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May 17, 2006

A new blog

Posted by David Postman at 9:19 AM

Welcome to The Seattle Times' political blog. The plan is for me to write this pretty much full time until at least the November election. I'll also write a political column in the paper every Friday and on occasion some good old-fashioned newspaper stories.

This is a work in progress. Other than some "testing, testing, testing" to teach myself how to use the software, there has been no dry run. Dry runs, Mickey Kaus says are "soul killers."

I plan to post at least each weekday starting Monday. Check back often. And I hope you'll leave comments. This is a shared space and there will be room for your thoughts, criticisms, questions, or whatever. But please keep things civil. Everything doesn't have to be positive or upbeat. But I will delete comments that are offensive or don't meet the standards of fair dialogue.

I hope that doesn't happen much. If there has been one unknowing mentor to me as I enter this world it has been Jeff Jarvis, who writes the always-interesting buzzmachine. Last week he wrote a lengthy post on the subject of comments and I have to agree that except for the rare case, "the best answer is to face people directly; bullies back off under the glare of eye contact or to put it more positively, anyone appreciates the respect of conversation." So let's try that.

Most of what I write will be seen by an editor before it's posted. What you see here will largely be my work. I'm hoping for a light touch from the editors. This will help me avoid typos and rampant stupidity. But the blog will be a rougher draft than what newspaper readers get from me.

I don't want to get into a lot of philosophy about blogging and newspapers at this point. I'm certain whatever preconceived notions I have about blogging will change as I do this every day. I want to be as open with you as possible, tell you how I do my job as well as why I do things a certain way, admit mistakes and be open to constructive criticism. (My editors would tell you that doesn't sound like me.)

Before I could get started here, Eli Sanders at The Stranger's Slog posed the big question about the new blog on the block: Can an "objective" political blog make it in the world of Horsesass and Soundpolitics?

That's the challenge. Starting Monday morning we'll see what happens.

Update: Until someone smarter than me can fix it in the morning, comments will have to be approved. That's not the way it'll be done in the normal course, but this is what happens when you listen to Mickey Kaus and don't do a dry run.

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