Mykola, Vinay, Prompt, Neil, the Annalog, members of the Newsvine staff, Carl Howe, Sam Guzik. Here listed are eight different Newsviners. Carl Howe is a regular contributor who writes a truly readable column about technology business. No dirt here, just well constructed stories based on facts.
Who is Sam Guzik? I really don't know. But he has posted a few times. His latest post on economics is lucid, well written, informative, and educational. It can be found here: http://sguzik.newsvine.com/_news/2006/03/02/114614-rational-self-interest-give-it-a-chance .
Sam participates in the community. His post has been up for almost a day, and despite a good headline and a "Top News" tag, it appears to be un-appreciated with only 4 votes, 4 comments - two of which are by the same person and one by the author. It is a shame. The commenter obviously found some 'meat' to chew on and we should respect his acknowledging the post, commenting twice no less. Since Dreamweavr72 is a thoughtful and active participant, I was lead to read the post and now urge others to do the same.
The rest of my list, let's call them discussion leaders, are dominating the Newsvine landscape with their posts on guilds (or other names), behaviors, chat rooms, behaviors in chat rooms, 'newbies', the public launch, the need for moderators, the lack of need of moderators, and so on, and so on, and so on. In one thread, way down at the bottom, some of them turned the comment section into a song of dismay that the chat server was down - so far off topic - but it was important to some of them and therefore they will make it appear to be important to all of the rest of us. Especially those who are following the thread. They complain about abuse of the system and then go ahead and abuse it themselves.
Why do they dominate? Because they are posting - coming up with ideas, condensing their ideas to writing, and letting them loose to a public audience. As their ideas float about, they gain influence so to speak, a following of others that think as they do. Is there anything wrong with this? Absolutely not. They are taking the initiative and the time to participate and communicate. If the Newsvine community is satisfied to have thousands of words commit ed to the name for 'guilds' so be it.
To me, the choice of this name should be a decision made by a leader, an owner, an investor. It has been turned into a sophomoric comedy. HOW MANY ADULTS OUT THERE REALLY CARE ABOUT THIS STUPID NAME. Name the damn things and be done with it. However, I would suggest that a decision about even having 'whatchamacallits' on this site be made first. If we don't have whatchamacallits, then whatchamacallits won't need a name.
The staff needs to accept some of the blame. I know that community participation is important. But what is more important - the community choosing a name or getting the community used to posting about today's news, discoveries, and trends? Gents make up your minds. Decide if special interest groups are a good idea. If so, give them a name. Simple. If Newsvine is a for-profit-company, this should be a no brainer. Special interests are a marketeers dream group. Advertising can be targeted with ease and the resulting response is well worth the extra money. I know if I owned this company, I would be trying to determine how to speed up the growth of the community - more people means more interests means more interested advertisers means mo' money. Not to mention happy investors and a larger asking price at IPO time. I can absolutely guarantee that not a single potential stockholder will inquire as to how the name of our interest groups was named whatchamacallit or why it was named that way.
Those of you, especially those of you who are new to this site, who have not posted need to make your opinions and feelings known. Not on drivel, but on how you feel about stem cells, Bush's leadership, Barbara Walters, evolution, the environment, destruction of the American way of life, are there really endangered species?, art shows, quantum physics, behavior of celebrities, justice, injustice, death, birth, really, just about anything. But you MUST PARTICIPATE. If you don't, we will end up in the doldrums of a long summer probably discussing the appearance and color (light green or medium forest green) of the logo and if people who talk to their animals are good for Newsvine or not. And the same people will be leading the discussions. Once again, I don't fault them, rather I applaud them for their actions - I just get sick and tired of the same old thing day after day after day.
The time has come to exercise the strength and exploit the breadth and depth of the entire community. We need to fill up Newsvine with material that is relevent and compelling. Carl Howe is an excellent example and a tremendous role model. Try to write like him and every time you do, you will get better and better. Educate yourselves and visit and vote for posts of substance and variety. ADD YOUR COMMENTS. TAKE A POSITION. Sam Guzik DESERVES a chance to get his points accross despite the ambiant noise and topical diversions. He had somthing really enlightening to say and was, for all intents and purposes, ignored - while whatchamacallits garnered comment, after comment, after comment. The material turned out by Carl, Sam, and those of similar ilk was why this site was established. I cannot beleive all that venture capital was spent to provide AP feeds and the constant, un-ending din of a small group of people trying to name the whatchamacallits.
My apologies to the six. I vigorously support you and your right to comment and post anything about whatever you choose. Chat away if that is your desire. You participate. I also vigorously support the new members and will assist them whenever and wherever necessary so they can break into the mainstream. Together, we can help Newsvine exceed the normal (and anemic) 15 to 20 percent participation most sites like this suffer from.