Complaints about Stand Up Lower Merion?

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dmuth's picture
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I know we've discussed Stand Up Lower Merion here before, and have mentioned that they don't seem too keen on allowing comments on their stories.

Since then, it seems that they've been encouraging people to comment on their forums instead, but I've received reports that:

- All postings must be approved by moderators

- People have tried to engage in dialogue on those forums, but met resistance of some sort.

Does anyone have any additional information on this that they'd be willing to share in public? While Stand Up Lower Merion is free to run their site as they see fit, if a political organization is not interested in hearing from people in their area, that does cause me some concern.

In the meantime, I've begun syndicating their RSS feed on this website, and placed it in the footer of all the pages here. (lower right) Depending on how bad the issue is, I may look into coming up with a way to comment on those articles here on this site.

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cscott's picture
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Comments get made in forums, which are moderated. I haven't met resistance per se, but moderation can be very slow. I have asked why they insist on moderating all posts prior to publication considering that they have a mechanism to report abusive posts and five moderators to monitor reported posts. So far, no one has responded to this question (posted as a message to the administrator and to the two most active moderators -- Alison and DK).

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"The best way to predict the future is to invent it." -Alan Kay

dmuth's picture
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I have asked why they insist on moderating all posts prior to publication considering that they have a mechanism to report abusive posts and five moderators to monitor reported posts

FIVE moderators?  Holy Jesus.  That's insane!

This site, with all the traffic it gets, has ONE moderator: me. And I pull double-duty as sysadmin and webmaster as well.

If they need five people to run such a tiny site, something is seriously broken over there.  That is way too "top heavy" for an organization of that size.  I'd jam an icepick in my eye if I had to run a site that size with 4 other people--I've been in situations like that before.  Things get debated endlessly and nothing ever gets done.

This just gives me more reason to allow people to comment on syndicated blog entries, because it doesn't look like it'll happen there anytime soon.

 

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politeia's picture
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Hey Doug,

Just curious what the criteria is to warrant a blog being put in the footer - which I assume will help its Google PR due to a strong link back from SAC.

Not speaking to SULM, just in general.

=================

Brotherhood of Thieves ~ As we must account for every idle word, so must we account for every idle silence.

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dmuth's picture
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Anything that's local and relatively interesting.

I'm also trying to keep it someone what "balanced", which is one reason why I have the Conservative Reform Network in the footer, even though I do not identify as conservative.

And yes, I take nominations/suggestions.

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bc59's picture
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doug- I'm not in favor of making this a forum for commenting on their posts over there, or in any way directing traffic to their site. I've clicked over there a couple of times, and the postings and dialogues are very one sided.  If they wanted to have a real discussion on issues, they could post their blogs over here where there are multiple points of view expressed.

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dmuth's picture
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Noted.

Though I can understand their desire (or anyone else's) to have their own website. When you post content on someone else's site, you always run the small risk that the site might go under for some reason or another.  When it's your site, on the other hand, you're in control, at least in theory.

 

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carla's picture
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Community websites are a terrific resource.    But the way I see that website is that they really aren't interested in a community conversation, only their own.  Which if that is their intent, just say so.  The multiple moderators I don't get, but then again not every website has a Doug Eye-wink

Stand Up LM is one sided as others have said, and if they really wanted a community conversation they wouldn't be so heavilly moderated - but theirs is a different mission I suppose.

I will say I find the "politics without the poison" très amusant as they are in my mind only sans the poison if you agree with them.  And hypocritical - they say:

 Why is it so hard to get involved in local issues these days? Why does it take so much effort just to find out what’s going on in Lower Merion without first having to wade through all the angry rants and noxious partisan attacks? Why does it seem impossible to express yourself in your own community without fear of personal reprisals?

Well, a group of us have decided there is no reason for any of it. We believe there are a whole lot of people in Lower Merion who are truly interested in learning about the important issues being debated by the Board of Commissioners and the School Board, and maybe even discussing the issues of the day free of nastiness and name calling. Or they would be if it wasn’t so difficult

Some of the most noxious partisan and personal attacks have come from some the mouths of these people - maybe not on the website but out there in real time.  And they only seem to advocate freedom of expression if you are a cookie cutter of them.  You disagree, you differ, you find any of them silly, well hey then you are poison.  YAWN.

I still think this website is all about the Reedite Mission and if they choose to be his disciples, well, hey that's cool but I choose not to drink that kool aid.  You are cool with them only if you drink the kool aid.

http://www.standuplowermerion.org/mainblog/voices/  Their common denominator is LMT BOC board leadership.  We saw various reiterations of the same theme before this website appeared in particular. 

They twitter, they facebook - so do lots of people.  Truthfully I don't look at their website very often because it's boring.  It's not infomative, it's dull.

My final comment is this - they might not like our website but you know what?  Even when we don't agree or share different perspectives on politics and life from LM and other areas, we are having a real conversation.  We are not a bunch of bobble headed cheerleaders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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cscott's picture
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Gracious post from Francie McComb over on SULM.

http://www.standuplowermerion.org/forums/showthread.php?89-Virginia-Pollard-appointed-to-School-Board/page2

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politeia's picture
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I think its great that there are different community blogs with different views (political or not) in the footer to educate others about community discussion.

As far as I can tell, I would be welcome to post on any blog in the footer up to the point SULM was added.

SULM appears to be the only blog in the SAC footer where you need approval to make a post. While they have a right to do that as a private blog, it can and will give a distorted view of what people are trying to say on that blog. People with views that differ for theirs, or if it is a view that does not meet their extensive posting criteria (that they do not seem to abide by themselves), are shut down from posting and then we have no idea what the community is trying say. It gives a distorted and false view of community opinion.

SAC and the other blogs in the footer are true community blogs that allow for complete and open community involvement (as far as I can tell, and certainly with SAC).

SULM does not do this. I don’t mind that they have a distinctive Democratic viewpoint. I don’t mind that they are Bruce Reed cheerleaders. I DO mind how they decide what the debate is going to be - just like Bruce Reed.

From that standpoint, I don’t think that blog is worthy of being in the footer, and I also have no interest in getting involved in their censored “discussions” via an RSS feed on the SAC blogs.

Until SULM comes around and allows for complete and open discourse, I don’t think quality blogs such as SAC and others in the footer should associate with them (and I can‘t speak for other blogs or other bloggers on SAC - JMHO)

I have no problem with liberal blogs, conservative blogs, Tea Party blogs - you name it. This is what this country is about. Having places to discuss your views without fear of being shut down.

Therefore, I do not believe it is appropriate for SAC, and given its high standards of openness on all issues and for all types of posters, to associate with such a blog until it gets its act together in regards to who it allows and how it allows others to post.

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Brotherhood of Thieves ~ As we must account for every idle word, so must we account for every idle silence.

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dmuth's picture
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SULM appears to be the only blog in the SAC footer where you need approval to make a post.

I hadn't thought about that, but I think you're right.  And that every other blog does not require approval t post is quite telling.  Thanks for pointing that out.

I'm debating maybe changing the title in the footer (which I think I can do) to say something like, "Comments are screened".

Or, I could see about setting up the feed so comments can be made on the syndicated posts here (there's a module), and make those posts be in the footer.  This would allow for people to discuss the posts from SULM (the originals would also be linked to), and comment on them here.



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bc59's picture
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If the Speak Up folks want to limit comments, or don't want to respond to opinions different from their own, isn't that really up to them? If people here want to comment on things they read there, they can link to them in a blog post on SAC.

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outtathere's picture
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If the Speak Up folks want to limit comments, or don't want to respond to opinions different from their own, isn't that really up to them?

It is entirely up to them and is their right. That said, I see no reason why this blog should give recognition to that echo chamber in any way. This blog is all about free speech and diversity of opinion which seem to be just the principles they find objectionable.

Far as I'm concerned, they don't make the cut for being featured here and they can stay smugly where they are and revel in their insularity.

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"The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.":Gil Scott-Heron 1970 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGaRtqrlGy8

dmuth's picture
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If people here want to comment on things they read there, they can link to them in a blog post on SAC.

Of course they can.  The only downside is that it requires people to go to the trouble of writing their own blog post, linking to the original SULM post, etc. What I had in mind with allowing comments to their RSS-fed posts on this site involved removing a barrier to that.


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bc59's picture
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I admire your ingenuity--but think it is not worth the trouble.

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