Most people don't have time to read through several hundred websites a day. As for me, I monitor and manage a few political newswire services which help me aggregate hundreds of stories in one place. This also allows me a heads up on media intelligence and access to the latest cutting edge tools.
To me, the horse race is the least interesting part of the game. For instance, in the past Branson election there really wasn't a lot of surprises in the vote count. Ward III had a higher spread than I expected and Ward II had a much lower spread than I expected. What's interesting, is the ideas that come out of the process.
Not to be "cliche" but outside of empty modifiers, there aren't a lot of conservative voices that cover Missouri politics. The 24th State blog fills that gap.
Problem: The blog owner, Jim Durban takes issue with the Missouri BlogNet Newswire which I help manage. A summary of his work is being indexed which links to the site. Anyway, the 24th State's feisty editorials are on my list and thus the wire service's owner is being challenged based on the revenue model.
Blog NetNews Founder owner, Dave Mastio responds,
1) We've had a couple states where liberals have tried to withdraw as a group for no reason other than I am a conservative who worked for Bush. The whole concept of BNN is to be neutral ground and I have worked very hard to make it that way. I am not going to let people destry a BNN state section because of my biography. (incidently, many of BNN's state editors are libs -- ohio, virginia, Texas, Minn., Mich etc ... just so I have people involved who will protect me from my biases.)
2) We've had important blogs try to withdraw because they don't like how people rated them or that they had a bad score in the weekly rankings. BNN has more things like this coming out and we need to collect the feeds and crawl the sites to collect the data -- and they're only meaningful if we cover all of the cream of the crop state and local public affairs blogs.
3) Then there is the journalistic imperitive (which I ultimately think serves all bloggers) and that is giving an accurate answer to the question -- what is going on in this blogosphere right now? It can't be just the blogs willing to be monitored. This also serves the reader by giving them more useful information and easier access to a wider array of blogs -- the better people's experience in getting good things out of the blogosphere, the more they will read and click and subscribe to rss feeds and listen to what bloggers have to say.
Anyway, I am willing to take the heat over that decision -- I happily let people criticize it over BNN because I know people of good will and who may be smarter and more experienced than me may disagree."