wws's picture

    Dear Josh

     I just read your notice that you may shut down the Cafe. 

     On the one hand, I would be among the first to acknowledge that you have provided a welcoming resource for left-minded, armchair policy makers. The Cafe has become an important place for many of us for a variety of reasons: a venue in which to freely express political opinions; a venue in which to read and learn from the opinions of others -- many of whom prove to be more informed that we ourselves are; and a venue that does, in fact, provide a sense of reality-tested community - if a virtual one -- in a world that has seemingly gone mad. 

     These are not insignificant gifts you have given to hundreds/thousands of people. And for them, we are genuinely grateful. 

    I am also personally grateful to you that, when I carelessly named names of two real life people, you and Versha IMMEDIATELY responded to my email requesting deletion from your files and archives of that blog. Other emails of enquiry and/or complaint that I have occasionally sent you, or Versha, have gone unanswered. But THAT one -- the one that did matter -- you acted on without a moment's hesitation. Which I truly appreciated, because it was my mistake, not yours, yet you did the right thing, expeditiously. 

    So don't think for a minute that I am not aware and thankful to you, personally, for that. 

    None of the aforementioned means, however, that you went about this switch in systems in a thoughtful way - if thoughtful can be construed as people, rather than systems oriented. For example:
    A timely notice to us last week of what you intended to do and when you intended to do it would have permitted each of us to consider the changes and make relevant personal decisions: 

    1) Am I, or am I not, willing to participate at TPM Cafe if that participation requires linking my various accounts together through Facebook or, worse (in my opinion) through my primary email? 

    2) I have devoted "x" number of hours/days/weeks/months to reading and commenting on the blogs of others, or writing my own .... which I have not printed or saved - counting on the archives of TPM itself. Now, if major changes are being made, should I - before the changes are implemented, just to be safe - take a day to print out all those files from however many years? 

    3) The following is not relevant to me, personally, because I blog and comment under my own name, but  ....  If am a person for whom the "O" program login is imperative as a means of insuring my ID privacy because I am one who cannot afford for my real life name to be disclosed if logging in thru Facebook, etc. -- but I understand that TPM is going to implement the major changes before they add on the "O" sign-in, then what steps should I take to protect my own privacy, before that happens? 

    These are relevant objections and considerations, Josh - not whining, not vitriol. People have exposed themselves here, based on your assurance of their ID protection. Did you give that thought in your order of incremental change? It's hard to think that you did, or the "O" option would have been available at the same time you changed over to the Facebook et all sign-in. Unfortunately, using Facebook, etc., many people signing in have discovered, to their dismay, that their real names were revealed.

    That, Josh, is inexcusable. That has real life repercussions for real people of real value.That you cannot blow off or dismiss as "whining" or "vitriol." 

    May I offer you a few words of wisdom? 

    One of the things it took me a long time to learn in my life was the obligation to admit my own oversights and/or mistakes. And what I learned, when I finally started doing it, is that such acknowledgment does not diminish me; rather, it humanizes me... bringing me closer to those I deal with rather than alienating them. 

     Imho, Josh, you have achieved a great deal and are to be lauded for same. But this - this acknowledgement of human error - is something you still resist. That's OK if it is just you it negatively affects. But if it is someone else? Many others? Therefore, whether you maintain the Café, or shut it down, please - for your sake as well as theirs - apologize for "outing" people.

    It is only fair.  
    As it is only fair for me to tell you that the Cafe has enriched my life and made bearable a transitional phase in my life that might well have felled me, without this forum.

    *Note to fellow cafe members: I am not ignoring your comments on this thread; rather, as of this morning (Monday), when I hit "reply" on this or any other blog, nothing happens, even though I am logged-in  via Moveable Type.  Since I am unwilling to log in through Facebook, etc. I will look forward to the "O" platform connection. -;)


    Nice job, Wendy.

    Here I was, thinking a voice of reason might be raised.

    What you are asking for is NOT free. It costs money. Lots of money; as in at least one full-time professional staffer, is my WAG.

    I take it you are going to donate some portion of that salary, yes? I could make a dent in the issue; but I'd need about $50,000 plus benefits per year. And that's a bargain, given some of the scorn and vitriol some of these "I've graduated from diapers to Depends!" yittering yammerers point at staff.

    Do any of you have even the slightest idea how bad people feel, having worked so hard for so little for so long, and receive only nastiness from the people they are giving things?

    Anyway, I could enjoy a good job. So how about it, you and the rest of the people? It's unlikely the usual suspects would get very far with heaping abuse on me before it'd be "Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out! CYA!"

    WRT to this thing for which you ask, and specifically about privacy: do not be under any illusions about your privacy. If you are truly concerned with it, use end-to-end encryption; and, furthermore, use TOR (or a similar thing) to obscure things...it's been said elsewhere: you can't trust the routers.

    Now: twenty dollar bills to doughnuts that you don't understand a thing I just typed in the preceding paragraph.

    Yet here you are complaining about how Josh Marshall is somehow responsible for protecting your privacy.

    But you do nothing truly substantial to protect it. So why are you complaining? Because you are the one not thinking, with the clarity you require of Josh, through things.

    You are making demands that can't be met, Wendy. No server is hackproof. Just ask Google... and they have the BEST equipment and personnel that money can buy.

    It's the equivalent of asking your locksmith for a guarantee you won't be robbed.

    The OAuth system has been hacked in the past, it will be hacked in the future.

    Didn't stop Twitter from using it after suspending use during a hacking incident.

    If TPM can provide the same level of security as a regular social network, with the ability to respond immediately to a breach (which may be closing the entire system down until patches are released), that is the best you can hope for. The rest is up to you (e.g. not linking your social network portals together).

    no need to be a dick about it.

    But If am a dick.


    I'm so sorry, but you must know you live in my heart as Dickon


    All things change... We must decide whether or not we can change with the times--or need to, or whether this is a door that opens to something else.

    Josh is entitled to do with his baby whatever he needs to, whichever things that are best for him. Far be it from me to criticize, since I have never undertook such a "baby." Josh has. The best thing is to advise, give constructive crit, but being aware at the same time that we must choose too what is best for us now.

    I think WW, when Josh talks about vitriol and whining he's referring to insinuations that he or the sight (but it's usually a personal attack)is trying to somehow take advantage of participants and turn a buck off em in some underhanded way and/or when they are just harranguing him/staff/the site generally speaking about being invonvenienced by their attempts to make blogging on the cafe a better, easier experience.

    My perception is that Josh (and probably his staff too) don't much appreciate being hectored from such a one sided point of view that rarely takes into consideration what he explains as an enormous and disproportionate amount of work to keep cafe reader blogs going when so few actually use it. Imagine, from the point of view of all the TPM people trying to do their jobs, how galling it must be to be criticized so energetically on something that costs them time and money and headaces galore but costs none of us a penny or a moment we didn't choose to spend.

    The truth is that those of us on this side of the experience know almost nothing about what it takes to provide us with this little freebie. I don't blame Josh for getting pissed off or dare I say it, having his feelings hurt when the brickbats are flying at him as they sometimes do from the bleachers here.

    Anyway, my point is solely that I don't think reasonable complaints/concerns are what Josh is reacting to but rather the more extreme and sometimes nasty and just plain rude stuff that gets thrown at him and his staff.

    Nobody's giving anybody anything. We give pageviews and engagement -- the two things any Web media property needs to monetize.

    Anybody know if Ghengis' DAGblog is open to refugees?

    Yes, definitely. Tents are set up and we've got plenty of water and blankets. There is even a "Reader Blogs" section. Check the right side of the page!

    How do we get there, Orlando?

    There have been so many good suggestions to Josh for improving things and finding better economic viability. Here's hoping the Cafe can thrive in some newer form.
    Thanks, Wendy.

    third star on the right, wendy. you should know.



    I hope so toooooooooo.

    I don't want to be a curmudgeon or I-told-you-so type, stick in the mud, not at all.

    But honestly, for future purposes, anybody who subscribes to Facebook and thinks their identity is protected is not being realistic.

    You'd lose in court.

    Not to in anyway take away from anything else that has been said above.

    Then you're in good company, Sir! Why, our 37th President was a dick!!

    I always post under my own name... for me that is the whole point and the privacy angle I really care about is like credit card details and stuff like that.

    "...and straight on till...Dagblog!"

    (Thanks; I saw Genghis make a comment, and clicked on his blog...)

    Thanks O :) I will mosey myself over there.

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