Back in my early days of blogging, I aimed to have a local blog; hence, the url my blog still has today: hometown-columbia.com. In those early days, I wrote much of local issues as I saw and framed them, and many people — those I knew and those I didn’t — commented and engaged in the conversation on my blog. And, in those early days, one day I had a most interesting and thoughtful comment from someone named Frank Hecker. I’d never heard of Frank Hecker. I’d never met Frank Hecker. But I wanted to. I wrote back to him. We shared a few email exchanges. He commented a few more times, and we got to know each other a bit better … to the point where I wanted to meet him face to face.
Frank is a busy man. He’s got a family, a significant job in the tech sphere and a life to lead. He’s a quiet person. He’s not the kind of person the movers and shakers of the local community would ever know if Frank’s only voice and way to connect was one that required getting out, schmoozing, signing petitions and sitting in long, boring-*ss public meetings where so many attendees seem content to get their three-minutes at the mic to say their piece. Nope, he’s not that kind of guy.
Yet and still, his voice, his thinking, his problem solving, his concern and his willingness to thoughtfully sort his perspective and communicate it in a clear way is an addition to the conversation in and around the community of Howard County. Frank Hecker is one of the most interesting of men I’ve met in the last few years.
I’m going to fast forward here a sec. Frank has, albeit infrequently, written about local concerns on his own blog, and he does, on occasion, comment on other local blogs. Recently, he commented on Wordbones’ blog: one of the more popular blogs in The Hoco. He was attacked as being “smug” and told to yada-yada-yada-and-then-tell-me-such-and-such by anonymous commenters who seemed unable to actually have a conversation with Frank on the subject and issues in his comments. And, Frank, true to his nature, has a solution for such snipers. He’s written a thoughtful piece titled, ”
I recommend reading the piece.
Perhaps, you’ll like his writing and his thinking. Perhaps not.
I, for one, consider him one of the most interesting of men, and I hope more local bloggers will “choose civility” and — at a minimum — adopt an approach to comments that require people to either use an online identity or use a comment identity tracking system such HocoRising is doing by using DISQUS.
My two cents.