Saturday, May 03, 2008

A Voice of Reason

Mr. Administrator,

As you know we live in a small rather thinly populated county. Because of this there is more than the usual amount of familiarity between people in various parts of the county. This can be by name, issues, and/or writing style.
There is a justifiable fear of retribution for some of our citizens who voice their opinions in the comments on your necessary blog. This concern can be related to job, social life or even chance encounters on the street, in stores and in church.

As an example of fear of retribution I call your attention to the fairly well publicized complaint of Bischoff of the St. Leon Sewer Board. He feared a boycott of his key copying or lock business in Harrison because of his association with the unpopular ordinances regarding forced hookup to the St. Leon Sewer System. Such was his concern that he somehow prevailed upon the Harrison Press to editorialize on unfairness of his perceived concern of a boycott.

I found that the recent introduction of tedious passages of the Magna Carta into the comments was a nuisance. Momentarily I was relieved to note that it had been removed. Upon further thought it become apparent to me that it was a form of censorship which we don’t really want.

The attempt to get closer to the identity of anonymous commenters will be a deterrence to people who have an opinion to voice.

In general I have been impressed with the depth of knowledge of various commenters about local issues, this we don’t want to discourage. Yes there are some nasty comments, none really in poor taste. It is a pity that some of the officials who are on the receiving end of strongly worded comments are unhappy.
I enjoy the occasional shots that some take at me.

Therefore sir, I hope that you will allow the anonymity of commenters to continue as it had been before your announced policy change.

Without pandering I believe that you are doing a fine service with the blog. I wonder not just occasionally how you are able to manage your time and effort to maintain it.

Alan S. Freemond, Sr.
Tanners Creek Farm,
Jackson Township

23 comments:

A. Dearborn Citizen said...

I agree with everything said here and have similar concerns. I am rather fond of the Constitution myself, but I don't think we need to see it posted here again and again, so I did what I did. If the general concensus is that such postings add something to the conversation, I will be happy to make it a primary post, but I don't think that was the intent.

Alan,
Thank you for your kind words and thoughtful consideration of the issues.

Plebeian said...

Alan I think anonymity brings out the best and the worst in people.
They will "plead their hearts out" if it's anonymous. If you're familiar with most blogs it's easy to read between the posts and lines with ease.
Bring back the anonymous posts!

Edith said...

Alan, the energy of this blog came from the fact the anyone and everyone could post on this blog, without jumping through any hoops whatsoever.

Mark my words, until that "free for all" attitude is reinstated, you will have a dwindling number of comments and folks around this county will lose interest in the few, esoteric posts.

politicalpolly said...

edith-
it takes some getting used to. but i see you already are able to get around essentially anonymously. (i'm assuming edith isn't your real name)

Edith said...

Notice, I am only posting in order to get this blog back to where it was when it was on fire.

This should be a time of really hitting hard Hughes and his ilk, but now all we are talking about is this silly-assed kowtowing to local attorney.

The "hit and run" posting made this place interesting and though provoking.

Now...

Just change this blog back or watch it dwindle back to where it was before.

Read, somewhat, commented to, not at all.

Edith said...

Forgive the spelling errors...I'm just beside myself relative to the silly time and place someone chose to make these changes.

We need all the energy we can muster and enlist in this county.

This is not helping.

Hall monitors do not invite or encourage creativity.

Alan S. Freemond, Sr. said...

Edith hang in there let's see how it goes.

Edith said...

No one has ever "made" anyone post here anonomously...but now someone is "demanding" that we not post anonymously. To please a spoiled, entitled, full of themselves lawyer?

Please!

This was a fun and intriguing place. I looked forward to reading the posts and comments. Now the comment section has died, other than commenting on this nonsensical move.

politicalpolly said...

perhaps the bloggers are busy getting their last minute campaigning done for their favorite candidates.

Edith said...

"perhaps the bloggers are busy getting their last minute campaigning done for their favorite candidates."

After the last DCRSD meeting, do you really think this blog would actually slow down relative to comments?

Someone needs to wake up.

Robert Bissett said...

For clarity....

Censorship can only be performed by a governmental body. This blog is NOT a part of the government.

While most of the posts are well crafted, and some are funny, others are just plain tasteless; and a few are pointless.

I am proud to put my name on my opinions.

Edith said...

Was anyone keeping you from putting your name to your opinions before this nonsense?

Edith said...

The proof is in the pudding. Look at the number of comments that have been posted since this new measure? By now, especially after the cantankerous DCRSD meeting and road show, there should be hundreds of comments just on what happened at that meeting. Someone needs to rethink and regroup before this blog loses all forward momentum.

DCCitizen2 said...

As Edith said, the proof is in the pudding or in this case in the lack of comments posted!!

The Blog serves as an interchange of information and opinion. The Blog administrator has done an excellent job in keeping this going. However, with the latest change, those against free speech may have won anyway.

Maybe the length of the posting could be limited to cut down on the attacks.

With the contentious nature of the DCRSD meeting, this Blog should be buzzing with comments.

Fortitude said...

What a pity that someone whose agenda is not for the betterment of the county was able to complicate access to the comments of the blog.

We need to get reide of Hughes, Fox, the board of the DCRSD and our luminary the county attorney and his buddys. What a pack of slobs.

Alan S. Freemond, Sr. said...

Can anyone imagine sneaking through life as does the individual who filled the blog comments with bulky irrelevant material which he or she couldn't read or comprehend?

Come on boy or girl, identify yourself, scared cowardly, gutless?. I'll be that your mama is real proud of sneaky little you.

Crunch said...

""Maybe the length of the posting could be limited to cut down on the attacks.""

That's a good idea

Plebeian said...

Content IS the issue not the ability to follow "Who Said What".

Alan S. Freemond, Sr. said...

Edith, still here? hang in.

A. Dearborn Countian said...

TPH had trouble posting his comment- so this is being posted for him.

The benefits of a "signature" :
Everyone can follow the questions/concerns and answers of the comment. It adds a context to the discussion. There is no context if everyone is an anonymous commentator.

There is an obvious indicator of how many people are "out there." This is important if you are trying to gauge the influence of a particular comment segment. It basically establishes the reach of this blog, at least with regard to the comment participants.

It dresses up the lingo. People tend to be more diplomatic and respectful if they attach some sort of identifier to their words. This is a definite plus.

Because of the above reason - it also weeds out the crass, course and sometimes redundant statements. The benefit here is that the more "upright" we walk and talk the more humane we become. That's a good thing, Edith.

It is a passage to becoming more than just a blog. By some sort of identification, and the ability to have a thoughtful dialog this can be a good message center to copy and distribute to other politicians, such as senators and representatives. They can determine how many people are disturbed or pleased with any given post. It is a barometer of public opinion - that's good Edith.

I don't think we should abandon a good idea just because it doesn't seem as if its on fire, as some have suggested. It takes several weeks for changes to occur, people have been extremely busy with all the pre-primary activities the past few weeks.

The negative side of a comment section that is filled with superfluous content (like the preamble, MLK's speech, etc.) is that people become disenchanted, annoyed and frustrated by the absurdity of the statement. This would lead to not going to the comment section.

My feeling is that Edith should sit down and take a few deep breaths. Relax, be cool, whatever will be, will be. It also seems as if this blog isn't going to lose her (or his) patronage. She-He is wired in for the long haul.

Finally, it is the blog posts of current information that really matters. I would imagine many folks don't comment or even read all the comments when they get too expansive. Who has that kind of disposal time? Anything going over 20 to 30 comments is time you could be drinking, swimming, working, exercising, playing, sleeping, or something else constructive.

Hope this helps soothe the savage beast inside of those who are fearful of change. By the way, there is absolutely no violation of freedom by signing a name to your comments, it's as liberating as talking to the counter help at the corner store. TPH

Jman said...

Edith,
If people really want to post comments they still can and also be very anonymous. It literally takes less than 5 minutes to sign up as you already know. If that is enough to keep people from commenting then they probably don't have very much to contribute and aren't nearly as passionate as you anyway.

Voice of Reason said...

I'm just thrilled that Alan finally figured out that we are indeed a "thinly popluated county." If you listen to his usual drivel (although it is well written) you'd think we live in New York City.

Alan S. Freemond, Sr. said...

If you listen to his usual drivel (although it is well written) you'd think we live in New York City.

No I don't think that we live in New York City but I believe that with the powerful developers, the DCDEI the C of C and a couple of county commishes they are going to make it feel like New York City, slums ,crime, asphalt very high taxes, repeat very high taxes another Vieste type mess and all.