Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Blogging on Blogging

We noted yesterday that Tracy Warner posted an item on his blog about Media Notes, including the fact that we've criticized tracywarner.net. And indeed we have. (We're all fair game here -- that's why we open up a comments thread on every post.)

The truth is that we feel bad for Tracy. He's blogging under the auspices (and server space) of the JG, so there's a built-in governor on everything he wants to post. It's not a healthy arrangement, but it's also not likely to change.

People like Tracy -- newspaper employees who blog for their paper -- have the most obstacles to overcome in the quest to have a good (and successful) blog. Few have been able to do it, the most successful being the Sacramento Bee's Daniel Weintraub. (Registration required; go to www.bugmenot.com to bypass registration.) Weintraub is a columnist covering the California statehouse. His blog rose to prominence during the recent special election that resulted in Arnold Schwarzenegger being elected governor.

But unlike Weinraub, Tracy Warner is an editorialist. He's not on any beat, so he doesn't have bits of information or background that don't make it into the paper but make for great blogging. What Tracy has are his opinions -- the ones that he's not saving for the editorial page, that is. So he's at a disadvantage. Plus he's used to taking the time to write something, go over it, revise it, polish it, show it to an editor perhaps...and finally commit it to publication. The blogosphere, on the other hand, operates at the speed of light. Yes, the quality of what you've got to say is important, but so is the time it takes for you to deliver it to your readers.

Do we have blogging advice for Tracy? Are you kidding -- we've only been operating ourselves for just over a week. But if we were asked to make a suggestion, it would be this: become the clearinghouse for the local political scene. The most interesting recent post was Tracy's speculation about who will be running for office in 2006, especially whispers that former Democratic candidate Jim Zamora might be running for sheriff as a Republican. If he keeps talking about these races, we think he'll start to garner more attention -- and, as the editorial page editor, he can weigh in on his own personal view of the candidates. (After all, his paper will be endorsing some.)

Oh, and one other thing -- figure out how to create a link for each post, so that when another blogger wants to reference it (and link to it specifically), they can.



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