Thursday, May 26, 2005

Blogging About Writing About Blogging

Thanks to Fred Clarkson, who today pointed out a sidebar in the Valley Advocate entitled "What the Bloggers Are Saying." It seems that someone is paying attention to our tiny group of progressive state political blogs. I'm proud to report that they saw fit to include a quote from yours truly in their small piece on blogger reaction to Deval Patrick's candidacy. Yeah, they got my web address wrong (they left out the 'm' in 'com'), but 95% of it is better than none and the author has told me it will be corrected. Anyway, here's what Fred had to say:

This is the first time, to my knowledge, that a newspaper has reported on the existence of the informal network of MA political bloggers. We sprouted up independently, but eventually discovered each other. We often discuss and link to interesting posts on each others blogs -- and in so doing we have built a considerable statewide readership. This trend will continue as we write about the governor's race. This will be important in part because, as Deval Patrick learned when he made his recent campaign swing through western Massachusetts, The Berkshire Eagle, the largest paper in the region has a policy of not covering the race until this November.
What does this mean? I'm not entirely sure, but I'm happy to be along for the ride. I guess the lesson is that if you fill a niche, you'll eventually find a community and readers. Personally, I'd like to eventually see that community built up into something that can affect local news coverage, similar to the Pacific Northwest Portal, but for Massachusetts or Southern New England. It's not unreasonable to imagine that something from a site like that could find its way into a local paper -- after all most of them are starved for content. I'd also like to see more people start taking an interest in blogging about local politics, or covering city/town council meetings like Left in Lowell and H2OTown do. I think one of the reasons that more people don't take an interest in local government is because there are so few sources of information about it. Blogging makes it extremely easy for people to put that information out where anyone with a web browser can find it.

Oh yeah, the Advocate also has a cover story on some guy who's running for governor. I suppose you should read that, too.