Dear Mia,

Thank you for your comments on the tone of discussion in the ‘True and Well-intentioned’ thread below.

I can only tell you that this exchange has not yet gotten to the exalted level of “Go F+++ yourself” and “I’ll punch you in the face” which made me, as you can only imagine, proud to be a graduate of this elite college.

Through happenstance, I find my self on the Board. And fair enough. My interest in the blog has been as a medium (my background),

I am happy to see the changes that have come about by going to the 3 column format. College news is there on the left side so the occasional reader who might say ‘give me college news and sports’ has got college news and sports. The inclusion of the other Williams-tinged blogs with a sneak peak is a tool for extending relationships.

And, Sophmom’s creation of SPEAK UP has been a wonderful addition to the openness and ease of participation for all readers. Sophmom, as you may know, is the only woman on the board and the only regular woman contributor. Her participation has added greatly to the quality of ephblog.

It is, at the end of the day, the content provider who sets the tone and expectation of the tone through moderation. Sometimes it is me with my annoying jabs. Others regularly participate. And the discussions in this year’s Winter Study have been a good case of diverse comment.

My hope has been to be able to approach the college with another tool for communication either to whomever our little community is, or as an extension for parents and alumni and students to chime in on topics of interest. Certainly, ephblog can stand more active and varied participation than from the usual suspects.

I don’t think I am at that point of approaching the college with ephblog as another positive medium for communication. While some of the posts themselves may be transparently questionable in intent, it is in the thread, as you point out, that the center falls apart.

I had hoped for a more interesting blog .. one with many more non-Williams specific topics (art, music, movies, books, performances)
that would be of interest to a well-rounded group of readers with Williams in common. And a lighter tone in the writing with an occasional touch of humour to it.

So far, I haven’t observed a consistent tone of politeness and respect for each other sufficient for me to feel confident enough to say “Here is a blog for intelligent discussion of interesting topics by members of the Williams community”.

Thank you for commenting on this weakness. I hope we can improve.

Dick Swart ‘56
President, EphBlog

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