Citizen journalists: how to increase the effectiveness of your criticism
This post will look at three rightwing blog postings and describe how they could have been more effective. I keep seeing people make these same mistakes and - to be frank - to a certain extent I don't want them to do things the better way since that's more competition for me. On the other hand, another mistake they and similar people make is to not read this site, so it all evens out.
1. Guest poster "DrewM." offers "AP Reporter
Files Hard Hitting Story Sends Love Note To Obama" (ace.mu.nu/archives/281716.php). While it's got a cute title, I had to click the link to find out that the Associated Press reporter in question is Liz Sidoti. That's the first thing I'd highlight; in fact, I'd name the post "Liz Sidoti/Associated Press shows Obama bias" or similar. For examples of how I highlight reporters' names, see this, this, this, or dozens of other examples. For the reason why I do that, read between the lines of this post and this post. I referenced that in #7 of this list of mistakes that Obama's opponents made. Tip: criticizing an individual reporter by name is much more effective than railing against an amorphous entity like the AP or the NYT.
2. Melanie Morgan offers "Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Melanie" (bighollywood.breitbart.com/mmorgan/2009/01/19/are-you-there-vodka-its-me-melanie) which, once again, has a cute title. However, since I had no interest in the first paragraph, I didn't bother finding out what she was getting at; a better title might have helped encourage me to keep reading. However, the major mistake she makes there is to link the name "Chelsea Handler" to her Wikipedia page, something that helps out Wikipedia despite that site being not much more than a vector for left-leaning/establishment disinformation. See my suggestion to stop linking to Wikipedia, and see this example of someone who criticized WP at the same time as giving them valuable links.
3. Mary Katharine Ham offers "M. Night Blumenthal Sees Dead Gazans, Crazy Conservatives in Latest Film Project" (weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2009/01/m_night_blumenthal_sees_dead_g.asp) which also has an incredibly cute but much less effective title. While those who know who she's referring to might get a chuckle, and that might have some slight impact on Max Blumenthal's image, any effect was only temporary since no one is ever going to search for the phrase "M. Night Blumenthal". She should have put his name in the title. She makes further mistakes in the body of the post, linking keyword-rich phrases to videos at Youtube. For instance, she links "CPAC 2007: The Unauthorized Tour" to a video which is the fourth Google result for CPAC 2007. Whether it had that spot before her post or not isn't known, but with enough links like that his video will stay near the top for CPAC 2007, and that's probably not what she'd want. And, I recommend against giving Youtube any more links; if you must link there, put a nofollow tag on the link (she didn't). She also links the phrase "Pro-Israel Rally Attended by Big-Time NY Dems Descends into Calls for 'Wiping Out' Palestinians" to a page at Alternet, increasing the chances that their page will rise in searches for parts of that phrase, which is also something she probably doesn't want.