Looking For Mr. GoodBlog

My friend Adam Pagnucco, who writes a blog on Maryland Politics called, natch, Maryland Politics Watch, had a fascinating post just the other day.

Actually, it wasn’t by him — it was by his wife, Holly Olson. In it, she chronicles the history of her husband’s involvement with MPW and blogging, and announces there are going to be a few changes. Seems the two have a bun in the oven, and Adam’s been asked to scale back a few of his bloggiest traits.

Holly ends the post with this: “[T]his would be a great time for all of you wanna-be bloggers to step up to the plate and start providing guest posts. There are plenty of insightful, witty, and thoughtful readers out there who could offer a post or two a month. So let’s keep MPW alive and active — but let’s do so as a community endeavor. After all, I know that you all will continue to need your political fix — baby or no baby.”

This struck me because in mid-2007 I started a blog about my town called Rockville Central. It’s a sort of civic experiment, trying to open up new spaces for people to communicate on local public issues. It’s been successful (at least along most of the the measurements I care about) but it has fallen short in one aspect: not as many other people have followed suit as I suspected might. There was one other Rockville-based online information source called Rockville Living when I started (a very good site by the way). There are other info sources for the county, and some arts-related things, but not many new sites have cropped up that are just centered on the city.

I think there should be more and I have hoped that folks would emerge with their own blogs, looking at various aspects of what’s going on. But it hasn’t happened to the extent I’d like to see. At least not yet.

Now, to be fair, I have not been explicit about that hope the way Holly is in her post. I will be watching to see how other individuals respond to her call. So far, though, I have seen a small uptick in “outside contributions,” but it doesn’t look like Adam is working any less hard.

Maybe, over at my end, it’s time to start suggesting the idea to certain people directly!

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Brad Rourke

Executive editor of issue guides and program officer at the Kettering Foundation.

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