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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

I care!

The following is a copy of a blog response from me in Olyblog. The originator of the blog asks the question "who cares about someone critiquing the content or actions of The Olympia (I've obviously paraphrased):

The same could be said about Olyblog.
If you see something you don't like in Olyblog:
1. Don't read it.
2. Address the blogger directly and take your chance that the blogger may engage in conversation in return, which, to my understanding is what blogging is all about.
I would prefer to direct my comments to the moderators, editors and such of the newspaper, but it seems that they can't take that direction. We've even had a moderator pull a "libel" threat out of an section of the anatomy to attempt to stifle the right to satire and sarcasm in Olyblog, all for the sake of attempting to quell any kind of criticism of the activities at said newspaper. For a newspaper that is quick to judge and criticize the job performance of others, they find every way to run and hide from someone that has enough knowledge and guts to analyze their performance. Of course, it's often forgotten, as this time, that on many occasions, I've applauded the newspaper and also defended their position and coverage.

I worked in newspapers from 1970 to 1983. I consulted rural newspapers from 1985 to 1989. I owned an agency from 1989 to 1999 that focused on print media. I've shared beverages with the very people I've disagreed with earlier in a day. They've stated their dislike of my position, I've returned favor. I've only experienced ONE newspaper that attempts to stop people from voicing their opinion and keeping the opinion of others from the public. The possiblity of corporate media ruining the very freedom that we've celebrated in this country for over 200 years is frightening.

Frankly, the apathy on this issue is more frightening than the activity.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Blog no evil, Read no evil

The lastest version of "banning" on The Olympian threads not only prevents the dirty, nasty banned club from posting, it also prevents them from reading the posts of others.

You know what happens. A blogger that is banned from The Olympian will open his own blog to comment on the comments of Olympian Online readers and others will read it. Therefore, you must prevent people from being able to have access to the online comments to comment about on their own blogs.

Wow...that was a mouthful!

Why not block the entire website so that people cannot comment on editorial content of The Olympian? Oh yeah...less readers, less revenue.

The comedy goes on.

Friday, October 5, 2007

The comedy of moderation

It's no secret that I was "banned" from using The Olympian's comment threads for using the word "ass" in reference to a reader that had been purposefully agitating an argument with me for weeks. Recently, due to a computer glitch, the block was lifted from my computer and I honestly posted with my name and used my email address. Hours later, blocked again.

Aaron Mason and the other moderators at The Olympian are making sure that no one as crass as I use the word "ass" or, as in the case of my alterego "Emma" (not really, but it is sure fun to poke at the rightees), no one is gonna make a "yo momma" joke in reference to another reader.

So...the fun begins.

If you look at the Letters to the Editor comments for Thursday, October 4th, you'll find an afternoon post by "Olsen" that just says something about "great comments - for more reference" and then has a link to "secretpenis". "Olsen" also posted a homepage link, as many do. Both links take you to a picture of a fully erect penis - my guess is a home photo, if you check the background. That's right folks, a picture of a fully erect penis in the archives of your family newspaper!

Now, lets examine this. No, not the penis, the moderation of the comments.

How did the moderators miss a posted link to "secretpenis"? Probably a little too busy worrying about the politics and fray between readers on the comments section is my guess. There is an old saying about paying too much attention to nickels and losing dollars. This is a perfect example.

I've commented before, here and in Olyblog, about the ridiculous attitude portrayed by the moderator(s) at The Olympian. Editing (like removing links to penis pictures) is one thing but getting into spitting matches with readers is just plain dumb. It serves no purpose. If someone violates the rules (ambiguous at best, mind you), just delete them and move along. If they continue to violate the rules, continue to delete. It's called editing. Don't get into the fray by making bold posts about "banned" or whatever other descriptive term. It's senseless and does nothing more than elevate the fuel for fires on both sides of the political argument. One side defends the banned poster, the other side takes joy in quieting the opposition. Who becomes the fool in the center? You guessed it - The Olympian.

There is a local blogger - Andy, a rather conservative chap - that will not allow opposition posts on his blog. Whereas I don't understand Andy wanting to talk at people, rather than with people, I guess I have more respect for his position than for someone that does such a crappy job of enforcement of rules that they composed.

Let the people speak, I say.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Now you see it, now you don't

While scanning The Olympian threads this morning, I realized that my lifetime ban appeared to be lifted, as there was no "banned by webmaster" located on the thread. So I posted a comment. Everything went through.

I posted another. Everything went through. And another. Same result.

I then posted a blog on Olyblog mentioning this new find. A few comments went back and forth.

During lunch, I stopped by home and the "banned by webmaster" was back. Must have been a glitch in the software, but I'm wondering, had I not been honest and posted my name and email address, what might have happened?

Would Aaron Mason (see earlier blog in September) have known to block my posts? I could have used a phoney email (one from yahoo or hotmail or something else) and the ever favorite "anonymous" moniker.

This brings up a funny and interesting story. An associate of mine, a former newspaper person, a social liberal/fiscal conservative, with a sarcastic streak, began posting a few months back as "Larry". Mason banned him! Larry called to ask Mason why and Mason began yammering about "people causing problems on the threads" and apologizing profusely (Larry controls a substantial newspaper advertising budget in Olympia). Larry was aware of what had happened with me and was acting on his own. Mason actually disclosed my first and last name to him in their conversation.

Whether I post on The Olympian threads or not is not a life and death situation. I find it comedic that any media would get involved in such a resentment issue to "ban" a commenter. I can understand deleting (which amounts to editing) but aside from that, anything else constitutes spitting in the face of freedom of speech (yes, yes, I know...The Olympian owns the website, but I'm speaking principles here....of course that might be the problem.

The real humor of the day was a couple of the people that opposed my way of thinking had to make an issue about the posts that did get through.

For me being so wrong, they are certainly afraid of what I have to say.