04/12/10 56 W - + 11 - 4 Stirring The Pot

Sign your name to stir the pot. Or stay anonymous and your comments may be deleted. What's the criteria? Can I give some examples?? Maybe later. For now, step up and sign your name. Pretend it's Facebook. Questions, comments, disagreements? Send private mail. I'll even help you say what you want to say.

Guess who….??? Well, I have nothing to hide. I feel if we all try to post facts (and not speculation), it does not matter how you sign your name because we all may learn something here in Mikey’s world. I do accept and understand that some folks need to vent periodically, so anonymity may be more comfortable for them – ...BUT BE NICE!!
A.C. Rich - 04/13/10 - 18:54

No one will ever find out who I am. I leave no easily identifiable information behind.
Marshall Sherard KE4ZNR (Email) (Web Site) - 04/13/10 - 21:05

Indeed, anonymity affords a comfort and particularly for venting. But be nice. Facts are good, too, but they can cause their own problems. Such as my posting about county budget cuts. The facts were factual, from WTVD and its sources. What was missing and even acknowledged in the posting was added context. What rushes to fill the resulting vacuum? A combination of speculation, perception, and actual additional facts. (That’s pretty much the pattern.) And then the story spins in whatever resulting direction, in the reader’s mind or in the posted comments. Thanks for the clarifications AC. I think I even understood it!

After Sunday’s fire with Bay Leaf, my thumbnail summary noted that Car 1 arrived and reported fire through the roof. That’s what I remember hearing on the radio. Seeing same on scene (Roof’s roof?) confirmed what I thought I heard. Some quantity of fire had vented. Those on scene from the start have the best perspective of what conditions looked like on arrival. Those who were listening, or arrived later, or heard about the fire, or saw photos of the fire, will have different perspectives. Simply the language “through the roof” likely conjures a variety of severity levels for different readers. And then come the comments, questions or opinions or judgments based on second- or third- or fourth-removed information. Tricky indeed!

How do you get good at all this? Practice, I guess. We’re three-plus years into this blog experiment, and its served as a pretty good Petri dish. Someday I may summarize. Right now, I’m still learning. That’s for sure.
Legeros - 04/13/10 - 21:07

No worries Mike. You have done a great job at balancing the ability of making quality information available while still allowing comments from the public. It is never easy but you have done as well of a job as can be expected. Keep up the good work brother!
Marshall Sherard KE4ZNR (Email) (Web Site) - 04/13/10 - 21:22

Alas, I can also disappoint, frustrate, or outright anger readers who feel censored. Heck, I might not feel happy if I took the time to type what I thought was a valid and articulate point, and then the thing just gets deleted. Maybe someday we’ll move to a Facebook-style system, where everyone’s identified at the outset. At least then, I could shoot the person a note, explaining why I deleted their post. There’s always, er, usually thinking behind it.
Legeros - 04/13/10 - 22:00

Someone mentioned venting? Yes this has been a great place to vent. You can never know the ‘entries’ that I have typed and then deleted on different issues, even on my own blog (self-serving plug for the 9-ECHO-1 blog here), in order to preserve, well, maybe, never mind. Sometimes just typing and seeing, ever so briefly, is therapy.

The cycle of speculation and perception, I think, is also good. Sometimes that is what it takes to get to the facts (that some feel compelled sometimes to conceal maybe?). Sometimes change can be afforded. Mike’s 3-year experiment is part of a grander experiment called “the social media”. Too many in our ranks (possibly more so the higher up) have failed to grasp the power that can be brought to bear to share information and influence behavior. Hell, we just had a president elected in large part by the power of the social media.
DJ - 04/13/10 - 22:30

Why and what are great questions in social media. Why do I want to post this information, using this particular language, in this particular forum, at this particular time. What do I want to happen by my act of posting, and what value will it add to those who read it, discuss it, hear second-hand of it, or are affected by it?

Mind you, this from an avowed analyzer. As they say, the unexamined life…
Legeros - 04/14/10 - 06:04

VALUE is a key word nowadays. What “value” does one place on any of their decisions and/or activities? Maybe it’s too philosophical, but it will help folks better determine why they “do what they do.” Think about it. Now, y’all keep it up. This is good base information for my next EFO paper (social media use). Mikey and DJ, get ready for some upcoming interviews!
A.C. Rich - 04/14/10 - 22:05

At the risk of repeating (but it was a good source!), “Be nice!” Discussion is good, disagreement is good. Nasty and disrespectful of others is not good. I was mortified, ashamed, and angry at the posts that I read on the Statter 911 blog when I went there to learn about the fire in the building that housed that iconic restaurant of Emmitsburg, Stavros’ Pizza. The Monday-morning quarterbacking, volunteer-bashing, etc., was just plain hateful and accomplished nothing other than making other readers angry. Funny how “the brotherhood” disintegrates in to being hateful over some issues. People say stuff that they would never say in person for fear of (or unless they wanted) physical violence.

Folks need to understand the concept of “affective block” – when what you are hearing makes you so mad (or upset, etc.) that you can’t really comprehend what is being said.

Besides, only a certain type likes “being mean” to others – not the type that I like to interact with.

Good topic Mike! And A.C. is right on target – if what you write doesn’t add value, it probably doesn’t need to be said.
CHIEF100 - 04/15/10 - 19:43

Funny that you should mention Statter’s Emmitsburg posting, Chief. That caught my eye at the time, and was in the queue to be blogged about, until distraction or time took my attention elsewhere. The comments in that post are one of the best/worst examples of MMQB that I can recall. Could be a case study in what happens when topics, passions, and anonymity collide. On a positive note, the posting contained a superb series of time-lapse photos, taken from above and across the street, and show an excellent progression of the fire and the incident.

Thinking before speaking, that’s basically the point. There’s even a luxury that’s added in speaking via social media. Just about everything can be retracted or edited. Or at least, supplemented. You should see how many times that I subsequently edit a posting. Usually within the first five or ten minutes, as I evaluate my language and message a couple extra times, and tweak accordingly.

So, maybe it’s think before posting, and then think again after posting. You won’t lose any points. You might gain some awareness.
Legeros - 04/15/10 - 20:11

@Legeros- “Thinking before speaking”. Interesting concept.

@AC- You know how to find me.
DJ - 04/15/10 - 21:20

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