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KMB Shut Down Because of "Bitter Rivalry" Amongst Authors? Or April Fool's Stunt?

Posted on April 1, 2008
Filed Under >Adil Najam, About ATP, Society
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Adil Najam

"KarachiThis has to be an April Fool’s Day joke. Or is it?

Like so many others, the three Metroblogs in Pakistan – Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad – are my daily visiting haunts. Today, however, I find this notice there from Sean Bonner from the "Metroblogging Headquarters."

KMB taking a break
By Sean Bonner

Dear Readers of Karachi Metblogs,

It is with a sorry heart that we at the Metroblogging headquarters in Los Angeles have to announce that Karachi Metblogs will be shutting down for a while while we decide what is the best future for it. While I could certainly try to sugar coat this and blame corporate restructuring, the truth is we are just sick of the constand bitter rivalry within the ranks of the authors which has lead to absolute chaos on the site.



Honestly, not a day goes by that one author isn’t e-mail me complaining about this or whining about that, and quite frankly I just don’t care enough to keep putting up with all of it. It’s become a nightmare and it has to end. To solve this issue we are forced to start afresh close the site entirely, step back, and decide what is the best future for this site… Please know that this wasn’t an easy decision for us, but for our own sanity we had to do something. I’ll be disabling comments because I’ve seen how long comment threads get here and really don’t have the patience to sort through something like that.

Karachi Metroblogs has been a great experience for us at Metblogs and we hope that it shall return to the forefront very soon, please bear with us. Until then KMB Rests in Peace.

Could this really be true? Or is it an April Fool’s Day stunt?

I certainly hope that it is the later. Though I should add that I am generally not a fan of April Fools Day stunts (just don’t feel that "Fooling" people is all that funny!) and this one would be particularly distasteful. Some months back I had the opportunity to meet and spend some time with a number of KMB authors and while I am sure there are rivalries and strong opinions, I had the feeling that this was a committed and earnest set of individuals. I certainly enjoyed and learned from that experience. And I certainly have enjoyed and learned from the site itself.

On the other hand, there is enough in that message that is believable enough and the bickering dynamics described are familiar. All the more to us here at ATP where we are sometimes similarly frustrated by the bickering and language of some commenters.

If it is, indeed, an April Fools Day prank then we should find out soon enough. I guess, some would even find it funny. If it is not, then it will not be funny at all. It will be very very sad. All the more sad if the situation described in the message turns out to be so. I am hoping that it is, indeed, not so and I look forward to my regular KMB dose soon!

SPELL-CHECK BLAMED FOR ‘OSAMA’.(Capital Region)

Albany Times Union (Albany, NY) October 22, 2008 TROY — Rensselaer County elections officials are blaming a computer spell-checking program for the error in hundreds of mailed absentee ballots that spelled Barack Obama’s surname Osama.

A county legislator said Tuesday that a Democratic Board of Elections worker iniintially accepted responsibility for the error.

“We heard that she immediately put in her resignation, but it was turned down,” said District 2 Legislator Keith A. Hammond, a Democrat. “Whether it was done in jest or in error, it is still an embarrassing mistake, but we now need to move on to more important issues.” The story broke Oct. 10 when a Sand Lake voter called the Times Union saying he received an absentee ballot in the mail on which Row 1A had Barack Obama’s name as Barack Osama.

“The immediate problem when this first surfaced was that everyone thought the Republicans or Conservatives were to blame,” said District 1 Legislator and Conservative Bob Mirch. “The people who work for the board are honest, and we are pleased a Democrat admitted the mistake.” Elections officials have said that the county is the only one in the state that prints its ballots in-house, and that Democratic workers are responsible for writing and editing Democratic candidates’ names while Republicans take care of their party’s candidates. Board of Elections officials from both sides of the aisle said it was an honest typo. Those officials did not return calls for comment on this story. onlinespellchecknow.net online spell check

On Oct. 11, the County Legislature called for an investigation and asked the county’s election commissioners, Democrat Ed McDonough and Republican Larry Bugbee, to report their findings.

In that report, released Monday by the legislature, elections officials blamed a computer program.

“This error may have been due to a spell-check function on the operating system of the computers utilized by the Board of Elections,” the report to the legislature states.

Several people who contacted the Times Union noted some older spell-checking software does not recognize “Obama” and one of the suggested corrections it offers is “Osama.” The mistake appeared on 300 absentee ballots sent out in early October to voters in Brunswick, Nassau, Sand Lake, Schaghticoke and Schodack, elections officials said. go to web site online spell check

In the report, officials also said a heavy workload that involved having to produce 13 different ballots this year and a higher than normal number of new registrations also may have led proofreaders to miss the error.

Albany County elections officials also have expressed concerns over potential problems tied to the heavy workload this election season. Thousands of absentee ballots were reprinted after at least three errors were reported in Albany County.

WEBHEADLINE:

Blame the computer for Obama-Osama goof, officials say WEBTEXT:

TROY — County elections officials are blaming a computer spell-checking program for the error in hundreds of mailed absentee ballots that spelled Barack Obama’s surname Osama.

A county legislator said today that a Democratic Board of Elections worker initially accepted responsibility for the error.

“We heard that she immediately put in her resignation but it was turned down,” said District 2 Legislator Keith A. Hammond, a Democrat. “Whether it was done in jest or in error, it is still an embarrassing mistake but we now need to move on to more important issues.” The story broke Oct. 10 when a Sand Lake voter called the Times Union saying he received an absentee ballot in the mail on which row 1A had Barack Obama’s name as Barack Osama.

Board of Elections officials have not returned calls for comment.

CAPTION(S):

A General election absentee ballot from Rensselaer County shows the misspelled name of Democratic candidate Barack Obama.

— MICHAEL P. FARRELL/TIMES UNION

26 comments posted

Comment Pages: [4] 3 2 1 » Show All

  1. Wahab says:
    April 3rd, 2008 6:52 pm

    I think people are being too harsh on KMB. Yes, it was childish but take it as a joke, not a very good one but lets please have some sense of humor. Glad that KMB is back.

  2. Confused says:
    April 3rd, 2008 11:20 am

    Why has there been no news about the possible banning of YouTube again? I haven’t been able to access it for about a week now.

    Is it because it would involve approaching the subject of an anti-Islam film? Do people feel embarassed about defending the religion from the type of Westerners whose existence threatens their West-oriented worldview?

    Or have they just not gotten around to it yet (but made several other updates in the meantime).

Comment Pages: [4] 3 2 1 » Show All



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