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Minor Annoyances – Legislators, Media, and Commenters, Oh My!

June 9, 2009

It’s assorted and unrelated ramblings time…

I was reading an action alert from an organization, and it said “Remember, PHONE CALLS are more effective than emails.” While this is probably true, I don’t think it should be. Each is it’s own method of communication, and I can’t think of any reason why I can’t convey my message and be received as seriously via email as via phone. I’m actually likely to be more clear in an email, given time to think and type, and I don’t personally assign any value to the medium that should indicate how strongly I feel about the message, or how seriously I’d like it to be taken. I also recently sent a message to one of my own legislators on a topic, only to receive a message back asking me to call some guy in order to share my opinion. I already said what I had to say, I promise I did.

I found (via another librarian) this commentary on the Nine worst social media fails of 2009… thus far. I’m a little fussed that for 8 of the 9 of them, the problem was attributed to company’s failure to understand their market or social media. As for the 9th – you may remember the Motrin babywearing campaign that was ill-received by its intended audience and that I wrote about here. The Motrin “fail,” however, is described by the authors not as a market understanding fail, but as a problem of “mommybloggers” being an “irrational lynch mob.” Nice.

If you’re reading in other parts of the blogosphere, you’ve been reading an awful lot about comments and participation. I sometimes really wish I had more commenters here. I know part of that is work that I need to do, like engaging more at other sites. Other than that, I don’t really know what the magic formula for good discussion is, short of, uh, my being more interesting. However, I’ve had a couple of nasty comments here lately (that I’ve “unapproved”), comments that used offensive slurs or were otherwise objectionable in a hateful way I won’t tolerate. So while I want more engaged commenters, I will not hesitate to junk any egregious comments at my discretion, and the offenders immediately go on comment moderation. Have any questions about that? Just ask me.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. Jill permalink
    June 9, 2009 7:09 pm

    Yeah, I see some of the scary comments that come through after I’ve left a previous comment. I’m sorry the weirdos find you.

    I’ll comment more. I read everything you write, so I’ll make that extra step to come on over and discuss.

    • June 10, 2009 6:43 am

      Thanks, Jill. Your comment, though, reminds me that I don’t want to stress anybody out to comment, either! 😉

  2. June 10, 2009 6:30 am

    I think it’s every bloggers prerogative to set the rules for their blog home, it’s your living room and you have the right to not have people come in and crap on the floor. The only comments I delete are of the sales variety, the people who are paid by the hit so they blanket the internet with links to some website. If anyone is going to make money off my blog it’s me and so far I haven’t felt inspired to put advertising on my blog. As for the rest of it, if someone wants to make an ass of themselves, I figure they can go right ahead. I don’t usually want to interfere if someone wants to shoot themselves in the foot.

    But again, I totally understand why other bloggers feel differently. With the anonymity of the internet, blogs can certainly get inpleasant, especially when you are dealing with topics like reproductive choice which brings the nuts out of the woodwork.

    • June 10, 2009 6:46 am

      Oh, I delete those types too – the “good post” comments that just link to some crazy sales site or whatever. I do tend to want to leave things sometimes so they can be mocked mercilessly, but I’ve decided I simply won’t do it when people are using slurs or simply name-calling sans argument or suggesting violence.

  3. MomTFH permalink
    June 10, 2009 7:53 am

    Oh, Rachel, you are interesting. Well, maybe I’m a little biased, because I am a wanna be med librarian.

    It’s so hard to guess what will cause replies. I am never shy at the keyboard (ha! hardly) but it just depends on what I am doing at the time, or if I think I have something to add.

    • June 10, 2009 9:08 am

      Thanks. I mean, I guess there’s a question of what value comments add, etc. but it’s sometimes hard to tell if the information in the posts is useful to folks sans comments. But you’re one of my more frequent commenters, so thanks for that. 🙂

  4. June 10, 2009 10:39 am

    With regard to email vs phone call. I always asusmed that the person who received the communication has some sort of tally sheet for calls so in the end, no matter how eloquent you may be, it just results in a tick in the “for” or “against” column. Maybe in email people tend to say too much and it’s harder to fugrue otu which column to tick?

    • June 10, 2009 10:42 am

      oh, and with regard to comments, I turned them off of my blog because it is really just meant to be a warehouse of information about women’s health. I read a lot of what I post but not all. I’m mostly trying to catalog bits and pieces from around the web that may be useful later.

    • June 10, 2009 12:56 pm

      Anne, exactly, re: the ticking off. And you have a good point about the warehouse of information – to some extent I want that to happen here, and it definitely makes sense for there to be no or few comments when I’m just pointing readers to some resources or sharing a factual thing.

  5. June 10, 2009 5:24 pm

    I read almost all of your new posts, and love what I read. I will also try and comment more often. My background is in women’s and infant health so hopefully I can give you some enlightened comments. No pressure though 🙂

  6. Diana permalink
    June 11, 2009 2:38 am

    I absolutely love your posts, and I am so glad that I found your website! I haven’t ever left any comments, but just know that I read your blog regularly and appreciate the work that you do.

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