Thursday, July 1, 2004

With Six You Get Forum

Welcome to the six-month anniversary of You Are Dumb Dot Net.
I know I made a reasonably big deal about the four-month, which was probably unnecessary, but this is two months more than that. Six whole months of swearing at dumbasses. I am truly living the dream.
In June, there were nearly 1,000 unique visitors to YAD, which is a pretty significant milestone. Of course, I read in City Pages that this family man in town who spent three years impersonating a 20-ish lesbian on a blog was getting 5,000 unique visitors a day. It's a good idea, but I don't think I could start impersonating a lesbian now after six months of talking about how much I hate Bush.* So I'll have to settle for my tiny empire.
To celebrate the six-month anniversary of the site, I am going to do what any reasonable web columnist would do under the circumstances. Violate deeply held personal tenets and embark on what may be an astonishingly bad idea. Allow me to presentWe Are Not Dumb, the official YAD message board.
Other than a hyperlink back and forth, those who just want to read the column should be able to remain blissfully unaware of the existence of WAND. Whereas those of you for whom the phrase "online community building" does not instantly incite peals of laughter can come on over and join the "party".
The forum uses Beehive, which is an open-source version of the Delphi interface. It has two vitally important features - first, it keeps track of what you've already read, and second, it allows for draconian, sadistic moderation. This is important, because there are a lot of idiots on the Internet. I don't expect many of them to necessarily read the column and show up in the forum, but at the end of the day, you either crush people like bugs or you end up with a Harry Knowles "talkback" nightmare of epic proportions. Beehive's great at the crushing.
Note that Beehive is currently at version 0.4, and is worked on in people's free time. So it may have, or develop, "issues". It seems to work smoothly, but they always seem to work smoothly at first, don't they.
So why bother? Well, first, it gives me a way to interact with the devoted, motivated, and/or deeply disturbed fraction of the readership without subjecting the rest of you to, well, columns like this one, frankly. This way, you can get an uninterrupted flow of me bitching about fucks like Zell Miller, who, by the way, is one of the big speakers at this year's Republican National Convention. I am so throwing a party the day he retires. And the day he kicks off.
Plus, as I mentioned above, it may be an astonishingly bad idea. There's a reason YAD isn't a blog. Audience participation leads to community. Community leads to fans. Fans lead to fanchildren**. Fanchildren lead to suffering. On the other hand, I've lost count of the sheer number of ostonishingly bad ideas that have worked out pretty well over the years. Like "Hey, maybe I'll start a website about friggin' IDIOTS."
Not to mention, with Livejournal apparently crashing more often than Bill Janklow on a three-day Twinkie bender these days, I figure a significant portion of the audience is bored out of their ever-loving skulls.
So hit the forum and join in if that's your thing. If it's not, tomorrow, I'll be making fun of Mormons. Fried comedy gold, now with black backpacks.
That's the kind of quality lame filthy humor that keeps people coming back, that is.
** Note the gender-neutral terminology. I haven't even started the forum yet, and already I'm becoming inclusive.