Friday, November 25, 2011

Rant - Just Venting so Move Along

Every once in a while I come across something on the internet that changes my life. Yes, that sounds dramatic but it does. Last year that something was SpoilerTV. I found it last summer during the Best Show Competition. Soon I became more addicted to SpoilerTV than the TV shows it highlights. I spent a lot of time on the site and became the #1 commentator, which of course means I spent way too much time there. I loved the community, especially the Supernatural fans who visited there. I made some friends through the site who I am close to and found a group of people who could discuss the show rationally without devolving into brother fights and flame wars. Anyone who follows Supernatural online knows how hard that is. In short, I loved SpoilerTV instantly and it's still the only community of its kind I have found on the internet. I also felt nurtured in its environment and encouraged to write. I had stopped writing years ago and forgot how satisfying it was. I wouldn't have this blog today without SpoilerTV and for that I am grateful. It is a lot of fun to spew my ideas, get feedback from others, and experiment with words and style again. To be sure, I owe SpoilerTV a lot and have tried to actively support it.

However, I have found my joy in SpoilerTV waning in the last months, mostly because of the Badgeville program they have implemented. Don't get me wrong. I think it is great that they have increased web hits and publicity. I am ecstatic that the site is growing because I know how beneficial it can be. I'm just incredibly irked that the comment section has to be affected because of it. It used to be that SpoilerTV had some of the best discussion on the web. When people commented, they usually had something funny or debatable to say. Regardless, they enhanced the conversation. Now SpoilerTV is riddled with people leaving "Thanks" and "Can't wait" comments that are obviously posted to earn the 4 Badgeville points and add absolutely nothing to the conversation. As I have complained monthly in 140 characters or less on Twitter and have probably irritated my followers with my comments, I turn here to vent in order not to go off on someone. If you are reading this, it's your own fault for listening to my whining.

On SpoilerTV there is now a list of who has the most Badgeville points and that's great. However, when I looked at the list and tried to compare who is on it with the comments posted, only 2 people have the same name for Badgeville and for Disqus. Therefore, I could only really use these 2 as my example. Looking at each of their last 20 posts I found that one person had an equal number of posts that were meant to generate conversation and those that are toss-offs (thanks, can't wait - type comments). The other posted 17 toss off comments and only 3 comments that added to the conversation. It's this that is making me irritated with SpoilerTV. When looking at a random array of pages this week, I found that almost every single one had the toss-off "thanks" comments and some had only these. To be fair, certain shows were worse than others and most of the post-episode threads contained at least some meaty comments. Now I know I can ignore the toss-off comments and just go to the meat, but it is rapidly becoming my biggest pet peeve and you know how little those make sense. Perhaps it is because I am so used to finding good conversation at SpoilerTV that opening a thread only to see toss-offs for points irritates me as a waste of time. Maybe it's because people are being blatant about commenting for points in that they are stating in their posts that they don't watch the shows they are commenting on. Maybe it's because almost every thread starts with a toss-off comment, which starts me off in a bad frame of mind when I do wade through comments to find someone who wants a discussion.

In the end, I find that going to SpoilerTV now inevitably makes me cranky at someone and therefore, I spend less and less time on it. It's a shame because I really miss it like ghost cravings of something that used to be a constant presence in your life. It's worse because I haven't found another site that lets me talk about a variety of TV shows and still has people who remember that behind an icon is a real person with feelings. I honestly wish that SpoilerTV would stop using comments as part of the Badgeville program. Then people could still earn points for watching, FB liking, tweeting, etc. but it wouldn't be detrimental to the quality of the site. It would be the best of both worlds. At first I thought things would settle down once the newness of the program wore off, but it is actually getting worse and that's a real shame. I miss all the great conversations I had on SpoilerTV. I miss making new friends through those conversations. Maybe I just miss the magical place SpoilerTV has been for me since the summer of 2010. I hate to see that go away.

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