UPDATED: What do you want to see at sanduskyregister.com?

Jason Werling
Nov 18, 2013

I've had conversations throughout our community in the past couple months about what people would like to see at our website and you may have noticed a few changes here and there.

I'm opening a week-long dialogue for suggestions from you and will be checking back here as much as possible.

Tell me what you like, what you don't like and what you would like to see added here at the website.

I look forward to your responses...I think.

Day 1 UPDATE:
Here's a list of suggestions so far. Please keep the conversation going, I don't see comments going away in the foreseeable future. "It takes a community...." can have more meaning than just raising children.

• Thumbs Up/Thumbs down option- This was mentioned several times and I agree it would be a great addition to our comments section. And it ties in with what our editorial board already does.

• Student blogs- We did try adding the announcements from a couple schools a few years back. I will see what we can do with the local schools.

• Fishing/Outdoor blog- Great idea and we will get something going soon.

• Sue Daugherty blog- She has one and we just started putting it online the past couple weeks.  It can be found by clicking HERE

• Investment blog- Andy Waldock writes a weekly column and we will re-purpose it for online use as a blog.

• Good things blog- We started to post the Volunteer Center's column each week with volunteer opportunities, but I would welcome any further positive additions to our site. Anyone have any ideas on who could write it? 

• Non-anonymous commenting (Not Facebook/Twitter-based): This is the big one and we are working on it. Thank you for the input.

• Get rid of Sharon Johnson blog- Sharon has a voice and puts her name behind her statements. She sparks dialogue and I don't see her going anywhere soon as we are looking to add to our site.

Comments

Jason Werling

underthebridge-

I would like to see this as well. We do have a couple blogs at our FIT site.

Jess Henning hikes in various places around our area, her blog can be found HERE.

I have a running blog HERE.

We will have a fishing blog in the spring or this winter if the lake/bay decides to freeze over.

Anyone out there interested or know someone capable of writing a weekly fishing/outdoor blog can e-mail me at werling@sanduskyregister.com.

Thomas Paine

I agree with several on here we need more positive news. We have a great community but all we seem to do is beat each other up over our disagreements. I would love to see a community service section on the website. Maybe even having a yearly Sandusky Register sponsored community service project to kick off the section and bring all the community organizations together to assist. Pick some projects, have a community online poll of which project they want to see happen and then get the community involved to make it happen. The media has a lot of power to make things happen rather than report on what HAS happened. There are a lot of local organizations that need volunteers and project ideas as well. Having a quick link to volunteer opportunities or organizations that need help would be great.

starryeyes83

I won't bother to deal with FB OR any other social media site since this is a done deal.

OH well, I'm outta here , too.

Can't trust the crazies that want to make death threats against my person.

I'm glad I stopped my subscription to this paper, this month knowing they defend a rapist who works there.

Only because they have to be PC.

SamAdams

We can probably talk forever about the risks associated with using our real names on a public Internet forum. There are the threats of violence; there are the threats of lost business. These are perfectly real. But The Register and certain of its regular online readers seem to want to "clean up" the comments section by eliminating anonymity.

That's a fine excuse, and some people might even buy it. But the reality of it all is that some people simply want to muzzle those who have unpopular opinions or beliefs with which they disagree, sometimes vehemently. You know what? You can't pretend that you favor freedom of speech if you don't equally support and fight for that speech with which you disagree.

If The Register chooses to demand identification for its comments, I'll be another who won't be bothered to be here any more. (I frankly won't bother reading the paper any more, either, since it is the exchanges in the comment section I find to be often informative, sometimes amusing, and almost always of SOME value.)

There are people who regularly comment that I wish I DID know since I'd love to have more conversations with them. There are others who regularly comment that I wish would just SHUT UP. But the one thing we all have in common is an interest in a given topic and the unalienable right to share that interest with others of both like and unlike minds.

The Register is a privately held company and it can censor its content, including the comments sections, as it wishes. But as a (marginally) free American, it's my right to seek truly free and open discourse elsewhere. And like I said, I will if I can no longer get it here.

starryeyes83

Well, and then Hoty writing a Letter to the Editor, threatening to sue The Register for libel because of one of the comments made against them.

That was in the print copy about two weeks ago.

Nemesis

Website owners are protected by federal law from liability for user supplied content.

arnmcrmn

The poster isn't though. A fake name cannot protect you. When you make a personal threat against someone that you are going to hunt them down and take them out, let me be the first to say a lawyer can get the email linked to the account AND the IP address and within a day find the exact location and real name to any account. One can be prosecuted for making threats, intent to harm….etc.

starryeyes83

Yes, but, people don't help themselves when the poster makes a point of identifying his/her occupation and a few other things regarding their name ( ie. admit to using acronyms or nicknames ) and other personal information. All I needed was a yellow pages provided in my regional phone book. And I'm not even in the same town or area.

Although, I 've never made threats to people.

In other words, be careful how much info you put out there.

T. A. Schwanger

###

Keep the anonymous side of the blog.

Many times the information from anonymous commenters is useful information for research purposes as I'm sure the Sandusky Register uses some of the information for future stories.

I rather enjoy it when commenters such as The Answer Person tell me I'm all wet but don't share information to the contrary.

What irritates me the most is when commenters don't do their research before they blast others---say for example when a claim is made Save Our Shoreline Parks "opposes all forms of development along Sandusky's waterfront".

T. A. Schwanger

###

Return to the early days of Sanduskyregister.com whereby on the tool bar we can click on only Sandusky news or Perkins news or Port Clinton news etc. instead of having to scroll through page after page looking for local articles.

Nemesis

Ooops, accidentally posted this on the other comment anonymity thread, meaning to post it here.

Where is the value added in attaching names to comments? There is already a frequent commenter whose use of her real name doesn't deter her from attempting to hijack every comment thread and make it about her own personal problem. The Register has published rambling, train of consciousness columns with disjointed sentences that make no sense, an apologetic for criminals written by (surprise) a criminal, and relationship advice from a self-promoting, self-proclaimed band groupy, and lauded it on the sole basis that they all put their names on their writings, never making any attempt to defend any of it on any other merit. By that standard, the mindless, but signed, rambling of a brain damaged child molestor would be of more value than the Federalist Papers, simply by virtue of the latter's pseudonymous publication, and the collected works of Shakepeare would be considered so much toilet paper because of uncertainty as to his real identity.

People should focus on ideas and not personas. Using names does nothing but allow identity to distract people from the ideas. We would not have a Bill of Rights in this country had not the writings of an anomymous commentator generated support for ratification. Those who insist on names either suffer from the false belief that their own identity enhances the value of their comments, or are looking for handles on which to hang ad hominems. If you can substantively rebut the assertions of another commenter, you have no need to know his/her name, and it's notable that some named commenters resort to attacking anonymity when they can't muster anything better. The Register already has all the commenter identification it needs - password protected accounts so no one can post in some other user's name.

Also, Jason, you claim you addressed the proofreading issue, but you did so with a flippantly dismissive remark that the readers here take care of that for you. It's a poor excuse for a journalist who depends on the customers to do the proofreading. That's like a car manufacturer who expects the customer to check the tightness of all the lugnuts when taking delivery of a new car. We're not just talking about typos, either. There are gross errors of grammar and usage, such as the use of "himself" as the subject of a sentence that I observed a few days ago. My fifth grade teacher would not have accepted that. To borrow from Jeff Foxworthy, one who holds oneself out as a professional writer should be smarter than a fifth grader. The English language is the primary tool of your trade; have some professional pride in mastering it. Given the general quality of the writing we've seen here and in the print edition, one wonders whether, if the Register were a carpentry shop, every staff member would be missing a finger or two due to careless use of a power saw.

Jason Werling

Nemesis- Thanks for joining the conversation. 

In regards to my "flippant" and "dismissive" remark regarding proofreading, I'll stand by my comment. Mistakes do happen and we fix and run corrections when needed. If this were a case of multiple sentences with grammatical errors within every story published I would see it as a problem.

The occasional errors will pop up and get through proofreaders. I have posted stories where I had to go back and fix a headline or something within a story. It happens.

To compare it to a car manufacturer with loose lugnuts, I have yet to see a family of four seriously injured in a crash because of a misplaced comma. No one has ever lost a finger because they used they're instead of their.

I would guess that your fifth-grade teacher would also tell you that their best student is not free from making errors. And the same would go for a college journalism professor.

Saying their are "gross errors of grammar and usage" is the same as saying the Register doesn't do ANY positive stories. No one person, business or organization is perfect.

Answer me this... Why the usual suspects show up in the "controversial" stories on our site in the comments section, but no words of positive encouragement when we post a "good" story or a gallery from a positive event?

Are people looking for something to complain about? Do people want to be negative? Or is there a positive majority out there that is scared to make a positive remark because they will get blasted by someone with an anonymous name?

Nemesis

"Saying their are "gross errors of grammar and usage" is the same as saying the Register doesn't do ANY positive stories."

REALLY? Read that sentence back to yourself, Jason, and see if you can find the irony.

I'm sorry, but the use of "himself" a the subject of a sentence should NEVER appear in a professionally written publication. Mistakes happen, but your staff are supposed to be award-winning PROFESSIONALS. The fact that mistakes in your profession don't kill people is no excuse for lowering the bar. There was a time when journalists were rigorously trained in proper use of the language, when the BBC took pride in the fact that people around the world learned to speak English correctly from their broadcasts. Now it seems all they teach in journalism school is leftist ideology and a disregard for standards as repressive imposition on hehalf of dead white men.

Fine, if you like, forget lugnuts. Look at the quality differential between American and Japanese cars in the late 1970's. Which side of that comparison do you wish your product to more resemble?

The answer to your question lies in the question itself. You put the word 'controversial' in scare quotes, but you shouldn't have. A controversy is something on which there is strong disagreement. Naturally, such topics generate more discussion. When you report on something that is universally seen as good news, what is there to say?
It's good news, and we're all happy; there's nothing to discuss. We can all simply smile and be happy. The sound of crickets chirping in the comment section of your good news articles is the sound of contentment.

grumpy

"The answer to your question lies in the question itself. You put the word 'controversial' in scare quotes, but you shouldn't have. A controversy is something on which there is strong disagreement. Naturally, such topics generate more discussion. When you report on something that is universally seen as good news, what is there to say?
It's good news, and we're all happy; there's nothing to discuss. We can all simply smile and be happy. The sound of crickets chirping in the comment section of your good news articles is the sound of contentment."

The 'controversial' articles seem to be the court cases or about gov't policies, both of which tend to have natural splits when it comes to opinions. Good news articles have no such division, as Nemesis pointed out. At most you can say good story and smile, to have double or triple digit comments on it simply won't occur. If you wish to see what readers think of such articles put a like button at the end of the articles so the readers can simply like the articles if they so wish. same for comments that are made in response to the controversial articles.

On another question... you haven't stated in the article how you would get actual names on the commenters other than it won't be through facebook or twitter. What way do you propose to get the names? Will you simply ask in an email and keep their anonymity online or how do you figure to do it?

Jason Werling

Oh, I definitely see the irony. Sorry, I wanted to type up a reply real quick earlier and it has been a crazy day.

I'll respond to your other points later tonight as the kids need to eat. Thanks for your continued dialogue.

Nemesis

I have the same chore to handle.

By the way, sometimes haste makes irony the gift that keeps on giving. It should be "type up a reply really quickly." You're modifying "type" which calls for adverbs.

What should really sting is I'm one of the people that the journalism majors were poking at when they wrote "2 weeks ago I can't spell ungineer and now I are one."

Jason Werling

Nemesis- Point taken on good news, but it would be nice to see those stories in the top comments section. Does this blog count as good news?

Everyone in the newsroom is well-trained and we take our jobs seriously. I'm not going to make excuses for the mistakes that make the light of print or digital. They happen and we correct them, write a correction and move on.

I make sure to personally call and apologize if I make a mistake in a name or something similar. If we mispelled a name in a cutline in college we would fail that assignment.

I didn't attend any classes in leftist ideology, but I am proud of my education.

Please join in the conversation in future blogs, I'm going to try to post weekly, and not weakly.

Nemesis

You shouldn't look to the comment count for validation. Commenters represent a small percentage of readers. If your webmaster can't provide you with pageview counts for your articles, then there are plenty of 14 year olds who can - hire one. If you MUST have explicit validation of your good news articles, I would suggest exploring why with a good therapist, or implement the "like" button so many have suggested, and, this is just as important, announce it prominently and put the button at the top and bottom of each article. We don't want you thinking no one likes the article because they didn't know about the button or couldn't find it. In the end, though, the SR is a business, and there are plenty of other places you apply your talents if you didn't need a paycheck to put food on the table. We both know that good news stories aren't what are paying the bills - to quote Don Henley, people love it when you lose, they love dirty laundry.

As for joining future conversations, it appears you're about to make changes that will rule that out.

If you think that the proofreading is sufficient, that's your choice, but it's disappointing, when you ask your customers how you can do better, and so many of them ask for better proofreading, for this to be your response. Do we expect perfection? No, but a baseline expectation of customer service would dictate that you take the feedback to heart and at least try to make improvements, or at the very least give lipservice to the idea.

Truth or Dare

Watched some interesting testimony on CSPAN's Public Affairs a few nights ago. They were called to testify in front of a Sub-committee in regards to the Public's right to privacy regarding the Internet and the harvesting of information going on. You know, the whole NSA thing. It was pretty interesting and pointed out that the individual speaking on behalf of GOOGLE isn't willing to admit User's information is being harvested, along with other social media sites, such as Facebook, Yahoo and others. You won't find me on Facebook, ever! Nor do I now, or will I ever Twitter.

Been here commenting for what, maybe 7 yrs. now. Never did think my comments, although personal thoughts/opinions would be completely private. It only takes a hacker, or someone within a company whose willing to provide info. by word of mouth, anonymously of course. They're asking we put our name to our comments, yet they're willing to take anonymous phone calls and tips to help w/their 1st. Amendment to the U.S. Constitution journalistic freedoms of speech. Really? Should such things lead to physical violence, cyber-bullying which seems to be quite popular on Facebook, see quite often right here going on or resulting in some kind of legal woes, it certainly makes it that much more difficult for one to exercise their right to the 6th. Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Of course I realize that's being shredded to pieces, one day, hour, minute,second at a time!

The same night I caught the testimony, I caught an interview with Lori Andrew, the author of; I Know Who You Are and Saw What You Did: Social Networks and the death of privacy. It's my understanding the book itself doesn't really provide much in the way of helpful information as too how to better protect oneself and their info. shared. It is stressed however, that due to info shared, exchanged, harvested, it can and does effect many areas of one's life, including getting a job or losing your job, getting a loan or having your credit completely destroyed, etc., etc., etc.. Technology, you either love it or just have to live with it. My only answer as to the dilemma of harvested and shared info., because really they say there isn't much you/we can do about it, would be to contact one's Congressman/woman, Senators and House Reps., letting them know your personal feelings regarding this or any matter.

tk

Sandusky Register, protect your readers. Keep things as they are. There is to much senseless violence going on to risk posting under your real name. I do not want my name, address and email address out there for everyone to have access to.

kal-el

Hilarious to watch you cowards shiver at the thought of not being able to sit and throw your anonymous stones. Some of you are on here at all hours of the day and night, throwing and throwing. Jealousy and cowardice. Wouldn't it be nice to see a community work together instead of promoting vitriol?

SR, if you can't police your own forums, it's time to require the same rules you have for the print forum and verification of identity. Why do you have differing rules for each medium? It allows your readers to libel and slander without consequence.

And no, I won't be providing my name until that is the rule for all. For now, I'm only a man in a silly red sheet.

grumpy

"SR, if you can't police your own forums, it's time to require the same rules you have for the print forum and verification of identity."

There is a difference between the paper knowing the identity of the posters, and the public knowing. If the paper wishes to know my identity and will deal with it like they do with sources, no problem.

I realize that if someone really wants my identity there are ways of finding it. But most crazies are just that, if they can't find you easily they are too scattered to do the work to find you. I am concerned by the crazies, who are not competent to do searches to actually find anonymous posters. If they are sane enough to be able to find someone without it put on a plate the chances of them being crazy enough to do harm is much smaller, and thus more acceptable. Just my opinion on how crazy people seem to behave from my observations. The ones crazy enough to be concerned about haven't the ability/patience to find out how to learn identities.

That and I own a piece of a business that I work at part time. If it was just mine I wouldn't care, but since I only own a 1/4 it wouldn't be fair to the others to take a hit from my opinions, from the wacco's on the other side of what my opinions would be. The wacco's on both sides take things too seriously.

starryeyes83

As long as the subscription BILLS are still PAID for by checks or credit cards with REAL names attached.

What makes the difference if we use anonymous names on here? The right side of your bread is still buttered , right? Your sales, profits, and jobs are still intact, aren't they?

Why is this so much an issue lately? If it was a problem, maybe you should have never set up a public comment section to begin with as you did these many years.

You guys can't tell me, you all haven't been entertained over the years with some of the bawdier comments. Especially on the dumb criminal articles. This includes Norwalk Reflector ( since your both owned by the same).

Hell, You should have been paying us!!

P.S. SR: YOU have my name on file in your Billing Department for now.

Erie County Resident

The question you asked was,
"What do you want to see at sanduskyregister.com?"
How people log in does not matter either way to me. The moderators are hit & miss at best so it doesn't matter.

Now as far as content goes the "FUNCOAST" portion should get a name change to "The Alcoholics Guide to the North Coast".
It seems like almost every article is about beer, wine, where partying with beer/wine is happening or happened.
Yes the occasional family article is there but with beer, wine and whatever booze is available.
I'm not against somebody having a drink. I do myself but come on already that seems to encompass 90% of every edition.

Jason Werling

ECR- There is one beer-related story on the front web page of Funcoast.com right now. And even that one isn't about getting smashed. It is about types of beer you might want to try.

The three past Funcoast magazines have had Oktoberfest (yes, beer related, but it was a family-friendly event), Halloween events, and Girls' Night Out as our cover stories.

arnmcrmn

As someone pointed out earlier, my name and a link to my twitter account was published by 4Shizzle on here. While I don't doubt for one second that this person is nothing more than trash who's soul purpose for being on this forum is to name call, threaten and bully. When you sign up for these forums you have to accept their guidelines and rules. When I'm threatened on here and someone tells me they could find me, link my twitter account, and proceed to tell me I could be taken out, Houston we have a problem. I've sent several emails to the SR in regards to the name calling by deertracker, Big Dog, coaster fan and 4shizzle and finally got some moderation when I emailed them letting them know my lawyer will be contacting them next. When you created this site, you created a wormhole for internet thugs, and bullies and if you don't moderate this site, eventually you WILL end up in litigation. People posting another persons personal information on here and then threatening to "take them out" is easily a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Daily MODERATION and booting people who don't comply with YOUR RULES!!!!!!!!

SamAdams

I think you just reinforced one of the points being made by many of us! You note that posting another person's personal information and making threats are bad (not to mention scary) things, and you're absolutely right. But now The Register ITSELF wants to post posters' personal information? Oh, THAT'S a good idea! And yes, that's precisely why so many of us are against it

arnmcrmn

There are quite a few people on here that know my name and know who I am. I put my call name down as it is for that reason. What I have to say is backed up by facts that anyone can find anywhere on the internet, news and newspapers. I don't name call (only exception, calling junkies and 4shizzle trash, which they are). I think some have a real issue with me, not because of what I post, but because of who I am. Call it jealousy, or whatever….I really do not care. Im a God fearing man who gives not to get and treat everyone with respect (except those that don't give it).

With that being said, Im on the fence with the real name thing, or linking FB accounts. I think it will deter a lot of the trash posters who's objective is to bully, name call and threaten. While, there will be some fake accounts (which you can notify FB that its fake and they will remove it), it would cut back a lot on the BS and get down to some good discussion. On the other hand, you will lose some posters because people won't want to post under their real name. But, if they can't say what they feel without their name tagged behind it, then why post? Seems pointless doesn't it.

arnmcrmn

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local man

eliminate the 10 text votes a day for Fandy Athlete of the Week - make it 1 vote daily

show a score along with series of pictures at times we are left in the dark with the result

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