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Pool Rules For Wading In Our Comment Stream

Five tips for navigating the swiftly-moving waters of a Patch site.

(Editor's note: I really liked this recent posting by Lamorinda Patch's J.D. O'Connor. Where's Lamorinda, you ask? That's slang for Lafayette/Moraga/Orinda.)

As one reader pointed out our comment stream provides useful insight into the collective mindset of the people who make their home here.

Almost as avidly read as our news stories and announcements themselves, the comments number in the hundreds for some stories and can be difficult to monitor.

For that reason we ask that you "flag" any post you find overtly insulting, threatening, profane or advertorial (no spamming.)

Do this by hitting the "Flag as Inappropriate" button included on every post. This signals me that you have a problem with the post and enables me to locate it much more quickly.

And just so we're clear, the listed practices are not allowed in our comment stream and comments of this type will be stricken:

No Profanity
No Insulting Language
No Threatening Language
No Spamming
No Head-First Diving or Thread Hijacking ... off-topic posts will be deleted.

Brent Ainsworth January 02, 2013 at 01:51 AM
(Note what date that was published. I'm fine now! Thanks).
HistoryLover January 02, 2013 at 03:58 AM
I like the idea of having one user-name per person, and not multiples. I don't know how Brent could avoid that, so it is - one person - one user-name. In the case of hot topics (ie. charter school & affordable housing) some individuals apparently were jamming the threads with their own crazy ball of yarn, messing-up the flow of conversation by preventing other voices to be heard.
Tina McMillan January 02, 2013 at 04:04 AM
The IJ links to people's facebook accounts. Even there you can always create a fake one but I think it takes a lot more work than the accounts on Patch where people set up several fake names and then post on the same thread as if they are more than one person. Most of the arguments eventually settle down but the willingness of nameless people to make false accusations and statements gets really ugly at times. Brent can't babysit us all the time or he would never get anything done. Perhaps we can monitor ourselves by deciding what to respond to when it gets ugly. I know I have made the mistake of wading in and accomplishing nothing worthwhile because the argument gets so outrageous. Patch is a wonderful resource. We need to use it as such and treat each other with respect even when our views differ.
HistoryLover January 02, 2013 at 04:07 AM
Brent, I think it would be interesting to hear about some of the road-bumps you've encountered on the Patch with your posters. How may comments were 'flagged" in the past year; did you ever have to kick someone off entirely? How many comments got deleted? Did you ever need to contact individuals directly to tell them, "you can't say that." Knock it off! Did you ever have to report to the police a threat...What was the most difficult article you had to work on in the past year. Which ones do you find most interesting...enjoyable? Which had the most heated posts? Housing/charter? How has the Patch changed or grown in the last year...inquiring minds want to know! We appreciate you and the work you do! Happy 2013!
Trish Boorstein January 02, 2013 at 04:42 PM
Happy New Year and Best of Health to you Brent and to Patch Staff! The same to all Patch subscribers! This forum is so valuable to our community for the news that Patch reports on and for the civil posting that takes place. I appreciate the effort of many who post with civility and supporting links. Even during controversial debate, Patch has been an immeasurable source of education. Edwin's point about focusing on the concerned members of our community is paramount. Looking forward to 2013 lively discussions! Thank you Brent and staff for making this possible.

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