Thursday, February 08, 2007

House cleaning

Some house cleaning.

1) Three visitors are bothered that other coverage of Watada wasn't noted. One cites a radio program that I don't listen to. I'm not real sure where I'm supposed to find the time to hunt down an archive of a program that has no archive, but when I do figure it out, I'll get right on it.
The other two note programs I am familiar with that I think are strong programs. And they offer that if I'm going to write down what was on "all those other radio programs," I should note others as well. First off all, Megan and Zach transcribed the bulk of the programs this week. They are community members, I had no problem going with their transcriptions because I trust them. A word or two might be wrong (no one's suggested that) but that's true when I transcribe something myself. As for other coverage, two people are upset (visitors) that their paper's coverage wasn't noted. They note that they e-mailed this morning. They did e-mail about it. I didn't have time to read those e-mails but, if I had, it probably wouldn't have been noted. That was the same AP story that we provided a link to via ABC (and went with ABC because it offered the photo of Margaret Prescod with the article). Sorry to be the one to break it to those two, but when it says "AP" or "Associated Press" in the byline, your newspaper did not write that story. I'm sure we missed a ton of coverage available online in text form and I'd hoped to expand on the coverage in the snapshot but that wasn't possible due to internet problems today. We may pick up other things. But we do go with Hawaii for Watada because that is his home state and Joan's usually the one finding those (that's her home state).

2) The private accounts, which members e-mail to, come first. The public account is always overlowing with things. One of which will be noted in this entry that have been waiting since last week. If you're e-mailing the public account you need to (a) know no one (Ava, Jess, Shirley, Martha, Eli or myself) is opening attachments and (b) you'll be read quicker if your subject line states what your e-mail is about. There was a time when I felt every e-mail had to be read. Then it became, "Okay, I'll settle for general consensus from the public account." Now, if the heading isn't clear, it generally gets trashed without being read. There are too many e-mails.

3) This entry will be cross-posted at the mirror site. At the mirror site, there's some function that allows you to send a brief message where you don't even have to go into your e-mail account. When those arrive at the public account, if you don't note what you're talking about, no one knows what you're talking about. It doesn't come in with "Re:___" -- it just says "Contact Form" and the sender is "Blogdrive." One person has written an impassioned thing about "please, please, write more about this" and I have no idea what "this" is. I have no idea what was being read, whether it was something current (today) or something from somewhere further back. Another person uses that forum to provide us with laughs as he claims to be the boyfriend of a woman (who is not a journalist) that he feels we were unfair to. (Or I, I don't think a member commented, I think it was just me.) Since the woman is a lesbian, his claim of being her boyfriend is as laughable as his defense of her politics (right-wing). He writes every day and since there's no way of knowing, until the e-mail has been opened, who's writing, and since, once opened, there's no way of knowing what most people are commenting on, we're probably going to start disregarding "Contact form" from "Blogdrive." There are 105 today, according to Jess, and they're useless because no one knows what anyone's writing in about. (Well, one's not useless. The man who keeps claiming to be a long term boyfriend of a lesbian is quite funny -- even though it's probably not intended to provide chuckles.)

4) The public account is for people to note things. That includes something they think can be highlighted here (which means Iraq related). That also includes if you have a problem with something I say. By all means, e-mail. You may not get a reply, but the complaint is read and factored in. I could be wrong, I often am. That also includes people who write in to say that something's not getting the attention it needs. But I'm not calling you, you may not even get a reply back from me or anyone else, so everyone who's e-mailing providing their phone numbers, I'm sure you're wonderful and it's my loss, but there's only so much time in the day. There are six people (that includes me) working the private accounts and the public accounts and we're still behind each day. (Correction, I'm behind. Ava, Jess, Shirley, Martha and Eli are doing me a favor. They're not behind.)

5) There are a lot of great e-mails every day where people share their losses or their triumphs. That's more than fine. (And they're a pleasure to read.) Complaints are taken seriously. But whatever you're writing about, if you want your e-mail to be read, you need to note what it's about in the heading. Ava, Jess, Shirley, Martha and Eli all have permission to respond to any e-mail they read that needs a response. That's their judgement call. E-mails that they think I need to read get put in a folder and I read those as soon as I can.

6) If you have a suggested link, you need to realize that members know how to make suggestions. They grab a section or the entire thing and copy and paste it into an e-mail with the link. Ava just found the perfect example of something that won't be noted. A vistitor e-mailed a link to something at the Seattle Times with "check this out" on it. Why? When members (and many visitors) are already waiting and are very clear about why something matters to them, why should anyone reading your e-mail go to some link you provided? We don't have the time. Other people are waiting, and we don't have the time. (Ava and Jess are going through the e-mails right now when they could be out with everyone else getting something to eat.)

7) A testimonial on a new film, Fired, came into the public account. This is one of the things I've been trying to note but time has run shot for two weeks now.

Jonathan Tasini: I recently attended the premiere of a movie called "Fired." I highly recommend it. The movie is opening in theatres Feb 2nd: in NYC at the Village East, and in Fort Lauderdale, Buffalo, Chicago and others on a schedule that only makes sense when you know how low budget a documentary this is.
When actress Annabelle Gurwitch was fired from a play by Woody Allen, she wondered how she would cope with being downsized by a cultural icon. Turning to friends in show business she was assured she was not alone. Everyone she knew, from her rabbi to her gynecologist, had their own account of getting the boot. Featuring interviews with comedians, economists and regular working folks, and drawing on a series of live literary events and her hugely popular book, FIRED! is a humorous look at downsizing in America.
A film by Annabelle Gurwitch
here to see play dates in other cities
"Entertaining and slyly subversive." – Rebecca Rothbaum, O Magazine
"Genuinely Affecting…A free-wheeling, first person documentary
that recalls the early efforts of Michael Moore." – Joe Leydon, Variety

Tim Allen - Andy Borowitz - David Cross - Andy Dick - Tate Donovan - Illeana Douglas - Jeff Garlin - Judy Gold - Richard Kind - Stephen Adly Guirgis - Anne Meara - Bob Odenkirk - Robert Reich - Jeffrey Ross - Harry Shearer - Sarah Silverman - [. . .] - Fisher Stevens - Paul F. Thompkins - Fred Willard
Actress and humorist ANNABELLE GURWITCH, best known to television audiences for her many years as the co-host of the cult favorite “Dinner and a Movie” on TBS.
She is currently a contributing writer and commentator on “Day to Day” on NPR.
“A Frank and Funny look at job loss and downsizing.”
-- Madeleine Osberger, Associated Press
If you spend any time at all in the workplace, chances are you may get laid off, down-sized, let go, out-sourced, axed, terminated, canned, cancelled, dismissed…FIRED!
“The best kind of comedy -- rooted in empathy but with a serious point.”
- Patrick Beach, Cox Wire Service
Fired! features interviews with a who's-who of top-rated comedians and actors, including Tim Allen, Sarah Silverman, David Cross, Illeana Douglas, Bob Odenkirk and more. The film also examines the state of employment in this country, interviewing laid-off GM workers in Lansing, Michigan, [. . .], former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, and even the recently fired White House Chef. It seems everyone has been touched by the national epidemic known as "downsizing."
Compiled by Annabelle Gurwitch
Whose economy is it anyway? Jobless rate in America is the lowest since 2001; but since 2001, 95% of working people in America's wages have been flat or falling. Only the top 5% have shared in the economic growth. Real wages and salaries makeup the lowest share of the GDP since 1947, corporate profits are the highest they’ve been since the 1960’s.
Where's my gold watch?
You won't be receiving a gold watch if you were working for any of these companies:
AOL said so long to 5,000. Employees in Aug 06.
Intel cut its ties to 10,000 employees in Sept 06.
Ford offered 75,000 workers buyout packages in October, and announced that 14 plants will close by 2012 eliminating 30,000 jobs. GM also offered buyouts to 100,000 workers if they said goodbye to their jobs.
Dupont declared in the week before Labor Day that new workers will no longer receive defined benefit pension plans and more tenured employees' pensions will be reduced. And uh, we're not offering health care either - Happy Labor Day!
Ratio of average CEO salary to the average American worker is now 435 to 1
People who are unemployed stay unemployed fifty percent longer than they did in the seventies, and only about half as many receive unemployment insurance as did so in 1947.

And that's going to be it. There are 12,351 unread e-mails in the public account currently. If you aren't specific in your heading about why you're writing (topic, whatever), it's going in the trash can. For future ref: If you're writing about something that's up here somewhere in the two plus years of this site but you don't specify the title and date (both, "And the war drags on" is a title twice a week, "Iraq snapshot" five times a week, "Other Items" many times a week -- you need a date and a title) and you end up being read by someone other than me, it's going in the trash. If I read it, I can usually narrow it down but I'll probably end up following everyone else lead and assuming that if it really mattered, you'd note where it appeared and not expect everyone to know what you mean when there are 20 plus entries a week and two years plus of entries. I believe every entry has a title here and a date. You can also copy the link to the entry. But people don't have time to try to figure out what you're talking about when you can't be clear about it yourself. Someone, (Kat? Rebecca?) pointed out last week, that if you wrote about (complaining or complimenting) something you saw in a paper and didn't note what it was, your letter/e-mail would go right in the trash. So, especially if you're a reporter, you need to be specific. And, a helpful hint, hearing that something is up here is not the same as knowing it is. Someone was very offended when a mutual friend played a joke on them (and on me) and told him I'd ripped him apart for something. I hadn't. It had never been commented on here. So before you waste everyone's time, don't even bother writing an e-mail that says "I understand you . . ."

Lastly, if you get a reply from someone, other than me, and you're offended by it, tough. You've had your response. If Ava (who really had it with independent media whiners last week) hurt your feelings by pointing out your minimizing efforts or, in one instance, someone trying to lie (and it was a lie) about how they got something wrong, tough. I don't care. You wrote and you got a response. Most people don't. And I don't respond myself. (A rule I've broken twice.) I'm not going to read your, "Ava was short with me" e-mails and think, "Oh, bad, Ava!" The community stands together.