7/27/2007

Some Random Thoughts on "The 'blog"

I've noticed a few things lately that I believe to be worthy of observation.

First, a trend has begun, apparently spontaneously (if I could claim credit I would), of marking anonymous comments with initials. Great idea. Frankly, who cares if you even use your own initials. It is just nice to see a way to differentiate between commenters.

Second, ECW's daily readership has spiked of late. We're seeing 6-700 hits per day. More significantly to me, though, is that the average visitor spends somewhere between 7 and 8 minutes perusing the site. That's about as much time as I spend reading the Tribune on an average day (well, at least if there's something really interesting in it besides ads that day). I'm not really sure what is driving it.

Is it because people are stuck inside by the hot weather? Is it because people just can't wait to see what that CRAZY SONOFABITCH LARRY KRALJ!!!!!! has written this time? (That was a joke, LK) Is it being driven by some latent dissatisfaction in our community? Or is it simply that more and more people are learning about the blog and contributing to it, therefore making it more interesting?

I don't know. Even though I write whether the readers are 5 or 500, I enjoy the discussions created by more readers.

Third, someone posted this comment: "Gee Guy, you should be as persistent in examining the County Commission and its 'public processes' and issues as your [sic] are in examining the City Commission issues." In a word, "no." There are several reason why I am not going to delve into County politics like I do the City's. First, I know some 'behind the scenes' information about the County's role in this coal plant fiasco that I am not going to disclose for personal reasons. Second, I am not going to criticize a board for changing its mind, lawsuit or not, if I think they're doing the right thing. Third, there are some personal reasons why I will not comment generally on the County's doings, at least not as extensively. Finally, Joe Briggs showed up and make an argument. It isn't irrefutable but it's here. Unlike the City's response to criticisms...

Fourth, some of the rhetoric around here gets pretty dang heated, but it is not going to be unlimited. I have spent some time around message boards in the past. I used to frequent a now-defunct Montana Grizzly football board that was finally shut down due to animosity among some of its members. (My favorite message board theory is Godwin's Law) So far, so good around here, but I won't let it get out of hand. Passion and long, thought comments are good; swearing, personal attacks, not so much. I guess I'll be the judge and jury. (I've just always wanted to say that.)

Fifth, my favorite little labor of love, the offline version, is still stuck for now. I am shooting for next week, but with the Fair and kids, I don't know.

Finally, some have asked me if I would like to take this to a larger scale. Sure I would. At present, though, I don't have the access to state or national information that I can obtain locally. I think it will come with time, and then we'll see what happens.

Thanks for reading.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

No offense TAKEN, Gee Guy! Heck, I LUV constructive criticism. I don't mind being called crazy at all. But please, PUHHHLEASE don't call me "normal"! Normal implies a fat, overweight, lethargic, lazy, complacent, big-mac-eating, walmart-shopping, braindead moron. I'm none of the above. So, normal is the worst thing I can be called. And I'm glad that your site is getting the attention it deserves. You put a lot of thought and effort into your site. And I think that the commenters stay well within the bounds of proper discourse. Oh sure, it get's heated. But I've yet to see anything of a really personal nature. As I mentioned before, if your not passionate about something, you're not alive fercryin'outloud! And if your not passionate in your beliefs, I don't want to read you. I mean, look at today's trib. There are TWO stories on coal fired plants, and one on mining. Coalstrip is one of the dirtiest plants in the nation. And in Nevada, Sen. Harry Reid is fighting vigorously to prevent even more plants being built there. (he's got passion) These are issues about which people are passionate. And lastly, the trib sucks. It sucks BAD! We all know that. That's why I enjoy coming here to hear everyone else's take on the news. It's the stories behind the stories. There are people who frequent this blog who have all KINDS of insight into what's going on. And I like that. Hell, the trib should hire US to write those stories. At LEAST their readership would be growing instead of going, going straight into the toilet! And, in summary, just don't call me a NOMARL SUMBITCH!..........i take that personally!

LK

Anonymous said...

p.s. Seven or eight minutes?? That's how long it takes your to read the trib?? I read it for however long my morning constitutional takes. Seven or eight minutes sounds about right. But most times it's hard to make the trib even last for one good bowel movement!

LK

Anonymous said...

Hey LK - Constructive Critiscm, well within the bounds of proper discourse and hopefully, passionate enough for you to read.

NOMARL SUMBITCH = A fat mouthed, overweight opinionated, big-mac yapper, wal-mart shopping sized ego, braindead moronic potty mouth.

Nothing personal.

Anonymous said...

Ah yes, once again issues aren't issues, but COMMENTERS are issues. Sorry, but I can't respond to that. Get yourself an issue and we'll talk. If you seriously think that I'M the biggest issue out there, you're one sad individual who has nothing to say. Great to see that your passionate about ME, though. That's a start.

LK

Rooster said...

I am impressed with the spike in your readership. I’ve been hooked since the Sam Harris thread. However, I am less impressed with some of the more recent commentators.

Do you remember how “civil” ECW was in the pre-Larry Kralj days?

I wondered who this guy LK really is, so I did a Google search. It turns out he is persona-non-grata at a number of Montana web logs. It looks like David at The Billings Blog got tired of his tirades in January of 2006, and Dave at DaveBudge.com booted Larry as well.

(I don’t know how to link within a comment, so here’s a representation of what The Billings Blog had to say:

Monday, January 02, 2006
Corralling Kralj

I've been lax about letting Larry Kralj use this space to insult and demean other visitors here. Frankly, I find his stuff so painful to read that I skip nearly all of it, and I have been letting things get by that shouldn't. This is my house, and people who comment here are my guests. When one of those guests becomes rude and abusive, it's my job to stop him.

Fair warning, Larry: From now on, any post you write that personally attacks another commenter will be immediately deleted. Any post you write that makes fun of someone else's name (including Cornhole and Racicrotch) will be deleted. I won't have it anymore.

Furthermore, any post that contains multiple exclamation points at the end of a sentence and pointless all-caps will be deleted. That's not because those things are offensive in themselves, but because I don't intend to wade through that kind of garbage to find out what you really are saying. I have a high tolerance for bad writing -- I've even managed to get paid for quite a few years to read bad writing -- but I'm not going to read phony exclamation points and all-caps for free. Out it goes.

Larry was an early and enthusiastic supporter of the Outpost, and that has lulled me into cutting him a lot of slack. But the slack is all used up now.)

It seems LK is no stranger to wearing out his welcome. I personally would like to see less of his garbage on ECW.

Anonymous said...

LK - Normal LK?

Jargon, not argument, is your best ally.

Someone asked you questions you never took "the chance" to answer yet.

GeeGuy -

Great site - look forward to the Offline Blog.

Anonymous said...

That was me PL ... asking questions!

Anonymous said...

PL, let me try to answer your question. First, yes. I think that we need to revise our form of city government to make it more representative. But first, a little history. I was living in Billings when we voted to adopt a city manager type of government there. I actually voted for it because it seemed to make sense at the time. But IMMEDIATELY things got ugly. You see, the argument was that the old mayoral form of city government was too much of a good-old-boy system, and that modern times called for a "professional" city manager. Of course, the new city manager was to be paid WAY more than our mayors had. For he was an "expert"! (you know, a guy from outta town with pictures) If we would have just elevated the mayorship to a position that paid halfway decent, say equivalent to the city managerr, we'd'a probably attracted some top notch people to the job. But we didnt'. We hired a city manager. (an expert from outta town) I've forgotten his name. He IMMEDIATELY set about destroying city government. He was simply a hatchet man. He had NO vested interest in the community, and he knew that he was just passing through. (he lasted two years) Hence, he knew that it was all about building a resume and nothing more. And to HELL with the community! And that's how it's pretty much been ever since. And I get the sense that GF is kind of in the same position now. Even though Lotten has been here a long time, he STILL really has no vested interest in the community. As soon as he's done, he'll probly head on down the road. (SME maybe?) And I beleive that THAT is the inherent flaw in the city manager form of government. There is NO accountability. 'Course, it's the same with many positions. (ie. school superintendents, chiefs of pohlice. see billings' current debacle DIRECTLY attributable to an outta stater brought in) But you see, some of us DO intend to be part of the community, and we DO have a vested interest in making sure the community is well run. (our kids and grandkids live here) Hence, I would either go back the the mayoral system and offer a professional salary for someone to take the job, (just as the county does for their commissioners), or I would make the city manager MUCH more accountable for his actions. It's time. Now, as far as specifics, I'll leave that to the lawyer types. (McKnight and Gee Guy) Basiaclly, I think the we've come to a point where SOMETHING needs to be done to make city government run better. Does this help? I want local government to be run by locals. It's the best way. The city manager form of government is a bad idea. In fact, it's a disaster. Hope this helps.

p.s. to my detractors, again, let me say that I'm NOT an issue! Issues are issues. If you don't like what I say, contradict it. That's what PL does.


LK


LK

Anonymous said...

PL, let me try to answer your question. First, yes. I think that we need to revise our form of city government to make it more representative. But first, a little history. I was living in Billings when we voted to adopt a city manager type of government there. I actually voted for it because it seemed to make sense at the time. But IMMEDIATELY things got ugly. You see, the argument was that the old mayoral form of city government was too much of a good-old-boy system, and that modern times called for a "professional" city manager. Of course, the new city manager was to be paid WAY more than our mayors had. For he was an "expert"! (you know, a guy from outta town with pictures) If we would have just elevated the mayorship to a position that paid halfway decent, say equivalent to the city managerr, we'd'a probably attracted some top notch people to the job. But we didnt'. We hired a city manager. (an expert from outta town) I've forgotten his name. He IMMEDIATELY set about destroying city government. He was simply a hatchet man. He had NO vested interest in the community, and he knew that he was just passing through. (he lasted two years) Hence, he knew that it was all about building a resume and nothing more. And to HELL with the community! And that's how it's pretty much been ever since. And I get the sense that GF is kind of in the same position now. Even though Lotten has been here a long time, he STILL really has no vested interest in the community. As soon as he's done, he'll probly head on down the road. (SME maybe?) And I beleive that THAT is the inherent flaw in the city manager form of government. There is NO accountability. 'Course, it's the same with many positions. (ie. school superintendents, chiefs of pohlice. see billings' current debacle DIRECTLY attributable to an outta stater brought in) But you see, some of us DO intend to be part of the community, and we DO have a vested interest in making sure the community is well run. (our kids and grandkids live here) Hence, I would either go back the the mayoral system and offer a professional salary for someone to take the job, (just as the county does for their commissioners), or I would make the city manager MUCH more accountable for his actions. It's time. Now, as far as specifics, I'll leave that to the lawyer types. (McKnight and Gee Guy) Basiaclly, I think the we've come to a point where SOMETHING needs to be done to make city government run better. Does this help? I want local government to be run by locals. It's the best way. The city manager form of government is a bad idea. In fact, it's a disaster. Hope this helps.

p.s. to my detractors, again, let me say that I'm NOT an issue! Issues are issues. If you don't like what I say, contradict it. That's what PL does.


LK


LK

Anonymous said...

Rooster, why kill the messenger? if you don't like the message don't read it.

Have to give Larry Kralj credit where credit is due. I Google searched "rooster" and came up with chicken.

TL

Anonymous said...

TL said I Google searched rooster and came up with chicken.

PRICELESS!

ROTHFLMAO

Anonymous said...

Normal lk:

Think whatever brings your ego comfort.

Nothing personal.

Anonymous said...

Hi Larry,

A bit under the weather - sorry for the quick departure earlier.

Have read your posts but need to come back when I feel better to sit at the computer.

Thank you for responding.

PL

P.S. Sometimes it is hard to get past some of your writing - but you I think you mean well.

WolfPack said...

I agree with Rooster. It's somewhat ironic that a guy who prides himself on calling people names thinks we should stick to the issues.

Anonymous said...

There once was a fellow named Larry. In his comments he likes to insult.
Now due to this form of writing,
We tune him out as a result.

He's upset with the City Gov't, The Paper and the Police.
What he says can be of some interest. But the name-calling really must cease.

He has a right to his opinions,
No one here doubts his concerns.
Take a breath, relax, while you're writing, And maybe we bloggers could learn.

Have at it LT. I know you dislike the Mayor, Commissioners, Paper and Police. I understand you are passionate. What is it you want? Could you just once state without the theatrics and without personal opinions what you wish the public to know. Back it up. I am willing to learn and investigate after I hear from all sides. Keep it concise and straight to the point. Could you do that?

I'm leaving town for a few days so sit back, relax and think what you want to say. POPP

Anonymous said...

Correction - "Have at it LK"
POPP

Anonymous said...

LK - says

1) revise our form of city government to make it more representative.
2) make the city manager MUCH more accountable for his actions.
3)local government to be run by locals.
4)The city manager form of government is a bad idea.

I have been catching up on some of the threads and it sounds like that what everyone is saying over and over again along with the many themes dealing with corruption or abuse of power.

I keep wondering about changing laws vs one honest going on record to do the right thing.

Like adage goes "Character Counts."

PL

Anonymous said...

PL, here's my take on it. One man, and one man alone, one UNELECTED, UNACCOUNTABLE man, decided for the ENTIRE FRIGGIN' CITY and all the residents living downwind, that he could build a polluting toxic monster in our fair city. THAT'S FLATARSED WRONG! And THAT'S what I mean by not being representative! How did we possibly get ourselves into this position? How did we come to a situation where people FAR more knowledgeable and informed than the people making the decision are limited to three minutes, and THEN, even arrested, dragged outta the room, threatened with FELONY arrest before live video cameras? Look, I seriously doubt tha primadonna knows more about the economics of the plant than Larry Rezentes. I seriously doubt that ANYONE associated with the city knows more about the negative health effects of this plant than Cheryl Reichert. And I seriously doubt that any member on the council knows more about this plant than ANY member of the CCE! And yet anyone who attempts to testify is intimidated and silenced. What's WRONG with this picture? PLENTY I contend. The public, especially the caring, informed, concerned public, has been completely removed and left with protesting on the steps of city hall as their only recourse. That stinks! We need to change it. It's assbackwards! The council should be asking the people testifying for advice instead of rubberstamping everything jonny no vote says. And that brings me to my final point. WHY NO VOTE?????? What is jonny no vote afraid of? I think we all know the answer to that one.

LK

Anonymous said...

HI LK,

So you are agreeing with me: Good character matters and one charactered voice, one good leader could change the course for GF.

Thanks for your thoughts, I just don't want to focus on that road yet.

PL

Anonymous said...

You welcome, PL. And you're DAMNED SURE RIGHT that I think that character counts. I think we'll get this thing straightened out.

LK

Anonymous said...

I surely am agreeing with you, PL. For you see, I sincerely believe that one, or a few, people can make all the difference in the world. I've seen it happen. And I'm grealy encouraged to see the fine people that have stepped forward to run. It's not a "great day" in Great Falls. IT'S A NEW DAY! A day when some people of character came foward.


LK