Who is writing Victoria 2020? And why call it that, given that DV2020 already exists?

by Yule Heibel on May 19, 2008

Edit/update (8:12 pm): see end of post.

Second update (May 22/08, 7:30 am): see end of post.

Here’s something that’s rather upsetting, and totally contrary to 21st century solutions to political discourse. There’s a new site in Victoria that calls itself Victoria 2020, which in turn happens to copy the name of an already existing entity called Downtown Victoria 2020. I want to give the former the benefit of the doubt, but when I tried leaving a comment on its “About” page just now, I got the message back that I have to be logged on to comment — but no where on the site is there the option to log on. So — hello? — how is anyone supposed to comment if they can’t log on?

My comment was already about this blog’s anonymity (there’s no blog author, and the “About” page is blank), but not being able to comment gives me an additional reason to distrust this blog. Here’s what I wrote:

Your “about” page is quite sparse — any chance of updating it with some real information?

I found you via an entry written today by Sean Holman on Public Eye Online, and while I’m thrilled to see a broadening of the political conversation in Victoria, I’d like to know who the blog author(s) is (are). It’ll make the potential for conversation more real if it’s happening with an identifiable person, vs. a blank template.

The other thing I’m very curious about is why you chose the name Victoria 2020, given the existence (and recent resuscitation) of the Downtown Victoria 2020 site, which (if you click through) you’ll see is again fully live and functional.

It seems there’s some brand duplication here, which is kind of unfortunate — and awkward if it’s true (as per Holman) that this site’s owner is Harbourwerks, a business in the branding / PR field.

I agree with what you’ve written in the blog entries about leadership — and the need to have people with a 21st century perspective (vs. a 20th century one) step up. But, like I said, I won’t leave comments if I think I’m just talking to an anonymous “professional” (i.e., paid) blogger vs. someone who actually is personally invested (and at least somehow identified) in this city.

By the way, you might get the “Preview for comments” plug-in for WordPress — it’s helpful for commenters, lets them see if links go live, formatting is ok, that sort of thing.

So, that’s the comment that never was. There’s no option for feedback to this site — except for me to blog about it here myself. I meant what I said about welcoming more voices to the conversation. But, ya know, it ain’t a conversation if you don’t know who’s talking and you can’t talk back.

Edit/update: Perhaps some changes are already afoot at the site. I see that the “About” page has disappeared entirely, its place taken by a (very very brief and vanilla-esque) Mission Statement. (Sorry to give you guys a hard time, but you can do better than simply writing, “To promote ideas related to growth and development in the City of Victoria as a livable urban centre for the Capital Region of British Columbia” as your Mission Statement. That’s not yet entirely sufficient as the start of a 21st century conversation…)

Additional update: I should add that I find Sean Holman‘s comments board pretty obnoxious, too. It wasn’t the case some months ago, but now — should you want to comment — you have to sign in to a TypeKey account. Sorry, that’s too much. I will not create an account on yet another site (giving them my data), let’s call it Site B, in order to comment on Site A. That’s retarded. If you’re running WordPress, you can add the Akismet spam plug-in, and in addition require that comments are moderated (as they are on my blog). That should be spam protection enough — why the TypeKey sign-in? Is there an advantage to having a TypeKey account, as there is to having a Disqus account (which is portable, and works across comments boards, and aggregrates your comments bread crumbs across blogs)? If not, why bother?

Second update (May 22/08): I’m pleased to note that Victoria 2020 now has a functioning Join Victoria 2020 page, and that it has made commenting possible without requiring log-in.


Tech Geek May 20, 2008 at 2:23 pm

Run a whois on the domain and you’ll see the owner of the domain:


The blog is wordpress, the login tab found under the “meta” links section on the right hand side. You’re right, there is no way to submit comments unless logged in, and you can’t do that since there is no way to create an account.

Yule May 20, 2008 at 3:10 pm

Yes, thanks for the WhoIs link, Tech Geek. Sean Holman had also blogged (in the link, above) that it was registered with Davies of Harbourwerks.

I tried the meta tag last night and got to the “log in” page (same as my blog, which is WordPress, too), but of course there’s no way I can log in to theirs. I’m not sure why they didn’t just turn comments off entirely (which is a WP option), vs what they did do (set it to allow only logged in users to comment).

The folks at “Downtown Victoria 2020” are now aware of this new site (“Victoria 2020”), and apparently they’re not too happy to have a homonym blogging politics, since DV2020 tries, for better or for worse, to stay politically neutral.

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