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Sunday, March 12, 2006

More press for guv/bloggers brouhaha ha ha ha

Burlington Free Press has an article today. UPDATE: I just noticed that half of it is mysteriously missing...

And... anybody have stuff for me to talk about on VPR this week? Speak up.

March 12, 2006 at 10:17 AM in Media/Keeping an eye on the competition | Permalink

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Well, I assume the host will do a little blog review the evening before the show, so you can bet I'll try to put something really juicy or thought provoking out on that night. Maybe if we all give 'em our best stuff to read, you'll be able to talk about what geniuses Vermont bloggers are ;-P

Posted by: odum | Mar 12, 2006 7:21:25 PM

Cathy Resmer - Vermont Blogs on VPR:

> Which blogs do you pay the most attention to?

#1 - Agrarian/farm/homestead
#2 - Technical/Macintosh
#3 - Political/NAIS/AnimalID
#4 - Vermont/7Day/VermontDailyBriefing
#5 - Blogging/ProBlogger

> What makes a good blog?

#1 - Relevant news
#2 - Useful how-to
#3 - Interesting stories
#4 - Easily accessible layout
#5 - No ShockWave, plugins, Java
#6 - Loads fast
#7 - Stays on topic
#8 - Not just a regurgitation of the news
#9 - Original content
#10 - Not so heavy with ads that they get in the way

> Is there an up-tick in blogs that are focused on Vermont/Vermont issues, as opposed to personal blogs or topically-oriented blogs that defy geography?

Yes. I have seen more started this year. I also see a lot more blogs and web things in general. The technology is becoming more accessible and know.

> Are Vermont's political blogs an artifact of an election year, or are they here to stay?

Some are but most not. My http://NoNAIS.org blog certainly is political in some respects - I'm trying to stop the USDA from imposing mandatory the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) on us - it should be kept voluntary. I list politicians in my Naughty (Pro-NAIS) and Nice (Anti-NAIS) groups. I write them and encourage readers to write the politicians. But that does not end with the election.

On my Sugar Mtn Farm blog which is for our small farm where we raise pastured pigs I discussed town meeting but the blog is not otherwise particularly political.

Thinking about I can't name any blogs that are so related to the election that they would vanish after the election other than perhaps a losing candidate's election blog...

> Do we know how large and diverse the readership is of Vermont's political blogs?

If you really wanted to figure this out it is possible in a general sort of way by using search engines, TruthLaidBare, Technorati, ClustrMaps, SiteMeter, etc to get a sense of readership for blogs.

In the case of my two blogs I have many readers inside Vermont but far more outside Vermont. It surprises me how widespread my blogs's readership is. There are thousands of people who come from all around the world as well as about 20,000 or so in the United States. When I started the blogs I had not idea there would be that much interest, especially outside the USA.

> Do we know if it's insiders taking cracks at each other, or regular people weighing in?

Regular people.

> Is one more legitimate/interesting/valuable than the other?

Not sure.

> What does anonymity mean in small state like Vermont?

Same as anywhere else. Sometimes it is good, sometimes it is abused. In general I prefer blogs that are not anonymous just as I don't like newspaper articles that are anonymous.

> Do you trust a blog if you don't know the true identity of its owner?

I trust an anonymous blog less so than one that is upfront about the blog owner's identity. That is not to say I trust all blogs, or any source be it newspapers, radio, etc even if I do know the author and publisher. But having a real person know behind the writing helps make the writing more authoritative.

> Is all this online anonymity antithetical to Vermont's mythologized preference for face-to-face self-governance?

On the one hand I personally prefer not doing and reading an anonymous blog. On the other hand, there are some topics where anonymity are critical. Especially if someone were criticizing the government and fearful of reprisals. Thus anonymity should be preserved as an option for those who need or want it. This does not replace personal responsibility and ethical behavior standards.

Cheers,

Walter Jeffries
Sugar Mountain Farm in Vermont
http://SugarMtnFarm.com/blog/
http://NoNAIS.org

Print this to pass out: http://NoNAIS.org/handout
Print this to hang up: http://NoNAIS.org/poster
Ad copy is available here: http://NoNAIS.org/ads

Posted by: Walter Jeffries | Mar 13, 2006 6:28:42 PM

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