by Cathy Resmer
Yesterday I wrote about my irritation with the Burlington Free Press blogs, which for some strange reaason, lack outgoing links. In an act of rebellion, I planted a link to Richard Tarrant's campaign website in the comments thread of a post about his site.
I went back this morning to check if the link was still functioning — it is — and I followed it to the campaign website. I've been there a few times, but for some reason, never noticed the "blog" that Tarrant "writes."
Now, politicians' blogs are notoriously dull. Spontanaeity and a strong, original voice animate the stuff we write online, and occasionally make our blogs worth reading. But in politics, both of those traits can be deadly. So it's not surprising that Tarrant's blog is utterly lifeless.
Here's how Tarrant's campaign explains his blog: "It is important for Rich to convey his opinions and thoughts to youabout the issues of the day in a straightforward and honest manner. Inorder to serve as your Senator, he needs to hear what your opinions areon these same issues."
Fair enough. But why, then, does the current page of entries consist of articles from newspapers, and a letter from Tarrant's campaign manager? But don't bother leaving a comment on the blog asking Tarrant to explain — you can't! There aren't any comments. Not a big deal, really, except that the campaign has just urged people to share their opinions. Weird, especially for a guy who founded a software company.
Bernie Sanders' blog, on the other hand, is far more net-savvy, and is so far the clear winner in the Vermont senatorial blog race. The candidate himself doesn't post, but his supporters do, and they let readers comment. Looks like they're not attracting much feedback yet.
My only complaint is that Sanders' site doesn't say much about the bloggers. Who are they? Do they work for Sanders? Are they volunteers? What's the deal? I want more transparency.