Thursday, March 11, 2010

Reader Comments 03-10-10 Ad-Posts

Long time readers of this blog are aware of the fact that I have chosen to ‘moderate’ comments. This means that I reserve the right to decide which comments get posted to this blog. Generally speaking I am pretty loose in what I allow and promise never to use my power to moderate to squash legitimate opposing opinions. I have also said on a couple of different occasions that I will allow companies to post comments that are blatantly advertising for security related products and services. Be forewarned, however, that I reserve the right to comment upon those products and services as well as their manner of advertising. Yesterday there were two such advertising posts made to separate blog entries. The first was made to a reader comment posting from February and the advertisement was for gate lighting systems. The second was made to posting on chlorine railcars from last December and that advertisement was for a secondary chlorine containment system for railcars. Since both of these advertisements were appended to older blog postings, I really doubt that they would garner much attention (were it not for this commentary, of course). Those pages are, of course, periodically found in internet searches, so the ‘adposts’ are not a complete waste of time. I am disappointed in both of the posters, however, because they chose to remain ‘Anonymous’ in their posting. It is readily apparent that these are advertisement type comments so I would have thought that it would have been beneficial for the authors to have identified themselves in the addresses of their posts. To be fair, the second posting does appear to have identified the poster in the body of the advertisement, but it is still listed as coming from ‘Anonymous’. Skip the Hyperbole One of the first rules of advertising is to understand your intended audience. Too often I see these advertising posts completely underestimating the intelligence and sophistication of the readers of this blog. For instance, the lighting system poster makes the preposterous statement that: “Turning a soft target into a hard target can be easily and inexpensively accomplished by a highly visible lighting system at the front gate.” While I would certainly agree that adequate lighting at that portion of the facility perimeter is important, it is hardly the be-all and end-all of security measures. Insulting your intended audience with such nonsense does little to forward your cause. Eliminate C-Kit This is the second comment about the “C-Kit Petition” that has been posted to my blog about the chlorine railcars stored in Washington State for the duration of the Olympics. Apparently TGO Technologies of Santa Rosa, CA has developed a secondary containment device to capture chlorine releases from railcar pressure relief devices and railcar domes; they are trying to get FRA to require their installation on all chlorine railcars. If their device works it should help to eliminate a number of the smaller releases experienced by these railcars; a laudable idea. Both of the posts to this blog contain vague references to a ‘first responder’s petition’ but I can find no actual petition to either PHMSA or the FRA asking that this device be required on TIH railcars. There is a copy of comment by BNSF railroad on a two year old docket about the increased safety of TIH railcars, but that is hardly a petition for this device. The latest posting does provide a link for a petition web site which provides testimonials from a large number of first responders. I wish them the best of luck, but I don’t think that attempting to get a Federal Agency to require the use of the device is an effective use of time or energy. The Agency is unlikely to specify their device; the best they can hope for is a requirement for a secondary containment device. I think they would be better off trying to sell their device to owners of chlorine railcars.

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