First things first, I'm truly appreciative of all of the new DTN Members. To say that things have been a bit more lively would be an understatement. In fact, after the jump, you can see some of the statistics that the technical folks put together for 2009 (including new members, total comments, most active commenters, etc. ) and to say that I'm impressed would be an understatement.
In any event, I think it's important to lay down some housekeeping (obligatory Chris Farley link and maybe NSFW) rules for some of the new guys.
1. FanPosts: First, I would ask that everyone read this introduction on what a FanPost is as well as all of the features of a FanPost. Yesterday, news broke that Alabama DC Kirby Smart was to be interviewed. It was on a FanShot on the front page, yet we had two FanPosts with the exact same information. Although you may not realize it, if someone beats you to a story, then keep in mind that you can always delete your own FanPost. I'd also add that in order to keep some quality writing near the top of the page I'm thinking about deleting repetitive FanPosts, with this simple rule: first to post gets promoted. Additionally, I'd like to keep FanPosts to more opinionated pieces rather than links. I'm considering deleting FanPosts that are just copy and paste jobs from another article. SB Nation has some terrific tools to help you post a quick link and I know that you think that the FanShots do not get enough play (I'd agree, but when the news is big, promoting to the front page is pretty easy for DTN admin). I also hope you guys and gals realize that this is not an attempt to censor anyone (i.e., "Seth C" is deleting my voice.", but rather an attempt to keep things somewhat organized.)
2. Rec'd: If youre' not familiar with what being "Rec'd" is then click on any post that has comments, and click on "actions" of any particular comment and you'll see some more actions that you can use to either "Rec" or "Flag" a particular comment. Right now the DTN settings to have a comment get highlighted in green only takes 1 "Rec". You can also "Rec" someone's FanPost or one of the front page authors' work. Again, in order to move a particular FanPost to the "Recommended FanPosts" only takes 2 "Rec". I'm going to be changing the total number of "Rec'd" for a comment to 3 and for a FanPost to 5. What this gives you guys and gals control over is that if you like a particular FanPost, then voice your opinion by "Rec"-ing a FanPost, FanShot or comment so that it stays near the top of the page.
3. Normal Rules: I wrote this piece earlier in 2009 regarding everyone getting on the same page:
With so many visitors and so many opinions, there's going to be differing thoughts and analysis on the game, a play, an entire series, coaching decisions, etc. I've always tried to maintain an open and honest channel through DTN at the program. I'm not perfect and I've surely made mistakes when dealing with certain users, it's going to happen and I'm human. I've tried to err on the side of letting you guys say your peace rather than be a censor because I disagree with your opinion.
The only thing I've ever asked from this blog is to as that you don't be mean. That's it. The only other minor rule is that you not call anyone a name. It doesn't matter how childish or silly the name you may call someone, and that includes a player, but when you have to result to name calling, that you're really doing yourself a disservice. I've always thought that calling someone a name is the easy way to try and make your point, which will fail miserably when you result to those types of tactics.
You're better than that.
I think you could also add to DTN's lone commandment, that what you say to your fellow DTN'ers in the comments be something that you would say to them in their face. If you're not willing to do that, then think twice before about posting. It's easy to hide behind the facade of a username, but keep in mind that we're all on the same team.
So when so many things happen, like they have over the past two weeks, we as a fan base will invariably all have different opinions about the direction of the program, the coaching decisions, the plays on the field, etc.
I think and I hope that DTN becomes and is a place where we can all have that bar conversation. Perhaps the unintended consequence about losing two games to two ranked teams is that we, as fans of Texas Tech, are a lot more passionate than we were two years ago. I think that's great. When I'm dead and gone, I hope that DTN is the same type of community where Texas Tech fans can gather where the community polices itself and lets others know that being passionate is completely within the rules, but being an ass-hat is not. I know, that probably means that I'll have to distinguish that gray line between passionate fan and ass-hat, but you guys are free to call a spade a spade. Let someone know that something is not tolerated here. We should have a higher standard than message boards. We should be accountable for what we say. I'm not looking for anyone to self-appoint themselves as DTN master-of-all, but let's all push each other to be as good as we can possibly be.
This holds true still today.
I'm asking that you hold each other accountable. I've always said that at some point, I'm not going to be here to run things and it will be up to those who eventually take charge of DTN to run things smoothly. I do not like it when folks call DTN a message board. DTN is a blog with writers and members who have tremendous insight and that's what we should promote. Again, this is about you guys and gals holding each other accountable for each other's actions and words.
Stats for 2009 are after the jump.
Stats For 2009
Most Active Commenters