Tuesday, January 13, 2009

An Open Letter to Dan Onorato

Dear Mr. County Executive,

I know that you want to seem "young," "cool," "hip," "friggie-fresh," or any other word that you think that young people say. And I know that you want to seem like you care about what your constituents think. And I know that you want to seem up on the latest technology like "computers," "the Internet," or "Netscape Navigator." I get all that.

However, what were you thinking in scheduling a "Cyber Town Hall Meeting" at 8:30 in the friggin' morning? Are you really sure you know what you're doing here?

Now, I appreciate that you want to use technology to reach out to the huddled masses and I'm all for that, but the huddled masses are, by large, either at work or going to work at this time in the morning. Frankly, there are also a large segment of us who are at work, but not necessarily at our peak performance until our 2nd or 8th cup of coffee. So, something tells me that you're not really trying to reach the huddled masses.

So, who would be up at 8:30 AM? Well, the retired, that's for sure, unless they're queuing up for the Early Bird Dinner Special already. But, something tells me that the retired and elderly aren't jumping online at this time of day... or ever... when they could just come down to Grant Street and complain in the flesh about the kids on their lawn instead.

Who else would be up at 8:30 and online? Hardcore gamers, I suppose... maybe the unemployed... but unless you're willing to address the struggles of people trying to put manna on their families' tables, I doubt you'll find an audience.

Let's set aside, however, the wee problem that no one is really going to be watching at 8:30 AM, as I suppose the point is that citizens will be now able to download the video at a later date, perhaps remixing it with some Daft Punk or OK Go, and turn you into an Internet sensation, right up there with those dancing Hamsters or that one video of the guy nearly getting hit with a shoe. That might be interesting.

Still, the conceptual problem here is that, Mr. Onorato, what you're doing here is not really a "Town Hall." A Town Hall, in my estimation, involves some sort of interaction between you and the audience. What you have here is really you answering preselected hate mail on video. If you don't really want a hall full of people screaming obscenities at you, it would be easier to get yourself a blog.

Lord know it couldn't be any worse than some of the other inane content in the Burghosphere.

The Angry Drunk Bureaucrat


illyrias said...

When I complained about the timing, I was told by the office of the chief executive:
"There are many people, however, who do not work traditional Monday through Friday shifts, including students."

In fairness, I was able to submit my questions (or preselected hate mail as it were) ahead of time. Time will tell if they are answered.

n'at said...

I love the idea and I wish for that day I was the netadmin screening out all the innerweb forum trolls that happen to migrate away from posting photoshopped pics of their best friend's mothers faces on pornstar bodies and on to their attempt of polite banter with the chief exec using lolcat speak and emoticons.


Mark Rauterkus said...

The question of 'time' is what it is, as is in your post. But, my question of timing is more to the town-hall-ish ploy. The questions are asked but are not in 'real time.' Why not hold a Q&A on-the-spot without time lags between the qs and the as? Asking questions in advance, and not having follow-up questions in 'real time' sucks.

Just as the P-G never holds a 'real chat' -- same too with Dan, it seems.