More Thoughts On the State of Maine's Political Blogs
Here are my thoughts on the subject, from my conversation by email with Al on election day:
I've noticed increased traffic and interest in my blogs every year I've been writing. Interest may peak on election day, but it then returns to a level that's a bit higher than it was in the last between-elections period.
I think you're comparing apples and oranges when you compare those blogs to mainstream news sources. They aren't doing it for the money, so fewer eyeballs isn't nearly as much of a problem.
PolitickerME failed (in addition to some bad business decisions) because it was a corporate site with just one trick. PTP and Dirigo Blue seem to be labors of love. Our blogs at DownEast.com are just one part of a larger media presence.
I imagine that Maine Watchdog, funded as it is by an interest group, will live or die based on the political and organizational concerns of that group and their funding, rather than public interest in political news.
If LePage is elected tonight, I think you may see an increase in online, progressive discussion of state issues. There's always more to get excited and angry about when you're in the opposition.
AMG is a steamroller fueled by concentrated insanity that will keep going forever.
The site hasn't had nearly the attention it deserves from me since I decided to spend more time writing here and at the KJ, so for the first time I'll be opening it up to outside authors. I'm looking for some good, smart, interesting people to lend their pens. If you'd like to suggest someone, or yourself, drop me a line.
Some other interesting blog news: Pine Tree Politics owner and author Matt Gagnon will be "taking a leave of absence" from his blog to take a job as Director of New Media Communications for Senator Susan Collins, the position recently held by Lance Dutson, also a former blogger and now Communications Director for the Maine Republican Party.
The site's main contributors will now be Derek Viger and the anonymous "Editor" who formerly authored the Augusta Insider blog.
It appears that Gagnon will still retain ownership over the site, which could lead to some issues if its writers take positions opposite those of his new boss. That likely won't be too much of a concern, however, as PTP's coverage of Collins up to this point can best be described as fawning.