Saturday, July 14, 2007

Hope springs eternal

There's a Democrats for DeSantis blog. (Hat tip to Pittsblog.) Meanwhile, Chris Briem runs the numbers and finds the odds are not in the challenger's favor. Read the comments; Chris has some things to say that a lot of Ravenstahl critics (like me) may not want to hear, but which are hard to counter.

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Blogger EdHeath said...

I read the Null Space post. Was your question about NFL kickers a subtle shot at our Mayor, the college kicker? hmmm ...

I have been doing a bit of questioning about the impact and even the reach of the Burghospree. I was taking a look at my site meter and realizing that of the few hits a day I receive, most are listed as zero seconds. Some of those are possibly readers, but also some are possibly cookie driven pings to see if I am still there. The practical upshot being that I think I should at least cut the number of my readers listed on my hit counter in half for an accurate number. Jason over at the tube city almanac agreed suggesting that the most heavily read blogs still are not attaining the readership of a small suburban newspaper.

So what can bloggers do to advocate for a candidate? Pat Dowd would like blogs to be a place for debate of issues, and that’s fine, but it does not really work as outreach. Myself, I wonder if blogs could be organized somehow to write letters to the editor. The Post-Gazette’s limit of one letter a quarter would turn into one a month if four bloggers got together.

2:17 PM

Blogger Jonathan Potts said...

I did not intend to allude to the mayor's collegiate kicking career. I usually dispense with subtlety when I criticize the mayor.

I'm not sure how widely read letters-to-the-editor are. They are probably the most widely read feature on the op-ed pages, but how many newspaper subcribers spend a lot of time reading the op-ed page?

See, this gets to what I think is the problem with many bloggers: Because they pay a lot of attention to politics and current events, they think everyone else does, too. So they overestimate the impact that, say, a front page story about the mayor's ethical lapses has on the average voter.

I also think that a lot of bloggers are out of touch with the average Pittsburgh voter and more than a little condescending. (I know I am.) Chris Briem is right on the money when he describes hard-core Bill Peduto supporters.

As to how bloggers can increase their influence, I really don't know. I think that the best way to get the media's attention is to do original reporting and find stories that they miss, but that become too big ignore. That takes time and effort, and it's not something a lot of people can do for free. Self-styled progressives in this town also need to reach out beyond the East End.

7:27 PM

Blogger Schultz said...


I agree with you about how some of us bloggers overestimate our influence, especially here in Pittsburgh. Here is what I have been doing with my clean tech blog and what I plan on doing with my efforts to help DeSantis - I am getting out from behind my laptop and trying to become visible. That means setting up face to face meetings, phone calls, and the occaisional email with entrepreneurs, journalists, bloggers, congressman, and others.

This has worked so far with my clean tech blog and it is going to be a bigger challenge building up the grassroots support to the point where this becomes a hotly contested mayoral race. It is going to take a heck of a lot of work - from Mark and for his team. He and his people need to hit the streets, going door to door in each and every neighborhood to communicate why he should be the next mayor.

I find it laughable that people say he has "zero probability" of winning. Maybe it is because I am an optimist, maybe even a dreamer, but I think that if the people that want to see big changes in Pittsburgh, people like you and me JP, put their money where their mouth is and take action I think the impossible is possible.

11:32 PM

Blogger C. Briem said...

In Cleveland they run

11:58 PM


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