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Mar 23, 2008


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Jim Rosenberg

Burckley's right. Communicating increases the risks associated with communication.

Rev. Fec

Don't forget the Burckley genius of pragmatic allegiance to the Simkins PAC.

keith brown

If it wasn't for the blog community do you think we would be talking about a bill being passed for Greensboro to get back Protest Petitions. It also was the blogging who made Zack Matheny look silly in his response to Greensboro being different. It looks like some politicians like Joe Wilson and Don Vaughan are using the blog community for a reason.

That's all stuff I'd like to change, and that I think will change.

Is is changing already.

The truth is, candidates are not much more or less prone to stupidity when blogging than they are when talking to mainstream reporters or a gaggle of contributors. Just ask George Allen.

Next week, BlueNC is planning to host the two Democratic candidates for governor, debating online in a blogosphere first. The next day a candidate for the US Senate will be live-blogging for her first time ever.

Why? Because despite Burckley's admonition, online is where the activists are - and where the action is. A candidate can send all the surrogates they want onto blogs, but sooner or later, we want the real deal, up close and personal.

Greensboro's Karl Rove. Ha.


Running for office and having your own words twisted against you is different than citizen groups using the internet to organize for a change in law or to criticize a sitting office holder. In an environment in which even when a person says what they mean but the way they said it can be turned against them to devastating effect (e.g. Geraldine Ferraro, Jeremiah Wright (there was a valid, or at least arguable, point in there somewhere), the Bill Clinton speech that is being construed to mean that McCain and H. Clinton love America but Obama doesn't, when he said no such thing), it is highly unlikely that politicians who want to win are going to go unscripted and unguarded to any significant extent. That will only happen when all candidates agree to talk only about substance and not to twist their opponents' words against them, and I think that's some time off. To John Robinson's point, the press bears huge responsibility both for playing "gotcha" with candidates themselves and for perpetuating opponents' mischaracterizations of meaning and intent by repeating them over and over.

Ed Cone

"Unscripted and unguarded." Not the idea, really. Scripted is bad if it means rote and unthoughtful, but being unscripted doesn't mean you chase every rabbit and respond to every poke. Blogging candidates need to be smart and disciplined, and recognize that they're blogging for a reason. At the local level especially, blogging candidates will become common.


Well said.

Maybe ConvergeSouth could feature this in the next cycle? If I were a candidate, I could see the Tubes as an environment with lots of good potential. You can actually take care with what you say ... especially when you take the time to use "preview."

As I didn't do above.


Ed Cone

I think part of the wariness stems from the same misunderstanding of blogs common in the media and elsewhere in the culture -- that bloggers are just a bunch of loose cannons saying whatever comes to their mind.

Not so (present company excepted).

It's a personal publishing platform -- software, without predisposition toward rants.

I think part of the wariness stems from the same misunderstanding of blogs common in the media and elsewhere in the culture...

In 2006 I was building a local blogging network and setting up the first blogs for the newspaper that employs me, and this required that I demonstrate the Typepad interface to one of our department heads in a private session. It was all very confusing and distressing for him, and at one point he gestured toward the "compose post" section and asked "Is this where I'm supposed to put my rant?"

I scanned him for any sense of humor or irony. None. Despite all the meetings and orientation and conversation, he understood that blogs were for ranting. Raison d'etre. Had we asked him to blog he would have, no doubt, dutifully ranted.

There is a huge Us and Them thing going on when it comes to web tech. We see blogs as publishing tools. They see blogs as fraught with shadowy moral questions and personal risks. We see copyright reform as a key to unlocking the potential of the 21st century economy. They get alarmed when you talk about embedding video from YouTube. We go about using social networking tools and trying new media and creating ad hoc communities... and they fret about how everything is going to hell in a handbasket.

Thing is, we're not talking early adopters vs. mainstream consumers anymore. How can millions and millions of people all be "early adopters?" This is deeper than just the tech adoption cycle. It's cultural, and it's a fundamental shift.


Speaking of tech adoption, this is the best satire on the topic I've ever seen. It's Bronze Orientation Day from the Brit sketch comedy show That Mitchell and Webb Look.

E.C. Huey

Ed: remember what you wrote back on 12/11/06 when I launched my campaign?

"E.C. Huey has launched his campaign blog as a candidate for the Guilford County school board in 2008. Smart. Campaign blogging needs to be a long-term and consistent effort. Done well, it might actually be a time-saver over a traditional method of building name recognition and mindshare -- running and losing a couple of times."

Still stand by this premise?

I think the success of my campaign thus far is because I blog. My blog has been the anchor of my website.

Ed Cone

I stand by it, but much more relevant is that you as an actual blogging candidate endorse it. I think Joe Wilson's City Council run also was aided by his blog, and that Hoggard's blog helped introduce him as a candidate and has since made him a well-known figure in local circles.

So we've got strong evidence that blogs can help build an identity and establish a newcomer. They are NOT a guarantee, you need all kinds of other stuff, but their effectiveness is real.

Next: effective deployment by an established candidate -- or an effective candidacy by an established blogger.


Ed's running for office!

Ed Cone

Typo in that last comment -- should read, "Ed's running from office."


Aw, you guys might have some fun during the next election cycle.

Joe Wilson

I'm having fun now ... as we speak !

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