The Wawascene was created by Dr. Mark Stock, former Superintendent of the Wawasee Community School Corporation. Due to its local popularity, Dr. Stock has left the blog site to future Wawasee administrators.

Blog Rules

Comments should be respectful and pertain to the topic posted. Comments about personnel matters should be made directly to the administrators responsible. Blog moderators reserve the right to remove any comment determined not in keeping with these guidelines.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Changes coming...

I am still hoping that our community and our students can be a model for the country on how a blog can provide an open avenue for communication. For two years the "comments feature" has been turned on allowing all anonymous comments. It worked very well. During that time I can only recall deleting one or two comments due to profanity. Problems have come with the increased volume of traffic. For the near future we will only turn the comments on for posts that are substantive in nature where a variety of thought and opinion are relevant. Announcements of various kinds such as snow delays and cancellations will have the comments turned off.

Blogging is best done in small doses because we all have work to do! The volume of inflammatory comments has created an editing problem. We do not have the time to monitor the blog all day and spend our time deleting or censoring comments.

Why do I say a "model for the country?" There have been 90,209 different computers access this site in the last 7 days for a total of 229,791 page loads in one week. That means other parts of the country are watching our "experiment" here.

For the near future we will only turn the comments on for posts that are substantive in nature where a variety of thought and opinion are relevant. Announcements of various kinds such as snow delays and announcements will have comments turned off.

We will see how that works. If that doesn't work then we will have to either require all commenters to register which many blogs do (that means you are identifiable) or turn off the interactive features which makes this all dry and boring!

Let's see if we can find the middle ground! Good luck!

27 comments:

Mike Malcolm said...

Good for you! Due to the tone and nature of some of the comments I have seen in the last week, I don't see that you have any other options. I especially like the idea of registering your identity with each individual posting. I doubt you ever intended for this to become a chat room and you shouldn't have to police the content 24/7. I wish you luck! Mike

Anonymous said...

this doesn't sound like a good idea.

Danielle(WHS) said...

I think thats a good idea because you know that all people are going to do is bicker at each other about the delays and cancellations because nobody is going to be happy with the decesion.

Ryan Smith said...

Great idea! Now all those people who complain and don't have anything constructive to say have to take responsability for their words.

Anonymous said...

i think that is a great idea!

Wade Jagger, WHS Teacher said...

Dr. Stock,
I welcome and support these changes! Thank you for doing everything in your power to keep these representations of our community respectful and respectable, where all stakeholders can comment about important issues that affect us all. I think this will also help limit the “embarrassment factor” for all those personally and professionally associated with the content of The Wawascene. Thank you and good luck!

Sara said...

Thank you... I have question as a parent of a WHS student.... are the Core 40 test still taking place this week or are they being rescheduled.

Ryan Cramer said...

I agree completely. Whenever i come on here and read comments, it is just people arguing and bickering. That gets us absolutely no where. The comments may start constructive, but as you get more and more, it is just people fighting and not even on topic anymore. so i think it is a really good idea.

Dr. Mark J. Stock said...

Sara,

Yes, Biology IB and English 11B are still taking place this week.

PS Just a friendly internet tip. :-) If the question is "off topic" from the post - just shoot me an email (link is on the sidebar.) That way it won't veer the comments off topic too much.

Thanks for asking. Good luck to your children on the test!

Edward said...

I agree with registering, however, turning comments off......just another way for BIG BROTHER to control everything. Just because you don't feel the topic requires outside opinions does not mean that I don't.

Anonymous said...

I'm thankful that you're turning off the comments where they aren't really needed. I don't think it's a "big brother" move at all...it's just that so many of us who represent Wawasee (teachers, parents, etc.) don't appreciate the inappropriate comments. When people don't have to identify themselves, it's much easier to make these inappropriate comments. Since the "Netiquette" article didn't really seem to help, I think it seems that this is the next logical step. No one has time to police this blog all the time and if people aren't going to be civil to one another, they shouldn't have the privilege of posting comments. The world has bigger issues.

Anonymous said...

I think this is a great idea for various reasons. Keep up the good work...not only you, Dr. Stock, but the entire WCSC staff...maintenance on up. Hats off to WMS grounds crew. Even though there was a 2 hour delay today, I had to stop at the school around 8am, the sidewalks were clear and ready for people! Great job! As I was pulling out, the plow crew was coming in!

Sense of Freedom said...

I think you should just skip the experimentation and make people identify themselves. By removing the ability to comment on the delays and closings, then people with anonymously comment other posts saying the same things. I only see this getting worse before it gets better. I've been a devout reader since the beginning of the school year, but I've never felt the need to comment until just recently. The vulgarity and immaturity of some comments sickens me, and I'm glad you're taking action to prevent this. Good luck Dr. Stock, I'll keep reading if you keep posting.

V said...

The blog idea is good due to its ability to easily alert students and parents to school events quickly(ie delays and schools cancellings) but to say we are some sort of model for the rest of the country is a bit overboard. To assume that a website started by a man who runs one of the worst funded school districts in the state(although it resides in one of the wealthiest areas in terms of tax revenues) is a bit crazy.

Something that would really be of interest would be open and frank debate/discussion on issues of this school . . . For instance, we could talk about how the art and theatre departments could greatly use an increase in funding, but instead of diverting funding to these programs the football team got a new skybox and billboard. This is not only rediculous but also a waste of resources. I don't care how much money the football games may or may not bring in, football is not a class nor does it offer any chance to better the intellect of students. The entire system is sickening.

So, in short, people need to go out and find something else to do because a blog about school delays is a horrible thing to get so passionate about. Instead, open WordPerfect and type a letter to your representative in the Indiana General Assembly about the state of our schools funding(or lack there of) or make a petition to reapropriate funds to more scholastic school departments. Reroute the passion I've seen here in the past few days over things as trivial as snow or being called a "stay at home mom" and do something useful with it. Make this school a better place for yourselves or your children.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much. It has gotten out of control alot in the last few days.

Cherie Martin, WHS Math said...

Thank you for making this change.

The earlier posts were troubling for reasons other than the personal vindictive that was stated in some.

The spelling, grammar, run-on sentences, capitalization and other language skills exhibited in earlier posts made me feel that we at the high school have totally failed in our school improvement goal of improving students' use of language mechanics. It was embarrassing.

I hope those who choose to post will make thoughtful comments and will state them well. It is clear that many people in the community do care about what we are doing in our schools. I am grateful for that.

WHS student said...

I think this is a good idea.The comments have been getting out of control.I am although dissapointed that some people couldn't just be mature so that we were still aloud to post our opinions on delays and cancellations.I wish more people would have read the netiquette, but I am pretty sure most of the students that were posting the inappropriate comments were just concerned about school being canceled.(I am stating the obvious.)

Anonymous said...

Do whatever you need to do about the blog, but can you please let us know a little earlier about the delays or cancellations. And something needs to be done about the temperatures in the school, its hard to do any work when your whole body is shaking. Thanks!

B Eis said...

I think this is a great idea, even though some of the arguments were pretty amusing...

Dr. Mark J. Stock said...

To V

Ok - So maybe being a "model for the rest of the country" was probably overstated. But I said that because 90,000 unique visitors in 7 days cannot possibly be from this community alone. There aren't that many households, let alone people in the whole county. I suppose if one visitor with their cookies turned off accessed the site 50,000 times that could do it. :-)

I have gotten emails from graduate students in other states who have been asked by their professors to monitor the blog as an example of schools interacting with the community.

That is the reason I phrased it that way.

As far as the other comments about funding - if you use the "search this blog" feature you may find a few past postings I have made about school funding that may explain some of your conerns. If not give me a call at 457-3188 and I will discuss it with you.

Ben Plikerd said...

As more and more people access the site, I think allowing comments from registered users is the route to go. My four sense...

Anonymous said...

I think the blog is a great idea to get thoughts and ideas out to teachers and parents alike. I think it should only be for the parents and teachers to use. Could be a great tool for us all to work together.

Anonymous said...

V got pwn'd

Anonymous said...

Now people want this blog to be only for teachers and parents. great idea! no kid has the right to have an opinion about the schol THEY attend. i just hope when i'm 40 years old my parents will still be there to state my opinion on things. thanks alot, i was afraid i was going to have to actually do something. :)

Anonymous said...

"The spelling, grammar, run-on sentences, capitalization and other language skills exhibited in earlier posts made me feel that we at the high school have totally failed in our school improvement goal of improving students' use of language mechanics. It was embarrassing."

On any blog or message board the goal by people who comment is not to use proper English but to quickly express themselves.

The catch is that usually by typing in slang or with many mistakes they don't get their message across.

Like it or not instant messenger slang is the technological type of communication. As with so many things in this world the focus is speed not quality.

I think removing the comment feature on delays is a great idea and will cut down on a lot of problems.

Anonymous said...

i saw this coming a mile away!i`m the one that wrote this site is a privilege..hoping we wouldn`t lose it.well,i`m not surprised.it`s been nuts in here.good idea doc.maybe now people will settle down!

Kathryn said...

I love the idea!