Thursday, August 17, 2006

Meta-Blogging

My blogging has always been about promoting the work I do offline for election integrity, peace, and other positive change. I refer to this style of writing as advocacy journalism and I've written about it many times to encourage others to adopt this approach. This post is somewhat of a variation on a theme.

Over the past several days I haven't made any new posts here at WDNC, though I've spent quite a bit of time on the blog. Most of that time was devoted to trying to fix mysterious problems with the blog itself; the rest was spent responding to comments attached to other WDNC posts.

First I noticed that some pictures had disappeared from recent posts, such as this one that is supposed to show the NoSleepovers.org t-shirt image, and this one that the Open Voting Foundation provided of the inside of a Diebold TS. I later discovered that the cover of my book had vanished from the right sidebar, and the bottom of the left sidebar was missing the "Dualing Eyepposites" image drawn by my old friend Dave Migliore, whose crazy hypnotic art is at Bardoodle.com. How cool that the Free Speech icon remained.

So does Blogger have a bug? That only affects 80% of the images on your page? I dug through the Blogger resources and others are reporting that pictures aren't showing up even though their uploads appear successful. But they're talking about new posts. I haven't seen anybody saying old stuff has vanished. Anyway, if anybody can currently see these images, please let me know what type of browser you are using.

The browser matters so much. The other mystery this week was why WDNC had its normal three column structure in Firefox but Internet Explorer was seriously mangled. After quite a while trying to fix it I went in search of a new template. This same problem prevented me from ever bringing the new template online. Finally I went back to the original and found some content was commented out. This is a mystery to me partly because I don't know how long it looked bungled in IE. But even once I restored the content of all three columns, part of the text in two random posts displayed in an extra large font size that was knocking off the right sidebar. So I still see Firefox looking OK, and even Netscape, but not IE. If it looks different to you, please let me know. I really don't know how much I can rely on Blogger's support e-mail so suggestions are also welcome from tech-savvy readers.

Also in the past several days, mostly anonymous posters have added comments to my last post and this one about the upcoming media accountability forum. All of the comments at least marginally pertain to the forum while none of them relate to the last post. All of this is summed up in a letter I just posted to Nick Bravo in the comments of the last post, and shown below in full. A final housekeeping note, WDNC no longer allows anonymous comments. Comments that taunt or bait confrontation without content relevant to the posted topic will be deleted.

* * *

Nick Bravo,

Thank you for posting under your own name and for sharing the information about Citizen Media Net. I had not heard of that and appreciate you making me and surely others aware of it.

A lot of what else you wrote above is the same sort of effort to push my buttons that I have repeatedly identified as taunting and baiting throughout this thread. What you call a vibrant discussion and healthy non-threatening exchange of diverse viewpoints does not describe this thread. A "substantive comment" deleted: "Just leave Dave alone people, he's obviously too sensitive to handle this." What is "this" exactly?

While I don't know all the details I am aware that other local blogs have recently been receiving many anonymous comments. I understand some of them have changed their comment policy. How many different anons do you figure have been making this happen? How many posted here? What is the goal of doing this?

Throughout this thread I have tried to give straight answers to fair questions that often came packaged with a slant or dig. I kept trying to draw out exactly what anon(s) (you?) really want. But no answers were made clear. I kept operating on the assumption that likely we really both want the same thing, and that anon just hadn't considered a nicer way to ask for my cooperation. Are you, Nick, really opposed to a radio broadcast giving you and the whole community a totally unique chance to ask a panel of local media figures whatever is on your mind? I could never let go of the thought that this is something we should both want.

I take nothing away from Paul Cienfuegos, Heidi Calton and David Giarrizzo. I am glad to know we have shared concerns about the media. Some of mine are in the Voter Confidence Resolution, and even its earliest incarnations as the No Confidence Resolution, back in April 2004. To learn now that these folks had previously been suggesting a forum makes my choice of words unfortunate. Specifically regarding the upcoming forum on 9/21, the concept and pitch were mine and I succeeded at signing up six people to participate. Do you know what the maximum capacity of the KHUM studio is?

Being so limited, obviously there were going to be people who would just have to tune in, this time. Other media people were contacted prior to the 9/21 event filling up, and though there wasn't always an immediate commitment (or returned call), there was encouragement to do additional events. This is no holiday kids table. Not unless we come back around to the idea of an election for blogosphere spokesperson. This is not a mantle that exists, or should exist, and I have never tried to claim it. In trying to balance the 9/21 panel, I sought people who use a mix of media types (3 radio, 2 newspaper, 1 TV, 1 blog). I don't owe anyone an apology for taking the blogger spot.

In initially imagining a series, I thought of four total events, but I did not yet then consider the possibility of an all blogger event. That came up in this thread, because again, I tried to parse the vitriol and just build on what it seemed like could be a shared goal. In other words, I have been both offering and seeking out the collaboration that is the stuff of Paul Benson's "revolutionary" vision. It sounds like Paul's project may finally be a way for me to bring the Project-Based Format to life. Again, thanks for telling me about this project.

As for the rest, I'm not fighting you. If you don't see me as one of the good guys, then try asking nicely whether I would consider seeing things your way. If you are clear about what your way is, then we can actually have a really vibrant, healthy, non-threatening discussion.

Sincerely not taking the bait,
Dave Berman

* * *

Permalink:
http://wedonotconsent.blogspot.com/2006/08/meta-blogging.html


Posted by Dave Berman - 11:23 PM | Permalink
Comments (1 So Far) | Top of Page | WDNC Main Page

Read or Post a Comment

Dave,

I commend your patient efforts to get him to discuss some issues vs. continuing the personal attacks. But isn’t that his point? – to refrain from engaging you on the real stuff and focus on your perceived shortcomings. Don’t give him too much of your time and space.

Posted by Blogger Jane Allen @ Aug 18, 2006, 7:18:00 PM
Permalink to comment | Top of Page | WDNC Main Page
 
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