A Peek Behind the Ricochet Curtain

 

behind-the-curtain Ladies and Gentlemen of Ricochet, and future Ladies and Gentlemen of Ricochet, have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes here at Ricochet? Well, today, you’re going to find out. Because today, I’m taking you on a a magical tour behind the editorial curtain. Follow me!

§

See, behind the scenes, the editors use a program called Slack to talk to each other. And it turns out that our behind-the-scenes culture is a little bit like other places where employees use Slack:

Yeti: Added  in #editorial Once employees get addicted to Slack, bosses can drop in to track their every move. Deadspin has instituted “a rule called ‘Slack law,’ where if you’re riffing on something for a particular amount of time on Slack, you have to turn that [expletive] into a post,” says Howard. The rule is a smart editorial insight—if Deadspin staffers can’t stop Slacking about something, that’s a pretty good indication that it will be of interest to readers, too—but it also prevents employees from “talking on and on forever, never working, just enjoying each other’s presence.” Slack too much, and Howard worries they’ll “make me blog instead of working on whatever project I’m doing,” so “when I’m actually writing,” he says, “I try to get the [expletive] out of Slack.” Nothing quiets a boisterous Slack channel like a Slate editor dropping in to ask, “Who can turn this conversation into a piece of content for Slate.com?” Even the bosses at Slack make sure Slack doesn’t get their workers off track.

Jon Gabriel: Ha! That’s great.

Yeti: This should be a post, Gabriel.

Jon Gabriel: <logs out>

Rob: Once again, technology slows industry to a crawl.

Yeti: I would say that net/net, Slack has really helped us. Except when Fred Cole messages me about peyote availability in Venice.

Reason 1 to join Ricochet (first month free!): We don’t [expletive] swear like they do at Deadspin and Slate. (And we don’t think rioting, violence, and destroying personal property’s cool, either.)

§

Now, truth is, we don’t actually say anything all that interesting behind the scenes–because if we have anything interesting to say, we say it on Ricochet. Mind you, we do talk about lots of dull stuff behind the scenes. Like our shy, high hopes for the next updates, for example:

Yeti: This represents a ton of work on Max’s part and should really improve the user experience on the site.

Yeti :clap: :clap:

Max: A moose pooped in my yard today, so that’s probably good luck.

Yeti: Wow. That’s a sentence that has never been uttered in L.A.

Reason 2 to join Ricochet (first month free!): Max’s moose!

§

And of course, we’re always thinking about the best way to sell Ricochet memberships (first month free!):

Claire: I think we can take quiet pleasure in the e-mail I received from a left-leaning French academic. He had to admit, upon reading Ricochet, that it didn’t quite confirm his firmly held beliefs about the American right-wing. “One thing I’ll say in Ricochet’s favor,” he admitted grudgingly, “the comments threads are of a higher caliber than such threads elsewhere and whatever the site’s parti pris (right, left, or whatever), 98% of comments threads are cretinous and a waste of time. I won’t say that for Ricochet’s.”

Yeti: Awesome. I believe there is a large, untapped market in left-leaning French intellectuals. I think you should post that.

Max: Let’s get BHL on the next podcast.

Yeti: Great. If they join, I’ll throw in a tote bag. Special offer for all members of the French academy. Use the coupon code: FROMAGE

Rob: Stop being a francophobe.

Claire: Since when is an admiration for fromage francophobic?

Rob: France is a magnificent culture.

Claire: It is, although it is part of our magnificent American culture to mock the French.

Rob: We should spread it around more. Mock the English too. And the Dutch are insupportable.

Claire: The Dutch are insupportable, I agree. But if you live in France, nothing comes to you more readily than mocking Belgians. All of the French stereotypes about Belgians are true.

Max: What about the Belgians?

Claire: Well, you don’t really get how funny the Belgian jokes are until you’re in Brussels, waiting for the Eurostar, looking around you, and thinking, “An hour until I get away from Belgium and back to civilization.” And then you realize: That’s what everyone in France thinks! And … that’s why they make those jokes! After that, the Belgian jokes are golden.

Yeti: Put this out in public where it can do some good and sell some memberships.

Reason 3 to join Ricochet (first month free!): “The comments threads are of a higher caliber than such threads elsewhere,” according to a left-leaning French intellectual; and unlike 98% of comments threads elsewhere, are not “cretinous and a waste of time.”

Reason 4 to join Ricochet (first month free!): It is part of our American tradition to mock the French.

§

Now sometimes we do, admittedly, discuss the odd and highly unusual technical mishap:

Claire: In case everyone doesn’t already know: our alerts are buggered up. (Technical term.)

Max: Are you not getting them?

Claire: I’m not getting them at all. Zero, nada, zip.

Yeti: Log out and log back in again.

Claire: OK. No luck. (Fifteen minutes of anguished technical debate ensued.)

Yeti: Hmmm. Max, any thoughts?

Max: Sorry, give me a few minutes…my wife is about to get on the road to go see her mom for a week

Claire: For a second, from the corner of my eye, I thought Max wrote that his wife was about to give birth. I was pretty impressed that it was only going to take a few minutes.

Yeti: Max is very efficient. In the meantime, Claire I need you to write the greatest new member pitch in the history of the world today.

Claire: In the history of the world, you say?

Claire: It may take a few minutes, though, because I have to give birth.

Tom: The St. Crispin’s Day speech of member pitches.

Yeti: I don’t know what that is, but sure.

Tom: Oh Yeti.

Yeti: Shakespeare wrote for Game of Thrones? I had no idea.

Tom: Nah, he just cribbed the good parts.

Claire: It’s almost as good as this:

Tom: +1

Yeti: Yes!

§

So here goes: Reason 6 to join Ricochet: toast

“Toast?” Did I hear you say toast?

Toast? We few, we happy few, we band of brothers? No! Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no! And it ain’t over now! Cause when the going gets tough, the tough get going!

Who’s with me? Let’s go, come on! Toast? Not me, I’m not gonna take this … Wormer, he’s a dead man! Marmalard–dead!  Neidermeyer …. DEAD! We gotta take these bastards!

So join us and let’s figure out how. Because Toast’s not good enough, and it never will be, not as long as I’m alive, and not as long as Ricochet’s alive. We’ll turn this thing around, if you join Ricochet today, and gentlemen in England now a-bed shall think themselves accursed they were not here! And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks That fought with us on Ricochet!

There are 29 comments.

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  1. user_241697 Member
    user_241697
    @FlaggTaylor

    Wow, it’s fun behind the curtain!

    • #1
  2. user_44643 Inactive
    user_44643
    @MikeLaRoche

    Then there’s one thing you men will be able to say when this war is over and you get back home. Thirty years from now when you’re sitting by your fireside with your grandson on your knee and he asks, ‘What did you do in the great Internet Wars?’ You won’t have to cough and say, ‘Well, your granddaddy shoveled [manure] in Louisiana.’ No sir, you can look him straight in the eye and say ‘Son, your granddaddy rode with the great Ricochet Army and a goddamned [male offspring of a female canine] named Mike LaRoche!’

    Or something like that. ;-)

    • #2
  3. user_157053 Member
    user_157053
    @DavidKnights

    OK, the fact that Claire knows the Animal House “Germans bombed Pearl Harbor” speech, just ……adorable. {sigh}

    • #3
  4. Tom Meyer Contributor
    Tom Meyer
    @tommeyer

    Lest there be any question, these are actual transcripts from our Slack feed.

    • #4
  5. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Claire Berlinski: Rob: We should spread it around more. Mock the English too. And the Dutch are insupportable.

    • #5
  6. Luke Thatcher
    Luke
    @Luke

    they should start a podcast called “behind the curtain.”

    i bet there’s at least fifteen minutes of pure gold every week.

    If they do, i’ll be upgrading my membership to get it.

    • #6
  7. user_129539 Member
    user_129539
    @BrianClendinen

    Claire Berlinski:

    Yeti: Great. If they join, I’ll throw in a tote bag. Special offer for all members of the French academy. Use the coupon code: FROMAGE

    Rob: Stop being a francophobe.

    Claire: Since when is an admiration for fromage francophobic?

    What the heck does a Canadian TV show that mocks bad music videos have to due with being a francophobic? I have never seen the who but are all the videos they mock in French?

    • #7
  8. Max Ledoux Admin
    Max Ledoux
    @Max

    In case anyone doubts the veracity of these transcripts:

    2015-04-13 11.48.09

    • #8
  9. das_motorhead Inactive
    das_motorhead
    @dasmotorhead

    Slack is amazing. I told one of my clients that they needed start using it and then signed their team up for an account. Everyone loved it except for the CEO, who didn’t touch it for the first week. He sent around a note on Insightly (meh) asking if we really needed another communications tool, and we all ignored him completely until he finally had to cave and join.

    Just in case this comment is too tangential to the main point of Claire’s thread, let me add that the CEO in question is French. So there.

    • #9
  10. captainpower Member
    captainpower
    @captainpower

    das_motorhead:Slack is amazing.

    why?

    • #10
  11. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Speaking of Slack, does it help you during podcast recording?

    One day, y’all need to offer a tutorial on podcast recording and/or publishing. There are already three or four different podcasts initiated by Members; and more possibly on the way. If y’all facilitated the process at least by way of guidance (I know hosting costs money), Ricochet could boast two podcast feeds just like it hosts two forum feeds.

    More content (accessible and well organized) = more Members.

    • #11
  12. user_129448 Inactive
    user_129448
    @StephenDawson

    This is getting very meta.

    • #12
  13. Mark Thatcher
    Mark
    @GumbyMark

    That’s a great new motto Claire:

    “Ricochet – we’re not cretins!”

    • #13
  14. lesserson Member
    lesserson
    @LesserSonofBarsham

    Tom Meyer, Ed.:Lest there be any question, these are actual transcripts from our Slack feed.

    So what member level gets to watch the “Slack” feed?

    • #14
  15. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Is it just me or does something about being “a-bed” and holding “manhoods cheap” in subsequent sentences seem Code-of-Conduct non-compliant?

    • #15
  16. Petty Boozswha Inactive
    Petty Boozswha
    @PettyBoozswha

    Fred likes peyote?He slammed me ’cause I thought he would associate with hippies a few days ago.

    Pay Up You Moochers – Join Ricochet.

    • #16
  17. George Savage Contributor
    George Savage
    @GeorgeSavage

    Awesome!  Next up: a Slack-lurker Ricochet member tier?  We could call it the Buckley membership, in honor of the greatest conservative editor-in-chief ever.

    • #17
  18. Blue Yeti Admin
    Blue Yeti
    @BlueYeti

    @george: No.

    • #18
  19. user_138833 Inactive
    user_138833
    @starnescl

    Stephen Dawson:This is getting very meta.

    As was Claire’s post.  A little bit of genius.  Well done.

    Has Ex John been heard from since?  Now that this post is done, the day’s quota of Slack-to-Story is met.  Mr. Gabriel: It’s safe to come out again!

    By the way, Slack + a few tools like a Google account (and Zapier if you really want to get hinky) open the door for anyone in the world with an internet connection to be a productive member of your team or business.

    Both Slack and Google’s (mail, drive, docs, etc.) free versions are full featured and effective. You can truly stand up a small, multi person, virtual enterprise at no cost.

    I commented in the “things you believe that nobody else does” post that I thought the labor market you and I inhabit just flooded, but no one realizes it just yet.  Millions of English speakers willing to work for, say, $2/hr and able to do very effective work – as long as it is of the virtual native variety, like everything is rapidly becoming.

    I was dying to explain why things like Slack are the enablers of this, but figured no one would get it.  Now it turns out Ricochet uses Slack too and just introduced it in a post on the main feed.  Nicely done!

    • #19
  20. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    Aaron Miller:Speaking of Slack, does it help you during podcast recording?

    Yes. It’s invaluable. Goes like this:

    Yeti: Jon’s on

    Me: Harry’s before or after

    Yeti: after

    Me: Could do it in the middle

    Yeti: Your call

    Peter: Brother Rob is asking some lovely questions today

    Rob: Okay I’m done

    Me: I have one

    Peter: Go for it!

    Me: Should do Harry’s spot

    Yeti: I can hear someone typing

    Peter: Sorry

    Me: I was typing too, specifically, the last Slack msg

    And so on. David Mamet couldn’t write better dialogue.

    • #20
  21. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Claire Berlinski: Reason 3 to join Ricochet (first month free!): “The comments threads are of a higher caliber than such threads elsewhere,” according to a left-leaning French intellectual; and unlike 98% of comments threads elsewhere, are not “cretinous and a waste of time.”

    I must not take this as a personal challenge…

    • #21
  22. user_82762 Thatcher
    user_82762
    @JamesGawron

    Claire,

    mmmm…toast…mmmm..

    Thank you Claire for all that you do. How about a little french toast…

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #22
  23. SPare Member
    SPare
    @SPare

    Claire: The Dutch are insupportable, I agree. But if you live in France, nothing comes to you more readily than mocking Belgians. All of the French stereotypes about Belgians are true.

    Max: What about the Belgians?

    Claire: Well, you don’t really get how funny the Belgian jokes are until you’re in Brussels, waiting for the Eurostar, looking around you, and thinking, “An hour until I get away from Belgium and back to civilization.” And then you realize: That’s what everyone in France thinks! And … that’s why they make those jokes! After that, the Belgian jokes are golden.

    Yeti: Put this out in public where it can do some good and sell some memberships.

    Reason 4 to join Ricochet (first month free!): It is part of our American tradition to mock the French.

    The funny thing about this is that all of the American mockery of the French actually applies better to the Belgians than the French.  I will admit that they do make good chocolate and beer though.

    • #23
  24. captainpower Member
    captainpower
    @captainpower

    They will never take our Independence Day!

    • #24
  25. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @Manny

    LOL!

    • #25
  26. user_494971 Contributor
    user_494971
    @HankRhody

    If you mouse over the “JOIN” hyperlinks you can see the coupon codes each one comes with. In order they are:

    claire
    moose
    april
    fromage
    april
    april
    toast
    toast

    • #26
  27. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    captainpower:

    They will never take our Independence Day!

    Methinks a Belgian slipped through in the editing process-

    • #27
  28. danys Thatcher
    danys
    @danys

    Maybe if it were this:
    Hold the manhoods, dear.

    • #28
  29. user_904 Thatcher
    user_904
    @RobertDammers

    As a Dutchman born and living in England, Claire, you have torn out my heart and stomped on it.  I can’t look at you.

    • #29

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