Thursday, November 03, 2005

Blogging against the death penalty, part three

My third and final post (well, for now!) on blogs and the abolition movement:

As has been noted, we recently held our annual conference in Austin. One of the workshops was on Internet activism, including listserv management, action alerts and blogging.

At the end of the workshop, 15 people turned in the evaulation forms that we at NCADP use to help us decide which workshops work and which ones perhaps need to be jettisoned.

One of the questions on the evaluation was, "As a result of your participation, list one to three things that you expect to do differently"

To my amazement, 12 of the 15 people who turned in evaluations said they are either going to launch a blog or they were thinking of doing so. Given that there are currently only 12 anti-death penalty blogs out there -- and given that half of these 12 blogs have not updated in six months or so and are, in effect, dead (no pun intended; well, okay, maybe a little bit intended) this means that we can more than double the abolition blogosphere!

Why is this important? Because with blogging communities replicated themselves in terms of numbers of readers.

If you're the Washington Post, New York Times, USA TODAY or Los Angeles Times, you compete against each other for readers. But if you're Capitol Defense Weekly or Lonely Abolitionist or Abolish the Death Penalty, you share your readers with other like-minded blogs.

In other words: We complement. We don't compete. When a new anti-death penalty blog arrives on the scene and brings with it its composite set of readers, we just get bigger and bigger. (Related note: We've almost doubled our readership here in the past month alone, after bringing new bloggers Karl, Tennessee Dude, Abe and Carrie onto the scene. Well. Maybe not all of those folks have blogged yet. But something is driving our numbers up and I don't know how else to explain it.)

Why is blogging important? After all, our readership is still kinda small compared to a lot of blogs that are out there.

To me, it's about encouraging each other, building community, exchanging ideas, sharing what works and what doesn't. Taking new messages and trying them out for a spin. Doing new things.

It's all about blogging for abolition.

And before I forget: Missourians to Abolish the Death Penalty launched its blog yesterday. You can see it by going to and scrolling down -- look on the left side of the page!

Missouri joins Alabama as the second NCADP state affiliate to have a blog. (Some national organizations that are NCADP affiliates such as Amnesty International and Campaign to End the Death Penalty also have blogs. Look on the left side of this page and you can find them.)

Won't others join us?

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