Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Quick Message

Hi guys -

As I'm sure you've noticed, there have been some rather offensive comments posted to the blog in the past couple of days. The blog's also been plagued for some time now by one particular troll who is dead set on trying to disrupt the online community we've built here.

When I started this blog my goal was to provide a positive forum for residents of our neighborhood, and those nearby, to discuss our communities and find out about all the great new things that were happening, and, of course, have a lot of fun at the same time. I think we've accomplished that ten-fold! Last month, for the first time, the blog's readership surpassed 6,000 people and I'm sure there's many more who have yet to discover it so that should only continue to climb, making it an ever-growing exciting and rich experience for all of us.

Since I know from your correspondence that most of you have been looking for a positive online forum like this, the last thing we all want to have to do every day is log on to Edge of the City only to have to deal with the negativity of a nut job (yep, pretty much all of the harassing, negative comments you've seen here are coming from one disturbed individual). So, to eliminate that, I've decided to moderate comments to this blog. You can comment like you always do, and the process going forward will mean that there is just a short delay before you see your comment posted to the site.

So, comment away like you always do. Enjoy the blog! And I hope this new process will make it a more enjoyable experience for everyone. Just to emphasize, this doesn't mean comments that respectfully disagree with a post I write or a comment from someone else will not show up. Anything but that. As long as the comment is respectful of others, it will be posted.

Best,
Drake

23 comments:

  1. Who cares if one or more ppl post offensvie things? We're adults. And if its too offensive, just delete it. Moderating comments is going to end up with less people commenting b/c they dont want to wait for you to approve them. Bad idea.

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  2. And its not always a "positive forum." You often post angry political tirades attacking politicians and ppl who do not goose step with the Democratic party like yourself (see 2012 Presidential election). Before this comment would be up for a while before you would delete it, but now it won't even make it pass the approval stage. You'll totally Stalin-ize this message board, Drake

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    1. Start your own blog, jackass...

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    2. Than get your own blog!! LOL the nerve of some people!!

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    3. Are you the troll? If so, your spelling and grammar suck. Just saying.

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  3. Keep up the good work!

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  4. As the old saying goes, "Ignore the trolls," If we respond to them, they win.

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  5. This is one of the drawbacks of the Internet world. It brings out the best in some people, the worst in others.

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  6. Drake,

    A good solution would be to eliminate the anonymous posting options and use a plugin that allows you to approve a user, once their comment is approved the first time, their future comments will be automatically approved. You can also block the IP address of the troll. I know wordpress allows you to do these things, not sure about blogspot.

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  7. Drake: It is nice to read that you are taking steps to curtail the negativity and trolling behavior of some individuals that have been a thorn in your side. I’m relieved that this behavior was coming from one individual and not a whole subset of haters; but I guess all it takes is one. As you may be aware, the Huffington Post recently updated its policies regarding the posting of comments. The intent obviously the same, limit the posting to serious participants and leave the trolls at the gate. While I am not familiar with any of the blogs hosted by Huffington or the exact strategy implemented; but essentially you must be a registered user to post. This is no different than the WSJ or the NYT. While this may not be practical for your community based blog, I believe the Google Blogger package that you are using provides the ability to limit participation to registered Google, Intense Debate, Word Press, etc. members. The benefit of this approach to posting is that it continues to encourage spirited and timely discussions.

    That being said, I was shocked to see that a comment I left last night was deleted! What surprises me is that what I posted was not only not offensive, but I was sharing an experience I had Sunday Morning as well as other information that I believe was informative.

    The fact of the matter is New York State will never allow a speed bump, humps, or rumble strips on a thoroughfare such as Queens Boulevard. Why, because the Federal Highway Administration sets the standards that all jurisdictions follow for uniformity and safety. Currently in New York Speed bumps are only recommended for local roads with speed limits of 25 mph or less. NY considers speed bumps as a tool for discouraging “short cuts” and not as a way to normalize speed in a given area. There are only two known strategies for fixing this without causing hardship on the community: aggressive policing (less likely going forward) and staggering traffic lights (EPA will not allow as it has been proven to increase ambient pollution in high density areas. Besides, I like pulling out of the parking lot at Beach 94th and not hitting a red light until I get to Union Turnpike!). As to rumble strips, the state has only authorized their use on highway shoulders, exit ramps, and toll approached. Rumble Strips have been used elsewhere on local roads and often with disastrous results. Most rumble strips on local roads have been removed, not because inexperienced drivers tend to over react and get in accidents, but because they are considered a Public Nuisance.

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    1. Interesting, thanks for the info. I am not sure why your comment was deleted previously.

      Regarding commenting, I could limit commenting to only those who are registered but I think a lot of people like to comment anonymously on this blog. There's also been quite a bit of useful "insider" information people have commented about regarding new businesses opening in the neighborhood, etc. I'd like that to continue. People like to be anonymous sometimes when they have such inside information. So, for now, the system that seems to work the best is moderating the comments from everyone. But of course I'll keep evaluating things as time goes on...

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    2. I am not one for censorship and I would hope people would use this forum with “common sense” and respect the sensitivity of all who might live in Forest Hills or may be readers of this forum. To be honest I am not comfortable with all the political stuff posted either biased or unbiased. As a resident of Forest Hills I am most happy reading about new places, old places changing, special events or just what our great neighborhood has to offer. For many years a bit stagnant, it seems there is a lot of change, as much as the seasons change each year. The local TV media is full of the political intrigue and trash for anyone who wishes to tune in. However, they don’t cover Forest Hills much unless there is a serious crime or they hype up something on their Boulevard of Death when there is a serious accident. Politics aside I enjoy reading the blog a few times a week and hope this forum will continue to bring to us the news of Forest Hills that the media does not….all the “stuff” that is important to us who live and enjoy our neighborhood. I much prefer when the bloggers are talking lifestyle and not politics.

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    3. You needn't worry - now that the presidential election is over, having been absolutely THRILLED with the result, I don't have nearly as much to say about politics. Local politics is a no-brainer. De Blasio will be our next mayor, pretty much a given, and I'm also THRILLED with that. So, look for me to talk more politics as we approach the midterm elections. I will not even bother commenting about this nutty Ted Cruz dude, whoever the hells he is. What a freazoid.

      So you see. I didn't talk politics while talking politics.

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    4. So you just go ahead and do exactly what the guy above asked you not to do.

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  8. Continued…..

    How do you fix Queens Boulevard? The half ass attempt at pedestrian Chicanes would be first place to start. Train pedestrians to get used to the idea of taking two light cycles for crossing the Boulevard (we are talking 10 lanes of traffic and 3 medians). Landscaping the medians with tall shrubbery would also slow drivers (tunnel effect), consider narrowing the lanes. But none of this would make a difference any way if the older woman that I encountered on Queens Boulevard Sunday Morning continues to view traffic lights and traffic control as something that does not apply to her. We know how you feel about automobiles, but pedestrians are also part of the problem. The fact of the matter is fuel taxes and registration fees not only pay for roads, they subsidize mass transit.

    I am not sure why you chose to remove my post; perhaps it wasn’t convenient to your viewpoint. But considering the obvious hate that has been left by others and personal attacks that you have been subjected too; I was insulted to find my comments deleted. While I rarely agree with your take on various political topics, it’s your blog; you can do whatever you want. If I was a blogger, I would be doing whatever I could to promote lively topics, spirited discussions all in an attempt to increased traffic to my blog. That being said, I hope you will consider a registered user approach for managing the commentary. Remember, you will still have the ability to delete offending comments. Oh, look at the bright side; they had a blogger on the Brian Lehrer Show back in July whose blog was being trolled by her mother! Besides posting shit contrary to the daughter’s thoughts, the mother would regularly pick fights with other commenters!

    Kevin

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  9. Well here's some insider info for you: Status Quo aka Network is out of business or the owner is on vacation b/c it hasnt been open all week and its a mess inside.

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  10. Another piece of neighborhood news -- there's now a For Rent sign in the window of that women's clothing boutique (Amience????) that never opened. It's really a shame. There were 3 items I noticed over the past year that I would have purchased. I can't imagine how much more I would have found if I was ever able to browse beyond the window.

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  11. That is so bizarre and puzzling. I remember walking in the one time I saw a person in there during the winter and she said they would open in Spring.

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  12. Drake,
    My annual $55 Edge of the City Platinum Membership specifically stated that comments would not be moderated. Although the t-shirt I received along with my membership card is of the highest quality and still looks new after two years, I must, with regret, request a partial refund for October through December.

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  13. Queens restaurant week coming up next week. Seven Forest Hills restaurants participating.

    http://foresthills.patch.com/groups/business-news/p/queens-restaurant-week-kicks-off-on-sept-30_348ba1fc

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  14. Confirmed from other sources: Network/Status Quo is done. Closed. Kaput.

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  15. Doesn't surprise me. I never really saw anyone there.

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  16. Opinions are like a**holes. Everyone has one and they stink!!
    You run the blog the way you want to run the blog. I will continue to read your informative posts.

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