BlogaBarbara

Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

BlogaBarbara Community Guidelines

As always, my goal is civil discussion about the issues of the day.

Please take them in the spirit of goodwill to which I provide them:

Identity
BlogaBarbara was built around the ability to make anonymous comments and I take that right very seriously. Past legal actions have threatened your and my anonymity; and, I will always do what I can to protect your right to free speech. As with any right we have, however, I believe it comes with some responsibility. Your identity is much more likely to be kept to yourself if you choose to make comments which are socially acceptable and further the conversation that is taking place on BlogaBarbara. That would mean the following:

Added on 2/16/08: BlogaBarbara Community Guidelines ask that you post your comment using a Blogger/Open ID login or the Name/URL option (URL not needed but provides anonymity). Comments Using the "Anonymous" option will not be published. For more info, see our post on choosing an identity.


1. Comments which try to point to the identity of another reader/commenter will not be published. For example, "Bob -- I know that's you" will not be published as Bob might want to stay anonymous.

2. Comments which try to reveal my identity will not be published. Before the recent NLRB hearing, I received a few comments which tried to get all of you to email Nelville Flynn if you knew my identity -- those, for obvious reasons, were not published. Perhaps this was what News-Press lawyers mentioned to the NLRB as their effort to ascertain my identity which only began just days before the start of the hearing. Still, Nelville always has a forum here if he follows the guidelines -- which he generally does, whether or not he wants to know who I am.

3. Speaking of which, there is norm among bloggers to use pun when discussing a public figure within a post. I have mixed feelings about this but generally think if the pun used is used in humor rather than rancor -- it is more likely to be published. You may have noticed that in the last six months or so I have refrained from calling several public figures any kind of pun-related name -- although I had in the past. I am very much open to discussion about this.

4. People who comment are encouraged to take an identity by either setting up a Blogger ID or using the "Other" option and typing a name which they use consistently. The "Your Web Page" area is optional and not necessary. This creates some continuity to your thoughts and help others organize their comments and thoughts -- making it more like a conversation in a room than a bunch of anonymous comments.

5. If you are going to be a flame thrower, you should probably use anonymizing technology. This will be the subject of a future post.

6. 99.9% of you will never have an issue with this, but it must be said. If you become the subject of a subpoena because you are a flame thrower, I will likely go to bat for you if you take steps to help yourself. I will do this because I am a true believer in freedom of speech and internet rights but also realize that there are more than a few poseurs out there.


Content
1. Comments which advocate violence or harm to others will not be published, period. If you question this, please read the NLRB hearing decision. That will never happen again. If it does happen and you object, please contact me directly rather than waiting several weeks and publishing a press release :) I might actually be more likely to help than you think.

2, Please don't send me threatening comments. If you do, at least be courageous enough to send them via email so I can respond to your concerns. Several came across my desktop in January that could have been pursued...I will not be intimidated.

3. Comments which discriminate based on any of the basic federal affirmative action guidelines we all know and understand will not be accepted. If I am not sure you are discriminating or not -- I probably won't publish your comment. For example, if a comment points to someone's sexual orientation in a mean-spirited way -- it won't fly.

4. I, of course, delete "splog" (Spam + Blog = Splog) anytime it comes across my desktop.

5. I also consider marketing efforts by people who host other blogs to be splog UNLESS their post is relevant to the subject matter at hand. Offering a link to your blog when it has nothing to do with the subject matter is no better than a splog which pushes Viagra as far as I am concerned. Give us more information that is helpful, not a shameless plug.

6. Finally, don't drink and blog -- you'll regret it in the morning. If you do, think twice about what you are writing.

Open Door Policy
1. If you have a problem with anything that is written on BlogaBarbara or want to offer a post topic and news, let me know by emailing me at saradelaguerra@yahoo.com.

2. If you offer a community post that I choose to publish, I will not publish your name or email unless you say that it is okay. Otherwise I will say it came from a citizen stringer or a faithful reader...

Community Posts to saradelaguerra@yahoo.com.
1) I will accept community posts from anyone on most subjects assuming they follow the above guidelines.
2) I don't care if you don't agree with me if the topic furthers conversation about an issue of concern to our readers. I would publish a community post from Dr. Laura or even Travis Armstrong if they took the time to request one and wrote a post which was within the guidelines addressed above.
3) My only request is that your post be kept to a couple of paragraphs as that is what works best for reader comprehension and response.
4) Unless you say otherwise, I will attribute you as an "avid reader" or "citizen stringer" (small c!). I will not use your name unless you say that I can.

Labels:

43 Comments:

Anonymous city watcher said...

Can't imagine that anyone more interested in communicating ideas than personalities issues would object. I remain in awe of your willingness to put in so much effort and time ... and to remain anonymous.

Thanks very much for all your work --- and also for the guidelines that should help continue having your blog be a community service. I have no objection to any of them and was afraid that you were about to require registration or other identification — in which case, I would have been out of here.

3/20/2007 10:09 AM  
Anonymous Tessitura said...

I like this post...It sets it up nice, its not restrictive, as long as you are a decent person and ultimately helps the blog do what its supposed to do...stimulate conversations and using your brain :)

Nice work Sara De la Guerra...I like your style

3/20/2007 10:37 AM  
Blogger Kenley Neufeld said...

You might be interested in this story from Florida about an attempt to out a blogging fictitious political group.

http://www.networkworld.com/community/?q=node/12330

3/20/2007 10:37 AM  
Anonymous harping said...

Well done! Other blogs could learn from these thoughtfully written guidelines & I hope they do. Thanks for taking the time to create this.

3/20/2007 10:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara,

How could you possibly leave out the #1 community guideline for BlogaBarbara?

Always rant excessively and petulantly about Travis Armstrong, Wendy McCaw and/or anything to do with the News-Press!

3/20/2007 11:16 AM  
Anonymous harping said...

Nice try at trolling, Anon. 11:16. And in your haste to lob a trite troll-loogie you overlooked point #4: "People who comment are encouraged to take an identity by either setting up a Blogger ID or using the "Other" option and typing a name which they use consistently.....This creates some continuity to your thoughts and help others organize their comments and thoughts -- making it more like a conversation in a room than a bunch of anonymous comments."

3/20/2007 11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those who maintain that a meteor ended the age when "Journalists think that they can write what they want when they want" resort to your blog space, where that principle is now codified, in order to promote their views. I find that most amusing.

It's my understanding that: separation of news from ownership, and ethical truth-based journalism, started (or at least got a big boost) because newspapers found it was the best way to increase readership.

I guess that's still the case in the post-meteor blog age.

Well done Sara, keep it up!

3/20/2007 12:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara,

How could you possibly leave out the #1 community guideline for BlogaBarbara?

Always rant excessively and petulantly about Travis Armstrong, Wendy McCaw and/or anything to do with the News-Press!


Because, technically, it's not a guideline, it's the mission statement.

3/20/2007 2:48 PM  
Anonymous essay dangerfield said...

Whew...I was worried for a second she was gonna say no more lame attempts at humour...for which I get no respect

3/20/2007 5:06 PM  
Anonymous dd said...

Thanks Sara - have enjoyed your blog for well over a year now and don't mind the guideline reminders. dd

3/20/2007 5:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harping 11:51,

It's interesting that you feel any posts on this blog favoring the News-Press, its ownership or executive staff should be regarded as inflammatory.

3/20/2007 5:41 PM  
Anonymous Mr. Moreno said...

I'm not sure if it's pathetic or ironic that after Sara posts a thoughtful, civilized set of guidelines for a mature dialogue here, two of the first post are from trolls.

3/20/2007 6:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Sara for posting the guide lines and thanks for all your hard work.
Anon 11: 16 there is more to this blog ... it's just that the News Press is a big story and the players involved make it more interesting... and this one is just for you 11:16 perhaps if Wendy and the others had put as much time and effort into running the NP correctly as Sara has put into running this blog there might not be a story to tell.
Big Thanks Sara.

3/20/2007 7:35 PM  
Anonymous nomdecrayola said...

SDLG: I commend you. You are brave and insightful. It would be so easy to allow Blogabarbara to devolve and implode, but instead you work tirelessly to keep the debate civil, meaningful and strong. Thank you.

3/20/2007 7:42 PM  
Anonymous Bob Guiliano said...

To: Anonymous 3/20/2007 2:48 pm:
Why rant about the News-Press? Try answering my question and accepting my challenge at the end of this note.

Sarah is doing a great public service with her blog by allowing residents of Santa Barbara to speak their minds about issues of the day, filling the large gap left by the News-Press.

In contrast to the News-Press, for example, the North County Times serving North San Diego County has extremely popular letters to the editor pages which allow everyone to have their say, pro or con the newspaper's stance on anything, along with guest commentaries. They also print comments from their Web site on the pages, and have interaction between the Web site and print editions. The Web site is free to the public and can be accessed around the world, unlike the restricted News-Press site, which even prohibits comments on its stories.

The reason the blogs are so popular and necessary in Santa Barbara is that the voices of residents here are not allowed to be heard in the News-Press. That is very sad and further proves that it is indeed not the newspaper of record about the ongoing history within its coverage area.

Years from now, when people try to research past news in Santa Barbara and what everyone was thinking, the archives of the News-Press will only reflect one-sided opinions and restricted news coverage.

The paper in effect is creating an alternate reality, one that fails to reflect actual history in the making.

So, anon 2:48, is that an issue worth raving about, or do you like the idea of having your thoughts manipulated by a restricted press?

Check out the book, "Lies My Teacher Told Me," researched by an author who took the top five American history textbooks used in high schools throughout the country, and exposed the false rendition and whitewashing of history in these books.

So, anon 2:48, I challenge you to research a report, "Lies My Newspaper Told Me," detailing what really happened in Santa Barbara vs. what the newspaper actually reported and allowed comments about from June 2006 to the present.

3/20/2007 8:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone sure has the literal definition Laura in a tizzy. Read her blog, you can leave a comment?

3/20/2007 9:08 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Thanks to all of you for participating and making some points above that I didn't have time to address during the day today. Still, this kind of open discussion is what it's all about.

3/20/2007 9:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cheers to SDLG! Thanks for all your work and to all that take the time to read and post!

3/20/2007 9:57 PM  
Anonymous harping said...

Anon. 3/20/2007 5:41 PM addressed this comment to me: "It's interesting that you feel any posts on this blog favoring the News-Press, its ownership or executive staff should be regarded as inflammatory."
Really..."any posts"? My response was to a specific post from Anon. 11:16. But thanks for singling me out from all the other folks who responded similarly--your attention makes me feel special. ;-)

3/20/2007 10:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As part of understanding our community, we should be aware of affiliations. Checking the local news section of the SB News Press web site, curious what was there even though I no longer have a subscription and therefore can't read the full story, I was interested to see in the side panel an ad and link for "Santa Barbara's Blog" calling itself "The pulse of the American Riviera news, politics, sports & culture".

Fair enough, but it is important to know whose voice is whose. Featured story for today was "Go Vegetarian One Day a Week"; for yesteray, a featured story was the blog owners' disappointement in the local leaders for the "lack of" handling of the stabbing. hmmmm. sounds familiar.

3/20/2007 11:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One more reason to boycott the NewsPress - a totally offensive back page ad from MEL CLAYTON FORD (boycott them too!). Ad headlines?

SUPERSLASHER STUNS SANTA BARBARA

then huge ad goes on to tout MEL CLAYTON'S slashed car prices.

3/21/2007 7:42 AM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

The SantaBarbarasBlog.com site has been increasingly posting subjects creepily similar to the Newspress editorial stances and style.

Earlier this week, it had a series of subjects consistent with the Travisty editorials we all have learned to loathe, including slams at City Council Members with no examples of the alleged infraction. When I posted a challenge to that and a remark that the blog was a bit light in substance and a B-lister, that comment was deleted by the host, twice.

The anonymous "Editor Bird" host there seems to be only allowing comments that fit his point of view. Sounds familiar, indeed.

Now, that blog has ads at Newspress web site, according to a comment above. This all is stark contrasts to the A-list local blogs that even have Community Guidelines.

3/21/2007 9:46 AM  
Anonymous Mic DeNiro said...

I love people who were born without the gene that codes for a sense of irony.

Anonymous 3/20/2007 11:47 PM writes to register dissatisfaction with "Santa Barbara's Blog" because it doesn't identify the blog host.

Anonymous 3/20/2007 11:47 PM (I'd like to insert a personal pronoun here to make my post less repetitive, but I can't figure out which gender to use, and "it" seems unduly harsh) then indicates that "it is important to know whose voice is whose."

This from "Anonymous" on a blog hosted by the pseudonymous Sara de la Guerra."

You can't make this stuff up.

3/21/2007 10:01 AM  
Anonymous WestsideMama said...

SDLG: Great guidelines, and if I've never come out and said it before, your blog is a terrific place to be a fly on the wall, so to speak, and witness all these happenings.

Bob Guiliano: Thank you for so clearly expressing the things which have been on my mind. Who will record the real history of these years?

3/21/2007 10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The paper in effect is creating an alternate reality, one that fails to reflect actual history in the making.

That is an opinion.

Check out the book, "Lies My Teacher Told Me," researched by an author who took the top five American history textbooks used in high schools throughout the country, and exposed the false rendition and whitewashing of history in these books.

I read that book 10 years ago. Good book. What grave-robbing pilgrims and Metacom's head on a stake has anything to do with journalists living in the American Riviera is beyond me. The fact that you use that as a reference shows that you think this thing is so much more dramatic than it actually is.

So, anon 2:48, I challenge you to research a report, "Lies My Newspaper Told Me," detailing what really happened in Santa Barbara vs. what the newspaper actually reported and allowed comments about from June 2006 to the present.

Nah, I don't think I will.

3/21/2007 10:22 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

It doesn't sound like the question posed above is so much "who" but "why" and what their affiliations are. The SB Blog moderator likely sees a niche market with people who still identify with News-Press management and realizes a blog that is a little to the right could gain other readers than edHat, Craig and myself.

I've been wondering the same thing for awhile and really began wondering when Dr. Laura announced her return on an anonymous blog but failed to mention it in her article about BlogaBarbara....

The more the merrier as far as I am concerned...but it should make for some interesting reading.

3/21/2007 10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 3/20 7:35 PM
Your line about Wendy running the News-Press "correctly" cracks me up. Upon what corporate expertise do you make that judgment? It doesn't appear that too many business types post here, but rather more like a bunch of government employees.

3/21/2007 11:51 AM  
Anonymous jqb said...

"Harping 11:51,
It's interesting that you feel any posts on this blog favoring the News-Press, its ownership or executive staff should be regarded as inflammatory."

It's no longer interesting that those who "favor" Wendy et. al. so readily misrepresent what people write. Harping said nothing at all about such posts, or how they should be regarded. And it's not his/her fault that the specific post he referred to was an inflammatory "trite troll-loogie". And Harping's comment about point #4 is a propos: it would be helpful to know which of these various anonymouses are the same person, if the goal is to have a conversation, rather than to just inflame.

3/21/2007 12:45 PM  
Anonymous jqb said...

"The paper in effect is creating an alternate reality, one that fails to reflect actual history in the making."

That is an opinion.


It's an empirical claim subject to verification, as opposed to a subjective opinion like "chocolate tastes better than vanilla" or "Wendy has acted badly".

3/21/2007 12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The SB blog says it is:

"maintained by a group of local reporters, photographers, and social commentators who are dedicated to promoting the well-being of our coastal community."

When a poster asked who they were, there was no response.

3/21/2007 1:09 PM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra said...

I didn't see my comment appear. I discovered your blog about a week ago and have enjoyed reading the comments. Unfortunately, I find the issues a little too focused on the News Press debacle but it certainly is great to have a forum for that with knowledgeable people. I plan on reading and commenting on those remarks that seem pertinent to the larger community discussion. Thanks for your hard work.

3/21/2007 3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The paper in effect is creating an alternate reality, one that fails to reflect actual history in the making."

That is an opinion.

It's an empirical claim subject to verification, as opposed to a subjective opinion like "chocolate tastes better than vanilla" or "Wendy has acted badly".


Like I said, an opinion.

3/21/2007 4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I've been wondering the same thing for awhile and really began wondering when Dr. Laura announced her return on an anonymous blog but failed to mention it in her article about BlogaBarbara.... " I noticed that.... More wonder on her latest blog entry. She goes on and on with this ending "And that’s what you should wish for your kids, too. All of growing up isn’t pleasant." Will Thursday's column include her biggest concern, children and address the local concern?

I'm told the News-Press had front page Associated Press story on her internet anonymity subject?

3/21/2007 4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are fine with SantaBarbarasBlog being anonymous. We call it "editor McCaw" now. While they post many of our comments, more interesting the ones that don't get in. What we saw happens on "blogs" that started to be a discussion for Dr. Laura (meant to be both sides)..... the ones like a "clearview" (SantaBarbarasBlog commenter) would flame and other like-views enter and take over. A few opposing views comment and feed them. Now on SantaBarbarasBlog a "clearview" is agreeing with everybody. Too weird.

3/21/2007 5:23 PM  
Anonymous gsd said...

Isn't it astroturfing when you set up a grassroots looking site?

3/21/2007 5:52 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

5:52 -- good term!

4:20 pm -- please see my post from last Sunday. Can't reprint her whole column but you will get the idea.

Uncle Don Jose -- are we any relation? I moderate comments which sometimes means it takes a few hours to appear as I have to approve each one before they are published. This brings a little more sanity to the chaos :) Thanks for joining us.

3/21/2007 6:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:01 AM - Mic DeNiro said...

"I love people who were born without the gene that codes for a sense of irony."

Don't presume. Obviously (or should be obvious) I saw the irony of commenting anonymously on the anonymity of another blog. Foolishly, maybe, I thought it wasn't necessary to spell out I R O N Y.

The point really was, though, how interesting that a blog that tracks if not mirrors News-Press editorial postures, even exclaiming over the number of Sunday insert ads, while maintaining its own anonymity, even as the paper hosts a columnist decrying that same anonymity, should have pride of advertising place in the left hand column of the Local section of the N-P.

We know who Sara de la guerra is: she or he is the owner of this blog who allows all of us to speak, subject only to the guidelines of this post. Now we know who "editor bird" is or if not who literally, then where he or she sits, whose ear he/she whispers in or is whispered to....

That's all, blogging facts that one doesn't have to make an effort to make up.

3/21/2007 9:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3/21/2007 11:51 AM wrote " It doesn't appear that too many business types post here, but rather more like a bunch of government employees."

you must have x-ray vision seeing behind the computer & beyond the anon sig to where each person is sitting & writing : )

signed, a business person

3/22/2007 11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 3/22 11:44 AM,
I said "it doesn't appear that too many business types post here". Okay, you've proved there's at least one. (Assuming you're what you say you are behind your anon sig)

3/22/2007 3:16 PM  
Anonymous westy said...

Anon. 3:16: What do you mean by a "business type"? I'm self-employed yet don't think of myself as a business type. But I've never been a government employee so maybe that's what's most important.

3/22/2007 4:34 PM  
Anonymous Valerio said...

This is continually amusing when comments complain that this or any blog is only about the News-press mess. If that former institution stopped behaving so outrageously and unjustly, then it would not get so much attention.

In mid 2005, one could complain that Blogabarba "only" was about Iya Falcone, Das Williams, and Slugger Marty. Then for the first half of 2006 Blogabarbara apparently "only" was about Guzzardi and Secord.

The comments and subjects respond to the times. What has become fun is how comments on just about any subject can be only three degrees of separation from the News-Press mess, so that may be how the threads of commentary evolve that way.

4/29/2007 8:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would comment on the brilliant article now in the Independent regarding police use of force.

An entire article that was written with little or no information. Everybody is out of town or didn't return their call. How can anything purported to be journalism be written with little or no ethical treatment of fact. How can they attack the NP when this type of article is on their front page news. I think they're just trying to fill a space before press time. How sad.

I would hope that real facts and not simple lawyer hype and rumour be the order of the day. Even at the Independant. Come on!

11/01/2007 1:00 PM  
Blogger carpgovvoyeur said...

Councilman Joe Armendariz is the City of Carpinteria's true leader. His comprehensive understanding of City/County issues is evident in his recent recommendation for the reduction of DIF's. Those who disagree I suspect, are motivated by "no growth" agendas.

3/18/2009 11:55 AM  

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