We know, we know. We hate it too. Sorry.

Where’d everybody go? We have a few new faithful commenters, but we’ve lost droves more.  Sad! Come back, register, post comments. We hate the new system too (I haven’t checked in with U and E and I hate speaking for others, but I’m going to exercise some Captain discretion and take a leap).  It’s not our favorite.

 Thing is: there’s an incredible amount of diversity in the Metroblogging network – not just cultural-by-country, but cultural-by-tech.  By that I mean, the people who engineer this network (whom I love) come at things from a web-tech driven perspective. Others of us – say – me – come at this from a writer perspective. I love my town. I love writing about it. This site is a tool, it’s not an end or a shiny toy to me. Maybe it is or it isn’t to you. But don’t let the tech stuff scare you off. The premise and goal are the same.

We’re working on getting up to speed. You’ve no doubt noted that even some of our authors are still absent. They’re working on it too.

We’ve had questions about the dearth of photos. They’ll come back – promise! Spring and better light is here.

But hang out a bit more. We’ve always been a baby-city in MB land. We don’t want the platform change to kill us off completely. We need  your help to stay alive.

Argh: I’ve been blogging for nearly 5 years now. You’d think I’d know by now that bloggers kill nuance. They revel in irony, yet they also can’t stand it. You may have noted that I have added a link to the term “hyperbole” several places above. No, we don’t HATE anything around here. We’re frustrated. We fear change. We’re hometown-boosting-blog-post-writing-nerds, y’all. Duh. So, for reals, what we want is for people to take the time to register, to realize, then, that it’s not an arduous process, and to rejoin the party.  We miss you. In the words of the immortal Take That, we want you back for good.

19 Comments so far

  1. adamd on April 15th, 2008 @ 10:04 am

    Registering was definitely a pain. If the process was easy, I bet more would do it. But it’s a cobbled together WordPress registration.

    Have you considered completing the registration process for some of your prolific commenters? You know their email addresses, so send them the login information and offer to change the username and generally bend over backwards for them.

    You don’t have as much control as you’d like, but it seems like there’s something you could do.

  2. cd (cndn) on April 15th, 2008 @ 10:29 am

    I would NEVER register someone for a website on his or her behalf. I don’t think I’d even do that to my husband. As the captain, I do have access to information that the public doesn’t – but that’s information that readers entrust to us. I’m not going to make them sorry about doing so.

    It’s NOT a hard thing to do, I figure, if they want to, they can. I hope they want to. I’m begging them to join the discussion again. But I don’t think "bending over backwards" is what’s needed here.

    It’s not a question of having control.

    I’m just hoping to stir the pot and see who’s still out there.

  3. Sean Bonner (seanbonner) on April 15th, 2008 @ 12:21 pm

    Totally agree that the registration process is more difficult than it should be and working on that now. Ideally we’ll have OpenID and things working too but if nothing else it should be easier and that’s one of the main things on our plates at the moment.

  4. sac92 on April 15th, 2008 @ 1:18 pm

    Have you considered completing the registration process for some of your prolific commenters? You know their email addresses, so send them the login information and offer to change the username and generally bend over backwards for them.

    Wow, if any website did this, the wrath of the internets would come down hard on them. That is such a breach of trust and privacy. Please don’t even THINK it.

  5. adamd on April 15th, 2008 @ 1:39 pm

    You’re right. At this point anything Metblogs does will probably be seen negatively.

    What I suggested isn’t an invasion of privacy or a breach of trust. I see it as an olive branch to those who have been supportive in the past. Accompany the credentials with a heartfelt thank you and that you hope they will return to comment. If an account goes unused, so be it.

    Remember to treat first time commenters, especially, with respect. They took the time to register, so make their first impression positive.

    My own reception was less than pleasant, and I was trying to help.

  6. Matt (norcalangler) on April 15th, 2008 @ 1:45 pm

    I still think you need to branch out and get your own domain and blogging software so you can make this site look like a Sacramento based site. The current template is HORRIBLE. The site almost looks like a link farm it’s so generic. There is no life, no energy. WordPress is extremely easy to setup and customize. I use it for my family website and it’s great.

  7. cd (cndn) on April 15th, 2008 @ 2:16 pm

    Matt – we are part of a network of over 50 cities. We’re supposed to share a common layout. We’re not just A Sacramento Based Blog. We’re Metroblogging Sacramento. It’s a brand and a mission.

    Right now, I’m, I think, the only resident photographer on the site (and I am applying that term WAY too generously to myself) but I’ve been out of commission, photo-wise, for awhile. When we have more color on the site, it looks better. Like I said, we’re catching up best we can. The content, however, is always 100% Sacramento related. It’s not just a rule, it’s the only rule we have. There’s no control over the layout at the city-level. Just the content.

    adamd – I don’t think "anything metblogs does" will be seen negatively. and what you suggested goes against the way most site creators and authors would run things. It goes against the way we run things. Sac92 is right on this one. I don’t know how you were received, since I only see two comments under the name "adamd." But I don’t think you mean here in Sac, I think you mean somewhere north. In which case, I’ve heard what’s going on and I’m not sure why anyone is paying any attention to a few haters in OR. But that’s not my city or my state, so whatever floats your boat, go nuts.

    So, though I’ve jumped down the throat of commenters in the past – and will in the future when warranted – I don’t think yours has been one.

  8. adamd on April 15th, 2008 @ 2:48 pm

    I was referring to my comments on this post today.

  9. adamd on April 15th, 2008 @ 2:56 pm

    And yes, my familiarity with MetBlogs is not from Sac, though this post was what encouraged me to make an account.

    The best option is to make reg easier, but my impression of your post was that you felt powerless to change that.

  10. cd (cndn) on April 15th, 2008 @ 2:57 pm

    oh THAT was a less than pleasant reception? that was just me disagreeing with your premise. if disagreement is unpleasant to you, the ‘sphere is probably pretty ugly to you. i’ve been way worse to others.

    adding: I don’t "feel" powerless to change it. I AM powerless to change it, as I don’t make the code or the decisions about the code that create the process. I can’t MAKE people register either – nor can I, okay, it’s more accurate to say, nor WILL I, do it for them. registering takes no time at all. Did you check the link on hyperbole. Familiar with irony? It’s not hard. We don’t require bloodtype, SSN, or even addresses (real ones, brick and mortars). Reg actually couldn’t BE easier. That was my whole point with the post. So everyone register and come back already.

  11. adamd on April 15th, 2008 @ 3:04 pm

    I’m just saying watch the caps and implications of evil on a post where you’re begging (your word) for comments.

  12. cd (cndn) on April 15th, 2008 @ 3:08 pm

    to belabor the point more: i wrote "NEVER" because I mean "NEVER" and it’s such an important point to me that I had to make sure that other readers would know i’d NEVER adopt your idea. Your idea. I didn’t say you were an evil person. In fact, I never said evil anywhere. But I disagree with your idea, so I said so. Again, I think your beef isn’t actually with me, and from what I hear, this post is being used for an entirely ulterior purpose in other parts of the world, which is an incorrect use.

    if you volunteer an idea into the nets, you have to expect and deal with responses to that idea. otherwise, why offer it?

  13. adamd on April 15th, 2008 @ 3:10 pm

    I’m not the hater you’re looking for.

  14. Matt (norcalangler) on April 15th, 2008 @ 3:40 pm

    It’s unfortunate that you’re a part of a larger city blogging sphere. What are the benefits of such a relationship? You’re not getting the participation you expect so there is a disconnect. I’m telling you as an outside, relatively new reader that this site now looks generic and has zero sense of community so it doesn’t lead people to want to join the group.

    What are other metblogs cities saying about the changes? Probably much of the same.

  15. cd (cndn) on April 15th, 2008 @ 3:58 pm

    Our affiliation won’t change – if it did, we wouldn’t be a metblog anymore. And we are. You can check out our blogroll for what other local blogs are doing: http://sacramento.metblogs.com/links/ There’s space for all kinds of blogs in anytown, one of them might have more of a look that you’d like.

    Other metblog cities have many authors with many opinions on the changes. Some love, some like, some don’t, many are still learning. This isn’t our first re-design either. We change every so often. It’s our first platform move (we were MoveableType before, which had issues and glitches of its own!). But all cities have always had the same basic format. That’s what creates unity across the network.

  16. Matt (norcalangler) on April 15th, 2008 @ 7:32 pm

    "That’s what creates unity across the network."

    I guess your statement defines why I shouldn’t be a part of this community then. I’m interested in a site about Sacramento that has a good community feeling and is tailored toward our community, including design. I really couldn’t care less about unity across the various cities. It sounds like this site is more interested in being *.metblogs.com and I can’t say I understand. No loss either way, but thanks for the few articles I’ve read.

  17. cd (cndn) on April 16th, 2008 @ 9:05 am

    I’m sorry you feel that way. But what I can’t seem to explain right is that it’s not that we’re "more interested in being" a metblog site. We ARE a metblog site. So . . . .

    If you can’t stand to read without seeing . . . I’m not sure what, a river city skyline in the header, then I’m sorry. We’re a small community right now. Eventually, that will change. You’re free to stop by whenever you’d like to. If the packaging is a turn-off, so be it. If you’d like the CONTENT to change, that you can do something about by joining the site. But no one here has the power to change the layout.

    Enjoy the rest of the web.

  18. jaycharles on April 16th, 2008 @ 10:36 pm

    @adamd: Three things – 1.I agree, registering was a pain; 2.your suggestion touched on the fringes of one of the major issues in the online community, if not the rest of the nation – exactly what level of privacy should one reasonably expect, or put another way, to what degree is a citizen entitled to privacy in our culture? 3.cd wasn’t harsh, imho, just direct…

    @matt: no disrespect intended, but are you serious?! you would avoid reading the engaging posts that are relevant to Sacramento simply because the site is affiliated with a network of sites about other communities? Or because the design fails to incoporate elements of local flair? If you really detest the blog’s layout, subscribe to it via an rss reader…which can give you the added benefit of pulling all the local sites of interest to you together in one easily scan-able location.

    @christiana: I think that it is the concept of having to undergo a "registration process" that puts off your would-be commenters; I know that it has prevented me from commenting since your move to WordPress. I will grant you that it is a reletively simple process (in my case, it took 16 steps and eight minutes to register, mainly because I seem to be a bit o.c.d. – as if you couldn’t have gleaned that startling bit of information from the fact that I counted and timed my way through the registration – about how my name would appear here.), but it is a source of annoyance. Having said that, the content of both the blog posts and comments are still the same great quality they were before you "made the move." Thanks!

  19. cd (cndn) on April 16th, 2008 @ 11:27 pm

    Thanks for the comments. I feel you on the registration. I sometimes get hoppin’ mad at newspaper sites for requiring registration too. Then I figure, it’s a small price to pay – no price, actually – to have access to news without paying real money (except for dang NYT and their paid content section, but whatever).

    The upside is: register here once, and you’re done. No spam, so no long term damage. That should help ease minds!

    Thanks again!

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