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Thread: Can Anyone Play This Game?

  1. #61
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    Default

    Pretty funny, Jeff. But since "Facebook" is already taken, how about borrowing a name that Conan O'Brien came up with for a social network site that combines the best features of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube: "YouTwitFace".

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    Impractical ways to increase participation on the DF:

    • Provide cash or prizes (or have a drawing for same) for most posts (dangerous!), best post, ...
    "Most posts" would be won be a post-generating program. Hmmm; you're not somebody's science fair project, Jeff, are you?

    Consider a monthly "best post" contest with either a substantial cash prize (requires fund-raising) or significant merchandise donated by local businesses in return for advertising (requires marketing). Establish a relevant and controversial local topic for each month, and use a poll among registered users to determine the winner. A separate "under 18" category addressing the same topic might be interesting. Promote the contest in local media and venues, recruiting both competitors and judges (new users).

  3. #63
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    Nov 2005
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    Default "Jeff Dieffenbach" really just Bill Laramie's 10th grade comp sci semester project

    Dang, you caught me. In addition to acing my course, the prize for passing the Turing Test will come in handy when it comes to upgrading to the new Macbook Pro.

  4. #64
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    Default

    Not to detract from the seriousness of the discussion, but I wanted to say something before Monday, and I “don't got no time”... so, pertaining to the town's collective bargaining, let's start a new thread for it, and start a citizens/taxpayers movement that promotes the following negotiating position:

    If the unionized membership won't accept a three year contract that reduces all salaries over $75K by 5% a year, keeping those lower than $75K the same, then offer a one-year contract that keeps all salaries just as they are until it becomes clear what shape the economy and us taxpayers are in.

    (I know Jeff will say that he can't discuss it because he's involved with the negotiations, but at least he can go to the meeting knowing that there is a constituency that supports freezing or lowering the town's wage bill. There are other related issues that could be addressed, but that will have to wait until next week.)

    donBustin@verizon.net

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Perlman View Post
    Pretty funny, Jeff. But since "Facebook" is already taken, how about borrowing a name that Conan O'Brien came up with for a social network site that combines the best features of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube: "YouTwitFace".
    Steve, in thinking about increasing participation here at the DF, my first thought would be to get the “editorial board” of eNews to participate more. You’re the only “editor” I’ve seen post in my short time here (maybe Lawrence did once, or was that a “letter to editor” somewhere else?). Seems board members are obviously interested and probably have some good ideas on why the discussion forum is/could be of value. Their participation in a leadership/guiding type role might be helpful? What do you think?

    On another note, Kim, I’m surprised that there hasn’t been an ongoing thread about the Electronic Communications Committee’s progress. We could have followed the areas the committee focused on, what you learned/decided, what reports were generated, etc.

    donBustin@verizon.net

  6. #66
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    Default Electronics Communications Committee

    Don, a quick answer now before heading off to play with my daughter (a longer one later): the Electronics Communication Committee tried to be a model for other committees by doing everything online and keeping all of our work as transparent as possible (e.g., we even posted draft meeting minutes before approving them and replacing them with completed meeting minutes). Our documentation is all online.

    Please visit our site at: http://www.mywayland.org

    Always happy to discuss the Committee here, so if you have questions, please ask away!

    Kim

  7. #67
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    Apr 2009
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    Kim, I did check out the Electronic Communications Committee’s (ECC) web site. Interesting. I found the “Report to Annual Town Meeting” from April – was that what was presented to the BOS last week or was there a more final version?

    I imagine that I was not the only one that didn’t know we could keep track of the ECC’s progress in real time on their web site. This seems to be a typical problem with online resources, whether ECC, the town, or eNews DF. How to get people to know what’s available? Seems like an ongoing marketing type effort (both “electronic” and traditional) is always needed.

    One bit of data I’m curious about and didn’t find is “How many Wayland citizens are actually active online?” I assume it’s a large percentage but don’t really know.

    More importantly, seems to me that one fundamental flaw of Wayland’s web site wasn’t even mentioned. What if our so-called leadership doesn’t really possess a sincere desire to communicate accurate and honest information to the town’s citizens? Think of the paucity of financial information provided in any manner to the taxpayers of this town. The BOS, FC, other boards and administrators could have done much better with the existing town web site if they had wanted to. One possible outcome is that we’ll pay for a more up-to-date web site but our leadership will not improve their commitment to providing information.

    The ECC does imply an understanding of this with their, “Town (should) adopt and enforce a Communications Policy and Best Practices to be used by all Town Boards... ”. But how much of an “enforce” might there actually be?

    Honestly, I think the citizens of this town might be better served by creating and maintaining their own sources of information than ever expecting the existing town government to provide them with the accurate and unbiased information that we all need to make informed decisions.

    donBustin@verizon.net

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    More importantly, seems to me that one fundamental flaw of Wayland’s web site wasn’t even mentioned. What if our so-called leadership doesn’t really possess a sincere desire to communicate accurate and honest information to the town’s citizens? Think of the paucity of financial information provided in any manner to the taxpayers of this town. The BOS, FC, other boards and administrators could have done much better with the existing town web site if they had wanted to. One possible outcome is that we’ll pay for a more up-to-date web site but our leadership will not improve their commitment to providing information.
    The situation you posit (town officials not wanting to communicate) is of course a possibility, but not one for which I see any pattern. I can only speak from my experience of course--it's not clear if the School Committee is one of the "other boards" to which you refer.

    Acknowledging that there's always room for improvement, I think that the School Committee and the School Administration have a solid communication record. Examples include the Committee's web site and electronic newsletter, last fall's "educational priorities" survey, occasional letters to the editor, public comment periods before and after meetings, our fall and spring forums, the WPS web site, and the school listservs.

    Over the past few years, we've made great strides in increasing the amount of online budget material, although some argue that we should do more in this area. On a related topic, at our recent "retreat" on June 15, the Committee discussed improvements that could be made in making meeting materials more available to the audience. For those interested in a community perspective on communication, please see this report on communication that resulted from the Committee's Long Range Strategic Planning initiative.

    Suggestions for how to continue to improve are always welcome.

  9. #69
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    Default Sounds great, Jeff

    Seems like we have our usual positions staked out. I criticize and you list many good examples of how (in this case) the school-related system is communicating OK, combined with an appeal for any ideas on how to improve. I do know that you personally are supportive of sharing information. Obviously. But I’m stopped short, wondering, if you really believe that the BOS, FC, town’s consul or administrators, even Mr. Burton, actually support the open and honest sharing of the whole truth (nothing but… ) and do all within their powers to promote it.

    Oh, this all always makes me want to argue with you… Not being the school’s target demographic, I get none of your listed sources of information. I used to read Mr. Burton’s editorials, until I tired of the seeming “pap” in them. I will give him credit though, the “superintendent’s budget” is the most comprehensive financial document available. There’s nothing like it provided by the town, and it is on the “town side” that my complaints usually rest. Trying to contradict you, I immediately want to go to Wayland’s web site and find examples of what’s not being done. Show how things are out-of-date, how’s there’s a lack of substance. Pick on the selectmen, the finance committee. Heck, there’s absolutely no concrete financial reporting – nothing like would be required if this was a business. What has our head administrator tolds us about anything? And though years of mismanaged projects and controversy (personnel and otherwise) I’ve never received anything from the town to explain things. Only the Warrant and Park & Rec newsletter. But what would be the point of arguing. Even if I made a good case, you probably wouldn’t see it. And me too, I’m not changing my mind for all your good examples.

    So, we see different worlds. You see a functioning government, slowly improved by incremental changes. I see a dysfunctional government that’s become prohibitively expensive that needs to be radically reformed. I know you’re intelligent and imaginative, so you must have some understanding of what I’m saying. ?

    Let’s have some fun. Let’s role reversal. You criticize something about town government (there must be something you don’t like – pick something big) and I’ll try to show how the town is positively dealing with the issue. (I don’t know about you, but it goes against my nature to do this!)

    donBustin@verizon.net

  10. #70
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    Regarding the communication of information by those other than the schools, I'm going to decline to comment beyond agreeing with your observation that their quantity is less.

    Allowing for information protected by executive session (negotiations, litigation, personnel matters) with respect to your "whole truth" statement, I don't know whether this communication is less than what you desire because some people don't want to share, or because some people don't have good systems for sharing. The latter can be a huge impediment, one that the ECC was established to help resolve.

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by don Bustin View Post
    Honestly, I think the citizens of this town might be better served by creating and maintaining their own sources of information than ever expecting the existing town government to provide them with the accurate and unbiased information that we all need to make informed decisions.
    Don,

    I think you’re exactly right.
    Two such websites that have appeared in the last year, both related to the school committee, are Wayland Transparency and Concerned School Parents of Wayland.

    If you’re looking for sites by people who are not part of the local government and have nothing to gain by putting information out there, this is a good place to start.


    Also, for those not able to attend the various meetings in town, many of them are in regular rotation on the local cable access station, WayCam, which also is now making their programming available on demand.
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    Two such websites that have appeared in the last year, both related to the school committee, are Wayland Transparency and Concerned School Parents of Wayland.

    If you’re looking for sites by people who are not part of the local government and have nothing to gain by putting information out there, this is a good place to start.
    Surely, no one will miss the irony in the discovery that waylandtransparency.com is privately registered and provides no information on the site about who has created it.

  13. #73
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    Default Who owns it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    Surely, no one will miss the irony in the discovery that waylandtransparency.com is privately registered and provides no information on the site about who has created it.
    On the WaylandTransparency.com I checked it out and you can email to help@waylandtransparency.com and find out.

    On the other site http://concernedschoolparentsofwayland.org/aboutus.html
    Will get you to the owners.

    By the way www.waylandmass.us is owned by me.

  14. #74
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    Default Thanks Alan

    Thanks for the idea, Alan. I cc'd you on the email I sent to help@waylandtransparency.com

    Nonetheless, you can't really argue that not providing this information on the site itself isn't particularly "transparent". That's the irony.


    Have you seen Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog? It's kind of like the scene when Captain Hammer explains what the hammer is. (If you haven't seen it, you really must). It's actually available online here: http://www.hulu.com/watch/28343/dr-h...ing-along-blog

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Reichelt View Post
    Surely, no one will miss the irony in the discovery that waylandtransparency.com is privately registered and provides no information on the site about who has created it.
    Jeff D has pointed this out more than once, even stating that a visit to whois wouldn't tell him who owns the site.
    However, as you can see here, that's not true. Anyone can see who owns WaylandTransparency.
    But I'll also make a note to contact the guy that owns it and see if he'd be willing to put his name up there. [grin]

    In any case, the site is full of videos, photos, facts, quotes - all things that really happened, in spite of some peoples' efforts to downplay or dismiss them or to offer some alternative explanation.

    So, with or without a name on it, it behooves people who are interested in learning more about what goes on to visit the site and find out for themselves. Armed with this information, they can go off and ask their own questions and research things for themselves. It is only one starting point in learning about what goes on behind the scenes in our town, much of which is anything but transparent.
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

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