Thursday, October 30, 2008

New Paltz Journal

New Paltz Journal can mean one of two things:
  1. The New York Times section that highlights interesting news in our area. It's not often used, but was jam-packed back when Jason West was making headlines coast to coast with his gay marriage initiative.
  2. The blog that is maintained by someone using the name "Malone Vandam."
I'm always interested in the former, but I don't get the latter. Several things about that site annoy me.
  1. Identity. The individual hides behind a pen name. Anonymity is probably the best and worst feature of the infobahn, and this is a case where it's a bad idea. If you're going to comment about your neighbors, can't you do it to their faces? Let me be clear, lest a reader find that blog and be confused: Malone is not, as he states in the "About New Paltz Journal" page, Joel Cairo of the consulting firm Gutman, Cairo, O’Shaughnessy. Those are names of characters from The Maltese Falcon.
  2. Comments. They're always disabled on the blog's posts. Why don't you want to hear what people have to say? What's the harm? My thought is that he or she hopes that comments will appear in other blogs, with a link back to the original post - it's a standard way to improve the traffic to a site.
  3. Scope. If it's called the New Paltz Journal, why are so many of the posts not about New Paltz? As I sit here today, I have to hit "previous entry" four times to find a single entry about New Paltz - that's around sixty posts ago, by my rough count.
Why not call it "Political Journal of Some Secretive Guy That Happens to Live in New Paltz and Doesn't Particularly Care What You Think?"
Now I'm sure I'm not one to judge. Nobody reads this blog. Only one other person knows it even exists, to my knowledge. But if they ever do, I promise that all my posts will be about New Paltz, the comments will be on, and you will know my name. I've even asked another "local gadfly" if he would like to post here, and I told Ira Margolis that if he does, I would like him to follow the same rules. (I would ask Dorothy Jessup, but I do not believe I know the lady.)
So maybe Malone Vandam has very good reasons for hiding behind his computer screen, sharing views to which no one can directly reply about any number of topics not directly related to our community. But, since I don't know who he is and he doesn't allow comments, I can't ask him about that, can I?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

the domain is registered to one Martin J. McPhillips