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Building A State / Issue Blog by Mind Map: Building A State / Issue Blog
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Building A State / Issue Blog

Possible Issues

Finding, Keeping, Motivating Good Contributors

Building Traffic

Competition & Collab w other blogs

Balance Partisanship and Journalism

Maintaining Quality on Community Site

Legal Issues

Turning Lurkers into commenters and posters

working with candidates and elected officials

maintain civility

getting media attention and credit

Find, Keep, Motivate Good Contributors

How finding new contributors

TX Chaos, numbers, 6-8 front pagers, 20 active diarists, get shy about front page abilities, 800 user IDs, found it's cyclical, sickness, political activities impact blogging time, will be hard. maintain WHY you're doing it, actively put a diary up occasionally asking for opinions, if u write something good, we'll front page it, comment freely when people write

California, braindrain. outsourcing., all think of themselves as natonal blogs, some nat'l sites have great state content, sometimes ask those folks to cross post

BLue Jersey, numbers, 10 front pagers, ID more serious contributors, communicate via google groups, created inner circle, editorial team for decisions

Burnt Orange, turn group over ever six months, core group of 3, cattle call applications, review frequency and quality of posting

Colorado, very evangelical politically, with DL e.g., people worth reading tend to stick around

Are Issue Blogs Different or the same

PHB, most contributors were frequent commenters, i liked their work, i was busy, they wanted to help, careful about the KIND of contributors you have, progressive white male perspective, transgender perspective, daily life has impact on folks, not paying them, so can't ask that much

Paying Contributors

can be symbolic. $25 a month. about respect

tip system?

typepad blogs has very integrated tip jar, have used to help pay site fees, could be used to pay contribs

Building Your Audience

more offline activities?

need more readers to get more contributors

interaction w/ state dem party (ex MI and NH), not beholden, parties can be open minded about using blogs, created knowledge of state party politics, blogger meetups at state party convention, party officials read blog

get in the news, find scandal

cross-posting b/w larger sites

put blog in your signature line

daily news roundup (blue jersey)

google!, SEO, tagging articles w "campaign 08" for example

RSS feeds, notify google and technorati of updates

include video

frequent posting

links are currency, link to each other!

be of high quality

state politics wiki on elections etc. can lead to blog

go to local party meetings

(RI) followed lincoln chafee around in costume. got covered by TV, lame duck costume at state house during press conf

making press contacts. doing press calls, watch news. find who you like. call/email them, "i love what you do. let's get coffee", watch pundits the press goes to regularly, call them out on ignorance, be careful though

transition into journalism, as newspapers downsize could be good opp, writee Op Ed piece, gives more attention and elevates voice, gives more credibility, get linked from reporters / news stories

mention people's names, esp reporters, they have egos and google alerts

track your blog, google alert on blog and byline

negotiate with alt weekly and indie papers, state political roundup

get used as outlet for "informal statements"

comment on other blogs

use reader emails. send monthly summary, use constant contact to manage, email is diff medium, feedburner daily newsletter

balance being partisan with news delivery?

there is activist vs journalist division among bloggers

take shots at dems when out of line

play good cop bad cop with coalition of bloggers, roundup links to more inflammatory posts. "wasn't me"

ex. ID frank church banquet. reamed party for not having youth there, new state party chair dispatched young blogger to deliver his msg of party future

being member of state party = conflict?, could be liability, can't talk about certain things

institute conflict of interest policy (MI liberal), disclose paid positions or other affiliations

spend time trying to make Dems more progressive (NJ)

keep in mind your blog's mission

engage with opposing or critical arguments

have diversity of opinion, among bloggers, among commenters

thoughtful partisanship, some dems are corrupt, some GOPs are honest, good people can cast bad votes

are you trying to persuade or trying to score?

are you talking on your blog to hear yourself talk or to have a conversation with someone else?

turning lurkers into commenters and posters

ask them!

soapblox recommend function can help

get people comfortable with commenting, gateway drug?, caption contest

open threads

get input on media appearances

liveblogging, aapp does the primaries

never underestimate having fun

wide variety of content (burntorange)

put up non-political subjects, in off hours / days, caption contests, politics of hair ex. from PHB, politics of using hair conditioning ex from PHB

front page poll. change regularly, on soapblocks you have to register to vote, poll your reader demographics

multi-part story arcs

letting state capitol officials comment/write on your site?

don't out people, some folks would never share with their ID

don't let people from one campaign attack another though, email privately first if they cross the line. warning

there's diff between anonymous and pseudonym

LLC structure

did after getting threatened with lawsuit

others set up PAC

LLC helps with grant applications