http://danvillesanramon.com/print/story/print/2008/12/19/from-the-publisher-town-square-is-a-forum-for-the-community-by-the-community


Danville Express

Perspective - December 19, 2008

From the Publisher: Town Square is a forum for the community, by the community

If you've been online you've probably noticed a few upgrades on our Town Square site. Some of these come as a response to user suggestions.

One of the main concerns of our forum users is the issue of "identity theft," for lack of a better term. A few of our regular posters have been the targets of people using their online name. So our site developers have made it possible for registered users to lock in their public online name. If someone else tries to use that online name, and it doesn't say "so and so is a member (registered user) of Danville Weekly," the poster is an imposter, for lack of a better term.

However, the forum is not becoming a "registered user only" site, and comments from anonymous posters will still be allowed. While there are drawbacks to anonymity, there are enough advantages that it is a positive attribute.

In addition to being able to keep an online identity, registered users can track topics and have an e-mail sent to them when a comment is made. A new benefit of being a registered user is that now, when a new topic is started, the poster will have the option of restricting comments to registered users only.

We have also added a link called "Report Objectionable Content" at the bottom of every comment to make it easier to alert us, and there is now a "share" icon so users can share via social networking sites. There is also a search capability for Town Square forums next to the search box at the top of the page.

A few additions are not as obvious but are equally important. For example, in the "Terms of Use" we have added the following:

* You agree not to post comments under multiple names. Postings within a single topic from the same IP address made under different names will be deleted.

* You agree not to make posts that are primarily intended to promote, or create links to, another Web site.

* You acknowledge that although we do not have any obligation to review, monitor or screen the content that is posted on DanvilleWeekly.com, and that we do not own such content, we are the sole judge of whether the content you post meets these Terms of Use, and that we may edit, remove or lock content you post on DanvilleWeekly.com at our sole discretion for any reason, even if not specifically addressed in this Terms of Use.

Having a community forum that is accessible to everyone - and where everyone is respected - is an important part of our DanvilleWeekly.com site. Most of the recent improvements have come from suggestions or concerns of Town Square users. If you have questions, comments, suggestions or concerns, please e-mail me at gallen@danvilleweekly.com.

Gina Channell-Allen, a 20-year journalism veteran, is the president of the East Bay division of Embarcadero Publishing Co., publisher of the Danville Weekly and president of the Pleasanton Weekly.

Comments

Posted by NUN of the ABOVE, a resident of another community
on Dec 19, 2008 at 8:44 am

Dear Ms. Allen,

Thank you for your rich humor.

Let us hope and pray that Alamo Ron, Informed Resident and more join you in meaningless commentary and defamously speaking that has become the primary message of the more public voices among Contra Costa Politics. There is, after all, so much to be left unsaid.

Celebrate!

NUN of the ABOVE