Fighting in the Virginia Blogosphere

Over the past few weeks there has been some infighting in the Republican Internet. To some, it started when I, in a personal email wrote that HamptonRoadsGOP.com was going to be the only major Republican blog in Virginia. I will admit this was a mistake and a mischaracterization. I should have added the words “of its kind” for that is true.

HamptonRoadsGOP.com is the only wholly Republican and Conservative blog of its kind. It is true because we are not just a blog, but a community calendar devoted to promoting Republican events in Hampton Roads and also provide a database of volunteer support. To be sure, we are still in our infancy stages and we here at HamptonRoadsGOP.com consider our opening on October 20th to be a soft opening. Our calendar is not fully operational yet and our full complement of authors has not been utilized. We shall be fully operational with all systems go by January 10th. We have some surprise authors in store and you won’t want to miss it.

To explain the email, it was meant to be private and sent to a very small community as a marketing device among friends, but one of the members of the community decided to stir up trouble between HRGOP and a very prominent blogger in Virginia so he forwarded it to him. Unfortunately, he succeeded. Jim, I’ve always respected what you do and will continue to respect your work as do all of us here at HamptonRoadsGOP.com. I also respect the members of the Jeffersoniad very much.

Some of us were offended when a controversial blogger belittled the amount of hits that HamptonRoadsGOP.com gets without basis, merit, nor provocation. While we do not get the amount of hits that that particular site gets, we do get a very good amount, especially for a site that has only been up for one month. One of our writers decided to take matters into his own hands in order to “get even” and he has since been suspended for two weeks. Now some of the substance of those comments are true, but this individual should definitely have handled the situation differently.

Now to be sure, I firmly agree with those that have written that RPV does not handle the internet correctly. Also, to make something perfectly clear, HamptonRoadsGOP.com definitely is not a tool of RPV and nor is RPV particularly fond of everything that has been posted on this site. I, nor does any other author on this site take any direction from RPV whatsoever. As a matter of fact, the only contact with RPV I’ve had regarding HamptonRoadsGOP.com was negative in nature. To be fair though, the GOP nationwide doesn’t handle the internet correctly. RPV would do well to hire a full-time E-Strategy Director that will interface with the blogosphere as part of the job description. However, I do think the blogosphere is but a portion of E-Strategy. One must not forget the social networking programs such as Facebook or Myspace. Giants like Patrick Ruffini should be brought in to teach RPV how to utilize the internet correctly. However, I do not think we can solve this problem by complaining about it on the internet. It is better form and will produce more results if we used traditional means of communication.

I propose a meeting of the prominent bloggers and e-strategists in VA sometime in the not-too-distant future. We’d all be better served to sit in a room and converse rather than taking potshots at each other and RPV. None of us are perfect, but we can definitely work together. We’re all Republicans after all.

Bearing Drift, Virginia Virtucon, Red Virginia, Tertium Quids, and other members of The Jeffersoniad, what do you say? Can we meet face to face and work together? It would be preferable for all our ships to sail in the same direction as we work to fix the Republican Party together rather than to work against each other as the Democrats move beyond us.

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