Sunday, September 30, 2007

Hafa Adai, Welcome to the Saipan Blog!

I feel like starting over.

No, I don't mean that I want to delete this blog and begin again. I mean that I want to change the direction of this blog.

A few months ago, all of the Saipan blogs turned into what I can only describe as a virtual Junior High School lunch room. Somebody would mention me in a post and then suddenly an anonymous commenter would pop up and start calling me spineless, two-faced, and an assortment of other names. Then they went after Boni. Then Jeff. And Cinta. Even EJ wasn't immune. There was also Harry vs Bree and Jane vs Brad, Jane vs Jeff, and then Jane vs Nahal, who isn't even a blogger.

With the exception of a few certain individuals (like Jane), most of these commenters would say that they post anonymously because they want people to focus on the arguments, not the person making the arguments.

To paraphrase about two months' worth of comments, "Angelo Villagomez is an idiot, but please don't ask me who I am because you would only attack me and not my opinion."

There are even two anonymous blogs out there dedicated to libeling Jeff and me. I should probably take it as a compliment. A pair of losers have nothing better to do than to write nasty things about me? I guess I've finally hit the big time.

I don't think many of the Saipan bloggers realize how powerful their blogs can be. In the last week, my words unintentionally hurt someone I would never want to hurt. I wrote something intending it to mean one thing, and it was read in another way. I really upset this person.

That's not cool. I was careless. I apologized and I'll be more careful in the future.

The blogs can also do a lot of good. I was in a group of people one night who were talking about Beautify CNMI! They didn't know who I was or my level of involvement, so they talked openly about how they felt. They said that they'd seen the t-shirts, the bumper stickers, the ad on the TV, and the articles in the newspaper, but it wasn't until they came across the blog that they realized that what we were doing was "for real."

Along those lines, I'd like to think The Saipan Blog has given people a taste of real life in paradise. I hope I've given people from here a reason to be proud of their island and I hope I've given people not from here a reason to want to visit. I readily admit that life is not perfect here, but as Harry Blalock likes to say, it is better than living in Michigan.

I'd like to see all of us return to the positives aspects of blogging and let's not give those out to cause nothing but trouble a forum to share their miserable existence with us.

At least on my blog, I'm going to put an end to this turn towards the vulgar right now. There will no longer be anonymous comments on this blog and I have enabled comment moderation.

Inflammatory comments and personal attacks will no longer be tolerated.

I've had enough.


Saipan Writer said...

I take positions about what's been said and done. I disagree with what others have said and done. I express my opinions forcefully. But I've tried not to call people names, and I've tried not to attack anyone personally. At least, I've tried, but obviously I haven't been so successful and there's been hard feelings on the other end.

And people have called me names, mischaracterized what I've done, and all kinds of stuff, in return. It is rather childish.

I do sign my name and I don't post anonymously, because it's a small island and I'll see you all sometime, somewhere, and we'll need to work together.

So I'm all in favor of losing the junior high lunch room flavor.

And I too will try harder to be nice and careful with words when I challenge what others say and do.

But I will challenge, and question, and point out what I think is wrong. That ranting and droning is why I blog. And of course, it's not limited to what's going on in the blogosphere. And of course it may involve people, people with names, people who live here. People I sometimes like. People I don't always know. People doing things, saying things, writing things that make me think, make me question, make me want to empahsize what they've done-right or, imho-wrong.

But I agree--it's time for a new phase. More respect. So I'll be trying harder, too.

Enjoy your vacation.

Missy said...

Hmm, not ALL of the Saipan blogs became a virtual Junior High.

Life is too short, don't put yourself out there so much and if you do get flamed, just let it roll of your back. You can't make everyone happy all the time.

Enjoy your vacay, Thailand rocks (speaking from experience).

The islands in the Gulf are gorgeous. Koh Samui was nice, but Koh Phangan was better, more secluded.

: )

Mark said...

Hey, I agree with you. Why not use the blog for something positive? I feel that it should be a tool to attract more visitors to the C.N.M.I., to portray the positives of our islands to the general public and to potential travelers, to let our fellow islanders know that there are people who care about the conditions of the island and are making an effort to improve these conditions...

It's not bad to humor ourselves every now and then...but, let's stay focus on the topic and the purpose of the blogs. Let's keep things interesting by providing valuable input and positive comments.

Blogging is a popular tool of communication and is a common method of marketing. Let's take advantage of this. Let's post comments that will increase potential travelers' knowledge about our island and our products and at the same time, create excitement and interests which may generate more visitor arrivals in the future.

Just my thoughts...

Jeff said...

I'm waiting for someone to go after Beyond Behaviors Steve and Saipan Bev. Those two have more Teflon than Ronald Reagan.

Boni said...

How can you not love Steve and Bev?

Jeff said...

Please with the babe in the woods, woe is me routine, Jane. Racist, sexist, those happen to be names and labels, and ones you threw out way too casually. The only name I saw you called was liar, and that's by me because on the Korean story, you lied and misrepresented and to mind did so intentionally, not that I want to reargue that again. It's there for all who care to review that one.

I heard just yesterday you were sending all kinds of private emails to Nahal about how to run her class during that flap, and that's after you maligned her as a teacher in your wildly over the top public criticism of her.

Your audacity is staggering. It's actually uptight, painfully boring, holier than thou, politically correct at all costs, victims everywhere, doctrinaire liberals like you that turn off the sane people in the center, taint the term liberal and help get morons like Bush elected to perpetuate the kind of evil you, and I, abhor.

That's just my "forceful" opinion.

Saipan Writer said...

I have a question: Why is it when I come to your blog now, and after reading it hit the "back" button, nothing happens. No reverse. Is this something you've done to your blog (or is the issue related to my computer, etc.) Just curious.

CNMI Blogger said...

Happy Birthday to YOU and Happy re-birthday to your blog. As I reminded you, when we started out with these blogs with Walt, the original purpose was to change the conversation into more positive tones. That was why I joined, but when it took a turn for the negative and got nasty, Gus and I decided to forego attending the meetings.

Enough of the negativity. Let's work together and just all get along.

Bev said...

I only get attacked when I post and talk about Betel Nut stained teeth.