Ok, first off let me emphasize that I’m not complaining about what KYM is, a semi-serious attempt to keep track of internet stuff. I probably wouldn’t frequent the site if it tried to be a legitimate, objective attempt at academically document web culture (because that’d just be silly.)
What I dislike is how you guys will sometimes pretend and act like KYM is more professional than it is. In particular, I’m thinking about how you, Verbose, wrote that argument about what should be done with the pony image gallery based on the assumption that KYM is there to objectively document web culture, that it must remain profesionally uninterested in what it documents affecting the reputation of bronies.
You’re acting like KYM has attained a level of professional aloofness, of being able to study web-culture without being a part of it. I think this is patently false. In presenting this material, KYM is not making the statement “Here is what we found,” but “Here is what we are.” The mods and the contributors are highly immersed in web culture to a level that exceeds mere scholarly interest. That’s not a bad thing. Sometimes in order to really understand something, you need to be balls-deep in it, but I find the pretense towards objectivety to be laughable. KYM isn’t just documenting web-culture, it IS web culture, it has a genuine effect, influence, and interest on what web culture becomes. I find arguments that KYM isn’t at all prescriptive, that it doesn’t and shouldn’t attempt to affect the course of web culture, shirks the responsibility that KYM has as a PART of web culture.
It’s true that KYM does document web culture, but more so in the manner that a joke book documents jokes than a academic dissertation documents academia. In order for humor to be meaningful, there has to be some level of subjectivety involved, so obviously the jokes that made it into the joke book are going to be those personally found funny by the book’s editors, or at the very least they are jokes that the editors are able to recognize as potentially humorous.
I refer you to what I said to Verbose. There’s a difference between documenting web culture (which KYM does) and doing it objectively (Which KYM doesn’t, and shouldn’t) I’m not saying that KYM should transform into a site of things that you all personally approve of, but you should realize that it’s still coming through a subjective filter, that the articles are tinted with subjectivety.
And I think I should be able to make a joke on myself without it completely deflating my arguments. I expect you to accept or reject my points based on their merrits, not based on how intelligent or silly I purport to be.