Thursday, January 05, 2012

What's Inside a Blog ?

Stateside Associates named The Cincinnati Enquirer's "Politics Extra Blog" the best local political blog for Cincinnati. But is it really a blog? Or is it more like the old newspaper "Extra" as it's name implies?
Wikipedia points out:
Although not a must, most good quality blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments and even message each other via GUI widgets on the blogs and it is this interactivity that distinguishes them from other static websites.
So, technically, it's a blog, I guess, but the lack of dialogue with the authors seriously detracts from it being any kind of "best" blog bigtime. In my book, the dialogue is the most important part. The Enquirer's political blog is one of it's worst blogs along those lines. When the author just tosses out posts in an attempt to stir up the locals, it is just tantamount to Erisean trolling - not good blogging at all. Campbell & Kiesewetter respond to posters, dunno about the sports or arts guys.
Furthermore, the free exchange of thought is hampered as limits participation to people who are signed up with a 3rd party service that many people don't use for political discourse.
The Cincinnati Enquirer has been able to publish "extras" forever but has opted not to. As it contracts out printing to Columbus printers, that ability will be completely gone. I certainly use the Politics Extra "blog" feature for information that I post & comment on here but I routinely interact with commenters here. It's a "best practices" kinda thing. For a great example of "blog" interaction along political lines, The Cincinnati Asylum, The Daily Bellwether or, to a lesser degree, Cincinnati Blog are great examples. The Cincinnati Enquirer is still the best news source in town but their political blogging sucks big hairy wet ones.

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