I started this as a local news blog about 1 year ago. Really informal. Hobby. I wanted to get information ‘out there’ about the Jaindl issue. Raise awareness. First started on Patch but then wanted to catalogue my posts in one place.
At the time I wasn’t going to run for office. I simply wanted to apply for a volunteer position at the township. After failing to get on the planning commission, I thought I could get appointed to Parks Board (since ya know I had the support of the parks board..) and I thought it’d be cool to blog about our park system.. So I made a blog.
That’s really when I decided I wanted to (well had to…) run for office. I had ideas and people seemed to think my ideas were good/interesting. The Board had different thoughts.
I wanted to see if the majority of voters agreed with my ideas. Turns out they did. At least Republicans during the primary. Gearing up for the primary campaign it was much easier to just convert my existing blog to my campaign site. I thought, heck it contains my thoughts on almost every big development issue. So I just left all the content on it and re-designed a little bit. Created the platform page and welcoming letter. I wanted a site that really dove into the issues. And my blog did that. So it made sense.
When the campaign is over it goes back. Some say it’s bad politics for politicians to blog. That it’s bad strategy. That you should be purposely ambiguous. . . No thanks.
As far as the future I’ve been lucky. The blog kind of took off. Didn’t plan it. In 1 year I had just over 5000 unique visitors of 7000 total and 21,000 pageviews. I have no idea if thats considered ‘good’ or not in the blogosphere but it’s more then I expected.
My weakness is I’m not a technically great writer. Not by any means. I write really conversationally and also oftentimes rushed. Blogging is a big time commitment. That I learned. My strength I think is that I do this cause I care about my community where I grew up. I don’t know all the answers but when I see issues I take the time to look into alternatives and read stuff written by and talk to folks with experience. Really I want to start conversations. Get people thinking about local issues and shine a spotlight on them. I think I’ve been good at that.
It’s even gotten some local, regional and national coverage and re-postings. Regionally I’ve gotten to guestblog on crossroads the Renew LV blog. One post got picked up from SmartGrowth America. Recently a nationwide conservative smartgrowth blogger reached out to do some collaboration. There may be a conference of conservative smart growth advocates in DC I may attend. Exciting stuff.
So yes, this is primarily a land use blog. That’s my passion. It focuses on the East Penn area but I also dive into interesting regional stuff. I also write about local gov’t in general above and beyond land use issues. I also write occasionally about national issues. But I try not to so much to take focus of the blog off local and land use. But I shake it up mostly as a self indulgence every now and then.
It also got me into blogging culture. I hit up my rss everyday and comment often on other local blogs. Check them all out on my blogroll to see who I read. I don’t always agree with everyone but I think the ppl on my blogroll contribute positively to the discussion. That’s what it’s all about. I think blogging is important. I think this post hits it.