Monday, January 28, 2013

* Yale Daily News; Presiding Over Digital Self-Liquidation ?

 I have not become the King's First Minister in order to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire.    Churchill, Winston
Source: Prime Minister WINSTON CHURCHILL, speech, Lord Mayors luncheon, London, November 10, 1942.Winston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches, 18971963, ed. Robert Rhodes James, vol. 6, p. 6695 . · This quote is about uncategorised · Search on Google Books to find all references and sources for this quotation.

Tapley Stephenson, Editor
Yale Daily News
(for Letters to the Editor) 

Dear Editor:

I wrote you two months ago about my exasperation with your new digital platform (Disqus) an exasperation which I hypothesized might be a common phenomenon among your posters whose number has been dramatically dropping this year.  I was told to and wait and see if it picks up.

I have waited and I have seen.  

After nearly 3 1/2 years of contributing over 2000 posts myself on the YDN Posting Board, I have observed that your posting audience has now dwindled to a trickle. 

Even old standbys like River Tam, Penny Lane (and myself) barely make a peep any more.

This decline is concomitant with YDN's  adopting of it newest digital platform (Disqus).

Consider whether this disastrous choice of platform is not parching  the very garden of free speech it seeks to nourish.

All of the liveliness and spontaneity of the repartee of the past three years' posting exercises has been crippled by the fact that posters have to choose what order ("newest"; "oldest", "best") they wish to view the posts in, instead of reacting immediately to the thread as it unfolds (or unwinds).

Furthermore , articles from one day now seem to vanish the next  into a no-man's land of optional scanning opportunities  (news; opinion; staff; guest columns, etc.), while a "sliding marquis" offers the reader a "Most Popular" section which rotates and often dredges up an article from months ago.

The eye-candy of an occasional YouTube video screen has been omitted and replaced with a url link instead.

Pretty dull -- and unwieldy -- navigating, I must say.

I am sure that, like Winston Churchill, who declared he had not "become the King's  First Minister to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire,"  you have not become the Yale Daily New's Editor in Chief  to preside over the liquidation of the News's posting board audience.

Ultimately, Churchill, despite his declaration, did precisely what he said he had no intention of doing.  

I should think you might want not to follow in his footsteps.


Paul D. Keane, 
M. Div. '80

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