The Ricochet Difference

 

Activity in a thread from a few weeks ago has prompted me to think on a lot of things about Ricochet. It seems to me that Ricochet is something special that I have not encountered anyplace before. It has been building in my mind over the weekend and I thought I would share my thoughts.

Let us get the big two out of the way up front:

Pay to Post

Ricochet is a pay-to-post site. By itself, this creates a better space than places with free posting. You have to have skin in the game to comment. As a therapist, I know that clients who pay money are more likely to be engaged in their own care. Paying changes the equation.

Moderation

Of course, the other big and obvious elephant is the moderation of the Code of Conduct. We all know how vile the internet is. People who can post anonymously will often say things they would never say to someone’s face. It is the mob effect. While Ricochet still allows for anonymous posting, it is not so anonymous that people cannot be banned (thanks to making them pay). While moderation is not perfect, and the Code of Conduct is not always evenly applied, I believe the site does a good job of it, and as a charter member, I can say the moderation has improved and become more evenhanded. I admit, I am human, and part of me would like the Code of Conduct to be used more against others than me, but the more rational part knows that is the way that leads to an echo chamber.

With those mentioned, let’s move on into my deeper thoughts on what I think generates the Ricochet Difference. After all, people pay to comment at National Review, and are moderated, but the comments at National Review are nothing like Ricochet.

Long-Form Posts

The first big thing is the ability for members to make long-form posts. This is huge. Any member who can post has an unlimited word count for their thoughts. These go on to their own page, the Member Page, wherein lies the beating heart of Ricochet. Now, while people can make short posts, the real intellectual energy and investigation is found in longer posts that can dig into an idea like an article in a magazine. I have learned about many things I did not expect to learn about here at Ricochet. And yet, often the real learning comes after the post is made. That is in the comments.

Non-Nested, Long-Form Comments

Ricochet’s use of long-form and non-nested comments allows for a true conversation. With nested comments so commonly used at other sites, you do not get one conversation with everyone participating, you get a break up into several little conversations. Even with a large word count, nested comments lead to short remarks, and frankly, a Twitter feel.

Long comments allow for thoughtful responses. (I’ll admit, I miss having a “Thatcher” level for unlimited word length.) Members at Ricochet are able to respond to any post with a long and thoughtful response, even those with limited word count. Indeed, the back and forth between the writer of the original post and other members is often a great way for an idea to be further explored and understood. Unlike most other sites, these comments can be point-by-point refutations, discussions, and comments. It is a marvelous system. Yes, there can be acrimony. Good. A robust discussion of ideas requires some tough skin, hurt feelings, and robust defenses. That is the stuff of hammering our ideas. And, what is more, the conversation might move away from the starting point as conversations do.

The Spin-Off Post

The last bit that is the “difference” is the spin-off post. This is when a conversation strays too far, or an exciting new point is brought up, someone may decide to create a new original post. The spin-off post often links to the original, and takes the new idea into its own conversation. Some posts have some much energy they spawn more than one spin-off, and sometimes a topic and its variations cover multiple posts for many days. This is outstanding. The site is alive and ideas are bouncing around. All of us who participate are stronger for it. I hope that those who mostly read and not post get something out of it as well.

The Posting Members and Frequent Commenters

I want to also talk about the engine that is Ricochet, the posting members. Posting members are simply the members who often post and comment. Compared to the overall membership, we are a minority, but we make a lot of noise, as it were. We are the members that everybody recognizes. I know I have names I follow, and I am amazed people want to follow me. There are those people who, when they post, I want to read what they have to say.

We also have the frequent commenters. These are often posting members, but also include members who don’t often start the conversation, but sure join into them. It is not that they don’t have anything original to say, it seems they like to use others as a springboard. Often, these are some of the most interesting comments in a conversation.

I would like to take this moment to invite any readers interested in posting to post. You will get a warm reception from most of us, even if we disagree with you. The best way to write better is to write. Come on in, the water is fine. We have cookies.

What It All Means

Ricochet is unique. There is no place like it anywhere else on the web. As a Charter Member, I am proud to say that I have been able to engage with members here consistently for its whole existence. I can have heated (and civil) arguments, heated agreements, revelations, and greater understandings. I hope for many more years of Ricochet and getting to talk to my Ricochet family. As Peter’s tagline says:

Ricochet! Join the Conversation!

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  1. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    These are all good points.  One thing that I think could be improved: More posts promoted to the Main Feed.  Why?  Because that’s the only way that posts get any exposure to non-members.  Important for two reasons: first, to increase the overall influence of the site in the national conversation. Second, for recruiting new members.

    Don’t need 5X more posts on the main feed, but maybe 2X.

    • #1
  2. Mark Alexander Coolidge
    Mark Alexander
    @MarkAlexander

    Nailed it!

    • #2
  3. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    David Foster (View Comment):

    These are all good points. One thing that I think could be improved: More posts promoted to the Main Feed. Why? Because that’s the only way that posts get any exposure to non-members. Important for two reasons: first, to increase the overall influence of the site in the national conversation. Second, for recruiting new members.

    Don’t need 5X more posts on the main feed, but maybe 2X.

    I would like to see more of this too, and that is a great point. There is so much good stuff on the Member Feed. Non Members miss out! 

    • #3
  4. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    Hear, hear! Ricochet reminds me of the dear dead CompuServe days.

    • #4
  5. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    TL;DR

    • #5
  6. OldPhil Coolidge
    OldPhil
    @OldPhil

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    TL;DR

    That was the answer to today’s crossword puzzle clue:

    “Letters before a summary.”

    It had me for a while, because there’s usually no summary, right?

    • #6
  7. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    TL;DR

    That was the answer to today’s crossword puzzle clue:

    “Letters before a summary.”

    It had me for a while, because there’s usually no summary, right?

    IDK

    • #7
  8. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    I agree with all your points, Bryan. Ricochet is a great platform. Because it’s great and I spend so much time here, there are a few quibbles and complaints. 

    I fall into the category below:

    Bryan G. Stephens: We also have the frequent commenters. These are often posting members, but also include members who don’t often start the conversation, but sure join into them. It is not that they don’t have anything original to say, it seems they like to use others as a springboard. Often, these are some of the most interesting comments in a conversation.

    I read every comment. Sometimes I just scan depending, but the heart of Ricochet is in the comment section.

    I used to post more often but found it frustrating. But last night I spent several hours  writing about a book and film I remembered reading at a young age. The post got longer and longer, it started to ramble. By now it was getting late. It still needed cleaning and editing, but I was tired. I finally just put it up. It had some good passages and thoughts.  I must have 50 posts wallowing in my ‘drafts’ folder, and did not want this one added to it.

    What frustrates me about posting?

    Speaking of the CoC, there are trolls here at Ricochet. Any post on a certain subject is near certain to be trolled by one very vocal and present member. Unfortunately, this ‘subject’ is crucial to the debate on the direction of the Republican Party or what right-leaning voters are most concerned about. I wish the CoC could find a way to deal with this particular individual so we can have a conversation without the noise and graffiti. I can tolerate only so much at this point. 

    Beyond that, spending a lot of time writing here is a gamble, and I’ve ‘lost’ more often than I’ve ‘won’. What’s a ‘win’? When my post is read, and there follows interesting conversation in the comments section. 

    I believe there’s an unhealthy imbalance of posters to commenters that continues to widen. There are too many who post too frequently who take up real estate on the member feed.

    My contention – which has been hotly disputed before – is that there should be a limit by the week, month, and day for posts.

    I also hold a certain amount of contempt for people who put up posts every day, but don’t comment on other posts, don’t ‘like’ other posts, and don’t even ‘like’ comments. Why should these drive-by writers be given a daily platform to publish when they don’t bother to participate on other posts? 

    When I do spend time writing something original, the post can get pushed down the page and off into oblivion quickly. That discourages me from putting in the kind of time it takes to write and edit original content. I can’t believe I’m alone in that regard.

     

    • #8
  9. mildlyo Member
    mildlyo
    @mildlyo

    All good points.

    I do wonder if very deep nested comments could be partially, and reversibly, collapsed by default for readability.

    @Franco: To be fair, I think @garyrobbins is a sea lion, not a troll.

    • #9
  10. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Franco (View Comment):
    I believe there’s an unhealthy imbalance of posters to commenters that continues to widen. There are too many who post too frequently who take up real estate on the member feed.

    It’s not a good idea to exert control over creative people. I’m glad the Ricochet founders didn’t do that.

    You’ve gotta let go and see what happens. Parents learn this early on, and it always turns out well for the kids and the parents.

    Enjoy the posts that inspire you in some way, ignore the ones that don’t.

    • #10
  11. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    I know you to be a straight shooter, so the post leads me to bring up the use of a leftist term for those who question results in the last presidential election, something of which you (and others) have been very critical.

    I agree the the mods do a fine job, mostly because they are generally hands off, but how does that square with repeated use of derogatory, trollish terms?

    • #11
  12. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    TL;DR

    I read it, and liked it, but wrote TL;DR just so I didn’t look too enthusiastic.

    • #12
  13. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):
    I believe there’s an unhealthy imbalance of posters to commenters that continues to widen. There are too many who post too frequently who take up real estate on the member feed.

    It’s not a good idea to exert control over creative people. I’m glad the Ricochet founders didn’t do that.

    You’ve gotta let go and see what happens. Parents learn this early on, and it always turns out well for the kids and the parents.

    Enjoy the posts that inspire you in some way, ignore the ones that don’t.

    However, none of the posts I am referring to are the least bit “creative”. My younger daughter is an artist and her mother and I encouraged her all the way, so I’m not one to quash creativity. I’m interested in expanding creativity on this site, not suppressing it. 

    I don’t know if you read the part where I said these people don’t comment or like other posts. That’s not being creative. These are not original posts with original thoughts I’m talking about. Also I’m not for excluding them entirely, just not every day, or three times a day on some occasions.

    I respectfully ask that you read my comment again, judging by this reply, it looks like you missed my point.  

    • #13
  14. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Franco (View Comment):
    Speaking of the CoC, there are trolls here at Ricochet. Any post on a certain subject is near certain to be trolled by one very vocal and present member.

    Who’s the member?

    HEE-Hee-hyeh-heh, heh, hehhh!  Hmm-yeah.

    (Sorry.  I haven’t had my coffee yet.)

    • #14
  15. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Franco (View Comment):

    I agree with all your points, Bryan. Ricochet is a great platform. Because it’s great and I spend so much time here, there are a few quibbles and complaints.

    I fall into the category below:

    Bryan G. Stephens: We also have the frequent commenters. These are often posting members, but also include members who don’t often start the conversation, but sure join into them. It is not that they don’t have anything original to say, it seems they like to use others as a springboard. Often, these are some of the most interesting comments in a conversation.

    I read every comment. Sometimes I just scan depending, but the heart of Ricochet is in the comment section.

    I used to post more often but found it frustrating. But last night I spent several hours writing about a book and film I remembered reading at a young age. The post got longer and longer, it started to ramble. By now it was getting late. It still needed cleaning and editing, but I was tired. I finally just put it up. It had some good passages and thoughts. I must have 50 posts wallowing in my ‘drafts’ folder, and did not want this one added to it.

    What frustrates me about posting?

    Speaking of the CoC, there are trolls here at Ricochet. Any post on a certain subject is near certain to be trolled by one very vocal and present member. Unfortunately, this ‘subject’ is crucial to the debate on the direction of the Republican Party or what right-leaning voters are most concerned about. I wish the CoC could find a way to deal with this particular individual so we can have a conversation without the noise and graffiti. I can tolerate only so much at this point.

    I might get frustrated with one or two individuals, but I am always wary of changing the rules for exceptions. 

     

    Beyond that, spending a lot of time writing here is a gamble, and I’ve ‘lost’ more often than I’ve ‘won’. What’s a ‘win’? When my post is read, and there follows interesting conversation in the comments section.

    Alas, hard to tell what will strike and what won’t I want comments in general, sometimes I just get a bunch of likes. Sometimes the post just sinks. Such is life. 

     

    I believe there’s an unhealthy imbalance of posters to commenters that continues to widen. There are too many who post too frequently who take up real estate on the member feed.

    My contention – which has been hotly disputed before – is that there should be a limit by the week, month, and day for posts.

    I have to disagree here. If people want to post, they can. I don’t miss the posts of people I follow. If people want to post daily, more power to them. 

    I also hold a certain amount of contempt for people who put up posts every day, but don’t comment on other posts, don’t ‘like’ other posts, and don’t even ‘like’ comments. Why should these drive-by writers be given a daily platform to publish when they don’t bother to participate on other posts?

    That is how they use the site. It is a pity they don’t engage more, but that is their loss. 

    When I do spend time writing something original, the post can get pushed down the page and off into oblivion quickly. That discourages me from putting in the kind of time it takes to write and edit original content. I can’t believe I’m alone in that regard.

     

    That has happened to me too, and can be frustrating. I just shrug and move on to the next post, but I can understand your feelings on it. 

    Thank you for a full and thoughtful response. 

    • #15
  16. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    TL;DR

    LOL

    • #16
  17. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    I know you to be a straight shooter, so the post leads me to bring up the use of a leftist term for those who question results in the last presidential election, something of which you (and others) have been very critical.

    I agree the the mods do a fine job, mostly because they are generally hands off, but does that square with repeated use of derogatory, trollish terms?

    They would have to agree any given term is derogatory, I guess. 

    • #17
  18. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Franco (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Franco (View Comment):

    It’s not a good idea to exert control over creative people. I’m glad the Ricochet founders didn’t do that.

    You’ve gotta let go and see what happens. Parents learn this early on, and it always turns out well for the kids and the parents.

    Enjoy the posts that inspire you in some way, ignore the ones that don’t.

    However, none of the posts I am referring to are the least bit “creative”. My younger daughter is an artist and her mother and I encouraged her all the way, so I’m not one to quash creativity. I’m interested in expanding creativity on this site, not suppressing it.

    I don’t know if you read the part where I said these people don’t comment or like other posts. That’s not being creative. These are not original posts with original thoughts I’m talking about. Also I’m not for excluding them entirely, just not every day, or three times a day on some occasions.

    I respectfully ask that you read my comment again, judging by this reply, it looks like you missed my point.

    I did read all of it. This part seemed to call for a solution that would be unworkable to implement, and in trying to, it would inhibit others who want to post:

    Franco (View Comment):
    I also hold a certain amount of contempt for people who put up posts every day, but don’t comment on other posts, don’t ‘like’ other posts, and don’t even ‘like’ comments. Why should these drive-by writers be given a daily platform to publish when they don’t bother to participate on other posts?

    And I understand this concern too:

    Franco (View Comment):
    When I do spend time writing something original, the post can get pushed down the page and off into oblivion quickly. That discourages me from putting in the kind of time it takes to write and edit original content. I can’t believe I’m alone in that regard.

    This is a magazine and newspaper issue as well. What reporters write just doesn’t stay in the eye of readers long enough to justify the time and effort it takes to write. You are certainly not alone in that frustration.

    But that’s why I quoted the earlier paragraph, because I think that’s the heart of the problem in trying fix these other things. I believe the fewer constraints, the better. What we really want is as large an audience as we can muster. It doesn’t do any good to talk to ourselves, and you don’t want that either for all the time you put into writing a post. We want to draw in as many people as possible. The only way to get that large audience is to keep the posts variable in lengths and topics.

    • #18
  19. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    MarciN (View Comment):
    But that’s why I quoted the earlier paragraph, because I think that’s the heart of the problem in trying fix these other things. I believe the fewer constraints, the better. What we really want is as large an audience as we can muster. It doesn’t do any good to talk to ourselves, and you don’t want that either for all the time you put into writing a post. We want to draw in as many people as possible. The only way to get that large audience is to keep the posts variable in lengths and topics

    I think this is mostly where my head and heart are.

     

    • #19
  20. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Just thinking about this further: The great newspapers always understood this. They drew people in with the wide-ranging variety of features and topics.

    I think the loss of the newspapers has had a huge cultural and political impact on America. When I started out in my work life, the day began with coffee and the morning newspaper. I skimmed it from front to back. Everyone I knew did that too. That meant that I was reading a lot of stuff I didn’t seek out and wouldn’t have. It enlarged my thinking on every topic because it was morning and I read everything in front of me and so I was reading opposing points of view. Today, we go to the Internet, and we read only the material we already agree with. I think that’s a big reason we’ve become so polarized and a big reason the Democrats have gone to such extremes in their positions on everything. They egg each other on, and they never read countering points of view.

    But also, the newspapers knew their audiences well. The variety of material in the morning paper–from gardening to sports reports to the arts to crossword puzzles–was designed to attract as many readers as possible. That meant that there was a good chance a writer’s audience included someone who was there for the real estate ads and would be introduced to the writer and to the subject. That’s a win for both.

    Publishing is entirely about marketing. It’s what publishers excel at. And it’s good that they do.

    • #20
  21. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    I agree the the mods do a fine job, mostly because they are generally hands off, but does that square with repeated use of derogatory, trollish terms?

    One man’s “trollish term” is another man’s “apt descriptor.” Tone policing is well on the road to hell, well paved with good intentions. The best responses to perceived rude epithet are clever, on-target epithets in return. For instance, leftists and fellow travelers who refer to others as “election deniers” are swivel-eyed loons who exemplify Godwin’s Law.

    • #21
  22. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    I know you to be a straight shooter, so the post leads me to bring up the use of a leftist term for those who question results in the last presidential election, something of which you (and others) have been very critical.

    I agree the the mods do a fine job, mostly because they are generally hands off, but does that square with repeated use of derogatory, trollish terms?

    They would have to agree any given term is derogatory, I guess.

    I didn’t want to come too strong on this for fear of derailing the thread.  And I agree with your post.  But there are a few cracks in the sidewalk.

    • #22
  23. Richard O'Shea Coolidge
    Richard O'Shea
    @RichardOShea

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    David Foster (View Comment):

    These are all good points. One thing that I think could be improved: More posts promoted to the Main Feed. Why? Because that’s the only way that posts get any exposure to non-members. Important for two reasons: first, to increase the overall influence of the site in the national conversation. Second, for recruiting new members.

    Don’t need 5X more posts on the main feed, but maybe 2X.

    I would like to see more of this too, and that is a great point. There is so much good stuff on the Member Feed. Non Members miss out!

    I wonder how many non-member views the Main Feed actually gets.  How many people reading the Main Feed figure they are already reading the best stuff for free? 

    Is there a better way to tease the Member Feed to those reading the Main Feed?

    • #23
  24. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    I have not posted often. It’s not really my main thing, but I always enjoy reading the posts of others. One of my early posts went to main feed, much to my surprise, and I realized that if I were not more careful, I could endanger the lives of persons in a communist country that I had visited.

    As for trolls, (or sea lions) Ricochet has always had them. I recall distinctly a man named Fred, but even he had his interesting moments. I made what I thought was an innocuous comment about a certain brand of food containers that he was praising and he seemed to take offense. I was totally in agreement with his main premise, actually.

    I was most ticked off by a moderator who pulled the thread of comments on one of my few posts way off track. I suspect that she (Not our wonderfully prolific writer, She!) was drunk at the time, or maybe just in a stupid mood. Such is life.

    I have enjoyed Ricochet for years and almost would be a charter member if I hadn’t waited so long just reading the main feed before joining.  I wonder what happened to many frequent posters and commenters of years gone by and hope that some will return.

    • #24
  25. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    MarciN (View Comment):
    But that’s why I quoted the earlier paragraph, because I think that’s the heart of the problem in trying fix these other things. I believe the fewer constraints, the better. What we really want is as large an audience as we can muster. It doesn’t do any good to talk to ourselves, and you don’t want that either for all the time you put into writing a post. We want to draw in as many people as possible. The only way to get that large audience is to keep the posts variable in lengths and topics. 

    We both want the same thing, we just see different remedies. But I don’t think this is a way to get ‘large’ audiences. That would be another suggestion for another time.  

    I really don’t want to step on people’s pet projects and concerns, and again, I’m not for exclusion of anything. I am only for limiting the number of posts daily, weekly or monthly. This would only affect a few people and would free-up space on the feed. But it probably won’t happen, I’m just wasting my time here. Again.

    My own reaction is limiting myself and my contribution(s) to Ricochet as a direct result of the log-jam of frequent posters of unoriginal content that push down and ultimately off the page. This is a disincentive for me to spend time writing.

    This, then prompts me to do much the same. Why not? Everyone else is doing it and why spend time writing something thoughtful if it’s not going to have a chance of getting traction?

    So, something will strike me and I’ll put something up, like once in a week. It could be a song, or a podcast, whatever, but I’m always interested to have a discussion about it and hope for a lively comment section, even if the post isn’t original writing. Takes almost zero time and effort. But that’s not the same kind of contribution that original thoughts on politics or culture as it relates to politics. That’s where the imbalance lies. I’m not here to listen to jazz every day. And by the number of likes and comments, there are few others ( outraged jazz-geek  retort in 3,2,1 seconds…)  who are either.  

    My overall impression is Ricochet has deteriorated steadily in the original content department over the last 12 years. I can only repeat that I, for one, am quite discouraged from writing here. 

    • #25
  26. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Franco (View Comment):
    My overall impression is Ricochet has deteriorated steadily in the original content department over the last 12 years. I can only repeat that I, for one, am quite discouraged from writing here.

    I am sorry you feel discouraged. I look forward to what you have to say.

    I have to strongly disagree with the your impression. The original content from the membership has improved over the last 12 years. I know mine has. And it has improved because I have had to hone my skills with push back and posts from others. I think you are reacting to the fact that there are more people posting. Ricochet is not the small community it was when it started. I am fine with that.

    • #26
  27. She Member
    She
    @She

    Franco (View Comment):

    I also hold a certain amount of contempt for people who put up posts every day, but don’t comment on other posts, don’t ‘like’ other posts, and don’t even ‘like’ comments. Why should these drive-by writers be given a daily platform to publish when they don’t bother to participate on other posts?

    Because they pay for the privilege of  doing so?

    Look, your comment has some ideas that bear discussion; however, telling us that you feel “contempt” for a segment of the membership that doesn’t seem to have wronged you at all, insulting them with terms like “drive-by writers,” focusing so heavily on “trolls,” (by which you seem to be doing the usual thing of elevating the status of one member to top of mind, and to an importance he simply doesn’t deserve), and suggesting that people who “post too much” should have their offerings limited, (I wonder if Joe Biden would call this ‘semi-cancellation’) you won’t find many takers for your ideas.

    Far better, IMHO, to focus on what we can do as members to improve things. Starting with resolutely ignoring those posts that we consider trolling or otherwise improper, and simply letting them wither and die until their authors realize they have no audience here, rather than constantly elevating them to the top of the highlighted feeds and advertising to them on the front page.  I’d start right there. Then, I’d take a look at my own output, and if I thought I had something to say, I’d consider posting more. Not every post has to be a finely crafted masterpiece. Sometimes a post is just a springboard for discussion. Sometimes it’s imperfect in its own right. The science of perfecting a post before it is published is often the art of missing an opportunity to say something timely and relevant.

    For my own part, I’d like to see the editors and moderators pay a little more attention to the comments on main feed posts. And in instances where things go completely sideways, as they sometimes do, I’d like to see them revert the posts to the member feed—even posts by editors and contributors. There’s no question of censorship there, and it restricts no member’s ability to comment; it’s merely a question of keeping whole the site’s reputation as the home of civil conversation. Whale away all we like on the member feed, but show some restraint on the public one.

    • #27
  28. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    drlorentz (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    I agree the the mods do a fine job, mostly because they are generally hands off, but does that square with repeated use of derogatory, trollish terms?

    One man’s “trollish term” is another man’s “apt descriptor.” Tone policing is well on the road to hell, well paved with good intentions. The best responses to perceived rude epithet are clever, on-target epithets in return. For instance, leftists and fellow travelers who refer to others as “election deniers” are swivel-eyed loons who exemplify Godwin’s Law.

    It’s funny.  I read a comment of his earlier in which a member seriously suggested that a particular category of person didn’t exist because there was no easy and catchy way to label it.

    • #28
  29. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    Richard O'Shea (View Comment):

    I wonder how many non-member views the Main Feed actually gets.  How many people reading the Main Feed figure they are already reading the best stuff for free? 

    Is there a better way to tease the Member Feed to those reading the Main Feed?

    Great point and good question. To me the Main Feed is secondary and the good stuff is on the Member Feed. They could publish a “comment of the day” and “comment of the week” on the main feed (subject to permission from the commenter) that’s what Ricochet is all about. That’s the best part IMO and the reason to join. But I think TPTB are more interested in the podcast side and have little incentive for growing the Member Feed. I’ve spent many keystrokes discussing with other member how we think this site could be improved years ago and it was pretty much a waste of all our time. 

    • #29
  30. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    drlorentz (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    I agree the the mods do a fine job, mostly because they are generally hands off, but does that square with repeated use of derogatory, trollish terms?

    One man’s “trollish term” is another man’s “apt descriptor.” Tone policing is well on the road to hell, well paved with good intentions. The best responses to perceived rude epithet are clever, on-target epithets in return. For instance, leftists and fellow travelers who refer to others as “election deniers” are swivel-eyed loons who exemplify Godwin’s Law.

    What makes “election denier” so bad (in my view) is that it is nonsensical, and when people use nonsensical terms, they are meant to be indecipherable, and thus inarguable.  It’s bad form, bad faith arguing, and with bad intent.

    • #30
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