Nothing New, But Important Questions Here

At the request of several of the folks who read here regularly, I am not going to offer a new topic this evening. The most recent philosophy post from Just A Citizen is a lot to digest and there are plenty of discussions that still are taking place on that article. It is important that we take the time to hash them all out before we move on. So that is what we are going to do. Additionally, the “Liberal Trap” article requires my attention as well, as I have committed to answering all the questions that are posed there so that we can address and move forward in a positive way. But there have been a few points brought up in that “Liberal Trap” article that I want to address here and get everyone’s opinion on. After all this site is nothing without readers, so I want to go forward with your opinions counted.

Topic #1

One thought from Todd was that if we want to have serious debate here on this site, and I think that we all agree that we do, that some of these topics are too complex to be hashed out in a single day. Therefore a new topic the next night moves everyone on and leaves too much unfinished business from the day before. I think there is significant merit in this line of thinking from Todd. So I want to present my thinking and then get everyone’s opinion.

I have attempted to write a new article every night. I do this for a couple of reasons. When I first started to write a blog, every tip I read said to write “regularly” so that there is always fresh content. I took that to mean daily, so that is what I have tried to do. My thinking was that from Monday morning until Friday morning there must always be a new article. It would get people into the habit of coming to the site every day to see what’s new. Perhaps making it part of their morning routine. I know that has happened for some folks here. 

The results have been mixed from my standpoint. Readership has definitely grown as a result of regular postings, although we have reached a plateau of sorts, as the traffic has not increased nor decreased over the last several weeks (Although that means I need to find new ways to get people here, I am open to suggestions). However, I have seen some conversations not get played out the whole way and I have also seen that my insistence on posting every night has led to some extremely late nights which in turn open me up to mistakes like the one I made Tuesday night. 

So I offer three scenarios for going forward. The first is that I change nothing and continue with how things are. The second is that I write articles and determine on my own when I think a topic is going to require more than a single day’s discussion, then I don’t write the following night (but tell you within the article that this will be so). The third is that I write every night, and the first comment to each article is by me and used as nothing more than a string of votes as to whether the readers and commenters would prefer that I do not write the following night in order to allow the conversation to continue on this subject. Option three would allow you to vote right up until midnight to determine the course for whether I write that night. If anyone has any suggestions on a different way to move forward on this subject, I am open to all ideas. 

Topic #2

It was also suggested that we have an “open mic” night each week to allow the posting of whatever topics in the comment threads that people want to post or current events. I originally thought that this was a suggestion that we have something like the “guest commentary” we already do on Friday nights. But upon reading some other comments this seems like something different altogether. It would literally be something like a Set night each week where I post no topics but post instead an open mic article. The comments could then be posted by anyone on any subject. 

I see a benefit to this as there are so many times where the threads get muddled by continuous posting of topics that have nothing to do with the main article. If this open mic idea is implemented it would give me another easy night each week, and would give a day for all those other topics. However, if this gets implemented, I would ask that going forward we keep the comments on other articles focused on the the topic of the article only, with the only deviations resulting from the debates on the topic. I would ask that topics not be hi-jacked. If a topic becomes big enough on the open mic then it could be covered more extensively on a guest commentary or as an article that I write later. 

So I ask whether this is something that people would like to see as a change to the site? I won’t get my feelings hurt either way. If you would like to have this change made, I would also like suggestions as to what night of the week you would like it to be. Remember that when I say night of the week, I mean that the following day would be the open thread as I post late at night. Keep in mind also that Friday night (showing up Saturday morning for all of you) is guest commentary and Saturday night (Sunday morning) is a no write night and I would prefer to keep it completely clear so that everyone is free to spend time with their family Sunday and not worry about missing anything. 

Topic #3

I had a topic three but to be truthful the clock says 4:33am and I am too brain dead to remember what it was.

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Comments

  1. I wonder if a forum as opposed to a blog would be of benefit?
    Free:
    http://www.yuku.com/
    http://www.ezboard.com/registration/build_registration.html
    http://www.delphiforums.com/
    Paid: http://www.vbulletin.com/

    Anyhow, I’ve been reading your blog for a bit now and enjoy it, I will enjoy it no matter the route you take.

  2. Richmond Spitfire says:

    Hi US Weapon,

    TOPIC 1:
    I personally get up from bed, excited to see what the topic of the day will be…Since you own this site (awesome site that it is) I think I would prefer scenario 2 where you make that determination.

    TOPIC 2:
    I like the idea of an “open-mike” article where people can post whatever…the only suggestion that I have is that the “open-mike” article cover a week-long period to help prevent hi-jacking of “Topic Articles” — which I have been guilty of 😦 .

    Maybe the Article’s title could be something like “OPEN MIKE – Week of 5/23-30/09” (Saturday to Saturday). That way if any hi-jacking does occur, the poster could be reminded to post to that week’s Open Mike article instead. I can’t tell you the numerous times that I have wished that there was a “generic” article that we could post to for off-topics that happen regularly throughout the week (sometimes, many different things in a day!) I think that you could count on all the “regulars” here to help you with directing new posters to the “Open Mike” Article.

    ****
    I have a question to ask you. Is there any way that I can default to receive email comments for the WHOLE SITE w/o having to submit a comment and clicking the checkbox on EACH article? I really do depend on reading the emails that show the comments so that if it is something interesting to me, I can go to that article and find the comment vs. having to scroll up and down throughout the day…

    Kind Regards,
    RS

  3. RWBoveroux says:

    US:

    This is your site and you are free to do whatever you want to do on it. While you are right that without readers there would be no site, please do not let us tell you what to do with your site. I appreciate being asked for my opinion, but it is ultimately up to you.

    So with that caveat in play:

    Topic 1:
    Make up your mind if you want to write or not when you look at the comments. You can judge if there is an ongoing debate going on and if there is enough to keep you from writing something new.

    Topic 2:
    I like RS’s idea regarding open mike.

    *****
    Site improvement suggestions:

    1. Is there someway that those of us who do not HTML code can get a cheat sheet with the basic commands so that we can make our comments a little easier to read? I am thinking about how to bold, how to put the comments that you want to respond to in the italicized box, etc.

    2. In regards to driving traffic, what about somehow using facebook, twitter, etc?

  4. esomhillgazette says:

    Gut Mornung Herr USW!

    Topic 1: I think it should be up to you regaring the lost post. You would be the best judge of whether or not a topic should keep on being commented on.

    Topic 2: I too like open mic night. Maybe, I say maybe, you could use RS’ suggestion. For instance; last night we got on the subject of NK. I really would have liked to discuss that some more. Or maybe the VAT Tax being considered to pay for UHC and the Deficit. This subject in particular seems to be very important since it is swiftly gaining ground support in Congress. And we all know how fast Obama can flip flop on any given issue. (dang, there I go blaming Obutthead again! Opps! I mean Mr. Obama! :mrgreen:

    • Alan F. says:

      Topic 1: Ditto

      Topic 2: When speaking of president Obama, you’re just not FEELING his policies yet! Oh and the VAT tax is nothing to worry about… I hope you like maple syrup, beer and hockey. Going for moonlit walks along your trap line. Living in an igloo. The oh so gamey goodness of a mooseburger. Track and field day in snow shoes. Rubbing runny noses. Being able to wear a ski mask without feeling the obligation to rob someone. Icicles on the outhouse. Perpetual winter. The CBC. Other counties calling you “nice”.

  5. Mornin’ All,

    USW, I agree that it should be up to you if a subject continues on the next day. I also like the open mic idea (it would provide you with a break as well). Whatever changes you choose to make, if any, will still be a million times better than the change that occured last November!

    G!

  6. I like the idea that on the serious topics, and couple days would be great for that topic. Open mic would be interesting to try, plus it could give you a break. So I am open on both ideas. Lets give it a try

  7. I love the idea of “open mic” as I seem to always be the one that speaks on the subject and then bring a whole new subject to light.

    A must see…please read and then see the videos to this document! http://www.news9.com/global/story.asp?s=10427244

    Good morning to you!

    The current state of the United States:

    And yet, this is so common and no one says anything…it gets talked about by maybe one source of news on the tube and then swept under the rug. Am telling you, we are living in some horrible times (last days as we know it) and I don’t see anything getting better…we are broke (BO said that in his speech last week; no one is buying up our debt and China has stop letting us borrow money; China, Brazil, Venezuela, Japan, and another country has dropped the dollar) yet we are spending trillions on unnecessary crap (literally-millions of dollars is being spent on research of fruit flies, manure, embryonic stem cells (which goes beyond my belief), bees, ect) inflation coming soon, WWIII around the corner, credit card reform (that will hurt citizens that pay their bills on time), Big Brother owns the auto (yet they are sending GM jobs to China and Russia and Chrysler to Italy; several jobs are and will continue to be lost but I thought no more jobs were going overseas and what happened to the millions of dollars in tax payers money that were suppose to save these companies), financial, non-profit sector, food, and soon guns and healthcare…God bless America PLEASE! We are heading down a road of destruction at lightning speed (America will be bankrupt and will become a third world country if we continue down this road) and despite what the 9:00 news tell you, we are not at the end of the recession, as a matter of fact, we are getting ready to head for a depression greater than the depression of the 1930’s.

    Start investing in Gold, Silver, and Precious metals because they are discussing a 1 world currency and soon the debt note “the dollar” will just be a piece of paper. Start stockpiling…we are Marching to Socialism/Fascism so you better get prepared!

    • Nub, Here’s a great article that shows how rediculous things are getting.

      http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/05/29/annan.climate.change.human/index.html

      I can’t believe that this group is even recognized.

      G!

      • LOL…I left out the climate, space, ect…The answer to 1984 is 1776!

      • What a bunch of Morons.

        “The report’s startling numbers are based on calculations that the earth’s atmosphere warmed by 0.74 degrees Celsius between 1906 and 2005.”

        When I saw this I thought “Wow, the Earth has warmed 3/4 of a degree in the last 100 years”! I guess they’ll want money to combat it. Then I read farther down where they “warned” that they need 100 times as much money as they are currently getting from the World’s Nations to combat this.

        Uh Huh! Thought So. 🙄

      • Alan F. says:

        Oh this is hysterical, they get the “climate-related malnutrition, diarrhea and malaria outnumber direct fatalities from weather-related disaster” stretch but miss out on the climate-related overpopulation one and climate-related exodus one caused indirectly by climate-related tribal strife. The writer must have had a climate-related brain fart.

  8. Good Morning All,

    Topic 1: You decide based on the comments whether to extend to day two.

    Topic 2: I like open mic once a week – there is so much going on each and every day and to be able to wander a little bit would be helpful.

  9. chiefopiner says:

    I’ve been reading your site for a bit now, and do enjoy it, I would like to add my agreement that you should decide whether or not to post each day.

    As to open mic nights – have you given consideration to using one of the free message boards (like Invision Plus) to set up a forum system for discussions? Though this adds an element you’d have to expend time on moderating as well (or maybe have one or two others you’d trust to moderate the conversations).

  10. I'm learning! says:

    Topic 1: I think you should decide if you want to extend comments to day two. From a personal observation, summer is busy! Actually, between graduations, getting garden ready, camping & fishing long weekend away, and things that need to just be done, I finally yesterday caught up with reading what I missed for the past week. I know a couple of times, questions have come into my mind on a topic and I figured since it is 1 or 2 days later, it is just too late to ask. If you feel you need to put something fresh and new on every day, maybe you can go back to that for the winter months. In the mean time, unless everyone completely abandons this site and nothing happens (which I seriously doubt), you have a great thing going here. What I have leaned in the past few months is tremendous! Who know, maybe people like having an extra day to complete discussions on some topics.

    Topic 2: As for open mic, I really like that idea too. I see or hear things on the news and sometimes wish I understood more about the issue at hand. I am so amazed at the wealth of knowledge among the posters on this site. I would be happy to know just a small percentage of what you know. But I am absorbing all I can here!

    I have always been curious though – did some of you know each other before this website? There seems to be the occasional connection between people – which isn’t hard, I can travel hundreds of miles and find a connection to someone too. But I was just curious.

    • USWeapon says:

      I’m Learning!,

      For the connections here, there are actually very few that existed before I started the site. I will give full disclosure to what I can think of off the top of my head:

      Ray Hawkins and Chris Devine both went to high school with me. I remember Ray from high school, and I even think he was on the wrestling team with me, but we were not really friends then. I don’t remember Chris from High school, and I am not sure if he went there the same time as me or is just by coincidence someone who went to the same one.

      Andrew (who sometimes posts as Dreweth) and WFnS, who both post here fairly rarely, are both good friends, WFnS is actually my best friend and best man at my wedding.

      Revolution2010, who has far too much going on because she cannot say no to saving the world (j/k Rev!), and I have known each other for over 25 years. We were very good friends in HS and beyond. She knows me better than most people. I consider her like family. She is one of the smartest and most practical people I know.

      JQ is a friend I have had since I was a teenager. While he reads daily, he does not often comment. He is the person who started the facebook fan page of the site (without my requesting such I might add).

      Mother in Law is obvious. She also read regularly and posts comments when she reads something interesting.

      And the most important, Jen, who sometimes posts as Mrs. USWeapon, is my wife and the woman who allows me to spend so much time on this madness.

      Outside of these very few people, and one or two who I went to HS with who wish to remain anonymous, but who have only posted here a time or two, I did not know any of the people here prior to starting this site. I have built some good friendships with people through the site, however, and those who post here regularly have tended to form some bonds as well. I hope that the opportunity arises at some point for me to meet many of the regulars here and break some bread with them.

      • RWBoveroux says:

        US:

        Your last paragraph sounds like a good idea to me!! You know where I hang out and what my email is so, if you ever go home, let me know and we will see what can be worked out.

  11. Hello everybody!!

    Topic 1: You should decide what to post, you’ve done a great job thus far so I see no reason to change.

    Topic 2: Open mic night would be a great way for you to get additional time with the Mrs and let people rant/discuss a topic that may have come up during the week. Gets a big okey dokey from me!

  12. Amazed1 says:

    US,
    This is YOUR site…..we come here because of you. What ever you decide about topic 1 is completely up to you.
    As far as an open mic area that too is completely up to you because I realize that even if you do not have to post a topic you will be moderator and that is a tough job too.
    I really enjoy this site and yes there are times that current events tend to hood wink your blog for the day….it is very easy to do…been guilty of that I have.
    I am game for what ever makes you happy…..your site, your rules and I for one love the idea that it is here. I sure do learn alot from alot of different people…..you and the posters here are really good teachers.

  13. I agree with Kathy.

    I will add that I would like you to copy what you felt were interesting points and post them on the next days page, putting you in the role of moderator.

    As for improving the site, a how to guide would be nice. I am learning as I go here, and some comments I have read have helped a bunch, such as yesterday’son smiley faces.

    Black Flag said
    May 28, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    Link:
    😈

    http://support.wordpress.com/smilies/

    • Hey BF . . . Is that you smilin’ there?

      Self portrait, maybe? 😉

      Since I ain’t picked on you in a while, I thought I might catch up a little . . . 🙂

  14. Since you asked for my opinion – humble as it is . . .

    Topic #1; I do not post daily on my blog. Yet I do not have as many followers as you, but that is not the point. The point being that my ancient brain just cannot keep up on a daily basis – it takes me a while to write something that is remotely coherent enough to make sense to me let alone anyone else. I would suggest something like two or three posts a week – hey, what a concept, you might even get some sleep time in between work and posting!

    Topic #2; Not an “Open Mic” night, but say an “Open Forum Weekend” which would allow selected (by you, of course) posters to conduct Q & A’s of selected (by you, of course) subject matter . . . like “What Makes Henry Waxman Tick?” or something like that.

    Topic #3; EXACTLY my point here! I might suggest a little humor on the weekends. But wait! That is exactly what I do on my blog on the weekends . . . 😉

  15. The suggestion I have is to follow up on the technical issues involved to make the format easier to read and follow – Richmond Spitfire suggested the option to follow (get emails) of updates to indiviual blogs without having to post 1st.

    Modify the format of responses so they don;t run of the rt of the page – heck if we’re going to lose them – they should be to the LEFT !! LOL – That’s a joke.

    I would hope that there is someone who is knowledgeable of wordpress to assist in making these changes.

    • Lose the Left?!?! I’m just so COMPLETED OFFENDED I can’t let that stand 😉

      I too found the comments that run off to the right annoying – but not anymore!!

      I’ll get a chuckle everytime that happens in the future!

      Thanks for the laugh!

    • Ya – I tend to offend, even tho not on purpose.

      But I was hoping when I saw ur update, that there would be a response on how fix/adjust the format of comments. I guess as I get older, for some reason I find it very tiring to read here as opposed to the many other sites I read. But then again, most of those sites, If I recall accurately, only have a single thread of comments, unlike here where comments are nested (sub-scripted)which is good.

      • USWeapon says:

        FrankC,

        I understand your frustration. WordPress gives me two options. I can have the comments appear like the other sites do, with no nesting within a comment to reply to that comment, or I can have the nesting as I am doing here. I get frustrated with the movement towards the right getting thinner and thinner to the point of making it hard to read. But I don’t know of any setting or anything that can be done to alleviate that.

        At this point I can merely advocate that when it starts getting thin that those involved in the conversation post a “moved below to comment x” and start over at the left again. I don’t know of a better way to deal with the issue.

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