We’re THESE Many

The site is two years old now, as of Friday. There were 317 stories in the past year (down from 489 in 2001-2002), with the big stories (IMHO) being war, the drought, budget shortfalls, and City Council elections. I think that the theme for the last year would be growth, since that was really the topic of a good third of the heavily-discussed stories. What I’ve long wanted cvillenews.com to be is something that it’s more or less become: a place where professional journalists, involved citizens, and the subjects of public scrutiny can all have their voices heard on even footing. But it’s time to reassess, as I think is best to do annually. Is cvillenews.com what you want it to be? It’s this mix of news about local stuff that’s worth discussing, news about stuff that big-boy news outlets don’t seem to be covering and news about local media. Is that good? Did requiring registration change things? Do we “rarely [offer] interesting insight or an enlightening point of view? Did you have any other favorite stories? Does any of this matter?

33 Responses to “We’re THESE Many”


  • It smacks of the struggling writer working hard to distance herself from the pack. For themost part, her commentary in cville lays the smackdown on just about anything or anyone it touches.

    And while some of her feedback to the area is true, it has the feel of a holier than thou psuedo artsy avant guarde (sp?) writer. And for a conservative, right leaning, family man who sweats for a living the critique she provides about this site looks like the construed spew that you get from a second year student.

    As for contributors, I have interacted with people inside city hall, students from High School and UVa, conservatives, tree huggers ;-) computer geeks, sports freaks, enlightened erudite folks, bubbas, females, males and more.

    Exactly where else does this mix provide argument that strives to reinforce its points rather than raising it voice?

    I like the site and the mix. Still wish that the links permantly changed color after viewing, making it much simpler to find where I finished viewing and where to take it back up….

  • For the most part, cvillenews.com is filling a very worthwhile function: spontaneous formal interaction on news events. To me, the immediacy is key and provides a venue for contributors like myself, who would not tolerate being edited, as my opinions are sometimes considered “way out there”. For instance, my claim that the U.S. is in many ways backwards, that many Americans have faith without exposure, is unsettling for some local fauna.

    I know Waldo values local news over other sources, and that’s a deliberate choice he can make. And there’s always room for valid criticism. The key is not to become over-cocky and self-congratulatory.

  • I think you have provided a valuable community service in this site, Waldo. As much as the "subjects of public scrutiny" ie., our local authority figures (iee. city council and the sups, etc.) say they don’t read the comments herein–they actually do. This site many, many times features and discusses issues the local media wouldn’t touch for fear of, I don’t know, alienating their advertisers or hurting someone’s delicate senibilities (the same reason why I like the C-ville Weekly, and, to a lesser extent, the Hook). The local media, except from the aforementioned, just aren’t enterprising enough to get my attention.

    With all of this commendation said, I am still perturbed that you didn’t post that recent story I submitted from the C-Ville Weekly (the one were Rick Turner made that outrageous comment), but I won’t linger on that or bust your chops too much because you have posted stories I have submitted in the past (and hey, your the editor of this site).

    All in all, if I had to grade your website, I’d give it an A- (I’d give you an A+ but they doesn’t leave room to grow :)

  • Man! I hate typos!!!!!!!

    "…someone’s delicate SENSIBILITIES…"

    "The local media, except FOR, the aforementioned…"

    "(the one WHERE Rick Turner…)"

    "and hey, YOU’RE…"

    "…an A+ but THAT doesn’t leave…"

    Sorry, had to correct that mess.

  • In Waldo’s defense, it may not have made it to story status because it was mentioned within one of the threads.

    I just thought it would be an amusing parallel — given that the other comments came back to bite people after first getting noted by blogger-type sites.

  • I hadn’t seen any reference to the comment Turner made at that Mt. Zion Community meeting other than in the last post that I made in the story "Lundy Named Student Council President." But I thought the comment was a story in itself, not just a quote buried within the article from the C-ville Weekly.

  • I recently left cville after 2 years. This site enabled me to get a feel for what was going on and who was who in way that nothing else in cville came close to. Goof job — keep it up.

  • With all of this commendation said, I am still perturbed that you didn’t post that recent story I submitted from the C-Ville Weekly (the one were Rick Turner made that outrageous comment), but I won’t linger on that or bust your chops too much because you have posted stories I have submitted in the past (and hey, your the editor of this site).

    C-Ville Weekly — as they have every right to — is loathe to see their copyrighted materials reproduced outside of their own publication. They were unhappy after somebody posted an article — just pasted it into a comment and posted it — in response to a story that was based on one of their articles. They would like me to take every step possible to ensure that further infringement does not occur. I just don’t have the time to police cvillenews.com for such things, nor to be talking with C-Ville Weekly when that happens. As a result, I haven’t posted a story about a piece in C-Ville Weekly since that infringement. It’s too bad, because they certainly have news that is worth mentioning, but the potential headaches that could accompany a mention of one of their articles just aren’t worth the trouble to me. Life is just too short.

  • I think it’s important to point out that what makes cvillenews.com interesting is all of you that contribute. My role here is very simple — I act (crudely) as a filter for what makes it to the front page. And that’s often just rehashed news from WINA, The Hook, the Progress, etc. It’s the resulting discussion, insights, additional information, etc. that makes cvillenews.com an interesting place. I deserve very little credit for that.

  • Indie wites: ‘I hadn’t seen any reference to the comment Turner made at that Mt. Zion Community meeting other than in the last post that I made in the story "Lundy Named Student Council President." But I thought the comment was a story in itself, not just a quote buried within the article from the C-ville Weekly.’

    Well, I doubt this is worthy of a stand-alone story, but I’ll mention it nonetheless:

    UVa is being rocked by a new allegation of racism on Grounds. Meetings, media coverage, and rehabilatative programs ensue.

  • " where professional journalists, involved citizens, and the subjects of public scrutiny can all have their voices heard on even footing. "

    "Professional journalists" – well I get enough of those opinions without singling them out for special recognition seperate from involved citizens. In fact if the current crop of TV news readers and a few DP reporters are examples of professional journalists, and I suppose they are, then five years down the line appears pretty bleak.

    I do, very much, appreciate the exchange of views with everyone, involved , journalist, or whatever.

  • "Is cvillenews.com what you want it to be?"

    To my mind, cvillenews does something relatively rare and extremely important on the net: it’s an outlet for (usually informed) discussion of local issues that usually does NOT descend to the level of a Yahoo message board ("you’re stupid!" "no, you’re stupid!"). Generally, the posts are substantive. Sure, there’s some stupid and ill-advised stuff (mine included), but by and large I expect to learn something whenever I check out a thread. That’s more than can be said for a lot of Internet discussion venues.

    "Did requiring registration change things?"

    Yes, vastly for the better IMHO. Though people still flame and firethrow occasionally, they do so under a distinct pseudonym that can be tracked. I suppose someone could create a brand-new pseudonym each time they flame so they couldn’t be tracked, but that’s such a pain that no one seems to be doing it.

    If certain users flame consistently, then other users can decide never to follow threads between the two hot-heads. It’s just handy and huge relief to be able to scan down a thread and see what names are there–it lets me make an informed decision to either check it out or not. Before, it was exhausting to see a string of "anonymous" postings and not know (until I clicked) whether it was garbage or worth reading. Thank you, Waldo.

    Kathryn Goodson’s article on the site was total garbage, so I hope no one is taking her seriously.

    Favorite stories? I don’t know, I think the bear in my backyard this summer was a great one. It was a bear, for crying out loud!

  • you’re stupid

    sorry I couldn’t help myself :P

  • Key word: "usually."

    ;)

  • You may hate Goodson’s diatribe about this site, but she made a good point about the same folks posting all the time. I think registration stands in the way of a real "open forum" and I would request that you drop it and see if that doesn’t invite more people in to the e-conversation.

    As for the site: I love it! The posted banter allows me to gel my own ideas whether I post them or not, and some things I find within are so rich as to be quotable. And, I know for a fact that several local rag-writers peer in here in order to find a bounty of viewpoints from which to write a more balanced article for their weeklies!

    Keep the format…drop the registartion. And somehow, find the time, energy, spam or paid advertising to drive more folks in. This is a great site, Waldo!

  • The problem with the pre-registration days is that moderation was a real task here. Every so often, someone would get angry (or bored) and start posting vulgar drivel all over the comment system. This even led to UVA (and possibly other places?) being banned for short periods of time. And between the time that it was posted and Waldo had the time to spend tracking down all those posts, you could spend a lot of time weeding through such crap to follow a conversation. Especially once they started using the formatting in their posts to make them even more intrusive.

    In my opinion, having a smaller active base, but (mostly) civil and useful conversations is far preferrable to having a completely open base, and more useless noise. After all, it only takes one idiot to ruin it for *everyone* else.

  • I agree with Lafe 100%. Perhaps OneStone isn’t aware that cvillenews.com has been there, done that.

    Requiring registration is so much better – it’s a lot more fulfilling to play in the sandbox when you know at least in the virtual sense who’s in there with you, and while it’s certainly possible for somebody to create an alternate log-in, it would require a true desire to cause mischief to keep something like that up.

    Best of all, meaningless, mindless, often just plain rude posts have dropped to just about zero.

  • It may be true that most of the conversation is conducted by the same cast of characters, but (a) I don’t think that cast is too small (during her 5-minute visit, Goodson apparently thought there were only 3 people posting here), and (b) I don’t think that’s a problem. If someone can’t be bothered to think up a pseudonym and register under that, then I tend to doubt that they really have something valuable to bring to the table. (Not that registering guarantees quality table-offerings, of course…)

    To my mind, the cast seems varied enough–what’s wrong with a relatively small community where you know almost everyone else? How would greater numbers of anonymous posters raise the level of discourse?

  • The problem with the pre-registration days is that moderation was a real task here.

    Amen. Moderation was a constant battle. I couldn’t read, enjoy, or participate in the site — just always ranking the merits of people comments. It sucked. Now the signal to noise ratio is so excellent that I pretty much leave all of the comments at “1,” because there’s just no point in moderating comments. (And I can’t shake the “who am I to be determing the merits of people’s remarks?” feeling.) I can go a day or two without even looking at cvillenews.com, if I’m too busy, and I don’t have to worry that it’s been overrun. Which is good, because cvillenews.com wouldn’t exist — at least, I wouldn’t be running it — if that were still the case.

  • Happy birthday, cvillenews, and thank you, Waldo!

  • And, I know for a fact that several local rag-writers peer in here in order to find a bounty of viewpoints from which to write a more balanced article for their weeklies!

    Bullshit.

  • Is cvillenews.com what you want it to be?

    As a website, yes. This is a great community site for news and discussion, and I for one enjoy it immensely.

    There are things that bug me about this site, and most of them have to do with design, usability, and features. I’ll offer some of these things up in the spirit of constructive criticism:

    • Color scheme – Ok, so I’ve gotten used to this one, but ack! The blue and gray was more attractive, and I’m sure if you put your mad web-design skillz to use here, it could be better.
    • Comment features – Threading and sorting and new-comment-notification improvements. I know, you’d probably have to go to a new bit of software (or do some serious code monkeying), but hey, I’m just wishin’ here!
    • Other features – An ignore feature would be nice. As would user-configurable filtering on news (and comments, for that matter!). Same disclaimer as above.

    Those minor gripes aside, you’re doing a lot of things right.

    I’ve been noticing your hands-off approach to moderating comments up or down, even to the point where I was surprised to see several moderated comments recently. I think it’s a good thing that it’s rare. Though I’d be pretty interested to see how a slash-based [meta]moderation system would do here… but I suspect that we don’t have a wide enough user base (yet) to make it entirely practical.

    I’ve thought before, and still do sometimes, that perhaps this site would benefit from broadening its discussion horizons a bit. Usually this occurs to me during slow news periods. But I really don’t know what effect adding something like a message board, or even *shudder* allowing direct news posting by users, would have here. It might be a good thing, or it might reduce a lot of the relevance that this site has for Charlottesville. Just thinking out loud (or in type, as the case may be).

    If you didn’t change a thing, this site would continue to be one of my most-visited websites. My thanks to you for doing a good job here.

  • As a (card-carrying) conservative, right leaning, family woman who sweats (to offer you something to even respond to), the critique you provide about this site looks like the construed spew that you get from a man who is terribly angry he never made it to the second year. Never, ever, presume a person’s qualifications, age, or political agenda unless you have a few facts to back it up. And never put a smiling wink after tree huggers, please and thank you. (Refrain from all smiling winks, if you could.) And I’m certain your "bubba" interactions know exactly who they are, why you referred to them in that light, and where you sleep at night.

  • "I’ve thought before, and still do sometimes, that perhaps this site would benefit from broadening its discussion horizons a bit."

    I would hate to see cvillenews.com become more of a generalized, national news discussion website. If the Channel 29-ization of cvillenews.com were to happen (meaning less local news), that wouldn’t be cool. I understand national issues will be discussed here and I think that is great, but it is within the context of Charlottesville news (for example, the recent protests stories).

    I don’t know if that is what you are suggesting, Lafe… but at any rate, that is my 2-cents….

    And as a related aside, I haven’t seen the latest issue of The C-Ville Weekly except for what’s on their website, and it appears that they are leading their issue with a front page cover story on something that came off some alternative weekly wire. It definitely doesn’t appear to be a local story or feature any local characters or issues. I think that really SUCKS. I am usually a big fan of their publication, but it isn’t THAT slow of a news week is it? But let me stop–I am judging based on what’s on the website….

  • As a card-carrying non-affliated ;-), I love the tree-huggers :-)

  • The site is a fine quality filter, picking what’s worth knowing out of the local news. It represents a lot of hard work and we’re all grateful to Waldo for that.

    As for constructive suggestions: I guess maybe ‘more of same.’ Maybe a few specialized guest-editors, each responsible for posting in their particular area every week. I find sometimes the site does not change from day to day (probably because Waldo goes out of town).

  • Seriously, J, they do. I’ve been with ’em when it’s happened. I also have encouraged them to do it, ’cause there’s some great "quotes" and points of view in here. No Bull!

  • I defer to your judgement on this, all of you, but still wish for a broader audience. Maybe it’s just all those people who read the articles herein but never offer an opinion. What could we do to get more of them participating, sans "no registration" ?

  • You sound angry.

    Tree Huggers :-)

  • I don’t know if that is what you are suggesting, Lafe… but at any rate, that is my 2-cents…

    Well, I was suggesting something like that, but I agree with you that there’s potential for making this site less relevant to Charlottesville.

    Are there other ways to foster discussion or participation about C’ville-centric topics? Can we discuss more than news? Perhaps open up new areas or topics for local entertainment, events, organizations…

    I don’t know. I know that there are other sites that cover some of these aspects individually. Would it be worthwhile to try to pull ’em in here too? Or merely redundant?

  • I wish I knew a good answer to this, as I still can’t get any regular participation going on my own website. Though, my own website doesn’t have anything even approaching the relevant focus of this one. :)

    I’m guessing the best approach is really to tell your friends about this place. Word of mouth is the best kind of advertising that this place can get. Spread the word!

  • Yeah, I know. I was just funnin’.

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