Media Blogger, Mass Media Media Ramblings, Mitchell Blatt’s Media Ramblings Blogger
Tell me about your Blog?
Mitchell Blatt’s Media Ramblings covers politics and media in an original fashion with weekly columns, thoughts on advertising and journalism, mass media, and related topics. I post original articles of commentary or newsworthy reporting from my own experiences as a music critic and politics journalist working in DC. In my capacity as a journalist, I also like to interview people in sports, politics, and journalism, so I’ll periodically post interviews with Michelle Malkin, Desmond Clark, or Marcus Curiel from P.O.D., just to name a few people I’ve interviewed in the past. I try to keep my posts longer than on general blogs and keep them more focused on original thought as opposed to some blogs that repost and link to what someone else has written.
What was your first blog?
My first blog, which I still run and post on periodically, is Juiced Sports Blog. I started out writing football columns in 2005, but the site I was writing for only last two years, so I started JSB with one of my cowriters from the other site, and we have since added others. JSB, like Media Ramblings, focuses on long analytical pieces. Because my coblogger and I and the others we have added have experience with columns, we still think of ourselves as columnists and subscribe to the theory that quality is better than quanity.
What is the biggest tip you would give to a newbie blogger?
You need to know how to market yourself and get linked and get your name out there. You can write the best posts in the world, but if no one knows about it, you won’t advance your blogging career. But with so many social media sites out there, it can get overwhelming trying to master all of them, so focus on the ones that you think will work best for you. Also, keep a list of related bloggers who are receptive to email who you can email sometimes when you write a really good post that you think they’d like to link.
What do politicians do that you wish they wouldn’t?
The most annoying thing about politicians is when they take the wrong positions, but that’s a partisan issue.
It’s not so annoying, though, if they’re forthright about what positions they are going to take and what the benefits and drawbacks of those positions are. What really pisses me off is when someone campaigns by attacking Bush’s irresponsible deficits then annoints a new era of accountability in his inauguration speech then goes on to have deficits that are four times more irresponsible than Bush’s even as he says that he supports a pay-as-you-go system.
The citizens vote for you because they like what you say you’re gonna do, so go out there and do it or else don’t say you’re gonna do it.
What do bloggers do that you wish they wouldn’t?
It’s annoying when bloggers post a big chunk of a story from a different source as they so often do with the blockquote function. It’s one thing to quote a few lines or even a paragraph or two, but anything beyond that is too much. I wrote about it here: http://mitchellblatt.com/blog/2009/05/bloggers-copyright-violation/ There’s a lot of blogs that will reference a story and post enough of it so that the reader can get the gist of the story without visiting the original site, thus taking away hits from the original source that actually did the work.
What new ideas are politicians coming up with to take advantage of new trends?
Politicians are really far behind in terms of new media, and it’s usually the new media activists within the Party who push it upon them. Twitter is starting to engage politicians. It’s a good way to connect with your base and keep them updated, but the ease of posting and the small amount of context possible in 140 characters makes it a potential problem. You could post something for your followers that gets used against you in a campaign. Newt Gingrich posted that Sonio Sotomayor was racist on Twitter, and then the fool had to retract it on Fox a few days later. (Now he calls her a racialist.) Certainly a case can be made that she engages in identity politics, but I don’t think you can make that point by engaging in identy politics yourself. Calling anyone racist is a harsh charge that I don’t think should be used unless you’ve got concrete evidence, and you certainly can’t make your case in 140 charcters. Then again, if Newt just sticks with Twitter only, he won’t be making stupid statements on Fox News.
George Stephanopolous used Twitter to interview John McCain earlier this year, but that interview turned out just like any interview that allows 140 character responses would turn out. (http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2009/03/18/2009-03-18_gimmick_gone_wrong_george_stephanopolous.html ) Twitter is an interesting tool, but you can’t convey a message with it. It may be good to post links to recent speeches or campaign drives or something.
Getting involved with bloggers and focusing media opportunities at them is another thing that is going to continuing happening on a broader scale. This June, an Indiana Republican (who has been in office since 1983) involved in a primary fight attended a meeting with conservative bloggers, including me, and promised us access to his office in the future: http://mitchellblatt.com/blog/2009/06/dan-burton-deficit-bloggers If he can recognize the growing importance of bloggers, younger politicians should as well. Increasingly blogs are where people are going to get news and commentary.
Web 2.0 in general, as seen with Obama’s campaign, is also going to be big especially for national politics. One interesting thing I recall seeing (but don’t have a link for) was a blog with an Obama fundraising widgit in the sidebar that tracked how much money had been raised from that particular blog. If you can get your individual supporters involved in the process, you can raise more money (or other types of support) with less effort. It would be interesting if any candidates ever do an affiliate-style campaign fundraising effort. I’m not sure if that’s possible, but with the blogosphere being so partisan, if you could get the partisan blogs to support your fundraising effort, that’s a big untapped resource.
What do you do to improve the world?
I entertain people with my blog and inform them on important issues that impact their lives in a way that no one else can do. No one. And I annoy them with my arrogance.
What is one thing about you that not many people know?
Basically everything I say in this interview, considering no one who’s reading it who hasn’t followed the link from my blog knows who I am.
What’s your favorite book?
Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon. He was a disillusioned unemployed professors in the process of being divorced so he went on a three-month road trip around the US on backroads, getting caught in a blizzard in the Utah mountains and a sandstorm on an Indian reservation and so many other adventures, then he became one of the most popular travel writers.
I’m particularly wanderlost myself, and I like biking out into the country and that book captures a free spirited journey that I’d want to do sometime.
What is on your iPod?
rock-progressive metal, punk, classic rock like Nightwish, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, the Offspring, Pennywise, and Pearl Jam just to name some of my favoirtes
What are your contact details (email, company, blog, facebook, myspace, forums, etc)?
Facebook fan page- http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mitchell-Blatt/54104163848
What events do you go to?
In terms of networking events, being in Washington, I go to a lot of think tank events, particularly ones at the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation.
How do you prefer to communicate?
Email, or, if you want to have a conversation, I’m always on AIM at airraid706 and will be glad to talk to you.
Who would you recommend, and why?
Bloggers I’d recomment, starting with 5 conservative political bloggers:
http://theblacksphere.blogspot.com / – hilarious though sometimes exagerated commentary
http://theblogprof.blogspot.com/ – being a university professor, he has more detailed, more interesting commentary on news stories than most other blogs
http://inmycopiousfreetime.blogspot.com/ – a general mix of mostly politics and humorous videos or other random stuff
http://iowahawk.typepad.com/ – his blog is good, but his videos like this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAqPMJFaEdY&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fiowahawk.typepad.com%2F&feature=player_embedded are real gems
http://themoneyspeech.blogspot.com – not a conservative blog persee, but a free-market economics blog. It’s writen by a grad student majoring in economics, so he knows more about economics than the media or my arrogant self can attest to knowing.
Here’s some other blogs on various topics I like:
http://withleather.com – humorous sports blog with concise posts and also posts random funny YouTube videos unrelated to sports
http://www.biggestidiotontheinternet.com/ – this idiot hasn’t updated since February 18, but you have to check out the videos of idiots he features.
What is one thing people can do for you?
Link to me.
If you want to do something to benefit both of us, I’m doing interviews with blogs like this one, and I will link to it and promote it, and I’m also interviewing bloggers myself, so email me at mhblatt(at)gmail.com if you are interested in taking part on either side of that.
Media Blogger, Mass Media Media Ramblings, Mitchell Blatt’s Media Ramblings Blogger