Same shit, different day? What did political blogs accomplish in 2004, besides bringing down Dan Rather and selling tickets to Farenheit 911? Will poli-blogs and hyper-local citizen journalism sites really make a difference in 2006 and 2008? Are bloggers better off trying to influence their own communities or sway the masses? Lisa Williams talks with Jarah Euston and Kety Esquivel, Courtney Hollands, Lindsay Beyerstein and Ann Althouse...bloggers representing all types of blogs, and with a range of opinions on what they expect to achieve with those blogs.
Any advice? I've got to say that if I weren't on this panel, I'd be more interested in one of the other panels going on at the same time. I'm really not that interested in politics, and I usually like to keep it at arm's length. But that will kind of be my topic. Political blogging is not just for politicos, and being not the political type is an angle on politics that can work in blogging. It drives the really political people to distraction.
This is going to force me to leave Madison, which I've been avoiding for the longest time. I've spent a lot of time looking at maps. Yes, of course I'm driving. I love my car and I love to drive across the western landscape. It's a long way to San Jose, and please don't mention that song, which is hard enough not to think about when you're going to San Jose. And the person in the song is just trying to get to San Jose from L.A. How hard is that? What a loser!
Plotting my route, I kept my eye on two things: the green dotted lines representing the scenic drives and the one motel chain that made it absolutely clear that they have wireless internet in every room at every location. Do you know how many chains brag that they have high-speed access ... in the lobby? My favorite example was one that showed a beautiful woman in a bathrobe sprawled across her bed, smiling with delight at her laptop. Some lobby that must be.
In the past, I've driven long distances and just figured out where to stop as I was traveling, which can cause some trouble, like the day I drove all the way from Madison to Salt Lake City and then thought I might as well go on to the next town. If you don't know how stupid that is, look at a map. [ADDED: Speaking of being driven to distraction!]
So, I've picked my stops, which I hope will keep me from doing foolish things and free my mind for the true aesthetic and spiritual experience of crossing the landscape. I'm taking three days to get to the destination and somewhat longer driving back, which will include a stay at a very posh resort. So I'm driving a big loop, for a total of well over 4,000 miles, with stopping points in two places on the way to San Jose and three places on the way back to Madison.