Thursday, July 5, 2007

Newspaper launches candidate "blog"

The Boulder Daily Camera has started a new "blog" for the 14 city council candidates who are vying for one open seat. The Camera poses a question, requests responses from candidates, and posts everything on their web site. New questions will appear every Tuesday and Friday until the election concludes July 10.

This is interesting from a couple of different perspectives. First, it shows that the paper acknowledges the web as an important information venue for their readers. (And remember, the paper isn't just guessing here--no doubt they're tracking how many visitors come to their site, what they're doing, and what keeps them coming back.)

From the voters' (and small-d democracy) perspective, this is a great service. Debates give the illusion of a side-by-side comparison, but they usually go no deeper than exposing who needs more media training. The Camera's format gives candidates time to formulate a complete response and captures all responses in one place for voters.

And finally, from a campaign's perspective, it's wonderful exposure if you believe your candidate truly has the ideas and perspectives the voters want. I'd definitely consider having a L2Ed campaign asking local papers to follow the Camera's lead.

Clearly there's more than one way to use blog technology to amplify your message and expand your audience. More on this later.

--Louella Pizzuti

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