Category: Site

GET READY

For a DCB forum!

Since you will only find one or two posts a day here, I almost feel bad that you kids aren’t entertained enough. And as things get busier for me this summer, I don’t anticipate posting frequency to go up anytime soon. I think a forum composed of my readers would be pretty entertaining. Plus it could be a proving ground for future DCB interns.

The one question I’m tackling is whether to allow anonymous posting or not. The issue isn’t with the trolls but with spammers. Trolls are relatively easy to moderate but spammers came from everywhere and are relentless. On some days I’ve had to filter through 400 spam comments, and it’s something I don’t want to deal with on another platform. I prefer anonymous posting because it’s convenient and I realize that some people like using different personas due to mental disorders. Benefits will come with registering, like privately contacting other users, changing the forum style, becoming a superstar, etc.

I found forum software which is bare-bones and fast. You will have sex smilies and that’s about it. I’d like to introduce it early next week.

PROMOTION OF SALLY

It has already been 3 months. Since her appearance on March 12, Sally has made 16 posts that have received over 500 comments. Of course I’ve taught her everything I know, but she already came in as someone who completely gets it. In other words, she is awesome.

I am pleased to announce her promotion from Intern to Contributor. The change has been noted in the About page.

Her rise to contributor status means it’s time to hire another intern.

Requirements:

-Female.
-Cute. At least a 6/10. Not fat.
-Local. Able to hang every now and then at happy hours.

You will interact a lot with Sally, who will teach you how to be a DC superstar. If you are interested, email me. If things check out, we will all have a meet-and-greet at a venue of Sally’s choosing.

DC BACHELOR NEWS

Postscript:

But that’s not as easy in fields with only a handful of jobs, as Jessa Jeffries Werner, a marine zoologist, found out. This month, Ms. Werner, 25, who blogged under the name Jessaisms about jobs she held at Adventure Aquarium in Camden and the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, was fired by the academy.

– NYTimes: Interns? No Bloggers Need Apply

THE COMMENT TROLL PROBLEM

The signal-to-noise ratio in the comments has been pretty low lately because of active troll activity.

Troller is looking for a response…ANY response, and he will chum the waters with complaints, insults, compliments, and inflammatory tidbits hoping that someone…ANYONE, will take the bait. Generally quite harmless – practices a form of catch and release. Nonetheless, he can upset the delicate ecology of a discussion forum. Once a forum becomes aware of his presence, however, all feeding activity ceases and Troller must move on to more promising waters. [link]

Possible solutions:

1. Drop comments altogether. Don’t care for this since I think the reader comments still enhance the DCB experience.

2. Require registration. Not a big fan of this either. People have enough usernames and passwords to remember.

3. Turn on moderation and require each comment to be approved. I don’t mind this. While the real-time nature of the site would obviously be disturbed, the problem would be completely solved. Another downside is that I would have to actually do the moderation.

4. Require users to fill in name and email. I don’t see how this would work since you could easily put in fake info.

5. Be more positive. I realize that I create an environment where trolls can practice and optimize their trade. I could give group hugs every week and have pity party posts like the female bloggers do.

6. Aggressive deletion. Delete comments to break the will of the troll. “What’s the point he’s going to delete it anyway.” Currently I only delete mean-spirited comments.

7. Aggressive banning. This is what I do now, but the trolls have adapted by using proxys. If you’ve ever surfed with a proxy you know how annoying it is, which shows how dedicated my trolls are.

8. Disallow comments on certain posts. Before putting something up I pretty much know the type of reaction I’m going to get. I could take commenting away on posts that have historically attracted trolls.

9. Do nothing. Anarchy!

A year ago I had zero dedicated trolls. Right now I have two full-time trolls and several more part-timers who seem to only come out when the moon is in a certain phase. Then there are those of you who put up great comments 90% of the time but troll the other 10%. Maybe this will all pass… like a kidney stone.

Evident by this post, the trolls have won and I think we are going to have to live with them. You can do your part by not responding to them. Remember that once they take a post off-topic, their job for the day is complete.

I’d like to dedicate this new emoticon to the trolls (especially the one that got published in the Express): :troll:

INTRODUCING SALLY

When I posted the DCB internship position, I did not expect to receive an avalanche of applicants. I selected one person after screening through dozens and dozens of emails and photos. Her name… Sally.

Sally lives in DC. She is 23, smart, funny, and most importantly, very cute. In our two-and-a-half hour “interview,” I asked her impossibly hard questions that she nailed with an elegance I have not seen in years, such as, “If you could anonymously hate on any blogger, who would it be?” I’m not a hype machine, but I have no doubt that the shock-waves created by her presence will be felt as far away as Baltimore. She will be making her debut shortly.

ONE YEAR BLOGIVERSARY

It would be a cool story if I were to tell you that I’m just a random schmo who opened up his first blog one year ago and found an instant niche. That all the knowledge that comes with writing for a yuppie audience was suddenly learned and tapped in this short amount of time. No, the real story is much more boring and nerdy.

Back in 1999 I was an undergrad in college and decided to make a web site where I could make “posts” about random things that interested me. Within a year there was a group of about 20 guys who had an “everything/nothing” page, as we called it. We had our own little corner on the internet with an entirely male readership. Eventually I got bored with it so I tried to hire writers and start an entertainment news network. I failed.

In 2001 I graduated from college and had one month to kill until I’d start my career as a wage-slave. During that time I reopened my site under a new name. It turned into something breezy where me and my friends would write about dates or nights out at the club. It received 300 visitors (all male) a day at its peak when I shut it down in August 2004. About 75 fans followed me into a private blog.

It was at about this time that my friend Kelly Ann Collins exploded onto the scene with her Washington Socialites blog. I contributed on her blog for a month and got hooked again. There is just something about writing for an audience I find very fulfilling. She understood my need to go solo and helped me promote the new ‘DC Bachelor’ when I opened it one year ago today.

I started off getting about 250 visitors a day. Recently, the blog has been averaging 1,000 visitors a day, with about 60% of those visitors local to the area. I have a strong feeling that most of my readers are women. The number of sites that link to me has remained the same over the past several months, so the traffic increase is almost completely because of word-of-mouth. You are telling your friends, your co-workers, etc.

The number one question I get asked is, “Why do you blog?” I don’t really have a good answer. It’s my art project, my contribution to the world. It gives me a reason to piece together my random experiences and fit them in the big picture. It lets me dissect life in a fun way that can be understood by my peers. Sure I often exaggerate and write things for the sole purpose to pick at your insecurities of loneliness, vanity, and identity, but beneath every outrageous idea is a truth of how things are. Life isn’t that complicated, and the patterns are there for you to discover and play with, for those who “get it” and those who don’t.

I’m still waiting to peak. I have notepads filled with ideas that I haven’t gotten to yet. I have a month’s worth of writing already in draft form online that is begging to be edited. First Date DC is off to a great start and I just started work on another project I hope to open in the Spring. I’m looking forward to the next year.

HOW THE BLOG RUINED MY DATING LIFE

Imagine you are a guy who likes to have manly conversations with your buddies. You talk about things like getting laid, potential prospects, and which porn site has girls with the biggest asses. These conversations are off-limits to the girls you date, and thank God they are or else you will have to do a lot of explaining.

Well with girls who read my blog, it’s like they have secretly listened in to these conversations with my friends. Every date becomes a game in calling me out. And every girl does it, on every.. single.. date. They remember exact quotes of things even I forgot I wrote, and randomly remember certain posts at very inconvenient moments. This has happened so much that my explanations, which of course are 100% honest, now sound pretty good.

I don’t tell girls I meet about the blog, though it usually doesn’t take long for them to find out. While I’ve never had a girl cut me off after finding out, I think it changes the dynamic of the relationship, not necessarily for better or worse, but one where the blog is the third wheel who tags along with us.

And that’s all I can say about that.