Reply All: #14 The Art of Making and Fixing Mistakes
February 25, 2015 9:10 PM - Subscribe

A social media mistake for the record books, and a quiet saint of Wikipedia.
posted by radioamy (7 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have to say that this episode was a bit disappointing. It seemed like two half-episodes whose stories didn't get fleshed out. The "vagina plane" story was entertaining (I hadn't heard that one!) and I liked their theories but I wanted to know more. The compulsive Wiki-editing could have been interesting as part of a longer piece. But neither were great on their own and they didn't tie together.

That said, I thought the Squarespace ad was hilarious, and I hope that Alex is able to update his website soon.
posted by radioamy at 9:13 PM on February 25, 2015

I do work in the social media space and I can say that I lean towards the accident explanation over the more sinister "take this job and shove it" explanation.

As for the Wiki, I really can't connect with that guy. I hate to literally tone-police, but there was just something about the way he spoke that made me as uncomfortable as "comprised of" makes him. (And God help me, I really want to petition Wikipedia to make "comprised of" okay in their style guide)

I'm glad language evolves.
posted by inturnaround at 10:38 PM on February 25, 2015

I've also done social media and I think it was probably an accident too. I loved that woman's explanation of how she got hired. However it was a little suspicious that it stayed up for so long.
posted by radioamy at 9:09 AM on February 26, 2015

Yeah, this one did seem a little like "We need to publish something, what can we cobble together?" 99% Invisible sometimes puts out the same half-baked style. It's not bad, but there could have been more depth. I do like ReplyAll's commercial breaks - the I mailed my Aunt's keys back smacks of "we have access to some nifty stuff, how can we play around with it?"
posted by jazon at 9:16 AM on February 26, 2015

I really liked this one! I think Mr. No-Comprised is a total legend, and he seemed delightful to me. And I have friends who work in Social Media marketing so the first story had me in fits. My hunch about the Truth of V-Plane is a little from column A, a little from column B - I reckon it was an accident, and then the person realised what they had done and walked out, hence why it stayed up so long.
posted by Gin and Broadband at 11:34 PM on February 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

So is freelance tweeter still a viable career field?

Also, I'm sorry, I'm as pedantic as the next English Major, but "comprised" guy sounded like a pedant robot built for pedantry. Way to make Grammar Policing sound bad.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 6:23 AM on March 1, 2015

At first I didn't like "comprised of" guy very much, but the thing is that he is right. And he doesn't re-edit a usage if the original author changes it back, AND he says he'll stop making the updates if the Wikipedia style guide changes. I don't know if you could ask for a more reasonable grammar policeman.

I did think it was funny that PJ tried to claim that dude "didn't fit the stereotype" of a pedantic Wikipedia editor, but then went to to describe him as a successful software engineer who wears the same clothes every day and orders the second best thing from the cafeteria menu so that he doesn't have to run the risk of them not having the first best thing. The man is the platonic ideal of a pedantic Wikipedia editor and I hope he never changes.
posted by sparklemotion at 9:31 AM on March 2, 2015 [3 favorites]

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