How many regular commenters have found the last week of diavlogs and threads particularly "wanting"? I'm talking about Stoller-Carroll and the continuing Althouse embarrassment. On at least two occasions I was very excited about the topics of the diavlog only to regret the waste of my time due to the performances of the 'heads. As Uncle Ebeneezer in another context so eloquently put it:
And while I don't have as strong negative feelings for her as some of my compatriots (who shall remain nameless), which place am I more inspired to spend my time in discussions, a site where the focus shifts on any given day from Henry Farrell to John Horgan, to David Frum, to Heather Hurlburt etc.? It's a no-brainer to me...just a complimentary point about the diversity of BHTV. It's one of the best one-stop shopping sites I know of for keeping informed. Between this and Matt Yglesias, not too many interesting columns/stories etc. fall under my radar (if I have time to pursue them all is another story.)
But, we shouldn't stop trying to improve it, or voicing our recommendations, even if it's not our "baby". Just because bhTV is about bloggers (or, should be!), doesn't mean it has to become as "pathetic" as many blogs are, mere vanity sites or cynical traps for bored adolescents. I would suggest these improvements, and I humbly ask commenters to evaluate, and the staff and founders to consider them.
1. A ratings system for both diavlogs and forum threads. I have observed that bad diavlogs often poison the debate. But, sometimes the threads redeem the diavlogs. There should be a transparent mechanism by which the staff and community can ascertain where the breakdown occurred. The Economist
Debate Series uses a graphic interface for simultaneous voting
. An evaluation tally should be compiled and posted publicly for each diavlog participant. There could also be, like on DKos
, rating of individual posts in threads.
2. It really annoyed me, as I said, that diavlogs with interesting topics were fouled by subpar 'heads. Instead of arranging diavlogs around 'heads, there should be more emphasis on finding the right 'heads for the right discussion.
3. A public calendar of future diavlogs, possibly with the option of offering recommendations.
4. The staff should communicate to the community about its efforts to find new participants, hopefully by following the advice of the community as expressed on this Board.
I hope the community can improve this site, to avoid embarrassing and time-consuming episodes.