helping "local" bloggers

A bit a propos Stoller's recent highlighting of a Las Vegas blog covering Nevada issues in a pretty on-the-ground and focused manner, I thought that it would be fantastic if we could do more to promote this important part of the progressive blogosphere.
Why not have a group -- it needn't be a large one, and could be recruited from some of the usual suspects in the national blogosphere -- to provide support, advice, publicity and possibly some prize money to local blogs?

How to define what's "local"? I'd go ahead and say 50% of posts on a particular state, down to the city or county level. Indeed, as far as I can tell, one of the most pressing needs is blogs covering the very local issues: things that come up on the county or town level.

One of the main reasons, I think, is that the local political world is extremely opaque -- while at the same time, one of the most vital areas of the average citizen's experience with government.

When -- as happened in my former New Jersey hometown -- the town cops harass minority youth, or "raid" suspected boarding houses with illegal immigrants, or dangerously pot-holed streets get fixed on a by-income basis, it's the local government that is making those calls.

I saw all these things happen, but I had no idea how I could get involved in local politics to make them stop. We were a University town with an active set of citizens who stood up and protested, but such protests were ephemeral. They would come, happen, and go -- and we would wait for it to happen again. As a newcomer to the town, I had no idea where I might even begin.

I was in a rather heated argument with a friend last night, about affirmative action, and the point was made that "a lot" of black people dislike affirmative action. I asked if anyone at the table had spoken to thier black friends about affirmative action, and asked them what they felt. Surprisingly, to me, no one said yes.

The progressive movement needs to get people talking -- not only to people half a country away, but to people next door. And a network of funded, supported, accessed local-focused blogs seems to me to be an important part of that.

So who wants to put the bell on the cat?

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1 Comment

You want to really help local bloggers?
Link to them using keywords that describe their blog as anchor text.

They have the responsibility of promoting their blog locally.  This can be done through press releases, fliers, stickers, call ins on radio shows etc...  But we can't do this for them.

What we can do is link to them in order to give them a higher google ranking for their search term.

For example, look at my signature in this post.  I want people who search for Sam Brownback (my senator much to my chagrin) to find my blog which is "Dedicated to the Savaging of Senator Sam Brownback".  Links such as this tell google that my site is about "Sam Brownback"

If on the other hand I used "TheAntiSam" as my text in the link below (as I did early in the blog's life), what does that tell google?  That my blog is about "TheAntiSam".  Who is going to be searching for that?

Liberal bloggers need to be generous with blogrolling, and mindful of the power of the link text.

by KansasNate 2006-01-23 07:55PM | 0 recs

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