Sunday, November 08, 2009

The Numbers Game

An anonymous commenter on this post challenged my assertion that CoFoCoDo “at best represents about 200 people out of a Columbia population of 100,000.” The commenter went on to claim that CoFoCoDo has 450 members and that the census estimates Columbia’s population to be 88,812.

The key word for the Census data being “estimate.”

First, lets look at CoFoCoDo’s published membership list of “over 435 members.” Listed amongst those members are County Executive Ken Ulman, and Councilpersons Courtney Watson, Mary Kay Sigaty, and Jen Terrasa.

Wow, that would seem to indicate that CoFoCoDo has the support of both the county executive and the majority of the council members. If that is true then why was it necessary for them to hold a meeting so the council could, as their spokesperson put it “so that the council members could hear their concerns.”

If these same council members are also truly CoFoCoDo members wouldn’t their concerns be the same?

Or could it be that these people are not really members anymore?

When was the last time CoFoCoDo checked in with their members to see if they are still on board with the organization? The membership list on the CoFoCoDo website is at least three years old.

I think I’ll stick with my 200 member estimate.

By contrast, the New City Alliance is barely a month old and already over 600 people have joined as fans on Facebook.

And finally, “estimates” of Columbia’s population vary from 88,112 to 97,200 . I think I’ll stick with my nice round 100,000 number.


Anonymous said...

Thank God no one actually allows you to say you 'report the news'. Does a person have to be a facebook member to view the Alliance membership? Are the above county electeds on that Alliance list as well? Come on, wordbones, you're really scraping the bottom of the barrell, shaving off membership of legit lists and bulking up using a whole different set of rules for the one you support.

This blog is nothing but a propaganda site for developers.

Anonymous said...

Facebook 'fans'? Is that supposed to be impressive or funny?

Bob O said...

It would be nice to have a spokesperson for this group publish some updated numbers.

Excellent point on "report the news." This is a blog, and, as such, is one man's opinion. The writer does make some good points, though, and "The Anons" (I'm thinking of copyrighting that term as a name for a nineties boy band or and internet startup group) do a great job of fact checking and proposing alternate points. With the coming "paradigm shift" (I hate to use that term, but it actually works here) the model is changing from that of the WaPo or B.Sun to something like this.

An example. Up above I almost said, "When was the last time this group had a meeting and how many people showed up?" Then it struck me that we're getting to the point where Meetings Don't Matter (wow, that would be a great name for a blog). Social media like blogs and Facebook are undermining traditional media and venues for exchanging views and changing opinions. I see this with my own family and friends, who live on five continents across 14 time zones. We're in much closer contact today then we were five years ago, due to FB and blogs.

As the old Chinese curse puts it, "May you live in interesting times."