This Friday's Blount County Democrats luncheon included a presentation on Blogging 101. Our gracious BlountViews host was the presenter.

The meeting was quite fascinating. This is the first one we have attended. Fridays are very busy for us. Customers!

Joe Gallagher, former Democratic candidate for Blount County Mayor, led the meeting and introductions. Former Blount County Democrat party chairman, Brandon Cook, spoke on county initiatives by the Democratic Party as well as the upcoming election of Judge Meares. Wendy Pitts Reeves spoke on County Commission issues, agenda items, and specifically denounced a move by Blount County Commission to support Judge Young's anti-immigrant comments.

Judge Mike Meares spoke a moment regarding his upcoming special election for Circuit Court Judge. Judge Meares was appointed to the seat by Governor Bredesen, a Democrat who won every county in the state. Judge Meares announced the slogan for his campaign, "Meares versus the Machine", to much applause.

Surprise guests were Ana Calixto and her good friend Ms. Blevins. We appreciate their attendance. I hope they both feel, especially Ana, there are sane people in Blount County that still believe in an individual's rights.

All of these people are great representatives for Blount County and the Democratic Party.

R. Neal provided a great presentation on blogging, with a focus on hyper-local community blogs such as this one. There was a lot of audience interest and interaction. Many of the attendees were not familiar with blogging. This presentation was intended to inform the familiar and not so familiar as to the possibilities and influence of community blogs.

A variety of topics were covered, from the history of blogging to the future of blogging and what makes a good blog. The information was quite fascinating. It is interesting how when you grow with a medium you don't always stop to think about how it evolved or where it is going.

R. Neal discussed how blogs grew in importance after 9/11, and started becoming politically influential during the run-up to the Iraq War and during the 2004 Presidential Election. A lot of very good information was presented.

He pulled from his over five years of blogging experience (100 years in internet time, per Randy) to explain unique characteristics of blogs, the impact of blogs, the relationship of blogs and the MSM, suggestions on what bloggers might do to help with local elections, recommendations on blog content, and some blogging dos and dont's.

Specific to hyper-local community blogs, R. Neal suggests community blogs can: raise awareness of local issues, provide a town hall forum and act as a local government watchdog, provide an information clearinghouse for local issues, draw expertise from a variety of individuals on a variety of topics, provide interaction to refine talking points and guide consensus, provide alternative points of view as compared to the local media, help guide media coverage of local issues, and encourage people to attend public hearings and meetings.

Thanks to Randy for his presentation. Thanks to Joe, Brandon, Wendy, Judge Meares, Ana and Ms. Blevins. I would like to add a a special thanks to Mello for all her hard work here at the blog and around Blount County (and for getting R. Neal out to do the presentation). She sure knows how to stir things up.

Disclaimer: I worked with and coached the speaker, thus you may see a little bias in this report.

R and The Mrs-I am going to

R and The Mrs-

I am going to book your show with the Music Row Democrats, the Albuquerque Democrats, the Franklin County, Ohio Democrats, the Mariposa County Democrats, the Santa Cruz County Green Party and the Humbolt County Democrats.

Now I will try to book your show with the Tennessee State Democratic Party, the Raven Society, The East Tennessee Sierra Club and The Little River Watershed Association.

Youse guys are going to be so glad when I head back to the west coast. Or perhaps Halls.

Speaking of blogging, ocal

Speaking of blogging, ocal author/motivational speaker Tim Richardson has a great thing going on that you may have read about: The World's Biggest Blog Party. The theme: "one thousand bloggers connecting the globe for good." Read more about it here:

Oops! Sorry--that's "local"

Oops! Sorry--that's "local" author, not "ocal" author!

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