December 28, 2007
The Five W's of Elections
My domain auto-renewed about a week ago, so I guess I'll try to keep this thing going. It has been about 2 years since the rebranding as TennesseeTicket.com occurred, and almost 3 years since this blog's initial launch.
The end of a (Gregorian) calendar year provides a convenient opportunity for reflecting on the past and for devising some sort of plan for one's future. (There's Janus, and all that.) As we gear up for another election season in Tennessee, I want nothing more than to provide the very best resource for voters. In light of that, I have given some thought to data organization.
My ideas are not completely cooked, but I'm essentially starting with questions I receive most often from friends, neighbors, and co-workers. It is sometimes difficult to remember that even though I, a political news junkie, seek out election dates, candidates, and issues early on, and move from there into amateur punditry (or whatever you want to call it -- you don't have to be nice), a shocking number of people don't know a) when election days are scheduled, or b) what will be on the ballot, until the very last minute, if then -- let alone where the precinct/district boundaries lie, who else is supporting the various candidates and ballot initiatives, or why a person should involve him/herself in the process any more deeply than one does in a text-your-vote reality TV show.
Internet searches recorded on the tracking software I use reinforce the idea that folks are seeking the basics, even though it can be argued that the basics are dutifully provided by such resources as the county and state election commissions and the mainstream press -- and that people supposedly look to blogs for personalized content that is otherwise unavailable. I find plenty of evidence that, outside the insulated community to which you likely belong, seeing as you're here, there is an enormous opportunity to elevate the essential civic knowledge of our fellow citizens.
The question is, how do I go about getting the word out that this resource is (or, at least, will be) here? I don't have a marketing background, though I read plenty of blogs that suggest one is not needed. I'm also not as technically proficient as I would like to be (read: I don't have the time it would take to learn, but I'm confident in my capabilities), so some of my conceptual fragments may not ever implement. Still, I will do my best to create useful solutions.
So, you might expect some changes around here, even though the principal mission remains constant. I'm not in this to make money, although a nice thing happened: royalties through the Newstex Blogs on Demand service paid for the domain renewal, and ads made me enough to buy a portable external hard drive so I can do more with video. Breaking even on hardware/infrastructure is fine; and my time is gladly donated as a service to all Tennesseeans.
To those of you who visit and read often, thank you for your friendship and support. Your creative suggestions are most welcome, as are those of any newcomer who just happened by.
Let 2008 be the greatest year yet for this website.
Site News | By joe lance | 02:23 PM
Helping people with the basics is a tremendous community service. Even for the most engaged and concerned community citizens, it is often hard to piece together all of the sites and news sources necessary in order to show up at the right place, on the right day, and at the correct time, with informed decisions. Thanks for all that you are doing to promote informed democratic process.
Posted by: Josh at December 28, 2007 04:30 PM