February 12, 2005

For the Love of All That Is Good and Holy

It's pretty obvious that I'm a Minnesota blogger. Locals will have been tipped off by the phrase "Cake Eater" in the title. Non-locals will have read my various scribblings about what it's like to live in the Twin Cities. People know where I live. Recently, however, some of my very nice fellow Minnesota bloggers have added me onto their blogrolls as a member of the "Minnesota Organization of Bloggers." This is a facetious titling to lump all of us who live around here into a barely coherent group. Short form: I moseyed to a bar in downtown and met a bunch of fellow bloggers who were nice enough to blogroll me. This pleases me and I'm proud to be one of the chosen few. (And I will be reciprocating shortly. I've just been lazy.)

Pleasure aside, though, because of said lumping into Minnesota Organization of Bloggers (aka The Journey to Keegan's), well, I got an interesting email yesterday. From a state level politician who's running for one of the biggie state level offices. I don't want to out the guy until he announces his intentions publicly, so he will remain nameless. I don't mean to diss his campaign manager, either, because he's just doing his job by getting the word out, but... I have to wonder what the hell were they thinking by sending me an email full of paragraphs like this one?

"{...}recognizes the key role that bloggers, and especially Minnesota bloggers, have begun to play on the forefront of the new media revolution. As 'journalists', in both the original and traditional meanings of the word, Minnesota bloggers are increasingly becoming opinion leaders and sources for original information...wants to acknowledge that vital role in public policy discussion by including bloggers as part of 'the media' as they release information.

While I think it's good that campaigns are bringing bloggers into the fold and I applaud their efforts, my main reaction is what the fuck are these people thinking? I ask you, my devoted Cake Eater Readers, when did The Cake Eater Chronicles turn into blog where the author actually gave a rat's ass about Minnesota politics?

I spend very little, if any, time writing about Minnesota politics. And anyone who actually read my blog would know this. There are many reasons I avoid it, but the main reason would be I abhor state-level politics. It bores me. I know other people love this sort of thing but I don't. Yet all is not lost. The beauty that is the blogosphere dictates that if something doesn't interest you, well you don't have to write about it because many, many other people will. But because it was a bulk email thrown out to many people, it's obvious I've been lumped into the CITIZEN JOURNALIST* blog category.


Note to campaign managers everywhere: this is my personal op-ed page. I am not a CITIZEN JOURNALIST. I am a citizen op-ed writer. There's a difference. Good luck with everything. I wish you well, but save yourself time and effort in the long run and don't bother me.

Posted by Kathy at February 12, 2005 01:33 PM

Heh. I got the same e-mail. And I corresponded with the guy who sent it. He's a good guy, and he's trying. But blogs are scary-weird new things to politicos. We apparently all look alike to them currently.

Posted by: Doug at February 12, 2005 02:05 PM

I too received the same email. Although my blog does have some political content I think the guy was using the shotgun approach in hopes of gaining some support for "the candidtate". Not that I'm opposed to seeing Hatch relegated to the private sector I'm just not sure I'm ready to be considered a "journalist". I'll give them some credit however for acknowledging blogs as a viable information stream. Doug is right, we're too new a tool and nobody (even ourselves) knows quite what to do with blogs.

Posted by: Noodles at February 12, 2005 09:57 PM

Precisely, Noodles.

While I would agree with both you and Doug about nobody really knowing what to do with blogs, it doesn't seem too much to ask of the person in charge to go and actually peruse the blogs in question before sending an email. I mean, it's not like he actually had to leave his desk or anything. It seems somewhat sloppy to just copy email addresses off a blogroll and just forward an email along in the hopes of gaining some steam. Not a real effective use of resources.

If anything, the blogosphere has something for everyone. A targeted approach, rather than one of the shotgun variety, would have served him better.

Posted by: Kathy at February 12, 2005 10:25 PM
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