Breaking: blogs impact local politics

Thanks to the News & Observer for reporting that "Blogs are changing politics." I know that's a real newsflash for all you OP readers.

This story raised two questions for me:

1. Didn't Tom Jensen already write an informative column about this exact same subject (elected officials blogging)? Ah yes, here it is: "Blogs keep us plugged in on politics," 12/16/06.

2. How many of the people in this article had blogs before OrangePolitics started?

Pearce said the Triangle's political bloggers are centered in Orange County because its politics tend to be more liberal.
- | Blogs are changing politics, 2/2/07

Hmm, yeah that's probably it. There's no other reason Orange County would have a disproportionate number of political bloggers.

Now I'm not claiming credit for the entire local political blogging scene or anything. But we saw the same thing in Greensboro a few years ahead of Orange County. One prominent and well-informed person blogging about local issues spurred an entire ecosystem of local bloggers (including several candidates and elected officials) and inspired the local paper to open their doors to blogs. Sound familiar?

It seems to me that writing a story about the influence of blogs on politics in Orange County is at best incomplete without a mention to this one here. Am I just being arrogant or is the old media still wearing blinkers or what? Just when I thought the N&O was starting to get it, too.


Much of the blogging community has been working towards the day when newspapers get it and more politicians blog... now that we're closer to this I'm not sure I like it. [BTW, I think Mark K. and Sally Greene ROCK!]

Its appears inevitable that the innovators will be forgotten. Main Stream Media will take credit and destroy it by being too commercial and not giving props where they are due. Sad. For a good example of this trend of co-opting cool look at the Indie Music scene of the early '90s, Rock n' Roll taken from Blacks by white promoters who cashed in, etc., etc.

We may be whining but we've busted our asses for no pay for years. What is our sweat equity worth? What do we want for our hard work? R-E-S-P-E-C-T {sound of Aretha Franklin in background}

As form of respect how about a permanent link to OrangePolitics N&O?

I don't think the N&O was intentionally trying to exclude OP, but I think it's fair to point out that rather large omission. And I'm not trying to get credit just to stroke my ego here. But it's really irritating when "real" journalists repeatedly insult bloggers on the basis of not being factual, and yet...

Now you're being nice. I think they intentionally left you out. They're not that dumb.
I think Mark K. and Sally rock steady for sure, but so do Dan and Mark C. and Alex and others for getting into the fray on OP. That's a part of blogging and politics, too.
My critique was that it was another story about blogging with barely any mention of comments and conversation. MSM98 is still not on the cluetrain.

Do local newspapers and television stations see blogs as competition?

On another media front NC-17 invites 100 bloggers to the NBC-17 Triangle Blogger Community Ascertainment. Monday, February 19, 12:00pm.

Why does the main stream media want to flirt with us? What do they want? I have my own ideas about it but... I really like to know what ya'll think.

It seems to me that Raleigh is a vast black sucking hole when it comes to the blogosphere . . . and that the N&O is right in the center of the nothingness. They don't get it . . . and using the lame comment about Orange County being liberal as the explanation for what's happening around here is just plain idiotic.

They dissed you pure and simple, Blogmother. To which I say, screw 'em.

Sorry, Ruby. No slight intended. Jesse's story was about local politicians with their own blogs. In retrospect it would have been wortwhile to explore how much, if at all, OrangePolitics spurred them to go online.

But we have given credit to OP. Here is an opening graf from our column introducing the new Orange Chat blog. It ran in the Chapel Hill news two weeks ago.

"By now most are familiar with the best blogs. In our community, is required reading for reporters who want to know what issues are catching fire among the politicians and political observers in Orange County. Moderated by planning board Chairwoman Ruby Sinreich, it sets the bar for an online community discussion group."

I want to thank you again, and others, for posting comments to our blog. I'd like to cross promote as much as possible and will gladly link back to your site when requested.

My name is Jason. I am the person who sent out the NBC-17 blogger meet up invitation.

The question was posed "why does the local media want to flirt with us [local bloggers]" ?

The answer is very simple. We recognize that bloggers are a growing part of our community. This is the first step of many in embracing the blogosphere. I have told a number of bloggers who have emailed me that I am not a blogger but I read them daily. I am excited because this is a chance for us to get to know you and learn how we can help you and your blogging endeavors.

I encourage any blogger to attend.
Simply RSVP to the E-Vite.

I think N&O's blogging has some more serious problems, personally.

Anybody else seen this?

Serious problems - certainly in the area of politics and public policy. I guess if all you want is fluff and sports they're not so bad.

The Greensboro N&R, OTOH, has some interesting stuff. I don't find much common ground with their take on things, but at least you know where they stand.

I don't think you are being arrogant. I started blogging in South Carolina, but knowing I was moving BACK to Orange County I found this blog pretty quickly and think I started blogging here while still in SC.

I spoke with several paper reporters for the N&O, LA Times, and NYT while in NOLA and the long and the short of it from them was...huh?

They just STILL don't get blogs. They use all the right technology, they post short stumps to beat the TV news cycles, blah blah blah, but they just don't get blogs.


I left a little snark for the good people over at the N&O.

p.s. can you get the library to fix their web page so it isn't their IP address and doesn't require you to wait around for forwarding?
: )


The library maintains their own website, but I'd be happy to pass things along.

FWIW, I did set up their DNS a fair while ago:

So there must be specific links that are pointing to the hardwired IP numbers. If you're aware of any, please email them to me at my work address


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