Sad Puppy Watch Update

For the two people still interested, Sad Puppies is slightly less dead as a thing than it was the last time I checked, but only marginally so.

For those keeping track, the Pups had lots control of the domain for the Sad Puppies 4 website a few months ago. In the meantime, somebody must have paid the webhosting bill and the old SP4 site is back up ( http://sadpuppies4.org/index.html ). However, the old post promising a Sad Puppies V has gone ( https://web.archive.org/web/20170526223835/http://sadpuppies4.org ).

Oh well.


10 thoughts on “Sad Puppy Watch Update

  1. Meanwhile, Chuck Tingle’s Buttbart is back online and nominally updated.

    AROUND AMERICA
    – TROMP BREAKS PROMISE BY RAISING BUTT TAX BY %30 ON LOW INCOME FAMILIES
    ​- SCREAMING BABY MILO YANANANA STILL CRYING
    ​- TROMP VOTERS REGRET VOTING TO ALLOW VOID CRABS ACCESS TO THEIR BRAIN, CLAIM THEY DIDN’T UNDERSTAND WHAT “SKULL NEST” MEANT.

    Swoon. 🙂

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  2. In Sarah Hoyt’s article “About Those Lost Puppies” (Mad Genius Club; June 20, 2017), she said, “we realized late last year that if someone didn’t announce then someone who was wholly (really) in the rabid camp was going to take it, and make it sound like the campaigns were always one.” To me, that seemed pretty clearly a statement that they didn’t need to ever have another SP campaign; they just wanted to keep Vox Day from grabbing up their brand. Her other comments on that thread make it pretty clear that she was personally worried about having her name associated with Vox Day, and her final comment (June 26, 2017) said that her vision for a review/recommendation site would take “a couple of years” to develop.

    I know a thing or two about developing a review/recommendation site, and I think what they’re trying to accomplish is both too hard to do and wouldn’t work out the way they expect it would even if they were able to build it.

    The problem is that they want a site that allows everyone who wants to to submit recommendations in all categories. We saw what happened when they tried that before; they got a long list of difficult-to-colate posts which ended up roughly 50% Puppy and 50% FIle770. (An odd breed that didn’t thrive.)

    Doing it right would require not just web form and database development but also fuzzy matching and spam prevention. If I were still at Amazon, I think I’d want a team of three to five developers and a year to design, plan, write, and test the thing. Plus continuing support once it was in production. It’s no wonder the thing keeps getting delayed and delayed. It’s a million-dollar project to do it right.

    Even if it all worked, it would have the exact same problems the Hugos had before EPH; anyone with a slate could game their results. There’s just no practical way to guarantee that people have actually read (or at least tried to read) the things they’re voting for. (That million dollars would have been poorly spent.)

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    1. True, but they could do something much less ambitious – a “what’s great to read” website. If they aren’t trying to make a slate or making any grand claims about the books they pick out, it wouldn’t need that level of technical grunt. It would need some labour though and that’s were there problem lives – in reality they never cared that much about books or stories and the great pool of right-leaning SF fiction that they claimed was going unnoticed never really existed.

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      1. Sure, you could simplify it several ways. At RSR we simplified it by saying that we would control all the input, which created more work for us (hunting down reviews from different reviewers), but made the software problem far more tractable.

        What you can’t get around is the need to do some work on a weekly, if not daily, basis. Very few people are willing to do that for very long if there isn’t any money to be made from it.

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  3. Oh, I forgot to include her post “Bright Shiny Buttons” (According to Hoyt;June 25, 2017), which is actually fairly interesting after you strip out the animated GIFs and the standard anti-Hugo rhetoric. She talks about how she was attacked for saying that “we were bringing the movement in for a landing, decoupling it from apparent pursuit of awards . . . and retiring the name with dignity to become a place to find books you want to read.” (Oddly, I find myself having a certain sympathy for how she might have felt about being attacked by people she thought were on her side.) 🙂

    Anyway, I think it all adds up to a fairly clear statement that the Sad Puppies are gone, and they’re never coming back.

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  4. I didn’t actually test it, but it appears that comments on the category pages are open again. Back when Sad Puppies 5 was “coming soon,” it said to leave recs at SP4 in the meantime. But all comments were closed.

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  5. The Sad Puppies. You almost feel sorry for them. Then you remember they were assholes whose great virtue was being less egregious assholes than the Rabids, and you get over that.

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