Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Note To New(ish) Readers

Over the last month or so, our readership has increased significantly. If I can speak for Bubs, AKS and NB, I would say that this is a very healthy development for our egos, as well as for the blog itself. It is always nice to have one's thoughts read, as well as have engaging and enterprising discussion follow in the comments section to our posts, whether they be utterly banal or controversial. Trust me when I say I appreciate every visit and visitor to our humble abode in cyberspace. Let's put it this way: two of my top six most-visited websites are Sitemeter links that monitor traffic (three of the others are email, and the sixth is the blog itself).

That said, I think it would be in order to make a couple of things clear about how we generally like to run things. We've always strayed away from formal and juridical rules and tended to rely on norms and self-regulation, so it is worth going over what we conceive those norms to be.

Comments and censorship

We don't have comment moderation and don't intend on starting any time soon. We expect harsh criticism of our ideas and our writing styles at all times. We do not appreciate, but can live with, criticism of who we are and where we come from.

However, there are a number of things that we will not stand, and if you engage in these activities, your comment will be deleted immediately. You cannot personally attack another commenter -- argue with them all you want, but any over-the-top insult (and we are the sole judges of what "over-the-top" means) and your comment gets deleted, even if it made a valid point. You cannot use ethnic slurs or other insults aimed at ascriptive identity markers (religion, nationality, linguistic group etc) against any of the contributors or commenters. Curse words are fully allowed -- indeed, life would be worthless without curse words -- but they should be used judiciously, and never against a fellow citizen of Rs.5land (i.e. you can call Nawaz a fat bastard, but you can't call AKS an insufferable dick...I think).

Remember, it takes us a second to delete a comment and you at least five minutes to write one. In other words, it's a lot easier for us to delete what you wrote than it is for you to write what you wrote. So why waste the effort with some nonsense?

We are bloggers, not journalists

If you would like to see every relevant story in the world covered here, you are in the wrong place. Even if something important is happening, odds are we won't talk about it unless we think we have something interesting to say. When Israel was bombing the crap out of Gaza, some readers complained that we didn't cover it. Well, I can't speak for the others, but I until there was actually something for me to say, I didn't say it -- and when there was something for me to say, I said it. Twice in one week in fact.

Similarly, there have been a couple of comments recently asking us to criticize Altaf Hussain because we criticize Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari. Frankly, this is silly. We don't measure our output by weighing scales: we're not going to balance compliments and criticism of various public figures to make you happy. If you want to hear a compliment or criticism of something you like or hate, I'm sure you can find it somewhere on the web.

There was also a comment recently that said we "hide" behind soccer and episodes of Lost from confronting reality. The commenter, I think, was trying to make the point that we should not advertise our escapist avenues. Again, this is silly. We are four people (for all intents and purposes, we're three; sorry NB) with diverse interests and hobbies. I hate to break this to you, but we are not always consumed by politics. We will publicly engage with other issues that are important or interesting to us, for whatever reason. If you don't like to read about soccer and Lost, you can always scroll down. No worries.

I guess the common thread running through this section is there really is no point getting on us about why we write something or why we don't write something. Get on us about what we write.

Don't be a silent reader!

I strongly believe that a blog's quality owes 50% to the contributors and 50% to the readers. I follow some blogs/columns on the web solely for the interesting comments that follow (any football column on The Guardian is a guaranteed afternoon down the drain because of all the funny and insightful and respectful comments that follow). So make yourselves heard.

By the way, I'm sure our longtime readers (Faraz, Nikhil, Asfand, Farooq, Rabia, Asad, Lindsey, Nabeel, Naqiya, Goc, Moss J etc), all of whom have very frail egos and serious self-esteem issues, can add more to these points. Guys, what are the norms that you think govern this site?

45 comments:

F-Machine said...

You dick you missed me and Nikhil in your long-time reader list. Ahsan is a dick! Ahsan is a dick! Ahsan is a dick!

Ahsan said...

Duly added. Choot.

F-Machine said...

Please bane yourself for using a curse word against a commenter. Please make an example of yourself in order to maintain discipline on this site.

Ahsan said...

Ok. I will bane myself.

Omar said...

I too am horribly insulted that I was not added to long term reader list.

I have to find out about it like this? You included Faraz? and Farooq? And Asad? but no love for moi?

For shame. I bet this was BUBS idea.

adeel said...

yeah dude gotta say, i was one of the very first readers...that hurt....

AKS said...

Thanks for hurting people's feelings Ahsan. Meanie pooh!

Adeel said...

Hi. I am a silent reader. I am new too (somebody mentioned you guys on ATP). I was going to pass up commenting but you caught me!

Anyways, since 'adeel' seems to have been already taken (argh!!!), I'll be posting with (if I do) a capitalized first letter so as not to cause confusion. And don't tell me that is taken too.

zeyd said...

Gotta agree with F-Machine:

Ahsan is a dick!

F-Machine said...

Dear zeyd,

Thanks for confirming that Ahsan is indeed a dick.

Nikhil said...

I'm gay

redkazim said...

I want more posts from NB.

naqiya said...

aww moss j got an honorable mention! yay! where is moss j these days waisay?

Peace said...

Now why was i missed out?, because i am an Indian?.i am crying fowl and i call this the most atrocious thing that happened after the partition:)) Damn man i am going to grow a beard in disappointment.

Now does that get me a ban:)

Anonymous said...

I have been following your blog for some time now.I just want to say that our blogging community is very responsible and respectful.We read this blog religiously and treat this blog as a forum for healthy discussion.This blog always get awesome comments from the readers.

Sometimes people forget to tone down their sense of anger especially when the posts are related to controversial topics. People forget during the heated discussions that we all can disagree gracefully and objectively and can be civil to each other rather than offending.


Peace, I totally agree with you that at the end of the day,we are merely ordinary but regular, active Indian readers of Five Rupees.

naqiya said...

@ Anon/Peace:

The readers of 5Rs. are anything but ordinary (pakistani or indian) which is what makes coming here and reading the comments such a pleasure for me. Its become pretty much a daily thing for me to check in on the dialogue going on here over the past few years.

Part of this is because I know the bloggers (except bubs: you are not that lucky just yet!) personally. But another huge reasons is just the really smart, sometimes funny, always throught provoking conversations that ensue once the bloggers are done.

For new visitors: come and join the conversation with an open mind, discuss your perspectives, but be respectful. needless insults and attacks really done help take any ideas forward. I start my day with this blog, and it really leaves a bad taste in my mouth (no its not the coffee and yes its after I brush my teeth) to read hateful things first thing in the morning.


Enjoy!

Ahsan said...

Uff, what a comment by Naqiya! Hammered it out of the park.

By the way, where's my new South Park avatar? As I recall, you promise me one that more closely mirrored my actual likeness.

Farooq said...

I dont know who made the comment that you guys "hide" behind your non-political posts (Lost, cricket, soccer, "dont waste the time" videos), but if he/she is reading this I really hope your life sucks and your partner cheats on you.
Yeah i know that counts as a personal attack but one of the reasons i love this blog is because of those personal digressions. Most of the time i'm more interested in cricket or football then I am with who's killing who where.
Also, the mood on this blog can get pretty cynical and melancholic at times and these digressions are great at upping the tempo and just keeping things fresh in general. In fact, one of the reasons I started my own blog was because of the decrease in irreverent humor on 5rupees.

Ahsan said...

Farooq, it's "who's killing whoM". Also, nicely worked-in plug for What A Stupidity. Well done on that count.

On a completely unrelated note, we haven't heard from Moss J yet from the old-time readers; I wonder where he is. I think our overly liberal and secular values might have finally gotten to him.

Anonymous said...

AKS is an insufferable dick.

JJY said...

Farooq, how's that whole blog thing working out, you lazy sonuvabitch.

Anonymous said...

@ naqiya : That was just a joke.

We don't visit this blog because this blog belongs to our friends or acquaintances or foes.We all visit this blog because we are just 'plain readers' who enjoy the content of this blog.And also, 'Five Rupees 'has given us an opportunity to get to know our neighbors. In fact, 'Five Rupees' is reinforcing the idea of "Love thy neighbor".

That's why few active readers showed their disappointment when their names were left out from the list.Hope this clarifies.

Moss J said...

Lol,

Heeeyyy guys! Didnt know I had gotten so poplar. Haha.

No I have actually always been around following this blog but have in addition to my following of this blog also become promoted at my job. Thus I have been extraordinarily busy over the last year. Haha. But thanks for remembering that I was a reader from the very first. And while I have had my disagreements with some of the unislamic authors (lol, just kidding dudes), I feel this blog is terrific and good at discussing hard and sensitive issues.

Yess i too was also displeased when you did not report on the Gaza-Palestine issue immediately, but it seems I was wrong to think of you as "reporters". But the way you do things is fine. I guess it is very fine since your readingship has increased so. HEY NAQIYA! Maybe you and me should start a fanclub for these nincompoops, eh? You seem to be a big fan as well.

Thilan Samarweera said...

Wow, the return of Moss J. Good to have you back brother.

By the way, nice subtle move on Naqiya. But I think she is married so maybe you dont want to go there.

Moss J said...

Thilan Samarweera,

I dont know what you are meaning to say but its not what you think. I was just cracking a joke for goodness sake. I was not making "a move". Im very friendly with fellow bloggers on fiverupees and was just interacting with the community. Just mind your own business! Please Mrs. Naqiya I was not trying to flirting. Happy marriage and I wish the best for your mian/husband.

Thilan Samarweera said...

Alright Moss no need to get all defensive. Its not as if you got shot while representing your country on an away tour. I was just teasing. But if she wasnt married, you probably would make a move right?

Moss J said...

Listen bastard Mr. Thilan!

I am sick and tired of the leaning of our conversation. Just what do you think I am. I dont want to say "i love you" to any girl just like that okay. I am sorry Mrs. Naqiya but this fellow is really trying to make me look like a dirty pervert. I dont want you but that does not mean i am trying to say you are not wantable. I am sure your husband is very happy. But this Thilan bhenchod thinks I am trying to be flirt when I promise to god I am not. Okay? Bye.

Hitler said...

Thilan and Moss please do not demean this blog with your petty issues. This blog is the vanguard of Western and anti-islamic values and it hurts these Jew (cockroach) lovers tremendously when you pollute it with your immaturity

Ahsan said...

Thank you for that exchange Moss and Thilan.

By the way Moss J, I noticed you have a blog of your own, and yet there are no posts on it. Why is this?

naqiya said...

@ ahsan:
thanks. i meant it! also, south park characters take time and energy (have NB send you the 3 i made of him), and i have a job now, so patience.

@ anon1013:
i clearly meant that i STARTED reading the blog because i know these guys, but now i come for other reasons...? is it really that unheard off to support your friends by reading their stuff even if its shit? not that this blog is, but you know what i mean. or clearly you dont.

@thilan:
thank you for defending my honour. its almost like you are an older-brother figure who would protect me against all bad things, and never ever say mean things about how terrible my voice sounds. strange...

@moss j:
glad to have you back! we can "interact" whenever you want. my mian and i are quite open-minded. for further details on "interacting" please contact me at amjadia.nawaz@gmail.com. thanks.

somethingrichandstrange said...

i've been around for six months or so now, and check the blog daily, and more often than daily in times of political instability. i've been commenting anonymously for a while now, but thats changing.
ahsan is hot. i'm personally saddened by his recently acquired marital status. why doesn't NB post more often? he's definitely the funniest.

Anonymous said...

didn't aks have his own blog in addition to 5rupees? where'd it go?

Ahsan said...

I'd just like to stipulate for the record that I am not changing IDs and posting as "somethingrichandstrange". I promise.

As for the resident funny-man, NB is now in the Javed Miandad circa 94-96 phase of his career, i.e. he's retired but he just hasn't announced it yet, probably in the hopes of one last hurrah. Let's hope NB doesn't run into his own personal Bangalore.

Anon514:

Indeed he did. Something about Alien Pandas as I recall. Luckily for us all, AKS has chosen to not spread his talents thinly across the blogosphere.

dudelove said...

WHY THE FUCK do ppl post as anonymous. i mean they're at home enough to post short stories for comments but can't pick a pansy little name? i'm a new-ish reader and it makes it so much more difficult for me to launch scathing personal attacks. it hurts my feelings.

supe said...

whoever you are dudelove, thank you very much for touching on that. some of the comments from anonymous commenters can be quite unnerving.

though no to contradict, like the readers who have a problem with Lost and football related posts, it's better we just omit what we don't want to see.
the only (minor) annoyance i have is with anonymous commenters, otherwise, i really enjoy reading this blog.

i'd like to take this opportunity to thank bubs for his Lost posts, which are honestly the highlight of my week, alongside the show itself of course. (i'm aware this sounds really cheesy but it's true.)

can't wait to read your analysis on today's show! yay!

bubs said...

Supe: Thanks for that. Allow me to add that the comments on the Lost posts have some of the best analysis of the show (and I read a lot about Lost). Honestly, I feel you guys could write better Lost posts yourselves. This week's recap should be done within the hour.

somethingrichandstrange said...

ahsan, man, you need lessons in how to graciously accept a compliment.

JJY said...

somethingrich,

Random question - do you go to NYU?

Asfandyar said...

Aside from the worthwhile analysis itself, the comments are brilliant because it turns everything into a real discussion rather than just someone 'commenting' on what Ahsan/bubs/AKS have written.

Some anonymous posters try their best to fuck things up, and how I wish there'd be some comment moderation regarding that but I suppose it's better in the broader sense. Plus, if you start moderating comments you kind of lose some moral ground - not always helpful when you're having a really serious debate on the internets.

somethingrichandstrange said...

jjy: no. why?

lala pathan said...

:( how come you didn't put my name with the other long time readers?...lol

Augustus Fink-Nottle said...

I was totally going to respect you guys but reading your motto at the top of your site right now all I can say is, "Fuck you all!"

JJY said...

Somethingrich:

I was recently having a conversation with this girl at a bar about the book that inspired your username, and was wondering if it was the same person. Serendipity and all that.

Never mind...

Ahsan said...

JJY: I know we're a very popular blog and all, but I'm pretty sure it's unlikely that any random NYU grad student you're hitting on (I'm hoping for your sake it wasn't an undergrad) is going to be reading this blog.

somethingrichandstrange said...

jjy, that is sweet :) sorry to disappoint; i go to school a bit north of your desired vicinity.
the username is actually inspired by the pollock painting that hangs at the MoMA. the book seems interesting. worth a read, you think?