Welcome to The Senate Site

Monday, May 21, 2007

Got your thinking cap on?

By John Valentine
President of the Utah Senate

This is too big a subject for a single blog post, but I'm going to try it anyway.

A prominent reporter has given the wrong impression about the Senate Site twice in the recent past. There seems to be a one-sided feud going on. I don't plan on joining it.

That aside, I would like to discuss with our readers how this site is operated and funded. If you see something amiss with the way we’ve structured things, please give me your thoughtful suggestions for improvement.

We created the Senate Site in August and September of 2005. From that time until now we’ve invested a little less than $1000 in the experiment. None of it was paid with state funds.

We decided not to host the site on a state server. We use BlueHost, a phenomenal little internet company in Orem, Utah, which costs us about a hundred bucks a year. The Senate Minority has followed suit and host their blog site there too.

We bought a digital camera for the Utah Senate (300 bucks on Amazon.com), and a digital voice recorder ($150 on E-bay), which are sometimes used for our blog. We paid for those privately, not using state funds. We also bought a little web cam that we place at different spots in the Senate. No tax dollars were there either. (I don’t know why . . . I can only imagine that thing embarrassing me and hurting my election efforts!)

The cash investment in the site is fairly low. However, the time and energy investment has been significant.

Government needs to communicate with citizens – and vice versa. We try to facilitate this a hundred different ways.
  • Award-winning, citizen-friendly web sites;
  • E-mail correspondence;
  • Direct phone conversations;
  • Live streaming video of chamber activity;
  • Streaming audio of chamber activity (both live and archived);
  • On-line audio of our legislative committee meetings (live and archived);
  • Personal meetings with groups and individuals;
  • Etcetera. I’m sure I’ll think of more as I'm going to sleep tonight.
We also work with reporters and give them the information they need, so they can tell the story. I think that is an appropriate use of some staff time and public resources.

The Senate Site is our latest tool to help tell the story, and to engage with the citizens that live with, fund, and are ultimately responsible for their own government. We funded it privately to go an extra mile to avoid the perception of impropriety. However, I do think some staff time spent in this kind of public communication is appropriate - as long as it's not for discussion or events beyond what the state should be funding. More about that in a minute.

Web 2.0 is different than working through a reporter because we can speak directly to the public, in our own voice, and our constituents can respond, anonymously or otherwise. I like the opportunity and the accountability. The limitations, of course, are that the audience is smaller and we’re not always impartial. That’s where a healthy, diversified blogging community becomes invaluable – to provide balance and perspective.

We need that same community to give us some insight into a political and ethical aspect of sharing information here at the Senate.

Almost everything we post here is related to the Senate and/or the policy making process. On two or three occasions, we have mentioned fund raisers and other partisan activities (like party caucuses). They are part of the overall story so it doesn’t make sense to hide it. We think people would want to be aware.

The vital ethical rule of thumb is that no state money should ever be privately appropriated for personal gain (campaigns, fund raisers, whatever).

So, what happens when political information is more private than public, but we still think people interested in the senate would want to know?

Right now, we feel comfortable using the Senate Site for that kind of information, but only under the following circumstances, which we have followed religiously for the past two years: we post it on our own time, on our own nickel, on our own server, by way of our own computer. We do it after-hours. We avoid using state resources. We host the information privately – and in that way try to give citizens more complete information in an ethical manner.

I hope that is the right solution. I am aware that a elected officials and staff can dot all the Is and cross all the Ts and, in fact, be perfectly ethical but still be perceived as otherwise – which can damage the trust people have in their government. That is a concern. So, if there is a better way to run the Senate Site, I would like to hear about it.

We have one or two ultra-partisan bloggers who will respond to this post for political reasons. I am not as interested in hearing from them as I am from readers from all parties who can offer thoughtful criticism and insight on how we manage the site, assuming we continue running the senate’s blog experiment for another year.

I believe we – and by ‘we’ I mean the entire diversified Utah blogging community - are creating something uniquely helpful to citizens of Utah, and to some degree, citizens nationwide.

This is new territory. There are few mentors and no rulebooks. So, help us out. Let’s craft the rules for the new paradigm and make sure it’s done right.

I would sincerely appreciate your feedback.


Anonymous Arnold said...

I love the Senate Site. But this is seriously too much information.

5/22/2007 1:07 AM  
Anonymous Robin Zander said...

Rolly and the rest of the MSM see blogs as a threat to their control of information.

The MSM has always seen itself as the incorruptible and pure (giggle) gatekeeper of information, and blogs like the SenateSite are undermining their hegemony. Naturally, they don't like it.

Day by day, the relevance of the newspaper world continues to diminish, as evidenced by stagnant to declining subscription rates, even in Utah which is experiencing 2.5% to 3% annual population growth.

Rolly entered the newspaper profession about 100 years ago when newspapers could say just about anything they wanted and people would believe it. Not anymore, and it bugs the hell out of him.

The king is dead. Long live the king.

5/22/2007 6:28 AM  
Anonymous Silence Dogood said...

The problem with Paul Rolly is not so much that he takes shots at elected officials (usually Republicans). It is that he has no work ethic. In most of his rants, he makes NO attempt to verify the info he writes with reckless abandon.

His recent (and ongoing) diatribe against the senatesite.com is one small example of his total disregard for any notion of journalistic integrity.

Is he lazy, incompetent, agenda driven? That may be the case for much of his writings, however, it is left for his readers to decide, but they generally have to be diligent to separate actual facts from Rolly's slanted fiction.

Without blogs, Rolly was King.

As the previous post indicated:
The King is Dead, Long live the King!

Cheers, Paul.

5/22/2007 7:08 AM  
Anonymous John Dougall said...

Remember, there is a difference between a reporter and a gossip columnist.

5/22/2007 7:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every day, the Tribune's website lists the top ten stories based on number of clicks.

On days that Rolly's gossip column appears, he is almost always in the top ten. Sometimes, his column is the only political story that cracks the top ten. Most of the others are sports, crime and religion.

This is truly sad.

People read Rolly because it's an easy read (no charts, graphs, statistics). Many Utahns think that they are keeping up on politics by reading Rolly.

However, I am predicting that Rolly and Rebecca Walsh will eventually meet the same fate as Tom Barberi and slide down the bannister of irrelevance.

Barberi and Rolly satisfied the need that some people have to B&M about Utah. Now these people have blogs and they can do their own B&M.

5/22/2007 9:03 AM  
Anonymous Listen to what the man said...

Speaking of irrelevance, I thought Rebecca Walsh's promotion of the League of Women Voters was especially interesting.

5/22/2007 9:09 AM  
Blogger The Senate Site said...

I liked Rebecca's column on the League. It was informative. It was historic and sweet. It had soul.

5/22/2007 9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We do it after-hours.

The Senate Site posted just before me. 9:27 AM is after hours? ;-)

Although I also think Rolly doth protest too much, it's a legitimate question as to whether there is such a thing as "after hours" in this 24/7 economy. Might Cantrell's work on this site be an ongoing test of loyalty for his "on the clock" and taxpayer-funded gig?

5/22/2007 10:36 AM  
Blogger Craig said...

I think I speak for all when I wonder just who are the "ultra-partisan bloggers" mentioned by Sir John Valentine :-)

I think you guys are doing a great job. I love coming to this site every day to see what you all are up to.

My only criticism is that to the uninitiated it appears that the site speaks for the entire Senate. I don't know how to fix this. I know it says "Senate Majority" on the masthead yet it remains somewhat ambiguous to newbies or to out-of-state media outlets. Perhaps you and the Senate Minority could swap prominent links to each other at the top of each home page.

Besides that, here's wishing that your shameless blog propaganda may continue ad infinitum!!!


5/22/2007 10:40 AM  
Anonymous Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble said...

Since when is someone expected to work 24/7? Being on-call 24/7 is one thing but to work 24/7 is unheard of.

It's unfortunate that after-hours work is no longer considered voluntary.

5/22/2007 10:42 AM  
Blogger Marshall said...

This isn't difficult, you can't use public money for fundraising.

Like DUH!

You can't send out fundraising fliers on the publics dime and then say "oh oops our bad, new technology, hehe, our fault."

If the Senate Site is about communicating with the public which I think everyone would agree is more than legitimate then that would be ok. But that is not what is occurring and not what the issue is about.

5/22/2007 11:15 AM  
Blogger The Senate Site said...

Craig - PVal wasn't talking about you, or anyone at Utah Amicus, for that matter. You guys play for your team, but you're not blinded by team colors. We were hoping you would help us craft sound blog policy here.

Anonymous 10:36 - I post to the blog throughout the day, the same way I E-mail constituents, take phone calls and, once in a while, write up a press release. It's part of my job. President Valentine was talking about things it would not be appropriate for any staffer to do on state time - like discuss a fund raiser. In that case whoever does it, does it on their own time, own equipment, etc.


5/22/2007 11:21 AM  
Anonymous Tom Grover said...

The Senate Site is a great resource. It facilitates direct particpation in democracy. I think it should be funded by tax dollars.

The Bloghive as a whole is great for democracy. On KVNU's For the People we have made it a point to promote the Bloghive, have guests from the bloghive and refer to the bloghive on air. The Senate Site is an integral part of this.

At least the press coverage will increase traffic. Any numbers yet on how Rolly's column has increased traffic on the site? Let us know

5/22/2007 11:45 AM  
Blogger The Senate Site said...

This post has been removed by the author.

5/22/2007 11:50 AM  
Blogger Craig said...

From my perspective, the political blogs in Utah are, for the most part, respectful. We have our differences and our loyalties but overall the dialog is healthy. I wouldn’t want to see that dialog repressed.

As for policy, it’s difficult to suggest specifics, but I’ll throw out a couple of thoughts:

1. If the site is being run by a political party or other private interest, blog posting should probably be done using resources paid for by those private interests. If a publically paid staffer is posting blog entries for a private blog on the public’s dime, then that staffer is probably crossing the line. Consider if a staffer were posting for the ACLU, or for their own business, or for Rocket Enthusiasts of Utah, etc. None of those I imagine would be justifiable within a state agency. Sometimes policies allow folks to check personal e-mail, post to blogs, etc., during their lunch hour. I don’t see a problem with that. In the case of SenateSite, the purpose of the site is to further the interests and promote the views of the Utah Republican Party. That’s great but I don’t think my taxes should be used to advance a specific party’s platform or agenda.

2. If the site is being run or paid for by a public entity, then a cross-section of the electorate (at the very least, a panel of moderators selected by both parties) should be represented.

I'll send along more feedback as I think about it.


5/22/2007 12:12 PM  
Anonymous Peter Tosh said...

Hey Marshall, what public funds are being used for fund raising?

5/22/2007 12:58 PM  
Blogger Jesse Harris said...

I would find it highly beneficial if you'd have bill sponsors post brief summaries of bills they introduce so there can be better public discussion on them BEFORE they pass. All too often we rely on newspapers to give us a run-down of bills that affect us and we end up being caught unaware until the 11th hour.

5/22/2007 1:07 PM  
Blogger Marshall said...

A Republican fundraising announcement was posted on this site. That is the issue.

This site is maintained during work hours by those paid with public funds.

This would be like a staffer sending out a fundraising announcement to a list of constituents gathered while doing regular business. You can't do that.

5/22/2007 2:21 PM  
Anonymous Cobain said...

Not if the work on the announcement was made off the clock

If Carol Lear of USOE can work "off the clock" to work against vouchers, then Ric Cantrell can work off the clock on this blog.

5/22/2007 2:42 PM  
Anonymous Tom Grover said...


This has got to be the dumbest political nontroversy in Utah in 2007.

It's done off the clock. It increases citizen participation. Ric Cantrell is doing a kick ass job on it.

I wish more elected officials blogged. If everyone starts freaking out over this nontroversy, fewer and fewer elected officials will open up through blogging

5/22/2007 3:04 PM  
Blogger Marshall said...

Here is some feedback from one of the ultra-partisan bloggers.

Utah republicans using public funds to help fundraising.

Another example of Utah Republicans unable take responsibility for even the silliest of errors.

5/22/2007 7:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who cares? Who honestly even listens to the Democrats? Could they even be more irrelevant? Utah Republicans should, for the most part, ignore the Demos and get on with their agenda.

There is a Mexican proverb which, roughly translated, states: "Who listens when a pig farts?"

5/22/2007 7:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If it's done off the clock, why is there a problem Marshall?

Marshall = left wing Limbaugh

5/22/2007 7:58 PM  
Blogger Marshall said...

Did you even read my response?

This site is cultivated and maintained with our tax dollars and is not an appropriate place to post a party fundraiser.

This would be like sending out a fundraising announcement to a list of constituents gathered while conducting regular business. Or another example would be passing out fundraising announcements at a taxpayer sponsored townhall. You can't do that and you would be criticized just the same.

Kind of funny this is such a difficult concept for you guys to understand when the title of this post is "Got your thinking cap on?" Well do you?

I agree on some levels that this is silly but you guys are being pathetic and downright typical Republicans by not just owning up to the mistake. Instead you are dodging, diverting and passing the buck like usual. (Like the Odgen veterans nursing home - huh Mr. Valentine? Stop blaming the feds and make it happen.)

And I check my medicine cabinet and no oxycontin in there.

5/22/2007 9:07 PM  
Blogger The Senate Site said...

Actually, one thing Marshall said struck a chord with me and I’ve been thinking about it off and on all day.

The state doesn’t pay for the site and doesn’t control it or own it, it’s unofficial and we maintain some speed and flexibility that way. Plus it allows us to have more fun than a stiff formal site would.

But - read Marshall's 2:21 comment again - I can see how some of the readership of the site may have been built with some state investment. A.k.a. some staff time, getting information out.

It’s worth some thought. I think we have to decide if this site is going to be a communications tool dedicated to the public, or another partisan campaign site. My feeling is that it is more unique and valuable as the former.

Long day. I’m going to bed.

5/22/2007 9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Paul Rolly's column

Cantrell has arranged for space at the State Republican Party headquarters to perform political work for Republican senators, such as promoting fundraisers. Cantrell says he has been careful to note the amount of time he spends on political duties while at the Senate and not count that as state time. But a separate venue for those duties eliminates the perception of a conflict.

5/23/2007 6:26 AM  
Blogger The Senate Site said...

Thanks anonymous, I think. We actually arranged this some time ago, but Paul Rolly's column on Monday reminded me I needed to check in with the new - albeit temporary - powers that be.

I was surprised to get an E-mail from Rolly the next day. Gotta respect his spy network. Sometimes.

5/23/2007 11:07 AM  
Anonymous Marshall Hendrickson (not the other Marshall on this post) said...

The Senate Site provides an invaluable resource to Utah citizens. Two years ago, I had the wonderful opportunity of serving in the Senate as an intern. During this time I attended many meetings where members of the press were present. However, it was remarkable that even though we were in the same meeting, their interpretation of the meeting was vastly different from what actually happened. (Either that or what they chose to write on was completely off the point of the discussion at hand.) Even more remarkable was that other reporters and pundits of the local media who weren’t even there wrote as if they were and knew all that was going on at the legislature. Granted, not all reporters wrote this way, but it was enough to cause me to seriously doubt the public was getting even a hint of what was really going on at the Capitol. The Senate Site changed all of this. Through the Senate Site, the public could now hear it straight from the horse's mouth. Could we imagine anything more helpful?

I believe strongly in adage "by their fruits ye shall know them." From its inception, how many more blogs (both by private citizens and other caucuses on the hill) have been formed and encouraged? How many who otherwise would not have had an opportunity to weigh in on IHC issues, immigration, vouchers, etc. have had the chance to speak out directly? The proof is in the pudding and the Senate Site is good stuff no matter how you slice it.

Aside from informing the public, I’d venture to say that the Senate Site has helped to make the policy-making process more efficient thus serving the public even more. As members of the Senate (senators from both parties have posted opinions and positions) have posted on various topics, the public responds. Excuse me for stating the obvious, but elected officials are also reading this web site. Do you not think this influences their positions as they read what the public has to say?

As for Mr. Rolley, I pay him due respect. He serves the state in the capacity of which he was employed. He is a writer for a business and businesses always have to worry about the bottom line. In his case the bottom line is selling papers. The Senate Site has nothing to sell but open candidness with the intention of furthering democracy, not stifling it.

As for the expenditure of tax dollars, I have seen first-hand the meticulous accounting and protections against waste as an intern at the Senate. While it is merely my subjective opinion, I firmly believe that Utah Citizens can rest assured that their tax dollars are spending wisely.

Thank you, Senate Site, for all the hard work and effort you continually give this great State.

5/23/2007 12:29 PM  
Blogger Craig said...

Can you slice pudding? :-)

I appreciate the most recent Marshall's comments but feel the need to challenge just one premise. The Senate Site, true, is one of the better political blogs in the state. However, it is not intended to be a public undertaking. It is, just like the Salt Lake Tribune, a private entity with an agenda. That's great! If public funds were being spent on its behalf, though, I would consider that crossing the line. The blog represents the private interests of elected officials belonging to the Utah Republican Party.

I would oppose any measures that would direct even one cent of public funding to this blog. I fully support, however, those individuals, who, on their own time, put forth great effort to supply thoughtful content advocating their world view. I have learned much about the Republican majority's positions by reading this blog. May it continue. And perhaps someday it will be the voice of the Senate Minority...hope springs eternal :-)


5/23/2007 4:18 PM  
Blogger steve u. said...

We're all feeling our way along and figuring things out as we go with these new tools. I look at dialogues like this and like the many policy dialogues hosted by this site, and I marvel. How would they have taken place just 5 years ago? I don't think they would have. A few people would have directly contacted some legislators; others would have written letters to the editor; some would have talked with colleagues at work. But there haven't been great public forums where many people can reason/argue together, until know. It promises wonderful things, if we use these tools to do things better. This site is a tremendous leader and example in the uses of new media.

5/23/2007 9:42 PM  
Anonymous Your mother said...

As I posted on SteveU.com, the easy give-and-take of the Utah Bloghive seems to make Rolly fall off his chair. Case in point. Rolly blogs, unless someone else is just posting his material for him. He should get it. But he doesn't. Why?

Maybe this is why.

Or this.



Maybe this.

Or this.

The best thing about New Media is that it promises to hold Old Media accountable to their own Code of Ethics.

The day will come when charlatan reporters who build their careers spreading gossip will be recognized for who they are, and what they do. A Google search is all it will take.

5/24/2007 12:44 AM  
Blogger steve u. said...

Darn it! Third sentence from end of my entry -- "until now," not "know."

It's like my teachers didn't teach me knothing.

5/24/2007 7:18 AM  
Blogger Craig said...


I agree that blogs and wikis are indeed useful tools. I'm not quite as awestruck, I suppose, by such technology. Their power to me is not in their sophistication but, rather, in their simplicity and accessibility. It's also brain-dead easy and either cheap or free to set them up. Any elected official worth his or her salt should at least have a blog and a web site. You are an active blogger and I respect that. The Politicopia thing is interesting as well, though as you know I took some exception to you applying one of the discussions to score political points against Kim Burningham. But enough has probably been said on that already.

A blog is nothing more than an online journal. It's value is in publishing a specific viewpoint. Simple and easy. More sophisticated technology has come and gone but blogs remain very popular. Sometimes the atomic list of comments can also be useful, such as in this case where a political party asks for feedback on a specific topic and visitors are willing to share.

I would think it rather unfair to suggest, though, that the blog of a political party, candidate, or official is any less biased than the writings of the journalists. We all have agendas and points of view. SenateSite, UtahAmicus, SteveU, UtahTaxpayer, and SLTrib, for example, are all evangelizing their different perspectives.

When my wife ran for office against your friend, Rep. Hughes, we of course set up a web site and an active blog. The intent was to publish a perspective and to demonstrate the courage and openness to let folks know where she stood. There were quite a few from both parties who respected her for putting herself out there in contrast to her opponent who didn't have a blog. And of course her e-mail address and phone number were listed so people could contact and dialog directly with her.

But let's all be honest that a blog's intent is to state a case or to seek feedback on an issue that is important to the blog's authors. I am skeptical of claims of egalitarian openness since blog writings are clearly push writings controlled by those providing the content.

So when I read comments like:

"The Senate Site has nothing to sell but open candidness with the intention of furthering democracy, not stifling it"

I kind of smile.

But with all that said I wholeheartedly agree that SenateSite is a valuable contributor to the discussion and we would find ourselves impoverished without their consistent voice.

5/24/2007 11:27 AM  
Anonymous Marshall Hendrickson said...

“But let's all be honest that a blog's intent is to state a case or to seek feedback on an issue that is important to the blog's authors. I am skeptical of claims of egalitarian openness since blog writings are clearly push writings controlled by those providing the content.”

I’d never discourage anyone from smiling, but don’t think my previous post to be the Pollyanna statement you’re making it out to be. To me, a “push writing”, as you call it, is a statement cooked up to fit the author’s paradigm and imposed on others without opportunity for comment. The Senate Site could hardly be classified as push writing.

Your statement on blog writings wholly undermines the purpose of a blog – to encourage discussion on a certain topic. It is true the initial post usually asserts a position on a given theme, but a post’s true value doesn’t come into fruition until other readers from various walks of life have given their two cents. (By the way, don’t most discussions worth anything start with someone stating a case on something important to them?) Through subsequent commentary the discussion usually takes on a life of its own. This commentary includes suggestions, arguments, and even a complete departure from the original statement. Barring the occasional deletion of a post by the site administrator for reasons of profanity, inappropriate discussion topics, etc., it is rare that the Senate Site has really “controlled” the content in the way you are suggesting.

With this in mind, I’ll assert once more that the Senate Site has nothing to sell but open candidness with the intention of furthering democracy. The Senate Site consistently and openly states its positions in an unprecedented way. This is done for purposes of creating a discussion and to implement more efficient and effective policy which can only benefit the public. The great part about all of this: it works! It is a struggle for me to see how this does anything but further democracy. If an organization truly wanted to push its agenda, I can think of a few more effective methods than a blog. While idealistic for sure, this belief is hardly outside the realms of reality.

While I’m also unsure as how you’d slice it, the “proof is still in the pudding.” While during its lifespan many other blogs have been born, fewer have enjoyed as much success. Unfortunately, this success has resulted in some unjustified criticism. (I.e., envy.)

5/24/2007 11:07 PM  
Blogger The Senate Site said...

Thanks Marshall. Both of you. What you should expect when you read our site is our perspective. We hope it's valuable. Others can share their point of view and, by considering multiple sources of information - and by weighing their relative levels of credibility - Joe Citizen has a fighting chance at discerning the truth of an issue.

I've rethought part of my 5/22/07, 9:09 p.m. comments. Here are the facts: On our own time, on our own dime, we created a back page on this site for information on a fundraiser. We didn't link to it anywhere on this site. Ever. The way we communicated the link was in the invitation (mailed, of course, on our own time, on our own dime). No public funds were used and no blog audience built by public funds was ever solicited.

So I believe it's a technical non-issue. Problem is, public perception doesn't follow technicalities, especially when a reporter misaligns the facts, as Paul Rolly did in this instance.

I decided to just build another website. It's up. You haven't seen it. That's because we don't advertise it here.

It's true that I may go Hell, jail, or Yuma Arizona someday, but this won't be the reason why.


1/25/2008 10:17 PM  
Blogger The Senate Site said...

While I'm thinking of it, here's a link to Rep. Urquhart's blog:

Old Media v. New Media

1/25/2008 10:28 PM  
Blogger The Senate Site said...

And a Cut & Paste from the Trib's site. The column was deleted but the public comments (including mine) are still there.


adrastus: 5/21/2007 5:31:00 AM

Paul, Paul, Paul

There you go again. Ric Cantrell is NOT paid by the state for his non-official-senate duties. This is public information and can even a cub reporter could have found this information.

Too bad you are simply too lazy, biased, and unethical to lift your pen for a moment and exercise even the smallest amount of journalistic integrity.

Way to go, Paul. Just another example of how low you will go to show your colors.

kingrook: 5/21/2007 6:11:00 AM

Dear Ad- Since you are obviously better informed than the rest of the unwashed,would you care to share with us the proof of your accusation? In other words,don't make unfounded accusations you can't back up.

worried man: 5/21/2007 9:14:00 AM

With all the dirty hippies around the U I'd say its time to build a fence around those fields. Having lived around a few universities I can say the most irresponsible dog owners(as far as picking up after them) are the kids.

bradadkins274: 5/21/2007 12:00:00 PM

My montra is this, "If it would be ok for everyone to do this (whatever it is), then it's ok for me to do." I clean up after my dog because it isn't ok for everyone not to (imagine how disgusting your neighborhood park would be). I also don't use my government email/webpage to conduct personal business. Think people! (yes, politicians and dog owners too). If it's not ok for everyone, it's not ok for you!!!!

GalleySlave: 5/21/2007 5:25:00 PM

Maybe I can help clarify. The Senate doesn’t allow state resources to be used for personal projects or events. Any private work we do, we do on our own time, on our own nickel, on our own computer. We're dumb, but we're not that dumb. I suspect most organizations, including the other legislative blog sites, have a similar policy.

The web page in question is still up, obviously. I don't know what internet genius told Paul Rolly that a page could be "taken down" but still be available on the host server. We actually WANT people to know about the annual event. In fact, we sent the direct link mentioned above to several hundred people, statewide. Now, maybe we need to adjust our policies on what we post and don’t post – we'll certainly explore that over on the Senate Site.

Valentines Day in May was a great event. You should come next year.


sac460: 5/22/2007 10:51:00 PM

Galley Slave,
It doesn't take much of an "internet genius" to know what is usually meant by "taking down" a page, but still having it available on the server. It means that file is no longer linked to by the website in question. While the file may still exist on the servers, if you didn't have that page bookmarked, you would never know it was there if links to that page that previously existed on the website were deleted. That is how you take a page down, while still leaving the file available on the server. If I know what the file name and location on the server is I can still access it. But others without that information won't be able to.

I'm guessing Paul noticed that links to the page in question were removed from the web site. But he still found the file existing on the server.

GalleySlave: 7/10/2007 12:49:00 AM


To me, taking a page down would mean deleting it from the server.

In this case, no web page was taken down. No links were ever deleted. Everything that ever existed on our site pertaining to this event is still there, to this day. I think Mr. Rolly was just fed some bad information.

He and I have talked since. I believe he’s a decent man trying to do the right thing, as he sees it.



1/25/2008 10:42 PM  

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