Start of an era.

Hi everyone. It’s with a great deal of pride and no small amount of terror that I begin my stint as editor-in-chief of [adjective][species].

In four years, Makyo has grown [a][s] from scratch to the vibrant site we have today. Everything that makes [a][s] special, in part or in whole, is because of a choice she has made somewhere along the way. I don’t have Makyo’s leadership or inspiration, but I will do my best to fill her shoes in my own way.

I started writing for [a][s] in January 2012. Since then I’ve been responsible for about a third of the site’s content. I’ll continue writing, and as editor-in-chief I’ll take responsibility for site content as a whole. Makyo will continue to work in the background as site owner, hosting, programming, and all those other things that keep [a][s] running and Randomwolf fed and watered.

What’s going to change? Not much. [a][s] will continue to explore the furry world from the inside out, in our thoughtful and intelligent way. I plan to increase the amount and accessibility of results from Furry Poll, which in my opinion is the site’s greatest asset. I also want to address the site’s biggest failing, which is that there is often a bit too much JM. [a][s] has always been a collaborative effort and so I will be on the hunt for new regular contributors, guest writers, and editors.

In that spirit, we are interested in offers of editorial help, submissions, ideas, praise, complaints, or anything. Leave a comment below or email me at submit@adjectivespecies.com.

About JM

JM is a horse-of-all-trades who was introduced to furry in his native Australia by the excellent group known collectively as the Perthfurs. JM now helps run [adjective][species] from London, where he is most commonly spotted holding a pint and talking nonsense.

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12 thoughts on “Start of an era.

  1. I hope this doesn’t mean more articles like the last one. Poorly researched and poorly argued brogressive crap, same as I could find on any other blog. Not what I read A:S for.

    1. Sam, thanks for the comment and I understand that your comment is aimed towards me, not Angriff. Angriff’s argumentative reaction here in these comments is out of line, and I’m going to delete them because – as you might put it – it’s the same old nonsense you could read on any blog.

      I’ll give you a more considered response to your comment a little later on. Right now I have some moderating to do.

    2. Sam, it doesn’t mean more articles like the last one. I wouldn’t have used your colourful language, but I agree with the spirit of your précis.

      We’ve published quite a few contrarian articles over the years here at [a][s] and Angriff’s article was intended in that way. I fact-checked and edited that piece and my opinion was that it met the standards for publication on [a][s], and I recommended it be published partly because of its contrarian content. Pretty clearly I made a mistake.

      I’ll be shortening the leash on opinion-based content in the future, especially where it comes to ones based on a negative hypothesis. And I will be reminding guest authors that we respect criticism and disagreement in the comments section. When people take the time to read an article and respond, they deserve thanks for participating in the conversation.

      The whole experience has left a bad taste in my mouth, as it has you and a lot of other people. But ultimately I’m the responsible party.

      We have a couple of counterpoints to Angriff’s piece in the works and they’ll be published in the coming days. Plus we have a lot of content coming that has nothing to do with any of this, and hopefully represents the sort of writing you read [a][s] for. Thanks for taking the time to comment and express your criticism.

      1. Ideally I hope the leash isn’t tightened too too much, as open discourse in a civil manner is important. Though I definitely understand the desire to explain to guest bloggers the rules of engagement, I do hope they can still engage in some discussion with the responses, both for and against, in the comments section.

        What would be ideal is if this and the other blogs (taking different viewpoints) were published at the same time. It would provide a wider variety of opinions for people to read, absorb, and reflect on vs. hearing only one side or the other at any given time.

        1. Hi N. Nicely put.

          “Open discourse in a civil manner” is a very good description for what I want to see on [a][s]. I like your idea of simultaneous publication of different viewpoints. I’l definitely consider that next time something contrarian or potentially controversial is in the pipeline.

      2. This is a worrying statement to me. It’s not “pretty clearly” a mistake; in fact, you’ll note that the discussion was hardly one-sided nor completely condemnatory. In my opinion, granting it’s my opinion, you’d do better for [a][s] standing behind your editorial decisions rather than walking them back.

        1. I realise I should clarify two things —

          One, I’m glad that you’re taking over; I’m glad that [a][s], which is I think an important site, has and will continue to have an invested, passionate editor. I should’ve started with that, rather than starting from a negative. I know from our conversations that you’re a smart, dedicated, person and that’s good for this website and its future.

          Two, there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with controversy or with writing (and approving) controversial pieces. But I admit to being a bit hesitant: you posted a piece, it generated a lot of discussion. It wasn’t one-sided discussion; describing posting it as “pretty clearly I made a mistake” is not only inaccurate, but also a slap in the face to a lot of people who took part in that.

          [a][s] is good at generating discussion, and good at saying things that not everyone agrees with but provoke interesting commentary. I like that about this place. It should continue.

          Again, my two cents. And again, thanks for coming aboard.

          1. Rob, thanks for the kind words, I really do appreciate it.

            I like a good contrarian, and that was definitely in the forefront of my mind when I published Angriff’s piece. The mistake is on the editing of the piece. Angriff’s argument is, in my opinion, valid and appropriate for [a][s]. However it could have been presented better… and that’s my fault as his editor. Angriff was very accommodating during editing and I’m sure would have been happy to rework it.

            I say it’s “pretty clearly” a mistake with the clarity of hindsight. Makyo stepped down, in part, because of this article and the reaction to it. And even though she has plenty of other good reasons to free herself from this role, I never wanted to contribute to [a][s] feeling like a burden. I had always worked on the site with the opposite goal in mind. That’s the outcome that leads me to conclude it was a mistake.

            It was an honest mistake though, and honest mistakes are going to happen. I’m not going to avoid risky topics here on [a][s], but I will – as I said – be more careful.

          2. Rob, normally I understand that you come from the perspective of “I feel it is intrinsically worth-while to question every issue that ignites controversy” in detail. But when you don’t condemn ideas that are based on a deliberate attempt to harm or based on evidence that is demonstatably wrong, it comes across as an inability to discern what and what is toxic for the sake of being toxic.

            Had we published an article “does [ethnicity]/[members of faith]” count as people?” and entertained it, you can see how disastrous the merit of presenting that conversation in the first place would be for everybody involved. The presence of that piece being submitted to ignite reaction is in itself a loss for the sake of healthy and transparent discussion.

            If we peruse ideology that blatantly and inexorably thrives on conflict based on lies or an inability to establish tautology then it is the cheapening of discussion itself.

            If we are celebrating the lack of a filter or the lack of careful consideration for what lies at the root of an issue, then we utterly lose our ability to empathize and create discussion that we frankly don’t see very much of anywhere.

            “It’s a slap in the face” is a phrase I wouldn’t use, because I consider this not only an unnecessarily emotional response, but it also attempts to validates previous comments on that thread such as “Liberals are just like Isis,” and accepts them as healthy commentary.

            Which… they aren’t.

            I think controversy is healthy when it doesn’t come from a place that attempts to either directly control the lives of others or openly advocates harm. Playing psychotherapist and encouraging others to directly trigger others to overcome what they perceive as a solvable ailment is directly harmful. This was what was occurring at the heart of Angriff’s article.

  2. I think it’s fine to have differing opinions, but in full agreement with Georgesquares, it’s important to be mindful of not only the content of the debate, but the greater context and validity.

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