Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

This site to be demolished, replaced with student housing

2. February 2010 • Arbor Update Team
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After years of updating, the ArborUpdate crew is taking a break. It may be temporary, it may be permanent, but for now the ArborUpdate sign is flipped to “closed.”

There’s a few reasons for this:

  • What had set ArborUpdate apart was intelligent discussion of local issues. You can now find intelligent reporting and discussion on Ann Arbor Chronicle, the Michigan Daily has been improving lately, and while the discussion on AnnArbor.com isn’t always refined, it’s better than what the Ann Arbor News had with Mlive.
  • There has been a growth of local blogs lately. Some of them supply the thoughtful commentary that ArborUpdate had at its best, others offer the inane ranting that ArborUpdate has had at its worst.
  • We’ve let our focus get very narrow. Most of our active discussions lately have been about land use and density debates. Yes, they come up a lot, but it’s not a broad base for a community discussion site.
  • Most of our commentators have been respectful, but we do get tired of being the playground teacher because some people don’t know how to behave.

As we head out, we’ll keep this thread open for a brief while for goodbyes. Then, the current plan is to put the site in hibernate mode, turn off comments, keep ArborUpdate as an archive, and see where things go from there.



  1. Regarding the post title – We’ll be issuing “No Digital PUD” yard signs, if anybody’s interested in saving AU from this perennial Ann Arbor hazard…


       —Murph    Feb. 2 '10 - 09:39PM    #
  2. Heartfelt thanks for a job well done. You should all be very proud of what you accomplished here.


       —Bob Needham    Feb. 2 '10 - 09:42PM    #
  3. can you link to these other blogs (or email me a list).

    Thank you for your hard work!


       —Rose    Feb. 2 '10 - 09:49PM    #
  4. Don’t forget the

    SAVE ARBOR UPDATE

    blue yard signs.


       —Edward Vielmetti    Feb. 2 '10 - 09:50PM    #
  5. Thanks all. It has been a lot of fun for me working on AU for the last five years (and some not so fun, but that is part of it too). I encourage everyone to look through the archives. There were a lot of good discussions over the years! Some funny moments too. Some things have changed a lot, others, not so much.


       —Juliew    Feb. 2 '10 - 09:51PM    #
  6. Sorry to see you guys go. Great job over the years!


       —Fred Zimmerman    Feb. 2 '10 - 09:52PM    #
  7. Rose, we have decided not to specifically point out links other than the ones in the post. Anyone with a personal blog they think might appeal to AU readers can leave the information in a link here in the comments.


       —Juliew    Feb. 2 '10 - 09:55PM    #
  8. My favorite comment, by the way, remains this one. “morons are incapable of perceiving intellectual concepts.”

    But probably I’m overlooking others.


       —Bruce Fields    Feb. 2 '10 - 10:17PM    #
  9. I was a late arrival to the party, but it has been great fun! See you around town and on the interwebz!


       —TeacherPatti    Feb. 2 '10 - 10:34PM    #
  10. Even though I was one of those who more than once was “chastised” and had the plug pulled on some of my posts, there was a reason I felt obliged to submit them. It was only because I felt that some very unbalanced, even outright lies, were passed off as “facts” in some threads and mostly because themes were injected that had absolutely nothing to so with the topic at hand. This in turn motivated me to comment on off-topic remarks so naturally I also went “off-topic” to counter those who saw fit to hijack every discussion with one obsessive subject. I really didn’t even mind if my messages were purged once the thread hijackers also had their monomaniacal stray ramblings excised.

    In any case, to the moderators and many fellow bloggers, thanks for mostly sponsoring and disseminating intelligent debate and even rational discussions. And to the former, I do appreciate the thankless and often difficult job you did, with the pull on your time and the vigilance that you had to hold to keep the “fights” relatively fair, balanced, and aboveboard. But, there was also some fun (sometimes), too! And even though he was sometimes over the top, my favorite blogger, with the best screen name has to be Parking Structure Dude! He made me fall of my chair laughing at times! Thanks to him and to the moderators and to the good blog threaders cited above!


       —Mike    Feb. 2 '10 - 10:55PM    #
  11. Parking Structure Dude! always was and always will be the best.


       —Dale    Feb. 2 '10 - 11:20PM    #
  12. Yeah, never did know who that Dude! was. I remember the first time he posted about Mrs. Parking Structure Dude! and we were all astonished. “You’re married?!!!”


       —Juliew    Feb. 2 '10 - 11:24PM    #
  13. I miss the Dude! too, especially after the riff involving HD and some rabbit pellets.

    Thanks for introducing good interactive discussion of local issues and leading the way before blogs were common. I think your decision is good – the site has been dominated lately by a few not always very constructive or useful voices. (No no – didn’t mean You or YOU.) I’m so glad that you are keeping up the archives. I’ve used them and they are quite useful in picking up the background of some still important issues.

    Good work! I hope that the current tenders will be sure to contribute Stopped Watched or comments on Ann Arbor Chronicle. How else are we going to know what is really current?

    Specially, Juliew, thanks for your superb reporting on council agenda issues. I guess we’ll have to check the city website ourselves. For those who haven’t done this, it takes at least 5 clicks to get to most items. Juliew did a great job of summarizing.

    And now Murph is off to the Emerald City. Best wishes. Watch out for that guy behind the curtain.


       —Vivienne Armentrout    Feb. 3 '10 - 12:11AM    #
  14. There should be an Arbor Update Hall of Fame. I would nominate:

    (1)Parking Structure Dude! (I am not excited;the exclamation point is part of his name);

    (2)John Q (for his in-depth expertise of taxation and urban planning issues);

    (3)Steve Bean (for his knowledge of environmental issues);

    (4)HD (for his uniquely meticulously detailed chronicling of Ann Arbor events and interviewing of Bill Clinton);

    (5)Michael Schils (for his in-depth analysis of the Clifton Lee,Jr. tragedy);

    (6)Math Man (for his in-depth mathematical analysis of the police/court project to such a detailed extent he was mistaken for budget genius Leigh Greden);

    (7)Leigh Greden (for posting his budgets);

    (8)Larry Kestenbaum (for his detailed contributions on the area of election law and trends);

    (9)UMGrad1234 (for his/her contributions and analysis of the 2009 elections);

    (10)OWBanker (for being his/her self).

    There were many more I could nominate but these were the top ten I enjoyed over the years.


       —Mark Koroi    Feb. 3 '10 - 12:23AM    #
  15. All good things must come to end, I suppose. Like the late, lamented AAIO, AU was a great place to come for unvarnished news and commentary about Ann Arbor, even if some of the commenters were somewhat unhinged. But I drifted away when the most excellent Ann Arbor Chronicle started up. So AU served its has purpose.


       —tom brandt    Feb. 3 '10 - 12:48AM    #
  16. I wrote a farewell for Arbor Update on AnnArbor.com .


       —Edward Vielmetti    Feb. 3 '10 - 01:00AM    #
  17. Many thanks to Rob Goodspeed for inviting me to help start of this project some 5.5 years ago (really? wow). I also appreciate the countless, thankless hours of people doing coding to keep the site up and working well. For those who kept the comments moderated, my thanks to you as well.

    Ciao for now!


       —MarkDilley    Feb. 3 '10 - 01:33AM    #
  18. Arbor Update made Ann Arbor a much better place than it would have been otherwise.

    I’m personally grateful to AU volunteers for the momemtum they lent four years ago to Teeter Talk.

    There’s material on AU that would be a loss of local history if it weren’t archived, so I’m glad to see that Murph’s final posting on behalf of the crew indicates that it will be.

    And though my recent online commentary on the subject of headgear has been to promote wearing of hats — so much that I’ve received emails saying, “please, cut it out with the wear-a-hat thing” — here I would make an exception:

    Hats off to Arbor Update.

    Now, everyone put their hats back on, it’s cold out there.


       —HD    Feb. 3 '10 - 01:36AM    #
  19. We’re making sure the archive of posts lives on through a couple of backups. We also tossed around the idea of making a copy of the database — with commenter emails removed — available to archivists and researchers.


       —Matt Hampel    Feb. 3 '10 - 01:58AM    #
  20. Years ago, when AU first started, it was fairly common to hear someone in the newsroom call out, “Did you see Arbor Update today?” If it were morning and on deadline, and the item was something the editors at the Ann Arbor News thought should be in the “real” newspaper, much scrambling ensued.

    You created something very special here. Kudos.


       —Mary Morgan    Feb. 3 '10 - 02:09AM    #
  21. Re Post #19:

    These should be archived.

    I can think of very few historical records which capture the range of attitudes and opinions regarding issues of local public interest better than an database like this. It would be a must for a city or county historical archive.

    It would certainly help to explain historical context of why, for instance, the police/court building was constructed and the prevailing attitudes at the time or the public’s reaction to the boycott of the People’s Food Coop.

    Officials in Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor at the highest levels of city and county government, even if they did not post, were “lurkers” and kept abreast of issues and public attitudes via Arbor Update. Many have told me so directly.

    Arbor Update was and is considered a key resource in Washtenaw County for public interest issue discussion and taken seriously by elected officeholders in formulating public policy.


       —Mark Koroi    Feb. 3 '10 - 03:05AM    #
  22. Thanks to the creators and contributors, past and present, as well as all the commenters — every last one of you. I learned a lot (not least of all about myself) reading and commenting here.

    John Q, I’ll give you a call some time (and see if I’m right.)

    RIP, AU.


       —Steve Bean    Feb. 3 '10 - 03:52AM    #
  23. I agree with Mark Koroi’s Hall of Fame, even though he included me.

    Maybe we should all get together for an Arbor Update In Person. I’m really, really hoping to meet John Q and Parking Structures Dude!

    How about noon on Friday, February 12 (Abraham Lincoln’s 201st birthday) at Eastern Accents on South Fourth Avenue?


       —Lawrence Kestenbaum    Feb. 3 '10 - 04:27AM    #
  24. One mild (?) correction, Mark: the People’s Food Co-op was never boycotted. There were certain products—I won’t say which so as not to set off another possibly wild, free-ranging debate (those unfamiliar with this story can delve into the AU archives, I think)—that certain people wanted to boycott, an attempt which was soundly rejected by the members of the PFC who voted on this.

    On another topic, I am so glad that there is so much universal appreciation for Parking Structure Dude’s enviable wordsmithing talents…Mrs. Parking Structure Dude! is one lucky dude-ess…or is she?! ;-)


       —Mike    Feb. 3 '10 - 05:53AM    #
  25. You are correct that the members of the PFC did vote down a boycott of Israeli products, however the “other” boycott movement was the resolution of the Huron Valley Greens to boycott PFC products. Aimee Smith, on Arbor Update, indicated that the basis of that resolution was a request from a West Bank association of co-op stores calling upon the worldwide community to boycott Israeli products in protest of Israeli policy toward Palestinians.

    I believe that HVG resolution is still in force.


       —Mark Koroi    Feb. 3 '10 - 06:44AM    #
  26. Thanks, Mark, for bringing me some news I wasn’t aware of, maybe an indication of how successful (not) that boycott is. I would assume Aimee Smith and a handful of HVGers and other failed PFC product boycotteers are the lonely few who subscribe to that. If more widely known, it would probably increase PFC business even more.

    Well, lest I stray further from the topic (I would never have brought it up if—with all due respect—you hadn’t opened the Pandora’s box), I will again thank the AU moderators and technicians for nurturing this along despite some—at times—very nasty jabs on certain (‘nuff said) topics. Good night and good morning, good luck.


       —Mike    Feb. 3 '10 - 08:59AM    #
  27. I’m not much for meetups though if I could be assured of John Q’s presence, I’d be tempted. He has occasionally commented on Ann Arbor Chronicle and I hope continues.

    A note about UMGrad1234: I was also impressed by the knowledgeable insider-type comments. These were continued as A2Politico (now revealed to be Patricia Lesko). Aside from the similarity in tone and style, I am sure of this because the email contact address for A2Politico is still umgrad1234@yahoo.com.


       —Vivienne Armentrout    Feb. 3 '10 - 11:10AM    #
  28. Last night, it occurred to me how many folks I’ve met on AU. I’ve met Nancy and Chuck (and we’ve been back and forth to each other’s homes a dozen times now), Juliew (still trying to coerce her into a dinner party :)), Murph, and more recently, Matt, Bruce and the crew (sorry if I am missing anyone). Getting to know folks is a lovely side effect of a project like this…Ugh. This is getting sad. It’s like the end of The Waltons where we all yell “goodnight!” to each other :)


       —TeacherPatti    Feb. 3 '10 - 02:39PM    #
  29. Thanks, all – I’m quite happy to see that this site is something that’s had value to the community. But we should also tip HD’s hat to its predecessors and complements:

    Rob’s Goodspeed Update has been mentioned, and was of course the direct predecessor of this site – Rob’s still writing from his PhD program in Boston.

    AAiO predated this site by a few years, and frequently provided an engaging counterpoint, such as documenting the finest points of Council meetings

    And, of course Larry K. and Ed V. , for their long role in A2’s online culture. (I think I’ve known/known of Larry since about 1994, on grex?)


       —Murph    Feb. 3 '10 - 03:29PM    #
  30. This is bad news, of course. But on the bright side – keeping a volunteer blog going for over five years is a major achievement!


       —David Cahill    Feb. 3 '10 - 03:32PM    #
  31. Re #20 – Mary, that’s wild! Thanks!

    For me, the moment when I realized that AU had really become something was listening to the DDA have an extended conversation about blogs and engaging with the community online – that would have been their annual retreat circa 2005?


       —Murph    Feb. 3 '10 - 03:34PM    #
  32. AU has been a great platform for airing local grievances, and most certainly has spawned or inspired quite a few other local blogs. We at the fuzzbollah collective would most likely never have been able to generate interest or expose the corruption at the Farmers Market, and Jayne Miller’s ineptitude at enforcing Market Operating rules had AU not existed, as other local media ignored those issues. We will continue to advocate for fairness and equity at the Farmers Market, and to bash Glenn Thompson’s kookiness on the arbormarketwatch blog, as time allows. Archiving AU is a good idea.


       —Fuzzbollah    Feb. 3 '10 - 04:04PM    #
  33. I was late in discovering AU, so some of the comments above sadden me as to what I missed. I particularly appreciated the “land use and density debates”, even though I rarely contributed because I could not match the insight of some of the regulars; they were not the most voluminous, but they were the most useful. On the flip side, there were the unending ill-tempered rants of Ann Arbor gotcha politics, not to mention the crazies and conspiracy theorists who at times high-jacked discussions. Overall, the literacy level was better than at the competition. I understand the burn-out and I thank you for having hung in there so long.


       —Henry Brysk    Feb. 3 '10 - 05:07PM    #
  34. What I’ve found most useful about AU recently was the quality of the discussion (there was a time when I did get a kick out of scooping the A2 News, but we haven’t done that for a while).

    One thing that I think really helped keep the discussions going is the recent comments sidebar. It made it easy to know at a glance what people we’re talking about.

    I humbly suggest that other news and discussion sites consider copying this (I can suggest this because I had no hand in developing it). I know it would make it easier for me to stay involved in discussions on the Chronicle, for example.

    Now that I’m done telling other people what to do, I have really enjoyed the conversations we’ve had here. Here’s what I’ve most enjoyed: I saw people listen, think, and even change their mind based on the conversations here, and I think that’s a rare thing in the blogosphere.

    Thanks for that.
    -Chuck


       —Chuck Warpehoski    Feb. 3 '10 - 05:11PM    #
  35. I agree that the “New Comments” sidebar seems like the way to go and I’m surprised other blogs aren’t using that arrangement.

    It is unfortunate that apparently a decision has been made that the archives here will only remain available for a limited time. It wouldn’t seem that it would cost that much to continue to host a copy of the database somewhere. (Let me count how much change I have and return my bottles and I’ll get back to ya.)

    What if we met Parking Structure Dude! in person and then we couldn’t come on here and express our disappointment? Of course, there’s also the possibility that “he” is a delightful and interesting fellow but my only point is that some things are better left a mystery. “Amelia” probably would have never became a movie if they would have found her body with her crashed plane. But I digress.


       —Michael Schils    Feb. 3 '10 - 07:15PM    #
  36. Michael, our hosting plan allows us to continue at no cost, and there are no plans to take the site offline. The archives will be available indefinitely.


       —Matt Hampel    Feb. 3 '10 - 08:04PM    #
  37. Oh, then I definitely misunderstood you when you wrote, “We’re making sure the archive of posts lives on through a couple of backups”. Carry on.


       —Michael Schils    Feb. 3 '10 - 08:28PM    #
  38. Re: [34] Chuck, the recent comments page on The Chronicle is programmed almost identically to the Arbor Update sidebar — the list of articles is sorted by most recently commented article, and comments (grouped by article) are then sorted chronologically.


       —HD    Feb. 3 '10 - 09:43PM    #
  39. I applaud the retention of the archives. They include a valuable historical record, the collective memory that should not fade. Secondarily, I enjoy that intemperate comments will also persist, potentially to bite their authors.


       —Henry Brysk    Feb. 3 '10 - 10:20PM    #
  40. We wouldn’t let the site disappear entirely – there’s too much information (and entertainment value) in old comments. We’re just going to freeze the site in amber to prevent comment kudzu from growing up over everything. The mention of backups was meant to be in addition to our primary hosting site, Just In Case.


       —Murph    Feb. 3 '10 - 10:43PM    #
  41. Perhaps John Q. could live on as a columnist at another blog or online news source?

    What about annarbor.com or the Ann Arbor Chronicle? Maybe the a2politico.com site?

    His adept understanding of the municipal government processes has made him an online icon.


       —Jerry Gilbert    Feb. 4 '10 - 12:00AM    #
  42. I just knew that the Arbor Update crowd were a bunch of amber-freezers.


       —Edward Vielmetti    Feb. 4 '10 - 01:56AM    #
  43. Thanks HD, not quite as user-friendly methinks as the AU style, but it has gotten me to commit 2 tabs to the Chronicle to open automatically when I start my browser, so I guess that works out alright for you


       —Chuck Warpehoski    Feb. 4 '10 - 02:06AM    #
  44. Source, for what it’s worth.


       —Bruce Fields    Feb. 4 '10 - 04:57AM    #
  45. Well I see I wasn’t quick enough in posting one last comment to the West Willow thread. It appears that comments have been closed on that thread and all other threads but this one.

    I distinctly remember that ‘Junior’ had posted the last comment in the West Willow thread and his comment was #301 (this number is currently reflected in the entry on the archive page which reads “Comment [301]”) However, the thread is currently only 279 comments long, with Junior’s comment and apparently 21 others having been removed sometime fairly recently.

    So apparently it was decided that the historical record of comments needed to be pruned before the amberization of this site…strange.


       —Michael Schils    Feb. 4 '10 - 05:12PM    #
  46. Michael, I think that’s due to one of the commenters being banned for another comment, not some deliberate revision of history. The system got greedy and removed some others. If that's the case, the comments have been gone for over a week, long before this post was made. Only the most explicit of comments get deleted without a public note. I'll report back later today.


       —Matt Hampel    Feb. 4 '10 - 06:25PM    #
  47. One more thing. Before the plug on this site is pulled completely, I just wanted to say that my favorite AU comment was submitted by the individual who unsuccessfully tried to represent two seperate and distinct identities. The person posted as ‘theo’ right after posting as ‘goilem’ and immediately recognized that (s)he had blown the cover on the dual identity charade.

    This obvious violation of the rules passed without comment from the AU moderators whose focus was trained exclusively on censoring the other side of the discussion. (By removing comments by “Blaine” and anyone who sounded like him.)

    I believe the policy of “aggressive” (and biased) moderation was next to impossible to maintain and prompted a loss of confidence in the integrity of the discussions and was a contributing factor to the demise of this site.


       —Michael Schils    Feb. 4 '10 - 06:26PM    #
  48. Yes, if you go through this entire blog you will notice pruning at many if not most threads. The police/court project, for instance, had 469 total posts on its post count, but the total actually posted at this time are substantially less.

    “Junior” does no longer appear to exist on this blog. I do not know who else may have been edited out in part or in full, but it would be interesting to find out why the moderators made this decision.

    The West Willow discussion was probably the best amalgamation of information on that topic that was publically available on any media source.


       —Mark Koroi    Feb. 4 '10 - 06:27PM    #
  49. Matt, I just saw your comment after posting my last, so I will respond. The comments in the WW thread were deleted long after they first appeared (at least several weeks) so I’m puzzled as to what the “greedy system” suddenly considered so explicit that it had to remove the comments at such a late stage without a public notice of doing such.

    I recall the nature of “Junior”‘s comment (and others by him) and although I disagreed with him, I can’t recall there being any reason to remove his comments.

    This rogue program you mention that apparently edits archives with no human intervention should be discarded.


       —Michael Schils    Feb. 4 '10 - 06:49PM    #
  50. I found a lot of comments that got knocked out. I think I got them all back. It's a problem we've had before -- if one editor removes one comment using a link in the interface, the system hides everything by that commenter.


       —Matt Hampel    Feb. 4 '10 - 06:58PM    #
  51. Matt, your software would have been very useful to Winston Smith and his job with the “Ministry of Truth”. He sometimes had to rewrite public archives to rid them of “unpersons” in order to render the totalitarian regime of the Party omniscient and always correct.


       —Michael Schils    Feb. 4 '10 - 07:35PM    #
  52. I bet the makers will be glad when this is over!

    In the shameless self-promotion category, I have posted an in memoriam for AU.


       —Vivienne Armentrout    Feb. 4 '10 - 07:46PM    #
  53. I used to really look forward to reading AU but became bored when it became a virtual Koroi/Schils IM session.


       —Marvin Face    Feb. 4 '10 - 09:45PM    #
  54. Now which local blog will be hijacked by the everything relates to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. Isn’t that what killed this blog?


       —sam kirkpatrick    Feb. 4 '10 - 10:37PM    #
  55. It was one of several issues, Sam.

    It should be pointed out that there were only a handful of irresponsible and immature posters that derailed the Palestine issue and reduced it to mudslinging and name-calling.

    The majority of the discussion on that and related matters was intelligent and constructive. Take for instance, the PFC boycott vote issue, which was the highest post total of any Arbor Update thread. Those posts conveyed serious and worthwhile arguments on both sides of the controversy.

    Ironically, A2politico.com’s webmaster and moderator is a former People’s Food Co-op director so maybe she will allow threads on the Palestinian question.

    We have had numerous current and former City Council and County Commission members post on this blog including Joan Lowenstein, Leigh Greden, Wendy Woods, Larry Kestenbaum, Jeff Irwin, Vivienne Armentrout, Sabra Briere, and Leah Gunn. Their perspectives were welcomed.

    Mayor Hieftje even made one memorable post about eating chicken with David Cahill. I saw him at a function shortly thereafter and reminded him of the post to which he responded that he generally did not blog. Ypsilanti’s mayor posted at least once.

    I believe A2politico.com really may have been the straw that broke AU’s figurative back since it covered many of the same issues relative to city and county government. I noticed that AU webmasters did not ever establish a link to A2politico.com even when I asked them do so, especially when virtually all other major local blogs are linked and Ann Arbor Chronicle was immediately linked at the request of Dave Askins. I saw this as an acknowedgement of the competition between thee two sites and also of the disgreement or disapproval of A2Politico.com’s style. or attitudes.

    I expect the AU regular posters to go to other blogs as nmany already have done.

    I hope John Q commits to lunch at Eastern Accents Friday of next week at noon – if so, a lot of persons will be there.


       —Mark Koroi    Feb. 5 '10 - 01:14AM    #
  56. Closing up this blog feels like a breakup to me. I think it was the right call, we had pretty much jumped the shark, but there is still a sense of loss.

    I think there is a space to be filled for quality discussion about questions facing the community. We at AU no longer filled that role to my satisfaction, and I don’t see any other current website filling that role either.

    So I guess I’m askin’ for ideas. Any ideas where we go from here on that?


       —Chuck Warpehoski    Feb. 5 '10 - 02:28AM    #
  57. It would be overkill, but I’d like to see an opencongress for Ann Arbor and Michigan-related legislation. As a showcase of what that system does, here’s the page for my favorite bill this session.

    Another idea would be a question-and-answer board like Stack Overflow. But I feel that type of site requires a lot of traffic to be really good.


       —Matt Hampel    Feb. 5 '10 - 02:39AM    #
  58. Just to respond to Mark Koroi, I really don’t think A2Politico was a factor. Let me put this kindly. A2politico, with it’s snarky tone and clear editorial slant, fills a different niche than AU did. What made AU special was the quality of the discussion, not of the top posts.

    There are blogs out there that have well informed top posts that aim for balance, like Ann Arbor Chronicle. There are blogs that attempt to write thoughtful and respectful posts that convey a particular analysis, like Vivienne’s blog and Smart Growth Washtenaw. There are blogs that are somewhere in between, like Ann Arbor School Musings

    A2Politico is a different beast with a different style. Some like it. I find it off-putting.

    There was another factor. Big media companies were the first to feel the hurt of media fragmentation. Now new media efforts like AU are also feeling the effects of a world where increasingly everyone has their own blog. For example, during the AHP discussions, Vivienne commented at one point about putting most of her thoughts into her own blog because the city staff were blog surfing to supplement public comment at meetings to get input on the discussion.

    When everyone has their own blog, why comment on someone else’s?


       —Chuck Warpehoski    Feb. 5 '10 - 02:47AM    #
  59. Matt, I like your thinking. It looks like a tremendous amount of work but would be great for the political/issues junkies around here. How about that for your next project?

    FWIW, my nephew had a python for many years as his only companion, but had to leave it behind when he moved from Texas to Alaska. I always felt sorry for the snake.


       —Vivienne Armentrout    Feb. 5 '10 - 04:05AM    #
  60. “I hope John Q commits to lunch at Eastern Accents Friday of next week at noon – if so, a lot of persons will be there.”

    No pressure eh? I have a previous commitment so I won’t be able to attend. Even if I could, I don’t think I’m ready to reveal the face behind the name. Perhaps in the future. Until then, I’ll continue to comment on the other A2-focused sites.


       —John Q.    Feb. 5 '10 - 04:24AM    #
  61. “quality discussion about questions facing the community”

    Chuck, Pat Lesko has said that she would blog as mayor. What do you and others think of the mayor convening the discussions you referred to? Online or in person or both?


       —Steve Bean    Feb. 5 '10 - 04:09PM    #
  62. That’s not exactly what I had in mind, Steve.

    Often the posts at AU that worked best briefly laid out the issue with an attempt at fairness, then let people discuss. Lesko’s blog posts take a position, and they aren’t always brief.

    A2Chronicle sometimes addresses particular issues such as transparency, but these posts also continue the Chronicle’s “brand” of detailed posts with full history, background, and context. Very nice, but I haven’t seen them create the kind of discussion I have in mind.


       —Chuck Warpehoski    Feb. 5 '10 - 08:37PM    #
  63. There have in fact been a number of good discussions on the Chronicle. I’ve certainly not been shy about joining discussions and I think that is true of other bloggers. The comment I made (cited by Chuck) was to indicate that I didn’t feel I should take up acres and acres of Chronicle comment space when I could go on at length in my own blog. Perhaps we are still evolving a set of agreed-upon guidelines about how much one commenter should dominate a particular venue. Lately I’ve tended to withhold comments unless I think I can really add something new.

    What AU did sometimes was to pose a question and open it up for discussion, while the Chronicle is based on current news reporting. Maybe that is the difference.


       —Vivienne Armentrout    Feb. 5 '10 - 08:55PM    #
  64. And we’re done. Thank you all again for some great discussions, amusing exchanges, and thoughtful engagement in the community.

    So long, and thanks for all the fish.


       —ArborUpdate Team    Feb. 6 '10 - 03:24PM    #