Thursday, August 04, 2005

Blogging along

Today I had the good fortune to attend a seminar entitled Reflections of a Blogger, put on by the New Politics Institute and hosted by the Human Rights Campaign. Guest speakers were Markos Moulitsas, who runs, and Joe Trippi, who managed Howard Dean's campaign for president. Dean, of course, was the first presidential candidate to make a significant attempt at capturing the energy and support of the progressive blogging community.

This blog, Abolish the Death Penalty, receives a tiny amount of traffic compared to some blogs that are out there. Daily Kos, for example, gets some 650,000 visitors a day. By comparison, on a "hot" day, this little blog may get 140 to 150 visitors -- but our average is more like 60 to 75.

Still, we anti-death penalty blogs have to stick together to build traffic. As a form of media, blogging is different from, say, newspapers or TV stations in that blogs do not compete with one another. Rather, they actually increase traffic to each other through links.

Let me explain: If you decide to buy a Sunday newspaper, you may choose the New York Times or the Washington Post or the Los Angeles Times or whatever. But you probably won't purchase more than one. If you choose to view an evening newscast, you may choose CBS or ABC or NBC. But you will probably not record another newscast while you watch one so that you can watch the other one later.

In contrast, if you are interested in the death penalty and, say, come to this page, you very well might click on one of the other anti-death penalty blogs (they're on the left side of this page) and go check out what other folks are blogging about. In this way, we complement each other by sending traffic to each other's sites.

That said, here's a quick rundown of what's out there (and hopefully someone will email me if I've left anyone out.)

Against Death Rows. This blog is maintained by a woman from Germany named Britta. It tells the story of life on Florida's death row through the eyes of one person who lives there. This blog took a hiatus earlier this summer, but now I see Britta is back posting.

Amnesty International's Death Penalty Blog. This blog was just launched. It's mainly a collection of news stories. What AI offers that other blogs don't, however, is an international perspective.

Capitol Defense Weekly. My friend Karl and I still aren't sure if this qualifies as a blog -- but if you follow the legal ins and outs of the death penalty, Capitol Defense Weekly is an indispensible read. As the name suggests, it is updated weekly with a full report of that week's important court rulings.

Central Pennsylvania Abolitionist. As the name implies, a blog dedicated to the death penalty debate in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania one day is going to be one of our key states.

Fight for Bobby.
This blog has been abandoned, evidently on the advice of Robert Fratta's lawyers. Fratta lives on Texas' death row.

Joe D'Ambrosio: Innocent on Ohio's Death Row. The name says it all. This blog appears to be updated somewhat frequently.

Lonely Abolitionist. Work lately has forced Lonely Abolitionist to take a brief hiatus, although sometimes she still blogs. Sad, becauase this is my favorite death penalty blog and it really helps when I can steal her stuff!

Meet Vernon. Life, and questions asked and answered, through the perspective of a person on Maryland's death row.

Project Hope to Abolish the Death Penalty. The blog of Alabama's leading anti-death penalty group. Updated frequently.

Sister Helen Prejean's blog. Sad to say, this hasn't been updated since early this year. Sad, because this one has the potential to be the best anti-death penalty blog out there. Check out the bells and whistles!


CarrieJ said...

David, you THIEF! I knew you were too good to be true. ;-) I'll be back soon. I just needed a break. As you know, the topic can get overwhelming. I'm hoping to get back at it in the fall. Perhaps on 1st Monday? We'll see. I miss not knowing what's going on.

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