We’ve come to the end of another year. I’d say it’s been a good year, but I’ve come to the conclusion that any time we get to an end of the year and we’re still together (as in walking the earth) that it’s a pretty good year. I don’t have a high bar for these things anymore.
The last time a “State of the Union” article was on August 21, 2017. August is our anniversary month, CN starting on August 11th or 12th, 2006, somewhere in there. I don’t care about the exact date any more than I care about my birthday and I don’t really care about my birthday.
I am doing this now as I feel I need to address some site issues before we head into another football offseason.
First of all, I want to say that I’m pleased with the mix of writers here at CN. I like that we have varying opinions on subjects as I feel that it makes everyone better if they can see another person’s point of view even if it is about something as meaningless as football (in the big scheme of life).
We’re losing Ty as our volleyball writer as he has decided to attend to other matters in his life. That’s too bad, as it’s very seldom you get an active coach to write about the sport he’s coaching. It brings an understanding and perspective that few have. He will be hard to replace, but we are looking.
Our traffic was down from last season, but last year we had a coach fired, and a native son return home at the beginning of the year. It’s hard to beat that with regards to interest.
We went through a Nebraska baseball season that was… well, terrible. The spring game was a massive amount of fun, and then we hit the void.
The Nebraska County series we did during last offseason was a much bigger hit than I’d expected. I’m not sure if we can duplicate that again this off-season, but we are working on some idea to keep y’all interested.
Football season started in the worst way possible. Scott Frost fielded the worst team in the history of Nebraska football. It was unbelievable, and it took a toll. I aged a lot in those weeks, and now stand at the remarkable age of 435. That’s not even dog years.
Thankfully the season ended a lot better than it began. It gave us hope for the future - A LOT of it. Thank goodness.
A new year is the time to take assessment of where you are in life. Did you accomplish your goals for the past year? Did you set any new goals for the coming year? Were you successful? In what did you fail? (And let’s be honest here. If you didn’t fail, you set goals that were easy.)
I’ve already stated above that it was a good year, but I would be lying if I said that I haven’t failed in some regards.
One of the things I failed at here at CN was in regards to moderation. I have always been lax in moderation. I prefer that you police yourselves as a community and over the years I believe we’ve all done a good job.
Not so much this past year.
I allowed discussions (particularly about religion and politics) to go on when I probably should have wielded a firmer hand. I have to admit that at times I egged the community on with subject matter (especially during the offseason) that might have been better left off the site. I admit I enjoyed the number of comments we had during the offseason, even in the dead May - August timeframe, we were a lively site. There were a lot of contentious debates (perhaps I’m trying to be kind here) that started during the offseason and continued into the fall.
Unfortunately, much of that “debate” turned into people picking sides and attacking each other. It was clear I needed to do something, but I am at times a lazy person and let it go. By the time we started trying to get a handle on moderation it was too late. We were uneven. I don’t believe we were heavy-handed, but I received complaints about why, for example, one guy got warned or banned when another did not for doing the same thing.
Therefore, we are going to make a change in how we handle comments. Starting today, we are going to close comments on articles after 48 hours. The normal period has been to leave them open for 30 days, but what we’ve discovered is we’ll come back to a thread three or four days old and find it filled with comments from users insulting or attacking each other.
I have received far too many emails from people who no longer want to comment or be part of the site because they get attacked when they comment. They don’t feel it’s fun anymore. I can’t disagree with them.
Truth is, we don’t have the staff to do constant moderation. I don’t want us to have to do constant moderation. Our focus should be on generating decent content, not babysitting our user base.
I’m going to rely on you guys as community members to act as adults. That means you need to knock off the personal insults and personal attacks - even if they are jokes, they may not be seen as such by me, other members of the CN staff or the community.
I need you all to understand this.
I want you to think about this place like a neighborhood bar. You have your regulars, and they have a history, which means they have problems. People show up who just want a beer, maybe want to join in a conversation, and play some eight ball. They don’t give a shit about the past history of the place, they just want to have fun. (Some want to get into fights immediately, and they get thrown out.)
People in real life can get a visual clue as to when someone is joking. People online may not understand the sarcasm font, or might miss it.
Our community guidelines include a bit about personal attacks. All of you should review the the guidelines.
I also need you to understand that I do not care about your personal problems with each other. Again, this goes for CN staff.
Here’s what I mean:
If User78 insulted User439 three months ago, both of those users probably remember it. Not only am I not aware that it might have happened, but I DO NOT CARE.
That means later on if User439 returns the insult, we don’t know or care about your past history. We will disregard any emails that state, “but User78 insulted me 3 months ago and you did nothing”.
You will be warned. If it continues you will be banned.
YOU CANNOT HAVE MULTIPLE ACCOUNTS logging in from the same IP address. This is covered under community guidelines as “multiple accounts and throwaway emails.” We’ve had this problem this year, and I don’t understand why when people get banned they get so angry about it.
48 Hour comment limit.
Stop insulting and attacking each other. Seriously, dammit. We have to enforce this now.
We’re Not Funny Anymore
One other note before I’m done.
I don’t think we’re very funny anymore. I had a goal last year that I would do at least one joke or humor column per week. I failed miserably at that. Maybe it’s because I’m old and it’s hard to keep up. Maybe it’s because I’m not funny. Maybe it’s because I’m just a lazy shitass. Maybe it’s all of the above.
In any case, I failed. I hope to do better this year.
Bottom line - you can get news from your other Nebraska media sites. You can get “stupid” from only a few of us. I never wanted to run a site that was just a news site. We should be dumber. And that starts with me.
BTW, have you listened to our podcast lately?
It features me screaming at the TV while watching the Michigan State game. I wasn’t even drinking. I used up the profanity quota (LIKE THERE IS SUCH A THING) on that one.
You do better.
I’ll do better.