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By adorable-eggplant on Friday Open Thread

@olivebee OMG SO MUCH FUN! I used to do google map tours of random cities out of curiosity, but this also engages my competitive side.

Posted on May 10, 2013 at 3:34 pm 1

By Virginia Smith@twitter on My Brother, My Mother, and a Call Girl

@Quinn A@twitter Eh, I didn't feel like it was lack of consent or lack of enthusiasm for the experience--as Katzen-party points out, he could've always said "no" to the callgirl herself, who surely wouldn't have minded a paid night of no work. I think it was more simple embarrassment at having his mother involved in such a thing. (Plus maybe the usual anti-sex-worker sentiment that floats around.)

Also, I didn't feel like it wasn't anti-virginity. Just anti-lifelong-unwilling-virginity-when-there's-a-real-solution-to-be-had. It was a kind and practical gesture to hire him a callgirl. If he truly didn't want to have sex with her, he didn't have to. I didn't see it as denying his agency at all. My family's a bit "in your business" sometimes, too. Sometimes, that's cool. Sometimes it's not. That's life, and that's family.

Posted on May 9, 2013 at 4:59 am 5

By MsChilePepper on A Life in Celebrity Encounters

@Katzen-party Here a Tom, there a Tom, everywhere a Tom-Tom! :D

Posted on May 8, 2013 at 6:48 pm 1

By TheDragon on A Chat With The Hairpin's New Editor, Emma Carmichael

I must admit, I am one of the ones who has felt that this site has been "slipping" for awhile now. I used to read it religiously, every article, every comment. Some of you may remember me.
Now, I feel like I miss very few truly excellent posts if I check once a week and skim it.
I'm interested to see where this all goes.

Posted on May 8, 2013 at 6:33 pm 9

By The Lady of Shalott on A Chat With The Hairpin's New Editor, Emma Carmichael

@iceberg I find that article emblematic of everything antithetical to what the Hairpin used to be. I really do. If the Hairpin starts going the way of Gawker, I'm abandoning it, and I'm sure a lot of others will at well.

Posted on May 8, 2013 at 5:03 pm 7

By on A Chat With The Hairpin's New Editor, Emma Carmichael

@wallsdonotfall Let's be clear: when you run a website, there is an element of artistic vision. It is also a business, and if the people providing you with the funds to keep running your business are not pleased, it will be hard to keep things afloat. Page views are page views regardless of comments, but I do think that if one is vocal and engaged in the community on a website, their voices of criticism should be considered.

This is a good community. There are a lot of great people and great things happening. This is also, however, someone's business and the way they make money, and in that way it is a consumer product. It's media/entertainment, and people will go elsewhere if that entertainment, media, and content doesn't fit their needs by either reading elsewhere or creating another content source. What I saw happening with the Hairpin was a decline in the quality of content in addition to a decline in the frequency of quality long-form pieces.

Yes, I think there is a delicate intersection between "artistic control, can do what one pleases" and "we are trying to create a community, and the community should get a say in what's up." It is a delicate line to tread. I think that my issue is that I perceive an imbalance, where the community that allowed the site to be successful and take off as an entity that could make money but stopped being listened to. Is the community entitled to dictate content? No. Will there be some issues if you don't at least consider some of the issues they present as reasons why they're not pleased? Yes.

I'm not saying that the loudest voices should be catered to. I'm saying that voices saying very similar things (such as the responses to the January 2012 open thread about "what would you like to see?") should be factored in, at least a little, in order to not alienate your readership.

Posted on May 8, 2013 at 4:43 pm 6

By wallsdonotfall on A Chat With The Hairpin's New Editor, Emma Carmichael

@S. Elizabeth Those are all good points, and yet--this site isn't and shouldn't be written to spec according to what the loudest voices ask for. Commenters who provide pageviews are one group who have influence, yes, but so are visitors who don't comment and might prefer a different type of post. And the writers themselves have a very literal say. If X Column Writer doesn't want to do it anymore, should Edith have gone out and brought in a replacement to fill the same niche? How much does an editor's creative vision matter vs. just giving the people what they ask for? It has to be incredibly difficult to balance those competing interests, and Edith has done an amazing job.

I agree with wee rams that having feelings of loss & frustration is justified. These editors and contributors have been important to us! We'll miss them! And it is hard to be kept in the dark when this space has felt so much like a community of equals otherwise. But I do think that it's easy to edge over into a bit of entitlement.

Posted on May 8, 2013 at 4:10 pm 8

By on A Chat With The Hairpin's New Editor, Emma Carmichael

@wee_ramekin YES, EVERYTHING THAT YOU SAID.

I love this site. I've been watching it go downhill. And yes, the part about being gas-lit -- when the people who are paying your salary via pageviews are telling you things like "bring back normal advice columns," or "we want more ghosts, dioramas, clean people, and handy femmes," or "it's shitty that you don't pay your contributors, especially since y'all claim to support young female writers in all of their endeavors," people are going to be pissed off when you act like those things are crazy suggestions.

Posted on May 8, 2013 at 3:46 pm 12

By fondue with cheddar on A Chat With The Hairpin's New Editor, Emma Carmichael

@wee_ramekin Yes, well said. Maybe more information will come to light once everyone's settled? But maybe not. Either way, I will try to love the new Hairpin, but I really hope I won't have to try.

Posted on May 8, 2013 at 3:45 pm 4

By Carrie W. on A Life in Celebrity Encounters

@Katzen-party I know!!! It was before he had had tons of plastic surgery. He was just chillin' at the zoo. I said, "Mom! Mom! It's Michael Jackson!" He was not surrounded by an entourage so that's why she didn't believe me.

Posted on May 8, 2013 at 3:44 pm 1