1. nudelzrulez

    Commenter Spotlight: Emma Hager

    Posted on March 13, 2014 by nudelzrulez

    image

    Illustration by Luigi Savino

    Okay you guys, I’ve found a real gem for you this week. Emma Hager is a frequent commenter on one of my favorite sites, The Man Repeller. She’s a real standout in their community, and I think you’ll easily be able to see why. She’s the smart/cool chick you want around to give it to you straight about your clothes, your boyfriends, your insecurities, and hopes and dreams. And she’ll do it in the nicest way possible.

    For real though, I think we’ve found your newest girl crush. Read on and try telling me you don’t want to be her friend.

    Q: What are your favorite sites to visit and why?
    A: One of my favorite sites to visit is Man Repeller because I feel like I am coming over to a really familiar friend’s house. You know, the kind of friend where you are comfortable enough to bust open their fridge and make a smoothie, even if they are in the shower or not even home. In all seriousness, what’s great about Man Repeller is that the conversation just feels very organic. There are intelligent essays that we as a “club” can really delve into, but then there are also so many great opportunities to reflect on, say, where we were when we got our periods. It’s a good balance of the intellectual and the purely dorky!

    My other favorite site is Into the Gloss because I admire Emily [Founder and Creative Director] and her team so much for really making it a beauty destination. The design of the site feels SO clean, like I am walking into this amazing, modern studio space with lots of natural light that smells faintly of gardenias. What I love about the site is that it’s a great culmination of aesthetics. Beauty and style are dissected and admired from the more art-based looks of the runway to the random girl on the street, wearing no makeup. It’s about beauty, yes, but very often that sentiment can involve a state of mind more than a lipstick. And what they do really well is finding a connection between the two!

    Q: What types of stories lead to good discussions?
    A: My favorite stories to read, and I think the ones that often lead to the best discussions, are not necessarily the ones that raise an obvious question. Sure, stories with overarching questions often get a larger volume of answers, but I find that an honest essay about a quotidian situation can often spark far more interesting conversation. I like stories about people — we all do. And I think hearing stories that are relatively normal, often times humiliating, really bring us closer as a community. It’s that shared embarrassment or that crossing of a boundary that makes me think: “you know what? This isn’t so bad, I’m going to share my experience, too.” For me it is always nice to read pieces on sites that document interaction with interesting or quirky people. All the various human behaviors and M.O.’s are highly fascinating to me. I like people who have a “thing.”

    Q: How do you know you’ve captured your thought well?
    A: To be honest, I guess I know if I’ve captured my thought well when I don’t really have anything else to add, or when, if someone replies to my comment, that I really just end up repeating what was in my first comment. That, of course, does not mean my comment was well-written, but sometimes when I have to sneak a comment under the desk in one of my classes, I’m really just worried about getting my point across whilst not getting my mobile device confiscated (don’t worry, this in-class commenting happens only rarely, as I do feel some sense of guilt for focusing my attention on a source that is not the material at hand.)

    Q: Why did you choose the screen name or avatar you did?
    A: I chose my screen name because it’s my name. Not really a fan of my last name since it sounds kinda harsh, but hey, it is what it is. And I’ve actually been trying to change my avatar for a while now but it takes a really long time on this shared home computer, so I just grow impatient and give up.

    Q: What kind of feedback or reaction are you looking for when you comment?
    A: I really am not looking for any feedback or reaction when I comment. I mean, it’s always nice to see a reply, and I really do love it when someone who writes one of the blogs comments back (I get starstruck sometimes), but in the end I just like to speak/type, and it’s a nice outlet for conversations I don’t really get to have during my day. What annoys me though is when people reply to a comment with an opposing view point, but their point reveals that they only read the first line of my comment. Then I just think “uhhhh, but we agree on the second half….why so hostile?”

    This virtual world is a funny place, let me tell ya. Sometimes it can be really loving and other times it can be like being in a room with men who harbor Napoleon Complexes.

    Up-vote or Down-vote?

    image

  2. nudelzrulez

    Trending on Disqus

    Posted on March 12, 2014 by nudelzrulez

    So where are all the commenters congregating this week? Around these stories, with threads bursting at the seams.

    What hot stories have you seen this week that we missed?

  3. nudelzrulez

    Commenter Spotlight: Underdog

    Posted on January 31, 2014 by nudelzrulez

    image

    Illustration by Luigi Savino

    So, you may have heard that there’s a football game this weekend. In honor of the single day in which over 100 million people get together to watch football, we’re featuring one who actually talks football most other days of the year, too. Underdog is a big Denver Broncos fan (lucky him, this year!), and spends much of his time sharing his knowledge, and debating others, on It’s All Over Fat Man (the story behind the community’s name is brilliant — you can read more on their site).

    Underdog is the nice guy you want around to give it to you straight. Civility is sometimes the first thing to go when amongst passionate sports fans, but Underdog is a guy you can trust not to lose sight of the thing that matters — the game. To prepare for Sunday, head over to It’s All Over Fat Man and see what Underdog and the rest of the community have to say.

    Q: What are your favorite sites to visit and why?
    A: It’s All Over Fat Man for intelligent analysis and commentary on the Denver Broncos. Dodger Insider, True Blue LA, Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness, and Dodgers Digest for LA Dodgers analysis and discussion. I read a host of of film web sites, too (like Mubi, IndieWire, Masters of Cinema, Reverse Shot, and so on) but less frequently comment there, and when I do it’s using a social media login. Other than the sites I respond to and moderate for work (Independent Lens), these sites I mention have a good strong community with above average (in intelligence and humor) conversations, led by bloggers who write thoughtful analysis of the teams I follow diligently. There is another Broncos site that is an SBNation commenting system. Those have pretty active communities where I’ve met people in person. I haven’t done that yet with the Disqus sports sites, but the people commenting on IAOFM, if any of them were local to Bay Area, I’d be up for a meetup because I’ve gotten to know many of them virtually.

    I’ve also commented on news sites on occasion when the topic is important to me, but can’t recall the details other than remembering that news articles don’t have as many rational commenters as some of these other sites I mention. ;)

    Q: What types of stories lead to good discussions?
    A: Debates about a team’s roster construction, analysis and breakdown of specific games, debates about an offsite article. Some of my favorite It’s All Over Fat Man site blog posts include ones with in-depth analysis that have taught me a lot about the game I thought I knew pretty well already, using diagrams and images to explain certain plays and strategy. These are the kinds of things that keep me coming back, since I know all the writers there are smart and mature, unlike a lot of other sports blogs. I can actually watch a football game now and feel like I can foretell the future, understand plays as they happen, and even teach other people. Imagine that!

    Q: How do you know you’ve captured your thought well?
    A: It gets replies that are on-point and show they understand mine, or more agreement and recommendations other than “huh” and a thumbs down.

    Q: Why did you choose the screen name or avatar you did?
    A: My using “Underdog” goes way back. I chose it when I first started participating in online discussions (even BBSs!) and picked that name because I a) always liked the cartoon character and b) always root for the underdog in sports and in life. I like to come across as nice and understanding online, where possible, though maybe Shoeshine Boy would be more apt. ;)

    Q: What kind of feedback or reaction are you looking for when you comment?
    A: Either positive affirmation, or spawning an interesting commentary thread.

    Up-vote or Down-vote?

    image

  4. nudelzrulez

    Commenter Spotlight: LiteBrite

    Posted on January 17, 2014 by nudelzrulez

    image

    Illustration by Luigi Savino

    Mommyish is not your typical parenting site. And LiteBrite, a rad commenter from their community, is the embodiment of their commitment to fresh and open dialogue about what it takes to be a modern parent. Whether she’s commenting on sex, pregnancy, relationships, raising kids, or the occasional story about baby teeth necklaces, LiteBrite is a commenter you want around. Her personal anecdotes lend depth to her opinions, and allow her authenticity to shine through as brightly as her name suggests. Plus, she’s a roller girl. And let’s be honest, a woman who knows how to throw an elbow with a smile is going to be a sparkling addition to any community.

    Q: What are your favorite sites to visit and why?
    A: My ultimate favorite site is Mommyish. I find the articles, while still parent-centric, are so much more than the usual “blah blah blah here’s the latest parenting tip….” There are some very deep and sometimes horrifying subjects that are written about, but yet still need to be discussed (even if we’re not directly affected). I also have grown to love the commenters on the site. They’re funny, insightful, sometimes a little surly, and they make me look forward to visiting and commenting.

    Q: What types of stories lead to good discussions?
    A: The “hot button” topics will always generate a lot of interesting thoughts, but I’ve also seen some great discussions and comments come out of even a simple article about Kourtney Kardashian’s pregnancy. Therefore, I don’t think it’s just the article that determines the discussion; it’s the comments within it that serve as a jumping off point.

    Q: How do you know you’ve captured your thought well?
    A: To be honest, I don’t. I suppose I could use the number of up-votes as a benchmark, but I don’t think that’s the only way. I will say though that I edit my comments as I’m writing them; I don’t just throw them out there. I try to think about how they are worded and how they may be perceived by someone else who doesn’t necessarily know me.

    Q: Why did you choose the screen name or avatar you did?
    A: The screen name was a quick decision and not based on any real backstory. I like the name, and I liked LiteBrites as a kid so there you go. My avatar, on the other hand, has a bit more thought behind it. First, I’m a roller girl hobbyist. (I skate with our city’s recreation league). I also find roller girls to be a bit of an enigma. While they are perceived as bad ass (the “naughty” girls), the ones I’ve met are some of the most compassionate people I know. There’s this duality that I like and that I think is part of my own personality.

    Q: What kind of feedback or reaction are you looking for when you comment?
    A: Up-votes. I crave validation.

    In all seriousness, I can’t say I’m looking for any specific type of reaction. I just hope that someone likes my comment, understands it, and can agree. If not, my hope is that they’re not too much of a jackass about it.

    Up-vote or Down-vote?

    image

  5. nudelzrulez

    Commenter Spotlight: Hamish Lamont

    Posted on January 10, 2014 by nudelzrulez

    image

    Illustration by Luigi Savino

    Commenter Hamish Lamont is exactly the type of person you want as part of an online community. He’s measured and thoughtful, but doesn’t mind a little healthy debate. He holds a deep appreciation for the things those around him are passionate about — in this case, motorcycles. As a rider, Hamish views building a motorcycle as the ultimate form of creative self-expression. And his site of choice to discuss this creative outlet is Bike Exif. Read on to see why.

    Q: What are your favorite sites to visit and why?
    A: Sites like Bike EXIF are my favourites, because I’m a huge fan of custom motorcycles. I’m building one myself. Custom bikes represent creativity and culture as well as community, and for the builder/rider are a great form of self expression.

    Q: What types of stories lead to good discussions?
    A: The more depth a story has, the better. I like the human element: the quest, triumph over adversity, etc, but I also love the unusual, the controversial and the innovative.

    Q: How do you know you’ve captured your thought well?
    A: Sometimes I think I’ve captured some insight, and others don’t. Sometimes others think I have and it was just the first thing that came into my head. The number of likes or comments (agreeing or disagreeing) is obviously one measure of that.

    Q: Why did you choose the screen name or avatar you did?
    A: I post under my name because I think too many people conveniently hide behind the anonymity of the net, and I stand behind my opinions. Ironically, as a motorcyclist (and poster on motorcycle related sites) my Motorcycle Helmet is my “face”. My Avatar is a design for a new Helmet, which I drew on my computer. =)

    Q: What kind of feedback or reaction are you looking for when you comment?
    A: I try to get some insight as to the thoughts of the person who the blog is about and reflect some of that in my comments. My comments are always considered but subjective. Sometimes I’ll disagree with everyone else who has posted. Measured debate is always fun! When the person who the blog is about responds to my comment, I know I’m on the right track.

    Up-vote or Down-vote?

    image

  6. nudelzrulez

    33 Disqus Communities for the New Year

    Posted on January 3, 2014 by nudelzrulez

    Note: this story was originally posted on the Company Blog on 12/20/13.

    There are a lot of communities that help make Disqus the lively and illuminating network it is today. Out of all of these communities there are sites that continue to rise to the top and make us take notice. So, in the time-honored tradition of “End of Year” lists, we bring you not a lame, Top 10 list, but a GIANT BLOWOUT TOP 33 SITES ACROSS 11 CATEGORIES LIST! We’ve compiled this list based on Gravity, the trending visualization featured on the Disqus homepage, along with some good ole fashioned human selection.

    Bored at home with the family? Has the eggnog run dry? Are all your little nieces and nephews screaming in the living room? Then now is the perfect time to get logged into Disqus and join the fun.

    You may think Auto is an unlikely category (or one that we created just for our CEO, Daniel, who has a bit of a car obsession), but motorized vehicles are actually quite a hot topic on Disqus. Our top picks for you are Bike Exif, Top Gear, and Left Lane News.

    Business doesn’t have to be boring. These sites have everything you need to stay informed, from Tech, to Personal Finance, to increasing creativity. I mean, if one of the top business schools in the nation can’t keep you ahead of the pack, who can? We suggest checking out Bloomberg, 99u, and the Harvard Business Review.

    Don’t lie to me, people. All of us like to get down with a little gossip-mongering from time to time. These Celebrity and pop culture focused sites will give you all the dirt you can handle. You’ll want to get your shovels ready for Dlisted, Pajiba and for those of you with a particular proclivity, Robsessed Pattinson.

    Tonight, Ron Burgundy reports that it’s time to turn on the tube, head to the theater, or open *gasp* a book. Don’t make us take out the trident, just go visit Entertainment Weekly, NPR Music, and The Dissolve.

    No matter which console tickles your fanboy fancy, we’ve got something for you. We even threw in a pretty cool site featuring the analog counterparts to consoles…board games. Check out Destructoid, Major Nelson and Shut Up & Sit Down.

    This is a broad one. However, this time around, we’ve got a site “where women go when they are being selfish, and where their selfishness is applauded,” a cooking site, and a Millennial-listicle site anyone can enjoy indulging in. Try xoJane, Amateur Gourmet, and Thought Catalog.

    News and politics are equal parts emotion and intellect. These sites get you thinking and talking about both. Check out The Atlantic, Politico, and CNBC to feed your inner pundit.

    Unfortunately, it’s not a balmy 62 degrees everywhere else in the country right now (hey-O San Francisco!). If you’re going through tailgating withdrawals, why not try a virtual version? Test your online heckling chops (ALL CAPS ANYONE?) over at Slam, American Soccer Now, and MLB Trade Rumors to get your fix.

    Ladies, ladies, ladies I’m talking to you now (dudes, you’re invited, too, but these sites are mostly geared toward women). For the latest fashion, beauty and general female-friendly advice, head over to Tom and Lorenzo, Refinery 29, and The Man Repeller.

    Nerd alert! Tech time is here and we’ve got the latest on gadgets, startups, and Apple/Android flame wars. See BGR (Boy Genius Report), The Next Web, and Pocketnow for the latest and greatest in tech.

    Okay, so this isn’t technically a category we feature on our homepage, but we wanted to show a little extra love to our hometown, San Francisco. If you want to know about the best new restaurants, what Karl the Fog is up to, or which streets are finally getting bike lanes, check out SF Streets Blog, SFist, and Hayeswire (The Hayes Valley Blog).

    Well, that about does it! If you’re not totally exhausted by our blowout End of Year list (we like you, you can stay), check out our homepage for daily trending stories, and start following some of the cool commenters you found on one of the sites above to help diversify your Disqus portfolio (following other users helps you discover new sites!).

    Did we miss your favorite site? Share it below!

  7. nudelzrulez

    Commenter Spotlight: Inconspicuous Detective

    Posted on December 13, 2013 by nudelzrulez

    image

    Illustration by Luigi Savino

    This week, we turn our spotlight on Inconspicuous Detective, a frequent commenter on Listverse. His favorite site covers a wide range of topics (from gun control to Voodoo to the artist Banksy), and you’ll notice that Inconspicuous Detective’s thoughts and opinions are just as varied. He takes inspiration from an unlikely source: detectives. Inconspicuous Detective lauds them for not just their knowledge, but their wisdom. He draws particularly from two characters that make a rather odd couple. Read on to find out who they are, and don’t forget to share where you draw your inspiration from!

    Q: What are your favorite sites to visit and why?
    A: My favorite site (which I visit at least three - four times daily) would have to be Listverse. It is an excellent site based on top ten lists which cover a variety of topics. Recently, they’ve created a sister site which I also visit daily, albeit not as often, called Knowledgenuts.

    Q: What types of stories lead to good discussions?
    A: This one depends on what you’d consider a “good” discussion, though I’d have to say anything regarding history, military, or religion has brought out the best of the best in terms of discussion, debate, and knowledge that can be shared around.

    Q: How do you know you’ve captured your thought well?
    A: This is a tough question. Generally, when I comment in response to someone I try to imagine how the discussion would go, and predict what they would say in response. If they respond along those lines, I’d say I’ve captured it well. The same applies to when I comment in general. If I have something to say, I say it, and if it was how I intended it to be, I’ll receive responses to it that I expected to get.

    Q: Why did you choose the screen name or avatar you did?
    A: I chose my name and avatar because of two fictional detectives, L from the anime Death Note, and Sherlock Holmes from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s short stories/novels. Both characters possess a certain wisdom, rather than just knowledge, that I not only wish to capture one day myself, but that I can respect.

    Q: What kind of feedback or reaction are you looking for when you comment?
    A: Mostly discussion or debate, and any tone is fine with me so long as I learn something. I have been proven wrong before (though I won’t often admit it or realize it until well after the topic is dead) and I really enjoy talking to some of the people you find around. It’s nice to be able to have good discussion with people you may otherwise have never met before.

    Up-vote or Down-vote?

    image

  8. nudelzrulez

    Commenter Spotlight: NightOwl

    Posted on December 5, 2013 by nudelzrulez

    image

    Illustration by Luigi Savino

    Our second Commenter Spotlight features NightOwl, a frequent commenter over at xoJane. We’re especially pleased to be presenting NightOwl this week, as her favorite community, xoJane, has just received the distinguished FOLIO Award for Best Online Community. XoJane is one of my favorite places to find authentic, generous and funny women sharing their thoughts, and NightOwl is one shining example of why the xoJane community is deserving of this award.

    Part of what makes NightOwl’s story compelling is that after engaging in some bad online behaviors early in her Internet career, she is now a reformed commenter with good habits. Meaning, she’s been to the dark side, but has seen the light — so, mind your online manners! Read on to see why NightOwl is such a rich addition to our Commenter Spotlight series.

    Q: What are your favorite sites to visit and why?
    A: I read xoJane, mostly for the occasionally really gut wrenching personal memoir content, and for the commenters who tend to be hilarious and insightful. I read xoVain because some of their writers, like Alle, do an amazing job of helping me up my beauty game. Another site I spend a lot of time on is scholar.google.com because I’m a full time nerd, and I read a few dozen vintage style blogs using Feedly. I am a voracious reader and read dozens of articles and sites a day. I’ve been involved in forums and online communities since I discovered Usenet and Livejournal in the late 90s. One friend I met on Usenet, when I was 16, was just at my wedding last month. I don’t believe that the Internet “isn’t real life” - I think that’s a smokescreen for bad behavior. I’ve made a lot of “real life” friendships that started online and I met my husband online almost 10 years ago before that was a normal thing to do. I also hurt people because of things I said or did online, when I was younger and not thinking about how that was a real person behind the user icon. The best and worst moment of that was being nicknamed “the S.A.V.A.K.” (after Iran’s secret police, known as a hated and feared institution) by someone in an online community I was part of.

    As a grad student studying human behavior, I am also fascinated by the social dynamics of online groups and how they are all so similar - the hierarchies, the persistent sources of conflict, the group-specific slang. I’ve seen the same patterns over and over in my 15 or so years on the Internet. It’s taught me a lot about human interaction. I am perhaps perversely interested in trolls, especially the really effective ones, because effective trolling is really a complex form of social manipulation. You have to really know what buttons to push and while I don’t relate to that motivation, in an odd way it takes social savvy to stir the pot.

    Q: What types of stories lead to good discussions?
    A: Stories that are provocative without being sensationalized. It’s easy to create click bait, it’s harder to provoke genuine thought and dialogue with a well written, balanced piece. For me I know a piece is good if I come home and tell my husband about it. The recent post by Charlotte Laws, the “Erin Brockovich of Revenge Porn,” is a good example - it tackled a complex and important topic from the perspective of an expert with personal investment in the issue. And that’s just a great title in terms of getting traffic and attention, but also having real content supporting it.

    Q: How do you know you’ve captured your thought well?
    A: If it generates discussion, whether it’s just “wow you said exactly what I was just thinking” or “I completely disagree and here’s why.” When people tell me that they look for my user photo when scrolling through comments because they value what I have to say, it makes me feel like I am part of an actual community, rather than just an anonymous name and a picture. As a researcher, I also feel a particular responsibility to comment on articles that involve science or research, because I have a bit of a unique inside perspective on those issues. One thing I like about xoJane is that the readers are pretty high in science literacy and will call authors out if they are clearly biased.

    I also follow the rule of not saying anything in print that I wouldn’t want on a billboard or the front page of the New York Times.

    Q: Why did you choose the screen name or avatar you did?
    A: My avatar is Lucille Ball, in real life I consider my dress style “I love Lucy on acid” so it’s fitting. I am part of a local community that keeps the culture of the 20s-50s alive through events like swing dances, the jazz age lawn party, and other events for historical enthusiasts. Lucille Ball is like my Beyonce.

    NightOwl is one of the first screen names I ever had online 15 or so years ago and I periodically reuse it. It makes me think of when I first discovered the Internet and would get on Usenet via dial up after my parents were asleep, with only the glow of the monitor in the room. I can still remember all those dialup sound sequences. Plus, owls are cute.

    Q: What kind of feedback or reaction are you looking for when you comment?
    A: Upvotes are nice but dialogue is better. Unlike perhaps most of the Internet, I appreciate being told when I’m wrong as I consider that an opportunity for growth. The best discussions are ones where I learn something new and reconsider my view of the world because of it. I no longer engage in arguments that get heated or personal (I have quit the S.A.V.A.K., as it were).

    Up-vote or Down-vote?

    image

  9. nudelzrulez

    Commenter Spotlight: Hooded Justice

    Posted on November 18, 2013 by nudelzrulez

    image

    Illustration by Luigi Savino

    We’re excited to introduce a new, regular series to the Community Blog — Commenter Spotlight. We’ll be featuring commenters from communities across the Disqus network. Each Commenter Spotlight will include a custom illustration (a loose representation of the commenter’s avatar and top-visited community), a 5-question profile, and a fun, extra section called “Up-vote or Down-vote?”. This last part is pretty straightforward: we ask the commenter if they would up-vote or down-vote 5 subjects, to give you a little sense of their personality (in addition to the profile).

    If you think this is cool, and know other commenters that you’d like to see featured, contact us by Twitter at @disqusfaves, or by email at favorites@disqus.com. To kick off the series, we’re happy to introduce Hooded Justice.

    Q: What are your favorite sites to visit and why?
    A: The two sites that I visit most frequently are The Dissolve and The A.V. Club. They’re my main sources for entertainment news, movie reviews, TV recaps and so forth. I also check in at least once a week with Werewolf News, which keeps me abreast of any hair-raising developments on that front.

    Q: What types of stories lead to good discussions?
    A: Anything that’s thoughtfully written will generally inspire a thoughtful conversation. It also helps if the reader can tell that the author has a genuine investment in what they’re writing about. It’s no fun reading movie reviews by critics who seem to hate their jobs. That’s why The Dissolve is my top movie site. Everything they do stems from their love of film and their desire to share their enthusiasm with other people.

    Q: How do you know you’ve captured your thought well?
    A: I tend to read my comments over several times before hitting “Post as Hooded Justice.” Even though I’m not commenting under my own name, I think about how the things I write reflect on me as a person, so I always want to put my best face forward. Whether it’s a silly joke that I’ve dashed off in the heat of the moment or a carefully worded response that I hope will add something of substance to the discussion, I don’t really know how successful I’ve been until I see how other people respond to me.

    Q: Why did you choose the screen name or avatar you did?
    A: I chose Hooded Justice as my handle because he is by far my favorite character in Watchmen, which is one of my favorite comics of all time. Not only does he have a great, iconic look, but I find the fact that his true identity is never revealed to be highly appropriate since we’re all anonymous to some degree online. As for my avatar, there are a few from the Watchmen movie that I cycle between, but I like this particular one because it captures the actor playing Hooded Justice in a contemplative pose. Or maybe he’s just scratching his nose. Either way, it proves he’s human, just like me.

    Q: What kind of feedback or reaction are you looking for when you comment?
    A: The best feedback I ever get is when someone thanks me for pointing them in the direction of a film that they wouldn’t have otherwise sought out on their own. Apart from that, I’m just happy to be part of the conversation.

    Up-vote or Down-vote?

    image