A Little Omphaloskepsis

My agreement for writing an article for this new blog was that once a month, on a date assigned to me, I would speak about some issue of interest about Waban, the Quinobequin parkland, Add-A-Lane, arts, events, and restaurants around Newton. I now exercise my 1st Amendment Rights to interpret those suggestions freely!

I mentioned that I hoped that the articles would have authors of various political persuasions so that our words would not be simply a boring sounding board of some single-minded organization. As the time for my first byline arrives, I use my turn at the wheel to contemplate the following question and hope it neither intrudes nor offends:

Who are We and Who’s Watching Us?

Since Chris Pitts created this blog, I ask him to give us some statistics, 18 days into the venture, about how well we are doing at attracting an audience. Has our external audience replied to the articles or is it exclusively, so far, other authors who have agreed to write for this blog who have replied?

Since you are reading this, why? Is it interesting? Titillating? Annoying? Informative? Eye-opening? Soporific? And how would you describe yourself? Will you encourage others to read this blog? How would you differentiate this blog from Village 14, beyond the profound difference of non-anonymity here?

To answer my own question first: I find the blog interesting; well-written; non-inflammatory; polite; respectful; courteous; a bit like-minded…I find myself agreeing with a lot of what I read here.

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7 Comments on "A Little Omphaloskepsis"

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After half a month’s soft run, I’d say this BLOG has a great start! There have been 20 posts, 105 comments, 4285 views – 677 on March 6 alone, 1 shutdown, 104 malicious attacks prevented, and we haven’t even been formally introduced yet! It’s probably the only BLOG I have read that sends me to the dictionary to look up words like Omphaloskepsis! What’s different about us? We use our real names for starters, but more importantly, I believe in options and alternatives. Only one game in town, one newspaper, one song, makes us all dull. More opportunities to challenge our brains and come up with new ideas and solutions keeps us sharp, alert, truthful, and listening.

Colleen Minaker

The daily contributions will vary depending on some of the political issues in play. It takes time to develop a viewership. So far I believe we have learned much from all the contributors. This Orr site proposal in Newtonville will be worth watching as it may quickly evolve into a very controversial issue. For me the key item is the domino effect it may stimulate not only in Newtonville but across the city. Already more properties along Washington St. may come up for sale.

Jerry Reilly

You’re off to a great start with NewtonForum. Great contributions and a nice design – I like it!

Lynne LeBlanc

I’m hoping for two things from this blog (and what I look for in others): reasonable discussions and worthwhile information. Newton has a lot of smart people who are worth listening to. I hope this blog can bring in new voices as well as accommodate those who have been so instrumental in getting conversations going.
@Sallie,I love your title most of all because it reminds me that opinions are like bellybuttons, everyone has one! 😉

Julia Malakie

I’m also enjoying the new voices and different topics. And I feel like I’m being nicer myself. I hope more people will feel comfortable using their real name and join in.

The number of views I think is quite impressive, so there must be a lot more people reading than commenting.

Elaine Rush Arruda

Sallee, this is a great post because it invites us to reflect on the first 3 weeks of NewtonForum. I think the caliber of writing, thoughtfulness and in-depth introductions of the topics have been very informative, refreshing, and well-balanced. The fact that real names are required creates a level of respectability and accountability that Village 14 does not offer. I believe NewtonForum’s approach will encourage more residents to feel comfortable expressing their views and make this BLOG and the CIty of Newton a better place to live.

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