It is what it says it is.

Monday, January 09, 2006

A few notekeeping items- about us

So as not to take over the comments section of Pho's Akron pages, (highly recommended, BTW), we wanted to answer a few concerns and questions stated or implied by the editor of the Ohio 2 blog, the site in which is in many ways the godfather of ours.

In a comment, he questioned whether true impartiality was possible. We wholeheartedly concur; it probably isn't. It's a noble a valid goal, but since we are human, and naturally biased, and frankly, want to have some fun and maybe stir the pot a bit too, perfect fair and balanced coverage will have to be left to Faux News (see, that's one of our biases right there).

So, to start, we are three Dem leaning individuals of varying involvement in politics. Two live in district, one does not. One voted for Betty Sutton twice for the State House, another voted for Tom Sawyer once for U.S. House. None of us were in the right district to vote for Capri Cafaro, and as far as we know, the rest of the cast of characters have yet to appear on a ballot anywhere (at least anywhere we've been).

Thus far, all the pieces have been consultative in nature; as the election proceeds, it may become necessary for us to post individually, but we rather like the team aspect of the blog. As for our anonymity, well, we have found that sources are more likely to speak with us if they have the extra layer of protection that our anonymity provides; and at least one of our intrepid editorial board has a morbid fear of groupies. Nothing sinister in our motive; we want to tell the story of this race as completely and interestingly as possible.

As of now, none of our board have a favorite candidate; like most everyone else, we don't know enough about them, and what we do know just proves the political axiom that it is easier to find negative info than positive. Should the viewpoint of any or all of us change, we will let everyone know, if for no other reason than to land that big consulting contract at the end of the blogger rainbow (just kidding, that would involve technical knowledge and computer skills).

And as always, if you have comments, concerns, leads, info, rumors, wild speculation, insults, harrassment, or even just a shout out, leave a comment or an email. We love to hear from our readers.

The Ohio 13 blog editors

We can be reached at ohio13 at gmail dot com


Blogger Ohio 2nd said...

That's really nice to hear. One of my goals was to be a kind of proof of concept for what kind of effect these sorts of sites can have on districts, especially ones labelled as lost causes.

I got outed pretty soon blogging the race back when the blog was the story and not Paul Hackett. What a deadly combination. Add Jean Schmidt and I walked right into a blockbuster. My feeling is that there are hundreds of similar sagas waiting to be told. This is all such virgin territory.

It's interesting to see how different people approach things. I've got by own ground rules, but I've pretty much made them up on the fly. They've worked out pretty good for me.

I tend to see everything either in terms of games or music. I treat things like a poker game always trying to keep the action going. If you are too harsh like DKos no one will want to read your stuff except the people already on your side. If you don't play by the rules that normal people play by and give people credit no matter what side they are on, why will they listen to you when you are right?

Even though I was a pretty big Hackett fan early on, I always tried to give props to the other candidate, and invited people who supported them to promote their side. Things seemed to work out well, although I sense a certain level of tension from the people that most major players write off. I try to be fair to them, but I also try to be honest. Otherwise why would anyone read my site.

A key factor in my power is that I don't have any formal ties to the campaign. I like the power that comes from my freedom. Sign onto a campaign, and that all goes away. It does make everything a tad bit lonely and doesn't justify all the work in the bank account. Haven't quite worked that one out yet.

It's hard to work out how hard you want to hit when it's people from your own Party. People read you because you are honest, but that also steps on a lot of toes. Also, if you get to close to one candidate, you find yourself filtering out negative information about them almost without thinking. Sometimes you are forced to. If I say a negative thing about Hackett it's got 10 times the impact as when David Sirota does. (For instance when I talked about how much I hate him talking about Bush.) Who do you own your loyalty to? your Party? your candidate? your readers? truth? It's all about striking a balance.

It's hard to work out all of the conflicting dynamics. Party vs. netroots. Candidate vs. candidate. The Senate conflict made things really bad. I'm a Hackett backer all the way and someone who I truly respect decides to go against him. How do I play it? How much do I pull my punches?

Eventually I would love to network more with other people doing this sort of thing. Share ideas and think of ways to save time and energy for everyone.

I really like how you've kept your ear to the ground. Being that there is so much play on the Democrats side of things does help with that. It's harder for me to get a feel for what's going on on the other side, but I do try. Luckily for us the primaries have been very contested lately so there's a lot of fur flying.

Let's stay in touch.

7:13 PM

Blogger Ohio 13 said...

Thanks for the comment. It is informative to see just how your experience changed throughout the campaign. Already, despite small readership so far, it's clear that there is an impact, and that people are listening, which may be the first culture shock for us.

Well, obviously it is easier (if not easy) to get good D info. Unfortunately for the blog, if fortunate for the D's, no "serious" R has stepped forward, and we have serious doubts that one will. If one does, we will endeavour to be fair.

So far the biggest problem is that this is the quiet period of the campaign, and there is precious little new info. We have oppo research type info on all the candidates, but we are still debating whether we should be the ones initiating the "gotchas." These are why we need blogger ethics panels, people!

7:15 AM

Blogger Ohio 2nd said...

As I like to say, I don't care how many readers I have, it's which readers I have. Just don't be surprised when other people get and take credit for all of your work.

10:42 AM


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