The August Molly announcement

I made a dreadful mistake. With the new iteration of the Molly awards, I thought I’d have you people pick one marvelous, excellent comment to highlight each month…and then it turns out you’re all pumping out so many good comments that it’s really impossible to pick just one. It didn’t help that I took the coward’s way out and only narrowed the decision to eight in the Phase II post. And then every single one of the eight chosen comments got plenty of votes.

Lesson learned. We’ll do this again next month, where you’ll get to remind me of what comments you thought particularly worthy over the course of September, and then I’ll make the hard choices and reduce it to just three that you’ll vote on, with one winner. I know, it’s terrible and unfair when there are so many choices, but life is unfair.

This month, though, because I was so slack and put up too many choices, I’m going to post the top three vote-getters. Next time, I will be hard, I will be disciplined, I will be mean.

By the way, I saw all the suggestions for a squid button to mark favored comments. Is this just another name for a “Like” button? I’m sure there are add-ons for that, but before I go digging and prod the tech to put it in, is that what you really want?


  1. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I only want the button if, when I click it, it screams, “EN-SQUIDULATE!”

  2. vaiyt says

    I don’t care for a button. The last thing I want is morons trying to flood-vote their stupid friends.

  3. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Well my original request for a squid button was just for a squid button. I didn’t know what it would do.

    I don’t like the idea of a facebook like “like button”

    I do like it as a way to mark comments however. Possibly so that only you can see the tally. You as in you Mr Squidly.

  4. chigau (違わない) says

    I don’t like the idea of a facebook like “like button”

    I like this sentence :)

  5. mythbri says

    I like the idea of a squid button. Not sure what the function would actually be. Maybe it could change colors when it’s clicked. Maybe clicking it will send an internet squid party to the commenter. Who knows?

  6. says

    If a squid button is going to be implemented, it’s important that the number of squid votes a comment receives be hidden from the commentariat (with the exception of informing the voter whether or not they have squid-voted a particular comment.)

    That might be a lot to ask of an off-the-shelf plugin.

  7. Louis says

    I thought the squid button was pressed to get me some nice calamari?

    I want a squid button, but a squid button that doesn’t squirt ink or get me some damned calamari…that’s not good enough.


  8. bumpy says

    I made an account just to say this: Why not just display the number of votes each comment recieved? Everyone could see the ‘winner’ and by how much it won.

  9. gillyc says

    Just wanted to throw my vote in for a ‘like’ button – tally viewable only by PZ, you must be signed in to ‘like’ something and can only ‘like’ a comment once (to make it harder to throw the voting). Another reason I’d want the tally to only be viewable by PZ is that there’s a subconscious tendency to like what other people say they like… seems fairer to try to undermine that.

  10. opposablethumbs says

    Well I would like a Squid button (and ok I admit it’s a “like” button – but So Much Cooler – it really ought to enact some nice chromatophore-like colour-changes at the very least, yes it should) BUT:

    – it ought not to be possible for any one commenter to squid-up any given comment more than once.
    – the squid total ought not to be visible to anyone but the Squidly Overlord, as One Thousand Needles said, apart from perhaps a visual reminder of one’s own squid-upping.

    Because I keep seeing great comments and people making great points, and I’d love to be able to show some appreciation of them but I know I’ll never consistently keep track of them for the next round of Mollys.

  11. says

    Open tab
    go to Pharyngula
    Yeah, the Molly winner!
    Why, YEAH there’s also the Silver medal!
    … AND the bronze medal, awesome!
    This new Molly system is great, I can’t wait to see the podium every month!

    … Damn it…

    (Yes, I realize we could already read those comments but it’s not the same)

  12. says

    Would there also be a kitty-cat “Don’t like” button to balance the squiddy “Like”?

    While I don’t think I’d mind a “Like” button too much, it would be an invitation to the madding crowd of trolls to abuse it. (Unless it had a “poison pill” feature that automatically banned people who mash the “Don’t like” button too many times.)

  13. Martin says

    Usually everything I would say about a topic has been said by others and often much better than I could have said them myself.
    A squid button would let lurkers like me be slightly more active by letting us award the best and most thought provoking comments.

    You might see if you can limit use of the button to accounts of a minimal age, maybe one or two weeks. Afaik trolls don’t usually last that long minimizing the problem of trolls abusing it.

  14. ckitching says

    I suspect if you ‘clicked’ on a squid in real life, it might get frightened and spray ink. A button here should do the same.

  15. says

    Ideally (for me), a squid button would indicate taht you liked a comment but would only be visible by the commenter pressing it and in an aggregate by PZ.

    Add a page where we can see which comments we clicked so that when Molly times come you can go there and decide which of the comments you clicked is worthy to be proposed as molly worthy (and it makes it easier to find it than saving the URL somewhere).

    Oh, and I didn’t vote in this month because frankly, they were all great comments deserving of a Molly for various reasons. Which brings me to one more thing…

    If you are going to cut things down to only 3 votable comments, could you still add the remaining comments as runner-ups that cannot be voted on (so this month would have had 5 runner-ups) as a compromise between too many candidates diluting the vote and no exposure at all for some excellent comments.

  16. carlie says

    I originally liked the idea of voting via squid button, but that would unfairly preference good comments on popular threads v. good comments on lightly-trafficked threads, rather than having them all combined on equal footing in a voting thread.

    So I’m not sure now.

  17. The very model of a modern armchair general says

    Squid button would be a handy and automated way to count votes for Mollys. One other request (I’m sure somebody else will have said it already before me) – when the shortlist of eight comments came up, five of them were ones I hadn’t seen before. There must be hundreds of great comments being made here all the time that I’ll never see unless they get nominated for a Molly. It’d be great if all comments that received a certain number of votes would automatically get added to their own page.

  18. onion girl, OM; social workers do it with paperwork says

    I think it’s a bit unfeasible for a squid button to filter comments to a page that PZ can monitor for Molly-worthyness. Considering the high traffic and volume of comments, I’d think that would be way too many–but I’m not techy enough to know how that would work, so I could be wrong. I suppose if something was set up so only comments that had been ‘inked’ :) a certain number of times (by discrete users) would populate, that would be more manageable?

    But honestly, I think the Horde should be the ones actively participating and nominating comments. People might ‘like’ a comment for many different reasons, and just a certain number of votes doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a Molly-worthy comment. The whole Horde could ‘like’ a comment saying Happy Birthday to someone (I don’t think regulars would use it that way, but others might)–I think the process of nominating comments for a Molly should be more active, not passive.

    What I would love though, was a Squid button that somehow helped me bookmark/filter both posts & comments for my own reference. I’m not a black-belt in Google-fu, and sometimes I just can’t find a reference or explanation that I remember from a comment or one of PZ’s posts. I try to always bookmark links from comments that I know I’ll refer to later, but sometimes the information is in the comment itself, and I don’t always have time to cut/paste things into something like Zotero (assuming I’m at a computer that has it installed).

    Something that would enable me to easily tag or mark posts or comments for later reference would be my dream squid button. And that would also mean, during Molly-time, that I could actively go back and look through for comments I want to nominate.

    I have to admit, the one feature I really miss from Livejournal is the tag feature, so I can easily pull up all the abortion posts or brain development posts or A+ related posts, etc.

  19. bumpy says

    Charly, I thought the reason you pharyngulate internet polls was that you think they are biased and pointless. Surely if you’re gaol is to see which comment was rated highly by the fellow commenters on this blog such a poll would be representative and meaningful?

    vaiyt, I don’t often read the comments, but I got the impression that the commenters around here weren’t morons.

  20. blf says

    Next time, I will be hard, I will be disciplined, I will be mean.

    Poopyhead’s gonna release a Kraken?

    I suppose that’s what a squid button could do — if it does anything at all. (I rather like the idea of a button that does nothing…)