Triple triple X no longer (I of II)

Susan Unthank over at just announced a reversal in the administration of the message boards. No longer will this site’s URL or that of sogospellovers be rendered in xxxxxx. You should read the thread for yourself, but the upshot is from my perspective, of course, that this is a really positive and encouraging development because it moves things one small step in the direction of more honesty and fairness (and gets me more visits, obviously). Nevermind that Unthank delivers the news of the policy change by way of a scorching backhand (essentially, the URLs won’t be blocked anymore because the administrators now realize there’s no way to keep their readers from seeing the scurrilous content on this and the sogospellovers sites). Good change is a good thing, backhand or not. I don’t envy the Unthanks’ position. In order to keep their site’s hit-count up (and btw, it would be interesting to know how many of the six million or so hits sogospelnews gets are from unique IP addresses of unique viewers - one-time “visits,” in the jargon, to just one page on the site - and how many are repeat views anywhere sitewide - the sum of which most people refer to as “hits”), they have to keep the message boards as robust and appealing as possible. After all, it’s almost certain the message boards are the site’s loss leader. But running an appealing, open message board slams the Unthanks smack up against a whole set of (for them) untouchable issues that inevitably (try and ought to) get raised when thousands of people who care passionately about sg start discussing the music, art, creativity, and lives of sg performers and groups: among them, infidelity, sexuality and sexual identity, political conflicts, sometimes illegal or unethical behavior, and a host of other general imperfections to which human beings are susceptible in their private and public lives. The Unthanks have tried to deal with this by calling most of the bad or unpleasant stuff (or anything that might reflect poorly on performers, whose favor is no small part of the Unthanks’ success) “rumors” or “innuendo” or “bashing/flaming/degradation,” and when that doesn’t work, they reach for the Bible. As strategies go, this is a pretty good one, but even so it’s as logically porous as Swiss cheese. For example, it’s ok for people to run on and on about how homosexuals (like, say, Kirk Talley claims he once was) are no better (or worse, I guess) than murderers or rapists. But post a question asking why Terah Crabb didn’t sing with her family for over a year and you’re either guilty of rumor-mongering or attempted “bashing/flaming/degradation.” Uhm, ok.

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