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Thread: So quiet here, you’d think nothing was going on, no big decisions to be made

  1. #1
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    Default So quiet here, you’d think nothing was going on, no big decisions to be made

    There’s much I don’t understand. Why is eNews so underutilized? I think it’s a great opportunity, not only for the citizens of Wayland, but for the leadership too. People can use this discussion forum for anything they want. Any concern, any question. They can ask, they can share. People can gather information, they can become informed, etc. etc.

    Can’t understand why the HSBC or Wayland4schools (is that its name?) aren’t here this week, proselytizing for their cause? Why aren’t Selectpeople, finance people, committee members, or administrators here, explaining the issues of the town?

    For now, these are only rhetorical questions, but after the vote and meeting next week, perhaps we could try to figure out how to make this wonderful resource more “appreciated”.

    donBustin@verizon.net

  2. #2
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    Mar 2008
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    Default My thoughts on the quiet

    Don,

    Many people I know tend to think of the eNews forums much they same as the way they view Fox News – anything but Fair & Balanced:

    • When an owner/founder/moderator/administrator posts here on the forum it is almost always supporting the Powers That Be (PTB). She tends to be quite dismissive of ideas she doesn’t agree with, even calling last April’s postcard campaign of Concernd School Parents of Wayland dishonest, which of course it was not.

    • My posted question of whether or not it was even appropriate that she post at all was shot down by the people she supports (and vice versa), who pointed out that she has every right to post here. Of course she does, but by doing so she is encouraging others to exercise their right to not waste their time playing in her (unbalanced) sandbox, so what the forum is left with is a few people who already agree with each other, which can get to be pretty boring rather quickly.

    • The forums have come by many to be viewed by many as a vehicle for certain people to promote their agenda and not a place to engage in any reasonable give and take dialogue, where both sides get to express their views. Instead, the usual resident pit bulls are brought in as needed to squelch the “defectors” and defend the PTB. It’s actually quite amusing at times, even though it’s not particularly productive.

    • And then of course, there is the resident School Committee member who is always, absolutely always, without fail……
    Oh, forget it. I won’t even go there.

    I think these pages can still be fun and in spite of my criticisms, I very much appreciate the work that the owners put into them. But for serious, unbiased information, it all comes back to what you yourself said, Don in a post some months ago – one must do their own research. Between these forums, the Crier, Wayland Transparency, Concernd School Parents of Wayland , WVN and just talking with a wide variety of people, it’s not that difficult to muddle through all the bias and all the spin and begin to arrive at one’s own conclusions of what’s really going on.

    As to why more town officials don’t post, I suspect that for them it would be a waste of time – preaching to the choir. With few exceptions, the only people who would notice their posts are those who are already all lined up ready to do their bidding.

    .
    John Flaherty

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

  3. #3
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    Nov 2005
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    Many people I know tend to think of the eNews forums much they same as the way they view Fox News – anything but Fair & Balanced:

    • When an owner/founder/moderator/administrator posts here on the forum it is almost always supporting the Powers That Be (PTB). She tends to be quite dismissive of ideas she doesn’t agree with, even calling last April’s postcard campaign of Concernd School Parents of Wayland dishonest, which of course it was not.
    John, this bullet of yours is really a personal attack on me. I am truly saddened that you feel this way. John, if there's one thing I'm not, it's dismissive of the opinions posted in this forum (though I suppose I am dismissing your comment that I'm dismissive, and that's a bit circular and ironic :-) I make every effort to reach out to people and encourage them to post when they have an opinion to express, regardless of which "side" they are on. If people are comparing the forums to Fox News, well, I guess they just don't get it. The Forum is supposed to be about editorializing, people are supposed to express opinion here, and I can't make people come here and post. Comparing the Forum to WVN is interesting, since the forum is all about opinion, and WVN advertises itself as about news. [The forum, that is, as distinct from WaylandeNews proper, on which every attempt IS made to be as fair and balanced as possible.]

    Regarding your websites, you might consider a disclaimer there indicating your personal involvement if you are going to be "fair and balanced".


    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    • My posted question of whether or not it was even appropriate that she post at all was shot down by the people she supports (and vice versa), who pointed out that she has every right to post here. Of course she does, but by doing so she is encouraging others to exercise their right to not waste their time playing in her (unbalanced) sandbox, so what the forum is left with is a few people who already agree with each other, which can get to be pretty boring rather quickly.
    John, I'm more than happy to discuss this issue with you, though clearly the editors of any newspaper have the right to participate on their editorial page, of which this is the equivalent for WaylandeNews. We can discuss it, but ultimately, this site is run by the WaylandeNews board. If the Board decides that WaylandeNews members should not participate here (which I suppose is possible if there were valid and compelling arguments made here), then we will stop. Else, all members will continue to have the right, and I will continue to exercise it.

    I'm not sure how your point was dismissed by "the people she supports" (see: http://www.waylandenews.com/forum/showthread.php?t=168) where it was, admittedly, "dismissed" by Steve Perlman, who is a colleague, discussed by Tracy Scheidemantel, and countered by the one of the most thoughtful members of the forum, Lawrie Glick.

    I do not believe my presence here discourages others from posting. If it does, I'd love discouraged individuals to email me privately (kim@waylandenews.com) with their suggestions for how I could make the board more approachable.

    I think what discourages people (from all sides of all aisles) from posting is requiring named postings, but we've had this discussion several times, and we always come back to the same conclusion. When in doubt, review the vitriol on the Crier discussions.


    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    • The forums have come by many to be viewed by many as a vehicle for certain people to promote their agenda and not a place to engage in any reasonable give and take dialogue, where both sides get to express their views. Instead, the usual resident pit bulls are brought in as needed to squelch the “defectors” and defend the PTB. It’s actually quite amusing at times, even though it’s not particularly productive.
    I think there have been many interesting debates on this forum. In a few cases, people have come from what seemed to be opposing positions and actually reached consensus or compromise, and at least figured out where they agreed and where they disagreed. I think those have been very productive. Certainly I would like to see more of that.


    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    • And then of course, there is the resident School Committee member who is always, absolutely always, without fail……
    Oh, forget it. I won’t even go there.
    Not sure there is anything constructive to respond to there

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    I think these pages can still be fun and in spite of my criticisms, I very much appreciate the work that the owners put into them. But for serious, unbiased information, it all comes back to what you yourself said, Don in a post some months ago – one must do their own research. Between these forums, the Crier, Wayland Transparency, Concernd School Parents of Wayland , WVN and just talking with a wide variety of people, it’s not that difficult to muddle through all the bias and all the spin and begin to arrive at one’s own conclusions of what’s really going on.
    I really think, John, you have an obligation to indicate your personal involvement in a site when you mention it here. You can certainly point us to information on Wayland Transparency, but you ought to include the note that that is your site.

    That said, I agree that it's worth getting all the viewpoints. It's useful to know where people are coming from, which is why I have always found it important that people indicate their own involvement in a site or a committee (such as I do when I include a link in a newsletter on the Electronic Communications Committee or such). It's why I think WVN should indicate when a member of their staff (or maybe even the contributing writer of a particular piece) is involved in litigation or a committee or whatever the personal interest is that may influence their viewpoint. They rarely do this, and I think it's a mistake on their part as it plays to their credibility.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    As to why more town officials don’t post, I suspect that for them it would be a waste of time – preaching to the choir. With few exceptions, the only people who would notice their posts are those who are already all lined up ready to do their bidding.
    My guess is that town officials don't like to be involved in these boards because of the experiences of people like Jeff Dieffenbach. Jeff is a willing participant, and seems to have an unusually thick skin, but he's a bit unique in that regard. Not everyone likes to set themselves up for attack, and as much as you think those who might disagree with Jeff are discouraged from posting, I suspect there have been more posts attacking Jeff than there have been those supporting him.

    On the other hand, when people send me questions, I will occasionally post them here if I think they are of general interest (as I did yesterday on an update on some business space), and I am always able to find an official who will provide me with information and they are happy to have it posted.

    Perhaps we need to start by expecting the best of people. Rather than being frustrated at what nobody is answering, we need to first to nicely ask the question... We may all well be pleasantly surprised.

  4. #4
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    Default Sorry, Kim.

    Kim,

    I apologize if you took part of my post as a personal attack. As I re-read it, I can see why you would take it that way.
    This was not my intention. I was trying to honestly respond to Don’s post by using my own experiences here as example. While my post sounds harsh, it is truthful.
    John Flaherty

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Default

    John, when you started that thread, I replied to your comment by stating that I disagreed with you, that I believed that Kim's participation in the enews discussion board was completely appropriate, and that I felt that Kim's contributions to discussions on the board were very constructive and positive. I told you that I did not really understand your point of view, and I asked you to state precisely why you thought that Kim's participation on the board was "inappropriate." It was an honest and sincere question, and you never even bothered to respond. Now you talk about someone being "dismissive." Well, I think that you are now being dismissive of my comment (as Kim pointed out, I was one of only three people who replied to you on that thread so I think that I am safe to assume that your comment above applies to me) on that thread as shooting your point of view down because I support Kim and she supports me. What kind of a statement is that to make about someone who you don't know? It sounds to me like you are simply being "dismissive" of someone who happened to have a different point of view than yours.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    • When an owner/founder/moderator/administrator posts here on the forum it is almost always supporting the Powers That Be (PTB). She tends to be quite dismissive of ideas she doesn’t agree with, even calling last April’s postcard campaign of Concernd School Parents of Wayland dishonest, which of course it was not.
    Why "of course?"

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    • My posted question of whether or not it was even appropriate that she post at all was shot down by the people she supports (and vice versa), who pointed out that she has every right to post here. Of course she does, but by doing so she is encouraging others to exercise their right to not waste their time playing in her (unbalanced) sandbox, so what the forum is left with is a few people who already agree with each other, which can get to be pretty boring rather quickly.

    • The forums have come by many to be viewed by many as a vehicle for certain people to promote their agenda and not a place to engage in any reasonable give and take dialogue, where both sides get to express their views. Instead, the usual resident pit bulls are brought in as needed to squelch the “defectors” and defend the PTB. It’s actually quite amusing at times, even though it’s not particularly productive.
    Interestingly enough, the list of most frequent participants doesn't really bear this out. In order, the top eleven contributors (those with 50 or more posts) are me, Kim, Alan Reiss, you, Dave Bernstein, Jeff Baron (who hasn't posted in a while), Tracy Scheidemantel, Paul Grasso (ditto about recency of posting), Steve Perlman, Don Bustin, and BTDowns. Of this group, I would say that more than half tend to disagree with me more than they agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    • And then of course, there is the resident School Committee member who is always, absolutely always, without fail……
    Oh, forget it. I won’t even go there.
    Go ahead, John, you can say it: thoughtful, humorous, open-minded, ... [grin]

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    But for serious, unbiased information, it all comes back to what you yourself said, Don in a post some months ago – one must do their own research.
    I'm curious, John--when you say "unbiased," are you talking about information, or opinion? The list you cite below tends to lean towards the latter rather than the former.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    Between these forums, the Crier, Wayland Transparency, Concernd School Parents of Wayland , WVN and just talking with a wide variety of people, it’s not that difficult to muddle through all the bias and all the spin and begin to arrive at one’s own conclusions of what’s really going on.
    So, what's "really going on?" An unseasoned reader would be forgiven for imagining some ill-intentioned conspiracy working from the shadows for personal gain. Be specific, please.

    From my perspective, I see a group of talented but not perfect volunteers--supported by a majority of those who vote--expending considerable sums of time and effort trying to make Wayland better under significant fiscal constraints. Might we differ on our visions of what a "better Wayland" looks like? Certainly. But is that evidence of something (untoward) "going on?" Uh, no.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    As to why more town officials don’t post, I suspect that for them it would be a waste of time – preaching to the choir. With few exceptions, the only people who would notice their posts are those who are already all lined up ready to do their bidding.
    Ah, I see--if one agrees with a town official, one is "doing their bidding" (cue nefarious evil laughter and perhaps a thunder-lightning strike or two), whereas if one agrees with you, one is unbiased, untainted, and weaned on wholesome mother's milk.

  7. #7
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    Default

    Hey, Don,


    You're welcome.
    John Flaherty

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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Default Stop the Presses!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    Of this group, I would say that more than half tend to disagree with me more than they agree.
    Count me as agreeing to this point, wholeheartedly.

    Two birds with one stone...I get to agree with Jeff and I become a recent poster too!

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