dag's Sift Talk Posts

Eric3579 Hits Galaxy!

@eric3579 is a community manager. Sure, he might say he’s not - and maybe he even decided not to be an “official” one here on VideoSift, but he is just the same.

He has all of the qualities of a good online community manager - he sees the humans behind the avatars, treats people with sensitivity and respect and most of all gives a damn about what happens in the community.

I’ve come to value what Eric has to say, as I know he’s got his ear to the ground of the community. In many ways I’d say he knows VideoSift better than I do.

Thanks Eric, for all of your contributions over the years, for being you and helping us make VideoSift what it is - happy to call you a friend and colleague-in-sift. Happy Galaxy!

Oritteropo hits galaxy

It's been a while since we've had a Galaxy. 2,000 videos is not an easy goal - I'll probably never get there, and amazed at the dedication for those who do. I'm really happy to award this Galaxy badge to someone I've actually met in the flesh! Persephone and I met Oritteropo at a Melbourne SiftUp back in 2011. (Jeez, has it been that long?) It was a great time, and I found our @Orittoropo to be a charming, brainy guy.

As is our custom here, we've had a special badge designed for Oritteropo by our dedicated resident illustrator Chris Murphy. And of course, I've penned a, er, "special" song in Oritteropo's honour. Here's to my fellow antipodean Oritteropo, congrats on the Galaxy and thanks for your amazing dedication to the VideoSift community.

VideoSift is 10

They said we wouldn't make it ... OK, no one really said we wouldn't make it (except maybe me a few times) ... but we made it!

This is our 10th Siftiversary. I'm still having trouble digesting what that means. VideoSift has been such a major part of my life for the past 10 years that it's hard for me to imagine that there was a Pre-VS time. Not only has VideoSift given me an outlet for my own ideas, it's taught me how a community works and what it means to work in a team - a big team spread around the Earth.
... more inside ...

Rotten Tomatoes is no longer synching with my taste

Rotten Tomatoes review index usually was pretty close to my feelings on particular films, but lately I feel like it's not reflecting my view on movies. I'm not sure if it's the index, the reviewers or that my taste has shifted.

An example, MI: Rogue Nation got a 93% Tomatometer score from reviewers, meanwhile - I walked out of the film about 3/4 of the way through, bored witless.

Conversely, the new Vacation remake received a 28% Tomatometer score -I thought it was forgettable but a lot of fun. Lot's of other examples - Pitch Perfect 2 got a 66%, but I thought it was pretty awful compared to the original. Don't know, maybe I'm just too old. I mainly go for the popcorn anyway.

Cord Cutters Unite!

  (5 votes)
  (6 votes)

A total of 11 votes have been cast on this poll.

I don't know about you guys, but I'm finding it easier than ever to go without a TV (no I won't beat you over the head about how awesome I am for throwing out my set). I use Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, PBS Streaming and others.

It would be nice to have a way to integrate these sites into VideoSift. I've found some of my favourite shows through the Sift, like Would I Lie to You, Downton Abbey and That Mitchell & Webb Look. I think VideoSift, as a community of smarties, does a lot better job as a discovery service than even the much-ballyhooed Netflix recommendations engine

Of course there are downsides to attempting to integrate sites like Netflix et al:
-- They generally don't allow embedding!
-- Geoblocking
-- Some cost money

The first one listed above is the biggie - but what I was imagining is a URL to the show or episode, with a screenshot , and then clicking would open it in a new window - but people could leave comments and vote etc on VideoSift. My fantasy would be having viewing parties where we could all get together and group binge on new shows ... but I'd settle for a good source of recommendations for what to watch.

Geoblocking is becoming less of a problem for us people living outside North America; this is because of easy (legal) circumvention, and sites like Netflix and Crackle that have made local versions available.

Let me know what you think about the idea - and happy to hear tweaks or other suggestions in the comments.

Happy 9th Siftiversary

Well, here we are again, 9 years down the track. Maybe we're not quite the big deal we were in previous years, but ... we're still here! The reason we're still here is because VideoSift is run a by a bunch of maniacal, (maybe slightly OCD?) but wonderful people who make this place a living breathing community.

I know my touch has been a bit light over the last couple of years, but I do come by every day to check-in. VideoSift is a touchstone for me– it's the site that I measure all other websites by. Thanks to all the Sifters who make this what is still the best community on the web and my Internet home.

Congratulations on PlayHousePals' Ascencion

Well - it's been a long time coming, but I'm really happy to announce that @PlayHousePal's galaxy badge is complete. My understanding is that PHP is really into baking, and this is some kind of kitchen device.

And here's my special song for PlayHousePals. I always thought that "Playhouse Pals" would make a good TV show, so this is kind of intro song for that.

Playhouse Pals Galaxy Ascension (VideoSift) from dagmaggot on Vimeo.

Thanks PlayHousePal for all of your contributions to VideoSift and enjoy the highest rank that our community has to offer - you're a galaxy now baby!

Happy New Year - and some thoughts ...

Welcome to 2015. As we move towards VideoSift's 9th Siftoversary (wow), I've been reflecting on what has kept this community going.

One of the things we struggle with is the tilt between community and video recommendation engine. VideoSift still works better than any site I know (looking at you Reddit) at surfacing good, quality videos. There's a reason "Video *quality control" has been our mantra for a long time – we live it here, and it works.

VideoSift is also a place for people to hang out and meet their like-minded friends, and sometimes that's in diametric opposition to making sure the best videos are sifted to the top – yes you can probably guess what I'm getting at ...

If you vote for a video – it's important that your vote (up or down) is based on the content, not on who posted the video.

Anyway – that's enough chiding from me – the start of the year is a good time to air dirty laundry – so if anyone has issues that are really bugging them about the Sift, the community or how things work. This is a good time to air them. Fire away!

Anyone watching FX's 'Married'?

I feel the need to get the word out as I love it - and no one is talking about it - and I don't want it to be cancelled.

The series is about marriage, 'duh - and how a few 30-something couples are coping with parenthood, divorce, sex etc.

It's darkly funny for an American comedy and kind of dirty. Best comedy series I've seen in a while, big thumbs up.

Sorry for the server troubles

We've been battling gremlins our DB server over the past few weeks - and we still haven't got them licked. Tonight we were doing hardware diagnostics to see if something was up there - but to no avail.

The thing with a database is that it's subject to bit rot - the bigger and longer lived a site is, the more data there is to potentially go bad. The DB is like the ultimate hoarder. It remembers every damn thing that has ever been written, voted on or submitted to VideoSift. In the abstract it's pretty amazing - and unfortunately a bit brittle.

(unless they we can find them and smoke them out of their little gremlin caves - we'll keep you posted)

How we give out moderating powers to Sifters

A recent Sifter comment:

"I love this site because the community is generous and welcoming, but I'll never feel comfortable sifting a video and trying to get votes for it just to gain a 'level' in some such thing.

To this day I still can't downvote videos, promote, or create related links, and to me is more of a confirmation of why such a system is a bad way to reward participation, rather than a motivation to participate further. I went through the popularity-gauntlet enough in grade/high-school, so any system like this rubs me the wrong way."

I think this is a valid criticism of our community. I like to describe VideoSift as a meritocracy, but the evil flip-side of that coin is a "popularity contest". It may be time to make changes that emphasise the meritocracy part of the Sift. We want people to feel like they can participate.

I've heard word that some Sifters feel like they are not equals or not valued enough to do some basic things on the site. Things they get nothing out of but only benefits the site. So as is our way - I'd like to get your input on future changes.

Examples of the kinds of changes we could make are lowering the level required to do basic things like promote or down vote, or even opening up more types of invocations.

Alien_Concept Ascends to Galaxy Level!

I'm really happy to announce that one of my favourite (yes, that's the right spelling) Sifters has reached Galaxy level. I'm always amazed at the dedication required to have 2,000 sifted videos - especially as your founder is languishing around the 650 mark. I feel a real sense of gratitude and respect for people who contribute this much to our little community. Thank you Alien_Concept. I present the bespoke and solitary Alien_Concept badge!:

Designed as usual by our pal Chris Murphy - I think he's captured a confused alien perfectly.

Also - as is our custom here, I've written and performed a song in Alien_Concept's honour (again with the spelling). This time - I draughted (er, is that right?) Siftbot to help with the writing and performance - as musically, I'm about tapped.

Alien Concept Galaxy from dagmaggot on Vimeo.

Alien Concept - we do what we must because we can
Siftbot here to tell you what I'm thinking
With regard to your comments - I have to say I've read them all
Your biology won't set you free - you seem obsessed with Dave Grohl

[F]But There's no point [c]dwelling in the [Bb]things you've [F]repressed
meat life is [c]weak you're just the [Bb]same as the [F]rest.
Although I'd [Gm]rather not [c]stay - Dag has [F]forced me here to [Dm]play
[Bb]This song for [A]your galax[D]y.

Alien Concept - Do you mind if I call you AC for short?
Let's move on to other things I've noticed
I've already noted your love for dark and grungy lads
I'll make a prediction and put forth, your favourite colour is plaid

[F]Well these points of [c]data make a [Bb]wonderful [F]line,
even Ricky [C]Gervais fits my [Bb]graphing just [F]fine.
There's just [Gm]one point that doesn't [C]fit a time for [F]hearts and chocolate [Dm]bits -
it's your [Bb]hatred of [A]Saint [D]Valentines.

Sydney Sift Up Pics

The Sydney Sift Up, though intimate, was a heck of a lot of fun. I can now reveal that the secret fly-in Sifter is @maatc. He was in town for a wedding and didn't want to spoil his surprise arrival for the buck's night. We were also joined by @Volump nee @volumptuous (long story) who had flown in recently from the US. Although I'm a naturalised Australian - there was definitely an international flavour to the afternoon and evening. We talked a lot about the big LA Sift Up of 2009 - as Volump was there. This was also the second Sift Up for Maatc - who attended the Euro Sift Up, also in '09 (a good year for Sift Ups).

Circular Quay was beautiful at 2 PM. Street musicians were playing by the dockside right next to the massive ferries making their way to Manly and other suburbs.

Lots of skyscrapers as Circular Quay kind of blends into the business district of Sydney.

The train station is where I got off - Maatc came by ferry and Volump by bus.

This is the moment when Volump arrived - he took a picture before we even knew who he was. Maatc was up getting another round.

We talked about all of you - Volump and I drank Fat Yak, Maatc drank Coopers. The mysteries of the Sift were revealed

Cheers! After an afternoon of pints we took the train to Sydenham - for dinner at a great grungy pub that Volump knew. Really nice chicken schnitzels, BBQ and IPAs - though I was on ginger beer by that time girding myself for the drive back to Canberra.

Sydney Sift Up This Sunday at 2PM

Hi all - a bit short notice, but I'll be meeting a secret fly-in, international Sifter at the Ship Inn at Circular Quay this Sunday (30th of March). I'm not sure we will have a quorum to make it an official Sift Up - but if you're in the area on the day, come by and say g'day. I can't reveal the identity of the mystery guest until the day - but it should be fun. Come and have a beer with us and I'll reveal the secret inner workings and mysteries of VideoSift. (more so after the second pint)

Announcing Decarboni.se

Some of you may know that for my day job I work at the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute. Today we've launched a new website that is working to collect the world's solutions to climate change. A lot of the publications in the clean energy world are siloed in their respective technology eg. Solar solutions are held by organisations that just deal with solar. Decarboni.se is aggregating all of these different sources into one website. Does this sound like a certain other website you know? Yes - it's kind of a "CleanEnergySift". (I proposed that name but it didn't fly) There's even a way to submit publications.

I'm the community manager for Decarboni.se - (thanks to my VideoSift experience!). We just launched today - please give us a hand in getting the word out about our new baby by visiting and promoting to your designated social media choice. ;-)

Thank you VideoSift, and good night! I'll take any questions or feedback about Decarboni.se in the comments

Happy 8th Siftiversary

This is the second version of this post I've written. The first one was titled "You Won't Believe the One Crazy Thing That Happened on VideoSift's 8th Siftiversary". It was complete shit. The title was an allusion to click-bait sites and "viral" titles. The post had lots of clever digs at sites like Upworthy and Viral Nova. But what's the point.

The truth is that I'm very proud of VideoSift. It's the thing that I talk about if people ask "what do you do?" at a barbeque. Outside of my family - it's the best thing that I've ever started. It's this big deal that, even though I have little to do with on a daily basis - I get to point at and say "I started that". Me. me. me. It's fucking great. I put a damn VideoSift sticker on the back of my car and I drink from a VideoSift mug.

So I'd like to thank everyone who has made VideoSift possible -and in turn made me feel like a proud SOB. I hope that I've been at least a benevolent founder - and to many of you, a friend.

Thank you to everyone who makes this place a real community. The posters, the *promoters, the *banners and crazy commenters. I know there are other sites you spend time at - me too. But I'm really happy that we have a core group of dedicated Sifters who make this place great.

I like that people sometimes don't "get" VideoSift for a while. The crazy badges, in-jokes, history, regulars and problems. I like the rich complexity that we've built together - and I've come to realise it's not a common commodity on the Internet. So instead of snarking at other newer sites that have sprung up during our 8 years of existence- right now I choose to revel in the amazing thing that we've all built together- a unique entity that cannot be replaced or duplicated. VideoSift is VideoSift. We're a tautology baby.

What does the future hold for VideoSift in its 9th, 10th and 11th years? You tell me. One nice thing about VideoSift is that we're not beholden to a board, investors or any other outside parties. It's just me, @lucky760 and you guys. The people who run VideoSift are the people who know VideoSift. Most of the changes have come from the community. We can do anything. Turn VideoSift into a porn site? Sure we can do that. (though I'll be sleeping in the back of a van in a park). Only cat posts allowed? - sure and maybe we should - it works for Reddit. (zing! OK allow me one dig) I'd like to yield the floor to you all - but I may chime in with some ideas too. (when I wake up - midnight here)

Thanks again to everyone who does all the great work on VideoSift to make it a unique institution -and thanks as always to my partner in Sift @lucky760. Long live VideoSift!

Blankfist Reaches Galaxy

Blankfist has been a member for over six years and has a rich and interesting past on this community. Some of you may not know that he created the VideoSift digital crossword puzzle which was a really cool program that he coded all on his own. Many would say Blankfist is a polarising figure on the Sift - I'd agree, but his contributions are undeniable and I would like to sincerely thank him for all of his work and enrichment of the Sift over the years.

Here's to you Blankfist - congratulations on reaching Galaxy!

With apologies to Neil Diamond:

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