April 30, 2006

Blog Discussion

Have any thoughts or opinions on blogs, bloggers, their influence or lack thereof? Here's the spot. Many people have offered their opinions on the subject in comments to unrelated posts, and so I've provided this spot where they might be more properly left without clogging up comments for other topics.

Are you new to blogs? What do you think? Have any questions about the process of blogging? Ask and I'll answer if I can.

So if you've got something to say related to this blog or blogs in general, please do so here.


At 5/15/2006 8:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

(originally posted on thread about Galesburg nominating meeting, moved here.)

Sorry, but thought you could come away with some big scoops if you were on the scene in Galesburg. You can sit in the corner with a bad looking mouth and soak in the big political event of the district. I think you should give serious thought to bringing on board correspondents, getting advertisements for your site, and basically putting the full court press publicly. You have a lot to offer the blogroll world. And you have a lot of fans out there.

At 5/15/2006 8:59 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

All good ideas which I've considered over time.

(plus, please don't misuse the term "blogrolling". A blogroll is a list of links to other blogs and websites posted on a blog, usually in the sidebar. It has nothing to do with blogging. Please read the list of terms and definitions in the sidebar of the F.A.Q.)

The ideas of correspondents isn't new. If you've been reading the blog for any length of time, you'll know that on many occasions I've extended invitations to anyone who wanted to submit a post to the blog to do so. Thankfully, a few people did, but then it quickly died out.

I'd absolutely LOVE it if I had, say, one or two people with expertise in law who I could call on to analyse or comment on stories which fell into that category, or someone educated in economic or financial matters, another on history.... the list could be endless,

The entire plan for the blog was to draw in as many people as humanly possible to contribute. That way, it could be a site where people could get good information about a variety of things.

Imagine a story on crime or other legal issues appearing and being able to have an attorney provide their opinion, a doctor give some background and information on a story regarding medical topics, someone well versed in economics could write a post regarding Bush's latest tax proposals, etc.

It would be a fantastic addition to the blog, and I for one couldn't be happier if it came to pass.

But I've asked for people to participate, literally anyone can offer any comment they want. Anyone can contact me via e-mail.
It's wide open.

But no one contributes anything, it seems, except nasty whacks at other people or slaps at the blog or myself.

It's as if anyone with a brain has decided not to get their hands dirty or something.

I'm here to say once more that I don't bite. If you have some insight or special knowledge on a topic or post here, PLEASE contribute with a comment, or better yet, submit a post for publication to my e-mail address.

The commenter above says they think I need some correspondents. I couldn't agree more. The entire blog is all about having people contribute. But the fact is, for some reason which escapes me, it seems people with intelligence and experience in a topic rarely offer their comments.

I don't know if this is because there isn't anything I write which they find interesting, they don't think anything here is serious enough for them to respond to, they're under the effect of some "fishbowl" effect, where they think the blog is only something to read and not participate in, or if there's simply no one with anything inteligent to contribute who reads the blog.

I know that latter isn't the case, as I see endless visits from corporate, lawfirm, university, and government computer systems. Yet apparently, they read it and leave.... nothing.

I sincerely hope that this isn't due to the blog sucking so badly that it doesn't engage anyone's curiostity or prompt them to have any views on anything.

Every time I've tried to be provocative and get people talking, I get my head handed to me for that as well.

I've certainly touched on hundreds, if not thousasnds of topics. I'd think at least some of them might be of interest to people out there who actually know how to write and express their opinions or share their knowledge of a subject.

But .... I guess the nasty comments have just scared these folks and they're afraid that if they leave a sensible and illuminating comment, that perhaps they'll "catch" something. I'm not sure.

Or maybe they're simply petrified that someone would criticize their views? Who knows?

But I certainly wish more people would contribute here.

The blog is about discussion, and if you want the discussion to be INTELLIGENT and respectful... then PARTICIPATE.

The only thing guaranteed is that if you don't participate, you're allowing the nastiness to be the order of the day.

As to advertisements.... if people are too damn reluctant to even comment anonymously on the site, I somehow feel that they wouldn't all rush to advertise here. I may be wrong, and hope I am, but I'm not too sure.

I do know that it would be a very smart and cost-effective way to advertise to a very desirable audience.

If anyone's interested, drop me an e-mail. I'll even custom design your ad if you'd like.

At 5/15/2006 12:22 PM, Blogger UMRBlog said...

If you looked at blogs, generally, in, say, '04 and now, you would notice considerable evolution. It is impossible for me to believe that will not continue.

It is my opinion that we have to get this sort "boil lancing" period over with. Then blogging will become more a team (probably loose confederations of networded talent along the lines that TID mentioned.). After that, demographics will be easier to come by. With demographics come targeted advertising. In my opinion, things are moving pretty fast.

Lawyers, Bankers and Auditors often have to be a little careful about public pronouncements. I think safe areas in the blogosphere will soon be identified, just like they were in talk radio and talented folks like TID will soon be able to exand their networks.

This kind of leaves the whole issue of working anonymously, yet with a team, untouched. Nobody wants to be in a de facto partnership with somebody they can't vet. We'll find ways to get past that, too.

At 5/15/2006 2:20 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I agree with most of your analysis UMR, though I don't see the problem with anonymity. As long as a blog is not making any substantial amount of money, I don't know that you need to know a blogger personally before you're willing to contribute some stuff for the blog. It's not really a business relationship after all.

If you've read a blogger for a length of time, you should pretty much know what they're like, and you can certainly get a good idea of a person by exchanging e-mail.

I guess I don't see any downside to working with an anonymous blogger. Where's the negatives?

I know of many instances where people have written regular columns or pieces for national blogs without being paid a dime and without ever meeting the person who ran the blog, and these blogs were making money.

It's not all about making money, obviously, as unless your traffic is in the 1000 per day or much higher category, you're probably going to have a very tough time making any sort of serious money.

There's been efforts at setting up aggregate blogs, which consist solely of posts contributed by numerous bloggers to one central blog.

The Daily KOS, probably the largest and most sucessful progressive blog works along these lines with many hundreds of people contributing.

SoapBlox Chicago came along and runs under the same format. Then Rich Miller started his "Illinoize" which is made up entirely of posts contributed by other bloggers and commenters.

A female blogger by the screen name of Kankakee Kindling started her own aggregate blog for downstate bloggers as well.

None of these blogs pay their contributors and are greater or lesser successes.

The fact is that if you get into blogging to make money, you're going to be very very disappointed, unless - you can manage to attract and retain thousands of visitors a day.

Judging by the fact that this blog has been up and running daily for over a year, and that there are many other's which have cropped up and are doing well, I'd assume that the blog traffic levels for purely local blogs in this area are pretty much plateaued.

Sure, they'll grow on a slow curve as population increases, people become more aware of them and they become more a part of people's everyday lives. But I don't anticipate numbers suddenly taking any steep upward climbs.

So... things will remain as they are largely. Corporate blogs... the boogie-man of one particular commenter here, will continue to pour more money and personel into their blogs and will lead the way as far as technology and features are concerned, being able, as they are, to hire out technical people to do it.

They may become more popular with the general public than home-made blogs like this one, simply due to the fact that they A. have money to spend, B. Have a huge reach as far as promoting their blogs go, advertising them daily in thousands of papers, and C. Can have staff. People to deal with the technical end, design, layout, programming, writing, etc. rather than one person cranking it out by themselves.
It's kind of like comparing a newsletter to a newspaper.

But that said, the papers will always be locked into their box and will not be able to match the personality and style of individual blogs which address a niche, so I don't see them wiping out independent blogs at all. There will always be room for good blogs, no matter what the source or who produces them.

I think there's just been a handful of people out there who feel very threatened by the blog, for some stupid reason, and they've invested a ridiculous amount of time and energy in trying to get rid of it or at least scare people off of it.

Dumb move. They can't control blogs any more than they can control people's thoughts, and their efforts are going to fail inevitably.

If one blogger quits, there will be three to replace them. It's a fool's errand to try to exert control over blogs. And when there's dozens of them, it's going to keep them damn busy trying.

But this handful of people aren't too bright, and they're damn sure not very quick studies.

They should have figured this out long, long ago and worked to participate and deal with blogs in a respectful and HONEST way. Evidently, this never occurs to them.

They'd rather attack, attack, attack and use threats and anything else they can dream up to try to force whatever the hell it is they want on a blogger. And if it's not negative, then it's hokey ridiculous over-the-top hype and exageration about their guy.

They just can't get serious. Someday, there will be polticians in the area who aren't scared out of their minds of blogs and they'll take part in the give and take. That will be a good thing, I believe.

I was so naive that I actually thought the party and politicians would run, not walk, to get their messages out, announce events, put out their positions and explain them in greater detail than a one line quote in the paper, etc.

Boy.. how stupid of me. Never happened. They either ignored it utterly or behaved like junior high jerks and treated the blog as if it were just some big joke.

I don't think they feel that way anymore. And I hope they'll continue to evolve as both humans and politicians.

They'll have to eventually once they realize that they can't buy out, intimidate, harass, or otherwise take control over blogs for themselves.

I just kinda regret that I had to be the first one out of the block and thus had to deal with this truly ugly reaction.

But with any luck, it's in the past and I'm certain that blogs will go on and become more and more a fact of political life in this area, despite the misguided efforts of a small group of opponents.

At 5/18/2006 4:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't mind this blog so much if you were not so biased against some and so pro-others. I know this because of how you moderated comments and what you moderate. This moderation is the first step against freedom of speech Big Brother. I read your blog (though find I am doing it less often) and commenting hardly at all as it's not normally worth it. It started out as "fun", then got sort of nasty and partial, then less hostile but a little dull. Sorry but that's my thoughts. There are many kinds of blogs and political ones are the worst from what I've seen. I really don't like being moderated by an unknown who's views I have to assume.

At 5/18/2006 10:38 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anonymous above, I'll address your comment piece by piece.

Your write:

=I wouldn't mind this blog so much if you were not so biased against some and so pro-others. I know this because of how you moderated comments and what you moderate.=

Whom am I biased against and who am I biased for? You say you know so this should be easy.
The fact that I get angry comments complaining that I'm too biased both for AND against various parties tells me that I have it about right.

=This moderation is the first step against freedom of speech Big Brother.=

That statement reveals your ignorance. Do you think this is somehow the offical government blog? If so, you'd better get that idea out of your head.

=I read your blog (though find I am doing it less often) and commenting hardly at all as it's not normally worth it.

Sorry to hear that. But it does sound as if there's nothing much here for you anyway.

=It started out as "fun", then got sort of nasty and partial, then less hostile but a little dull. Sorry but that's my thoughts.=

No need to apologize. I appreciate your sharing your views, as long as they're honest.

=There are many kinds of blogs and political ones are the worst from what I've seen.=


=I really don't like being moderated by an unknown who's views I have to assume.=

Well then. I guess I can understand that.

But I'm afraid that it shows a little bit of misunderstanding of the reality of things here.

Firstly, I didn't start out moderating comments. It was a last resort decision taken only after months of problems due to a handful of commenters sending in comments which personally attacked people and other completely irresponsible stuff which simply shouldn't be published here or anywhere for that matter.

I tried allowing every comment to be published and people couldn't handle it correctly. I went to registered users only and at least one of these people registered and continued to try to post ridiculous and nasty stuff.

At this point, I had people literally freaking out, pulling out their hair and screaming at me from every direction. Half were screaming that I was just horrible and irresponsible and it was a crime that I wasn't stepping in and screening out the comments which they found so offensive and terrible.
The other half was screaming from the other side that I was "censoring" them, and actually tried the thoroughly dumb tactic of, like you, trying to suggest it was a "freedom of speech" issue, which is absolutely ridiculous.

So I had people frantically telling me to not allow comments, and others frantically screaming at me for trying to moderate them.

Apparently, this situation will never change.

So. Someone has to make a choice. And that someone is me. I made it.

I firmly believe that there is no way in the world that I could allow unmoderated comments on this blog. PERIOD.

It not only would degenerate into incredible ugliness and lead to endless fights which would go on forever, but it would ensure that the blog was nothing remotely like I want it to be.

So.. like it or not, I'm going to moderate comments here as there's simply no other way to do it.

If you were inclined to be honest rather than take a swipe at this blog, you'd note that there is not a single blog in the area which doens't moderate their comments as well in one way or another.

So, if you don't like your comments being screened, then I'm afraid you have nowhere to go. Every blog does so, at least around here.

To repeat, you state, "I really don't like being moderated by an unknown who's views I have to assume."

Well, there's your problem right there.

Stop "assuming" my views. That should help a lot.

At 5/19/2006 9:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You and the other corporate blogs ran the last free speech blog out of business.

At 5/19/2006 11:03 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anonymous spook,
And just which corporation, praytell, in your paranoid delusions, is controlling my blog?

This'll be news to me. Please let me know.

Are you talking about the thousands that appear in my bank account each week from the Carlyle Group? Or the palacial home that the Trilateral Commission built me?

I fear that you're confusing a blogger trying to exercise good sense and common decency with "corporate control".

I'm sorry no blogs allow your insane drivel anymore, but don't blame it on some conspiracy.

And good luck fending off those mind-control rays they're beaming in to that chip in your head.

At 5/22/2006 12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Capitol Fax does not moderate comments.

At 5/22/2006 2:28 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon above,
You are sadly mistaken.

The Capitol Fax not only moderates comments, Rich Miller has a group of people who decide which comments are over the line and thus get tossed.

I believe this arrangement came about because of the volume of comments CapFax receieves and the lack of time Miller could devote to dealing with them. I recall him asking for volunteers who would do the moderation duties.

So...think again.

Miller also makes use of the ability to shut off comments altogether from time to time if he wants some time off and doesn't want to have to deal with it.

Both of these things are perfectly normal ways to deal with comments. But let me assure you, any blogs with even moderate traffic are forced to moderate comments in some form or fashion.

At 6/07/2006 10:10 PM, Blogger Anon 10:32 said...

Lets get this site down also as no one uses it.

At 6/08/2006 1:34 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

What's with this "let's" crap?

You want to make a helpful suggestion? Then send me an email.

Have some messed up idea you know how to run this blog better? Tell me all about it.

But what delusion makes you think you get to issue orders?

If that's your attitude, don't expect your comments to ever appear on this blog.

At 6/11/2006 3:35 PM, Blogger UMRBlog said...

Then there's this: Blogs have such different purposes from one another. Some just pretty much inform, these are mostly the c&p blogs and some of them send you to very neat places. Some, like mine, are almost exclusively Op-Ed. The unusal ones, You and Miller, actually commit some journalism once in awhile. Those are the ones who threaten the establishment the most.

Hell, I know several young professionals who have disconnected their cable and get most of their news from online newspapers and from journalistic bloggers. If there's going to be a change at the margins, that's the most imminent one.

I have no problems with anonyminity. I speaking more in terms of striking up strategic partnerships in sites with earnings. It's pretty hard to file K-1 without knowing who your partner is. I completely agree that you can tell what you need to know editorially by the quality of someone's thoughts expressed over time.

Continued Success

At 6/23/2006 2:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the new Title Bar and photo!

At 6/23/2006 2:38 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Thank you kindly Huck.

I thought it might spruce things up a bit, and so I tinkered around tonight to see what would result. (I certainly never have a plan. It just sort of happens)

I've put up about 4 different versions of title graphics before settling on the current one, so I'm only afraid that I've replaced the one you like!

At any rate, I hope you like the one I settled on, and I can always try any of the previous versions as well.

Also, I didn't replace any photo. The graphic is all handmade.

At 6/26/2006 9:21 PM, Blogger nicodemus said...

Be encouraged! Keep up the good work Dope. You have maintained a professional and intelligent atmosphere. And you have allowed for opposing points of view. It is okay to state your own opinion because it is your own blog and when you have stated your opinion..no matter how vehemently, you have still maintained civility.

I would send you a paypal donation but it would compromise my identity. Get a PO Box.

At 6/26/2006 11:05 PM, Blogger youngdem503 said...

I think you should try to get the drinking liberaly up and running in the Quad Cities again, I know people who would be willing to take part.

At 6/27/2006 1:24 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Boy, that means a lot Nico.

My sincere thanks. It's always great to hear that someone out there values what I do, even though I don't always do it the best.

I've always tried my best to be fair and to run the blog in a way that allows the most people to join in, while at the same time having to struggle with maintaining some sort of standards and order in comments.

It's not easy, I can assure you, especially when I have a small group of committed people who have been literally obsessed with exposing me and/or taking over the blog. And these are people who share my party.

Rather than participate on my terms, they've apparently decided to abandon the blog, which means that now most of my commenters are Republicans.

To me, that's stupid. But they've never shown much evidence of smarts, so I guess it makes sense.

I believe that all that is revealed if you donate via Paypal is your e-mail address, though I'd have to check to be sure.

I respect you desire to not reveal your identity, of course, though I can assure you that it would be kept confidential, as have the identitys of previous donors.

I'll have to check and see if names are revealed by using Paypal.

It would seem that there should be some way to establish a new paypal account using a hotmail or yahoo or other anonymous email and a ficticious name. But that's a lot to ask.

I'll certainly give the P.O. Box idea some thought.

I'd considered that previously but never followed through. It would allow people to send me material as well.

Again, thanks for the positive comments Nico. They're appreciated.

At 6/27/2006 2:43 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Young Dem,

Obviously, I think Drinking Liberally is a great idea. I ran it up the flagpole here months ago and had no takers.

I can't head it up, but I'm sure there's someone who could assume the rather modest duties and responsibilities of getting a chapter going locally.

I'll throw up a post again encouraging folks to give it a ahot.

I hope this time around it takes hold.

At 10/22/2006 8:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a long-time reader of The Inside Dope and I've always enjoyed your work. Thanks for all the work that you do to give us interesting things to think about and discuss. I also enjoy the laughs.

I'm sorry that the discussion here appears to be only people more interested in attacking and smearing.

Where are all the more rational commenters? I notice that they all come out on Beydler's blog, but they seem to be scared to say anything here.

That's a shame, because they are abandoning the place to nit-wits and morons. Come on people, say something!

At 10/31/2006 10:23 PM, Anonymous Administrator said...

Moved this comment from one of my little harrassers from an unrelated post on the main page to here where it properly belongs. It was posted at 10/31/2006 06:24:15 PM Needless to say, it's from from "anonynmous"

My reply is within the first one.

>>It's amazing how little impact blogs are having on our current election process.<<

Based on what evidence? That you say so?

>>What happened to the "meet-ups" and Howard Dean's legions? I though the Net was going to change politcs?<<

They're still going on, and will no doubt play a role in the '08 elections. There's a very active group which formed from a meet up back in '04 over in Iowa that has a very busy mailing list and is involved in many events and activities and meetings. It's still going strong.

>>Breathless predictions appear more fiction than fact.<<<

Again, based on what? Your experience around here? This area can barely grasp the concept of what a blog is. I wouldn't hold it to too high a standard. YOu should instead look to metropolitan areas, university towns, or places where the public is used to having more input in who represents them.

>>Blogs replacing newspapers, network TV, Radio, Cable?, Billboards?<<<

Excellent straw man. Dreamed up by you alone, and so easy to knock down. I've never heard ANYONE even suggest any of that.

>>Bolgs [sic] at this point are nothing more than poorly administered speak-outs.

Some of them can be. I'm trying to move away from that by being more aggressive in dumping more comments like this one

At 10/31/2006 10:28 PM, Anonymous Administrator said...

The following was moved from an unrelated thread on the main page to where it should have been posted.

It's from "anonymous" at 10/31/2006 10:06:35 PM

>>My understanding is that award winning Columnist from the D/A has been sending posts that are pro Haring that are being deleted and not added to the mix. He is going to show this in an expose along with the identity and dealing of this inside Dope. This should be interesting.<<

At 10/31/2006 10:43 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

To my little stalker above.

Forgive me if I don't hold my breath.

If there's any reasonable pro-Haring comments which don't contain supposed facts that are both unproven and unsupported, I've posted them.

And the only pro-Haring comments I've dumped, (and they're not pro-Harring so much as anti-Boland), have been dumped because they're obviously not from Republican Haring supporters, but rather from one or two of Boland's fellow Dems.

The same people who send in pro-Jacobs tripe constantly send in multiple comments attempting to list every negative against Boland they can dream up.

What's funny is that sometimes they try to disguise it as a pro-Boland comment, urging me to support Boland against the charges of blah, blah, blah where they spell out a laundry list of smears against Boland.

They're not too bright.

I don't care to aid them in their on-going feud and attempts to stab Boland in the back at every opportunity.

The spooky thing about it is that this isn't just a few attempts, but several a day, and the variety of ploys they try to get them through shows an almost desperate attempt to get through some knocks on Boland. It's truly disturbing to see.

At 11/09/2006 10:56 AM, Anonymous Administrator said...

The following thread was left on some election night post and has been moved here to it's appropriate place.

Anonymous said...

It was a fun year and a half Dope. Eveything finished as planned. You were a great resources for our agenda and you realy fascillitated our message well. I know that the next year will be a quiet one with you working now and elections over, maybe you can keep the thing together until we come together again in about 14 months. Your site was a lot better though when it was dialogue and people had open Mike and could communicate real time without the moderation.
I know that you will say that we are the people that made you have to have moderation but that is fear of control and lack of respect to the people that this blog was made for. We the People deserve the right to speak out freely without these restrictions that you the czar has employed.

Yes you can speak!
As long as you say what I want.

Well Dope, all is well that ends well. It was fun and mabee you should try and find the real right people to piss off all the time. Wanting to piss people off in the first place is counterproductive and I think you should try and be more open. Let go of the control. We can handle it.

Thanks again Dope for all that you have done.

8/11/06 08:59

The Inside Dope said...

Thanks for your manifesto, oh Central Scrutinizer.

And thanks for the grudging praise. I do appreciate that.

But as to your quasi-communist stance that this blog should belong to "the people", I'm afraid you're outnumbered by the people who have whined loud and long about the number of irresponsible and ugly comments being allowed here.

I've done everything I could to keep the most open policy when it comes to comments and bend over backwards to encourage people to respond and share their views in a responsible way.

Unfortunately, there have been those who have wasted their time sending in near daily harrassing and ugly comments in an effort to ... I don't know... bully me into allowing them to use my work as a platform for them to post their intensely ugly attempts to smear, attack, spread lies and rumor and otherwise berate their political and personal enemies, and simultaneously oozing over-the-top praise for themselves or their guy.

Nope... not gonna happen.

Of course, some fine commenters have contributed greatly to the blog, as have those who have contributed ideas, tips, stories, and photos.

But the fact remains that I created and launched TID. I've single-handedly produced, designed, written, moderated, managed and maintained it for over 20 months now.

The fact that you expect me to defer to your direction and control proves that... well, YOU'RE the one with "control issues", not me.

The same old smear tactics, the same old ugly garbage repeated thousands of times in slightly different packaging gets real old, real fast and is absolutely BORING.

Just wrestle your arrogance and ego to the ground and realize that you do not "own" this blog and you don't control it.

Those who relentlessly try intimidation, threats, and other attacks might also realize that they're really in a rut. It doesn't work, so you might consider changing tactics. It's sad that those folks apparently know no other way to get their way other than bully-boy, underhanded pressure tactics.

Everyone else realizes that threatening and constantly harassing someone usually isn't a great way to get them to by sympathetic to your cause.

I'm endlessly disappointed that my attackers apparently still haven't figured that out after all this time.

I exercise editorial control over my work, just as every newspaper on the planet does, and I'll continue to do so. Don't expect that to change. You'll be disappointed.

I didn't create this place for it to be some wide-open free-for-all for everyone and anyone to post every stupid, ill-considered, reckless, boring thought that enters their head which they're somehow able to type or spell. (badly)

Been there done that and learned the hard way.

If anyone wants to put out their boring negative campaign points or relentless attacks on their political or personal enemies, (including myself because I don't allow you to do so and you then throw childish tantrums.) there's other blogs for that which seem perfectly willing to allow that sort of garbage.

But not here.

Get those few simple facts clear and everything will work out just peachy.

That said, thanks again for your grudging acknowledgement of the value of TID and what I've tried to do.

I do appreciate it.

I guess I'll see you in a year or so. Does this mean that I dare hope the daily attacks will cease and you'll learn to accept the blog? (be still my heart)

8/11/06 14:29

Anonymous said...

I agree with the poster. I think that open attitudes and dialogue are key to communication. Why would you want to stifle your own blog. I feel that peolple can figure out the truth. Let it fly. Your blog was better then. I am sure that you will admit that it was less work and you had better attendance on your blog.

Hope you open it up a bit.
Looking for your reply.

9/11/06 09:13

The Inside Dope said...

I don't agree and neither do most readers, judging from the many that wrote in at the time loudly demanding that I exercise some responibility and not allow all the irresponsible and reckless political and personal attacks that a few would post constantly.

First off, I'll again caution you and anyone else to not make the mistake of attempting to judge readership here with the number of comments which appear.

To begin with, the two aren't too closely related. Traffic numbers have steadily risen despite periodic declines in number of comments.

And secondly, the comments that appear here are only the one's that make the cut and don't represent all the comments recieved.

If it appears that the number of comments is going down, it's due to the fact that the number of rational and reasonable comments are going down.

Take away the blatant political ads (mostly very negative) disguised as comments and there's not a lot left.

If you'd like to see more comments, I STRONGLY urge everyone to write in and have something thoughtful, informative, or even funny to say.

I've gotten tired of begging readers out there who can (and have) contributed their thoughts and opinions in an interesting way to comment. I've done so many times to no avail.

I find it interesting as well that those who think I exercise too much "control" here are the ones who suggest that I adopt a policy that literally NO other blog has, namely letting any idiot to post whatever idiotic drivel that squirts out of their consciousness that they might be able to mis-type without shorting out their keyboard with drool.

It's obvious to everyone except yourself evidently that unmoderated comments simply can't be without having the blog overwhelmed with angry and personal attacks and descend into chaos and ugliness, not to mention dumbing it down to a horrible level.

To do so would be reckless and stupid, and leave things to deteriorate into a cesspool of personal and political attacks were there no barrier against wild and false accusations and information.

I suggest that the fact you demand that there be no moderation here, is due to your desire to be able to use this place for your own low purposes in spreading smears, lies, attacks, and nasty personal attacks.

Please explain how you figure unmoderated wide open comments would improve ANYTHING.

You apparently would prefer if I allowed this to turn into a sewer so your comments won't get consistently dumped.

Sorry. Not going to happen.

If you have something to say, can say it in a relatively rational way, then chances are good it will be published.

If you have nothing but personal attacks, want to use this place as a billboard to post political attack ads and throw out charges and talking points which readers have already read and seen a million times already, then don't bother.
It's boring as hell.

If you're more interested in promoting yourself and writing in way over-done praise about yourself. Don't bother.

If you're more interested in tearing down some political enemy by writing crap that you don't back up, offer proof of, or explain, don't bother

But if you have something to contribute, such as further information on an issue or story, or your thoughts on the matter and you can express them and explain WHY you feel the way you do, then come on in, the water's fine.

And by the way, to those who haven't noticed, I publish all rational comments regardless of whether they may agree or disagree with my personal views.

That is most definitely NOT a factor in deciding whether to publish a comment or not.

Now of course, I might RESPOND to comments which I greatly disagree with or which I feel is false or misleading. But hey, everyone has the right to respond here, as long as they try to do so using a little thought.

I've read thousands upon thousands of comments which have been sent since April of 2005.

Trust me, this place would definitely NOT be a better place if comments were left wide open.

As I say, if readers had even a clue as to the rancid crap a few people relentlessly write, they'd thank me profusely for sparing them from it.

9/11/06 10:53

At 12/08/2006 6:47 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Some rather weird individual has been leaving daily comments with the delusion that they "own" this blog. They have been constantly demanding that I step aside. Below is only the latest example:

"WHile you may enjpoy losing and not doing your best, I always strive to do my best. Therefore, please accept this kind invitation to open our blog up to a new web master. Someone that has the time and is willing to put in the effort to make it work! What you are doing is wrong."

First of all, their arguments are routinely false, such as the idea that other blogs are stealing traffic, etc.

Second of all, and most humorous, the cowardly attackers don't have the balls to even mention who supposedly feels this way, let alone just who they want think I should hand over my work to.

So.... to these goof-balls. Just who am I supposed to give over my hard work to?

That would be interesting.

At 12/19/2006 3:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone who people like! Perhaps Barack or Versnoore

At 12/20/2006 3:03 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Now, now. Don't assume that because you don't like me, no one does. That would be a mistake.

And if Barack wants the blog, he's welcome to it.

At 12/29/2006 12:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do like you dope but I do see that some new blood would help the site. I think the idea of some anon replacement every year would keep the whole thing fresh and at the end of their reign the dope could unveil. I think it might help the site keep it fresh.

At 12/29/2006 5:56 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I think your idea is ridiculous. Thanks anyway.

But out of curiosity, who'd you have in mind? And why haven't they started their own blog?


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