It’s hard to believe but January marked the 7th anniversary of The Same Rowdy Crowd. During that time, we’ve had more than 1,650 posts and more than 21,000 comments. We’ve had wonderful discussions and long-running shouting matches that are the semantic equivalents of “Did…did not.”
It’s the position of the management that we want more of the former and less of the latter. As a result, starting now, we’re requiring all those who comment to use their actual names. No pseudonyms and make-believe need apply.
Please note that we are not in any way seeking to limit your right to say any silly thing that may pop into your head. By all means, let fly when you disagree, digress, snort, holler, condemn, applaud, extoll, excoriate, praise, pillory and pontificate. Just sign your name.
Our belief is that taking this step is a reasonable move to promote a more thoughtful, interesting and enjoyable conversation. MinnPost uses this protocol successfully and we, as a group, are at least as smart and fun as that crowd of wine-sniffers. We’ve also noticed that on the infrequent occasion that we encounter one of the Crowd in the real world, the discussions are always more satisfying and fun; less “did…did not” and more “you know, you’re still an idiot, but I guess you’re not an ignorant idiot.” And, finally, we’ve heard from more than a few people who we like and respect (because they once bought us a round) that they don’t come around here no more because of the signal-to-noise ratio has decreased over the years. We’re hoping to lure some of those folks back because they might be good for another round or two.
We’re not quite sure how we’re going to enforce this new policy, but our initial hope is that people will police themselves and we – the lazy management team – won’t have to do anything (this is called “delegating” in business school). Failing that, we’ll just start deleting unsigned and obvious false flag comments as we see them. If that becomes too tedious, we’ll use that fancy Internets thing to require sign in, verification of a valid e-mail address and all that stuff and start holding comments for approval by one of the lazy management team. This would likely interfere with either nap time or a feeding period but we’d make Souder do it because we love you.
Of course we’d love your thoughts on this…sign right up and let us have it.
Austin (on behalf of the Mgmt)