2006: The NA ConfidentialVolunteer Hoosier merger.


Diana and I first met Randy Smith on the grounds of the Moser Tannery in 2004 (wife Ann was with him; I knew her from university), a story which was told earlier in 2020: “ON THE AVENUES: Alas, New Albany is less of a place without a bookstore.” He’d just moved here with Ann, and they were opening Destinations Booksellers.
To make a long story very short, Randy and I have collaborated numerous times on civic matters over the intervening years, with the needs of the moment at our respective business ventures ordaining an ebb and flow to the relationship.
If it isn’t too bold a statement, allow me to observe that of all the folks I’ve met over the years who turned up in New Albany from elsewhere with abilities and good intentions, and found the creaking antebellum wagons of “that’s the way we’ve always done it here” circled and manned by vigilante NAHS graduates, Randy’s frosty reception is the only one to have equaled my own.
Perhaps that’s why so many locals think we’re brothers. It isn’t so, although spiritually — in the sense of necessitated samizdat and the petty pushback from locally inbred mediocrity — there’s a case to be made for a solid bond.   
From April 3, 2006. It would seem that 2006 predated the use of labels at Blogger.

Constantinople to Istanbul: NA Confidential welcomes All4Word, a familiar voice, to its roster. 

The supreme end of education is expert discernment in all things – the power to tell the good from the bad, the genuine from the counterfeit,and to prefer the good and the genuine to the bad and the counterfeit.
— Samuel Johnson

“Good” and “genuine” are just two of the many words I’ve used to describe the quality of the writing and the advocacy at Volunteer Hoosier, a blog long included in NA Confidential’s sidebar links and often cited on these pages. 

Today I’m pleased to formally announce the addition of All4Word, a/k/a Randy Smith, to the editorial board of this Web log. Randy is a fellow businessman arrived lately to these shores, and was the founder of Volunteer Hoosier in 2004. Readers will be familiar with his work, online and behind the scenes, in drawing attention to matters of public affairs. 
After long consideration, Randy and I decided to consummate a merger of interests in the belief that together we can make NA Confidential a more comprehensive and useful site. With two primary reporters/commentators, each of us will be able to devote more time to making the site better without neglecting our other responsibilities. 
NA Confidential, effective this date, has acquired the rights to Volunteer Hoosier, which will cease publication. However, the archival postings and comments will remain online.
The New Albanian
Istanbul is widely recognized as the name of Turkey’s most well known city, but it was not always this way, and even today some confusion over its proper name still exists. The confusion is rooted in the various names the city assumed under the Ottomans in the centuries after their conquest of the city in 1453. Although the Ottomans did not purposely change the city’s name, they opted to make “Constantinople” into a more Turkish style name “Konstantiniye” (which loosely translates as “of Constantine”), however variations on Konstantiniye soon cropped up. 

“Stanbulin,” (Greek for “to the city”) once commonly found on road signs directing travelers to the capital, was punned by devout Turks into Islambol, where “Islam abounds.” The names Islambol and Konstantiniye were used interchangeably in Ottoman documents up until the empire’s demise in 1923. Westerners continued to refer to the city as Constantinople well into the 20th century. In the 19th century, however, the city’s large foreign expatriate community took to calling the old city Stamboul. Western accounts of the old city during this period make regular references to the name. — Foundation for the Advancement of Sephardic Studies and Culture 

Effective this date, Volunteer Hoosier ceases publication. This blogger departs from “Constantinople” for a new home at “Istanbul.” 

The New Albanian and I have, in his words, consummated a merger of interests, and I will be joining him in the hope of making NA Confidential even stronger. It is already the premier Web log in the region. The separation between us has never been as wide as the Bosporus, but we, The New Albanian and All4Word, have always marched to the beat of distinctly different drummers. 
As for me, I early on decided that it would have been boorish of me to write at length as a commenter on NA Confidential. And yet, like The New Albanian, I’m not one to write in short bites. Thus, shortly after NA Confidential came online, Volunteer Hoosier was born. We hope you have found it stimulating. 
In my judgment, The New Albanian offers strong insight and a wit that I appreciate. If anything can be said about our senses of humor, it is that he has the better delivery of it, and I have a greater appreciation of it. I will say that I can think of no instance in which The New Albanian has taken his satire further than is appropriate. I would proudly sign on to his spot-on critiques. 
Another distinction is that, between the two of us, I am clearly the “wonk” in the equation. In addition to my affinity for policy and financial detail, I’m more likely to consider the electoral strategies that underlie public policy decisions – at least, I’m more likely to speculate about them. 
As mentioned above, Volunteer Hoosier ceases publication effective today. I have no regrets. I’m pleased to join the online platform at NA Confidential, and the acquisition price was sufficient incentive to surrender my single-author site. 
We are of like minds about many matters, but don’t expect a monolithic front here. 
I will have the freedom to post on any topic at a moment’s notice, without prior restraint, and it is a given that agreement between us is not a requirement. We do disagree from time to time, including recently, which makes this a fortuitous time for our “merger.” In short, we trust and value each other’s judgment. 
One final note. It is our joint and fervent desire to encourage contributor Bluegill to “ramp up” his contributions and make this site even stronger. 
The New Albanian is departing for a well-earned vacation road trip and will be on enforced hiatus. NA Confidential has been a primary source for community news, like tomorrow’s Neighborhoods Summit. 
Be sure to copy me with such items, particularly during NAC’s hiatus.