I do realize and respect that there is a push to make ODeck more on-topic and content rich. There are many here who create exquisite content, downright professional content, and do so without any hope of compensation or any real recognition even though their hard work can be immediately shared to the mainpage where unique pageviews translate to dollars, which in turn translate to gold-trim on Nick Denton's yacht. I dig that we are both a content farm and a collective built around certain ideas that deal with genre fantasy and related junk.
However, we are also a community of people and, being such, we constitute a kind of social network. So when I share a cute picture of my dog staring down a wind-up devil and am told that the ODeck is not facebook, I must disagree with this a little. ODeck is facebook for me; it's my facebook. It is the first online community I have ever been sincerely engaged in. I never took virtual social interactions seriously before coming to io9. I really only viewed the social side of cyberspace as a way to pretend to be something else. I would try to explore just how convincing I could be as another person and never earnestly considered that there was a real person at the other end who was believing me and if they did believe me, well, that was their damn fault for being so gullible.
But io9 and Odeck changed that. It made me want to be me. Actually it made me want to be a better version of me and in the process which allowed this to occur I discovered I'd made a lot of friends here. And as friends we share things with each other, but not all of these things are essays or other content rich material.
Everyday, early in the AM for us yanks, our beloved FrankN.Stein, sends humorous and informative little micro-posts from far away in the magical realm known as Germany, usually with no more than a sentence or two attached. This morning, for instance, he micro-blogged the story of an incredible art installation in New York. But more often than not, his posts aren't about some highfalutin, conceptual sculpture out of hipster infested Brooklyn. They will be little jokes and humorous tidbits; material which is decidedly content adverse but fun. Why would he do such a thing? Because he wants to make you smile. Because you are his friends and he wants to share things that make him laugh with you in the hopes that you will laugh too.
I often do the same sort of thing as Frank and usually it isn't a problem. But I have run into some trouble in regards to embedded tweets. I will write some sort of pithy (hopefully pithy) headline and then just let the tweet speak for itself. I use this technique a lot because often there is nothing more you can add to the tweet and doing so would detract from its power and humor. This recent share about arguing with idiots is a case in point. It was recommended 29 times and anything I would have attempted to augment it with would have been wholly unnecessary. Yet, there have been problems with me doing this. I continue to do it, not because I am trying to be rebel, or a dick, or a rebel dick, but because when I see a tweet I like, that has already been honed down to its essential bits of 140 characters or less, I don't even think of adding something to it. It feels forced to do so.
Tweets withstanding, I do try to observe the new ODeck rules. At minimum, you post a headline, a picture, video, link, etc., and a little blurb of some sort to go with it. Personally I feel the headline often works as a blurb but I am trying to respect the wishes of the mods and work within the prescribed format. It's generally been working out OK with only occasional, mostly minor issues. But today is a bit different and it is starting to feel kind of personal because I don't know why showing a light-hearted picture of my puppy staring down a toy Beelzebub is any different than Frank sharing a little cartoon or funny pic he found on tumblr.
I have enough humility to realize that I have in the past, had a little too much to drink, and with intoxicated enthusiasm decided to make posts consisting of nothing but 2001: A Space Odyssey gifs and trippy, post-rock YouTube videos. I have tried to cut down on this sort of behavior. But I don't think I so egregiously clog up the forum with my silly whims that it is such a sin for me to post a funny picture of my new dog that I know many people will enjoy. It's not like I am posting something about Peanut every single day or multiple times a day. For God's sakes I would think there is enough room for me and my dog every so often.
But hey, if this isn't the place to occasionally be causally social or to post a personal picture that doesn't require some thoughtful, multi-paragraph statement, so be it.
I am not being sarcastic when I say I think I need an ODeck manual to break down the exact minimum amount of words necessary to attach to any given post, how many of my dog pictures are allowed per week, month, year, etc. — because I am starting to get tired of feeling singled out for bad behavior here, especially for what seems to be inconsequential stuff that other people often do without getting any flack for it.
By writing all this I am not trying to start a fight. I am not trying to stir up anyone. I am not trying to be a rebel or an asshole. I just want the powers to be to tell me exactly how I should proceed for here on out and maybe there can be an extended discussion from all of us on what we think should be allowed and not allowed on our forum.