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Editor's Fingers Fall Silent As Fifth Phuketwan Birthday Draws Closer

Editor's Fingers Fall Silent As Fifth Phuketwan Birthday Draws Closer

Saturday, November 10, 2012
About Your Phuketwan

PHUKET: The two fingers that the editor of Phuketwan mostly reserves for typing are taking a well-earned rest at midnight on Sunday from responding to readers' comments.

Whether the break lasts for the usual seven days or extends for longer really depends on whether the comments generally improve or, as the fingers most likely fear, degenerate.

The editor's little helpers are on separate hands, so it never crosses his mind to give some readers a two-fingered salute.

The enduring struggle to keep readers from typing without thinking is just one of many x factors that separate Phuketwan from the rest. Fairness, balance, accuracy and honesty are all that enters his head.

Sometime over this weekend, we'll be changing the look and feel of Phuketwan a little to suit our growing maturity as we head towards a fifth birthday on January 1.

What the redesign will provide is easier access to more articles. We're delighted with the constant positive feedback and don't feel the need to change for change's sake.

Even without a newspaper in which to celebrate our own virtues, the trajectory of Phuketwan's rise online has been constant.

According to our own admittedly questionable statistics, we've move from 31,761 unique visitors in November 2009 to 57,388 in November 2010 and 85,318 in November 2011, with no sign of a slowing of interest in 2012.

The online quality the experts call ''stickiness' is good: our visitors come back, and they read more than four articles at a time.

As always, our fifth birthday won't be about us, but about Phuket. When we launched five years ago, Phuketwan created the Best of Phuket Awards, throwing a spotlight especially on the Phuket Person of the Year Award.

We also created awards for the Phuket Restaurant of the Year, the Phuket Resort of the Year, the Phuket Business of the Year, the Phuket Innovation of the Year, and the Phuket Award for Environmental Excellence.

If you have suggestions for one or all of those categories, we'd be pleased to hear them.

Meanwhile, commenters shouldn't take the absence of the editor's two fingers to mean that anything goes. Normal standards of moderation will continue.

It was after last November's break that the present attitude to comments was adopted:

PHUKETWAN hereby alters its policy on the posting of Comments and bans whingers, whiners, do-nothings, dingbats, doomsayers, carpers, harpers and kooks. This list may grow with time. Constructive ideas and new pieces of information remain welcome.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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Excellent news!!! In fact the last time ed took time off,i seem to recall nearly all comments did NOT degenerate..in fact in became a very nice read for a change.
Ed must realise that he himself is generally the cause of the degeneration [as he calls it] his outlandish and often nasty replies to comments made near always cause a flow-on effect on here by causing people to react to his unneccessarily caustic tirades. Wait and see...watch this space people...show him that i am correct.[again]

Posted by davidj949 on November 10, 2012 15:18

Editor Comment:

There you go as usual, david, saying things that aren't true. My responses are always measured and in similar tones to the original comment. ''Nasty'' ''outlandish'' and ''caustic tirades'' are your words. Clean up your own act, david. Otherwise people will wonder whether anything you say can be believed. (I already know the answer.)

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Ed - do you see what you just did there...?

Posted by stu on November 10, 2012 16:06

Editor Comment:

Please tell me, stu . . . what did i just do there . . .

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Editor, you have a hard time not editing or attacking what you don't agree with and seem very much a rigid, establishment thinker. You censor me constantly by not publishing what I present without attacking. You think it's racism to critisize or dissect a culture's heritage but it's not-heritage is EVERYTHING in how a culture behaves.

Posted by CBF on November 10, 2012 17:51

Editor Comment:

CBF, in the past you've dropped your pretence at reason, adopted the name 'Monkey Doctor,' and shown me just how you really think. Fortunately, nobody else got to see it. I know what you are.

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You know i have been an avid reader and supported of PW over the years and think you guys are miles ahead of PG and even the mainstream newspapers to some extent BUT why in the world should an "editor" have the right to critique our comments? this should be an open forum.I agree totally with "davidj949". As long as the comments are not Les Majeste then whats the problem? Do like every other newspaper does....start with a disclaimer ie: "the comments expressed here are not" .....etc DONE sack the editor and let free speach reign. I'm tired of "Ed's" comments in the bloody comment section!

Posted by Tom on November 10, 2012 17:57

Editor Comment:

We decided when we introduced Comments not to allow the people we call the ''doomstayers'' to overrun the concept of intelligent feedback. The only real condition has always been that people have something to add, and that what they say is based on fact, not fiction. Opinions expressed by people whose conclusions are based on ignorance or bigotry are not worth reading. We challenge those who deserve to be challenged. It's a shame it doesn't happen everywhere, and it's part of the reason why the standard of public debate has sunk so low. People express an opinion simply because they have one, not because they can support it with facts. Free speech is not about entitling those with no ideas to shout at everyone else. Sorry to hear you're ''tired,'' Tom. Time to give your poor widdle head a west.

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Ed...By all means ..take a hike for a week...you'll be doing us all a great favor

Posted by Zig on November 10, 2012 18:10

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"We challenge those that deserve to be challenged". On the open forums that I enjoy the challenges come from the community. No need to state your own bias over and over again.

Posted by Mick D on November 10, 2012 19:14

Editor Comment:

We don't have any bias, Mick D, we're simply opposed to ignorance and misinformation. I should add - belatedly - that this is not an 'open forum.' It's a news and information site. We are looking for people to add news and information.

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"Please tell me, stu . . . what did i just do there . . ."

You reverted to type.

It is better to zipit and have people think you're an idiot than yo open your mouth and put it beyond doubt.

I think I know what you're going to say in response, so don't bother, and save us all the confiramtion.

Posted by stu on November 10, 2012 19:35

Editor Comment:

Thanks, stu.

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As much as I value your reporting, like I'm sure 99% of readers here do, I must say your last comment would win the Arrogance Award of the Decade.

Sure you have absolute control to decide who's comments get published and to what extent but to suggest you have the divine ability to decide who's comments are intelligent, bigoted or ignorant is just beyond belief.

By all means take your week off from playing God. Better yet, make it two.

Posted by Andrew on November 10, 2012 20:03

Editor Comment:

Hello Andrew, we'd never pretend to speak for 99 percent of readers. Our opinions are ours alone . I guess you must have spoken to 100 percent of our readers to be sure, in making your claim, that it's true. Otherwise, you take the Arrogance Award.

Even so, ''thanks, stu'' doesn't seem too controversial.

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I don't need to repeat my opening post,well done alan...you have confirmed exactly as i said.....you are achieving greater heights of your displays of arrogance simply by trying to refute my original claims..the hole you are digging for yourself is getting deeper and deeper...soon to swallow you up entirely....you need give up the ED's job to someone with a better attitude and a touch of humility...off you go now..good chap!

Posted by davidj949 on November 10, 2012 20:27

Editor Comment:

This is not about humility. It's about confusing opinions with facts. It's commonsense, not arrogance, to never confuse the two. We don't want opinions - we want additional information based on experience, real life, facts. We don't want generalisations built on misinformation, guesswork or bigotry. As usual, you've resorted to the personal instead of the principles.

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@ED...you say now.."As usual, you've resorted to the personal instead of the principles."
But your first reply to me you resorted to personal yourself..Below as you said;
"Clean up your own act, david. Otherwise people will wonder whether anything you say can be believed. (I already know the answer.)"
Practice what you preach al, you have lost any little creedance you may have ever had!!The overwhelming lack of support for you here should tell you the story, but as they say "there's none as blind as he who REFUSES to see".

Posted by davidj949 on November 10, 2012 21:28

Editor Comment:

Ah, we failed to realise that in your world, you are allowed to make personal attacks, while editors cannot respond. How quaint.

It seems to have escaped your attention, david: We're not here to win popular support or your approval, simply to sort right from wrong.

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Ed ... I can only think [if permitted to do so] that your wording of "We" is the Royal "We" ... I think you meant "I" but then most of us know what you meant to say! "I" sums you up in one letter Ed! One of your favourite [spelt correctly] statements is "If you don't like it ... move on". I think you can guess what comes next ...
I repeat from a previous post that you moderated to a point of deleting it but still managed to provide your usual arrogant response that no-one could understand:
??? ??? why do you continue with your sometimes disgraceful and unprofessional insults to your readers and moderate or delete their comments that are addressed in a similar fashion to yourself?
Treat your readers with some respect and get off your high horse ??? ???

Posted by Amazed in Thailand on November 10, 2012 22:10

Editor Comment:

To say responses to your comments are ''disgraceful and unprofessional'' exceeds even your usual capacity for gross exaggeration, Amazed in Thailand. Unsupported by fact or convention or reference to any legitimate source, you have to be right . . . because it's your view. Proof is not required. Accuracy is not necessary. You are entitled to your opinion. But it's still worthless.

You also seem to be cutting and pasting and repeating yourself. Here's an exchange from Monday:

Ed ... why do you continue with your sometimes disgraceful and unprofessional insults to your readers and moderate or delete their comments that are addressed in a similar fashion to yourself?
Treat your readers with some respect and get off your high horse or as you have said on numerous occasions to your readers ... "move on"!
As this will be posted elsewhere I do not expect it to be published [in part or full] but at least you [or others] will have read it.

Editor: Amazed in Thailand, please note that the articles are what Phuketwan does professionally. The comments in response are the opinions of the editor, usually expressed to sane and sensible readers in a tone that is as pleasant as can be. However, when readers exaggerate, concentrate on matters that have nothing to do with the subject of the article or grandstand to suit their own obscure motives, I react accordingly. Post what you like, where you like. We're not likely to ever feel intimidated by you, or any anonymous jester.

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Well, this is welcome news. I guess one week out of 52 is better than a kick to the family jewels.

Posted by fw on November 10, 2012 22:24

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It does seem the editor can not comment on someone's submission without being demeaning.

Posted by mikey on November 10, 2012 22:54

Editor Comment:

A check of all my responses will prove differently. mikey.

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Ed ... I am thinking [again with your permission] that you're digging yourself a bigger hole! Take the blinkers off!

Posted by Amazed in Thailand on November 10, 2012 22:59

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It pains me to say this because I have the utmost respect for both your journalistic ethics and talents but also for having the balls to publish these highly critical comments.

However I do feel I have to say you have an uncanny ability turn even the positives into negatives. By trying to show respect and gratitude for your reporting, which has been like a breath of fresh air in Phuket, I said I'm sure 99% of readers would agree.

You turn it around and slap me in the face with it. Seriously, Alan, what's wrong with you ?

You are a great journalist, second to none and I sincerely hope you do NOT give up on PW after 5y as you said you would but you would be better off leaving the comments to the readers.

If someone says something you think would breach the law or land you in trouble, just don't publish them but you should not always try to get the smart-ass, condescending last word.

If you want to play Thought-Police, you should apply for a job at IRNA or KCNA.

BP requires it's posters to register but allows them to post relatively freely and no editor comments there.

Readers will respond to what they think is unreasonable, unfair, unintelligent, bigoted or just downright wrong.

My suggestion (which I'm sure you could not care less about) is to either stay out of the comments section or if you can't help yourself, just remove it all together.

I think this feedback here would make even the thickest of people realize that perhaps something needs to be rectified.

Above all these petty arguments with your readers distract from the main (my assumption) purpose of PW.

Report open and unbiased news in and around Phuket. A mission I feel PW has mastered infinitely better than any other news outlet here.

Posted by Andrew on November 11, 2012 00:11

Editor Comment:

Nothing's ''wrong'' with me Andrew but we view statements made by one person making claims of universal support the same way, whether they're positive or negative. ''Ninety-nine percent'' of readers have never criticised our approach.

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Hi My friend.
As you know i never hide behind false names etc so i am just me and say it how i see it.
I must say though constructively that sometimes you can get very caustic, and possibly personal towards the writers, and then i stop reading the rest of the feed. But it is your paper, and the only one that i ever read most days, I respect your honesty and the way you write, but possibly let the people commenting fight issues out amongst themselves without your comments, this way you can rest those fingers while gently caressing a cold beer with them, and laughing at us fight amongst each other.
Congrats on 5th birthday coming up, I have been dreading 1 Jan as you were discussing shutting down possibly if an investor was not found. I hope this day never comes.

Kindest
Gregg

Posted by Gregg P Cornell on November 11, 2012 03:01

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I must say one of the main attractions along with the actual news of course is the Editors comments which I thoroughly enjoy reading. Naturally this is bound to invoke a response that happily makes this website so much more interesting than most. I do hope that you don't heed to the many readers' requests and fall silent.

Posted by reader on November 11, 2012 03:42

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The Editor states: "People express an opinion simply because they have one, not because they can support it with facts." I would ask, since when does an opinion REQUIRE a fact to back it up? For someone who professes to be objective, perhaps the editor should look up one of the definitions of exactly what an opinion is. If, for instance, I express the opinion that I think surfers enjoy their sport bcause they love the water, I hardly need to gather facts to back it up. Here's the Oxford Dictionary definition of an opinion: a view or judgement formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.

Posted by Robert on November 11, 2012 05:02

Editor Comment:

You've got it! Opinions are not what we hope to gain here, Robert. We want additional information, based on fact or knowledge. Opinions? Diminished in value even further because they mostly come from anonymous sources, people who seldom even use a real name.

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"We don't want generalisations built on misinformation, guesswork or bigotry."

What about observations based on the perception of blatant self-interest on the part of certain officials, and personal experience e.g. of price-gouging, kickbacks/unwarranted fines to police, the ridiculous comments of a certain marine official etc etc etc. They OK or not?

Posted by stu on November 11, 2012 09:02

Editor Comment:

Accusations from anonymous sources about real people are best made to anti-corruption officials. Commenting anonymously here serves only to make you and others feel better. ''Perceptions'' have the same value as ''opinions.'' (ie, none) Personal experiences are valuable but only if the individual has the courage to use a real name and be capable of producing evidence. First-person with a real name is good; third-person via an online moniker is - mostly - a waste of time. It's often abused.

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Brilliantly done, Ed. People keep coming back to comment on your comments more than they comment on the news!

Fantastic! Clicks = cash, after all.

Perhaps we should call you the "ringmaster" as you play the commenters beautifully.

Posted by Buster on November 11, 2012 09:13

Editor Comment:

Fine in theory, Buster, except we are non-profit and too busy with the news to care a lot about the comments. There are exceptions. But not too many of them. Some people just want to get their photo up there . . .

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''Perceptions'' have the same value as ''opinions.''(ie, none)

So just to be clear,- What you are saying is that the opinions of your readers have no value?

Posted by stu on November 11, 2012 15:27

Editor Comment:

Please reread the existing comments, stu. Midnight is coming up fast and my fingers have much to do. What we want is NEWS and INFORMATION, comments that ADD VALUE, based on first-hand experiences. This is not an open forum. The articles set the topics and we know a bit about the details in them. Plenty of room for additional FACTS and FIRST-HAND INFORMATION. Opinions of cyberbots, characters without real names? Dime a dozen. Waste of time.

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@ Ed..What we want is NEWS and INFORMATION, comments that ADD VALUE, based on first-hand experiences.
From your ''about us'' page the following;
"Readers can also add their own comments on every story. We are keen to hear what you have to say"... Again...WE ARE KEEN TO HEAR WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY...

No your not alan, you only want to hear whatever you yourself in your deluded state of mind ,want to hear,,,,your continual attacking of peoples comments is proof, right here in print!! Good grief man take a look...its blindingly obvious to all!!![except you..you're making a prize spectacle of yourself..and doing a great job of it, i may add]

Posted by davidj949 on November 11, 2012 17:33

Editor Comment:

That was written five years ago, davidj949, BEFORE we had a comments section. We expected emails from real people, telling us real information, not davidj949s.

Please allow me to bring you up to date:

PHUKETWAN hereby alters its policy on the posting of Comments and bans whingers, whiners, do-nothings, dingbats, doomsayers, carpers, harpers and kooks. This list may grow with time. Constructive ideas and new pieces of information remain welcome.

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I used to check this website several times a day and read perhaps 90% of the articles, often revisiting an article several times to check updates in the comments section.

I've always (mostly) respected the content in the articles themselves and have considered PhuketWan to be a valuable source of local information.

But recently I've become more and more disenfranchised, oh lets be honest, offended, by the Editor comments.

It's solely because of this that this is my first click on PhuketWan in more than 3 weeks, and I see no reason to come back. On the contrary, a quick look at the responses here seems to clearly confirm that most contributors here feel the same way.

Editor, you are not the mind police. It is not your job, nor even you right, to try and force your opinions on others. To the contrary, these comments sections are supposed to be free and open spaces for all to express and discuss their own opinions openly and freely without fear of oppression or attack from anyone.

The idea is to listen to and learn from others, not to try and bend everyone to our own opinions, and especially not to bully and insult those who don't agree with us.

I'm sorry, but I'll be looking elsewhere for my local news from now on.

Posted by CaptainJack on November 11, 2012 18:15

Editor Comment:

Captain Jack, you are free to do as you please. You seem to have missed the point. Good luck.

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I regularly read PW and appreciate it as a source of information, I always check the comments section of interesting news stories to see what further information is being offered. Unfortunately most posters seem to confuse the comments section with forums, or chat rooms. EDs style of response to some of the offensive "comments" which are made here, (those he characterises thus "exaggerate, concentrate on matters that have nothing to do with the subject of the article or grandstand to suit their own obscure motives") may be inappropriate in a chat room, but PW is not that, and he is not obliged to comply with the sort of "netiquette" that is seemingly being demanded of him here..indeed it could be argued that the posters of "comments" which do not meet EDs requirements ("we want additional information based on experience, real life, facts") are the ones in breach..

Posted by Lenny on November 11, 2012 22:27

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To be honest, the news in PW is secondary to the laughter I get from reading the comments section. I love you Ed and give em hell.

Posted by Damien on November 13, 2012 11:06

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Psycho editor trolls his own readers.... Yippeee!

Posted by Matt on November 13, 2012 17:00

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I fear the editor's scorn for his readers is a force that cannot be contained.

Posted by Kel on November 14, 2012 16:33

Editor Comment:

The editor is not available this week for response.

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Upon further contemplation, I must retract my earlier, unkind words. Now it occurs to me that the editor has been doing such a wonderful job that he deserves a much more significant vacation, perhaps 6 to 9 months. He has truly earned it.

Posted by fw on November 15, 2012 12:16


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