.

Mystery Man

Who would you like to be on Patch?



I don’t live in your town and yet I submitted “Dead Animals” to your town’s Patch. Most likely your Patch’s editor approved it and posted it on the front page in the Local Voice section. I am sorry if I misled any editors by never selecting one Patch to be the primary publication.



Who should be considered to be a local voice? Is it to be just for the town’s residents, or should it also include bloggers from the surrounding towns, the county, state, or even from all of New England?



I live between towns that have a Patch. I began sending pro-Obama submissions, (such as “To the Person Who Keeps Ripping Down My Obama Sign” and “Don’t Ever Watch a Presidential Debate at a Sport’s Bar”), to one or two of the closest towns that have a Patch. I have been referred to as a person that has “missions”. My mission at the time was to get Barack re-elected. My mission with “Dead Animals” was to try to help a few people avoid the discomfort that comes with diabetes, heart disease, cancer, stroke, etc. With each mission I was motivated to get more Patches to approve my submissions.



In my defense, I have lived and worked in many towns in both New Hampshire and Massachusetts. I have also noticed other submissions have appeared across both states. I did ask two Patch editors for guidelines on who is to be considered a local voice. They are busy people and I did not get a reply from either one.  Just recently I was able to get some feedback from an editor that joined a “Dead Animals” discussion.....


Andrew Sylvia (Editor of the Westford and Chelmsford Patches)

10:04 am on Wednesday, November 28, 2012



“Don, what I can tell you is that the terms of use are the general guideline throughout all Patches, but each local editor has different interpretations of those guidelines.


My personal philosophy is to try to be as inclusive as possible as long as it doesn't conflict with what readers want. For example, in Westford, I've heard consistently that readers want stricter moderation of comments, so I keep a closer eye on them there than I do here.



If readers here in Chelmsford don't want me to major feature out-of-town local voices columns, I can respect that. I would definitely prefer to major feature the ones that I think will get a reaction (like this one), but in the end, this site belongs to all of you. Let me know what you want and I will do my best to fulfill that.”



The plusses of encouraging your editor to continue to include people like me, is that this freedom allows for a greater amount of input to select something that might be relevant to you. The downside is that outsiders will tend to take away some of the town flavor that comes with each Patch. My personal opinion is to continue to encourage each editor to provide each Patch with a healthy mix. Contributions with a range of subject matter from potholes to international issues should be accepted, based upon the likelihood of being a spark for an intelligent, productive, or maybe just an entertaining conversation.



If you should choose to share your thoughts on how you would like your editor to handle an out-of-towner, please do not base your opinion upon what you think of me. My political orientation or not wanting to eat your vegetables is not the issue. This is not about me. This is about how far to leave the Patch door open. The next local voice might be someone like Clint Eastwood or Ted Nugent. I imagine that they might be in our neck of the woods to console Mitt, or perhaps just to hunt and eat animals.



Don Brown (author,columnist, and blogger at TheGreaterReality.com)

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Vivian Merrill November 30, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Actually, since most of my blog articles are animal related, I was feeling humorous and was going to do one called "Live Animals" shortly after yours came out, but I never got around to it, and now the moments gone forever. C'est la Vie. I really don't mind how many bloggers are on here, nor where they come from, as long as there's still room for mine. Ego centrical of me? Yeah. But that's the beauty of blogging, I guess. I only do it when I have something to say, and people can either support it, not support it, or say nothing.
Andrew Sylvia (Editor) November 30, 2012 at 05:22 PM
It's not too late, Vivian! And at this point, I've come to the conclusion that unless a blog author is from Chelmsford or very nearby (i.e. -- Tewksbury, Westford, etc.), or if the content is about Chelmsford, the readers have said they do not want it at the top of the page. But, if the content meets the standards of the terms of use and it's more than a few dozen words, it will be on the front page.
Anna Bucciarelli December 01, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Andrew, I hope you won't limit Chelmsford's Patch to only local information, though I think that should be the primary and ongoing consideration. I enjoy all blogs, they provoke thought and offer different perspectives and I welcome the chance to enlighten myself in all ways. Do not be discouraged, offer what comes to your desk that you feel meets the S & T's, be assured that not all of Chelmsford's readers object to out-of-town blogs ... it's just not so. (Who ever knew that "Dead Animals" would provoke so much discussion, about the blog itself and other matters???)
Don Brown December 05, 2012 at 07:05 AM
I have gotten a mix of responses. I seem to be well liked in NH, but I got the following from a regional editor for Mass....... Hey Don, Thanks for asking. We are very hyper-local. What we aim for is to help community residents reach each other, so the ideal would be for you to blog on the Patch where you live or the nearest one. I wasn't aware you were so far away or I likely would have asked you not to submit things to Massachusetts Patches. We want to showcase truly local voices. Does that make sense? I'm copying the Patch regional editor for New Hampshire, Marc Fortier, because each region is a bit different. Marc may have different guidelines on regional blog posts. Best, Chris I stated that I would no longer submit things to Mass. I also stated that if Patch should ever develop a site that accepts blogs from out-of towners, to please let me know about it. My next "mission" might be about the NSA whistle blower, or Jeff Bridges work with No Kid Hungry. That would have me looking for ways to reach more people.
Irene December 05, 2012 at 08:32 AM
Don't care Don. A bit to full of yourself.
Don Brown December 06, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Andrew, I did not submit this to Mass, but it looks like big news to me. If you have not yet heard about the NSA whistle blower. It is some very crazy stuff. http://nashua.patch.com/blog_posts/the-governments-file-on-you
Don Brown December 11, 2012 at 05:00 AM
The Mass regional editor for Patch only wants people to post here that live close by, but I will still post all over New Hampshire. I was blown away by the NSA whistleblower. You should see this at the Nashua Patch, http://nashua.patch.com/blog_posts/the-governments-file-on-you and from now on please look for me at the New Hampshire Patches or at my website. Thank you, Don Brown (TheGreaterReality.com)

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