New Comment Policy Experiment

Dave · August 10, 2007 at 9:58 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Okay, so, we’re going to try an experiment. As of now, everyone who has not added a comment to the site before will have their posts added directly to the moderation queue. They will have to be approved by an author before they become readable on the site. This will act as a de-facto trial period for new commenters.

To get your comment approved, you should focus on adding something substantive to the discussion and showing some degree of understanding of what has already been discussed. Think of your first comment as an audition.

To those who have been commented in the past, this change won’t affect you.


86 Responses to “New Comment Policy Experiment”

  1. AQ on August 11th, 2007 10:59 am

    I am totally onboard with this new policy/philosophy. I’ve been a reader of the site for several years (since about 6 months before USSM originally allowed comments) and I waited a long time before posting a comment. Even now, I rarely comment. I do a lot more reading than commenting. Why? Because I realize that I don’t know everything about the subject matter and I like to read the viewpoints of informed authors and informed commenters.

    I’ve learned a lot from this site and I continue to learn from it on a regular basis. I applaud the decision and I hope that it prevents this place from turning into the ESPN message boards.

  2. gwangung on August 11th, 2007 11:09 am

    One. Not being able to post is not a permanent state. It’s fluid, dynamic.

    Two. Contradicting conventional wisdom (as defined on this site) is quite allowable…if you bring something new to the table. And there’s that search function for the site.

    I suspect when people realize that, the discussion overlords won’t be (and won’t appear to be) quite so heavy handed….

  3. Sec 108 on August 11th, 2007 11:23 am

    To the Masters of USSM. I have very much appreciated being able to read and participate in your site. I also very much appreciate the time, effort and devotion it takes to maintain this site while still being on the pulse of the topic of MLB and the Mariners in general. Keep up the good work and rule as you see fit. You owe us nothing. However, we probably owe you much.

  4. Dwezilwoffa on August 11th, 2007 11:24 am

    Hey I just wanted to thank Dave and Derek and all the people who put this site together.
    I am not really a Mariners fan but I am a huge Baseball fan. I found my way over from some Gleeman post, originally.
    I have enjoyed the enlightened discussion here for sometime now. As someone who scours many different team blog sites, this is hands down the best single team site I have ever found.
    So keep up the good work.

    Also, do you think the Johan Santana vs Felix matchup on Monday could teach Felix a little about changing his pitching trends. Here’s hoping something rubs off from a 2 time Venezuelan Cy Young winner to hopefully a future Venezuelan Cy Young winner.

  5. shmandoly on August 11th, 2007 11:36 am

    This is my first comment and oddly enough its in response to Dave’s Comment Policy Experiment.

    For a while I felt like a student who stumbled into a higher level discussion on a topic I had interest in, but was in no way as schooled as those participating. Instead of assuming my opinion and ideas matched the level of thought brought to the table by Dave and Derek and some of those who’ve already commented, I of course read the “Comment Guidelines” and the “USSM Orientation” as well as “Evaluating Pitcher Talent” and then read old entries, and read them some more.

    I still don’t feel like I have much to add today, but maybe tomorrow. I do hope Dave knows he’s getting through to some of us out there.

  6. Xteve X on August 11th, 2007 11:47 am

    More thanks to the authors at the good ship USS Mariner. I don’t have a problem with stringent posting guidelines, and frankly I enjoyed the blog just as much without comments as with.

  7. tlswiss on August 11th, 2007 12:29 pm

    Just another frequent reader who doesn’t post. I greatly appreciate the informed opinions of the authors. They have added substantially to my knowledge of baseball. As noted, there are plenty of other sites available for unsupported opinions. What makes this site different (and better, in my opinion) is the fact that opinions are backed up by analysis/facts/research.

    Therefore, I support any actions taken by the authors to eliminate the “clutter” of uninformed, unsupported, dogmatic opinions to allow them to concentrate on analysis and presenting more informed articles.

    Lastly, I support Lauren, token chick — long live THE BOX!

  8. NBarnes on August 11th, 2007 12:37 pm

    I really totally disagree with the idea that DMZ, Derek, and Dave have to put up with everybody’s posts if they put up with anybody’s posts. Blogs in particular and the internet in general are not a closed medium. If Joe W. McLarenfan wants to talk about how great McLaren’s handling of his veterans is, it will take that person literally about ten minutes at most to create Fire USS Mariner at blogspot and start typing away.

  9. kenshin on August 11th, 2007 12:50 pm

    Have you guys ever thought about appointing some willing reader to be in charge of approving comments, ala deadspin?

  10. smb on August 11th, 2007 12:54 pm

    Keep up to good work, guys!

    Fellow M’s fans: If you ever want the franchise’s management to value talent over unquantifiable traits like marketability and the intangible, bullshit chemistry meme, then support the work these guys do. I beseech you. The FO’ NEEDS to know we are not all Raul4Lifers, and that we are knowledgeable enough to call them on their more senseless maneuvers.

    Take a look at the marketing angle the team uses…in fact, from now on I will refer to the blindly sycophantic “GO M’s!” people as “tent guys” or TG’s for short. The club seems to think M’s fans are all like that tool in the commercial praying to a Raul Ibanez bobblehead in a tent outside Safeco Field. If you were running the team and believed that people like Tent Guy are your fan base, you’d probably continue to play Richie “sub-Mendoza” Sexson and Raul “Less range than Kevin Mitchell” too. We need to be more and louder to compete.

    So let’s hear it for informed fans, people who know who Carlos Triunfel is and see Betancourt’s range as lacking for a SS!

  11. fishiam on August 11th, 2007 12:55 pm

    Somebody asked earlier if there was a place here for the “average fan.” There is indeed …. as a reader of comments. There are lots of boards for “average fans” to post their thoughts. This, however, is somebodies’ blog and they are not obligated to allow posting. They’ve chosen to allow intelligent, reasoned posting. As such, it is natural they would take steps to insure that’s what occurs. Why is this so difficult to understand or stomach?

  12. wokster on August 11th, 2007 1:10 pm

    I know it’s a blog and I’m a sporadic poster (2 one week, none for 2 months, 2 times a day for a 3 days then disappear the rest of the season) and I may have missed the train on this thought, but what about a simple forum? Not a huge full blown full-featured forum, just have maybe 2 different areas and that’s it, keep it all about the M’s (or Seattle sports in general, I’ve seen some seahawks posts here before)

    Sorry if I missed the train and this thought was already shot down before.

  13. aaron c. on August 11th, 2007 1:14 pm

    I’ve been reading USSM for years now, commenting only on rare occasions. I’m here to learn, more than anything, and I hope one day I’m comfortable enough with what I’ve learned to be more vocal.

    I honestly have to say, I don’t understand the opposition to the attempts the authors are making to restore the uniformly high level of discourse that used to be the norm here. There’s this belief that has become the norm in our society that every opinion is just as valuable and valid as the next, and that everyone should be free to express themselves in whatever manner they like-provided no one’s feelings get hurt. Well, nuts to that, says I.

    Dave and DMZ have spent a lot of time and energy educating themselves, and when they make an argument, they have the evidence to back it up. When you have an opinion that you know to be well-informed, there’s nothing wrong with defending that opinion vigorously. If you express an opinion here (or in any other public forum, for that matter) you have to expect it to be critiqued, based on the standards of the community. The authors have repeatedly tried to impress upon people the fact that this is an intellectually stimulating blog, and fools will not be suffered, with diminishing success. This is an attempt to rectify that situation.

    This isn’t a place for casual fans. It’s a place for hardcore fans and for those who want to become more well informed. If you want to join in on the dialog, you have to expect criticism. If that’s not your bag, this isn’t your blog.

  14. Teej on August 11th, 2007 1:40 pm

    This site has the potential to be great. But the intolerance for a contrary view and whining about the team starts at the top and trickles down.

    This site has the potential to suck if the authors let it turn into a message board for ill-thought-out drivel. I’ll take the heavy-handed moderation and informed commentary over the clusterfuck nonsense of a message board any day.

    Asking commenters to think doesn’t seem all that unfair to me. Thanks, Dave and DMZ.

  15. DizzleChizzle on August 11th, 2007 1:41 pm

    Maybe this topic should have been closed to comments. I mean there’s really nothing to argue or debate?

  16. Mat on August 11th, 2007 2:19 pm

    To those who have been commented in the past, this change won’t affect you.

    One potential side-effect that I see affecting everyone: If there are going to be more comments going through the mod queue, it will make it even more confusing to refer to other comments by their comment number. Even in the past, I’ve found it a lot easier to follow the comments when people are using quotations and not comment numbers in their replies.

  17. IP on August 11th, 2007 2:23 pm

    As a constant lurker and infrequent commentor I’m alright with moderation, however won’t that just add to your already heavy USSM workload? Where will you guys find the time?

  18. hafner on August 11th, 2007 3:02 pm

    For those who are concerned about this policy, or have some sort of gripe with how Dave/Derek/Jason/Jeff do things, I submit my experience in overcoming my biases.

    – I used to think USSM (and SABRmaticians in general) was/were too dismissive of traditional scouting and talent evaluation, and too dependent on pure statistics … until I paid closer attention and realized that USSM uses statistics only as tools to get to the truth.

    – I used to think that Dave and Derek were too arrogant, too harsh, too dismissive of those that didn’t automatically agree with them … until I realized that they were only that way with lazy thinkers who added nothing to the conversation. I saw them be patient with newbies and point them to places they could research.

    – I used to think that USSM was way too clannish and dogmatic; that once Derek and Dave staked out a position, the community blindly agreed with it no matter what … but now I realize that’s because Derek and Dave take well-thought-out positions and justify them well. And, frankly, they’re right a lot.

    – I used to miss the chaotic, wide-open nature of Usenet and thought USSM was way too tightly controlled … until I got used to the high level of discourse. Now I break out into hives whenever I venture onto Usenet or read the comments on Geoff Baker’s blog.

    Not coincidentally:
    – I used to know nothing about baseball … and now, while I’m still no baseball genius, I know enough to roll my eyes when my brother-in-law complains that the Mariners should play Bloomquist more, and enough to be disappointed that the Jumbotron at Safeco doesn’t display OPS+ instead of batting average when introducing opposing players.

    As a first-time-in-a-long-time poster, I’m having to recreate my account and so – I SUBMIT MYSELF TO THEE, GODS OF MODERATION!

  19. smb on August 11th, 2007 3:03 pm

    66: Making it less of a real-time ‘conversation’ would fix more problems than it would create, IMO. Think about it…we are going to see cleaner, more vital threads with less rank idiocy. It would also prevent me from drunk posting (that’s a plus).

  20. John in L.A. on August 11th, 2007 3:33 pm

    68 – Great post. Spot on, I think. If I didn’t know better I’d think you were a duplicate account of mine.

    Speaking of which. Do many people have duplicate accounts? Thinking about that after that hilarity in the other thread. Never really occurs to me that people post under different names. That seems so very weak. Is it widespread?

  21. terry on August 11th, 2007 3:48 pm

    I think it’s more laziness than a moral outrage at having the bill of rights repressed.. In other words IMHO, it’s not really an inability to express dissenting opinion that upsets some (and BTW clearly nothing could be further from the truth concerning dissenting opinion given the history of this site)….it’s the amount of effort it takes to actually formulate a counter argument that bothers them (and perhaps from time to time a stubborn denial that they might actually have to abandon a position they’ve clung to preciously for good deal of time)…

    Maybe I’m nuts but I’m much more drawn to the reason for a person’s opinion than their opinion per se…

    Fine, someone thinks Jones should/shouldn’t get more playing time. That’s not really interesting. Great, you think that. However, it’s neither more interesting than a bland checked box on a ballot nor does it move a discussion forward. Why someone thinks that…now there’s fertile ground for chewing the fat and for stimulating the neurons.

    That’s really what the authors mean by a higher bar I think-it’s not enough to have an opinion. Commenters should share their reasons for it too while accepting the notion that you’re expected to have done your homework (google is free and it’s actually easy to use). And as all reasonable people would assume, you should understand the context of the discussion before jumping in and arguing.

    The Constitution doesn’t guarantee equal protection for all opinions nor does it guarantee the right to post anything, anytime, anywhere. A moderation que is not a threat to democracy. All opinions frankly aren’t equal. Some are clearly more informed and supported than others. It’s silly talk to suggest inferior opinions should be valued let alone that they should be valued as equal to a stronger argument.

  22. shortbus on August 11th, 2007 4:19 pm

    When was the last time I looked forward to watching the M’s face a pitcher with no control? Maybe 2000 or 2001 when we still had guys in the lineup that were productive AND patient hitters…like Edgar, Olerud and (in 2000) A-Rod. I expect as many strikeouts as walks tonight with this swing-happy crew.

  23. scraps on August 11th, 2007 5:04 pm

    One potential side-effect that I see affecting everyone: If there are going to be more comments going through the mod queue, it will make it even more confusing to refer to other comments by their comment number.

    Mat, I think this point is well taken, but that it can easily be solved if people get into the habit of quoting what they are responding to and responding by name. This would have the additional benefit, in my opinion, of making people pay more attention to the actual words they are responding to.

  24. Blastings Thrilledge on August 11th, 2007 8:06 pm

    I hope the Mariners don’t bench Raul Ibañez for Adam Jones. This team chemistry should not be messed with.

    Hoping that I’m already approved

  25. Mat on August 11th, 2007 9:19 pm

    Mat, I think this point is well taken, but that it can easily be solved if people get into the habit of quoting what they are responding to and responding by name. This would have the additional benefit, in my opinion, of making people pay more attention to the actual words they are responding to.

    I guess I wasn’t very clear, but my intention was to discourage using the comment numbers rather than to discourage the new moderation policy. I’m in favor of the new policy in light of recent developments.

  26. LA M's Fan on August 11th, 2007 10:54 pm

    Speaking of quoting, what is the tag to use for quoting? I’ve scoured the site and haven’t seem to come up with it…

  27. smb on August 11th, 2007 10:57 pm

    I officially move to put Victor Conte in charge of Mariners’ team chemistry. Hell, if it’s going to be an organizational imperative, we might as well see some damn results!!

  28. AZSEAfan on August 11th, 2007 11:39 pm

    I believe there’s something important here that nobody has commented on. Derek and Dave spend hours every week writing on subjects meant for our education and sometimes entertainment. They do not get paid for the effort they put in. In fact, they actually pay out of their own pockets, just to be abused. Do you folks realize that the bandwidth is NOT free? How about the multitude of servers that have been bought to keep this blog going?

    Many loyal posters have chipped in but the majority of the expenses come from the authors’ wallets. They can run their site any damn way they choose. If you don’t like it, there’s always room elsewhere. Keep up the good work guys and thank you for teaching me so much about the game and our team.

  29. Evan on August 12th, 2007 1:05 am

    Great idea, Dave. Can we go back in time and turn this on 3 months ago?

    Oh, and the quote tag is blockquote.

  30. LA M's Fan on August 12th, 2007 1:23 am

    Oh, and the quote tag is blockquote.

    Do you put that in brackets and then end it with a backslash?

  31. terry on August 12th, 2007 7:29 am

    like this?

    Is this bold?



  32. terry on August 12th, 2007 7:31 am

    Really it would be a great idea to have a short tag fact in the orientation….

  33. terry on August 12th, 2007 7:33 am

    Really it would be a great idea to have a short tag fact in the orientation…

    I agree 100% with Terry. In fact, I think he’s brilliant

  34. scraps on August 12th, 2007 9:25 am

    Mat, I understood you, and I agree.

  35. Lauren, token chick on August 12th, 2007 1:58 pm

    LA M’s: Angled brackets, like so:


  36. LA M's Fan on August 12th, 2007 2:26 pm

    LA M’s: Angled brackets, like so:

    Much appreciated!

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