Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Blog Refresher

Dear Readers,

I know many of you are long-time readers (thanks!) and some of you are new (welcome!) and I thought it useful to review blog policies.

On giving yourself a name/moniker.  

We do this because if everyone is "Anonymous," it makes it difficult for me or readers to track who said one.  It simply makes it easier.  Occasionally, someone uses a moniker that a long-time reader has been using and the original user just needs to point that out and hopefully the new person will chose another name.

We ask for two or one word names, again, for ease of reading.

On threads.

In the last few years, I have decided, based on a suggestion from another blogger, that I close Open Threads (which generally occur on Tuesdays and Fridays) when I start a new Open Thread.  Occasionally, if the discussion is good, I'll leave one open but my general policy is to only have one open at a time.

Also, we welcome guest posts.  We always have.  Just write to me at sss.westbrook@gmail and allow me to preview what you have written.

Or, you can also write - either to me in an email or in a thread - and request a separate thread.

Some readers seem to think I shy away from difficult topics.  Those are likely readers who aren't here often or are new because this blog has always tackled difficult subjects.

If I close a non-Open Thread post, it probably for a couple of reasons.

One, the discussion seems may seem to have become circular, in which case it does no good to allow it to just go on in that manner.

Two, if the discussion is getting unpleasant or mean-spirited in tone.

Three, if I am unable to continue monitoring the blog (i.e. holiday, personal issues, etc.)  I don't like to leave open threads when I cannot monitor them as I have found in the past that those can get out of control.  Then, when I come back, I find a mess to unravel.

On the blog
I am giving consideration to revamping the blog.  I have my own thoughts but you are welcome to chime in here with yours.  I've been doing this a long time and I'd like to perhaps focus on a couple of key topics rather than try to cover SPS widely. 


Anonymous said...

Melissa, thank you again for all you do with this forum. The blog has become an invaluable resource for many.

I understand your desire to narrow your focus and cover a smaller number of topics in depth--that makes perfect sense to me, and will hopefully allow you more time to focus on your own non-SPS interests as well. However, if there's a way to also also allow readers to post issues that might otherwise go uncovered, I think many would appreciate it. I'm not sure the best way to do that, though, without dragging you into the quagmire. Perhaps clearly marked "unmoderated" weekly open threads that you can feel free to ignore--and that others can read with caution? Maybe others have a better idea, but I'd hate to see the exchange of ideas and information that occurs here be restricted--trolls notwithstanding.


Anonymous said...

Melissa, I will echo DisAPP's post, above. I have appreciated your understanding and attention to topics that would not otherwise have been surfaced. And your balance, although some would disagree. YouYou h kept us informed and more easily able to keep the school district accountable to our kids. I appreciate that you may want to back off but you would leave a gaping hole.
-long road

Anonymous said...


I join in the applause for you and what you deserve for your commitment to children through this blog. Without this blog, many parents would be operating much more in the dark than we do, and many key policy issues would just molder in obscurity. SPS is held far better accountable for what it does, and doesn't do. This blog is an incredibly important resource.

When I look at other news sources in Seattle, I shake my head at the low quality of education coverage. KUOW runs puff piece after puff piece, and often publishes badly sourced and cherry-picked tidbits that do little to inform the public on complex issues. Their education coverage has an agenda and is both extremely biased and extremely superficial. The Seattle Times is no better. They publish self-contradictory opinion pieces but almost always simply advance a Blethen anti-tax agenda without any real information for parents. Their most useful coverage is op-eds from outsiders; their education coverage is otherwise just as superficial and and biased as KUOW's. TV news in this area covers school sports but that's about it. The Stranger parrots KUOW and doesn't have a coherent idea of how to cover education. It's a bleak situation. Your blog is a bright spot.

Whatever key areas you might consider focusing on, I would like to urge you to include continuing to hold SPS staff accountable for hipocrisy, incompetence, siloed/self-contradictory action, etc., whenever there is a need. Other media won't do it and have not done it. If you need help to include broader coverage, I suspect there are people you could trust who would consider contributing.

You don't get as much praise and thanks for what you do. I suspect there is a terrible dark side to running a blog like this that readers are blithely unaware of. What you endure and you have achieved have improved education in Seattle over the years in immeasurable way. You have helped kids. You have my heartfelt and deepest thanks for everything you do!


Anonymous said...

yes thank you mw. absolutely love your work. kudos to charlie too. thanks to you both.

bogus csips
hcc - specifically cohort part. kari hanson is still working to get rid of it.
exec d. job
district staff misleading the board
devin bruckner misleading the board

it would be great if you could keep a focus on these items. but do you, as i know you will.

no caps

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all you do Melissa! I would like to go on record with a plea for MORE moderation rather than less. Thus, your model of closing comments in a timely manner seems like a good idea. Back before the internet became widely available, there were all manner of discussion forums for those who had access. These forums were generally moderated. Everyone back then knew better than to open things up to the riff raff. Then naive youngsters like Zuckerberg came along and abdicated all responsibility for moderation in favor of "free exchange of ideas". Well, that hasn't really worked out well for us has it? And it will get worse (genocide in Myanmar anyone?). You have every right to moderate your own blog as you see fit and you do not owe an explanation to anyone. Ultimately, us long-time readers return here over the years for your expertise, research, and perspective.