Community Blogging Keeps Getting Better

By Mike Flaherty | Oct 28, 2011


I was thinking the other day how good it is to discuss town matters here on Wareham Week with others who I actually know and/or have met and would be happy enjoying a beer with. 


When WW first started, I think we had some very constructive discussions by many folks who used their real names.  Some of it was rather high-brow in my opinion - notably some of the Charter Review discussions.  Then for a bit things seemed to crash and burn for a little while.  WW seemed overrun by many with anonymous names who just seemed to want to bring the feuding from the other websites here. 


Now things seem to be getting better again.  I think the discussions surrounding the town's financial debacles (yes plural) have been particularly helpful to the whole community.  I think the key to all of this was so many real people blogging publicly here with their real names (or who use a nickname but have identified their real name).  That doesn't happen much on other websites in town.


So I took a moment and I tried to recall as many bloggers as I could on Wareham Week who used their real name in the past 6 months.  This is what I came up with.  Feel free to add to it if you recall more.


Note:  I apologize in advance if I butchered anyone's spelling (I can edit it if needed).  The list is alphabetical by first name.  That means I really didn't mean to put Lisa between Larry and Liz  :-)

 

ANDREA SMITH

BRENNAN MCKIERNAN

BRUCE GANNON

CARA WINSLOW

CHRIS IRVING

DAN O'CONNELL

DAVE DIPIETRO

DICK PAULSON

ELLEN BEGLEY

GEOFF SWETT

JANE BRACCI

JOE LEGGETT

JOE SINGLETON

JOHN CHURCHILL

KAREN SPINKS

KATHLEEN SHIELDS

KEVIN MACKINNON

LARRY MCDONALD

LISA IRISH

LIZ MCDONALD

MATT PILLSBURY

NICOLE DIPASQUALE

PHILLIP DAVID TRIPP

PIO LOMBARDO

RHONDA VUGEN

ROB BROGLE

SEAN MURPHY

SEPTEMBER MCCARTHY

STEVE HOLMES

SUSAN NOONAN 

TED PORADA


Not too shabby a crew if I do say so myself.  That's the diversity of [26] names (not including myself) of people from many different backgrounds and experiences who care and who have demonstrated the courage of their convictions - and the heat that comes with it at times.  I tip my hat to you all.


And don't get me wrong there are even more active anonymous posters here, and their contributions shouldn't go unnoticed either, of course.  Myself, I pay particular attention to what WaterSprite and BigBrother have to say, among others.  I understand some folks have their reasons for remaining anonymous.  That's fine by me as long as you help elevate the level of discourse in this town - which many do.


We might not all agree on everything, but the key is to keep working through it with an open dialouge.  Many might not realize it, but there is more common ground between us than there is not.


Enjoy the weekend.  I'll see you around.

 
Mike Flaherty
 

P.S.

I changed the title per DavidsGirl's feedback.

Comments (28)
Posted by: Davidsgirl | Oct 28, 2011 13:11

Ok so "Real Names = Real Community"

So people who do not use their real names=not real community?

Not real clear on what most of this means and what is the purpose other than to mention a bunch of people by name and to send a shout out to a couple. I will agree that lately the quality of the posts has vastly improved, more people (using their REAL names or not) having... gasp dare I say it.. intelligent conversations without accusing each other of being tin hats or other such nonsense. Although the ridiculous "do you even live in Wareham" still comes up and of course the one guy some of you love to hate and obsess over still mentioned but for the most part an improvement.



Posted by: Mike Flaherty | Oct 28, 2011 13:38

DavidsGirl,


It was just my way of saying I really appreciate discussing town issues with those I can put a real name to. I don't know of another website in town that has the kind of openly public talent listed above.


You and I met during the meeting held at the YMCA to discuss the Lynne Road debacle.  It was great to but a face with the name.


I also pointed out that there are many folks who DO make great contributions toward the discussions here who choose to remain anonymous.  I think that you are one such person too.

Sounds like you don't care for the title of this blog post.  I was just trying to keep it brief.  Feel free to suggest something else.  It wouldn't be the first time I changed a title upon request.

Hope that helps.



Posted by: Mike Flaherty | Oct 28, 2011 14:15

DavidsGirl, based on your feedback, I changed the title to: "Community Blogging Keeps Getting Better".


Relax.  Enjoy the weekend.



Posted by: justin Beiber | Oct 28, 2011 16:01

Sure would like to add my two cents here.

But since I have a phony moniker, I don't feel exactly welcome.

Judging from the list of named bloggers, I'm more secure using an alias.

Otherwise, I might wake up and find a pair of dolls at my doorstep with pins stuck in their hearts.



Posted by: Mike Flaherty | Oct 28, 2011 16:25

"Sure would like to add my two cents here."


You just did :-)


Have a good weekend Justin.



Posted by: justin Beiber | Oct 28, 2011 16:45

You, too, Mike.

I think you're a big phony, by the way.



Posted by: Gimme Shelter | Oct 28, 2011 18:38

Gee Mike, sorry I don't live up to your standards. I'm going to have a good cry in my beer over this.   :(



Posted by: NativeSun | Oct 29, 2011 10:31

Um, Mike I may be wrong, and if I am, I apologize in advance but I think Peter Griffin is an alias.  Thats the name of the father on Family Guy.  If that is just a coincidence I'm very sorry.  And as far as who uses their real name, I think its great for those that do because it leads to discussions outside of this blog.  There have been many times where people have stopped me and asked me about a post or I have complimented them on theirs.  It does help build the community in my opinion.  Also it helps clear up some miscommunications when I know the person who is speaking. Thats not to say that there is anything wrong with being anonymous.  I'd love to know who Watersprite, Wareham thinker, and even Interested Party are.  Not because I want to cause them harm or dig up dirt, but just so that if I saw them we could have a chance to talk one on one without doing it in as public a forum as this.    But at the same time this should be a place where we can express our opinions without the fear of retribution and sometimes anonimity is the best way.  If someone makes a good and valid point it shouldn't be skewed by who is saying it. 



Posted by: watersprite | Oct 29, 2011 10:58

When I first started blogging, I did so partly because I was distressed by what I saw (in part) as a lot of school-yard behavior, where there was a lot of disrespect in the exchanges.  In a relatively small town such as ours, a lot of the disrespect can come from thinking because you know the identity of somebody, and you think you know their background, you think you know the REAL person.  People's opinions, expressed online, are often dismissed or diminished because of this presumption.

 

Posting anonymously is a way of getting around this.  I also think it ought to put a burden on the poster to show respect for someone who takes the time to post thoughtfully, even if I believe their thinking is flawed or logic full of holes.  Some people ought to read their comments before hitting "Post Comment" and reflect on what they've just written for a moment.  That said, I believe the quality of commentary on VillageSoup has improved enormously over the last year and hope it continues.  We desperately need this kind of open space.  And I commend WarehamWeek for respecting our anonymity.



Posted by: WarehamThinker | Oct 29, 2011 16:47

Peter Griffin is one of the town's most esteemed residents.  Why, just the other day I saw him, his evil baby, and his talking dog hanging out with their good friend, Mr. Glenn Quagmire.



Posted by: P-SPAN | Oct 29, 2011 17:08

Giggity



Posted by: kevindmackinnon | Oct 29, 2011 19:02

I don't subscribe to the anonymous posting theory, under any rationale.

 

C'est La Vie.

Be well Wareham. Bye.



Posted by: justin Beiber | Oct 29, 2011 19:49

I attended the Hammond School with Peter Griffin's son, Stewie.

Such a great family. They're all actively involved in public service.



Posted by: Mike Flaherty | Oct 30, 2011 00:14

I wrote a blog post explaining how much I enjoy discussing town issues with so many folks who choose to use their real names.  I also pointed out how much the discourse has improved on Wareham Week - to the credit of almost everyone - including anonymous posters.


With that Justin Bieber just couldn't help but hurl insults.


Good job, JB.  You prove my point.  You would never make that statement here while using your real name - much less to my face.  Baseless and faceless pot-shots have been exactly what has been crippling discourse in this town. It worked well in the past, but too many people have the courage to stand up to it now.  Wareham isn't afraid of the boogyman anymore.


Nativesun, you are probably right about Peter Griffin.  I have watched the show a few times and it is hillarious but I couldn't tell you who some of the character's names are on it.  I'll remove that name from the list unless I learn otherwise.  Still, 26 names are not too shabby.



Posted by: WarehamThinker | Oct 30, 2011 09:15

I think the reason why you've seen community blogging get better recently is because the out of town fraud who shall remain nameless was conclusively proven to be a fraud.  People like myself, who never offered any apologies for exposing frauds, no longer see the need to keep exposing the fraud because everyone but a handful of zealots have abandoned the fraud.

 

The entire world knows he's a pathetic fraud now, so it's a waste of time to keep pointing out that someone is a loser when the whole town knows he's a loser.



Posted by: September McCarthy | Oct 30, 2011 09:56

Mike - There is another name I would suggest you add to your list -- John Decas.



Posted by: petergriffin | Oct 30, 2011 12:07

I.



Posted by: WarehamThinker | Oct 30, 2011 13:25

You tell 'em, Pete.  I wish Brian the Talking Dog would run for selectman.



Posted by: justin Beiber | Oct 30, 2011 15:59

According to the white pages directory and the town's assessor office, no one by the name of Peter Griffin resides in Wareham.

As far as Mr. Flaherty singling me out as the spoiler to his conversation, I feel my comments were justified considering his snotty response to my initial post.

 



Posted by: WarehamThinker | Oct 30, 2011 16:37

That's because Mr. Griffin moved to Quahog, RI many years ago.  I applaud him for still caring about Wareham.



Posted by: Mike Flaherty | Oct 31, 2011 07:55

September, I considered adding John Decas (and others) when I first made my Blog post, but I don't think he actually blogs here with his real name.  I understand he has submitted letters to the editor of Wareham Week.  LTEs are also a great way to share one's viewpoint while using a real name.  However, it is more of a one way discussion without the opportunity to have a one-on-one discussion with the writer.


If I am mistaken, then anyone please feel free to correct me.



Posted by: deanmartin | Oct 31, 2011 09:57

Why is this clown Flaherty given a forum in this newspaper? I find his comments to be both shallow and pedantic.



Posted by: bigbrother | Oct 31, 2011 10:05

Hey Dean. You don't like Mike's comments, don't read them. It's a public forum which means we even get to read your crap like your comment about the "perverts" in town on another thread. Shallow? Yeah that fits.

 

Oh and since you know Mike's name you can take your potshots while you blog under the name of an old alcoholic crooner. Yeah that takes guts.

 

 



Posted by: taxpayer | Nov 12, 2011 18:47

Mike, feeling like you've been publicly flogged for your opinion? Constructively debating an issue has it's purpose, alas  some of the kids on the playground don't play nice.The whole  subject gives way to petty criticism and insults,then all is lost.



Posted by: Mike Flaherty | Nov 22, 2011 22:39

Happily adding Bruce Gannon to the list.



Posted by: Mike Flaherty | Nov 25, 2011 09:47

And Rob Brogle, too.

 

Thanks for participating and sharing.



Posted by: Mike Flaherty | Nov 27, 2011 22:07

Ted Porada too.



Posted by: Mike Flaherty | Dec 01, 2011 23:25

Time to add Phillip David Tripp & Dan O'Connell. I understand both are current/former members of the United States Marine Corps.


Thanks for your service!



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