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« Glenwould | Main | Comments at N&R site »

Dec 02, 2012


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Seems meant to not be read or commented upon.

Seems designed to push online users to subscribe to print.

Very few comments are allowed before the next page needs to be clicked.

Just sad.

Are all the comments really gone?

If so, I find it insulting.


The N&R database on records about Greensboro's history have vanished:

Civil Rights Museum
Klan/Nazi Shooting
Pomona Cotton Mill
Benjamin Plantation
Morehead Plantation
Cone Mills
Guilford College
Bennett College
Tate Street
Downtown revival
Project Homestead
Rev. King
Yvonne Johnson
Keith Holiday
Carolina Theater
The little black book
Chief Wray fisasco
James Hinson
Ridiculous lawsuits against the City
Boar & Castle
Guilford Mills
Burlington Industries
War Memorial Stadium
Greensboro ORD
Etc, etc, FAIL.

sal leone

I saved some files from N and R. I dont think was was by accident, I hope it was not. How sad that all it took to erase Greensboro History was a click, but it does benefit some.

Ed Cone

You don't think it's an accident, Sal? Please elaborate.

I'd say Occam's Razor cuts straight to incompetence.


Was Gauger or Saul in charge of the site?


My hope is that somewhere a script is running creating inserts of content into the new database. It might take a while, but at least we'll get the articles back, even if the links remain broken. Then, of course, we'll have to wait for the search engines to find the old content with the new links. But the N&R search should have them immediately.

sal leone

Hi Ed
I am no big web designer but before I do anything I would back up my files and make sure that content from the old site can be transfered to the new site, common sense but maybe not so common. I maybe a fast typer and spell here and there wrong but common sense I do have. What was the rush to change sites, a little more better planning would of been great, Ed do you still think that things happen by accident. I wonder who has to gain from this. I like the news and record and get the paper but as a blogger posts on his site, sales are down.


Actually, you can search if you change the radio button (very top right) to Newspaper Archives instead of website (unless you want current info). The results are there, just not formatted (hard to read, but fixable). It appears that archives = >90 days old. Am not sure the (current) website search works, but the archive results can be laid out in a readable fashion.

As for backups, they're there. They're just not imported into the site. (Basing that solely on "no one destroys backups" and not any inside information.) The issue could be that the backups are on one system (think: a language like Russian) and the current site uses another and they don't talk to each other easily (think Chinese). I suppose that scripts could be written to import them, but it's likely tedious, expensive and time consuming. And subject to error. That particular missing item is hard to fathom. Would love to hear from the N+R powers have to say.

David Hoggard

"...do you still think that things happen by accident(?) I wonder who has to gain from this(?)"

Oh lordy... another conspiracy theorist. They're everywhere, it seems.

Occam's is certainly called for here. But if ever Hanlon's Razor should also be prescribed, it is in this instance.


" The results are there, just not formatted (hard to read, but fixable). " -- Sue

Did you try to click through to any of the results? Broken.


Here's the problem with the conspiracy theory: It credits the perpetrators with a level of skill the don't posses and excuses them from the gross incompetence they have in abundance.

Ed Cone

Sal you ask who gains from this, a question so basic that it has a Latin name (cui bono?) But you can't just throw it out there without trying to answer it if you want it be taken seriously.

So, who benefits from the N&R deliberately sabotaging a function that could drive revenue and serve customers at a basic level they have come to expect?

Also, it's an archive of published articles that still can be accessed with a little work, so what is it they're hiding in this remarkably inefficient way?

The strong bias toward the simplest logical explanation (Occam) suggests that a struggling organization botched a complex job. Not everything is an accident, but a lot of things things are.

Ed Cone

George, my understanding is that this project belongs to Saul's team, and that even under that structure editorial was disappointed in the amount of input it had in the process.

sal leone

Well who it benefits is a mystery, could be a handful of people. I do understand that things are not 100% erased but who is going to travel to the library and make multiple trips everytime they got a question on their mind.
You ask who it may benefit, lets see, any council member involved in shady past business, example, Project Homestead, or Dam Scam, Chief Wray and Mitch Johnson mess, someone always benefits from information going away.

By your account Ed it was an accident, I say incompetence. I wonder who is losing their job over this, answer nobody. This City tends to reward imcopetence, lose City housing records, no problem, newspaper loses it past, no problem things happen. No one is accountable. I am held at my job to a certain level, I lose reports then I would get time off if not worse.

Ed Cone

So unnamed City Council members are able to pull strings at the N&R in order to make it somewhat harder to find published articles, and the N&R allows this to happen because, well, that's a mystery.

Airtight, Sal. You have totally convinced me.

Andrew Brod

It wasn't an accident. It was incompetence.

Look up

Has anybody noticed how nice it's been outside lately?

sal leone

Hi Ed
First it is a nice day, just took a walk and will take another one. Andrew is right, I tend to say it was more incompetence then anything else. As per unnamed council members, lets be real here Ed, it does help some out. I dont think the entire council was upset that information was now made harder to find. And lets face it, all papers in this town have their favorite candidate and always back them and twist and turn things, hell I need to get on that gravy train.

David Hoggard

OMG. Seriously, Sal?

Definitely too late this time, but surely you've heard that sometimes it is best to be quiet and let people think you a fool than to engage in crap like your comments above and erase all doubt.

Leon for Council and Hartzman for mayor. Yeah. That's the ticket.


All the stories on how the electorate was lied to on the Swimmer Aquarium
are now gone.


I started doing the RSS thing a couple of months ago.

All I know is, one day, N&R feeds stopped updating, so....unsubscribe. I can't be bothered to subscribe to all of those feeds again.

Well, Yes! blog still updates up in my reader.


We get it! Everything is gone or sorta gone or somethingorother. By the way, the paper of record was opposed to the bond for the GAC. You guys who think this is some kind of massive conspiracy between the paper and some former and/or current council members and/or local movers & shakers are just plain ol nertz. I think it is a good ol fashioned SNAFU.

Sal, .... ridiculous. Stop using your keyboard to think out loud.


When you upload a new site, you (should) save a backup of the old one, including the database containing your content. My strong suggestion to the N&R would be to reload the old site and keep working on the new one. If and when it works, put it back online. If it's not salvageable, find a new (competent) web development company.


"reload the old site"



N&R needs to do something. This seems a mess. You cant make everybody happy but "they" seemed to have screwed up even the basics. I am sure it is difficult and complex. I wish em luck.


"It wasn't an accident. It was incompetence."


Why would anyone be so incompetent?

How could Saul not know it was a turd?

Ed Cone

Accidental damage, caused by incompetence. The distinction to be drawn is not between accident and incompetence, but between those things and purposeful crippling of the site, as has been nonsensically suggested.

Given management's track record online, the real surprise is that we're surprised.


If only Binker hadn't left.

Ed Cone

I wonder if readers are seeing the full extent of the problems affecting users of the CMS.

In other words, things might be worse inside the building than they are for us.


Why would they go with something they knew was worse?

How could they not know it was worse?

They had to have known it was worse,
and went with it anyway.

Did they know all the history and comments would be erased?

If they didn't know it was incompetence.

If they did know what would happen to the history and comments
and did it anyway...?

sal leone

David, no need to be harsh now, just a view point. I have never insulted you, it seems you are becoming angry when someone thinks different then you, maybe you need to take your own advice. I am far from a fool, maybe it was a mistake but you got to say that it does help some out, thats all I am saying. I will trust the paper when they say it wa an accident since I have no reason to doubt them. So when you call people fools and insult them, it seems to be because of low IQ levels because you can not discuss thinks like a person. By the way, keep your vote.

Worst person on the internet

I never understand any of this stuff, but it's interesting to me how the bloggers trip over themselves to bash and speculate first and hardest on the villains of our fair city's latest "fiasco" (Thompson's library porn brandishing-TM, Knight's council prayer-turrible, turrible) yet when a commenter who seldom judges anyone negatively comes along speculating something that might make them look even worse, the pile-on turns to gang outrage. Strange culture here. Fresh air might help.


"Did they know all the history and comments would be erased?" -- GH

Yes, Gauger alluded to it and Doug Clark mentioned it specifically on their blogs before the switch. This wasn't unexpected. It was expected and judged to be acceptable by someone in charge. Who could that be, I wonder. Who has great authority over there and a well-known unconcern for, if not downright hostility towards, the internet. Hmmmm. Who, I wonder.

Clark: "My archives apparently will go away, but that's probably less of a loss to civilization than I'd like to think. It's happened before, and I survived (there's always Google)."

Gauger: "The reasons are technical and arcane — and mostly beyond my comprehension. My layman’s description: The database that holds registration information today will have to be scrapped because we’ll manage content differently. A new database means new registrations."


"I never understand any of this stuff..." -- Dr. Hayes

Yet, you sit in judgement of people who do. Maybe it is you who needs to go outside because I can think of nothing creepier than a guy who follows people around on the internet to chastise them for spending time on the internet. It's very weird.

Ed Cone

Gauger's remarks seem to be about registration, not content archives.

And Doug's deal with blog content, which may be separate from other newspaper content.

The archive search is finding at least some data about older stories, just not the stories themselves.

Hard to believe the huge trove of broken links is the way the system is supposed to work. If they really meant to disappear everything, why have the archive search in the first place?


"Gauger's remarks seem to be about registration, not content archives."

He knew a the database was being replaced.

"And Doug's deal with blog content, which may be separate from other newspaper content."

Obviously, it wasn't.


They knew this was coming and allowed it, conspiracy? No. Incompetents in charge who did not fully understand the implications? Pretty much.


I feel violated.

sal leone

I have to agree with Roch, anytime you change websites, servers or anything like that, there is a risk. All I was trying to say before I was attacked is that there are two reasons the systemis not here, it was on purpose or a big mistake. The first thing to look at if on purpose is who is to benefit, some on council will benefit for sure, example, no info for the public on the dam scam, Chief Wray, Mitch Johnson, Project Homestead, City contracts with ITG, the landfill issue, etc. The benefit is there you got to admit it Ed and David. Now the question is how does anyone know I am wrong or right, because some have friends at the N and R and want to defend them, thats cool and I understand that. I like to remind people what the paper in America was founded under, TO TELL THE TRUTH, regardless of who is to fall. If we lose the free press then America is dommed to lies.
I forgive David H for his commenst to me, he was upset. I hope to chat with David one day, we probably have somethings in common. All I am trying to say is that there is a loss of history on the web and if we dont learn from history, we are dommed to repeat it, so if its gone then how can we learn.

Ed Cone

I don't think people are mad, Sal, just frustrated to see a likable and well-intentioned commenter double and triple down on a ridiculous conspiracy theory.

sal leone

Hi Ed
I was just thinking out loud, just funny things happen in Greensboro politics, first the loss of records with the city and then loss of records with N & R. I like the N and R paper and have it delivered so I like it that much. I just want to make sure that they know that what was done was a big mistake. But you got to say Ed, it does help out some on council, mostly Perkins, and Johnson, both have a long history and all of it gone on the web.
But like I said before, the N and R has not lied to me so I wil not call them liars.
By the way, I still think there was more then one shooter with JFK, just glad it didnt happen in Greensboro with all the conspiracy minded people we have,lol


"double and triple down on a ridiculous conspiracy theory."

What conspiracy theory?

David Hoggard

I used "fool" because that is how Lincoln put it in his famous quote that immediately sprung to mind when I read your comments Sal. Perhaps, to avoid offense, I should have substituted "wrong-headed thinker", or "silly person" or "babe in the woods". I apologize for offending you. Next time I'll put on my kid gloves when addressing you, as 'worst' suggests.

I wasn't upset then, nor am upset now. Not in the least.

"What conspiracy theory?", asks our most voluminous practitioner of the genre. I suppose it IS hard to recognize an actual forest when all those damn trees are blocking your view.

sal leone

It is all good David. I don't think there is a conspiracy but it does seem odd.

Ed Cone

Sal, you back off the conspiracy meme every time, but then mumble something about it seeming odd and benefitting certain parties, which makes it appear that you are clinging to the possibility that some unnamed council members somehow manipulated the paper into scrubbing its archives, which makes zero sense on multiple levels.

When you say, But you gotta admit...no, I don't.

Nancy Vaughan

I have to agree that the whole "council member conspiracy" is just silly. As we all (should) know nothing is permanently deleted in cyberspace. This morning I went on the Greensboro Public Library system and used its search engine. I typed in "Chief David Wray" and all the N&R articles were archived in the News Bank system. Also checked out "Project Homestead" same result. I even typed in my name and it was all there.

Ed Cone

So you say, Councilwoman...but I notice you don't deny Council's secret power over the N&R redesign!

Not saying, just saying.


So that we may keep clear on the relevance of the existence of articles in Newsbank and the fact that they do not mitigate the News & Record's monumental flub: Newsbank is a closed system, requiring a library card, not indexed by search engines and not linkable. Try it: Here's the link to "'Secret police' use black ops on black cops'"


Are all the comments gone forever?

"our most voluminous practitioner of the genre"

If you are going to make an assertion David,
please provide an example.

If not, you're not saying anything.

You are accusing without evidence.

In this case you say "voluminous".

So what are some of my conspiracy theories?

If you can't or don't come up with some,
then I believe you should apologize.


The citizens of Greensboro cannot be held responsible for their actions should city council vote to approve $20M in limited obligation bonds. You have been warned.

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