Your Thoughts Needed

Let’s make this a discussion about the blog only, keep discussing weather in the previous post. 

As ANYONE who comes to this blog know, occasionally we have outbreaks of “verbal violence” in the comments, as you can see again yesterday evening and this morning.  In the past, if someone was truly offensive, posted porn links (it’s happened!), or threatened others I generally put them on “moderation”.  That means they can post in the comments, but I have to hit the APPROVE button before it makes it in.  In fact that’s how the blog worked the first few months in 2005.  I definitely won’t do that again since it totally stifles discussion of current weather.  BUT, I do get tired of the same person/people causing the same issues.

What I want to know is…how does it affect your experience here?  I don’t mean just the regulars who comment all the time, but I know lots of other people come on and read the comments, but don’t participate in the discussion.  Please spend the 10 seconds and punch one of the buttons…you only get to vote once per IP address.  If an issue comes out of the poll (which I’m expecting), then we can move forward from there.  Feel free to comment down below too.  Please DO NOT mention names, because I think anyone who gets on this forum will know exactly who this poll is aimed at.

Okay, now for the input you all gave the last 24 hours.  Thanks so much!…I’ve never seen such a long chain of very good thoughts from all.  And quite a volume of emails on the subject that arrived in my inbox too.  Several regulars gave me their thoughts this way.  In fact I didn’t want another post just about the issue.  As you can see from the results of the poll, a majority of folks think several people cause some trouble on the blog comments (whether intentional or not). 

1.  NO ONE suggested we moderate ALL comments.  I totally agree and that’s not going to change.  You only get moderated the first time you comment from a new computer, or just plain first time ever.

2.  Really, considering it’s been 5 years with OPEN COMMENTING, it’s amazing how civil it is in here.  Big blowups only happen about every 3-5 months.  One about two weeks ago, but before that it was January!  I did put one of you on moderation after the blowup two weeks ago due to a very rude and mean comment.

3. There was definitely some agreement (a majority) that this involves the same 2-3 people  each of the last few times we have had a “blow-up”.  Or maybe it’s more accurate to say that those 2-3 people are always in the middle of it for whatever reason.  Several of you pointed out that it then spreads to others jumping into the argument.  Quite a few suggested I ban all three of those folks.  I won’t do that for now.  Because it’s Jesse & Rob.  Jesse you start it and then Rob explodes…geez, regular and predictable as clockwork.  You two contribute far more to the blog than anyone else, yet you’re also dragging things down here once every few months.  Could you just stop???  So I guess this is a public warning;  the rest of you can make sure I follow through when it happens again and hold me accountable.  Next time you two get in an argument which turns into an explosion that’s it.  The rest of you please let me know if it happens again.  I can deal with the 3rd person I mentioned earlier in this paragraph separately, LOTS of you are tired of his rantings.

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

114 Responses to Your Thoughts Needed

  1. Farmer Steve says:

    I think this is a very constructive and healthy post. Some say lets get back to weather and thats fine but the purpose of this post is not about weather it is about clearing the air so to speak. A lot of people have givin’ their thoughts and idea’s on things and even the folks that this is about have spoken and to each other in a very civilized manner. I think one of these post maybe two or three times a year would very benificial for the health and well being of the blog. Ok now I finished planting my last fescue field last friday, its not out of the ground yet, should be by sometime next week. Lets hope for a good summer we need a good harvest. The weather is a grace or an in conveniance (sp) for most people but some, like myself it is a livelyhood. So bless everyone…..

    • Gresham Gal says:

      Best of weather luck to you and the other farmers this summer. This has been a tough year for you all. 🙂

  2. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    Yes, a brilliant idea. If someone is bugging the crap out of you, press the “ignore” or “block user” button so that your blog screen will not see further posts from that individual.

    But I am sure that will be hard to do, making it to where everyone can see a post and not you.

  3. SilentReader says:

    Broken record (for me).

    Button next to a post that says (Ignore this poster)
    (Like face book where you can choose to ignore posting from an app or person).

    So if a post is offensive you can choose to press the ignore button. All posts from that person are no longer viewable to you. You can choose to un-ignore them later.

    If you don’t see posts from those that are bothering you then they have no power to irritate you. The person being blocked can still read posts and try to respond. but if everyone ends up using the ignore feature on one person, for example, then no one will see posts from this person.

    It is so simple and solves all of this 100%.

    if there is a plug in for this I would certainly install it with out hesitation.

    Mark should not be wasting time policing this blog. that is silly. He should appoint a couple moderators if he wants it to be policed. But then you get into issues with who polices the moderators.

    Ignore a poster option solves the need for any extra work from anyone. When someone goes to Mark to complain all Mark would have to say is “did you ignore that individual via the ignore button?”. Nothing more he needs to do.

    Does not matter if that person sometimes has useful information. If they irritate you then “Ignore” them and not worry about it.

    I for one would use this and it would make my experience here much improved.

    I will look to see if such a plugin exists and see if Mark is interested. I seriously think this is the answer.

    • Garron near washington square says:

      AMEN –

      Enough said already, if I mispell, or inccoreclty, phrase something, the smarter blogger would simply “help” me out to “learn” more about weather from this, a weather blog.

      I thank all of you in here for the hard work and research that comes out of all of this site. W/O I have to do much more research that I am not as capable of finding on my own. With the help of everyone here, we can make this a fun site for all, and make everyone feel like a weather god-goddess, just like Mr. Nelsen!

      I further submit that we would all do each other a solid to have a weather forum of some sort to share interests at a picnic at the beach or Mt. St. Helens, ect. I know we can all put this behind us for the good of weatherdom…

      misspellings and missphrasings were for effect only…+sarcasm+ insert here…

  4. umpire says:

    OK, enough of this! Can we talk weather again? The sun is shining (finally!), maybe there’s enough moisture/instability to give us a slight chance of T-storms (or not), and maybe it will rain or be sunny this weekend. Maybe we’ll even hit 80 degrees again before the end of August – but when?????

    • SilentReader says:

      Mark said to talk weather in the last thread. This was to talk about solutions. Although many are going way beyond that.

      Still think an Ignore button next to posts to ignore posters would solve all of this. If you don’t see the posts that are offensive then they have 0% power to offend. If everyone chooses to ignore one person, for example, then that person would get no responses. but he/she can still see the content of others.

    • Garron near washington square says:

      I agree Silent;

      I play an online game called POGO. They offer an option to “MUTE” certain players you find offensive. I wonder if that could be an option on here?

  5. Brian in Bellingham says:

    I don’t post much on here, mainly because I live too far away, but we share a similar weather pattern and I like to check in during extreme events. As far as the bickering, the impersonal nature of the internet makes it easier for people to become rude. Kind of like road rage. The truth is, the people who are bickering at each other would probably get along great if they saw each other in person. I imagine there are a lot of disagreements at the National Weather Service over forecasts (“There is no way we get snow with this scenario” “But you are forgetting the models always underestimate the amount of cold air in this scenario” etc.). Just like we do. But they are in the same room as each other, they realize they have a lot more in common then they have differences, so they don’t let their feuding go this far. We don’t work together or see each other (at least not most of the time), so we take things too personally. Some things people say on the internet are things they would never say face to face. We need to treat everyone else as if we are face to face.

    And Chuck on Mt. Scott made a great point, I will quote him here: “Remember “text” shows no emotion. What emotion is in your head at te time you type, may not translate to those who read it. You may think what you type if sunny, but to others, it may not”. I wish I had learned that lesson 15 years ago.

  6. JClack says:

    This is truely amazing… i cannot believe how much attention this subject is receiving. I very rarely post anything on here but read Mark’s posts as well as the public’s posts on a daily basis. Its probably THE most valuable resource online in regards to PDX weather, in my opinion anyway. I can get on to this blog and within 5 minutes read Mark’s more indepth thoughts that aren’t broadcast on the local newscasts, i can read what other people throughout the region are observing at their own homes, and i can see how other “weather geeks” are interpretting the forecast models. This last point i find especially helpful as i am not educated on reading model data and frankly do not have the time to learn it.

    That being said, I don’t think Mark should have to “babysit” the blog but at the same time i do not want it to ever go away because a of a select few individuals. So as others have said i think a “3 strikes and your out” warning system would be sufficient. Its obvious that certain individuals on this blog like to poke and prod others because they can get a reaction out of them. People just need to act like adults, its not that difficult. Lets just keep it weather-related, keep it cordial and keep it professional.

  7. Eternal Yamcha (SE Milwaukie) says:

    I was around when the internet hate machine really started getting steam. I’ve seen it at work and I know for a fact that many times, it turns into a massive meltdown on any site that’s being targeted… Whether by a group of people (Legion/Anonymous) or by individuals.

    I saw that behavior, stayed quiet about it for over a year and usually it just dissolved. But recently it had been getting worse and worse. My entire post was more of a direct “Look, this needs to be taken care of now” moment. From the looks of it, it’s being taken care of.

    I know many people have been treating internet bullying like real life bullying, that most of the time if you ignore it, it will go away. But there are times when you need to understand that it WON’T go away unless something needs to be done… And honestly, there’s a time for joking and then there’s taking it too far too often, in blatant disregard of the site’s rules. If you don’t enforce when it’s needed (and really, I do trust Mark’s judgment on things) then the problem usually will continue to grow.

    That said, there’s also far too many people who stand on the sides and don’t say anything. They simply tolerate it, even if they don’t like it. Watching someone verbally abuse someone and not trying to stop it when it happens as often as it does is one of the worst things you can do, in my opinion. Inaction is one of the best promoter of such behavior.

    I really wouldn’t have expected such fallout from me simply pointing this out. Calculated error on my behalf as I just wanted to vent frustration about individual acts that were beyond joking and became rude and bring that displeasure to the knowledge of the host. After dealing with people who are basically professional trolls for years upon years, I’ve learned how to roll with the punches when they’re directed at me. But when it’s explicitly against the rules that appear on every page… When it hampers the use of the blog and knowingly turns into a toxic situation time and time again… When it’s the same PEOPLE engaging in this… That’s when I get tired of it. I see enough abuse offline… I don’t need to see it on a weather blog.

    For those who think that calling out that behavior constitutes “butting in” I only have to say this: If you don’t want people to comment on your actions and call foul, then don’t post them in a public setting.

    Ultimately I’m fine with anything EXCEPT inaction. Simply not doing anything will certainly not make things better. Even if it’s just a warning now to the offenders and a system set in place to help keep this type of thing under control then I’ll be happy. I threw the option of banning out in the open because there ARE ways to do it on wordpress… If it needed to be used in the future, Mark would have the tools ready for it. That way he doesn’t have to prune the posts, or approve posts from the offending member.

    I just want this to return to a discussion on weather and not a cesspool of insults and hate. I’ve seen it happen many times before and I want to avoid it the best I can.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      I’ve been trying to stay out of this but feel I need to say how much I agree with you Eternal Yamcha. I would like to think you could just stick your head in the sand and the troublemakers/trolls/rude individuals will just go away, but they won’t, as I think we have seen before. Looking forward to the focus returning to weather. Anyone got a good GRANDIOSE LOW or perhaps a Java Jet Stream?

  8. Chuck on Mt Scott says:

    I enjoy this blog and respect what others are posting. Last winter it was fun to see postings of the sneaker snow that hit the end of Dec. It’s like you could watch the posts and follow the path it was taking. As for the blog, keep it simple folks.Don’t respond to those stirring up trouble.No matter how hard, ignore them. They get off on taunting and seeing your reaction. If someone feels a post is out of line, there needs to be a way they can flag it to Mark. Maybe a separate email box that someone can email asking the post be removed, action taken against the poster etc.. Mark cannot read every post on the blog, so having a method for reporting might make it more simple for him.

    Remember “Text” shows no emotion. What emotion is in your head at the time you type, may not translate to those who read it. You may think what you type is funny, but to others, it may not.

  9. Timmy_Supercell (Hillsboro) says:

    With this being a weather blog and with grown-ups posting comments on here, lets just get all of our act together and rely on the valuable information this blog was meant for. And as we’ve seen, the comical sarcastic act that many of us may have inside of us is hard to understand in text form, rather than when we are actually talking to each other in person. I can tell from one joking statement to the next when I am on the sidewalk speaking with my friends, but on a weather blog, you just do not know if that person is either making fun of you or being silly. Now its okay to joke around, but not in a manner that seems to be crude or discrediting to another’s post.

    And another lesson we have learned in life is that no one is the same person. Everyone on this blog is diverse from one another, and there are many people that are sensitive. The tougher guys on this blog will of course think of a rude taunt as something that is meaningless and funny to them. There will always be those moments and no one can stop that. I know its tough, but when you are being bullied around, or even feel like you are being bullied around, just remember that you are on the internet and replying to such posts can make a situation worse most of the time. And its not even really worth your time if the person most likely doesn’t even know you in reality.

    ——————————————————

    Also, disagreement is another problem we have seen. Weather in itself is a disagreement, not one meteorologist predicts the same weather as another. Showing team work and sharing valuable information with each other in a respectful manner is the way to go.

  10. Aloha Rainshadow says:

    Only 350K per year? Jeez, you should have joined the NBA Mark.

  11. Aloha Rainshadow says:

    I’ve posted on here since the first time this blog was started.
    My opinions, Mark shouldn’t have to babysit. Everyone on here is grown up enough to have an opinion and to disagree with others opinion RESPECTFULLY. It’s not that hard. Some just need to grow up. simple as that.
    I’m not going to get into it any deeper but cause this subject is pretty simple when you sit back and look at it. Some just need to get off their high horse and have respect for other posters. If they don’t, they should get kicked off no matter how much knowledge they add. Pretty easy…

  12. Jade says:

    I have never posted before but have read pretty much daily since the very beginning hoping I could learn more about forecasting. However, its all very technical and there are no explanations to be found. So because I don’t understand the terminology or how to read models and what not, I just look to see how many inches of snow are expected, or how high I can expect my thermometer to rise, lol.

    That being said, I have seen trolls here, watched people battle them, and seen them eventually leave or maybe be banned. That’s just a fact of the internet. But I was really surprised to see this last “blow up” happen. I didn’t read anything that seemed insulting or disrespectful or anything other than banter between regular posters.

    However, the problem actually comes from the knowledgeable people that post here and are quite full of themselves. They do not like to be doubted or called on an error. This usually starts the battles. Someone has the nerve to question one of them and the rest of the “cool kids” have to get involved and defend them for the perceived slight, or they will have a meltdown and leave until enough people beg them to come back. Really over the top reaction to words on an internet blog don’t you think?

    If people remembered what they first learned in school, that “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” they would be much happier. Don’t react to something you *think* might be a subtle attack, and the person who made the comment wont feel the need to defend themselves and the rest of the gang wont need to get their 2 cents in and make it bigger than it ever should have been.

    Honestly, the fights don’t bother me, it is the internet after all, and I get a giggle out of supposed adults getting so bent out of shape that they resort to acting like my kids. The only postings that do bother me come from one person who posts numerous nonsense posts, makes odd demands, vague threats, irrelevant comments and constantly demands attention. Something is not right there and I don’t think ANY internet blog is a healthy environment for this person.

    • pdxgal says:

      Like many who have posted to this thread, I have also been a frequent visitor but have rarely posted. I couldn’t agree more with “the problem actually comes from teh knowledgable people that post here and are quite full of themselves. They do not like to be doubted or called on an error…” That is exactly what bugs me about the comments portion of this blog. In fact, any more I’ve stopped reading the comments stick entirely to Mark’s post.

  13. Neba says:

    I do not write on this site much except for storm totals, etc. I do visit almost daily. I have gained a lot knowledge from many of you. This blog is very important for weather fans, and I have turned on many who just read the blog. I am moving to Lawton Oklahoma in just a few weeks and I am very sad to leave the Pacific NW after 35 years of living here. Good luck Mr. Nelson you do a fantastic job. Local weather geeks you also have entertained me for years now. As for the few bad apples, ignore them and they will go away. Attention is all they want. As for me I am signing off. Thank you all.

    • pgiorgio says:

      “Nelson” always makes me laugh. Finally got the AC back bc the humidity here is harsh without it.

  14. pgiorgio says:

    Well said W7ENK. I too think you are a valuable person and wish you no harm. For those who are mean to you please dont let them ever get to you because no matter who they may be rich or poor, powerful or powerless they are not worthy of being upset over. Please trust me as this is the absolute truth.

  15. Mike (Orchards 255') says:

    After reading all the responses, it appears to me like we’re back to where we started.

    Weatherwise, lots of big storms in the north/central states today…

    60.8°….

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