Wednesday, March 30, 2005


March 20 update: Mr. Butler has given generously of his time to answer questions; interview is in progress. A big thank you to Mr. Butler for sharing his thoughts.

Almost a month ago we asked to interview The Union's new editor, Pat Butler. We're still waiting for a yes or no. Asked again two days ago, still no response.

We can't say we blame him - talk about being between a rock and a hard place - but still, we'd like an answer.
We also hope he knew what he was in for, before he took the job.

And there's still no "incomplete results"* warning posted on The Union's Search page; plus the older (pre-2002) archive search page seems to be missing altogether. Knowing that you share our avid curiosity about this state of affairs, we hereby reprint our Monday email to The Union's webmaster, Dayna Amboy, and the response:
[Subject: Re: 8+ month problems with Archive Search from website]

I visited the Search page just now and noticed two things:
  • First, it's still returning incomplete results.
  • Second, it still provides no warning to the user that the results returned are incomplete.
So I'm curious about two things:
  • Is it still your understanding that omissions from the Search results are inadvertent?
  • Could you explain why there's still no warning to the user on the Search page, that the results are incomplete?
I'd like to share your answers with my readers.
As promised, dear reader, here are Dayna Amboy's answers:
We are currently trying to make sure that our archive returns the most accurate results. It is an on-going process. Please bear with us while we improve our archive system.

If you want newsprint copies of past articles [... (*)]
We appreciate your readership.
Imminent addition to the "blog policies" page:
As a general rule, when we're complaining, our beef is with the institution and not with the person employed there. So, to protect them from Google, we try to refer to them by title, rather than by name. But we do feel free to name those who don't give us answers...

But - would this policy be fair, to an employee who can't answer completely and honestly without endangering his/her job?
Answer: no. So please keep this possibility in mind.

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