Missouri is the 24th State

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02/23/2010

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Excellent advice. This could save people a lot of trouble and let them know where it might find them.

I'm just starting a blog and your advice is very timely. Thanks.

In other words, you stop being a "resident" and become a "citizen!"

A few more, not necessarily political, but more general blogging tips:

Be organized. Research your online content and keep it filed, bookmarked, and saved to refer to later. Since online content is sometimes removed, archive it, especially if you've linked to or referenced it.

Know your audience. Are you speaking to a certain demographic? Are you only speaking for yourself? Are you trying to be all-inclusive? Are you trying to generate a conversation, or just giving your final opinion?

Be consistent. Have a format/layout/template. Your readers will appreciate familiarity.

Have a proofreader. Otherwise, your readers will do it for you, and you will lose that all-important credibility. Use grammar and spell checks if you have them, but another set of eyes is almost always better.

Content is king. Post content as often as you can. Give your readers a reason to keep coming back and checking. If you have different topics to cover, consider timed updates - spreading it out over the course of the day, as long as it isn't breaking/time-sensitive.

Network with other bloggers. Start healthy conversations and mutual critiques. "Iron shapes iron" and all that jazz. But don't give up your own self-identity.

Don't get personal about yourself, unless it's a personal blog. If you are writing a political or restaurant or other blog, try to keep the personal info to a minimum. "Breaking! City council member is found with prostitute. I'll tell you more, put my cat just puked and I have to clean it up." Stay focues on your mission, if you can. Some people can pull it off. Most can't.

Occasional and relevant pictures can enhance your stories. Entire galleries on the front page can be distracting. Choose wisely.

If you are only doing this to make money, you will not be happy, and people will notice. Saying outrageous things to get pagehits might work for a bit, but your credibility will suffer(I'm looking at you, Andrew Sullivan).

However, if you are looking to get pagehits, then the most important piece of advice for this whole list of comments: Get Instalanched! And forever live in infamy.

Nicely stated.

I am an admirer of your meticulous, original research as well as the consistency of your voice/tone. (That is something we struggle with at our site from time to time, especially given our penchant for satire.)

Keep up the good work.

You're just giving out perfectly sensible advice to obscure the fact that you're a paid shill who wants people to die.

@BD - I think #7 is going to be applied to you. Just a guess.

Great comment - Brian.

BD - what can I say, you caught me.

Thanks moogrogue - that's a been a problem here too. How do you mix videos of Russ Carnahan as a clown with actual reporting? I figure it will work itself out in the wash. This blog has always been a labor of love, which means ultimately, I'm just writing for myself.

That's probably the best advice. My posts are longer then "optimal," they bounce around, and the humor can be a big obstacle to getting bigger.

But I don't want to get bigger. I don't want to be a pundit. I'm not looking for a career in politics or political consulting (doing that means you have to hang out with politicians).

Truth be told, I'd rather sit and listen to Jo Mannies tell war stories or have a beer with Jake Wagman then research FEC reports. But there are stories to be told, and battles to be fought.

Not everyone who disagrees with you is an idiot. Most of the people on the other side of the argument are intelligent, well-meaning people who simply see the world through different eyes. Treat them accordingly, even if they don't offer you the same courtesy. Name-calling will do nothing but undercut your argument.

Make an effort to understand the other side of the argument. How many lefties do you see running around screaming about how the Tea Parties are all about racism? Don't fall into that trap. Try to understand how an intelligent person could draw those conclusions, and begin your argument there. Illustrate why they are mistaken -- not evil, not stupid -- mistaken.

Take a deep breath. Politics can be a passionate topic for a lot of people, and it's easy to find yourself way off the deep end well before you realize it. Take Andrew Brietbart; I respect the heck out of that guy, but put him face-to-face with a lefty and he goes red-faced and wide-eyed in no time flat, even when his points are perfectly valid (see the Max Blumenthal confrontation).

Of course all of these suggestions are a sure-fire way to limit your readership to somewhere around zero. Nobody wants to hear from a level-headed pundit. Why do you think Glenn Beck and Keith Olbermann have jobs?

One minor quibble:

Politics today is about money. Government has it and doles it out.

Government takes it and doles it out. Government has nothing they haven't taken from someone else.

Oh, I see HTML doesn't work in the Comments.

My bad.

Bravo. Nice list. But an occasional rant is good for the creative process.

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About 24thState

  • 24th State is named for Missouri, the nation's political bellwether which has the honor of being the 24th state admitted to the union.

    From Springfield to Kirksville, from Kansas City to St Louis, we cover the state's news, views, politics, rumors, and elections.

    The site is a group blog, run by average citizens from across Missouri with a desire to get involved in the political process. The Editorial Board is a mix of Tea Party members writing collectively.

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