December 7, 2010

Joe Blow wins the thread!

Do you like it when a commenter says that so-and-so "wins the thread"?
Yes, it's snappy and adorable. If you disagree, disagree!
No. It's irritating to appoint oneself as the arbiter of the quality of comments!
No. It annoys me to have the thread characterized as a competition.
Yes. Other commenters will up their game if they get the feeling it's a competition.
  
pollcode.com free polls

70 comments:

Quayle said...

First

prairie wind said...

Someone said I won the thread once, so I think it is snappy and adorable.

AllenS said...

It's like getting an Althouse tag. I think I've gotten more thread winners though.

prairie wind said...

Ha! Quayle wins the thread.

bagoh20 said...

"Joe Blow wins the thread!"

I know it's early, but I agree: he does.

Original Mike said...

How many times can we do "LOL"? There are only a limited number of ways to say something was funny or clever.

Scott M said...

I've said it about other commentators here. Occasionally it's a simple, direct point. More often, a good, solid thread win is both funny and elegant.

Less is more wins the day.

Scott M said...

Trying to read between the lines and failing, I wonder what our hostess thinks about it.

bagoh20 said...

I've had both Althouse tags and thread wins, which made me quite proud until I considered the sources.

bagoh20 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AllenS said...

Receiving a thread winner, means that you did something of great importance, that was acknowledged by others. It's better than winning the Nobel Peace Prize for doing absolutely fucking nothing.

Scott M said...

It's better than winning the Nobel Peace Prize for doing absolutely fucking nothing.

Yes, but then so was the shitty cup of Maxwell House coffee I just drank.

AllenS said...

People voting no have never had a thread winner.

MadisonMan said...

I like to acknowledge it when someone else makes me laugh. What kind of Grinch would begrudge that to someone else?

As my whimsy leads me.. said...

Can we have Win, Place, and Show? How 'bout Honorable Mention? Let's form a committee--Trooper can be the chair.

Yeah, I like to see the thread win--but it would get tiresome if it happened with each thread. Like the "coffee on the keyboard" comments, it's the unexpectedness that sets the little synapses to firing.

Big Mike said...

Yes. Other commenters will up their game if they get the feeling it's a competition.

I don't think the left-wing commentators can up their game.

bagoh20 said...

Whether they get acknowledged or not, there are some damned witty comments on this blog, by many commenters. It's the opposite of the sartorialist's, which almost seem computer generated by female Chinese programmers of limited English.

I don't call thread winners, because there are so many great ones.

edutcher said...

Since it's not beaten to death, I don't have a problem if the line is really that good.

Because sometimes they aren't.

As my whimsy leads me.. said...

Can we have Win, Place, and Show? How 'bout Honorable Mention? Let's form a committee--Trooper can be the chair.

You sound like a school board member ;)

Gabriel Hanna said...

"Wins the thread" is an idiom, it doesn't indicate actual competition; similarly "go jump in the lake" is not a Manson-like command to someone to drown himself.

I award Quayle +1 internet.

Scrutineer said...

It's fine if there's a clear champion. I said it once here, and felt a bit silly afterwards.

GMay said...

ScottM pondered: "Trying to read between the lines and failing, I wonder what our hostess thinks about it."

I'm almost certain she's not a fan. I did it on one thread months ago and she said something like "I don't really like the practice, but I thought ____ post was the best."

Of course Quayle nailed this one right out of the gate.

(I'll put my money on this being a prelude to her adding a new posting rule)

Scott M said...

As Scrutineer alludes to, there is a thread length intangible here. Regardless of how good the first (FIRST!) comment is, you wouldn't want to say "thread winner" as the second or third comment.

...unless it was funny to do so...

Freeman Hunt said...

Joe Blow won? I guess the rest of us need to up our game.

Chip Ahoy said...

It is like someone taking their little pink fairy wand with a sparkly star on the end of it and going ))) doink ((( ☆

EDH said...

"Joe Blow wins the thread!"

How?

Obviously, he blew somebody.

Joe said...

No, "Don't care" option.

Beth said...

None of those options says what I think. I don't mind it at all; it frequently turns my attention to something really funny and pithy. It's a nice way of acknowledging another commenter, not a serious statement of competition or arbitration or whatever. I think getting annoyed by it is showing some seriously thin skin.

Richard Dolan said...

The poll was looking for a reaction -- pro or con -- but, truth be told, a "thread winner" comment does not often evoke one. It's nice if someone else likes a prior comment, either for substance or style. Sometimes when I see one, I'll look for whatever comment was being complimented. But it's a bit of an overstatement to say that someone's simple declaration of a thread winner is either "snappy and adorable" or "annoying," and the incentive theory seems even more implausible.

Cedarford said...

I think the thing that is irritating is when someone other than the blog owner takes on the position of being a self-annointed judge of others posting.

"I assign a grade of C to Emily's post, I feel Pahtajabat has an A and Juan is now required to fact-check and give me citations to back up 3 of his assertions before he should allowed to post on a blog I a visit as a regular commentor on...."

It's the sheer presumption.

"I as the judge of this blog -declare a thread winner!" (the person who agrees the most with me or who says a snarky thing I find adorable.)

The worst are the thread police. Common in political blogs, always around in college comment areas.
The twerps that think they are Stalinist bosses, high authoritarian school principals - who feel empowered to "regulate" threads. "Look, I speak for most commentors and I believe the newspaper owners and readers when I declare your denial of Global Warming unwelcome and something that should get you banned if you persist in coming here."

JAL said...

Maybe not adorable. (Why does the Professor use adorable so much? If she made it a tag ... we would see.)

But usually right on point.

JAL said...

Oh C4.

You're a fine one to whine abut presumption.

On this blog if people disagree they'll take out the presumptuous thread judge in a heart beat.

Haven't seen it happen, because usually they are right on.

And I don't recall seeing the Professor ever pronounce a thread winner. Must be I missed those.

Scott M said...

And I don't recall seeing the Professor ever pronounce a thread winner. Must be I missed those.

Nope. That would be too much like inviting all the kids to your birthday party, but only giving one ice cream with their cake.

Lem said...

The answer is Yes. Other commenters will up their game if they get the feeling it's a competition.

Gabriel Hanna said...

Sometimes you get "wins the thread" for an insightful or pithy comment. But sometimes you get "wins the thread" for hilarious /b/tardy.

The whole point is the irony--the thread isn't a contest and no one judges it, so there is a humorous irony in declaring a "winner". Or "winnar!!1!!" as we say on the internet.

People who are complaining about judgment and grading and authoritarianism in declaring thread winners are hilariously missing the point.

former law student said...

I've noticed it's really only justifiable if I make the assessment. Other commenters' opinions -- sheesh!

Cedarford said...

JAL said...
Oh C4.

You're a fine one to whine abut presumption.

On this blog if people disagree they'll take out the presumptuous thread judge in a heart beat

================
With a little more brains, you would understand that the topic and the poll were general, not specific to the Althouse blog.


*****************
Gabriel Hanna - "The whole point is the irony--the thread isn't a contest and no one judges it....People who are complaining about judgment and grading and authoritarianism in declaring thread winners are hilariously missing the point."

Disagree that the typical one you see is all about tongue in cheek irony...

Trooper York said...

I only consider it a thread winner if someone calls my comment mean.

Mean but funny.

Scott M said...

Disagree with your disagreement.

Declaring in "winner" in a blatantly non-competitive environment is always a joke and should be understood as such. You would either have to be braindead or dtl to think otherwise.

This, of course, has nothing to do with the obvious oneupsmanship that is basically the heart and soul of blog commenting, which is highly competitive.

LordSomber said...

"wins the thread" = "jumps the shark"

Ann Althouse said...

"'And I don't recall seeing the Professor ever pronounce a thread winner. Must be I missed those.' Nope. That would be too much like inviting all the kids to your birthday party, but only giving one ice cream with their cake."

Althouse declared one all-time all-threads winner on August 3, 2009. Meade gets all the cake.

deborah said...

Quayle ftw.

I think it's nice to acknowledge when some said something pithily, insightfully, etc.

deborah said...

"I only consider it a thread winner if someone calls my comment mean.

Mean but funny."

Christ, you're a drama queen. Now go do something useful rather than getting wrapped around your own axle. 'Cause next up is a full psychoanalysis of your ass.

Trooper York said...

Hey we are talking about Kathy Griffin's ass today.

Leave my ass to another slow Tuesday.

c3 said...

You're all thread winners in my book.

Harry said...

I was declared a thread winner once, I think under a prior assumed name. I admit I liked that, but generally I find it slightly irksome. Telling someone they made a great point is fine, but declaring a thread-winner presumes too much. Especially when you pick the wrong winner.

dbp said...

Althouse doesn't often choose a thread winner, but she does sometimes frontpage an especially apt comment.

It is not exactly like being declared a thread winner but is at least more objective in that the decision is always made by the same person.

Having never been (to my recollection) been named a thread winner, I don't mind the practice. Usual candidates are to very witty comments.

MamaM said...

Winning a thread pales in comparison to pulling a thread from whole cloth.

reader_iam said...

'Cause next up is a full psychoanalysis of your ass.

Psychoanalyze Trooper's ass? Shit, that's crazy-scary.

reader_iam said...

And now, of all things, I'm trying to remember which Althouse commenter once referred to me as Trooper's little butt buddy. Now I'm cracking up all over again.

Synova said...

Ha ha ha!

You missed the right answer... Oh, I see prairie wind got it though... "When I win the thread, it's snappy and adorable."

;-)

So... prairie wind, thread winner!

Jason (the commenter) said...

Whenever I see a commenter say someone else "won the thread" I first assume they are a sock puppet of the person who supposedly won.

I also think making the statement is rude, because it's an attempt to end the discussion, and it's a signal the judge has shut their intellect down to efforts made by later commenters.

reader_iam said...

Found it! Amusingly enough, Troop was actually referred to as "Pooper Pork," and were both told to SHUT THE HELL UP so others could have a serious conversation bordering on sanity without the childish tripe snorted by booger eaters.

I'd take that over a thread-win.

Scott M said...

Whenever I see a commenter say someone else "won the thread" I first assume they are a sock puppet of the person who supposedly won.

Thread winner.

Methadras said...

Help me, Jebus!!!

Synova said...

The best, by far, is getting a comment in an Althouse thread linked directly to Instapundit.

:-D

Trooper York said...

That was from one of those really smart guys from boringheads I believe reader. He revels in that word association and amazing imagery.

dbp said...

7 (proposed) levels of blog-commenter fame: I wrote this a while ago and "wins the thread" should be incorporated somewhere, but at what level?

Level 1: You post a comment in a prominent blog and it remains there, but is ignored by everybody.

Level 2: Another commenter, takes note of (either to attack or agree with) your comment.

Level 3: The host makes note of your comment with a response in the comments section.

Level 4: The host quotes you in the main body of the blog post.

Level 5: Instapundit links to the post you are quoted in.

Level 6: Professor Reynolds quotes you and links to the main post.

Level 7: The good professor links to your blog.

Pecchia

Harry said...

dbp said... 7 (proposed) levels of blog-commenter fame:

How about Level 8--Limbaugh quotes your comment on his show.

Level 9 -- Your comment at Althouse is cited in a question addressed to one of the candidates in a presidential campaign debate.

Level 10 -- Your comment causes garage mahal to volunteer to campaign for Sarah Palin.

Level 11 -- Your comment causes Ann Althouse to shut down her blog, announcing, "What more needs to be said?"

Level 12 -- Your comment replaces E Pluribus Unum on the Great Seal of the United States.

Beth said...

I also think making the statement is rude, because it's an attempt to end the discussion, and it's a signal the judge has shut their intellect down to efforts made by later commenters.

That's a big assumption. All I've ever meant by "thread winner" is to point to a comment I think stands out creatively. I don't see why it signals an end to a thread, or that the "judge" has turned off other comments.

And I've managed to think about this and post it even after you've been declared the winner!

dbp said...

Ah Harry,

You boosted me from level 1 to level 2, but then added 5 more levels. I'm four in the hole now!

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Harry:

Clearly you've got some kind of log scale going. Something like Lev Landau's scale of physics greatness.

Landau kept a list of names of physicists which he ranked on a logarithmic scale of productivity ranging from 0 to 5. The highest ranking, a 0.5, was assigned to Albert Einstein. A rank of 1 was awarded to 'historical giant' Isaac Newton, Satyendra Nath Bose, Eugene Wigner, and the founding fathers of quantum mechanics, Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, Paul Dirac and Erwin Schrödinger. Landau ranked himself as a 2.5 but later promoted himself to a 2.

JAL said...

You mean this is all someone's birthday party?!11!!?

Mark Harrison said...

Point, set, and match to Yes, it's snappy and adorable!

Harry said...

dbp said... Level 1: You post a comment in a prominent blog and it remains there, but is ignored by everybody.

dbp, I think there's one lower.

Level 0: You get in on a thread a bit late and make a comment that turns out to be the last. Everyone else has moved on. Your last post will never be read by anyone who counts. If someone posted anything after it, you could assume they might have glanced at it, but that comfort is denied you.

MamaM said...

Harry, there is one step lower yet. After the last commenter there is the late night lurker who scans old and dying threads in the wee hours of the morning in the hope of gleaning one last leftover comment from the threshing floor. Bagging it brings a sense of closure, different from winning the thread. More like the peace that comes with checking the doors before turning off the lights.

Clyde said...

Truthfully, I don't care either way. I like it when people appreciate something I've written, but often times, I've written what I thought was a brilliant comment and had it go "plop!" like a pebble in a pond without anyone saying anything. (These usually get sent to my friend Barbara, who always appreciates them.)

I don't view this as a competition, though. I appreciate the commenters here, even those that I usually disagree with on the political threads. Sometimes even those will write something thought-provoking.

dbp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dbp said...

I like the idea of a level 0, where it is the last comment and possibly never seen by any but the author.

Maybe this will be one of those. How meta is that? A final comment who's subject is final comments.

deborah said...

Pretty meta.

MamaM said...

I'm still holding out for negative numbers. Why? Because the ubiquitous but silent readers who move in and out of seemingly closed threads upset meta by invalidating the self referential presumptions of the last poster to post.