Monday Mid-Day Answering the Allegations Set Before Us Poll

Yesterday, in a heated comment thread, a reader made the following statement:

Bycommonconsent.com used to be a blog that actually [had] interesting and meaningful content, since so many others have jumped the shark. Not anymore. Now it’s a [race] to the bottom between this and feministmormonhousewives.com.

Being a relative newcomer to these parts, this sort of comment–and they do appear from time to time–always make me curious: How do readers here view the path that BCC has taken? Has BCC become more thoughtful? Less so? More political? More Liberal? More Conservative? Stayed basically the same? Here is your big chance to weigh in on these extraordinarily important questions.

Please vote below, and add clarification below. [UPDATED POLL QUESTION]




Results of the polls will be unveiled next week-ish.

Comments

  1. Steve Evans says:

    oh geez.

  2. I can’t wait to see the results of this poll!

    As a writer, I feel that a lot of changes in my posts have been motivated by the way readers react to them. So I’d also be interested to know if people think that the readership has grown more liberal/conservative/snarky/thoughtful.

    However, I need to add that I consider it a compliment to be compared to Feminist Mormon Housewives. They frequently raise important issues and facilitate insightful discussions. And they always beat us in the number of comments generated!

  3. Thinking more about my comment in #2, I think it would be helpful to this poll to define whether you consider BCC to be just the posts or the entire community of writers and readers.

  4. Steve Evans says:

    As someone who’s been here from the beginning, I have my own views on this of course — but there’s not widespread agreement there. I’m curious to see what the others think. My sense is that the poll options don’t quite get at the overall dynamic.

  5. This is a great poll.

    I knew this blog before it was formed in the womb, and I set it a part as a blog unto the nations.

  6. Eric Russell says:

    Where’s the option for less thoughtful and less snarky?

  7. Steve,
    The options absolutely leave a ton of nuance out, and some of that nuance is probably very important. I don’t think it will render the poll results empty, however.

  8. As someone who’s been here from the beginning, I have my own views on this of course

    As a relative newcomer, and someone who just doesn’t have the time to read posts from Rameumtom to catch up, I’d be interested to know your views, Steve.

  9. I think BCC is a lot like SNL. Every so often, someone claims that it’s going downhill and pines for the olden days. But then folks get used to the changes, Will Ferrell eventually becomes funny (who knew?), and everyone’s on board again. 30 years from now, Steve Evans will be Lorne-Michaels-in-diapers, rolling his eyes at the oft-predicted demise of the blog, while quietly raking in millions.

  10. If BCC is SNL, Steve is not Lorne Michaels. He will be, say, Joe Piscopo.

  11. I ahve been posting here since 2004.

    I think that BCC is the following…

    1. More liberal politically
    2. More orthodox religiously
    3. Its a tad bit more irreverent but not much

  12. Steve Evans says:

    Aaron’s actually not that far off.

    Piscopo! Don’t I rank at least as high as Brian Doyle-Murray?!

  13. I’ve been posting since 2004 (I think) but I’ve only been here since 2006. I think it is all about the same. So, there is that.

  14. Steve Evans says:

    btw, B. Russ, I highly recommend you check out the old stuff. What you find might surprise you. I used to respond to people in complete sentences.

  15. “I used to respond to people in complete sentences.”

    These days, Steve more or less resembles Daniel Plainview in the mansion scenes at the end of There Will Be Blood.

  16. Steve Evans says:

    I am the Third Revelation!

  17. B.Russ,
    My plan is to discuss the results of the polls with Steve in a Zeitcast. He is not yet aware of this plan, but I think I’ll be able to arrange it.

  18. I highly recommend you check out the old stuff.

    So I can safely infer that you do believe it has gone downhill?

  19. The writers have changed somewhat, but I think it is mostly the same. Of late, there are few other places to turn.

  20. BBell says,

    1. More liberal politically
    2. More orthodox religiously

    I think this is a possibility, and I think that the interesting thing is that many people would (as discussed elsewhere from time to time) see this as a contradiction. It’s not, but clearly a lot of people think so.

  21. Chris H.,
    You bring up (sort of) the “deleted poll” that I almost included: It was a poll asking these same questions relative to other blogs in the bloggernacle.

    Although I think it’s an extremely interesting question, I don’t think the comments could maintain any degree of niceness to all of the respective blogs, and I figured it’s best not to go there.

  22. Steve Evans says:

    Again, I don’t think we can simplistically break it down as ‘more liberal politically’ or ‘more orthodox religiously’. But, if arguendo we stuck with those categories, I’d disagree with those conclusions.

  23. One of the reasons why BCC might be viewed as more liberal in the political sense is simply the blog’s reaction to the going’s on in the country, Prop 8, Romney/Election coverage, etc.

    BCC has always taken somewhat of a contrarian point of view against the mainstream in terms of Mormon politics and culture.

  24. In other words, I don’t think much has really changed.

  25. Scott, I stopped short of saying anything specific about the rest of the nacle. I was more alluding that BCC is a consistent blog in a way that is hard to maintain. Of course, FPR is awesome, but we do something very different.

    I predict that BCC will do well in the Niblets.

  26. WordPress just told me that I was commenting too quickly and I needed to slow down, it didn’t seem very nice. I guess some things DO change.

  27. Well, I’m sure this is all a rehash somehow of stuff we’ve said before, but overall I think it’s pretty much the same politically/religiously from 2005, but less homey due to the larger numbers.

    Of course there are a few bloggers nowadays who are a little more, um, annoying than back then, but then, I’m probably more annoying too, due to my advancing age and the copious amounts of bcc I’ve consumed over the past nearly-six years.

  28. John Mansfield says:

    After seven years, we’re all seven years older, and that can be enough to measurably shift the place in life of many of us. BCC started out about 80% snarky (in my memory), but somewhere along the way a desire for respectablility and a sense of responsibility seemed to grow, and now it’s only 40% snarky. Along with that is the experience borne of 100,000 blog comments that the Church really does have detractors working against it who would love to count BCC writers among its numbers, so being pro-Church has become more explicit in the writing. The ecclesiastical liberalness hasn’t changed, though, so chin up; you haven’t sold out, just matured a bit.

  29. I think 2004 and 2005 were the glory days for BCC.

  30. Steve Evans says:

    Dave, we clearly cannot recover the luster we once had when you were part of our League.

  31. Started reading and posting in early 2007, and I voted that BCC is about the same politically, and for thoughtfulness, as it was then. I think it has grown slightly more orthodox. But then I never found it to be dangerous unorthodox, either. I’ve found it to be remarkably open and tolerant of anyone who shows a modicum of reason and the ability to think, but I think the bannination stick is quicker than it used to be.

  32. Of course there are a few bloggers nowadays who are a little more, um, annoying than back then

    meems, you do cut me to the core.

  33. I started reading BCC in 2007. IMO, you guys are pretty much the same across the board except thoughtfulness which I actually think is going up. The quality of commenting goes back and forth but that’s the nature of the internet. There’s only two LDS themed blogs I check every day without going through an aggregator and BCC is one of them so that says something. I figure if you guys dont have a new post that interests me, there’s always the sideblog…

  34. Mommie Dearest says:

    Oh man! Don’t make me take a poll!
    Poll questions never have enough nuance in them to suit me. Let’s just say we’re all growing up, slowly but surely, in spite of ourselves.

    Except people who dis on fMh. They will remain neanderthals forever.

    (I cheerfully give you permission to disregard this comment if you think I am one of “them”)

  35. As usual, I’m confused. A race to the bottom of what?

    One of the many things I like about BCC as a newcomer is the broad political spectrum.

    In a very short time, I find myself more cautious about leaving comments, however. As someone with alot of opinions, but without a formal background in Mormon History or religious studies, its probably good to let many of these discussions maintain a more academic tone.

    A lot of newcomers like myself could benefit from reading up on sources and arguments mentioned here before jumping into the conversation. Most snarky comments come out of genuine frustration in having to address, I don’t know, remedial dialogue.

  36. And I also liked it when Aaron B talked about Cleon Birds of Prey, which luckily cannot fire when cloaked.

  37. By the way, I have added a new question related to commenters/commenting above.

  38. Been reading since 2006, and I think the blog has remained the same politically, become more religiously orthodox (though that may be just me becoming more unorthodox), more thoughtful, and more snarky (I think that comes with age).

    I can honestly say that the most thoughtful, reflective, and even testimony-building posts I have read on the bloggernacle were, with only a few exceptions, found on BCC. Not counting JI, of course.

  39. I started commenting in . . . . but I don’t read the comments.

    Awesome.

    Translation: I value my opinions and think they should be heard, but the opinions of others I have not use for.

  40. aaron, SNL currently sucks. I challenge you to sit through a full episode sometime. You won’t make it. It is awful. So, according to your analogy, this website is awful.

  41. Not so, B.Russ! The translation is “I only read in Google Reader” or something like unto it…

  42. I think it’s about the same, mostly, but by that, I mean that we’ve already talked about all these things already, and so the excitement and luster are gone with the Honeymoon. Now all that’s left is the living with each other.

  43. Now all that’s left is the living with each other.

    So as a late-comer, am I a mistress or a late-coming sisterwife?

  44. Cynthia L. says:

    britt k #12: FTW! Ah, that made my day.

  45. I would have voted for “less lawyers, more gst,” but that wasn’t an option. I think. I didn’t actually read all the poll questions.

  46. I don’t think I’ve been around long enough to see much of a change, except that folks who have been here longer are comfortable with both acknowledging my comments and mocking me and letting me mock them in return. So… um, there’s something. I’m not sure what it is, though. Maybe that I am a part of the community?

    “As someone with alot of opinions, but without a formal background in Mormon History or religious studies, its probably good to let many of these discussions maintain a more academic tone.”

    My only background in Mormon History is what my mum (who was my seminary teacher) taught me, and what I’ve picked up in Institute classes taught by non-CES people. Also the bits of and pieces cobbled together from posts here and elsewhere. My Religious Studies is equally non-formal and cobbled together from sugar packets. This hasn’t stopped me from jumping in with my comments and challenging academists or academicisianansianans or whatever they call themselves to actually use real words.

  47. Micah, my Cleon comment really was genius; perhaps the cleverest thing ever to emanate from the mouth of man. It deserves a wider audience.

  48. Greg, I actually agree. Adam sandberg is funny, but now that Tina Fey’s gone, everyone else sucks. Kristin Wiig has never been funny. Ever.

  49. Aaron, take it back! How can you watch Kristin Wiig with those doll hands and not laugh? You are a soulless monster.

  50. Steve Evans says:

    Alex T., you’re getting there. We’re definitely used to you.

  51. “Pleasant and valuable.” That’s a difficult thing for long term readers of blogs. I’ve noticed a lot of topics have been done to death and I just don’t care anymore. But it’s not fair to new readers to not deal with those older topics in a (to me) repetitious fashion.

  52. Alex, I’m no expert, but I believe the word you are looking for is Academistician. I have yet to cobble knowledge from sugar, but I do know alot about cobbler. Perhaps I’m on my way.

    Aaron B, The field of Cleon Cultural Practice that you pioneered has become a major area of interest for me. Stick of Judah, Stick of Ephraim, Cleon Pain Stick.

    One day, after much study, I will begin posting elaborate dissertations on this subject. You will feel very very privileged to hear what I have to say.

  53. Cynthia L. says:

    “One day, after much study, I will begin posting elaborate dissertations on this subject. You will feel very very privileged to hear what I have to say.”

    micah, Sounds awesome, I will totally comment on your post!

    But I won’t read it. Nor read the comments other than mine.

  54. I just don’t get the connection between BCC and SNL. Now, I do see a connection between BCC and Monty Python and the Holy Grail! It is liberal and nonsensical, with a few French guys thrown in for laughs.

    Not having been here from the very beginning, but for most of it, I must say that it is hard to really distinguish all views in one poll. Even among the liberal and/or libertine hoi polloi here, there are many various views.

  55. StillConfused says:

    I have been here since 2005 when you fine folks helped me understand the difference between petting and heavy petting.

    I refer to BCC as “the smart people blog” because many of the posts are extremely intelligent (beyond me often times).

    I do see more “social” posts now but I don’t think that is a bad thing.

    FMH is much more snarky than here. I view the heated discussions here as still focusing on intellectual comments more than flat out attacking. (Though sometimes people get a bee in their bonnet/bloomers)

  56. Rameumptom, I’m not sure Monty Python and the Holy Grail is the correct comparison. Sketches like the Cheese Shop (“Any Stinking Bishop?”) or Dead Parrot are perhaps more apt comparisons. At BCC you may get a lot of the same stuff over and over again, but it’s somehow comforting, like certain comfort foods. Like Spam.

  57. 57 – This blog is never dead, its just resting.

  58. I hope this doesn’t offend people, but I don’t think the problem is that BCC has changed much over the last six years. The problem, to my mind, is that the other blogs that started with it are not as active as they once were. For example, in the beginning, I always viewed T&S as the ying to BCC’s yang, and while the content there is still very, very good, the posts are less frequent, and sine qua nons like Adam Greenwood, Nate Oman, and Matt Evans rarely post anymore. Meanwhile, BCC has increased the number of authors, poached T&S authors, and overall started to dominate the bloggernacle world, at least in my opinion. And I’m not complaining about that. But it feels like we’ve gone from a town with a Wal-Mart *and* a Target to a town with only a Wal-Mart (or only a Target, whichever is less offensive), and the intellectual marketplace is accordingly diminished as a result.

    Of course, there’s no doubt that there are probably smaller blogs I could go to for that type of content–and I do–but the bloggernacle to me is not the same as it used to be in those halcyon days of yore.

  59. BCC — The Wal-Mart of the Bloggernacle.

    Catchy.

  60. I’m with Tim from #24 and 25. Not much has changed since I’ve frequented the site in 2005/2006

  61. Jimbob, Adam posts all the time, just not at T&S (he quit that blog, rather noisily). Nate still posts but his mind prefers to dwell on musty issues of economics and obscure legal marginalia.

    But yes, BCC is like Wal-Mart.

  62. BCC is more like Kohls.

  63. This blog is never dead, its just resting.

    BCC doesn’t sleep. It waits.

  64. Does that make Times and Seasons Macys?

  65. Sears.

  66. Cynthia L. says:

    #59, 60, 62: That means all of the permas and commenters need to find pictures of our dopplegangers on peopleofwalmart. Lets see. Here’s me, here’s Brad, here’s Aaron B….

  67. If anyone would like to visit Nordstrom’s, I’ve recently started . . . . . . . ah who am I kidding.

  68. Sears? I didn’t think Times and Seasons had it all that bad.

  69. It pains me that some readers think BCC’s orthodoxy has increased. I take this as a personal challenge to produce more angst-ridden, borderline-apostate posts.

  70. Katie (The Haiku Queen) says:

    I completely skipped over the comments (usually I’m very good at reading them all and finding one that fits my opinion, therefore eliminating my need to comment), so here’s my story:

    I started reading probably late 2005-early 2006 (sometime during my freshman year at BYU), and I thought it was extremely liberal (but very enjoyable). Nearly five years later, I’m not sure if BCC’s content has changed but I know that I have, and I don’t know if the liberalness/conservativeness has changed, since I think I’ve changed more.

    Also, I started reading because of a couple of very entertaining posts I found. Now I stay for the hard stuff, too. :)

  71. Aaron B. (71),
    I thought we made it clear that calling yourself “Katie the Haiku Queen” wasn’t acceptable behavior on the blog!

  72. Susan M., I feel bound to confess that I too am a lawyer.

  73. Wha’ever, bee-yotch. I do want I want! You don’t know me!!!

  74. I haven’t percieved any big changes as far as quality of posts at BCC, or orhodoxy or political bent. I have usually enjoyed BCC; I don’t think it’s fair to compare it to FMH, which has always had a lot of variablility as far as quality of writing and thought displayed in its content. I think there are plenty posts on FMH that are eye-rollers, I wouldn’t say that about BCC.

  75. There is the Wal-Mart and then there is the Wal-Marts. I rather like a trip to the Wal-Mart but it kind of makes me uncomfortable when I go with someone on their run to the Wal-Marts.

    BCC is definitely the Wal-Mart.

    Wal-Marts? M* probably.

  76. #71, if you want to really fit in here at BCC, you should rename yourself to:

    Kate (the Limerick Queen)

    Because I’m a BCC fan, I shop at THE Walmart in my area. Now, all we need is a lumberjack skit….

  77. 57 – So might that make the Prop 8 debates closer to “The Lumberjack Song” or “Bruces?”

  78. This whole blog has gone to hell in a hand basket since the recent dearth of Smackdown posts and Police Beat roundtables and mid-morning neo-theological polls. *

    * Also, since David Lee Roth left Van Halen

  79. #79,
    David Lee Roth left Van Halen again? Darn!

    However, you are right that there have been a dearth of PBR. Last one was at Halloween. I was hoping to see one for the holidays: Festivus, Kwanzaa, etc.

  80. gatoraideMomma says:

    Since I started reading it I have found it quite diverse in it’s articles and opinions. I usually agree but not always with topics, and then there are those that you deep thinkers post that I simply cannot comprehend, but they’re kind of interesting to try to ponder.

    It’s just nice to know we LDS adherents are not all exactly the same and many are thinking rather than having the “thinking done for them.” I like having differing opinions & background information, resources, topics, and research presented for me to consider. And their is great relief in the humor posted from time to time.

    May the tent grow large enough to encompass many.

  81. I miss the You Make The Call series. Judging is awesome.

  82. A day and a half into this post, and no one has used the word “entropy”. Does BCC have a supernal nature that transcends the laws of thermodynamics?

  83. Steve Evans says:

    Perpetual Blogging Machine

  84. BCC! Es um milagro!

  85. err, “es un milagro”. Sorry, but my Spanish sucks. It’s not mission based.

  86. Kevin #83, you realize that since you used the “Entropy” word, BCC is now cursed to slowly dissolve into a mishmash of unintelligible blog posts that seem to go on forever, but without any point at all?

    Oh, I guess not much has changed here at BCC!

  87. Wes Brown (82),
    It is an ongoing series. There hasn’t been one for a couple of months, but they still happen.

  88. Sweet!

  89. I don’t remember when I started reading, so I can’t answer the dang poll! a couple of years, maybe? anyway, it seems more or less the same to me, and I love it. really. it brings me joy. of course, my memory seems to be shot all to hell lately, so maybe it’s radically different- what do I know? i liked it then, and i liked it now.

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