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On Being Invited to do an Economy Blog

Original post made by stephen levy, University South, on Apr 2, 2009

I have mixed feelings about Town Square. I like the idea of a forum for community online conversation. When Jay Thorwaldson approached me, I wanted to respond positively and, of course, there is no getting around that writing a blog is fun.

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Comments (6)

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Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 2, 2009 at 9:23 pm

Well, Jay, I welcome your blog, but you have to understand that people feel very strongly about the economy, and quite frankly you're writing to a bunch of very well-educated readers. It takes a thick skin to do what you do around here. Good luck!

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Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 2, 2009 at 9:38 pm

Or rather, Stephen, excuse me, got your name mixed up with the editor. Sorry about that.
You also have to understand that a lot of us who enjoy reading the Weekly for our local news also read the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, the Economist, watch CNBC, read Bloomberg, read economically related books, and probably subscribe to a bunch of economic newsletters. In addition, we all probably have something invested in the stock market and own real estate.
I am interested to read your perspective on the economy, but I do not know your background. Perhaps the Weekly could keep a constant bio next to each of your posts, so we know where you're coming from.
It's difficult to avoid discussing our current economy without discussing politics as the two are obviously becoming more and more interwined. Hope this helps give you more confidence and weather the sometimes harsh comments. It comes with the territory of writing in a public forum.

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Posted by Jay Thorwaldson
editor emeritus
on Apr 2, 2009 at 11:12 pm

Jay Thorwaldson is a registered user.

Resident -- Well, you surely stopped me cold for a moment. Good suggestion on a standing mini-bio on the bloggers. Thanks for your supportive comments.

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Posted by Jay Thorwaldson
editor emeritus
on Apr 2, 2009 at 11:29 pm

Jay Thorwaldson is a registered user.

P.S. Nothing personal to "Resident," who made good comments, but Steve has requested requiring registration for respondents to comment in line with his concerns about the tone of some anonymous posters on Town Square, so I've activated the registration-required feature.

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Posted by stephen levy
a resident of University South
on Apr 3, 2009 at 5:59 am

stephen levy is a registered user.

Resident makes three good points.

First, it is true that many readers are actively following the economy, well-educated and active consumers of media coverage. But even in Palo Alto many residents follow the economy less closely. So our audience is a mixture of people with quite different levels of backaground and connection to CNBC or the Wall Street Journal. I hope the blog is interesting to both groups.

Second, the development and discussion of policies about the economy does combine technical considerations with politics. That is one of the reasons it is hard to do what I want to try -- focusing on areas of agreement and explanation.

My reading of Town Square is that there are plenty of places to debate Obama's policies from a right or wrong perspective so if I try to minimize that aspect of conversation it is no great loss to readers options to weigh in elsewhere.

Finally, the idea of background info is good. Jay and I will work on the idea of bios for bloggers. If you want to see what I do check out the website of the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy For the recent writings look at the Numbers in the News memos.

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Posted by Marie
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 3, 2009 at 9:55 pm

Marie is a registered user.

Hi Stephen,

I welcome a moderated blog. I am one of the registered readers who rarely posts because of the amount of vitriol expressed by many anonymous posters. I welcome honest disagreements but dislike personal invective. I welcome a blog that eliminates messages with little rational content and much bigotry, trolls, and those who use a given thread to harp on some personal concern only peripherally related to the topic.

Wishing you lots of success and and many posts with relevant alternative viewpoints.

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