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August 28, 2007

Conversations at Boing Boing
Posted by Teresa at 02:43 PM *

Remember that project I was working on that I couldn’t talk about? I can talk about it now: Boing Boing has gone back to having comment threads. I’m the moderator. (And in case you’re wondering: no, I’m not abandoning Making Light.)

It’s been an exciting day. The new comment system was launched simultaneously with the launch of the Boing Boing Gadgets Blog (that’s being done by former Gizmodo editor Joel Johnson), and the redesign of Boing Boing itself. Have you ever moved into a house where the moldings, light fixtures, and cover plates haven’t been installed yet? It’s a bit like that. A work in progress, as it were.

(Chief tech guy Ken Snider has been stellar, and I won’t hear a word against him.)

Fixes will be fixed, as I keep telling the commenters in the announcement thread. But in spite of all the problems, there’s an air of giddy good cheer about the place today. Boing Boing’s readers missed having comments, and they’re delighted to have them back.

Comments on Conversations at Boing Boing:
#1 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2007, 03:24 PM:

Congratulations, and congrats to BB for getting the best comment moderator in the univoice!

Teresa, that first link is broken. It needs to be http://www.boingboing.net/ and it's http://boingboing.net/. Gets a page error.

#2 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2007, 03:32 PM:

Hzzh! Cngrtltns fr th nw jb. Hpflly th vlnch f trlls dn't gv yr dsmvwlr trggr fngr.

#3 ::: Seth Breidbart ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2007, 03:32 PM:

Congratulations.

Looks like you invented a whole new industry.

#4 ::: Seth Breidbart ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2007, 03:33 PM:

Greg #2: That's what minions are for.

#5 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2007, 03:34 PM:

I’m the moderator.

Heck, no. You are The Moderator.

#6 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2007, 03:38 PM:

Should we be running a pool for when the first disemvowelment happens?

In an earlier comment I decided not to post, I typoed "Troll Wisperer", which I then decided was the act of turning big trolls into little inconsequential wisps. Here's to the Troll Wisperer!

#7 ::: Troy lissoway ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2007, 03:42 PM:

Congratulations. Making Light has the best comments I've ever run across. I've been lurking for years, enjoying the fruits of a well-moderated (and attended) forum.

#8 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2007, 03:46 PM:

Wow. I feel like I'm watching history happen.

#9 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2007, 03:51 PM:

I expect to see many "FRST!" comments.

#10 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2007, 04:00 PM:

Serge #5: I'm now picturing Teresa with a leather jacket, dark sunglasses, and a shotgun over one shoulder, with "bad to the bone" playing in the background.

#11 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2007, 04:06 PM:

albatross... As I recently said, I see Teresa the Moderator dressed the way Jessica Lange was when she pretended to be Hera in the movie Titus. That head-dress made of knife blades would look quite fetching.

#12 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2007, 04:12 PM:

Damn. If well-moderated comments at Boingboing lead to conversations half as interesting as the ones here, I won't be able to go there during the workday. I'd never get anything done.

(I'm trying to find a way to wean myself off ML as a workbreak, and failing miserably.)

Congrats, Teresa. I'm really looking forward to it.

#13 ::: Elayne Riggs ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2007, 04:18 PM:

Cool, I didn't know you were the moderator!

#14 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2007, 04:28 PM:

Congratulations on getting it going, Teresa.

This is like the first stages of lighting a fire - the newspaper you've twisted tightly and built into the heart of the pile has started to smoulder. Now you get to blow and fan it, till the tinder catches, then the deep burn into the logs begins.

Or maybe flame analogies are not the best for internet discussions?

#15 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2007, 05:08 PM:

Me 1: I don't get it. Now it works. Must have been something at my end.

#16 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2007, 05:08 PM:

R.M.Koske @ 12... I'm trying to find a way to wean myself off ML as a workbreak, and failing miserably.

It's the puns, isn't it?

#17 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2007, 05:39 PM:

I have LeechBlock on my work computer, blocking just about every fun site except Making Light and Boing Boing. It'll be fun to see what happens in the comments there-- I hadn't found the site before they were gone, so I don't know what kind of commenters there are.
Congratulations, Teresa, and I hope everything goes smoothly or interestingly not.

#18 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2007, 05:54 PM:

Seth@4, ah, that might be my problem. Whenever I order a moderator, I tell them I like my moderation well done, mustered, and hold the minions.

#19 ::: Tim Walker ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2007, 06:09 PM:

Was there EVER a better marriage of work and practitioner? Wow. Sign me up for more BoingBoing going forward.

#20 ::: MD² ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2007, 06:32 PM:

Congratulations.
Adding my voice to the background chorus of "Where will I find time, oh Time Devourers ?"...

albatross @10: Glad I'm not the only one.

#21 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2007, 06:59 PM:

Congratulations, Teresa. It sounds as if you're being paid to have fun (well, most of the time).

#22 ::: Mygaera ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2007, 07:53 PM:

I saw the news a few hours ago at work through my GoogleReader feed (because my job has the highly publicized net-nanny that first blocked BoingBoing months ago for "nudity". I kept running back here to see when you would post your side of the news.

I'm excited and heartbroken - a great opportunity for you and Cory, and one I'll mostly miss out on since I do most of my blog-feeding at work (shh!).


(Any mispellings, typos, and other grammatical blunders, please forgive, mea culpa - I am sick and woozy and should not be allowed in front of a keyboard.)

#23 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2007, 07:56 PM:

Teresa,

Congratulations. I'm hoping this is the beginning of a phase change on the web, in which good moderation spreads to become the norm, as people learn from your example. Personally, I've spent almost no time on BoingBoing in the last few months; that's going to change right away.

#24 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2007, 08:32 PM:

Just finishing up here. Dead tired. Have to go home. But for the record: 6:38 p.m., EDT.

#25 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2007, 08:34 PM:

And thank you. You guys are the best.

#26 ::: Mitch Wagner ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2007, 08:57 PM:

Congratulations, Teresa!

#27 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2007, 08:58 PM:

Thanks to Pleasantville for bravely updating Teresa's Wikipedia entry with this bit of good news.

#28 ::: Dawno ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2007, 09:02 PM:

Congratulations, Teresa.

#29 ::: Ray Wong ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2007, 09:36 PM:

Congrats, Teresa. I love BoingBoing. Best of luck.


#30 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2007, 10:11 PM:

Huzzah! Congratulations for making it through your first day.

#31 ::: Laurel Krahn ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2007, 10:14 PM:

Oh, excellent! A great moderator for a great site-- truly a great idea. Congrats!

#32 ::: Gursky ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2007, 10:36 PM:

Hooray! I spend more time here and on boingboing than any other sites combined. Now I'll never have to be without Teresa's special brand of moderation.

#33 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2007, 10:39 PM:

Our joy and pride are (dare I say it?) most immoderate.

#34 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2007, 10:47 PM:

Multi quidem facilius se abstinent ut non utanur, quam temperet ut bene utantur

To many, total abstinence is easier than perfect moderation. --St. Augustine

#35 ::: Robert L ::: (view all by) ::: August 28, 2007, 10:56 PM:

BTW, boingboing had your name misspelled in their announcement. I left a comment to that effect, then noticed it had been fixed a few hours later. So somebody's on the job...

#36 ::: Marina Chong ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2007, 12:13 AM:

Congratulations, Teresa.

#37 ::: Jenna Glatzer ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2007, 12:18 AM:

Congratulations, Teresa!

#38 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2007, 12:36 AM:

Is anyone else consistently reading the title on this thread as "Conversions at Boing Boing"? I keep getting unpleasant thoughts of Xeni Jardin or Cory Doctorow being born again.

#39 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2007, 12:37 AM:

Robert L (#35): As did I, in another episode of "As the Comments Cross"; yours was posted while I was alternately typing and being distracted by other stuff.

I'm very, very glad to see BB getting a solid comment ecosystem, especially with TNH supplying the selection pressure.

#40 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2007, 02:23 AM:

This announcement has totally made my day. Yay! Yay for comments at BB! Yay for TNH keepin' 'em in line! Yay!

#41 ::: Nenya ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2007, 03:38 AM:

Wow, wow, wow. Maybe sometimes the Big Famous Places do do it right after all!

Congratulations, Teresa! :D

#42 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2007, 09:53 AM:

Heh. Tell Ken I say 'Hi' :P

#43 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2007, 10:12 AM:

I'll add to the congrats!

This may have been discussed on another thread (once or twice upon a time), but does anyone give awards for Best Moderator? Teresa should have nearly as many of those as CNB has Hugos.

#44 ::: Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2007, 12:06 PM:

Here's a nice quote from hughstimson.org:

Who do you hire to moderate your comments if you are the most-visited blog on the internet, with a monthly readership approximately equal to Wired magazine’s and total monthly expenses of a few thousand in hosting fees? Teresa Nielsen Hayden apparently. Which is kind of like starting a new church and hiring god to play the organ.

#45 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2007, 12:54 PM:

W00t! Congrats!

#46 ::: glinda ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2007, 02:24 PM:

Congratulations!

Which is kind of like starting a new church and hiring god to play the organ.

*peals of laughter* (and a flash-memory of Britten's setting of Christopher Smart's "Rejoice in the Lamb" - specifically: "For M is music, and therefore He is God")

#47 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2007, 04:15 PM:

So, has anyone at BB been disemvoweled yet?

#48 ::: Bernard Yeh ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2007, 04:37 PM:

Earl @47

Isn't that what Teresa was announcing the timestamp for in #24?

Not that it was a surprise... The surprise may have been it took that long...

#49 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2007, 05:03 PM:

Oh, I just thought that was the time she went home for the day. I missed the previous post, and there wasn't a backlink to #6. Ah, well. That's what I get for reading the comments from last to first.

#50 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2007, 06:12 PM:

It's been a challenging day. A learning experience, even. I was disemvowelling a comment at 6:15 this morning, and I have hours of work left to do now.

I feel like I've been drawn by Booth.

#51 ::: Randolph Fritz ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2007, 10:48 PM:

*Told* ya! Congratulations!

#52 ::: AndrW ::: (view all by) ::: August 30, 2007, 12:17 AM:

one more person chiming in - I am going back to being a regular boing boing follower due to the new moderation. It's part just the 'good advertisement' here bringing me in, and part that I really liked having the comment threads there.

Losing those took something away from the experience.

Having them back already seems as a bright new day.

#53 ::: Martin Wisse ::: (view all by) ::: August 30, 2007, 12:04 PM:

Excellent news, but I hope it won't become more than a fulltime job...

#54 ::: JKRichard ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2007, 11:02 PM:

This is a good thing. Making Light lead me to BoingBoing and Cory Doctorow. Cory lead me back to Patrick and podcasts from WorldCon.
Brilliant podcast with George Takei.
Cory and Patrick's Podcast seem to be hyper-relevant to recent SFWA's misuse of DMCA... coincidence?

#55 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 04, 2007, 09:54 AM:

A sonnet for Teresa, who is probably very tired right about now:

An archangel muses on his early days

The first days with the flaming sword, I swore
I'd break my arms, or burn my fingertips.
My palms were blistered. Skin came off in strips.
At sunset I'd be weary to the core.
And now I can, with joyful spirit, tell
How when my widespread wings were fledged
I lost control, and ended my flight wedged
Inside a cliffside crack (from which I fell!)
In time I learned to better wield my sword
And not set light to quite so many trees.
I fly for days on end with grace and ease.
And doing these things well, I please the LORD.
(But I confess - His pleasure's just a part
Of my delight in mastering my art.)

#56 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: September 05, 2007, 07:08 PM:

abi, #55: That's lovely! But I think you need another iamb in line 6; I can't read it in such a way as to make it scan right. Perhaps "newly fledged"?

#57 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2007, 11:37 AM:

Drat, Lee, you're right.

How when my widespread wings were newly fledged it is.

#58 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2007, 12:40 PM:

abi (57): How when my widespread wings were newly fledged it is.

That sentence parses very strangely. :)

#59 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: September 10, 2007, 01:28 PM:

A comparison of comment threads on Boing-Boing and on Wired's blogs (e.g. Threat Level, Danger Room) makes clear the value of Teresa's work.

Conversation on the Wired blogs is just unreadable; fully half of it's one pack of wing nuts insulting another.

#60 ::: NelC ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2007, 08:18 AM:

Teresa, I'm having trouble registering for boingboing's comments. I've tried it twice, waited patiently for the confirmation email to turn up in my Hotmail inbox, and it hasn't. The first time I got distracted by, uh, Japan, and figured I'd missed it, but I tried again yesterday (or today, possibly; I'm still jetlagged) but no luck.

Also, would it be a good idea or a truly lousy one to have a link to the moderator on the front page of boingboing? Instead of, you know, posting in a not-entirely-related blog when there's a problem?

It could be me, I'm still in a state of quantum indecision about whether I'm in the UK or in Japan at the mo. I keep looking for the chopsticks when I eat....

#61 ::: NelC ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2007, 08:25 AM:

Come to think of it, it's probably better to ping Cory, I guess. Ignore me.

#62 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2007, 08:27 AM:

NelC #60: Admit it, you only posted that so we would observe you.

So now that I have, where'd you end up? UK or Japan?

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