Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Pt. 2 of Dean: The Lowdown

~~~I gave you the basics of his site in the previous post, but now I want to go into further detail and actually talk about the content.~~~

Given in the last post, but here, for general reference, here is the Dean Blog.

And while this all seems nice and good, it also seems a bit too transparent for me. While they post often, they do not post quality things. There are numerous stories about Dean's birthday where supporters are hoping for 555 nationwide birthday parties for him with a fundraising goal of $555 a piece and then end it with a "You should celebrate Dean's birthday too, and here's how!" The quality of the post and the context of them are of course bias, but to the extent that they make it almost unbearable to read on. And if the lack of substance was not enough, the shear lack of any documentation of posters is just down right annoying. There are posts by people that do not accredit where they are from or who they are. There are just a string of random names at the bottom of the posts. I was somehow under the impression that an official blog of a hardcore presidential candidate would require posters to say who they are as their signature and give credit as to why we should care about what they are saying, to give weight to their argument, to show that a presidential candidate is a bit more critical than just letting Susie Q post their opinions on his blog.

And how do these people manage to post? Beats me! You cannot find out how to post, who these people are, their affiliation, nothing. How do you get to be one of these random posters?

But this is all sounding immensely harsh; so let me clarify. I like that there are constant posts and updates. I like that the archiving system on the right has three different ways you can look for posts and topics and issues. I like that you get to see the supporters of Dean's opinions, and I like that there are a million links to take you to all of his affiliated sites by supporters. I like that you can easily find political posts via the categorized archives and that these posts give you a personal idea of the Dean platform.

However, who are these posters? Also, the political blogs are overwhelmed by the calls to action, the chunks of blaring persuasion, and the quirky stories that should add charm but instead make you wonder how serious this blog really is.

I like that he has tried to cross the canyon, not gap, of the different generations. My main thing is, where is he in all of this? Where are his posts? Letting this new generation of bloggers post for you does not get me closer to you, just closer to Matt, the guy that posts three times a day. I want to see “Gov. Howard Dean� at the end of one of the posts. I want at least some of your blog to be run by you, posted by you, and hitting up the topics that are most important to you, not just these random people, but you, the man that I could, or anyone could, possibly elect as President of the United States of America.

So that's my call to action, post something Dean!

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Pt. 1 on Dean: The Basics

When it comes to politician's blogs, the first name that comes to mind is of course the Mother load of them all, Dr. Howard Dean's.

However, Dean's blog is probably not what you would expect. Most blogs are more like a daily column for people to voice their opinions and attitudes. Dean took a much more liberal approach, no pun intended. It is easy to see that the blog is not just maintained by Dean, in fact it is almost impossible to even find his name at the end of one of the posts. Many, many different people post onto his blog. The range goes from the Generation Dean supporters, to guest writers, to the Chili Master for the Oklahoma Chili Caucus. You can even become apart of the blogmania by posting in the "Comments" section under each post. This section is filled with people from all over the US.

The actual post themselves are mostly lighthearted, a sprinkle of oddities, a mere handful of real political debate, but overwhelmingly, they are filled with a call to action. Many of the posts talk about how you can help the campaign by going out and seeking your own Americans for Dean converts. Also, the blogs have updates about online chats with Dean or one of his associates about pressing issues like higher education and increasing costs. A few links to articles about Dean or the campaign or important issues also color the daily posts. More links to just about anything and everything related to Dean, the campaign, etc is on the side bar of the site.

So that is kind of the basic run down of the site's general layout, content, etc. In Pt. 2 of Dean I will go more into the conent of the site, what I liked about it, and what I didn't like. Pt. 2 will have much more details. This section was just to give the basics and is my warm-up to my next two months of blogging and sharing my opinions.

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