Being fairly new to the rigors of maintaining a blog, I pay attention when I run across interesting stories about blogging. I highly recommend this article I found on the blogger who might bring down Gonzales. Until just a few days ago, I was unaware that it was a blogger, Talking Points Memo, who helped gather the information together that broke the Gonzales scandal in the US. Talking Points helped uncover the story of the eight U.S. attorneys that were forced out of their jobs late last year.
Reclaim the media reports,
In December, Josh Marshall, who owns and runs TPM , posted a short item linking to a news report in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette about the firing of the U.S. attorney for that state. Marshall later followed up, adding that several U.S. attorneys were apparently being replaced and asked his 100,000 or so daily readers to write in if they knew anything about U.S. attorneys being fired in their areas.
Marshall wrote his first blog in November of 2000. Once he started, he never stopped… living in near poverty as a result (this part is a bit scary but I can understand his obsession..probably why I think its scary).
I also found this interesting article called Blogged Out at the Tyee and I was quite interested in their discussion around the do’s and don’ts of the comments area of a blog. I think it’s interesting that there are different beliefs and practises for the comments area. Some people are completely dedicated to answering their reader comments, no matter if they are sensible/logical or from head-spinning, flaming trolls. Other bloggers won’t comment themselves (e.g Public Eye Online) but allow others to comment, and still others don’t allow comments at all.
At first I thought it would be awful not to respond to your reasonable commenter’s remarks, but then I took a look at some of the threads of bloggers who get lots of comments, and can see they are a lot of work to track, respond to, and still come up with ideas/writing for new posts. I think it could be quite a challenge if your short of excessive amounts of free time. I can’t imagine keeping track of conversations the way some bloggers do and I have a lot of admiration for them.
I have to admit after visiting several popular, long running blogs on numerous occasions and seeing the awful cases of ranting, raving Tory Trolls, some of them have, I do not envy these bloggers. These vampire commenters suck the energy out of the blogger. They are not visiting the blog to see things differently or gain a new perspective. They are there to attack, that is their sole purpose.
I admire bloggers with the patience for comment interactions. Reader input can put a blogger on a solid path to uncovering, connecting and discovering new information. The Marshall story demonstrates this. If Marshall had not allowed comments or involved himself in comments, he never would have been able to break that story. It was his readers that helped achieve the breakthrough.