Saturday, August 26, 2006

On Deciding to Blog

Recently, the proprietors of NH-02 Progressive and The Yankee Doodler and I have been talking about how it is that we all started blogging in the space of a month or so when there hadn't been much NH blogging to that point. So this is my story.

One of the first places I saw Paul Hodes seriously discussed was in a netroots candidates nomination thread at Daily Kos, so the question of whether Hodes would be added to that list was on my mind from the beginning. In fact, it would be fair to say I thought about it quite a bit. Ok, in actual fact I made a table with the requirements for consideration and tried to fill in which requirements the proposed candidates fulfilled and how much support there was for them. And it was clear that the single major strike against Paul Hodes would be the lack of a local blogosphere.

I fretted about this, but I certainly didn't feel equipped to do anything about it. Then Hodes was put on the list and it didn't stop my fretting, because when you looked at the ActBlue netroots page, everyone else had local blogs listed and Hodes only had Swing State Project. SSP is pretty formidable, but not local. I worried that would discredit him for some people.

The thing is, I'm not generally big on taking initiative or taking the lead. I'm just not. I don't enjoy taking risks, and in cases like this, I tend to believe there's someone more qualified out there. It's not that I don't think I'm competent and smart, just that I believe someone else is bound to be more so on any given topic, and that I'm most useful providing support to them as much as I can, working hard maybe but in the background. That was certainly the case here.

And it's never been an ambition of mine to blog. I spend huge chunks of my life at Daily Kos, but I've only ever even diaried irregularly there. I'm much more comfortable as a commenter, engaging in discussion in a framework someone else sets (maybe attacking that framework as inadequate, but still taking it as a starting point). In that context I can be forceful, but I'm happiest sitting back at least that far.

So anyway, there I am, in no doubt that there needs to be a local blog covering NH-02, but sure that there's someone better to do it. But all those better people, they're not coming forward. Finally, at the end of June, DavidNYC and I had an exchange of emails in which he took my reasons for hesitating and demolished them one by one.

(Paraphrasing:)

"I don't know enough."

"Yes you do. And anyway, all you need is critical thinking skills + google."

"I don't know tech stuff."

"You diary at Daily Kos. You know enough. Just go to blogger."

And so on. So I told myself, well, even if it totally sucks, it's a local blog for them to post on the ActBlue page, so mission accomplished no matter.

Ironically, after I had my name and had set up my template, but before I'd posted, Yankee Doodler got going. But having agonized for so long before making up my mind to do it, my mind was made up to do it. Then a little while later, I happen across NH-02 Progressive. But instead of feeling like I've been let off the hook, they've really spurred me to care more, to look harder for stories, to think more creatively about my take on any given story. It's become this genuinely fun and engrossing and stimulating thing in my life, one that makes me feel purposeful and potentially if not yet actually useful.

3 Comments:

Blogger Bluey said...

I just started blogging for keepnhblue as well. I work for the NHDP. I'm a bit of an amateur at this so please forgive any lack of etiquette.

I wanted to start off with a zinger. It seems Jeb Bradley is voting with his wallet in mind rather than NH. An article that was released today by Harper's Magazine entitled "Invested Interests: Analyzing Rep. Jeb Bradley's Portfolio" showed how Bradley's investments in Big Oil, Big Pharma and Halliburton have benefitted significantly from his votes in Congress.

I know this probably doesn't sound too surprising, but it's just too blatant to ignore.

Have a look:
http://www.harpers.org/sb-jeb-bradley-invested-1156785610.html

3:16 PM  
Blogger ThatTallGuy said...

Whatever the reason that convinced you, I'm glad you did. My gf, while Democratic in most respects, thinks Charlie Bass is the bee's knees and I hope to convert her before November. :)

10:31 AM  
Blogger macmohan said...

Oil and Pharma are in the list of beneficiaries now. Everyone has invested at one or another. I believe markets drive the companies not the politicians.

2:37 AM  

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