The Blog That Ate a Presidency

The blog hurt the administration in two key ways: First, administrators were unable to focus on correcting the problems that led to the creation of the blog, and second, the administration’s clumsy and futile efforts to combat the blog simply compounded the anger and contempt on campus. —Daniel W. BarwickThe Blog That Ate a Presidency (Inside Higher Ed)

Good analysis of an administrative train wreck that started because a college board responded poorly to a controversy started on a blog.

To be fair, anonymous complaints are hard to deal with, but ignoring a forum — even an unfair forum — is a sign that those who wish to abuse it will have free reign rein.

Barwick has a good solution: “Clearly what Alfred State needed (and other colleges probably need as well) is a blog that is confidential, accessible, not regulated for content, and yet not completely public.”

Of course, if anything in the “confidential” blog becomes contentious, it’s a simple matter for warring factions to copy and paste material to other forums, so it’s probably better to think of such a community as gated, rather than the content as confidential.