Tag Archives: Berkeleyside


Commenting on Berkeleyside: A new approach

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Recently, in a New York Times Magazine article about online commenting, writer Michael Erard suggested comments might be “the most obnoxious development of the Web, the wild back alleys where people sound their acid yawps.”

Last month, YouTube took decisive action to clean up its much maligned comments section with an overhaul that uses several factors to determine which posts float to the top of the conversation.

Three weeks ago, Popular Science took what many saw as the drastic step of shutting down its Comment section altogether, explaining that comments can be “bad for science.”

Starting next week, the Sacramento Bee will temporarily drop commenting from its website. “Too many so-called trolls are using the comments to be mean, obscene or just plain rude. Too many readers are turned off by the tone and skipping comments altogether,” wrote Executive Editor Joyce Terhaar. The newspaper is using the hiatus to encourage readers to give them feedback about commenting while they review their system.

What this tells us is that many online media operations are wrestling with how to handle comments sections and the problems they can trigger. … Continue reading »

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Berkeleyside: A vital news resource in emergencies

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Shortly after 2 p.m. on Friday last week, people all over Berkeley suddenly caught the sharp scent of smoke in the air. Many opened their front doors and stepped outside to see if, perhaps, something in their neighborhood was burning.

Then, many turned to Berkeleyside. Our email inbox and Twitter feed began buzzing: ‘Where’s the fire? What’s that smoke?” people asked.

Senior reporter Emilie Raguso was already on the phone to Berkeley Fire Chief Gil Dong when the questions began to land. Within minutes she had posted the answer on Twitter and Facebook. At 2:30 p.m we published the story: “Solano County smoke blankets Berkeley with smoke.” A change in wind direction was causing pungent smoke from a large grass fire near state Highway 12 in the Suisun City area to settle over the East Bay. Instantly, more than 1,600 people were there, reading the article, and huge numbers of others followed. … Continue reading »

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Announcing Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas

Screen Shot 2013-07-25 at 12.36.40 PM
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Uncharted is a two-day festival, on October 25-26, that will be filled with thought-provoking conversations, challenging ideas, and engaging experiences. It promises to be the most stimulating, provocative event to come to downtown Berkeley in many years.

What is Berkeley? It’s a city and a name with resonance worldwide. It’s pushing boundaries, challenging conventions, innovating, not being afraid to question the status quo.

It’s a storied past but it’s also very much about the present: engaged, intellectually curious people continue to make Berkeley and the Bay Area their home.

Many Bay Area residents enjoyed a taste of ‘Berkeleyside live’ with The Three Michaels last December – a hugely entertaining conversation on the Berkeley Rep stage between three prominent Berkeley authors: Michael Pollan, Michael Lewis and Michael Chabon.

With Uncharted we are taking it to the next level. … Continue reading »

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Berkeleyside readers: Help make the news in your city

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Berkeleyside readers:

We need your support.

Earlier this week, Berkeleyside published an article profiling a 17-year-old former Berkeley High School student who was shot and killed in East Oakland over the weekend. Berkeleyside’s Emilie Raguso took the time to speak to Olajuwon Clayborn’s friends and relatives to paint a portrait of a life cut down in its prime.

That same night, the same reporter attended the Berkeley City Council meeting until nearly midnight and then went to the scene of a car accident in west Berkeley which sent a pedestrian to hospital in critical condition.

If you’re a loyal Berkeleyside reader, you’ll know that these stories were only two of several original pieces of reporting that we have brought you in the past few days. [And, if you receive our free Daily Briefing email, you will have probably already read this open letter, so feel free to move along and read one of those great stories elsewhere on the site!]

We also told you this week about a couple in North Berkeley caught with a stockpile of weapons who had talked of “eventual war with the government.” And we trawled through a 348-page police report to publish a detailed timeline of what happened on the night in February when a Berkeley resident died while in police custody. … Continue reading »


Berkeleyside is hiring: Join our ad sales team

Some ads
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As we hope readers have noticed, Berkeleyside continues to grow and develop. We’re now looking for an additional advertising sales executive to join our small team, to help build Berkeleyside’s business.

Advertising is the main source of Berkeleyside’s revenues. As a sales executive for Berkeleyside, you’ll play your part in forging a future for independent, local, online news.

You’ll work directly with our ad director, Wendy Cohen, building relationships with local merchants, coming up with new revenue ideas, and collaborating … Continue reading »

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The most important stories in Berkeley in 2012

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Berkeley in 2012 was filled with drama — a contested election, a failed nomination for a new school superintendent, a few missteps by the Chief of Police, and major changes at the University of California, among other events. Here’s a recap of the issues that had the deepest impact on Berkeley, plus a few fun ones thrown in.

City Government

The year got off to a tragic start with the untimely death of 37-year-old City Clerk Deanna Despain. She fell down the stairs of her Oakland home on Jan. 8. Her husband discovered her body when he returned from a late-night meeting. Their daughter was soundly asleep upstairs. Since then, Mark Numainville has been filling in as acting city clerk. In May, after serving as interim city manager for six months, the City Council appointed Christine Daniel permanently to the job. She replaced Phil Kamlarz, who had held the city’s top job for eight years. … Continue reading »

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Images of 2012: The Berkeley year in photos

Great Horned Owl, Owlet, and lunch
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Sometimes it’s all about the image. Berkeleyside has strived to track down and publish great photography since its inception more than three years ago. You know what they say about the worth of a picture …

As the year draws to a close, we have selected photographs for each month of 2012 to present a visual trip down Berkeley’s memory lane.

This is an opportune moment to thank all the wonderful photographers who contribute to the Berkeleyside Flickr pool and send us their images by other means. Berkeleyside would be a lesser site without you.


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’3 Michaels’ talk writing, inspiration and Berkeley quirks

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In an evening designed to focus on the “Berkeleyishness” of Berkeley, and raise money for a great cause, three of the city’s most renowned Michaels kept hundreds of local residents laughing for the better part of 90 minutes with their wit, charm and candor.

Writers Michael Lewis, Michael Pollan and Michael Chabon — all of whom live in Berkeley — answered questions from West Coast Live host and Berkeley native Sedge Thomson, who moderated “The Three Michaels: A Berkeley Conversation” at Berkeley Repertory Theatre on Monday night.

This was the third public forum Berkeleyside has put on, part of its commitment to providing quality conversations and debates on issues that matter to Berkeley, both on- and off-line. (Scroll down for a slideshow, courtesy of Pete Rosos, from the forum.) … Continue reading »

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The ‘Three Michaels of Berkeley’: Supporting, supported

Final poster
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Authors Michael Chabon, Michael Lewis, and Michael Pollan, who all live in Berkeley, will appear at the Berkeley Rep in “The Three Michaels: A Berkeley Conversation,” an event organized by Berkeleyside, to help enable the creation in Oakland of a tutoring and creative writing center for East Bay youth modeled on the highly regarded 826 model.

The original 826 center, 826 Valencia, founded by Dave Eggers and Nínive Calegari in San Francisco ten years ago, is dedicated to supporting students, ages six to eighteen, with their writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. All their programs are free of charge and, so far, their model, which combines a writing hub and retail storefront, has been replicated in eight locations nationwide. … Continue reading »

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Announcing: Berkeleyside NOSH, East Bay food news site

Donut Dolly
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Today sees a thrilling new launch for Berkeleyside and, we hope, an exciting new source of information for East Bay residents on all things edible.

With the launch of Berkeleyside NOSH, Berkeleyside has broken out of Berkeley (gasp!). We felt — and we trust you agree — that if we were covering food and drink locally, we couldn’t ignore all the wonderful things happening in Oakland, as well as neighboring areas like Emeryville, Kensington, Albany and El Cerrito.

Be assured, Berkeleyside itself remains firmly focused on Berkeley. It is purely for our food-related stories on NOSH that we have expanded geographically. … Continue reading »

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Berkeleyside throws sunset party to thank its supporters

Members Party 2012 Jeanne Pimmental and ? by Nancy Rubin
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On Thursday evening, as the sun set over Berkeley, a large group of Berkeleyans came together on a beautiful roof terrace with views over the city and the bay to meet, chat, drink and eat. The gathering was a party thrown by Berkeleyside for our members, the people who support us with donations, whether on a monthly, or one-off basis.

Berkeleyside was thrilled to be able to welcome such a wonderful group of people and to be able to thank them for their belief in our endeavor. Berkeleyside will mark its third birthday in October and we continue to grow and develop partly as a result of the support of our members.

Thanks go to Patrick Kennedy of Panoramic Interests, who made available his gorgeous roof terrace for the party, and to Hugh Groman Catering (he of Phil’s Sliders fame) whose supremely professional staff served up a host of delicious treats for us all.

If you would like to make sure you are on the guest list for next year’s Members’ Party, sign up now to become a Member. As well as being invited to our parties, members receive advance notice on our events, discounts on ticket prices, special offers, and a regular newsletter. Not to mention our undying devotion.

View a photo gallery of the party — you may spot yourself in the pictures if you were there.

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Berkeleyside’s approach to local politics

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We’re determined to provide comprehensive coverage of local politics here on Berkeleyside, looking at the issues, the candidates and the many ballot measures voters will encounter on November 6.

In addition to our news coverage, we have already published a number of candidate profiles, and we’ll be doing more (see below for a list of some of the articles we have written so far). We also plan to try a number of more innovative approaches in our coverage this election season, using some of the powerful Web tools that exist to provide more data and more opportunities for our readers to engage with local politics. We’ll be rolling some of these innovations out in the coming weeks.

Through all this, we will try to be as objective as we can. Berkeleyside doesn’t endorse candidates or positions, and we have no plans to do so. We do accept political advertising — at our usual rates — which is open to all candidates on a space-available basis. The ad sales side of Berkeleyside is run separately from the editorial side. … Continue reading »

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Reminder: Berkeleyside Open Office, Thursday April 26

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Don’t forget: this Thursday Berkeleyside is holding its second “Open Office” at Pane Italiano Qualita (more commonly known as PIQ) in downtown Berkeley.

We held our inaugural Open Office on May 11 2011 and had a great time. We drank coffee, ate delicious slices of pizza and talked. Ideas were thrown around, suggestions made, concepts discussed. Several of the people who showed up to chat and chow have since become regular Berkeleyside contributors. Others are valuable tipsters for stories. Still others became sponsors and advertisers. We answered questions and heard about what you wanted to see more of from Berkeleyside.

Most importantly, we got to know one another. Berkeleyside is a communtity endeavor above all, fueled by collaboration. … Continue reading »

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