Open Thread Wednesday 2/20/13

What’s on your mind? Comment away! (BHB Photo by Claude Scales)

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  • Knight

    Homer, I am not happy at all with Disquis and its ability to “self moderate” a discussion. Yesterday, within a 12-hour period, a poster – who is not and never has been a Heights resident – referred to various peers in a single thread as: asses, idiots, dumbasses, jerks, losers, delusional jerks, and insensitive douchebags, not to mention referencing “the ignorant, selfish residents of Willowtown,” calling the Heights “that stinky shady town,” and slanderously accusing at least two BH residents of stealing someone’s cat. And those are just the remarks I caught on quick review. I was surprised and appalled at the way this woman was allowed to continue her verbal abuse of people with legitimate points. What does it take
    for an offensive, (probably drunk) name-calling individual to get moderated on Disquis? Do they have to literally use
    one of George Carlin’s seven words (two of which are now considered mainstream) in order to get flagged?!

    Meanwhile, a very legitimate and politely worded remark was placed “under moderation” simply because it had four down arrows and no up arrows at the time … only because a certain poster got several friends – who admittedly also do not and never have lived in the Heights – to logon and provide support.

    Disquis is also deficient because it uses the up and down
    arrows to rearrange the order of comments, making many discussions almost impossible to follow because quite often answers are more popular than the question … so the answers therefore precede the question in the Disquis rearrangement.

    What was wrong with the simple comment system that the BHB used six months ago?

  • Knight

    Homer … Chuck … who is in charge of Open Thread Wednesday? Until you decide, I’ll continue to post on both threads!

  • BrooklynBugle

    That has nothing to do with Diqus. I suggest you learn the system before spending so much time criticizing it. No matter what we do on this site regarding comments someone will yell “censorship”! or “where’s my comment”. This system –which is used BY PRACTICALLY EVERY OTHER SITE YOU READ – allows the community to flag inappropriate comments. If they’re flagged enough they’ll be moderated. It also allows the community to up or down vote comments. It allows YOU to personally block or filter users. This is a very powerful system.

    When we put in measures for folks to register before commenting, users complained too. We took that down. Should we put that back in place?

  • BrooklynBugle

    Chuck has been sick, please forgive his crazy.

  • Jv

    I agree, the order of comments is so difficult to follow. I like the “old” way.

  • Joe A

    There is an interesting article in today’s NY Times regarding the Barclay’s Arena. I remember the heated arguments here about all the horrors that will happen once the Arena was built. Well, none of it happened.

    No, the apocalyptic predictions of crime, chaos and an entire way of life suddenly and irreversibly ruined have not come to pass.

    In the nearly five months since the Barclays Center opened in September, in spite of years of vitriolic opposition from many residents in the surrounding brownstone neighborhoods, the 19,000-seat arena at the heart of the borough has enjoyed a remarkably smooth debut.

    “I thought it was going to turn this neighborhood into Manhattan,” said Noemi Feliz, 30, who has lived on Dean Street practically all of her life. “But the crowds are not as bad as I thought they would be. There’s a surge, but they clear out fast.”

    Most basketball fans and concertgoers visiting the arena, it has turned out, really do come and leave quickly by one of the 11 subway lines that stop at Barclays or by the Long Island Rail Road. In the three months after the arena opened, the four subway stations in the area had 6,400 more riders on average after Nets games and concerts than on nonevent days, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The railroad has reported that on an event night, an average of 3,300 more riders arrive and depart at the Atlantic Terminal than before Barclays existed, a 334 percent increase.

    As a result, residents say, the traffic flows as smoothly — or as sluggishly — as ever, with extra traffic agents posted to prevent gridlock.
    I think it will be wise to remember that the overblown fears and predictions of horror regarding a project are often just that, horror stories with no merit.

  • Joe A

    The order of the comments can be adjusted you know. Click on DISCUSSION at the top of the thread and you can order the comments several different ways.

  • DIBS

    Plus, Daniel Goldstein got rich, which was the plan all along.

  • Joe Dudas

    @479d370eb3c1d3e2bc9d835dd986d4d2:disqus Joe from Disqus here. As @mrcrusty:disqus mentioned, you can change the sort per his instructions. Disqus will also remember this preference for future sessions.

  • Wrennie

    Can anyone recommend a good place to sell old books? Which stores offer the best money for books (mainly hardcovers) in good-to-great condition? Thanks!

  • Joe Dudas

    Joe from Disqus chiming in…

    Per @BrooklynBugle’s note the up/downvote buttons signal *comment* quality — and over time, *commenter* quality, based on all their aggregate activity

    The Flag button (shown in the image attached) is different than the downvote, as it signals to the moderator / site manager that the comment needs their attention.

    Both downvotes and Flags – as well as backend moderation history – impact a quality / reputation score which persists with your profile and affects sorting…so as to encourage sustained good, engaging behavior.

    Moderators also have word block lists and user blacklist options for consistently ‘offensive’ users — but each community moderator may choose to moderate slightly differently.

    Hope that helps clarify a bit, but let me know if you have other questions. I live in BK Heights, as well, so I’m also keenly interesting in keeping the conversations on-track and awesome :-)

  • Joe A

    Yep. For those who don’t know who Daniel Goldstein is:

    Daniel Goldstein — founder of the anti-Atlantic Yards group Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn and plaintiff in numerous unsuccessful suits against the $4.9 billion project — has reached an agreement with the project’s developer, Forest City Ratner, to move out of his condo on Pacific Street in Prospect Heights.

    Mr. Goldstein confirmed that he would receive $3 million from Forest City. He bought his condo in 2003 for $590,000, but the state seized title to it under eminent domain last month, leaving Mr. Goldstein facing eviction. Mr. Goldstein said he would move by May 7.

  • Arch Stanton

    You erroneously spouted off on same subject a couple of months ago. As was explained to you then, with footnotes; The concerns about traffic are not solely related to the Barclay’s Center Arena but to the entire Atlantic Yards development as a whole. The project is far from complete so the traffic impact cannot yet be assessed.
    Furthermore, a couple of first hand accounts stated that there is indeed an increase in traffic coinciding with events at the BCA.

  • ltap917

    I wholeheartedly agree. I find myself not even wanting to bother posting here anymore. It has gotten confusing.

  • ltap917

    We had lunch at Juliana’s last week for the first time.
    We loved the atmosphere and the staff. Most of all, the pizza was fantastic. We got there early and there was no line. We were only two people so we got to sit up against the wall which was good because soon after lots of parents came in with strollers and toddlers. We hated eating in the old Grimaldi’s because we were packing in like sardines. Not so at Juliana’s. I highly recommend it.

  • ab_bklyn

    PS Bookshop in DUMBO is pretty good. They offer double your value in credit (for example, they would have given $25 cash for the books I brought in but offered $50 credit).

  • David on Middagh

    Knight is so right.

    Disqus systems are overengineered and functionally infuriating. The interface is misleading.

    Regarding the Disqus commenter from Miami: I first don’t think people even realized they could use the nuclear option on her–using the righthand itty-bitty gray triangle to dropdown the clickable “Flag as Inappropriate” option, or that they could do this even if not signed in. Even if they did, they might have had to flag her many, many posts on that thread to get across the scope of the situation to the system or human or whoever takes it from there.

    I am convinced that these jagged subthreads act like the hills of Afghanistan, where the baddies can hide and fight the same battle again and again. The “surface area” of the discussion becomes too large.

  • David on Middagh

    Joe Dudas, Disqus only remembers that preference under certain conditions. (Possibly, allowing third-party cookies is required–a bad idea for people who desire to avoid being tracked site to site.)

    Anyhow, resorting will *not* bring the most recent comments together if they are embedded in subthreads, which is awful for people who want to read all the new ones, and only the new ones, on their next visit to that page.

  • Wrennie

    Thanks for the suggestion. Do you recall about how many books you brought in? I’m not really looking to get more books…I work at a publisher, so I have a pretty steady stream of them, hence the need to clear out some space on my shelves.

  • David on Middagh

    I’ll second PS Bookshop, and the credit option. Call them first, as no bookstore accepts everything, but might make a visit for an especially good collection.

  • Joe Dudas

    We don’t surface ‘newest’ for subthreads, as the replies then show out of context with the remainder of the exchange. The platform used to operate as you described, and conversations proved impossible to unravel.

    That said, if you wish to follow new comment activity for a particular article, you can ‘subscribe’ at the bottom of the thread via email or RSS (image here):

  • Joe Dudas

    Disqus intentionally disguised the Flag button in order to minimize abuse of this button…in favor of the down-vote (which can only be used for sign-in users, BTW).

    For this reason, a single Flag should be assumed a serious request for attention.

    Also note: Publishers / Moderators can set a ‘flag limit’ as low as 1, by which, comments that hit that limit are immediately removed from the comment stream.

  • David on Middagh

    Well then, I just “seriously, seriously, seriously, seriously, seriously, seriously” requested the attention of the cybermoderatorist, I guess. How does one know whether the Flag will attract attention to just that one comment, or to his/her various comments in that thread, or to that person’s history on that site? Where does one stop flagging?

  • Joe Dudas

    Moderators can view a commenters history — # of comments, flags, spam, etc. to get a high-level look at how ‘dangerous’ they are…and blacklist them via username, email/social ID, etc., if they believe they are/will be toxic to a community.

  • Joe A

    I agree. I’m confused by all the confusion. What I really like about this system is that I can check My Disqus and immediately see who may have responded to something I posted no matter what thread it might be on. I think the system works great, some people just have a hard time with change it seems.

  • Joe A

    You are as obstinate as they come. There were many complaints that the Arena traffic would be a nightmare. Not the Atlantic Yards project but the Arena. It took all of a couple minutes just to find these samples:

    PBL – thanks, I get that, but it will impact the neighborhood with traffic on Atlantic ave from the BQE to the stadium (arena or whatever the monstrosity is). That will affect the attractiveness of the burgeoning retail district that is along Atlantic and the attractiveness of walking to Pier 6.

    I never heard a family or single person say, “I’d love to live near a basketball stadium”. The seediest place in Manhattan is around MSG – that is no accident. No developer in their right mind would develop along a street where throngs of bridge and tunnel sports and music fans flood the streets every other night.

    There were lots of meetings for Heights residents–a discussion point was that traffic spillover from the arena sight [sic] would clog the already busy streets leading to the Brooklyn Bridges.

    An unconventional plan for parking at the new Barclays Center arena in Brooklyn has critics predicting a neighborhood traffic nightmare.

    The concern, neighborhood residents say, is that hydraulic systems and valet service associated with stack parking slow the entry and exit of cars from the lot, potentially creating bumper-to-bumper traffic on surrounding streets and sending antsy drivers to seek the area’s few remaining curbside spaces.

    Once again the whining, doomsayers were wrong, plain and simple.

  • Anonymous

    I think I saw a post a couple of weeks ago about random acts of kindness. I saw one today on Court St. A young adult male cornered his girlfriend in what may have been a lovers spat bordering on potential physical abuse.

    I kept my eye on it as I walked by to see if it escalated & needed intervention. Someone (a couple of people) stepped in before the incident created physical harm (emotional harm is another story.)

    None of the people involved live in Brooklyn Heights.

    Was this random? Not really. I walk down Court St every day & there is always someone who cautions me my purse is open, I dropped a glove, my scarf is dragging & pick up my cell phone when I drop it & crack the screen & ask me if I am ok when I trip.

    These are the reason I like Brooklyn.

  • Rick

    I fall into the category of what tech marketing people call “early adapter”, so I have no problem with change.

    But I find the threads annoyingly hard to follow with Disqus. Way to much jumping around for this reader.

    And sometimes this format even alters the meaning of posts. For example, on another thread, someone posted an opinion that I disagree with, but my earlier post ended up directly under it, making it look to the new reader as if I agreed with him. Very annoying.

    Sometimes simpler is better. While Disqus has some good features, the problem of making threads harder to follow is enough to make me less likely to visit the site now.

  • MonroeOrange

    how did you know they didn’t live in BH?

  • MonroeOrange

    I also agree that the old format was better…even if you filter by ‘newest’ it only shows the first post, not the comments to that post…so if someone responds a minute ago, to lets say the first post of the day, it will all the way at the bottom. ALSO MORE IMPORTANTLY…WHERE IS GERRY! WHATS HIS NEW ALIAS!