opinion

The Great Board Count

Shane Ryale
Congratz. Way to go, dude. Wow. Awesome. Keep it up. Can't wait 'til it happens to me.

You guessed it; I was on the boards today, eyeing the post-count threads, reading post-count posts. This kind of audit is a punitive exercise. I recommend it to anyone with masochistic leanings. Do it the next time you forget an anniversary, or spill paint in the garage.

Can we please stop celebrating post counts?

Every webmaster board has a rules page. Why can't we just tack on a tidy addendum?

"The undersigned agrees to refrain from penning threads about post counts and/or complementing the post counts of others. The management is up nights sick to death of the whole stupid thing. We created DeadFuckingWrong.com to be a tool, so webmasters around the world could communicate with one another — fine-tuning sales strategies, spit-balling ideas, elevating the entire industry to a whole other level."

Didn't quite work out that way.

Instead, we're surrounded by one-word comments and animated smileys, smileys with "Deliverance" beards and corncob pipes, smiley faces waving pom-poms, smiley faces that are all teeth. There's a swarm of smileys with their thumbs in the air, abutting the word, "Congrizats!"

Let's put it a different way: There's a popular bar by my office that gets a good lunch crowd. On the right day, with the right mix of people, the networking opportunities are first-rate — players, not poseurs, are everywhere. It can be the most productive 90 minutes of the entire workweek for me.

Most of us read the preceding and think: "Hmm. I'll make a point to do lunch there if I'm ever in the area."

But the post counter interprets this scenario a bit differently.

"Why leave?" he asks. "If it's so cool there at lunch, why not double your time?"

Sticking around the bar after the lunch crowd leaves would not make me more money, it would make me drunk. And I'd be left sharing pretzels and peanuts with Eddie from the neighborhood, who is still wrestling with the notion of springing for a prosthetic eye.

Someone with 10,000 posts may drive a great car and be sharp as a tack. But then again, he might be just like Eddie from the bar. A woman with 34 posts could have a fondness for crystal meth that is on the verge of becoming habitual. On the other hand, she could be so busy teasing traffic stats that there's no time left in her busy schedule to comment on threads that lead to nowhere.

Is there an end in sight? Hell no. Not with all the quantitative perks, however short-lived. You've got 5,000 posts? Pony up some cash and make that man a sig whore! He'll post ridiculous comments and talk shit about people he doesn't know. He'll pontificate about the shows he's never attended, too. And he'll do it all without a shred of accountability.

As for separating the biz threads from the pool of BS threads? Well, that's your problem, slick.

You're up to 5,000 posts! Whoop! You're rolling now!

Way2Go! Now you're cookin'!

And really, let's be honest. There's only one legitimate place for that kind of talk: a 12-step program.

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