A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

A bit of reflection on ‘hh-today’

Written January 3rd, 2022 by Hasso Hering

This wasp was gnawing on my picnic dinner last summer. What’s it doing here? Just attracting views to this story.

Hard to believe, but hh-today has been on the internet since October 2012. Time for a little reflection as you and I enter 2022, the eleventh year for this site.

Some of the first few stories, that October, were about what I had seen and had questions about. Like a wire barrier along the median of I-5. Or a huge pipeline in the Santiam Canal.

That, writing about what I saw that interested me, was the main idea then and remains the idea now. But that first month I also wrote about an independent student paper’s lawsuit against OSU, and about controversies even farther away.

I might still comment on wider topics now, but not often I hope.  The farther away something takes place, the less I know or can find out about it, and it shows.

Reader comments have been something I think about. We have them on this site, but sometimes I wonder.

Many of the commenters add value with interesting facts, background, opinion, and humor! Others use a tone so irritating that it leaves a bad taste.

On balance, I think the value of the comment feature is still there, so for now it stays.

I’ve made the mistake over the years (more than once) of coming back at commenters with a snarky retort of my own. I will try not to repeat those mistakes.

It’s hard to remember sometimes. But there’s much to be said for restraint, and for exercising courtesy in public discourse the same as in private life.

And oh, as for that wasp up there, well, it’s a photo I never found an occasion to use. Until now. (hh)

22 responses to “A bit of reflection on ‘hh-today’”

  1. Adam says:

    Hasso, thank you for ten years of thoughts and observations on hh-today and the many years at the newspaper. We’re all in it together and I always look forward to your insights. Keep up the great work!!!

  2. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    As a for profit blog the primary question you’ve probably already asked yourself is – Do comments have a significant effect on blog traffic and revenue?

    This question has been analyzed and the data shows that blog comments are not correlated with increased traffic.


    If your intention is to evoke feedback, comments may have value. If not, don’t bother with them. They don’t pay the bills.

    • centrist says:

      Seems off target. But then, we aren’t on the same range
      Let it be, let it be …..

    • Frank Grettins says:

      Says the guy who seems to have nothing to do all day BUT comment on this blog… For once, Mr. Shadle you caused me to chuckle instead of shake my head in dismay.

  3. GregB says:

    Keep having fun Hasso writing your blog. I find it interesting and informative. To avoid being snarly back to some of the commentators must be mighty difficult for you, I think. There are a few that ought to be banned, in my opinion. Happy New Year, Greg

  4. Gascoigne says:

    I always look forward to your posts

  5. Bill Kapaun says:

    You could have saved this until April 1 and had a KILLER WASP story?

  6. centrist says:

    Nice stuff, as usual. Written so well that the English-teaching-mavens would be wound because there was nothing to correct.
    The work reminds me of a column in the 60’s Oregonian “Baker’s Dozen”.
    Doug B ran a 2 column daily piece, mostly uplifting, always light and enlightening.
    Keep on keepin’ on….

  7. Bob Zybach says:

    Thanks for lots of interesting articles and insights, Hasso! And please keep the Comments, whether they are profitable or not there are often entertaining and sometimes even informative (in a good way).

  8. Deborah Swenson says:

    Keep doing what you are doing. I believe most people find value in your thoughts musings, and ideas. There will always be the negative Neds and Nellies. Pay as much attention to them as a horse does a fly on its behind. Just swat away the negativity, and have a nice day.

  9. Patricia Eich says:

    Your blog is usually my first go-to in the morning. I find you informative and a great source of local happenings. Keep biking and blogging. Happy New Year.

  10. James Engel says:

    Just a big THANK YOU for the prior blogs & I’m anticipating more for 2022. O ya, save a few moments for your lovely wife!….jimmer

  11. thomas earl cordier says:

    Many folks I talk with enjoy your daily info; as do I. Ten years–a good start.

  12. David Ballard says:

    Thank you for ten years of insights and commentary concerning local phenomenon. This blog has value in both the hh-today musings and the comment responses. Comments lacking refinement and courtesy only reflect poorly on the originator and are easily bypassed. We encourage you in your continuing efforts and thank you for sharing your hobby in this forum. Wishing you a happy and prosperous New Year.

  13. Liz VanLeeuwen says:

    Thanks, Hasso.
    Our connections go way back. If you were still the editor of the D-H we would probably by now know how we had been redistriced.
    Liz VanLeeuwen

  14. Barry N. Libbs says:

    Thanks Hasso

    For giving us curmudgeons a place to gripe all of these years.

    • hj.anony1 says:

      “Barry N. Libbs” I see what you did there. *SMH*

      • Barry N. Libbs says:

        Yes Ma’am
        Not to sure what SMH is. I’ll have to look on the Google. Won’t get a lot of whimsey out of me. My brother Owen is more of the satirist. Indeed, there is no better a wordsmith than Owen N. Libbs

  15. Lundy says:

    Hasso, in addition to your blog being informative, interesting and entertaining, for me it’s also a way to keep fresh in my mind the 22 years I worked with you at the Democrat-Herald and all of our newsroom discourse and interactions. We obviously didn’t and don’t agree on everything but I’ve always appreciated your approach to journalism, your commitment to decency and civility and your skill with the language. As for the comments, I always (and only) read the thoughtful ones; it’s easy to tell which are and which are not.

  16. George Pugh says:

    I can only add an “Amen” to all the observations and compliments posted above. I regret that I probably missed the first five years of your blog.
    I abhor the ad hominem attacks that, all though rare, are some times
    aimed at you. I admire your restraint when replying. My first inclination is to jump in with both feet but you obviously are capable of making your own defense.
    There is a rather agrarian saying that I remember when I am temped to be intemperate, that is, “If you wrestle with a pig in the mud you both get dirty.” I used to raise pigs and the saying is apt.

  17. CHEZZ says:

    Writing is your passion. Keep your light shining! I think your ‘blog’ is a book.

  18. Rachel LaBrasseur says:

    You’re blog was somewhere I could take my concerns about crosswalk-pedestrian visibility at the grand prairie/ geary st intersection. You answered with a nice blog piece about it and I want to say not even a year later we got upgraded street lighting at that intersection! If I remember correctly the lights were upgraded a year a head of planning? The south Albany community thanks you for your help in making that happen. Lol now how about the rest of geary st this time?


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