A Word About Comments

Since the year is still fairly new and we know some of you are still holding on to completely unrealistic resolutions, we thought it would be best to encourage to reflect on yourselves in a different manner: how you comment on Going Concern.

For starters, let us just say that we love (most) of your contributions. You’re enthusiastic, occasionally supportive of your fellow (wo)man, and even display flashes of wit and cleverness. However, as is with most things, some outliers tend to overshadow the otherwise solid commentariat.  Thus, the need for this little chat.

We know this accounting stuff can be hard to swallow some times and you let us know with your disapproval of certain articles. As fascinating a villain as Grover Norquist is, most of you don’t give a shit. And as important and insightful as CPA Day in Annapolis is, it’s equally as disinteresting. You tell us so, and we appreciate it but do us a favor and keep the criticism useful. We have already heard this website sucks, telling us as much with no background or additional information isn't helpful in the least. Your ultimate goal in telling us what sucks should be to force us to understand what it is you don't want to see, therefore inspiring us never to touch that topic again. Granted, you have to suck it up sometimes (sorry, there will always be a CPA Day and Grover will always be a diabolical SOB) but as a general rule, we want you to like coming here, and therefore value your input if we're not holding up our end of the bargain by providing you with content you actually want to read.

What’s not so useful are comments that your comments that equate to verbal flatulence. Literally. Many things that some of you choose to blurt out as “comments” are on the level of bodily functions, mostly, we think, because you can’t control them. We don’t blame you but it has reached the point where we have to call attention to them.

Believe it or not, all the writers on this website go to great lengths to entertain, inform, and yes, gossip what we think you want, and what we think you need to know. Are we the most brilliant team in the history media? After a brief exercise in democracy (and a tiebreaker from the Publisher), the answer appears to be, “No.” BUT! all of us do spend a considerable amount of time putting thought and effort into the posts. Do we want your thanks? No. Hell, no. What we do ask, humbly, is that you step your level of comments up a notch.  

For example, if your instinctual comment to any particular post results in, “I try to bang a half a dozen interns each fall,” we ask that you refrain. Why? 1) It’s not relevant. Even if the post was about interns, it’s demonstrably not clever and thus loses points. 2) It’s dumb and not funny nor clever. 3) Combining points 1 and 2, it effectively adds no value.

Everyone has the absolute right to express themselves but comments like this and others at its level devalue the community and the website. You people think you’re smart? You people think you’re funny? Then comment like it. We don’t ask you to register with the website because we respect your right to anonymity (plus, most of you aren’t creative or smart enough to come up with a clever alias) so we haven’t gone down that road but we’ve decided that it’s about time that we start those eliminating those comments that are especially dense. Some days it feels like the 10-year-olds on XBox Live have invaded the site given the unoriginal, off-topic and not at all clever comments we see.

Instead of bringing on some clueless community manager who spent 10 years as public accounting HR to filter useful comments from the garbage, we can do this one of two ways. First, you all can collectively start offering up more insightful, humorous, witty musings (and usernames, for that matter). OR we start deleting those that we don’t feel are up to par. Does that mean we’re going to get all Gestapo on you? Of course not. But it does mean that the expectations have gone up and we won’t be tolerating the Neanderthalic tendencies that some of you feel so eager to share. And if you still can’t resist the urge, we’ll put you in time out.

The overwhelming sentiment around here is that we are grateful to be able to provide a place where you all can gather, whine, complain, share insight, support each other, berate each other and work out your career dramas in a safe, anonymous environment. That is the backbone of this website and why we've been able to stay afloat despite the obnoxiously dry well of possible accounting topics we can come up with to write about. Regulars around here can tell you that when the comment section is on fire, it is a pretty exciting place to spend a bunch of billable hours. That's what we want. If we can somehow manage to keep this site populated every day of the work week, you guys can certainly try to bring it in the comment section without us having to overexplain what we are looking for in comments.

Note: trolling is still completely allowed, if not encouraged, just make sure before you pull the trigger that you're doing it for the greater good of this little community we've worked so hard to build. If that means some feelings get hurt, fine, but don't treat this website like YouTube if you aren't mature or intelligent enough to troll with terrifying efficiency.

We know what you are capable of and "I'd hit it" isn't it. Tighten it up, people, we're counting on you to make this worth it for all of us.

Do we understand each other? Great. Now, on with the show.

Have something to add to this story? Give us a shout by email, Twitter, or text/call the tipline at 202-505-8885. As always, all tips are anonymous.

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