Bbs = BS; Quality of discussion plummets

Other than lower volume, which is to be expected, and arguably by design...
Well, there you go; discussions and community aren't automatic, they're shaped by both content and environment. If discouraging volume of comments and keeping them separate from posts are part of what was intended, that's fine, but it should only be expected that commenters may feel their contributions are less invited and things change accordingly.

For my own part, I don’t think BBS is at all dead, but the disruption people are mentioning is not imaginary and it does make this a less attractive place. I know there are people who slam any new thing that comes by, but if you see any criticism as “new thing bad” you miss your chance to see how are you shaping things.


Apologies. I only meant to emphasize a couple of things that rang true. “Random voicings” strikes me as a great descriptor for the trend in internet dialogue over the past 10+ years. First the thoughtful and challenging discussions from message boards slowly faded away. Then everyone migrated to Facebook and the quality of in-depth exchanges continued its descent. As you said, discussions are no longer nearly “as focused.”

I don’t buy the career driven decision angle. I think maybe it has more to do with the fine line between journalism and blogging. Growing pains, as it were. That said, BB has been a bastion of fostering the spirit of wonderful conversation that used to be so common, but is now quite rare on the web.

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On the whole career/journalism/comments article, Charlie Brooker talked about this in an interview with Rock, Paper, Shotgun this week.

I wonder out loud about the entitlement of the internet commenter.
Perhaps we should do away with comments sections? “I can kind of
understand the value of [comments] if you’re writing things to provoke
a conversation or debate,” he muses. “Fair enough, whenever you want
to hear from everyone. Whenever I’m writing things I don’t – I’m not
really interested in it, I’m sort of doing a little routine basically
and I don’t think comments have a place in that. Personally I find
them aesthetically irritating whether they are good or bad. And I get
an easy ride in the comments generally, because I’m not a woman, which
gives you an extra 50% bonus where comments are concerned. And I seem
to get a relatively easy ride.” But he says, “I do still find myself
annoyed.” I say he must get a lot of replies on Twitter. “Well, that
is expected, isn’t it, it’s just a cloud of shit. I think it just
depends on what you’re hoping to achieve when you’re writing an
article. I’m only ever trying to entertain. And it sort of annoys me
that they put comments on the page.

I suspect the editors of BB feel similarly, hence the BBS gulag.

I suspect anyone writing on the web feels that way sometimes. I also suspect Boingers have thick skins.

Thick skins? Very much the opposite, I’d have thought.

I do get it - internet comments are a real cess-pit in most places. RPS being a good example - John Walker in particular has to put up with a lot of moronic drivel because he dares to challenge things like the misogyny in gaming. Reading the comments on Telegraph articles makes me want to euthanize the human race at times.

The sad thing is I don’t think BB was ever like that - presumably down to the aggressive moderation and reduced number of commenters compared to, say, The Verge. Hands down the most rewarding site I ever found for commenting.

Without that (or with this hived-off alternative), I don’t really think BB is any better than a once-a-day mail shot like NextDraft. It was the comments that raised it above a list of interesting links.


Antinous has resigned. We’re very sorry to see him go and hope to work with him again.


Aggressive modding is an integral part of making this a great community.

Antinous, parting words?

“…the permalink needs to have the discussion on it.”

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i broke the like button


Aha. Thanks. Yes, I agree. Particularly with your bastion point.

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I actually like the separation of comment system from articles for reasons. Comment sections stress me out and the temptation to read them even when I know in a particular case that I shouldn’t … well, it can be a little too much. Now it’s one click further and I venture in less often. Making me happier.

On the other hand, the comments do feel more hostile now that we’ve moved to BBs. Don’t know if that’s coincidence, because Antinous left, because people are angry about BBs, because there are greater misunderstandings in a flat comment system, or due to some other things I haven’t considered. Or even just my perception as someone with social anxiety who doesn’t like change.

I guess we’ll see how it goes.

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Tell ya what. It’s Saturday. Let’s all sleep on it.

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It’s 2am in London and I can’t sleep.

Err, isn’t last call 4AM in London? Pansy. :wink:

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Who said I wasn’t out? I’m in a club with a pumping sound system, gyrating bodies all around, DJ droppin’ my trax. Enough booze in me to fell a giant. Barely see the keys on my prototype smartphone (you might get one in a year). Yeah - it’s happenin’m right here.

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Droppin’ wax. Dare you to say that enough times.

Love it. I’m not really out. Have to be up with the kids in the am!

Sorry to hear that. Any forwarding links, to a personal blog, say?

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Mind officially boggled.

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I can certainly understand this from a journalist / blogger. I’d get tired of comments all focussed on responding to my experiences or opinions.
Isn’t BB still basically a ‘zine? Big difference!
We have a crew celebrating wonder-ful ‘things’, tangible and not so… slipping occasionally with ‘greasy peccadilloes’ (love ya’ Antinous!); sure, opinions are voiced, sometimes stridently, but is BB anything like a blog?