republitarian archives zapped… again

Brent Finnegan -- November 30th, 2007

Before hburgnews, there was another very active blog in the area; Yesterday,’s creator, Myron Rhodes, wiped out everything he’s posted, along with contributors Dave and Christa’s posts. It isn’t the first time he’s done this. Obviously, it’s Myron’s blog, and he can do what he wants with it.

Some of the original posts can still be viewed by running a search on, or by viewing some of the snapshots on the Wayback Machine. However, he also wiped out all the comments left by readers. Those are truly gone.

In case you were wondering, I want to make it clear that I have no intention of ever wiping out the hburgnews archive. Blogs can be silly, geeky, and sometimes embarrassing little things, but if they are to gain credibility as a medium, they should be treated as annals, not like etch-a-sketch toys.

5 Responses to “republitarian archives zapped… again”

  1. Ted says:

    well, he did say he was going to stop blogging…don’t know why you’d wipe the slate clean…but, we are talking abouy Mr. Rhodes, once you meet him once or twice it will make sense…

  2. He’s not a bad guy, Finnegan. He just does things a little different than most of us would. He does keep our attention though, eh?

  3. David Miller says:

    It’s pretty obvious that he wiped it so that he could host a political campaign site. If he hadn’t wiped it, someone might associate the “material” that was the blog with his candidate. Wouldn’t want that!

  4. David Miller says:

    And Finn, thank you for commiting to maintaining archives. If blogs are to become part of the landscape, I personally think that google should start archiving all of them so that participants in political debate (and anything really) are held accountable for their words.

  5. Deb SF says:

    To each his own, I guess; I still check in over there every so often and, like many others, have cut/pasted and saved some of the more “interesting” posts over the years.

    Sort of along these lines, I came across this here

    the rules below are part of a larger post (with many comments) about how to do what Brent and company do so well here: How to Moderate Conversation in a Virtual Space. It’s interesting how many of these H’burg News has come to follow. I love the concept of “disemvowelling”:


    1. There can be no ongoing discourse without some degree of moderation, if only to kill off the hardcore trolls. It takes rather more moderation than that to create a complex, nuanced, civil discourse. If you want that to happen, you have to give of yourself. Providing the space but not tending the conversation is like expecting that your front yard will automatically turn itself into a garden.

    2. Once you have a well-established online conversation space, with enough regulars to explain the local mores to newcomers, they’ll do a lot of the policing themselves.

    3. You own the space. You host the conversation. You don’t own the community. Respect their needs. For instance, if you’re going away for a while, don’t shut down your comment area. Give them an open thread to play with, so they’ll still be there when you get back.

    4. Message persistence rewards people who write good comments.

    5. Over-specific rules are an invitation to people who get off on gaming the system.

    6. Civil speech and impassioned speech are not opposed and mutually exclusive sets. Being interesting trumps any amount of conventional politeness.

    7. Things to cherish: Your regulars. A sense of community. Real expertise. Genuine engagement with the subject under discussion. Outstanding performances. Helping others. Cooperation in maintenance of a good conversation. Taking the time to teach newbies the ropes.
    All these things should be rewarded with your attention and praise. And if you get a particularly good comment, consider adding it to the original post.

    8. Grant more lenience to participants who are only part-time jerks, as long as they’re valuable the rest of the time.

    9. If you judge that a post is offensive, upsetting, or just plain unpleasant, it’s important to get rid of it, or at least make it hard to read. Do it as quickly as possible. There’s no more useless advice than to tell people to just ignore such things. We can’t. We automatically read what falls under our eyes.

    10. Another important rule: You can let one jeering, unpleasant jerk hang around for a while, but the minute you get two or more of them egging each other on, they both have to go, and all their recent messages with them. There are others like them prowling the net, looking for just that kind of situation. More of them will turn up, and they’ll encourage each other to behave more and more outrageously. Kill them quickly and have no regrets.

    11. You can’t automate intelligence. In theory, systems like Slashdot’s ought to work better than they do. Maintaining a conversation is a task for human beings.

    12. Disemvowelling works. Consider it.

    13. If someone you’ve disemvowelled comes back and behaves, forgive and forget their earlier gaffes. You’re acting in the service of civility, not abstract justice.

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