February 01, 2005
Charlie Sykes poses two questions to the Wisconsin blogosphere:
Query One: Why no interest in Doyle's handling of school choice in the blogosphere?
The two stories I've been hooked on the past few weeks have been the voting problems and Howard Dean, M.D.'s quest for the DNC Chairmanship. Tossing in a third would stretch me thin. Also, the voting story has a more national audience. TAM isn't just a Wisconsin weblog. I write in order to be read, and the voting story has boosted traffic locally and nationally.
An occasional e-mail nudge would help me be aware that it isn't being covered. At the very least a link to someone else covering the story would give it some much needed attention.
Query Two: What's the next step in promoting the new -- very active -- WI Blogosphere? I'm open to suggestion.
Marketing and promotion is one of my weakest traits. I have an introverted personality and grew up in a Wisconsin German Lutheran environment where one's merit was shown through actions. I'm not comfortable bragging about my success--whether TAM is a success, I don't know.
You'd think Hugh Hewitt's book Blog would give you some tips on how to promote a weblog. It really doesn't. It's more of a case study/evangelist book. Hugh tells you why you should weblog rather than how to get your weblog known.
What can always draw attention is noticing goofyness in the MSM. I'm sure Power Line's war with a Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist helped many to learn about weblogs. Who wants to drive Eugene Kane so crazy to get a mention in his column?
Since the MSM (and a certain corner of the New Media) almost completely ignore the WI blogosphere we can just bypast them. An example of detouring the MSM is starting a radio show like the Northern Alliance in Minnesota. The Milwaukee radio market is different from that of the Twin Cities. It seems to be more dynamic with new stations popping up, and old ones changing formats. The NA's birth coincided quite well with the up-and-coming AM1280 The Patriot. Right now, I don't see a hungry, chance-taking station interested in putting a bunch of webloggers on the air.
More realistically we should use Charlie's show to get the word out about this parallel media universe. This leads into a question I've been wanted to ask Charlie for a while: How should webloggers call into your show? Yesterday, I called Charlie to talk about ethanol. I called and got on but was hesitant about telling the call screener what weblog I wrote. Charlie was kind enough to have me in the studio so I also didn't want to assume he wouldn't mind turning his show into a mini weblog commercial. Charlie could also take 10 minutes a week to talk to a weblogger. Radio is a powerful medium. We just have to remember that in order for it to work webloggers have to be interesting. That's the tradeoff. We have to add value to Charlie's show in order to deserve the attention.
As for me personally, I'll continue to follow stories that interest me and (hopefully) interest my readers. Later this month, I will be a fully credentialed weblogger covering CPAC (by the way, please donate). Getting to talk to some conservative big-wigs as well as searching for the conservative wackos who will be there should draw interest. I hope to get promotion ideas from my fellow webloggers. What I can do as an everyday thing is make linking to my fellow BBA members a daily habit. One aspect of the "power of the link" is sharing is good. When I link to another weblog I'm sharing my traffic with them. That valued interconnectedness helps both sides of the link.