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Hot Air II

Clusterfark

Digital Life

I have to laugh. :)

I’ll spare everyone the details, but the general idea is this: It's two in the morning. I’m trying to get this post up on a hurry-up schedule so that people, refugees from Hot-Air-That-Was, who are still trying to connect with each other have a thinner comment section to flip through. Nested comments have advantages and disadvantages, and one disadvantage is that they force people to scroll up and down. The count of comments on the original post (which was also posted on a hurry-up schedule, hence the insightful title “Hot Air”) is closing in on a thousand. And I’m posting this in the middle of a very busy few days. I’ve been flipping through code and correcting it; logging into this and that, reading dials and throwing switches; beating my Franken-server with a hammer — Sorry. I said I would spare everyone the details.

The craziness and the work isn’t why I’m laughing, though. The craziness and the work is why I’m sipping coffee, rubbing my eyes, and praying. It’s when I think of the other guy that I laugh.

Somewhere out there is another guy. Gal, guy, dame, dude — it doesn’t matter. Sketchbook is “cis-normative.”

Somewhere out there is another guy. He's flipping through code and correcting it; logging into this and that, reading dials and throwing switches; trying ultimately to get Hot Air’s new Facebook comment system up and running. He might even be banging on his Franken-server with a hammer, sipping coffee, rubbing his eyes, and/or even praying.

And he and I aren't the only ones hoofing it. The members of the community themselves are moving around, reclaiming abandoned Disqus accounts, opening new accounts, and so on. Thousands of emails are suddenly panting through the air and shrugging at each other as they pass in the aether. Hundreds of people are suddenly out digging for an avatar and trying to decide if they want to be known by their old Hot Air nicks or if it’s time for a change. And I strongly suspect some people are quietly weighing the idea of opening their own sites. I can’t prove that — but I seem to be able to sense glints.

Wilde’s had to get out the wheelbarrow. ConstantineXI’s completely retooled, and that almost overnight.

Let me stop right here and ask an obvious question about all this sudden industry.

Why?

— Or, to put it another way and capture a more specific thought:

What the hell?

I’m not really interested in the rationale of Hot Air’s business decision. I know others are. I know Hot Air has one. For myself, I only want to point out that it was absolutely the wrong one. For a binary question of which platform to use, Facebook or Disqus, the right answer was Disqus. That should be obvious to anyone who noticed where the entire community found itself connecting after Hot Air’s moving to Facebook made connecting there impossible. Had the right decision been made at that point, any other questions about expanding the community's reach or more formally moderating the comments would have answered themselves.

Also, I can guess Hot Air’s rationale for the half-day notice, but again, that decision was the wrong one. It was an inexcusable decision to treat the community with contempt.

So, The Great Hot Air Comment Switch, in one word?

Clusterfark.

Note. Housekeeping. I moved the original post to “Digital Life.”

I know many recent visitors have never been here before, so by way of quick explanation, all Sketchbook posts are sorted into broad classes. On the top-right, under “All Stuff,” are icons for them. Clicking one of those will just open an index page with the most recent posts in that class. I initially put the original post into the class “Scrapbook,” selectable through the icon of the one-eyed smiley wearing headphones (heh). That class is where I normally put silly, more personal, or otherwise informal social posts. But that’s the one class that doesn’t show up on the front page. It’s deliberately set aside. The point is that people coming in the front door and not knowing where to look would have a hard time finding the original post. Also, in retrospect, Hot Air changing to a new comment system should always have been a primary post.

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Hot Air II

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