croton blog for croton-on-hudson new york

When Is a Blog Not a Blog?

March 31, 2008

The answer: When it’s virtually a chatroom.

Out of curiosity we looked in at The North County News blogs, particularly the one that would like to be a competitor of Crotonblog. It has a lazy, East European quality about it that we found off-putting. It turns out that The North County News blogs are not true blogs, but really are virtual “chat rooms”—a derisive term that some North County News posters from time to time have applied to Crotonblog, a true blog. What they call “forums” have been set up for a few of the communities in the newspaper’s coverage area, but many have simply ignored the opportunity to participate in the forums.

In fact, of the dozen regional forums created by the newspaper, only one seems to show any real activity—the one devoted to Croton-on-Hudson. It’s preoccupied mainly with what can best be described as “talk between ships,” and a few individuals monopolize this boring back-and-forth chatter. Some of the monopolizing individuals are former Crotonblog users—or rather Crotonblog abusers who later took Crotonblog to task for allowing anonymous postings.

Crotonblog is always interested in statistics, so we compiled a few about the usage of the North County News forums. Here’s the doleful picture:

Town Topics Posts
Chappaqua 0 0
Cortlandt 4 4
Croton-on-Hudson 73 449
Katonah 2 2
Mt. Kisco 0 0
Ossining 2 2
Pleasantville 0 0
Peekskill 10 10
Putnam Valley 6 6
Somers 1 1
Yorktown 12 12
Westchester County 7 7

We were interested in the names used by posters on The North County News forum set aside for Crotonites and their frequency of use. Here are the most frequent posters:

Rank Name Posts Since
1. Maria 183 November 8, 2007
2. Bob Wintermeier 73 November 12, 2007
3. Carolyn G. 59 January 19, 2008
4. Notorc 57 November 12, 2007
5. William b r 42 November 16, 2007
6. Elise Sasso 10 November 22, 2007

Readers who may be interested in back-fence gossip between this small clique may find tidbits of chitchat there. Frankly, we found it all very tiresome. Since only some 140 days have passed since November 8, it is evident that at least one poster has been working overtime.

Some of the posters are using less than their “true legal names,” the former requirement of The North County News predecessor blog. These are the same people who raised a stink over Crotonblog’s acceptance of both signed and anonymous postings, a common practice on the Internet. For some reason, they are more interested in the identity of the person who made a comment rather than the content of the comment.

On April 1, 2008 12:41 PM, Mrs. Smith said:

A couple of points about posting to NC blog - it is interesting that Carolyn G, who admitted she only moved into the village in February, has become such a prolific poster. In the space of two months she has managed to read all the documentation to make her an expert on the now defunct Metro Enviro, the Millenium Pipeline, annoying enough to write to the UN to try to portray Rick Olver as untruthful and a friend to many democrats in town who confide their thoughts on all things political to her. Is it just me or do she and Maria have a running dialog where they set up pointers for the other to respond to? I seem to remember dialog like this before on the Crotonblog before a certain serial poster was banned.
Also, I was beyond disgusted to see that Maria had NO compunction in trying to score political points on the back of a couple of very sad deaths in the community. How classless can one get?

On March 31, 2008 1:17 PM, weewill said:

Some numbers can’t be manipulated.

The actual numbers, talen directly from North County News statistics show a much more graphic and visual demonstration of the comments/gossip soiling the North County News chat room.

Our of the 449 comments/gossip posted, 424 of them were written by the same few town criers who used to post on Crotonblog and monopolize the citizen’s participation at village board meetings.

Interesting statistics!


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