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Ten years of wonderful things
January 21, 2010 7:51 AM   Subscribe


 
They're a swell bunch of kids.
posted by Mister_A at 7:52 AM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hppy Brthdy, Bng Bng!
posted by jeanmari at 7:53 AM on January 21, 2010 [30 favorites]


ths wll nd wll
posted by DU at 7:53 AM on January 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


Inexhaustible curiosity and so much positive energy. The world would be a less interesting place without BB and its many brilliant progeny, including Make. Thanks, folks!
posted by digaman at 7:55 AM on January 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


To be clear, it's the 10th anniversary of the Web site. Preceding it was a fairly awesome zine put out by Mark Frauenfelder and Carla Sinclair, which started in 1988, and what I still think was a pretty terrific book called The Happy Mutant's Handbook.

I miss the zine, and still read and enjoy the book. I unsubscribed from the Web site after the Violet Blue debacle and have not found myself missing it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:55 AM on January 21, 2010 [13 favorites]


Wasn't this posted on Reddit three days ago?
posted by anti social order at 7:57 AM on January 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


(Hmm. Xeni has put me on the disemvoweling list, clearly. Which solves the riddle for me of whether a "y" is a consonant or a vowel.)
posted by jeanmari at 7:58 AM on January 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


As much shit as their editorial policies and Cory's insufferability deserve, they're one of my favorite blogs. Good job, y'all.
posted by griphus at 8:00 AM on January 21, 2010


Jessamyn can celebrate by deleting all my posts and pretending they were never made.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:03 AM on January 21, 2010 [8 favorites]


Is this like in Benjamin Button, where they're getting younger? Or is everyone just really embarrassed of the early 90s?
posted by I EAT TAPAS at 8:04 AM on January 21, 2010


Inexhaustible curiosity self-promotion and so much positive energy pettiness. The world would be a less interesting annoying place without BB and its many brilliant smug progeny, including Make. all of Cory's masturbatory "masterpieces". Thanks, For Christ's sake, folks!
posted by orthogonality at 8:05 AM on January 21, 2010 [20 favorites]


Jessamyn can celebrate by deleting all my posts and pretending they were never made.


jssmn wld nvr d tht!
posted by ExitPursuedByBear at 8:06 AM on January 21, 2010


Once upon a time having my work featured on BB was the highlight of my internet fame, I even listed it on my CV. Now, I haven't really paid much attention to them since the demise of Offworld. (Dinosaurs and Robots is still is my news feed, however)

Beloit-style fact: Ten years ago, no one even wondered how you'd pronounce a name such as "Xeni." Now less than a chapter into Warren Ellis' "Crooked Little Vein" I thought to myself, "I bet this thanks Xeni Jarden in the acknowledgments." I was not proven wrong.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 8:06 AM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Happy Mutant's Handbook was great. It was an early sign that Mark Frauenfelder had evolved beyond Wired.
posted by digaman at 8:07 AM on January 21, 2010


As much as I whine and complain about Cory and their editorial policies, it remains on my "top 5 list of work time-wasters." BoingBoing gadgets is consistently interesting.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 8:07 AM on January 21, 2010


They have the worst comment moderation I have ever seen. Worse than no moderation in fact. Their mods are sarcastic, self-absorbed, fighty dicks.
posted by Rumple at 8:08 AM on January 21, 2010 [12 favorites]


Baby_Balrog - Want to go cash our stealth marketing checks together?
posted by griphus at 8:08 AM on January 21, 2010


They were more fun before vowels and then whole posts started disappearing.
posted by caddis at 8:08 AM on January 21, 2010


Here's to ten more years of masturbatory Disney posts, baseless conspiracy theories, and the hope that their next redesign causes my eyeballs to bleed. I can't wait.
posted by mrbarrett.com at 8:10 AM on January 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


I still have the Happy Mutant Handbook as well, Astro Zombie. I thought it was so great (my first exposure to Chris Ware and Adrian Tomine) that when I started reading about Boing Boing here on MeFi, I thought it was a completely unrelated site (for comparison, the website gave me Violet Blue, disemvoweling, and countless subway anagram maps).
posted by Dr-Baa at 8:10 AM on January 21, 2010


Are they still around?
posted by unSane at 8:11 AM on January 21, 2010


If only there were a website that interested parties could visit to learn more about such important goings-on in the world of Boing Boing!
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:16 AM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Boing boing? That's that steampunk blog right?
posted by jonesor at 8:16 AM on January 21, 2010


It's easy to snark on BoingBoing, but I appreciate what they do. At one time they were just on the front edge of the wave for me, collecting all the interesting bits. Then I learned about their sources and started reading them, too, and now I don't need BoingBoing anymore. But when I pop back in from time to time it still reads pretty good.

My one complaint with BB is it used to be plastered with ads. Really bad. Now I only see three ad units on the page, and each one filled with the same pretty unimpressive CapitalOne ad. Is that kind of business in decline?
posted by Nelson at 8:17 AM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Now I only see three ad units on the page, and each one filled with the same pretty unimpressive CapitalOne ad. Is that kind of business in decline?

It could be that one ad for a major bank brings in a lot more scratch than several ads from Suicide Girls or whatever rubbish.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:20 AM on January 21, 2010


Also, I haven't really looked at their main site in years but still monitor the Gadgets RSS feed. They were good at what they did back in 2002-2004, but then started being redundant and behind the curve. Most of the BB hate does derive from envy, however.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:23 AM on January 21, 2010


I used to appreciate what they do, but the near-constant self-promotion started to get to me, and the Violet Blue debacle (or dbcl) lost them a reader. Haven't really missed it.
posted by graventy at 8:23 AM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii
oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu
yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

Mister printer, the Knowing Ones complain of my book, the first edition had no stops. I put in enough here and they may pepper and salt it as they please."
posted by jenkinsEar at 8:26 AM on January 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


I unsubscribed from the Web site after the Violet Blue debacle and have not found myself missing it.

I too vowed to not return after the Violet Blue incident and have surprised myself by actually doing so (with one mundane exception that I cannot recall at the moment.)
posted by yeti at 8:28 AM on January 21, 2010


> They have the worst comment moderation I have ever seen. Worse than no moderation in fact. Their mods are sarcastic, self-absorbed, fighty dicks.

I don't pay as close attention as I used to, but their mods appear to have calmed down a lot. I'm guessing they looked up 'moderation' and realized they were doing it wrong. I haven't seen as much of the passive-aggressive dsmvwlng crap, and almost none of the 'pick a fight' style of 'moderation.'

Or are they just using deletion more, instead?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:28 AM on January 21, 2010


Burhanistan, you're welcome to post your ahead-of-the-curve links and help us all out. That's the sort of thing BoingBoing would do.
posted by digaman at 8:28 AM on January 21, 2010


* oh... but I have been to Off World a few times, if that counts.
posted by yeti at 8:29 AM on January 21, 2010


Are they still around?

Nope! Prank post! Gotcha!
posted by griphus at 8:31 AM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I drifted away a few years ago when it started turning into the fortress of steampunk and was getting into that personality promotion thing, but I do agree it's an interesting and unique blog.
posted by crapmatic at 8:33 AM on January 21, 2010


☼☼☼☼ STEAMPUNK COMMENT ☼☼☼☼
posted by Legomancer at 8:36 AM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I miss the zine

I miss the zine, too. And Mondo 2000. On rainy days, when everything feels especially futile, I like to leaf through the back issues I've kept and think about how the future used to be.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:37 AM on January 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


I miss the zine, and still read and enjoy the book. I unsubscribed from the Web site after the Violet Blue debacle and have not found myself missing it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:55 AM on January 21


Same here. The Violet Blue thing was just ridiculous and I would rather leave a Russian spambot in charge of moderation than TNH.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:38 AM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Most of the BB hate does derive from envy, however.

Who's hating? I see some disgust/amusement at their heavy handed moderation antics, occasional eye-rolling at the number of self-promoting posts or links, some heavy sighing at the proliferation of steampunk coverage, but I rarely see hate. We have Boing Boing to partially thank for sending us down the path of paying our mortgage payments via Google Ads after they gave our weird little blog a shout out in '03. Which was a signal to me that we should take ourselves even LESS seriously. Because the fact that we were able to make anything off of posting pictures of our crap house on the internet is completely ridiculous.

Which is what I think some of the feedback is related to re: Boing Boing. The occasional "Hey, man. You guys need to take yourselves a bit less seriously." It's a blog. A mostly and variably interesting blog. That posts links. To content elsewhere. Not a cure for cancer.
posted by jeanmari at 8:39 AM on January 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


back when I was really into papercraft and map mashups I used to read boingboing all the time, but then I realized that they were just reposting the papercraft map mashups that better blogs had already mentioned and I stopped reading.
posted by shmegegge at 8:40 AM on January 21, 2010


10 years of the surveillance cameras in your face, the man, steampunk and bodged photoshops. meh.
posted by monkeyJuice at 8:41 AM on January 21, 2010


I like many of the things I see posted there, but it's really filled with an astonishing amount of self-promotion. I guess I understand how it works, but it bums me out because it makes me feel like I'm constantly being sold something (rather than, say, presented with something). I'm pretty sure I first read about MeFi on BB, though, so I have a lot of gratitude for that.

On a related note: have they started paying peacay for constantly reposting his work yet?
posted by OmieWise at 8:42 AM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I too see the value of the blog, but find it compromised by the self-promotion of a certain author.
posted by polyhedron at 8:47 AM on January 21, 2010


Strange for MeFi; a lot of us raised pitchforks and set gasoline tins on fire around the whole Blue incident.

Rather than just pepper favorites, I'd say that BoingBoing found this beautiful niche where they wanted to blog about "interesting things", so they did, and they asked for submissions, and people submitted more "interesting things", and then the readership grew, and it kind of just reinforced itself -- the things come flooding in, you post some of the good ones, even more come flooding in, repeat.

The stuff was usually so neat that you could skip past the [Xeni/Cory] self promotional posts, enjoy the interesting thing, then be on your way. Then some days there were more self promotionals then there were interesting's, then even more, and then that awful, awful attempt of a comment system.

What other folks said -- the 'blue thing and their failure to ever come clean about their behavior killed the site for me. I could no longer "look past" the posts without gritting my teeth.

Supporters always talk about "oh you just envy them" "oh you wish you could be them". Well let's be fair, they hit the right niche at the right time -- see the first bit about the reinforcing cycle -- and they sure do have a big readership. I think anyone wanting to have a popular weblog would be daft to not say they wanted similiar metrics as BB. It's the bloggers, or moderators, that are really the source of the ire whenever I see threads about them. It's like -- hey, they had this cool shop, and then they just took a dump on it.

So, urhnm, happy 10th? Enh?

Also;; Gadgets is swell, but I think part of that swellness is the team they hired (Hi Joel!). If say one of the current mods ran the Gadgets blog, it would be their friends' art installation phones and OMGSEX items.
posted by cavalier at 8:52 AM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


MeFi: A mostly and variably interesting blog. That posts links. To content elsewhere. Not a cure for cancer.
posted by digaman at 9:00 AM on January 21, 2010


I like BB. It's one of the places I visit on a regular basis for quick bites of interesting information, but I avoid the comments section because the moderation just sucks.

If MeFi is "a bento box the size of the Oxford English Dictionary", then BoingBoing is that re-gifted box of chocolates in the break room, courtesy of that the guy from Marketing -- the dark chocolate peanut clusters may be gone, but there are still a few truffles to be found amongst the brittle.
posted by mosk at 9:02 AM on January 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


The VioletBlue and the disemvoweling things were pretty bad. What really permanently tarnished BB for me was an often overlooked "scandal" where Cory, Mark, Jeni, et.al got caught blatantly pimping for Comcast in the blog posts. That was quite the stink and, for me, sealed the deal on BB. I still check-in once in awhile, but I don't value it like I did.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:02 AM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


an often overlooked "scandal" where Cory, Mark, Jeni, et.al got caught blatantly pimping for Comcast in the blog posts

Whoa! Link?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:04 AM on January 21, 2010


I unsubscribed from the Web site after the Violet Blue debacle and have not found myself missing it.

I am also in this boat. Fortunately I had found out about MetaFilter just before the Violet Unknown Event, and it quickly became my new default mode.
posted by oulipian at 9:06 AM on January 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Congratulations BB! I owe them big for introducing me to the phrase "Ukrainian steampunk leatherworker", which went right onto my resume.

Seriously, still looking for the greasemonkey script that suppresses all posts containing the words steampunk, Disney, whuffie and "my novel."
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 9:06 AM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Has the secret mod exchange started yet?
posted by Artw at 9:08 AM on January 21, 2010


Like a lot of people BB was one of the first blogs I followed but I quit them years ago when it seemed like every other post was about copyright battles. It just didn't interest me. But 3-4 months ago I was cleaning out some bookmarks and looking for some new feeds to follow and decided to add them back. A few weeks later Cory reposted one of my links from the blue. that was cool.

I still probably click only 10% or less of the links, but they have enough interesting content to keep me coming back. the recent posts from guest-blogger Stephen Worth ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive were really interesting.
posted by vronsky at 9:23 AM on January 21, 2010


Whoa! Link?

Well, here's a perfunctory write-up from Gawker.

Here is an edited version of the post in-question. I say "edited" because when the post first appeared, there was no mention made of Comcast being a BoingBoing sponsor. The post has been edited to appear more on the up-and-up once the stink began.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:23 AM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Xeni once made an error (it was mildly racist) in one of her posts. I sent her an email about it, she reprinted portions of it, along with my name (I used my main email) on the front page of Boing Boing so my comments could be taken out of context, and then the whole Internet piled on. And now when you Google my name, it's on the front page of results.

So, Xeni sure taught me a lesson.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:28 AM on January 21, 2010 [17 favorites]


I say "edited" because when the post first appeared, there was no mention made of Comcast being a BoingBoing sponsor. The post has been edited to appear more on the up-and-up once the stink began.

It seems mostly a spray on stink with little actual corresponding decomposing matter. A quick search shows that while they're not on a frontal offensive against Comcast, they also aren't particularly beholden or deferential to them. Who knows what's going on in the back end, though. But, the stink about edits is more a problem with BoingBoing not being able to quickly refine and stick to a message than it is with advertising money.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:38 AM on January 21, 2010


Did anyone ever figure out why they expunged Violet Blue?
posted by unSane at 9:43 AM on January 21, 2010


If the World Wide Web high school, the preening twats at BoingBoing would be the Drama Club.
posted by Ratio at 9:49 AM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


jilted lover
posted by found missing at 9:52 AM on January 21, 2010


I'm pretty sure that any fallings out between Xeni Jarden and Violet Blue of a personal nature are none of our business ...but if that's what it was why the hell did Xenu have to go ahead and make it our business?
posted by Artw at 9:57 AM on January 21, 2010


Xenu made it our business back when she put all those Violet Blue thetans in the steampunk volcano mockup and it erupted on everything.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:59 AM on January 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


Thank you everyone for your kind words!

A quick note on the Comcast post. It hasn't been edited, and was authored by Pesco--not Mark, Cory or anyone else. The fact that it was an advertiser shout-out whereby Pesco designed a 'steampunk spaghetti monster' location in Comcast's online game, was disclosed up front.

Pesco's comment at the time to those who found it unwelcome still stands: "This conversation is actually very helpful. Thanks for the constructive comments. I thought I was being transparent by referring to Comcast as a sponsor. And for the record, I don't agree with everything Comcast does. I do subscribe to their cable service. And I did have fun making the BB apartment. However, we hear what you're saying."

The outcome was a change in policy, in that any sponsor shout-outs like this has to have 'advertisement' written above it. But we haven't done one since, in any case.
posted by beschizza at 10:03 AM on January 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


I am also in this boat. Fortunately I had found out about MetaFilter just before the Violet Unknown Event, and it quickly became my new default mode.

I'd just like to acknowledge this as the best obscure reference I have ever seen on MeFi.
posted by griphus at 10:04 AM on January 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


The other theory is that the Boing Boing crowd were pissed at Violet Blue for taking legal action against an adult performer using the same made up name as her. Seems like a very weird way of expressing displeasure if it was. Also I'm pretty sure anyone trying to use the same made up name as Xeni Jarden for that purpose would wind up in court.
posted by Artw at 10:05 AM on January 21, 2010


At any rate, Violet Blue is painfully uninteresting so no big loss.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:07 AM on January 21, 2010


So, it was all just jake with you?
posted by found missing at 10:08 AM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


KokuRyu: Xeni once made an error (it was mildly racist) in one of her posts. I sent her an email about it, she reprinted portions of it, along with my name (I used my main email) on the front page of Boing Boing so my comments could be taken out of context, and then the whole Internet piled on. And now when you Google my name, it's on the front page of results.

So, Xeni sure taught me a lesson.


How curious!
The exact SAME thing happened to me when I email one of their mods. I can't recall who it was but the very same thing happened to me with the very same result. I found it distasteful and a breach of my privacy. Either it's a general policy over there to violate your privacy or Xeni is one of the mods under a different ID.

I Left BoingBoing when the fachized the franchise with their unconscionable moderation policy - sibstituted Metafilter and Neatorama and haven't looked back since.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 10:18 AM on January 21, 2010


Rob Beschizza said :Thnk yu vryn fr yr ind wrds! </i?

What ??

posted by Poet_Lariat at 10:25 AM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hooray For Everything!
posted by Ratio at 10:26 AM on January 21, 2010


I vary my thoughts on BB from "quite interesting" to "I really don't give a shit about your latest book given away free on a handcrafted steampunk codpiece."

But the site design: what gives? Every other time the site freezes for me and the site design flow to access older content seems to be following best practice from about the time Noah floated his (steampunk) ark.

Seems like a strange underinvestment for a popular site.
posted by MuffinMan at 10:29 AM on January 21, 2010


Ratio - heh
posted by Artw at 10:30 AM on January 21, 2010


Fan since the print 'zine. "Yanked" (anybody remember Tin?) their feed after the Charles Platt "No, really, Wal-Mart is great," dust-up.
posted by j.effingham.bellweather at 10:35 AM on January 21, 2010


I killed their feed after a very disappointing email conversation I had with Mark Frauenfelder over this, and then gave them another chance, and then yanked them again after this.

Oh, and this too.
posted by Ratio at 10:50 AM on January 21, 2010


If anyone's sent feedback to BB under their own name but had wished to remain anonymous, email me (rob at b b net) and I'll fix the posts in question. Then Google will, sooner or later, update to remove that post from searches.
posted by beschizza at 10:54 AM on January 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


> The other theory is that the Boing Boing crowd were pissed at Violet Blue for taking legal action against an adult performer using the same made up name as her. Seems like a very weird way of expressing displeasure if it was. Also I'm pretty sure anyone trying to use the same made up name as Xeni Jarden for that purpose would wind up in court.

If that was indeed the reason, bngbng a point there. VB adopted the name much later than the porn star, and then trademarked it and then sued to stop the former performer's DVDs from being distributed. Which is an insane abuse of the trademark system on at least a couple levels.

That said, Xeni then went and made VB sympathetic by dropping her down the bngbng memory hole (apparently because years old links from bngbng generate TONS of traffic (they don't)) Cory eventually came back from vacation and said he was fine with the whole thing.

That said, as far as I can tell, Mark isn't a dick. And they occasionally have interesting guest editors.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:54 AM on January 21, 2010


Funny how you don't hear quite so much excited shouting about "mashups" these days.
posted by Artw at 10:55 AM on January 21, 2010


I'm guest-blogging there next week, by the way, in case anyone wants to get their GRAR on for me early.
posted by jessamyn at 10:55 AM on January 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


Someone have a rundown of this mysterious Violet Blue phenomenon?
posted by grubi at 10:57 AM on January 21, 2010


Mark Frauenfelder is king of the misinformed OMG post with no follow-up. OMG! SINGLE MOMS IN EUROPE TO BE MOUNTED WITH CCTV CAMERAS!
posted by Artw at 10:58 AM on January 21, 2010


Rob said : If anyone's sent feedback to BB under their own name but had wished to remain anonymous, email me (rob at b b net) and I'll fix the posts in question. Then Google will, sooner or later, update to remove that post from searches.

Once burned twice shy Rob.
I'm NOT going through that again.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 10:58 AM on January 21, 2010


CN Y HR M NW?

We're considering switching to disemconsonantation, but are waiting for an appropriate sponsorship from the "Reintroducing wolves to the wild" people.
posted by beschizza at 11:02 AM on January 21, 2010


I hate the coming New World Order™ as much as the next guy, but I had to stop reading BB because of the TSA-rage articles that showed up practically every day.

Also, I used to think that it was Cory's personal blog and that the main point of it was to promote his stuff.
posted by sideshow at 11:03 AM on January 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ratio - I had to look 3 times to make sure that the stuffed World trade Centers with little planes sticking out of them wasn't a prank site - especially after reading the dialog below them.

W. T. F. ? !
posted by Poet_Lariat at 11:04 AM on January 21, 2010


That said, as far as I can tell, Mark isn't a dick.

Actually, he is kind of a dick.
posted by Ratio at 11:08 AM on January 21, 2010


Without guidance from the Happy Mutant Handbook I never would have tracked down and bought my copy of the Codex Seraphinianus. Thanks, Mark! And a somewhat less enthusiastic thanks to the rest of the crew for all their work in the following years.
posted by ecurtz at 11:10 AM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


...tracked down and bought my copy of the Codex Seraphinianus.

So, ah, do you leave the back door/fire escape window unlocked when you leave for work, by any chance?
posted by griphus at 11:11 AM on January 21, 2010


Ratio, I think I have a higher bar for 'dicketude' than you. That said, I will cede you this one and stand corrected.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:14 AM on January 21, 2010



...tracked down and bought my copy of the Codex Seraphinianus.

So, ah, do you leave the back door/fire escape window unlocked when you leave for work, by any chance?


Thank God I’ve recently rejected the fallacious concept of exclusionary space, so I will now creatively enter your home – not breaking anything, mind you – and steal the codex for myself.
posted by Think_Long at 11:16 AM on January 21, 2010


I started reading BB in '02, and there was one feature they had that I really miss: the guest editor sidebar. Every few weeks, some person I'd never heard of (a writer, an artist, a geek) would get a tiny bit of the site to post about the interesting things they'd found. Rudy Rucker was one of those editors, and I probably wouldn't have found (and enjoyed) his work without BB.

I don't know if the guest editor thing got boring or tricky or didn't fit in with their "vision," but when it went, so did a lot of the "Hey, look at this cool stuff!" vibe. In came the shilling, in came the media empire, in came the articles in dead tree media. And out went that sliver of community feel.

Ah, well. They linked to my first fiction sale on Futurismic, and that made my day. I hope they take this anniversary as an opportunity to look at themselves and think about to make things better. Or, at least, more interesting.
posted by RakDaddy at 11:25 AM on January 21, 2010


Perviously on BoingBoing ...
posted by Poet_Lariat at 11:42 AM on January 21, 2010


> I started reading BB in '02, and there was one feature they had that I really miss: the guest editor sidebar.

They still have guest editors (one of the reasons I still pay attention to them.) I don't remember if they handled it differently back in the day, but currently they just show up like the regulars' posts.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:45 AM on January 21, 2010


Perviously? I love this neologism!
posted by Mister_A at 11:47 AM on January 21, 2010


Rak, BoingBoing still has guest editors. Recently a very fine science writer, Maggie Koerth-Baker, served as a guest editor and then got hired by the site.
posted by digaman at 11:48 AM on January 21, 2010


fuck 'em.
posted by sexyrobot at 11:49 AM on January 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


As much as I hate Cory Doctorow, ya gotta admit: he's a really shitty writer.
posted by Damn That Television at 11:49 AM on January 21, 2010 [12 favorites]


I'm wondering to what extent BB was actually better in the early '0Os, and at what point it started to slide, versus people just noticing thethings about it that are a bit annoying. For me something distinctly seemed to shift in the character of the site around about the time they seemed to loose interest in their podcast and start doing "Boing Boing TV" - the podcast was about interesting things and people they'd had on their site, Boing Boing TV seemed like it was just all about them. But that was as late as 2007, I'm sure other people would put the slide far earlier. Maybe it is all entirely subjective.

Everything in the world ever: Not as good as it used to be.
posted by Artw at 11:51 AM on January 21, 2010


As much as I hate Cory Doctorow, ya gotta admit: he's a really shitty writer.

Pff.

We wouldn't even have heard of Cory Doctorow if Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom wasn't a very good and timely book. I'm not so sold on his other novels, but some of his short stuff (when not buried in polemic) are good and occasioanly excellent.

So I'll happily dis Boing Boing, his general hype bubble, and the degree to which he has taken some interesting ideas and tried to render them as universal absolutes, but I think it's very wrong to call him a shitty writer.
posted by Artw at 11:55 AM on January 21, 2010


At the time, I did some serious journalistic research into The Unpublishing, with a view towards potentially writing a newspaper column about the topic. I'm fairly sure that the cause of Xeni Jardin's action was not the trademark dispute over the name "Violet Blue". The video performer certainly didn't think so (note that matter has since been resolved). I have my own theory as to the reason for the falling-out, but nobody I asked for confirmation was willing to talk about it at all. I got the strong sense that all involved considered it a (metaphorical) "family affair" not to be discussed with "outsiders". I didn't see any public interest served in mucking around further, so I let it go myself.
posted by Seth Finkelstein at 12:01 PM on January 21, 2010


I think it's very wrong to call him a shitty writer.

I'm not a great believer in absolute truths, but I do believe in two of them.

1. The second Go-Betweens album is really, really good.

2. Cory Doctorow is indeed a shitty writer.
posted by unSane at 12:06 PM on January 21, 2010 [7 favorites]


I sent her an email about it, she reprinted portions of it, along with my name (I used my main email) on the front page of Boing Boing so my comments could be taken out of context

beschizza has fixed this for me. Thanks!
posted by KokuRyu at 12:08 PM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Scroogled is the only thing I have read by Cory, about google and DHS. It made you think.
posted by vronsky at 12:17 PM on January 21, 2010


I discovered BB after reading Doctorow's 'Craphound' - which is indeed excellent - but I can't stand anything else by him that I've read.
posted by porpoise at 1:05 PM on January 21, 2010


I tried to get into BoingBoing, but every time I went there, it was full of posts about:
• Subway anagrams
• DRM
• Mashups
• The death of old media
• The latest old media appearance by Cory and Xeni

I quit trying after about three months in my daily rotation. In short: meh.
posted by slogger at 1:46 PM on January 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


So they've stopped with the staampunk MP3 players?
posted by Artw at 1:49 PM on January 21, 2010


Ratio:

Those blood pillows are all kinds of awesome.
posted by 2N2222 at 2:37 PM on January 21, 2010


I tried to get into BoingBoing, but every time I went there, it was full of posts about: ...

Back in my RSS feed removal day, they were entirely full of anti-DRM rants; papercraft; steampunk; open-source steampunk DRM stripping tools; papercraft steampunk goggles; steampunk papercraft goggles; steampunk, steampunk, steampunk, and steampunk; papercraft, steampunk, steampunk, steampunk, eggs, and steampunk; papercraft, papercraft, papercraft, steampunk and ham...

It got a bit samey, so off it went. I missed all the drama they evolved into afterwards, clearly.
posted by Drastic at 2:52 PM on January 21, 2010


I still think my final theory on what happened with VB is the accurate one.
posted by waraw at 3:50 PM on January 21, 2010


Yay Boingboing, and yay Mark, Cory, Pesco, Xeni and the usual gang of happy mutants!
posted by kandinski at 3:50 PM on January 21, 2010


Boing Boing posted about my shirt business two years ago and the resulting wave of traffic turned me from a hobbyist to a full fledged business owner who was able to quit my day job and make my living doing something I'm rather fond of.

So, um, thanks Boing Boing, I owe you one.
posted by Jezztek at 3:53 PM on January 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


Stp tht!
posted by bwg at 4:49 PM on January 21, 2010


As 1f2frfbf mentions above, BoingBoing founder Mark Frauenfelder's other blog, Dinosaurs and Robots is worth a peek. It has a lot of "hey, I think this thing looks pretty cool" posts, without all the BB Xeni and Cory drama and trendiness.
posted by fings at 6:32 PM on January 21, 2010


Back in my RSS feed removal day, they were entirely full of anti-DRM rants; papercraft; steampunk; open-source steampunk DRM stripping tools; papercraft steampunk goggles; steampunk papercraft goggles; steampunk, steampunk, steampunk, and steampunk; papercraft, steampunk, steampunk, steampunk, eggs, and steampunk; papercraft, papercraft, papercraft, steampunk and ham...

You forgot things made of Legos.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:04 PM on January 21, 2010


Oh my god this makes me feel old. I only read BB for a year or so, until mefi lured me away (a link from BB sent me here in 2001). I hadn't realised that BB was so new at the time. Am I mis-remembering or was Cory still living in Toronto at the time? I remember photos of his Parkdale loft. Also, BB was where I first saw goatse. Ahh, the memories.
posted by saucysault at 10:27 PM on January 21, 2010


While trying to drive past a double-parked delivery van, I scraped a Jaguar (groan) in my old neighborhood. I left a note for insurance purposes - the car ended up belonging to David Pescovitz's wife. They were nice enough, and did not disemvowel me.

I too gave up on BB after the Violet Unknown Event; I was not a fan of Violet Blue, but the incident cemented my dislike for the growing self-promotion of the site. The Violet Blue incident did lead me to Metafilter though, so thanks BB!
posted by benzenedream at 10:34 PM on January 21, 2010


When I read this post my first thought was "there's no way Boing Boing started in 1990!" Now I feel old and I'm going to bed.
posted by sklero at 12:08 AM on January 22, 2010


This is the place to rant about Boing Boing, correct? I used to read Boing Boing, but now I've lost interest. Too many cute little things for my tastes, partly. But what really bugged me was the seeming increase in BS posts. One example is when Mark (I think) posted something about how a package of his was being delayed by customs, as if this was some big conspiracy or rights violation. My friend has had similar problems, and it sure is annoying, but is it really front page material? No way. That's the problem with being able to publish stuff so easily; it doesn't give you time to consider the value of what you're writing, or verify speculative info. I think that once you get that much traffic, even if you're not a professional journalist or writer, you owe it to your readers to keep the bar raised high.

Oh yeah, then there's the whole disemvoweling thing. I thought it was some silly internet meme until I discovered the moderation controversy a month ago (along the whole Violet Blue thing, which also put me off). It's one thing to moderate posts, it's another thing to not make it clear to your readers what the hell is going on.

And then there's the redesigned site with the progressively summarized/clipped posts nearer the bottom of the front page, making it harder to figure out which posts you've already seen.

Still, I wish them a happy 10 more years.
posted by Soupisgoodfood at 3:03 AM on January 22, 2010


So, um, thanks Boing Boing, I owe you one.

Oh, hey!! You're the animals wearing top hats guy! That's good stuff!
posted by cavalier at 4:49 AM on January 22, 2010


Boing Boing is one of the great success stories of media on the Web.
Its original editors are curious, and together they constitute an interesting mix. Battelle has found how to market them and allowed the whole business to thrive and to hire other interesting and curious people.
They steadily find interesting bits of information.

Sometimes I am fed up with snarkers barking around here, fundamentalists of the worst kind: they hang on every piece of shit they can find and it obliterates their whole attention field. You know what: I don't like everything in Boing Boing. And, for that matter, neither in Doctorow's work, nor in Bruce Sterling's, not even in Matisse's or Picasso's. Not even in MetaFilter. But I am grateful for any insight, any nugget of knowledge, of invention, of originality, of fun. Anywhere.

Boing Boing continues to find or highlight original stuff and its editors manage to publish an eclectic and balanced flow of news. For people who make media, for authors, for publishers, and for all who try to keep afloat any media on the Web, this is not trivial. This is cause for celebration. Congrats to the Boing Boing gang.
posted by bru at 7:03 AM on January 22, 2010


Here - I fixed the links for you:

Boing Boing continues to find or highlight original stuff and its editors manage to publish an eclectic and balanced flow of news
posted by Poet_Lariat at 1:07 PM on January 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


Poet_Lariat: thank you for illustrating my point so beautifully.

If you don't mind, I will go back to the party and let you bathe in the swamp you seem to enjoy so much.

Have a nice evening with your worms.

Meanwhile, about this champagne, I really appreciate the bubbles.
posted by bru at 4:16 PM on January 22, 2010


If you don't mind, I will go back to the party and let you bathe in the swamp you seem to enjoy so much.

Baby, The swamp might be dirty but at least the crocs here are honest.
Enjoy the champagne.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 4:28 PM on January 22, 2010


Hahaha.
I had never seen it before.
Very funny.

I apologize for this tantrum.

Great party.
posted by bru at 7:36 PM on January 22, 2010


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