Orange Juice: Year in review of an award winning blog

This Tuesday, Sept 25th, is the first anniversary of my joining the Juice family. I don’t know if I should thank Art or not. As I learned years before entering the political world you need to have thick skin in several professions, including this new adventure of becoming a blogger.

Having just received OC Weekly’s recognition as “best local blog and in reviewing my own posts over the past 12 months I engaged in some analysis of our posts in this time frame.

Like any volunteer organization you do experience turnover from time to time. The Juice is no exception. Tim Whitaker, whom I know from our mutual involvement in the Republican Party, departed prior to my accepting Art’s challenge.

Gila and Ryan, other bloggers whom I briefly met, have also departed. We have all read that due to personal reasons Art’s “left” hand man Claudio will be taking a much deserved sabbatical starting next month. I say sabbatical in that the door will always remain open for his future return (as a card carrying Republican).

You also have read that Art added two new bloggers representing both of the major political parties. You can read about them here and here.

While I don’t wish to bore you with numbers please bear with me. Over the past 12 months the Juice has posted around 750 stories. Of that number close to 250 were from this keyboard.

Although I have no insider information as to how or why we earned that OC Weekly recognition, our archives are a gold mine that contains many clues to that decision.

Art has previously posted about SAUSD’s corruption which by far represents the Juice post with the highest number of comments during the past 12 months.
What about our other posts? Which stories triggered the most interaction, etc?

Art Pedroza is truly gifted when it comes to writing stories that make your hair stand up. Not in my case but that’s another story.

Some of our most active posts written by Art, include:

O.C. Political “Chismes”

Good Bye to County Commission appointment
What do Mimi and Harry think about Harold Martin
Santa Ana says no to massage permits
Santa Ana schools lose $2 million
Moorlach says “nobody’s untouchable”

Some of Claudio’s popular posts include:

Don’t get caught in a side debate

Message to Dana Parsons: It’s not about how Latino Pulido is
Who is going for school board seat
Sal Tinajero speaks, wants attacks to stop

Ryan Trabuco’s biggest post was entitled “Blog war in Orange County”
He also wrote “SAUSD spying on bloggers” and “Get the picket signs ready.”

Sean Mill had many posts with multiple comments such as:

Metzler goes home empty handed

The hypocrisy of the Cribb Crowd
One time conservative darling Nestande pleads guilty

Thomas Gordon had some very active posts including:

SAUSD fraud continues
You might be a redneck
Pulido no es Villaraigosa

Joe Shaw, who has his own blog, wrote several including:

Rohrabacher on Ramos and Campeon downtown Huntington Beach
Health Care Italian Style
The Vietnamese community deserves it’s win

The team of Ron and Anna Winship wrote:
Property values
Subpoenas “The Redux”
Moral and Ethical Accountability?

While my initial posts were about the renewal of Measure M and the property rights Initiative Prop 90, I shifted my focus to a variety of issues including one which triggered comments as to my sensitivity towards Latinos. That post had the headline:

OK SanTana paper or plastic

Some of my other posts with multiple comments included:

Peace Activist Cindy Sheehan

Senator Edwards $400 haircuts
How did Santa Ana get into it’s financial “pot hole”

My first Juice post read “CRA/LA city council “blink.” The story included a quote from LA councilman Eric Garcetti’s Press Release which read it’s “a great day for Hollywood.”
No! They caved on their attempt to follow through on the “eminent domain” taking of Bernard Luggage. This was a great day for defenders of real property rights.

Sometimes we get lucky and find ourselves in the right place at the right time. I refer to my scoop of Otto Bade runnin
g as a write-in candidate in the 34th congressional district last Oct.
Otto could have been a spoiler in that contest.

This summary is not about bragging rights. It’s really about marketing. The challenge for us is to elevate our reports especially as the Juice is now receiving more hits from around the state and beyond. While it is interesting to see which stories our readers responded to last year, we live in an ever changing world and need to be on our toes looking for new nuggets to share with you as we move ahead.

New readers will be looking for a wider variety of topic coverage that initiates dialog. Finding and posting those stories is our challenge for the next 12 months.

On behalf of Art and the rest of the Juice family we thank you for your participation. Without your comments the OC Weekly recognition would not have occurred.

About Larry Gilbert