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Why do other insignificant local political blogs show up at Orange Juice! blog in a jealous rage when Art Pedroza’s story for the day becomes a big hit?

This past week, OJ has seen a large increase in readership traffic.  My main guess would be because Art Pedroza published a story about a Councilwoman’s son who died in an accidental fall.  The story was of interest to many because of the sudden and shocking nature of the incident, but also because it involved significant local politics.  Other blogs, including the Orange County Register reported the story of an Irvine Councilwoman’s 22 year old son who had died.  Pretty much the same coverage of the story for all of them.  So Art decided to set his story apart and do a little research.  Turns out that the young man died from a fall in what looked to be late at night or in the early hours of the morning.  Art rounded up all the details he could find and then published it here on his blog.

Is the Liberal OC’s Dan Chmieliewski just a bit jealous of the Orange Juice blog?

Our site meter showed that big numbers of readers found Art’s story by using the Google search function to find it.  And when readers read the details Art assembled from several sources, some chose to post their own “facts” about what had happened on that fateful night.  Many of those initial comments bore out the truth as time passed and the authorities assembled the facts for release.  There were also posters who chose to post sick gallows humor, some who expressed deep loss, some who called for civic actions to address unsafe pathways or binge drinking.  There were also some rival bloggers who seemed to have missed out on the story and showed at Orange Juice! up in fits of jealousy.  There were some political opportunists who flashed their names and demanded that discussions follow some imagined protocol.  Some posters said there should be no specific details.  Other blog posters wanted more details.  Some demanded outright censorship.  Some claimed that posting about the tragedy would only add to the family’s pain.  One thing I am fairly certain:  The family in the midst of the tragedy is not surfing “blogs” to make sense of anything that they are facing.

So, what is the deal about blogs?  How far can they go?  How far should they go?  Should censorship be used at all?  What makes a good blog worth reading?  Are blogs akin to internet communities or, more likely, cocktail night-like discussions?  Your input is appreciated!

And for any new readers at the Orange Juice! blog, welcome!

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