New Readers, Comments, and Moderation

Dave · July 12, 2007 at 11:27 am · Filed Under Site information 

As you’ve probably noticed, USSM continues to grow, and especially lately, we’ve seen an influx of new readers and commenters through widespread references to the site. To those of you who have recently found the blog, welcome. We’re glad you’re here and hope you stick around.

However, when we experience significant growth in a short timespan, inevitably, we attract some folks who aren’t aware of the groundrules for being part of the discussion here at USSM. So, this post will serve as a primer for the new guys and a refresher for those of you who have been around awhile.

Read the USSM Orientation, which is always linked at the top of the blog, right next to the Comment Guidelines. Please take the time to read both of these and understand that they were setup with the best interest of USSM at heart.

Think of the comments as a chance to have a running dialogue with people about the topic of the post. The best analogy I’ve ever been able to come up with for this place is something like a college classroom. We’re in charge, we pick the topics, we set the rules, and we try to foster as much intelligent discourse as possible. If USSM isn’t your cup of tea, there are plenty of other Mariner sites out there for you to try – we’re not going to be for everybody, and we’re not going to try to appeal to the masses.

We expect you to have informed opinions, engage people with respect, and honor the guidelines that you agreed to when you registered for the site. Comments that fail to meet these standards will be removed. We’re also going to begin using the moderation queue more aggressively – posters who have been placed into the mod queue will still be able to submit comments, but they will not appear on the site until they have been approved by one of the authors. If you find your comments are being moderated, take it as a challenge to prove to us that you have something to contribute. Put better quality comments in the queue as evidence that you have something to add to the site and we’ll eventually return you to non-moderated status.

Finally, keep in mind that we’re doing this all for free. We do the best that we can, and if you’re not happy with how the site is being run, feel free to send us an email, and if we can help you with your issue, we will, as best as we can. Constructive criticism is always welcome – “you guys are teh suck!” emails will find their way to the trashcan pretty quickly.

We’re proud of what USSM has grown into – let’s all try to make sure that it continues to be a place that we can be proud of going forward.


66 Responses to “New Readers, Comments, and Moderation”

  1. DMZ on July 12th, 2007 6:17 pm

    w/r/t off-topic posts: just don’t do it. Ever. Just don’t. It’s amazingly fucking annoying, because often we’re trying to write up a post on “breaking news” as every other thread disintegrates into discussion of that thing, and so instead of “news post” our job turns into “news post”+”clean up every other thread”

    On general news-of-the-day posts, that kind of thing’s fine, but I hate, hate, hate people shitting on threads because they think they need to hijack to talk about some other thing.

  2. MarinerDan on July 12th, 2007 7:13 pm

    One more thing — never, I mean never, refer to “Beltre” as “Bustre.” Then again, the way he has been going lately, why would you?

  3. Lauren, token chick on July 12th, 2007 7:16 pm

    Since I love the very occasional moments when I can contribute useful information: one can insert a lesser than/greater than bracket character in one’s HTML by typing the following, without spaces:

    & lt ;
    & gt ;

  4. BKM on July 12th, 2007 7:34 pm

    16. “The bottom line is, as stated in the opening post; this site is not intended to be for everyone, and by posting here, you implicitly agree to participate in a different kind of discussion about baseball and the Mariners than happens on the P-I blog.”

    And what kind of discussion would that be? While I appreciate the work Dave puts into analysis and do find it well-written, I find most of the discussion a contest at who can most “cleverly” denigrate the players, coaches and front-office personnel, of course hiding behind the cloak of anonymity.

    This might be a “different” kind of baseball discussion, but is it more enlightened?

  5. DMZ on July 12th, 2007 7:39 pm

    If you really don’t think that USSM fosters more thoughtful commentary than, say, the PI blogs, or the ESPN forums, I don’t know what to tell you.

    If you disagree with the tone/content/etc of comments, you’re welcome to participate and change it.

  6. Jeff Nye on July 12th, 2007 8:36 pm

    I don’t have much of a cloak of anonymity, considering I post here using my real name.

    As far as the rest of it goes, I don’t find it to be true at all. Yes, people in the organization do get criticized here, but it’s mostly because they’re bad at their jobs.

    But a lot of players are praised here on a regular basis. Ichiro, Felix, Adam Jones, etc.

    Coincidentally, they tend to be the ones that are good at their jobs.

  7. kyleharfst326 on July 12th, 2007 9:53 pm

    this site is awsome finally a website with people that actually know something about baseball like those guys that use like a whole formula to see how good ichro is. ya this is a good site

  8. cpbuddha on July 12th, 2007 9:58 pm

    I got a comment deleted for referring to this as a board. My apologies – I’m relatively clueless about web verbiage and terminology. I was wondering, though: what’s the origin of this dislike? Is “board” a pejorative, or merely inaccurate? What makes a site not a board?

    I hope this doesn’t come off as a passive-aggressive needle – the moderating here is one of the reasons I read the site. I’m just curious, and ignorant.

  9. BKM on July 12th, 2007 11:07 pm

    55. I’ve never seen the PI’s blog’s moderators outright say a player “sucks,” as I have here. Whether you don’t like a player’s performance for whatever reason, does the word “suck” or its intent ever raise the level of discussion?

    I could participate and change it to the best of my ability, but if the tone is such where no mistake on the field is forgivable, every slip lampoonable, and certain players garner wrath “just because”… I’d say that’s a little beyond the scope of what I can do. You, as a moderator, though, might have a little more authority in that regard.

    And, 56. No doubt, USSM has its favorites. They can do no wrong here. But I think the others, the ones who might be deemed “bad signings” are doomed and placed under a greater microscope almost before they put the uniform on. If they help the Mariners, either no reaction or downplayed reaction. If they fail, someone’s to blame.. if not the player, the manager for using him or using him incorrectly, or Bavasi for signing him, and all hell breaks loose.

  10. Lauren, token chick on July 12th, 2007 11:55 pm

    I think there probably IS a lot of dissing on here, whether the posters/moderators think it’s deserved or not. But an example to contradict you, BKM, immediately pops to mind–the USSM folks were against the Ibanez signing from the beginning and then kept admitting over the last couple of years that it worked out much better than they expected. As Ibanez got to an .825 OPS in 2004 and .869 last year, instead of declining as they’d expected, the authors didn’t keep harping on how they’d been against the signing and Ibanez actually sucked regardless of his numbers.

    This year, of course, things aren’t going quite so well in that regard.

  11. Lauren, token chick on July 13th, 2007 12:01 am

    Oh yeah, plus–the picking on disliked players and “no reaction or downplayed reaction” when players who someone doesn’t expect to do well DOES do well?

    That seems like pretty typical human behavior to me, and I find it hard to believe you’d find it to be different on any other board, blog or forum where people post casual comments.

  12. Gabriel on July 13th, 2007 7:18 am

    So, this post will serve as a primer for the new guys and a refresher for those of you who have been around awhile.

    I guess I’m a little of both. I used to read USS Mariner regularly several years ago, and always found it to be an incredibly valuable resource. I recently started checking in here more often in the past couple months, and some of the changes are interesting. For one thing Peter, Jeff and Jason seem to have disappeared, and there’s more of a reliance on game-threads than on content, but life is busy and the content posts are still great.

    Some of the changes in tone are a bit striking. Overall it seems a bit more belligerent than it used to me. Derek was always a bit caustic and I figured that he was a nice guy in real life and probably just didn’t represent his true personality via his web writing. Writing for the web seems to make people sound a lot more snarky than they really are, for some reason. But now Dave seems to have adopted that tone-of-voice as well, and it’s a bit hard to read, to be honest.

    I can understand the need to be authoritarian about the comments, though the result is that commenters err on the side of sucking up out of a fear of getting banned. But at least the information density is high.

    Just thought I’d mention how the site seems to have involved from my perspective over the last few years. You guys know your stuff inside and out, but the tone doesn’t always do your writing justice.

  13. Grizz on July 13th, 2007 9:50 am

    The tone is fine and serves a purpose. If you said something incorrect or unsupported in a college classroom, the professor is not going to set you on his or her knee, hand you a lollipop, and tell you how smart you are. You are going to get called out. At that point, you can study up before you talk in class again, or you can transfer to an easier school and complain about how mean the professor was at your old school.

    And if you had to put up with the personal attacks and other garbage the authors do (on this site, other sites, and in emails), you would have occasion to be cranky too.

  14. Jeff Nye on July 13th, 2007 2:09 pm

    There aren’t any players that “can do no wrong” here, that I’ve seen anyway.

    There’s been MANY posts lately about how Felix has been using poor pitch selection, for instance. He also got a fair amount of criticism for his poor work habits/self-maintenance, back when he was in that phase.

    But what Grizz says is spot-on; this place isn’t intended to be a touchy-feely, everything is sunshine and lollipops sort of forum for discussion.

    If someone sucks, we’ll say he sucks, and won’t sugarcoat it. If he doesn’t suck, we’ll say the same. And regardless of which side of someone’s suckitude you’re on, you should be prepared to back up your position with solid factual information using useful statistics (so if you’re saying that Jeff Weaver rocks because of his ERA, we will laugh at you).

  15. earinc on July 15th, 2007 11:26 am

    I view this place as a support group for my addiction. I can’t go to sleep at night without seeing how the M’s did. My friends are much more detached, normal, fair-weather fans. This place saves my wife from having to listen to my insufferable opinions about baseball — USSM gets them, instead.

  16. KenLevine on July 15th, 2007 10:11 pm

    I know it’s not on subject but thanks to all of you who commented on my fill-on stint broadcasting for the M’s last week. Even the negative comments.

    It was a crazy situation, especially being thrown onto the telecast and then that crazy play, but I had a great time, I love the Mariners, and although I was a little rusty and my voice is my voice, I think I conveyed the joy I felt being there and covering the M’s. And I think you could follow what was going on.

    In any event, this is a terrific blog. And I learn more about the team from you guys than from anywhere else.

    If anyone is interested, I have a blog as well. It’s more humor oriented. But for those who do enjoy my act, I invite you to check it out. Today I have posted my travelogue on my Seattle trip.

    Thanks again.

    Ken Levine

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