Tuesday, May 09, 2006

An attempt to breach the walled garden

Last night's Nevada City Council meeting was unusually interesting; The Union's Josh Singer reported on it, candidate Barbara Coffman blogged it, and Yubanet reprinted the controversial handout from the City Manager that was given to all attendees.

None of these online pieces references the others.*

So I decided to try to add a "cross-reference" comment
("More info: here is the sheet Mark Miller passed out; here* is Barbara Coffman's report on the meeting. - Anna")
to The Union's (moderated-before-publishing) comments section for this story.

I suspected that it wouldn't go well - that an institutional fondness for the "walled feedlot" style of web 2.0 architecture, or perhaps a purely coincidental (and, if still extant, long-standing) proclivity of the institutional software to choke on URLs in comments, would cause the comment to appear late or not at all.

And indeed it was so; I'd written and submitted the comment this morning, but by 5 it was still not online, although much later comments had appeared.

(to her credit, when I emailed to ask why it wasn't online, the web editor asked me to resubmit and then did approve it (it's now here); but the later the comment appears, the fewer the readers who see it. And "the system sometimes eats comments"* isn't a satisfactory explanation, and doesn't help to prevent it from happening in future.)


Anna said...

My two cents on the City Clerk, whose being put on paid administrative leave was the big issue of the meeting -

I don't know her(CWB) well. I don't know the city manager(MM) well. I've heard from people who know them both; both are said to be very nice people.

I will say - based on the extremely incomplete information that we currently have, and based on her demeanor, and based on what I know of some extremely honorable and selfless actions she's taken in the past - that I'd be very surprised if it turned out that CWB was engaged in any shady dealings.

and keep in mind that women are typically the whistleblowers, not the wheeler-dealers.

Anna said...

And back to the recurring "malice vs. sloppiness" theme, here instantiated as "did my comment get eaten deliberately or by accident", here's something I wrote to a dubious reader:
If a submitted comment just disappears (as apparently happened, yesterday morning), and there's no convenient 'paper trail' (aka transparency) for determining what happened to it (and those in charge of the software (Swift) don't seem to see a need for one), and the effect of its disappearance is aligned with the company's interests, and the 'disappearance' matches my a priori prediction for what would occur, and it matches what others have reported as happening regularly to their letters to the editor, _I'm_ not going to rule out "deliberate action" (or "deliberate inaction") as a likely cause.

Am I certain that's what happened? No. Does this mean I believe it was probably just a random occurrence? Definitely not.
(but this may be a false dichotomy - stay tuned, more to come...)

Russ Steele said...


I comments on Pat Butler's Column and then post a comment on the Union's comment section, suggesting that people visit my web page for details. It was never posted. It raised some questions they are not willing to accept. LinK: http://ncwatch.typepad.com/media/2006/05/selfdelusion_is.html

Russ Steele said...

Corrected: I commented on Pat Butler's Column and then posted a comment on the column, suggesting that people visit my blog for details. It was never posted. It raised some questions they are not willing to accept. LinK: http://ncwatch.typepad.com/media/2006/05/selfdelusion_is.html