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Monday, October 22, 2007

West Hartford Politicos: Active Blogs or Static Webpages? Where's the Beef?

West Hartford Blog shows by the link title that there are blogs for a few of our West Hartford hopefuls: Joe Visconti, Steve Adler, Leon Davidoff. But I tend to disagree with this particular point of view.

For years now, would be political hopefuls have had websites that contain fairly static information about themselves and their positions. Usually, the information provided is meant as a public relations tactic to look viable and "on the web". Since its incarnation, "Blogging" is different in that blogging by definition means that timely information is published with some frequency (either weekly or a few times during the week). To be considered a political blog over a political webpage, you need to publish somewhat regularly, and provide readers with near real time updates on events, issues, positions, thoughts and what-have-you.

Joe Visconti's blog for example appears to be updated almost daily with tidbits, positions, and food for thought items. The picture of him on his blog is somewhat disturbing - he looks like he's passing a kidney stone or suffering. But content wise, it qualifies as a blog. It's not that he's putting out heart stopping press releases (which he should), but it beats not seeing anything.

Adler's and Davidoff's pages are clearly not blogs. There is some good information about their positions and great background information about them but after one or two visits, you realize that you will be disappointed if you expected timely releases and updates etc. In fact, its a very disappointing effort to say the least, particularly from two very intelligent individuals like these guys. Since they went through the effort of setting up blogs/pages, the least they could have done was to devote 10 minutes every couple days to add new content or reveal a little more about their positions, etc. When you are trying to topple those in office, it takes a full blown effort and a diversity of tactics - particularly in such an internet focused society.

The Democrats have not seemed to embrace technology or the web in blog fashion but they have one known website which can be found here and it's for the incumbent School Board team. The Democratic strategy is an interesting one... I like the way they've focused on running as a solidified team. The Putterman-Schmitt-Kindall logo is a fabulous campaign tactic - sort of the "all or none" approach. Often as I drive around town, I'll see the three signs in yards displayed the same way as depicted on their webpage. That's usually the sign of a well-organized campaign. Perhaps they don't feel the need to advertise in cyberspace with their clear edge.

The rest of the candidates also seem not have embraced blogging or webpages which is a real shame. For relatively unknown candidates trying to unseat the incumbent party like Kelly Clark, Peter Martin, Diane Mudge, and Mike Seder - anything would have been a boon to their dwindling campaigns.

Surprisingly, the outspoken Theresa McGrath doesn't have a blog or a webpage, but she does have name recognition. Why they didn't draft her for Council over Kelly Clark is beyond me. Seems like they should have switched nominations - Theresa probably would have made a real run at it, and brought some energy to the G.O.P's lackluster campaign. But I digress.

Elliot Check, mild-mannered but sharp, checks into West Hartford Blog now and then and makes some brilliant points. Elliot is the most underrated candidate in the field. But he doesn't strike me as a blog guy - but I bet if he had one it would be incredibly interesting and thought provoking. Even if Elliott had a "dental blog" it would be fascinating to read. Besides, any guy that wears a yellow suit to a televised debate has guts.

Scott Silvka probably doesn't need a blog since he has the bully pulpit of the mayor's office to wage his campaign for re-election. Scott presents well and has really come into his own since Harris left office. A mayor's blog would be an interesting take, but its unprecedented stuff. Perhaps he might be bold enough to take it up in the future.

The rest of the Democrats in the field have apparently forgone websites and blogs in favor of door to door campaigning, and telephone banks.

For yuppie, up and coming, state of the art, on the cutting edge of everything, West Hartford Candidates and their organizations get a "D" grade for using the world's greatest medium to get out there message to their constituencies and voters.


Judy Aron said...

Just stopping by to say hi

Theresa McGrath does have a website/blogsite

so does Michael Seder

The King said...

Thanks Judy.

Hey, why didn't you run this year? You would have been terrific out there. And you would have brought ideas and passion to the debate. Never has a team done so little with so much material. I don't get it.

Judy Aron said...

I didn't run because of family issues. My daughter just started taking some college courses and I also wanted to spend time with my mom this fall. I wanted to help her get her high school diploma. Then my mom fell ill - my mom died on Sept 20. I'm glad I was able to spend time being with her. For me, family always comes first.

I have also been very annoyed with the Republican Town Committee and how they have been doing things (or not doing things). I just needed a break from all that.

Thanks for the vote of confidence though. We should go for coffee sometime (seriously).

I heard some folks over at West Hartford blog (which I really do not visit anymore - I haven't been there in ages) they think that you are me (or vice versa). Someone told me that and I laughed. I left that blog long ago when comments became quite abusive and uncivil. Whdad knows why I stopped going there. I sent him an email a while ago about it.

Anyway - cheers!

Elliot Check said...

Thanks for the compliments King. Did you get the check from my mother yet, she told me its' in the mail?

No, I don't have a blog. Perhaps after I am seated on the BOE it might be worth considering.

One of the biggest turn-offs for me in the '04 election cycle was Kerri's comments to go visit his web site if you wanted answers. So I didn't consider it for the election.

Glad you like the sport coat I wore for the debate. I knew the others would wear dark jackets and look rather somber. I thought it would stand out and brighten the place up, I guess I was right.

The King said...


I'm very sorry to hear of the loss of your mom. But at least you were able to spend time with her before she passed. Perhaps in many ways, the fact that you spent time with her while she was ill was a gift to both your mom and to you. Many people do not have the opportunity to spend the time with a loved one before they pass on.

I can understand your frustration with the local Republican Town Committee. I think they mean well, but I also think its time for new ideas and strategies. I have discussed this when them but they are not interested. I think they do a huge disservice to some excellent people who deserve to be elected.

There is more emphasis on towing the line and less on innovation and independent thinking. Even the signs (except Visconti's) are stale and unimaginitive.

Because I'm not controlled by the party hacks, and approach things from the stance of a resident voter who's about to be screwed over again by another second place finish, I can't help but target my own party for giving it away. The public outrage over taxes and spending, and the complacent approach mediocre school test results should catipult us to victory in November.

Yet with few exceptions, our candidates lack the energy to win. The Democrats have the majority, but we have the issues. We simply don't have the will to win. And by the turnover in candidates, it seems that our candidates seem to not want to keep at it.

And our most energized and outspoken candidates seem to draw the most flack from party insiders (and I don't just mean Joe V).

We can absolutely go for coffee some time. I would enjoy that.

Don't give up the fight on West Hartford Blog. We are out numbered 20-1. But its fun. Look at how upset the liberals get when they lose the argument. They don't even believe their own BS!

And I admit I get nasty once in a while. But really most of it is my bizarre sense of humor. There is nothing funnier on this Earth than an upset liberal.

J Aron said...

Well you know my email
(it's on my blog)
so let's plan to have coffee o.k.

As for the WH blog.. does anyone besides turtle and the other few liberal kooks even go there? It's like such a waste of computer bytes anyway - I don't have enough time in my day to waste on them - besides I know some of those guys lurk over at my blog.. they leave their trails. I know Jonathan Harris reads my blog (he told me so)

Anyway - let's get together.

(Tim W - West Hartford Resident) said...

Elliot: Congrats on your endorsement from Radiofree West Hartford.

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