Last night, before driving back from Charleston, I had a coffee for the road with Nancy Mace Jackson. As you may know, Nancy is partners with Will Folks on his blog — she handles the technical side; he does content.
While we talked about other things — as the first female cadet to graduate from The Citadel and as a communication professional, she’s very interested in the unfolding scandal at her alma mater — our talk quite naturally gravitated toward blogging.
Which reminded me…
Personally, I don’t spend as much time on other folks’ blogs as I probably should in order to stay current. So it was that I had trouble helping out the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism when it came to me seeking input recently:
We are currently gearing up for the 2012 campaign/primary and election season and will be tracking political blogs in the early primary states. We are in the process of identifying potential blogs to track, and are reaching out to some bloggers that we are already aware of in these states for additional suggestions and recommendations. Any assistance you could give us in this effort would be greatly appreciated. We are interested in tracking liberal, conservative and non-partisan blogs.
Here are the blogs Pew’s PEJ was looking at already:
That list made me realize I needed to update my blogroll. It has some on it that haven’t posted in a while, while other active blogs are missing.
What have you been reading that isn’t on that list?
Also, while we’re on the subject…
I’ll be undertaking a redesign of this blog in the near future. Help me out by pointing me to blogs you like, both in terms of how they look and (more importantly) functionality. Yes, I know many of you want to be able to edit your posts — which will most likely require registration, which I’ve stayed away from thus far.
But which blogs do you find easiest and most pleasurable to read? What are some bells and whistles I don’t have now that you’d like to see?
I’d appreciate the input.
other blog I read regularly with some political bent: The Consumerist (mostly consumer stuff–some of which has a political aspect)
I also read Salon.com and Slate.
Your blog needs an edit your own comment feature. A like button (like Facebook) would be awesome, too.
Is this just a political blogs query? I love Columbiaclosings.com.
I’ll post what what I read regularly at the bottom of this entry.
I probably read Andrew Sullivan the most. Like your blog, I prefer the vertical format where I can scroll down through the entries. When I go to FitsNews, I basically look at the top stories listed across the horizontal picture bar, read the summary, then click to go to the ones of interest. I don’t like the format of many of the blogs… too cluttered in my view.
Definitely need an edit feature for posts. Registering to have that capability is a cheap price to pay.
I think wasting space on the blogroll on the right is useless. Why would I click on any of those unless I knew what the content was about? better to have a link to a blogroll page with a brief description of why the reader should look at that blog.
I’d like to see the “recent comments” part either expanded or filtered down so you don’t see 10 recent posts on a single topic. Or show the top 10 topics with the most comments in the past week sorted by # of comments in that time period.
Here’s an idea – treat your blog sort of like the editorial page and allow some of your regulars to be guest columnists for a week. Maybe a small box with a link to an area where people like Kathryn, Phillip, bud, Bart, etc. can provide a complementary viewpoint, links, etc. This is what I like about sites like The Corner on National Review – you get a range of columnists (all right leaning) but each with a different perspective and voice. I know that might make it a little less bradwarthen.com but if the goal is to reach more people, maybe you need to expand the content creation capabilities.
What I read:
FITSNews For Now
Mother Earth News
When I found your blog, there was less need to read a slightly less nuanced pair; yes, another brad blog was actually first –
Political websites I enjoy:
I love the Shop Tart’s blog! http://theshoptart.com/
fitsnews is the one I go to first. Other than that one and this one, there’s more interesting things to see or follow than a bunch of political blogs.
Features needed… Edit and Ignore buttons.
I would like to be able to have text editing features on comments here. I stumbled upon this blog after meeting Brad by sheer accident right after starting my own humble blog.
Top five blogs I read:
Instapundit (politics, news)
Althouse (politics, news)
Savory Reviews (cooking)
and many others…
I like Doug’s suggestion about the blogroll being useless for visitors. I may change how my site looks based on that idea.
I have a personal/professional relationship with longtime editorial cartoonist Kate Salley Palmer (http://kate-salley.blogspot.com/) and impatiently await her return to health so that she might pick up where she left off before an untimely confrontation with a watermelon. Really!
If registration is a prerequisite to being able to edit a post, I’d steer clear of it myself. Also, as mentioned by an earlier post, your blog roll would be more helpful with descriptions.
Is Taegen Goddard’s Political Wire considered a blog or is he considered an aggregator? It’s first on my list to check politics.
I must confess that I’m not as up on blogs as I should be because I’m more attuned to Twitter. I follow Goddard there, for instance…
This is the only local political blog I read. In fact, the only other political blogs I read daily are the ones on Haaretz. I would love it if some of the better-known local political figures commented here. Also maybe you should hire an intern to skim the comments and flag possible “illegal” ones for you to review – it would speed up the submit-to-post time and thus the conversational flow.
New York Times
and an assortment of others when I have time. My time to browse is early in the morning or late at night. Occasionally during the day when things are kinda slow.
I find that I get a good feel for the mood of things by reading the comments. Sometimes they are full of surprises.
I’m with Doug…Hands down, Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish is my favorite, and then I just rely on him to steer me via links to other interesting posts. The good thing about that is he’s as likely to send me to conservative (but mostly the non-insane) sites as liberal ones, which helps mitigate the “echo chamber effect.”
Your blogroll is actually titled LINKS. Break it into two distinct sidebars, one of which is actually blogs, and the other, websites. For example, Felicia Day does blog, but her site is more of a promotional web address.
Oddly, after typing that note about Felicia Day, I clicked on her link and as it turned out, she was doing a live video chat with other filmmakers. It was pretty interesting. The software is called Vokle, and it looks like they use Skype as input devices.
When a blogsite starts to fixate on one individual, I find myself tending to stay away and eventually, never go back. That is how I feel about Andrew Sullivan. His obsession with Sarah Palin eventually overshadowed everything else and I no longer find him to be relevant on any issue, whether conservative or liberal. If this labels me as closed-minded, so be it. Palin is a personality more than anything else. A reality show subject and I find reality shows boring and unrealistic.
I refuse to go to MoveOn and some of the other far left sites along with some of the far right sites. I will not allow Hannity or any of the other Fox personalities enter into the picture just as I will not allow Schultz and the MSNBC misceants to grace my monitor or television.
It is becoming more and more difficult to find a really good blog to visit and depend on for a balanced and even handed discussion of events. We need input from both sides of an issue, whether we agree with the other side or not, their voices are important.
At times, this blog seems to be very liberal oriented. Well, it actually is more liberal than anything else. The regulars, Kathryn, Phillip, bud, and others outnumber Doug, Juan, Steven, and myself by a large margin.
Sorry, “miscreants”,not “misceants”
Bart, I also grew tired of AS’s Palin obsession, esp. the “Trig” issue…but if you subscribe to the RSS feed with the entry titles available as a scroll-down in your toolbar, it’s easy enough to avoid those topics of less interest and select only the ones that intrigue you…true for any blog.
I think Doug Ross posts a fair amount, and Mark Stewart is hardly a liberal….Steven probably posts as much as bud and Phillip put together. Phillip doesn’t post nearly enough, or fellow lefty, Karen McLeod!
I suppose one could count up the comments. Then we could get into discussions of who is and is not liberal….
Brad: Nice to know Pew was taking an interest in my small effort.
I have to admit that I haven’t been as active on the SC GOP 2012 beat as I was in2008 beat but we haven’t had as many of the 2012 hopefuls visit as we did by this time in 2007.
By now in 2007 I had already posted on interactions with Duncan Hunter, George Pataki, Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney.
I hope that will change soon and I can get some up close and personal time with the top contenders.
Also, have you ever thought about some sort of joint blogging project for SC political blogs? What about organizing group live blog or chats for debates or the SC GOP primary night?
I did some of that last time around and it was a big hit.
http://willrichardson.com/ (Teacher stuff)
I also lurk at http://columbiaclosings.com/wordpress/ that Bud mentioned.
I do a lot of following links from one site to another until I have no idea how I got to where I ended up (in terms of website and content) and knowing I may never pass this way again.
I would really like to have an edit button. I’m forever making hypergraphical errors.
“…Bart, I also grew tired of AS’s Palin obsession, esp. the “Trig” issue…but if you subscribe to the RSS feed with the entry titles available as a scroll-down in your toolbar, it’s easy enough to avoid those topics of less interest and select only the ones that intrigue you…true for any blog….” Phillip
Thanks. I normally peruse the sidebar to see if there any sites I may be interested in visiting. Sometimes I do check one or two out but after a while, as most of us do, we tend to go back to what we view on a regular basis.
I find that most of the sidebars, depending on the blogs one prefers, are repetitive, consisting of the same blog sites.
“…I suppose one could count up the comments. Then we could get into discussions of who is and is not liberal….” Kathryn
I truly value your input and do take to heart what you post. But, I still consider you the “hall monitor” of this blog, not Brad.
We may not agree on many issues but your voice, along with Phillip’s does make it a lot more palatable when I need to digest other points of view to consider.
With all my driving, I just don’t have that much time for many blogs at all, and then usually only on weekends.
Right now, I’m following Brad, Jay Garmon [dot] Net (tech & trivia), and a couple of language blogs, separated by a common language, and You Don’t Say.
As for determining who is what, how do we define ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’? “You disagree with me on the current subject, so that makes you a …” is favored by many today, but is, at best, simplistic. I know I don’t fit neatly into either camp, although I’ve been accused of tending more often liberal than not.
Thanks, Bart. Phillip is far the better, more, thoughtful, more reasoned writer. I am flattered to be mentioned in the same breath.
Phillip does express himself very well and your description is accurate. However, a lesson a former mentor taught me (one that at times I completely forget), the more direct and simple any comments or directions, etc. are given, are less likely to be misunderstood and clarity is the key to a good comment.
I think Doug will agree that brevity and clarity are keys to writing instructions and manuals. A hallmark of good industrial engineering practices.
You are very good at being direct without a lot of superfluous verbage and Phillip is good at using the English language to a greater degree when he makes his points.
Brad — are you still taking input as to what tekkie bells and whistles to throw money at? Many readers have mentioned an edit feature, which would be great. But what about this:
Clustrmaps. Now there’s a concept.