Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Sorry Helen, but I must disagree.

The notion of a "community" on a blog is a seriously flawed idea. It would eventually lead to a conformance of minds, a restriction of opinion (let's not offend), and a rejection of recalcitrant thinking. A group-think psychology is the last thing one needs on a political blog where debate should be unfettered.

Besides, I would suggest that out of the 2,000 daily visitors to ET (last site meter reading I saw), only a handful of members would seem to want to use ET as their community. I suggest that if people are lonely that they get out and knock on their neighbor's door and invite them over.

I just saw one effect of the "community." Members of this so-called ET community got together and formed a diary police force, and their attitude was that they owned the place, and could make quality rules about what is or is not acceptable to them (here), while the remainder of the 2,000 had nothing to say.

So count me out of your community, those few of you who seem to need it.

by shergald on Mon Jun 7th, 2010 at 09:14:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, but we are a community.. of sorts. Not necessarily of like minds, I agree with your dismissal of this as a source of restricted opinion, but certainly of fairly open minds (which may seem a strange thing to say in the midst of the current shit-storm).

As Stephen Colbert once acidly stated, "truth has a liberal bias" and certainly the willingness to test our prejudices against analysed reality is one of the hallmarks of people here. Carl Sagan once said "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" and the bullshit meter here is set to stun. Sure, yea, it gets annoying when you're required to back things up when you shoot your mouth off glibly, as I've been prone to do on far too many occasions. But it means that you can trust the information and analysis on this site in a way few others can boast.

Sure we tend to like mind on some things, after all if I was a teabagger or a freeper I'd be going elsewhere. But my prejudices get challenged too. There is a community here, one of attitude.

It's a shame that right wingers don't visit often, that we can't have a decent discussion with people with whom we genuinely disagree. So long as we respect the other's integrity there's really no reason why we can't, but frankly the intellectual firepower on display here is pretty intimidating even when you agree with their views. I've seen right wingers worn down here until they don't return but that's not something to celebrate as we lose the ability to have our assumptions tested as well. It's just that if you wanna really take issue with some of the guys here, you really need to know what you're talking about and few can make that grade.

So I stand by the fact that we're a community but not, as you suggest, a commonnality.

We welcome your input, but we've probably had more of what you actually think in this thread than across all the diaries you've posted. and that's a shame because somebody as passionate as you are has a lot to contribute if only you realised it.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jun 8th, 2010 at 05:59:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Right. And it is the sense of community that motivates the production of so much good content here. Without it, ET would be run-of-the-mill.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Jun 8th, 2010 at 06:15:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Helen, I appreciate your views, but I disagree with them. There is a small group of members here who relate to each other in a manner of familiarity, who like to be considered a community. But the overwhelming majority of the 2,000 daily visitors and diarists, I might add, who come here do not necessarily share the feelings that they are part of a community. IMO, it is just a group of "old timers" who frequent ET daily, and get to know one another, that share this idea.

Since I joined ET two years ago, I watched the site visitor counter go from one thousand to two thousand. Of course that was entirely due to the start of my posting here, if you believe in spurious correlation. But it was certainly not due to some kind of "quality" notion, but rather the information visitors get from the site, and possibily Jerome's past association with DKos, where he attained some following. But one thing is for certain: the site meter didn't increase in spite of IP representation here, nor did it increase because of a lot of people came here to join a community, nor did it increase because of original writings as some like to think. Community is just the concept of a handful of members who spend a lot of time here.

Again this is my opinion.

by shergald on Tue Jun 8th, 2010 at 10:41:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A community of fairly open minds. You may wish to restrict that to those who take advantage of the opportunity to blather on here, but I would doubt that the majority of those 2,000 odd lurkers come here to tut tut at our stupidity and move on. They too are part of that community of people who want to find out the news and test their opinions of it against the reactions of those here.

They also commune who only watch and lurk, to grind a poetic phrase into the dust. They give us heft on google, they raise our profile in terms of hit rate. People who read the same newspaper sometimes think of themselves as a community, even if they never meet. The feel they have a commonality of attitudes, feel they share values. Even if they never meet, they feel their own views are validated by the fact that others out there are just like them.

Guardian readers even name themselves Guardianistas. Yet they do not know each other, barely even meet on CiF which is infested by the US right wing pushing back on the liberal menace. They are a community. and they never speak to each other.

We are a community. All 2,000 daily visitors. And we have a commonality, a sharing and most of us have never met nor even will know their opinion as they lurk. But htey are us and we are them. European Tribune - A community of fairly open minds and damned by that faint praise. You evidently do not comprehend what that means, the pride in being part of this. Your loss

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jun 8th, 2010 at 11:04:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can we just agree to disagree?

We have a different notion about just who those 2,000 visitors, and just what they are here for, and I don't think it is for a lesson in creative writing or commaradarie. It's about information. It's the same reason I go to many sites that I'm not even a member of. Information, content. There are many excellant writers, for example, at Huffington Post, Open Left, Salon, and other left wing sites, but if the content is uninteresting to me, I move on. I don't dwell on the grammar and beautiful sentence structure of their writings. Nothing could be more wasteful.

by shergald on Tue Jun 8th, 2010 at 12:53:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Since I joined ET two years ago

This is not meant to bluntly contradict you, but your impression of the past is mistaken. The log shows you joined ET on the 14th February 2006, well over four years ago.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jun 8th, 2010 at 11:16:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But the first of 209 diaries was on January 1, 2008.

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 8th, 2010 at 11:27:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That is true but I did not begin to post or post regularly until about two years ago.

by shergald on Tue Jun 8th, 2010 at 12:07:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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