My friend and Waban Area Council colleague Sallee Lipshutz asked me some questions about Newton Forum.org that I sense others might be wondering about as well. I’ve also noticed some assertions about NewtonForum.org on another blog that are simply untrue. So I thought I would write this post to set things straight:
Is NewtonForum.org an NVA blog?
I don’t know why some people on another blog insist on referring to NewtonForum.org as an NVA blog. It most certainly is not. There are four people out of the 33 thus-far-recruited NewtonForum.org writers who have identified themselves as NVA members. I asked them to write, not because they are NVA members, but because they are interesting writers. That’s the same reason I asked Sallee to write for NewtonForum.org, and it’s the same reason every other contributing writer here was invited to write – because each is a talented writer with interesting things to say.
So would I. I would like to see more people commenting here, period. I launched this blog in March, and some two months later, we have more than 200 registered users. I’m very proud of that, but I want more people, of all points of view, to find out about NewtonForum.org and comment here. Some people on another blog have said that NewtonForum.org users all seem to agree with each other. I don’t think that’s true, but they are civil and polite to each other, and that may be unfamiliar to those accustomed to the bickering and sniping on other blogs. I’m interested in ideas, constructive conversations and grown-up debates, not snark and zingers. I’m not an ex-journalist and I am not trying to, nor do I have the skills to, make this blog a breaking news destination. This is a place for discussion of news, policy and ideas. Others have complained that the pro-high-density development viewpoint is not represented by NewtonForum.org writers, and that’s probably true, and may be for awhile. The pro-high-density-development viewpoint is the dominant narrative of the ruling political elite in Newton and well represented in almost every document coming out of City Hall, in the Globe, in Boston-area magazines, and on another local blog. I created NewtonForum.org to provide a platform for alternatives to the dominant narrative. I’m grateful that writers from hard-core progressives to conservative Republicans have agreed to write for this blog. The range of topics covered, and the quality of the writing and the comments has been wonderful, and I expect that will continue as the number of writers and users grows.
Sallee asked, “Can you explain the mechanism used to promote this blog through paid ads?”
Yes, of course. It’s quite simple. Anyone can purchase inexpensive ads on Facebook to promote any fb page. I’m trying to reach Newton residents any way I can to get them to check out NewtonForum.org, and Facebook ads are one way to do that. I purchased fb promotions for the last 3 posts. I wasn’t trying to promote any specific post in particular, but rather trying to attract visitors to the blog in general. I have also mentioned the blog on various village Google groups and list-servs, and other NewtonForum.org writers have done that and also mentioned it in columns in the TAB, for which I am grateful.