I am an op-ed contributer on the USMESSAGEBOARD.COM website. I take my role here, and the responsibility that comes with it very seriously. Two months ago, the Administrator cereal_killer put out a call for submissions for aspiring contributors. It is my opinion that as the process played out, it appears to have confused and soured some members on what was a pretty worthy goal. In my opinion, that goal was to empower members in reaching a wider audience, while increasing the visibility of USMB itself. USMB has members who have periodically wondered aloud how to attract flesh blood to the melting-pot that is USMB. We all know from experience that message boards come and go. But, my observations lead me to believe, that people who inhabit and thrive on message boards are people who are attached to, and ultimately loyal to the practices of online engagement and involvement. And what better engagement and involvement is there than to be an op-ed contributer - a writer? Elitist for sure, but honesty and a cold hard look at reality will tell you that many people prefer to stay in the background, or to contribute in ways that do not demand much attention, dedication, and passion. Not everybody is, wants to, or even can be a writer. So cereal_killer's call in my opinion, was to the ego and vanity of a particular type of individual. Are you that individual? Because if you are, I ask you to review exactly what it was that ck was appealing to and asking for. ck asked for writers who were up the challenge of writing an op-ed devoid of inflammatory and/or insulting language. I'm no innocent. I know most anything can and will be viewed as inflammatory by somebody out there; but there are agreed upon community standards in the public arena: a consensus if you will. If you or I were political operatives or candidates, I would hope we would want to be held to some sort of standard. Now of course we all see people across the political spectrum, who violate those standards. They exist, and they are the exceptions that prove the rule. Interesting enough is the fact that because of our own partisan stances, we may even cheer or bemoan the violation at times. That's human nature, and the beast that is partisan politics. But I believe most all of us could agree; we would like to see some content and opinion that is neither inflammatory or wrapped up in insulting language meant to inflame. Having a writer's op-ed board that resembles the inflammatory content in most threads here, and taking those threads and giving them some sort of a higher privilege -- what would be the point? The Writer's Corner is a good idea waiting to be exploited by a few writers out there. I believe ck wisely suggested aspiring contributors 'pick their favorite online rag, and check out their op-ed's, and get a taste' for what USMB is looking for. He also wrote that to "keep things balanced we will be looking for 3 or 6 writers in total. One or two from each party (Republican, Democrat and Libertarian/Independent). Yes Libertarian and Independent are two different parties, but in the spirit of this endeavor we will apply the KISS principle." The search criteria as it evolved, expanded to seeking writers separate of any political party affiliation. It included an appeal for writers that could represent views across the ideological spectrum within America. Right now we have two writers on the op-ed team. We need a few more in order to flesh-out our team. Opinions? Constructive criticisms?