September 14, 2005

Where did the time go?

The Inside Dope quietly turns six months old today.

In what sometimes feels like six years of running this thing, I've experienced many great and many disappointing moments, but the common denominator was that they were all damn interesting.

It's been 212 days of serving up stuff here. I imagine it's kind of like eating Mom's cooking. Sometimes the stuff is acceptible, not bad. Other times something goes wrong and you're served some nearly unidentifiable, over-cooked, and nearly inedible mistakes, hard to chew, difficult to digest, and it leaves you with an upset stomach. But then occasionally Ma puts out a meal that's wholesome and satisfying in every way. I hope what you find here is appetizing enough to keep you coming back.

Thanks to those who've joined in for the ride. Your chair at the table is always waiting.


At 9/15/2005 12:26 AM, Blogger Dissenter said...

Well congratulations, Dope. 27,960 visitors in six months. Very impressive. 130 visits a day, for a local website, in its inaugural six months clearly means that you are doing something very right. Keep up the great work.

Now I am off to Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula, more precisely, for two weeks of rest before returning in earnest to the local political world. Hold down the fort in my absence. I will e-mail photos of my Mexican journey, perhaps.

At 9/15/2005 3:20 AM, Blogger Rich Miller said...

Congratulations! I've enjoyed it.

One question, however: Is this now a national issues/politics blog?

At 9/15/2005 4:44 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Rich, first, thanks, and you ask a reasonable question.

As to lack of local content lately, I've certainly not made any conscious change of focus. I've always felt that while the blog is focused on the area's politics, that I'd not limit myself to strictly local stories.

As to why there's been little local content lately, that's due to a few factors.

First, there's been nothing going on, at least that I'm aware of. I haven't noticed anything in the press lately, though it's been a busy summer and I confess I haven't spend hours digging around looking for stuff.

Second, the Katrina disaster really blew me away (no pun intented) and it's larger political fallout and little reported side stories I felt were worth posting. Frankly, it was what dominated my attention and the inept and flat-footed federal reaction simply infuriated me. I wanted to inform people of each new outrage.

Third, since Madigan descended from on high and fixed things around here, there's not much to discuss.

Things aren't up in the air anymore. The die is cast. Sure, there's going to be a lot of activity and intrigue, but it appears as though I'm blessedly uninformed of anything going on at the moment.

If I was confined to covering nothing but local stuff, the fact is that the blog would have been static and stood idle for the past month or so.

There's been precious little in the local media regarding local politics, and my readers are avoiding me like the plague when it comes to sending in any tips or story ideas. I've evidently become untouchable and radioactive, rather than a resource for getting their news, views, or issues out.
Little or nothing has ever come in over the transom, to my great disappointment.

I could try to stir up debate on local pols and topics, but then I get excoriated and abused for it and accused of only trying to drum up controversy to drive traffic.
So screw that.

There's plenty of minor issues I could post about, but it would likely only result in more petty sniping.

If nothing is happening locally I'll deal with other things in the meantime, (which are vastly more interesting and important) until something comes to my attention.

Yes, I should be out beating the bushes, but frankly, there's been so much ugliness here that I've found associating with the crowd is much less enjoyable. Actually, it's been so ugly that I find local Illinois politics and politicians so distasteful I welcome the chance to not have them enter my mind for a while.

I've never been a reporter, just an observer, and I haven't observed anything interesting lately.

What have I been missing?

At 9/15/2005 6:58 AM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

Keep on cooking Dope.

And you are correct - the local political scene is pretty lame since we now have everyone stuck voting for the persons of Madigan's choice....... with no chance of anyone else being financially able to try out for the team. Sad isn't it?

At 9/15/2005 7:02 AM, Blogger Dave Barrett said...

Inside Dope, maybe the experience I just had explains why you have not been receiving many tips lately. I just clicked on your "Contact the Inside Dope" link and sent you a tip and my email was returned as undeliverable.

What I was trying to tell you was:
I subscribe to both the Quad City Times and the Moline Dispatch. Last Wednesday I read with interest their reports about the Moline City Council meeting. The Dispatch reported that they had discussed leaf burning and voted to consider the issue further in a few weeks. The Times reported that they had voted unanimously to ban leaf burning. Obviously one of the reports was wrong. Knowing the history of this issue and the strong feelings on both sides and the lack of courage of most politicians in the face of such controversy I thought it much more likely that the Dispatch story had it right and that the Times reporter had not been paying attention and misinterpreted what the vote had represnted. For the next few days I was looking for a retraction or clarification in the Times. Imagine my surprise when a few days later the Times printed an editorial praising the Moline City Council for their brave and courageous action in banning leaf burning! Had they just embarassingly compounded their reporter's mistake? Or did the Moline City Council really take unprecedented couragous and bold action for which the Moline Dispatch did not give them credit?

This is not a story either newspaper is going to cover -- just the sort of thing blogs should tackel.

At 9/15/2005 9:54 AM, Blogger Fly-on-the-wall said...

Six months! Really? How the time does fly. ;-)


At 9/15/2005 11:22 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Thanks for bringing the e-mail problem to my attention. I'll certainly look into it, though I can't imagine why there would be a problem. I've been receiving mail at that address with no problems all along, including those with attachments.

I've had the same problem however whenever I try to send mail from my hotmail account to anyone with on AOL, which is indeed very frustrating, as it's obvious due to hotmail being set up so it won't work with AOL.

Has anyone else exprerienced problems using my e-mail link? Feel free to send a test message if you wish.

And as to the leaf burning measure, I'll look into that, as it obviously slipped my notice.

It is interesting that the two papers are reporting on it differently, and it would be good to nail down exactly what is fact and what is not.

And thanks Dissenter.. without your support, this might not have seen six months.... enjoy your trip!

And Fly... yes, time really does ... "FLY".

And thanks to Maybesomeday for your interest in the issues here and willingness to express your views on them.

You're all greatly appreciated and important to this effort.

At 9/16/2005 2:28 AM, Blogger Rich Miller said...

"I could try to stir up debate on local pols and topics, but then I get excoriated and abused for it and accused of only trying to drum up controversy to drive traffic."

Screw them. Just do what I do, delete the nastier ones and skim the rest.


At 9/16/2005 6:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about free speech folks?? Delete people's speech?

How does that serve any purpose in a forum?

At 9/21/2005 12:23 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

If the "free speech" is a bunch of useless garbage, it's not worth preserveing.

If a commenter's argument consists of something along the lines of "I won, dumbass.", as one example of the brain dead drivel that has been posted here, it's going to get disappeared.

From now on, this is a benign dictatorship.

At 9/21/2005 12:26 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

If the "free speech" is a bunch of useless garbage or vile personal accusations, it's not worth preserving.

If a commenter's argument consists of something along the lines of "I won, dumbass", as one example of the brain dead drivel that has been posted here, it's going to get disappeared.

From now on, this is a benign dictatorship.

As a matter of fact, due to the fact that in my absence, an anonymous commenter or two saw fit to post their child-like scrawlings here, and the fact that all the rational comments have come from registered users anyway, I'm henceforth returning to disallowing anonymous comments.


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