Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Big Money

Consider helping out your favorite bloggers. Not me, advertising money has been good lately (thanks Chevron! thanks Glenn Beck!) but some of the rest of bloggers out there. The largely unsung heroes are the "local bloggers" who focus mostly on local issues and candidates and while they can never hope to have a consistent large national audience can have a disproportionate impact on such things, both by bringing national attention to things and by being able to influence local media coverage. Odds are the traffic will never exist for those sites such that they can be advertiser supported, but they're really where a lot of the important stuff is happening.

I know people think this blogging thing is easy. Aspects of it are. But it takes a long time to not just build up traffic, but reputation. To not just have a readership, but hope to have a wider influence, you have to demonstrate that you're not nuts, that your judgment about what is and isn't important is pretty consistent, that your bullshit detector is pretty good. At least if you're a left wing blogger. If you're a right winger your bullshit fantasies can jump from your page to Drudge to Noron's mouth at light speed.

Most bloggers have to work for a living, their blogs are just a side thing. Few are hoping to have blogging be a full time thing. But every second spent blogging is time away from spouse, away from kids, away from advancing career, etc. Sure, it's "just a hobby," but it's shame if people who have spent time building their sites and reputations, building their networks, eventually recognize that it's something they have to step away from.

Campaigns and candidates and politicians are often still hostile to bloggers. Some of that's understandable as we can be a pain in the ass and they don't know how to deal with us. But lacking the equivalent of He Who Rules Their World and Limbaugh, we're still the best way to try to get around the media gatekeepers to get important stuff out there. Often it's the local bloggers who have the best shot of doing that, but they're mostly toiling away in obscurity.

So give some love to Blue Jersey, or your favorite local/smaller blogger.