 3:17 PM on May 24, 2000


There!
posted by mrmorgan at 3:35 PM on May 24, 2000


recently an ALA reader took strange umbrage at an old article, in which the obvious point was made that navigational menus need not be placed on the left side of the page.

for some reason, this statement of the obvious offended him.

then he read that his comments were welcome, and that ALA was a mailing list which he could join if he wished.

for some reason, that invitation also offended him.

"which malevolent arm of double-click have you sold your soul to this time?" he demanded, in a poorly reasoned personal note to me. among other things, he attacked commercialism on the web (which has nothing to do with ALA), double-click (which has nothing to do with ALA), and then, since his note was not vicious enough, he pointed out that i was "talentless."

now, in my view, no one is talentless, though some people are more skilled than others.

in any case, i replied - a mistake. among other things, i asked to see his work.

his next note accused me of desiring to have my "techy friends" somehow "hack" his site. he then accused me of being a "writer" (like that would be a bad thing). and then, since this was about strange passions and not about reason or reality, he ended by calling me "fat boy."

which suggested that he had spent a little too much time staring at my picture.

i don't know what any of it means, and i don't understand why the technology of the 'Net is mistaken by some people as permission to attack strangers.

apparently, some people see "permission to attack strangers" as an inalienable right. and when someone who is talented and thoughtful (thinkdink) posts a few words on the subject, that is seen as an attack on these inalienable rights.

you can do with your website whatever you like. you can make it inaccessible or accessible. you can write about your mother. you can even make personal attacks on people you don't know, if this gives you pleasure. no one is stopping you.

you might take the thinkdink post as an opportunity to examine your motives, if attacking others gives you pleasure. you might learn something about yourself.

or just keep flaming away.

there are real conspiracies and real injustices in this world. thinkdink's "positive blogging" comments are neither a conspiracy nor an injustice. they are simply an opinion. it's important to learn the difference between opinions and conspiracies, if you wish to function in this complex world.

now if only the radishes would stop talking to me.
posted by Zeldman at 4:10 PM on May 24, 2000


Mr. Zeldman, it's not that I don't understand, and agree with your opinion. But I'm not kidding--this thread has officially reached the "okay, everyone repeat their opinions again one more round" stage.

Of course, the Nazis would have tried to supress this thread...
posted by mrmorgan at 4:53 PM on May 24, 2000


Butterfield's addendum to Godwin's law: If you actually *mention* Godwin's law in an effort to close a thread, it won't work.
posted by sylloge at 5:53 PM on May 24, 2000


I'd just like to say that you are all filthy ratfuckers.

Thank you.
posted by solistrato at 8:08 PM on May 24, 2000


Only a Nazi would try to change the rules like that, sylloge.
posted by mrmorgan at 8:14 PM on May 24, 2000


I don't believe in Godwin.
posted by Zeldman at 10:32 PM on May 24, 2000


Only a confucian would stick to traditions with such vigour, mrmorgan.

Wait, um, no . . . that's not it. Uh . . .

Only a, ermmm, a, um . . . Fuck you?
posted by sylloge at 2:24 AM on May 25, 2000


Proving that Political Incorrectness is the New Political Correctness... (And "non-negative" is the new 3000+, and thinkdink is the new riothero and kiwi fruit is the new orange...)
And if you need help to work around Butterfield's Addendum to Godwin's Law, then just bring up Wittler
posted by wendellseviltwin at 3:28 AM on May 25, 2000


Touche, sylloge.

"First they came for the positive bloggers, and I did notthing because I am not a positive blogger..."
posted by mrmorgan at 7:17 AM on May 25, 2000


"..then they came for those who can spell, and I did nothing because I cannot spell..."
posted by mrmorgan at 7:18 AM on May 25, 2000


"...then they came for those keeping this tired thread alive and i did noth... oop."
posted by palegirl at 7:38 AM on May 25, 2000


I am *not* the new riothero. You couldn't pay me enough money to endure the hell that is being a teenager again.
posted by thinkdink at 7:55 AM on May 25, 2000


thought I'd beat the dead horse too - seems to be thing to do today...
posted by thinkdink at 7:56 AM on May 25, 2000


I will not make negative remarks about teenagers ...
posted by Zeldman at 9:16 AM on May 25, 2000


Sigh. It looks like some of you good folks have just not really grokked what I was saying. In your haste to close this thread you've completely glossed over the fact that what I take umbrage to is not so much the thing itself, but the very idea of trying to encourage mass behaviour modification in this manner.

That I should be attacked in this thread as "not being smart enough to operate a computer" because I see a trend I don't like, and in another post as "having repressed Oedipal issues" (of all things! Jeepers!) is ironic enough to give me a good laugh. Of course, these posts weren't levelled directly at my person, but seem to be directed at what I was saying. You aren't practicing what you preach, and yet you expect it to be taken seriously.

I agree with Calebas' statement above one hundred percent:

"Lead by example. Be honest. Show people the respect they deserve: no more, no less. Take responsibility for your actions."

This makes sense. This is what actually changes my behaviour. This is what influences other people's behaviour for the better.



posted by monde at 9:56 AM on May 25, 2000


I think we are all just tired of repeating ourselves

"...but the very idea of trying to encourage mass behaviour modification in this manner. " Last I checked, the mass can still think for itself. If you don't agree with the mass don't go with the mass and I have no control over whether or not the mass becomes a mass at all.
posted by thinkdink at 10:09 AM on May 25, 2000


I haven't been to Mass since I graduated from a Catholic high school...
posted by wendell at 12:58 PM on May 25, 2000


I'm not tired of repeating myself. First they came for the people who did not repeat themself, and I did nothing because I repeat myself.
posted by mrmorgan at 1:16 PM on May 25, 2000


I refuse to get the last word on this thread.
posted by Zeldman at 1:33 PM on May 25, 2000


...I just saw the horse twitch!!!!

You know, when I wrote "Take THAT you bloggers"... I sure as HELL wasn't expecting the weblog community to greet me with open arms. I *wanted* to either make you laugh or piss you off (my sole mission on this planet, I've decided).

I read all the reviews, and I learned from it.

*Thanks to Crazy Uncle Joe, I saw where it needed work, and rewrote it.
*Thanks to
....and well, I got a ton of really great constructive criticism from all over, that I took into consideration to better myself. 'Cause I have a thicker skin than most people.

Would that have been possible with the "Blog Nice" concept??? No. I'd still suck (more). Trash me. It only makes me stronger!!!!

PS: I still agree with (the catalyst of all this) Wondergurl's post about not answering email. If you can't answer all your email, don't post your f**king address or invite people to write to you on your site!

-Some Guy-
posted by
EricBrooksDotCom at 1:35 PM on May 25, 2000


forgot to close the </A>...Gawd I'm a moron...
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 1:37 PM on May 25, 2000


Of course, the greatest fallacy being expressed here is the assumption that positivity = conformity and negativity = individualism. The image is of the romantically independent outlaw, but the reality a lot more often is the mindlessness of the ugly mob. It is so much easier to define yourself by what you're against - it requires so much less thought. That's why the "no-negativity" pledge (and I'm not afraid to use that p-word) is really a commitment to THINK before you blog, to seek out ways to make your criticism constructive, and, if after some thought, you can't come up with anything more eloquent than "You Suck", then it really isn't worth saying at all.If you don't have anything nice to say, PLEASE try to make it a little more original!
posted by wendell at 1:40 PM on May 25, 2000


And, yes, Eric did succeed in making it a little more original.
posted by wendell at 1:43 PM on May 25, 2000


Waaaaaaah!!!!!

That did it!!! I'm quitting the web because of Wendell!!!!
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 1:54 PM on May 25, 2000


One down... and only a million to go...
posted by wendell at 2:10 PM on May 25, 2000


Monde: "what I take umbrage to is not so much the thing itself, but the very idea of trying to encourage mass behaviour modification in this manner."

In this manner or in any manner? (I'm actually curious here.) If it was a printed leaflet rather than a personal website would that be better?

If it is just the idea of "encouraging mass behaviour modification" simpliciter, do you take anti-smoking ads as personally as you take this? How about speed limits? Laws against littering? T-shirts that say "Keep on Trucking"? Etc.

I wouldn't say that you are unintelligent because "you see a trend you don't like." Rather (as I said), I can't reconcile intelligence with a genuine interpretation of that site as "a means to censor anyone". Unintelligent or disingenuous: those are the dilemma's horns.

You said: "Just don't make a point of telling me I'm doing something bad if I want to be myself." It seems absolutely clear to me that the site was doing no such thing (it was about non-negative blogging, remember?) — there were no clauses about "monde is bad because she wants to be herself".
posted by sylloge at 2:19 PM on May 25, 2000


Just for the record, we're within stiking distance of the record number of comments: 106...
posted by wendell at 2:44 PM on May 25, 2000


That's STRIKING distance... (and another comment!)
posted by wendell at 2:44 PM on May 25, 2000


10 PRINT "I think we should be nice to each other!"
20 PRINT "I think we should be mean to each other!"
30 GOTO 10

RUN
posted by mrmorgan at 2:50 PM on May 25, 2000


My sentiments exactly... RUN!!! RUN!!!
posted by wendell at 5:18 PM on May 25, 2000


*kick*
posted by dangerman at 6:05 PM on May 25, 2000


At this point, the seemingly irreconcilable differences that had frustrated all participants melted away, as the survivors caught sight of a new, and achievable, goal:

To construct the longest-running thread in Metafilter history.

What was to stop them? They were young, full of daring, and, above all, had nothing better to do.

Eyes aglow, hearts pounding, they encircled the wreckage. Shyly, at first, they exchanged glances - then smiles. Yes, it could be done. Yes, they were just the people to do it.

From the ashes of civilized discourse, they would conjure a phoenix of sheer, unadulterated length.

The thread would grow and grow. Yes, it would be meaningless, but what of that? Call it a metaphor, if you will. Cancel the debating society. Just build, damn it. Roll up your sleeves. Let's make this thing.
posted by Zeldman at 6:47 PM on May 25, 2000


I'm with yah man! - in for the long haul...
posted by thinkdink at 7:12 PM on May 25, 2000


*rolling up sleeves exposing bulging biceps*

finally...a chance to build something meaningful on the web
posted by dangerman at 7:15 PM on May 25, 2000


...and the best part of it is, with enough extraneous fillr, nobody can tell it you're being POSITIVE or NEGATIVE!

Speaking of Dead Horses... W-i-i-lbu-r-r-r!
posted by wendell at 7:17 PM on May 25, 2000


I resemble that remark.
posted by wendellseviltwin at 7:19 PM on May 25, 2000


[Fe] How interesting that what seems destined to be the longest MeFi thread to date will outpace the great 3000+ debate, heretofore thought to be the definitive weblog statement on whether or not size matters. [/Fe] Apparently, topic drift is the new daytime television.
posted by bradlands at 7:40 PM on May 25, 2000


Gee, that six-week-old 3000+ topic seems to have magically sprouted almost 20 additional comments.
Who could be responsible? Could it be... Satan?
(No, that is not negative blogging, that is an overly cute and generally outdated media reference.)
posted by wendell at 7:53 PM on May 25, 2000


Does this mean I can make self-promoting links now?
posted by dangerman at 7:53 PM on May 25, 2000


The new tagline c/o Zeldman.
posted by Neale at 8:06 PM on May 25, 2000


Damn, I've run out of funny things to say...

...in '95 or '96 or so...

But I'll do my part for this Cause.
posted by mrmorgan at 8:09 PM on May 25, 2000


Any way I can.
posted by mrmorgan at 8:10 PM on May 25, 2000


In fact, wouldn't it be cool if Matt could code Metafilter to start generating random posts after a thread crosses a certain size?
posted by mrmorgan at 8:11 PM on May 25, 2000


Whoops. Wrong thread. :)
posted by Neale at 8:11 PM on May 25, 2000


I knew sooner or later he'd completely self-destruct. First he starts reposting his own blog on the end of the 3000+ thread, now he accidentally posts to the wrong thread. Boy, am I glad he's on a seperate continent.
posted by wendell at 8:12 PM on May 25, 2000


Or start randomly repeating posts from earlier in the thread, just to see if anyone has the stomach to read the entire thread at once?
posted by mrmorgan at 8:13 PM on May 25, 2000


I thought these WERE random comments.
posted by wendell at 8:13 PM on May 25, 2000


Yeah, but why should I do all the hard work? Isn't technology here to serve us, or is that the voices in my walls again? Darnit!
posted by mrmorgan at 8:17 PM on May 25, 2000


Hey, morgan, the MeFi membership count is getting dangerously close to 1000... You may ask the voices in your walls to get their own IDs...
posted by wendell at 8:29 PM on May 25, 2000


I can't believe I forgot to close my bold and italic tags on this incredibly long and well thought reply in which I use italics to provide emphasis on something I felt deserved a little more attention. I'm sorry everyone and I'll re-post another comment explaining my lack of proof reading skills and make another pleading cry to Matt to provide some sort of editing tools fors Me-Fi.
posted by dangerman at 8:32 PM on May 25, 2000


Yeah, yeah Neale, you keep *saying* it's the new tagline, but until I see it here it's all, um, horsewhisperers. No, that's, eh . . . that's not it. Ah, um . . . Fuck you?

posted by sylloge at 8:33 PM on May 25, 2000


oops sorry forgot to close my tags...Matt you really need to get some editing tools for Me-Fi
posted by dangerman at 8:33 PM on May 25, 2000


better?
posted by dangerman at 8:35 PM on May 25, 2000


Hey, I just noticed... THIS IS MY 200TH COMMENT!!! YAAAAY!!!


must.... regain... control...
posted by wendell at 8:45 PM on May 25, 2000


I am so glad that my ill-gotten quest provided the fodder for a new and more ambitious quest. I feel so, so rockstarish... please let this go to my head.
posted by thinkdink at 8:49 PM on May 25, 2000


Hi there,   We have noticed on our site, Spyonit.com, that many of our users are creating "Spies" for your website, which simply means that every time something new is posted on your page it will notify them via email or some other notification form.  What I am suggesting for you is to try out our Spybuilder Wizard which is located here: http://developer.spyonit.com.  You may place a "Chicklet" on your site which allows users to click on the button and lets all of your users know when something new is on your site.  You may check out our press release at this link: http://www.spyonit.com/pr052500_01.jsp.
posted by Zeldman at 8:52 PM on May 25, 2000


May 24, 2000
Although new artist Treiops Treyfid claims that the chaos of his works is confined spatially and temporally by the frame, it seems to swell like a water balloon seconds away from eruption. The tension is undeniable. The buffoonery on the surface--created by manic, cartoonish imagery--is undercut by the lack of a focal point. The concealed eyes--like snipers in a bush--always seem to see you before you see them. The works unnerve us because of the seemingly jocund images which have the same effect as a raving clown. We are, in essence, betrayed by the joke of color and shape.
posted by Zeldman at 8:53 PM on May 25, 2000


But I saved the best for last! The Joke Fairy has blessed you and your site, which virtually guarantees you immortality and complete happiness. To activate your immortality and complete happiness, all you need do is install the attached blessing talisman on your site and link it to http://www.jokefairy.com.

Oh, I realize that immortality and complete happiness may not seem like much now, but take it from a girl who's been around awhile: 500 years from now, immortality will come in very handy.
posted by Zeldman at 8:56 PM on May 25, 2000


quote: The world is ruled by letting things take their course. -Lao-tzu
posted by thinkdink at 8:57 PM on May 25, 2000


i heart zeldman - he's so cool. he makes me giggle.
posted by thinkdink at 8:58 PM on May 25, 2000


I am in awe. When I am wiser, perhaps those sentences will become mer words again, but for now they are merely beauty, encapsulated.

The voices in my walls apparently want to have a serious talk with you, Wendell. Something about cheese? They don't sound happy at all.
posted by mrmorgan at 9:00 PM on May 25, 2000


mrmorgan - I ate that paper once too
posted by thinkdink at 9:03 PM on May 25, 2000


Good Times is not a virus; it is a complete hoax. There is currently no virus that has the characteristics ascribed to Good Times. The e-mail Good Times "warning" was written by a couple of pranksters on America Online (AOL) sometime in 1994. Since then, it has traveled the Internet electronic mail system, spreading fear wherever it crops up. The message is just convincing enough that people spread the news to all of their friends. Needless to say, it has propagated itself well over the years.

Several times a year, our AV Research Center receives calls or e-mail regarding the Good Times "virus." Reports crop up most often around the major holidays when e-mail and letter mail usage is highest.

Please ignore any messages regarding this "virus" and do not pass on any messages regarding it. Passing on messages about this hoax on serves only to further propagate it.


posted by dangerman at 9:07 PM on May 25, 2000


Do you remember holding previous conversations regarding business and
money making opportunities. I did not send this to you in error!

You said:

"If only I could find an easier way to make a higher income"

and

"If I had more money, I could spend more time with my Family, and
less time at work"

and

"I sure could use more money so I could pay off my bills once and for
all!"

and

"I would love to get involved in a business in which will generate
money while I am not at work (like a Gas Pump)"

Dear Friend,

There is a possibility that we haven't met, but you were chosen by
someone to receive this E-Mail.

Please, please, print this off and read thoroughly. Be sure that you
don't miss any of the points outlined. Then put it down, and then read
it again. I am sending you a whole lot of information in which you
might not understand the first time you read it. If you don't believe
this program will work for you, send it to 10-20 of your closest
friends (in which you trust deeply), and ask them what they think?
posted by Zeldman at 9:22 PM on May 25, 2000


Due to the popularity of this letter on the Internet,

$$$ A MAJOR NIGHTLY NEWS Program recently dedicated an entire
show to the investigation of the program described below to see if it really can make people money.

The show also investigated whether or not the program was legal.
Their findings proved that there are absolutely no laws prohibiting
the participation in the program. This has helped to show people that this is a simple, harmless and fun way to make some extra money at home.

posted by Zeldman at 9:24 PM on May 25, 2000


A guy met a girl at a nightclub, and she invited him back to her place for the night. When they arrived at her house, they went right into her bedroom.

The guy saw that the room was filled with stuffed animals. There were hundreds of them all over the place. Giant stuffed animals were on top of the wardrobe. Large stuffed animals were on the bookshelf and on the window sill, and a lot of smaller stuffed animals were on the bottom shelf.

Much later, after they had sex, he turned to her and asked, "So ... how was I?"

"Well," she said, "You can take anything from the bottom shelf."
posted by thinkdink at 9:55 PM on May 25, 2000


See? not negative - he still won a prize...

Carry on...
posted by thinkdink at 10:02 PM on May 25, 2000


shit, am i ever glad i didn't get involved in this thread.
posted by adam at 10:23 PM on May 25, 2000


I was missing from it since my first post. Brennan told me it had inspired Godwin's law, so I came back to look...

and damn if this wasn't right up there with the best of a.f.u.

Last Post!!
posted by baylink at 10:39 PM on May 25, 2000


Yeah, but Matt can't bust MY ass without doing the same to Zeldman, can he? And he'd NEVER do that, would he?


If this were a TV sitcom, the next thing you'd see would be Mathowie hitting the Enter key while his screen shows in big black letters: WENDELL - DELETED.
posted by wendell at 10:41 PM on May 25, 2000


Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?
posted by Zeldman at 11:31 PM on May 25, 2000


And I would've gotten away with it, if it hadn't been for those meddling kids and their dumb dog...
posted by wendell at 11:59 PM on May 25, 2000


You kids get off my lawn!

Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?

posted by Zeldman at 12:13 AM on May 26, 2000


I'm not sure, even upon multiple re-readings, what the hell we're doing. But that's okay. I'm pretty sure that's how the American Revolution got started.

"Hey, dude, wanna dress up like a native? We're having a party over at The Sons of Liberty place!"

"Cool! I am so there!"

"Oh, yeah...we gotta make one stop first..."

So here we are, posting comments on what appears to be a crusade to build a thread of enormous size. This TOES must be careful, however, for like the infamous Tower of Babylon, it may be crushed under the weight of its own ponderousness and reduced to a series of babbles. On the other hand, it's kind of cool to imagine a whole lot of new languages being born out of Scooby Doo references and Henry II's greatest bloopers.

Boy, that Johannes Kepler was a real nutbar, huh? Between doing people's horoscopes and writing supposedly true travel dialoges of his moon journeys, it's a wonder he had any time for astronomy! Luckily, ol' Coppernose himself, Tycho Brahe, had done most of the work of actually looking at the sky for him.

I like Boston Cream Pie and Ovaltine. They soothe me.

So, how many people think there's a perfectly rational explanation for the tens of thousands of UFO sightings that have managed to resist conventional explanation?

If I had it to do over again, I wouldn't do it at all.

Time travel is for losers, but if I was going to travel in time, I'd head to 1066 and warn Harold of Wessex not to attack the Normans until his entire army showed up. Oh, and I'd give him a lot of guns, too. Wait a minute...screw that, I'm going back to AD 60 and giving the guns to Boudica!

Ivan Cloulas, you Borgia-loving freak, you are one bad man.

So I was reading a collection of stories that appeared in Weird Tales when I realized how much I loved the pulps, and how sad it was that they are gone.

That's basically all for me. Enjoy and expand.
posted by Ezrael at 6:59 AM on May 26, 2000


Current thread length: 13,636 words or 4.5 Bens.
posted by bradlands at 8:24 AM on May 26, 2000


If placed end-to-end, the comments on this thread would extend from the couch at Pyra headquarters to the mirror in Carl Steadman's bathroom...
posted by wendell at 9:32 AM on May 26, 2000


But then, if placed end-to-end, the comments in this thread would still not make any sense.
posted by wendell at 9:33 AM on May 26, 2000


And if all the participants in this thread were placed end to end, it'd be SXSW 2001!!!
(apologies to Dorothy Parker)
posted by wendell at 9:35 AM on May 26, 2000


Uh....what was the topic again? I've been so busy trashing Wendell on my site, that I forgot.
-Some Guy-
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 10:27 AM on May 26, 2000


I second what (or third) what Zeldman & Hijinx is saying.

We *all* get attacked at some point. You're never gonna please everyone... look what Zeldman just went through with Slashdot, right?

Everytime I write an article for Internet Day, I'm looking at 1,200 emails that day. 1/4 of them picks my site apart, 1/4 of them argue every line I wrote... and 1/4 of them ask me if I'm fucking "gay"....

What kind of shit is that???? I never owned a Barbra Streisand record in my life. I go into full, sordid details of how I made their mom a happy camper the other night (so I can't be gay), only to find my email returned because the spineless turd didn't use their real e-mail address!!!! AAARGH!

So I adopted a new policy: All personal attacks are greeted with "Sorry you didn't like this, or that...I *did* like your site though, that was pretty cool what you did with....." Then comes 400+ apologies from them....

Kill 'em with kindness...It makes them feel like crap!!!! HEE HEE!!!!
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 11:23 AM on May 26, 2000


would the doctor like a brandy before retiring?
posted by Zeldman at 11:33 AM on May 26, 2000


...eughhhh. Last word freaks. (grumble...grumble) ;0)
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 11:46 AM on May 26, 2000


Hey, EBDC, where on your site are you trashing me, and did you include a link?
posted by wendell at 11:51 AM on May 26, 2000


*groan* oh brother...
posted by thinkdink at 1:50 PM on May 26, 2000


Yo, say what???? You callin' me out?? You callin' my bluff, Wendell???

You know who be messin' wif boyyyyy!!!!!

Yo butt asked for it!!! LeT tHe FlAmE WaR beGin boyyyyyyyyy!!!!!
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 1:55 PM on May 26, 2000


Go ahead, EB, just as long as you blog nicely.

The circle is now complete, we have achieved closure. This is the obvious final post. You may all go hime now
posted by wendell at 2:26 PM on May 26, 2000


I can't...I'm "Himeless".

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

PS: Dont you dare call my update page a "blog"! UGH! :0)

posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 2:35 PM on May 26, 2000


Is it me, or or are things getting entirely too self-referential around here?
posted by Zeldman at 3:36 PM on May 26, 2000


...and with #43, Zeldman diverting the other team to the Deja Vu page.... #12, Brooks rushes across the field and scores...The Last Word!!!!

Yeah!!!!! High-five guys!!!!

....guys?
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 5:40 PM on May 26, 2000







It is finished.
posted by Zeldman at 10:14 PM on May 26, 2000


Or has it only begun?

Sorry, couldn't resist the ourborous.
posted by Ezrael at 10:26 PM on May 26, 2000


I give up. What does "ourborous" mean?
posted by wendell at 9:08 AM on May 27, 2000


Isn't "Ourborous Day" when you plant a tree or something?
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 9:55 AM on May 27, 2000


I got the real paper OED here. Under "ourobororos" it says "variant of uroboros". Uroboros is "A usually circular symbol depicting a snake (or occaisonally a dragon) swallowing its tail, as an emblem of wholeness or infinity."

Uroboros!
posted by sylloge at 1:47 PM on May 27, 2000


I thought the uroboros was the symbol of unsuccessful Chris Carter TV shows...
posted by wendell at 2:53 PM on May 27, 2000


Nick Carter, from the "Backstreet Boys", is doing tv shows??? I thought he was dating Britney Spears???
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 4:47 PM on May 27, 2000


I thought the snake swallowing its tail was the symbol of the Darwin Awards.
Anybody want to try to diagram all the internal links in MetaFilter right now?
posted by wendell at 5:26 PM on May 27, 2000


Did you know you can preview comment posts?
posted by wendell at 5:30 PM on May 27, 2000


*kick*
posted by dangerman at 11:38 PM on May 27, 2000


You gotta love when one simple mythic animal can resurrect a dying thread, don't you? Well, if the Ourborous can do so much, what about the < a href="http://www.angelfire.com/oh/wolfebyte/manticore.html">Martiya khvaris? Or perhaps the Mandragola?

Gotta love the web just for bestiaries. They keep the fun of insane speculations intact! Oh, to be a young man now that Cryptozoology is here!

Yeah, I'm a strange bastard, but especially today. Too bad this whole thread will be gone soon.
posted by Ezrael at 10:37 AM on May 28, 2000


Should previewed that. Oh, well.
posted by Ezrael at 10:38 AM on May 28, 2000


Ah, but threads *never* die, Ez; they just go off to the archive. Isn't SQL great?
posted by baylink at 10:44 AM on May 28, 2000


And now this one is off the front page. Finally. It's an "after hours" thread.
posted by sylloge at 4:49 PM on May 28, 2000


But new comments will still be included in the count at the top of the front page, confounding those of us who keep track.

posted by wendell at 10:39 PM on May 28, 2000


Mythic animals? Like the Zeldman?
posted by wendell at 10:42 PM on May 28, 2000


And if you're actually a MF user you really rely on those damn unreliable "new" counts. If we keep at it, adding, 10 or 15 comments every so often, more people would be confused.
posted by sylloge at 1:18 AM on May 29, 2000


To confusion . . .
posted by sylloge at 1:20 AM on May 29, 2000


And confounding . . .
posted by sylloge at 1:22 AM on May 29, 2000


And co-founding . . .
posted by sylloge at 1:23 AM on May 29, 2000


God, I love Alain Jourgenson. Yeah, I know it means nothing, I just don't care. "Blood tastes thicker than wine, Shorter than desperation, Driving through the highways at night, one final destination, Just One Fix."

My God, I love Ministry.

This has been a message from the pointless linkage association.
posted by Ezrael at 8:44 PM on May 29, 2000


Fan mail from some flounder?
posted by wendell at 8:40 PM on May 30, 2000


What?
posted by sylloge at 4:22 AM on May 31, 2000


I feel I missed something here.
posted by pnevares at 3:06 PM on January 17, 2001


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