Sunday, October 25, 2009

I was at a bar last nite until almost midnite!

It was a gathering of people who are regular commenters on articles in the Salt Lake Tribune's online edition. Most of us wore little name tags with our online names and mingled about laughing and wondering where some of the "most wanted to see" posters were. My theory is that the commenters who were the solid people showed up. About 35 people showed up both from the left and the right side of the political spectrum.

There was the lady who had begun a nonprofit that supported hundreds of soldiers in Iraq and their families until it took over her life and she gave it up only to feel tremendous guilt for a year.

There were two women who grew up Mormon like me and had stories of so called righteous men who tried to get in their pants. One of them was isolated when the rumor spread and the blame placed on her instead of the perpetrator.

There were people with big hearts who are now friends of mine.

There was an employee of the Trib who went around to hear all of our "who we are" stories. I told him of a conversation I had about the Trib comments with Tony Pierce. Tony, who edits all of the L.A. Times blogs and moderates comments, was surprised to find out the Trib does not moderate comments before they're posted. There IS a word editor that recognizes profanity and edits with appropriate **** but other than that, when to hit "post", your comment appears immediately. he told me that there was initial debate at the Trib whether or not to do the moderation thing and they are pleased at the behavior of commenters who basically police themselves and report some offensive comments from time to time.

People who entered the room with differing levels of bravado and apprehension left with hugs and handshakes and smiles and looking forward to the next time we get together. Most were from the local area but I met one lady who drove from the San Francisco Bay area, and one man from L.A. who came just to be there.

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