And the hard work begins. To paraphrase the quote from Benjamin Franklin, now I have a readership – if I can keep it.
I wanted to first go through some of what you can expect when you come back to monoblogue. I focus on a number of things, mostly political but I swerve into other topics which interest me. Here’s just a few:
- Obviously I devote a lot of time to the Presidential race. I’ve managed to get on the e-mail lists to almost all of the campaigns, even the Democrat ones since I like to see what the other side is doing. People may ask why I do that and link to Democrat campaigns (particularly when I sit on our local county Republican Central Committee) but I believe in an informed electorate and once they start reading the Democrat talking points, it’s usually plenty of rope for the D’s to hang themselves with. It’s been a great last few days for me on the phone – it goes without saying how much of an honor it was to speak to Rush yesterday, but I also got to talk to Presidential candidate Congressman Duncan Hunter last week too. And I’m still attempting to do the same with other Presidential candidates as well – while they may not be high on my list, they’re certainly better than the alternative.
- The hotter topic is more local, but it does have some national import. I live in Maryland’s First Congressional District, which is considered one of the most meaningful races in the nation as a barometer for how conservatives will do in the 2008 general election. It pits the Republican who’s most likely to buck the party line according to a CQpolitics.com study, Congressman Wayne Gilchrest, against three other GOP challengers (one backed by the Club For Growth) and at least one Democrat who’s attempting to run right of Gilchrest on some issues. So I devote a lot of space to posting and commenting on what those campaigns have to say. (All of the candidates are linked toward the top of my right-hand column.) Also I do a weekly Election Calendar where I see which candidates are coming to my local area, the lower Eastern Shore of Maryland.
- Once these people get elected, I don’t stop examining them. I’m definitely a critic of our Governor, Martin O’Malley, a Hillary clone and backer who’s out to raise our taxes in order to address a state deficit primarily caused by overspending on the part of both parties. But O’Malley doesn’t just want to plug the budget hole, he’s out to throw more money to his union buddies (for example, supporting and signing a statewide “living wage” for companies contracting with the state of Maryland.) From January to April while our General Assembly is in session, it’s a frequent topic of discussion. I also check in from time to time on how our federal representatives are doing.
- I also get to a lot of local and state party events, and it gives me several opportunities to be a photojournalist. I like putting together pictures and text to tell a story. A good recent example was the GOP straw poll our county’s Republican club held. (And that event was my “baby” to boot, I came up with the idea to both promote the club and be a fundraiser. By the way, Fred Thompson won it handily and the club made some “free” money too.) I also give the same treatment to other local events that interest me.
- Additionally, like Rush, I get tired of talking about politics all the time so I delve into different subjects. It’s one reason I do the band links I have on my site and promote some of my weekend band-watching. Moreover, while he’s a huge football fan, I’m a diehard baseball fan so one way I support our local team is weekly during the season I post a Shorebird of the Week with a picture of and information about the player. (Our local minor league team is the Delmarva Shorebirds, a class “A” Orioles affiliate based here in Salisbury.) And oddly enough, the most-commented post I’d done prior to the Rushalanche was on junk faxes. So I throw a few changeups here and there to keep things interesting.
Now I wanted to address some of the many comments I got. As I’ve said before to my previously small but loyal following, I have the best commentors on the Eastern Shore. You folks just took it to a national (and international) scale.
A few people took issue with my views on the Alan Keyes post about abortion. Obviously the Declaration of Independence states clearly we have the right to life. Further, I happen to be one who believes life begins at conception, even if it’s not yet viable outside the womb. But I think abortion should be looked at as a states’ rights issue once Roe v. Wade is overturned. Also, we need to instill an attitude among the next two generations that respects life. At this time, I just don’t think the climate is right to push for a Constitutional amendment on abortion, but I’ve been convinced to change my mind on term limits over the years too – I used to be against them and now I’d like to see that, among others, as a Constitutional amendment.
Another comment I wanted to respond to was from one Steve Lockridge, who noted:
If we could avoid major disaster, it might be a good thing for Hillary to be prez for four years with a do nothing Dem Congress. Look at what Jimmy Carter did for the GOP.
Unfortunately, I don’t think we can avoid a major disaster this time. While I can see the point about the executive being blamed (fairly or unfairly) for the nation’s problems that occur during his term, there’s just too many other lasting effects a Hillary administration would have, particularly in the judges she’d select and the HillaryCare program that wouldn’t be able to be killed – after all, we’ve been stuck with Social Security for over 70 years and Medicare/Medicaid for over 40 (but who’s counting?)
There were also a large subset of comments suggesting that I picked a funny name for monoblogue and why I didn’t pick something like monoblog.com.
As I noted during the conversation, the inspiration from the name came from Rush. I was listening one day about the time that I began this website, trying to think of a good name for it, when Rush started on some subject just before the top of the hour break and commented that he would talk about it in the monologue section of the next hour. I just correlated the “log” and “blog” and said to myself, “now THAT would be a catchy name – monoblogue.” After all, I’m pretty much the sole writer (tomorrow I make an exception for Carnival of Maryland 17, as I’m the host) so it’s my monologue on the World Wide Web. As for the .us part, I’m an American and not a commercial. But then again…
…someone asked in an e-mail about advertising on my site. Well, it’s funny you should mention that – I’ve envisioned monoblogue as becoming a side income supplement. (My real job is an architect and project manager for a firm here in Salisbury, monoblogue is just my hobby/obsession). So it’s something I’d like to pursue but to be fair to the prospective advertiser I’d like to see how my readership shakes out and ask a couple people I know for advice on the tax ramifications. (Doesn’t that suck? Repeal the 16th Amendment and pass the FairTax already.) I do already have advertising of sorts on the site with the band links; the badges for Duncan Hunter, Mike Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani, and shortly Fred Thompson; and the link to the Patriot Post. (If you don’t already subscribe to it, you really should. It’s RIGHT and it’s free!) I also did the Amazon and art.com ads before but that didn’t work out. Maybe I’ll begin with replacing the Amazon.com ad and work from there. But to answer the e-mail; yes, I’m interested.
And to all of those who just commented and wished me well, I extend a big thank you! But now the real work begins, as I think I’ve gotten most of my new readership up to speed so now I can stop the navel-gazing and start getting back to meatier subjects. After all, I have a press release from my Congressman sitting in my e-mail box that I have to critically review and comment on.
Oops, forgot one thing people were asking about, a look at what my fifteen minutes of Rush fame wrought.
Yesterday at about 9 p.m. my website that averages 5,000 hits a day had 57,211.
As far as readership, lately I’d been averaging about 110 readers a day (at one point during our municipal elections here I was doing 200 or so) but yesterday I had 3,916 visitors, 3,760 first-timers. I’d love to keep you all on a daily basis because I generally post that way, some days 2 or 3 posts but mostly once a day. Since I’m more of a “wonkish” commentary site than a news one and I work full-time, that’s what I feel comfortable doing.
So once again thanks to Rush and more importantly, thanks to you for reading.