My Personal Solution to the TD Blog Problem

Mabuhay!

That is the Tagalog (Philippine national language) equivalent of “aloha.” Like “aloha”, it is used as both “welcome” and also as “farewell.” For that reason, I decided it is the most appropriate way to begin this special house warming post for TD bloggers.

First, the farewell…

I’m absolutely convinced that the Democrat abdicated its responsibility to bloggers there by failing to establish a limit on the number of blogs by one person in one day.  In the long term, the “publish as many blogs as you like” policy will not hold up.

At some point – whether next week, next month, or next year – the Democrat will confront a situation where someone takes that policy to its most extreme, logical end.  Then, the Democrat will step in.  And when that happens, it’s previous “no limit” policy will be quite properly thrown back in its face.  Because it could have, and should have, administered the ounce of prevention now.  “Nip it in the bud”, as Deputy Fife would say.

In a comment to the “Petition” blog, Bob Gabordi said he did not “want” to take a heavy hand here.  That means he will if he has to. So why not sooner rather than later?  I think the situation is way past the breaking point.  It’s certainly way past my breaking point….

“Freedom of speech” is not the issue.  Bob Gabordi will the first one to say that freedom of speech has limits, especially on private property such as the Democrat’s website. And “freedom of speech” did not stop the Democrat from removing at least two posts that I am aware of that were deemed unacceptable.  Yet, it appears that the Democrat allows all sorts of personally insulting comments by the usual suspects.

So if freedom of speech is not the issue, what is?  For me, it is the issue of the proper role of a “host.”  If you invite someone to your home you have a special responsibility to be a good host.  Similarly, if you accept an invitation to someone’s home, you have a responsibility to be a gracious guest.

But when a guest is being rude to other guests, who has the responsibility to address the situation?  Other guests?  Or the host?  I do not understand how the answer can be anything other than: the host.

And that is what upset me most about the blog limit issue.  When we appealed to Bob Gabordi, as our host, for a limit on blogs and his reply is that we should attempt to work it out with the rude guest(s)…that to me is abdication of his responsibility as a host.

And Bob is our host.  The only reason I, and I believe many others, found our way to the Democrat website is all the PR in the newspaper’s print edition. Earlier this year, we were invited to check out the enhanced website. We were invited to blog.  (On my desk is the March 3 article by Holly Taylor inviting us to “Write A Blog.”)

Now, if there was a way to access every blogger’s home page at the Democrat, then the blog limit issue would not be as big a deal.  But we cannot do that, and so that limited space is a legitimate issue of “equal access.”  An issue which the Democrat staff does not have to worry about, which may explain it’s “lah ti dah” attitude.

Take a look at how long some of the staff blogs stay up.  If a reader blog stays up more than even a day, then that’s a long time.  There is no freedom of speech if no one can access your blog because they don‘t even know you exist.

I work during the day and so cannot check the blogs then.  I’m sure there are bloggers who post only during the day whose posts disappear before I can check the blogs in the evening and so I don’t know they even exist to bookmark them.  (Notice that reader blogs don’t even appear on the front page.  You have to select the “more blogs” link, suggesting that reader blogs are an afterthought.)

Blogging is an investment of time, especially for those us who don’t write in a stream of consciousness style but rather take time to craft an organized, thoughtful blog.  Why should I, or any other blogger, make that investment in the current environment that exists with the Democrat’s reader blogs?

While I was on my “blogging vacation” I checked in on the blogs and it seems the blog limit issue has morphed into a form of war because that is the only way left to express dissatisfaction with a situation the Democrat is ignoring.  I’ve noticed an escalation of reader blogs full of recriminations and complaints of abuse, etc.

Dare I say the TD blogs may be headed to…anarchy?  My, my…how ironic!

One of the first rules of poker is: don’t play a bad hand.  Yes, you might get lucky; but in the long run, for every bad hand you play and win, you’ll lose many more bad hands and end up behind.  I’m in this for the long run, and it’s clear to me that blogging on the Democrat website is a bad hand.  Time to fold it and move on to a new hand.  That new hand is right here.

Time for the “welcome” part….

Although the bad blood at the Democrat website is a precipitating factor in my leaving, there are other factors.  In short, the Democrat is somewhat of a blogging wading pool.  It’s not a true “blog site”…it allows a limited form of blogging but there’s just not a whole lot of customization available.  And, it’s potential to reach a large audience, is not encouraging.  I doubt that folks worldwide are checking out blogs on the Democrat.

In reviewing my TD blogs, only 3 out of 37 were ones which would not be of interest outside the Tallahassee area. If you review your own blogs, I suspect you’ll find that is true for you also. So why not get the audience and customization options you deserve by joining up with a real blog site?

Before making the decision to move my blog here, I visited a number of blog sites.  Some of the sites I visited were Blogspot and Bravenet.  I decided on this site because it seems to have the most options.

Because of the many options, there is a learning curve.  But anyone can begin blogging here at the “basic” level, using dozens of predesigned templates and then add customization as you learn each option.  There is excellent online support and also e-mail support.  For free!  (When I had a problem with my banner, I received a reply to my e-mail inquiry within a few hours!)

If you’d like to check some blog sites out, here’s a link to a list of 40 of them.

Also, here’s a link to some of the benefits of this site.

If you decide to move, leave me a comment on any of my posts here and I’ll consider linking to you.  I’ve already linked to some of my favorite TD bloggers. But maybe I don’t even know you exist….

Although I suspect there are features I’m not even aware of yet, here are features I know about that I like:

1. My blog will never be pushed down by someone else’s.

2. Custom image header. (I created my Spencer Court banner at one of the free banner sites.)

3. Monthly calendar that highlights the days you posted so visitors can click on the date to see that day’s blog.

4. Online “click and drag” resizing of photos you upload into a blog.

5. Visitor statistics, so you know how many folks a reading your blog even if they do not comment.

6. 3 Gigs (3,000 megs) of free space.

7. Expanded audience through RSS feeds, such as Feedburner; search engines; and WordPress’ own search of blogs hosted here..

My “grand opening” is August 10. Bookmark this address and come back then. Better yet….join me here!

Mabuhay!

P.S.

If I’ve linked to you and you want to change the “hover tag” for your link, leave me a comment on what to change it to.  If I did not include a “hover tag” for your link, it is because I didn’t know what to use after looking at your profile; leave me a comment about what you’d like, if anything.

Name, e-mail other information are NOT required to leave a comment.  But all comments are reviewed before being published. If you do not see a comment are, click on “No Comments.”

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6 responses to “My Personal Solution to the TD Blog Problem

  1. I’m honored to have been included, and everything you say about the TD blogs is true to the maximum degree. It’s like “Blogging for Dummies”, not to exclude myself.

  2. I can understand your leaving. My answer is not to post for a while but I don’t think that matters much to the Democrat. I don’t post very often as it is. I will write a Post agreeing with your stand. Good luck in your new home. Thank you for in cluding me.

  3. I like the set up. I just may be joing you!

  4. hey, look who I found! You AND eehard? I’m following to read at least…. and there’s another jackster in the world? I couldn’t register as jackster so I’m thajackster here – AND THANKS FOR INCLUDING MY MEASLY LITTLE BLOG!

  5. Thanks for the parting gift 🙂 That poll was really hard. Too bad there couldn’t have been an “All of the Above”. Perhaps it could be a rotating icon, based on the content. Of course, I settled on one.

  6. zeezee here, a blogger of little productivity and commentor of a little bit more at the Dem site. I’ve not totally left there, but the same topics over and over have worn my interest down and the personal insults and rudeness have turned my silver hair whiter. I’ve blogged less and less at the Dem and my Yahoo 360 is somewhat neglected as well. We’ll see. Hopefully I’ll be inspired by y’all.

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