When reading the Bellingham Herald online, I might go to the comments to share my perspective or opinion on the subject article or letter. When I hit “publish” I know that my view has entered the mix along with others views. At their best, comments add value through balance and perspective. And I won’t comment, on comments at their worst; it’s been beaten to death already. Overall I think the Herald online comments are a net positive influence on our community. However, my participation will be grinding to a halt.
I haven’t commented much at the Herald blogs due entirely to a simple and stupid, clock issue at the Herald. I do most of my news perusing and blog writing in the morning, just before work. However, any comment I post during that time will bear a time stamp in their RSS feed that would indicate I was commenting during my work time, so I don’t comment. I subscribe to 20 or so feeds and theirs seems to be the only one with a problem. It’s not really a big deal, just annoying.
Why I am going to stop commenting on the online Herald articles and letters has to do with character/reputation assassination. The example on the right is from the comments for a letter to the editor titled Says U.S. Congress went along with lie.
- 10:03 am I published my comment on the letter.
- 10:07 am I corrected my spelling.
- 10:15 am someone identified as Leykiss101, who may or may not be the same person as Leykis101 had a colorful comment on my comment.
- 10:17 am someone identified as Wally responded as if they were me. believed my comment to have been
This isn’t the first time I’ve experienced the name switcheroo, but hopefully it is the last time.
People who know me, know my character, and would think something is funky if they read the blue highlighted language. So while this really doesn’t have an effect on my character, it does have an effect on my reputation. People who don’t know me have only my reputation to go on and if they believe this is my comment then the reputation assassin was successful.
Use of a simple registration system could very easily avoid this situation. I emphasize use, because at one time I did register with the Herald but can’t remember ever being required to log in. It gives me a headache to speculate why they don’t use the system. manpower? apathy? pot stirring?
So why doesn’t the Herald take management of their online venues more serious? Don’t know and don’t really care, but until the problems are solved I won’t be commenting on stories and letters at the Herald online. I will still comment on them here at Wally Wonders Why, just not there.