I think we reached a new level of achievement when we turned the Brady Blog into a place where gun owners were talking shop about their favorite firearms and calibers. I was also amused to find out the gun blogosphere has two token blog parasites, according to Kelli. But do you wonder why the Brady Campaign has to gain from running a blog?
To understand that, you have to have some idea of how non-profits work. I’ve heard enough stories from Bitter’s career in non-profit (can’t mention which ones) to have some idea of why they might be allowing this. The reason is, the Brady Campaign have probably realized they need to break into the new media, and no doubt they’ve been hearing a lot of their donors say this as well. The pro-gun message is out there already, even though the NRA’s new media efforts, so far, have been pretty pitifully awful. But because the gun rights movement has real grass roots, we’ve self-organized and gotten the message out there in the new media, despite the fact that the NRA barely acknowledges we exist, let alone reaches out to us. But the Brady’s have to be out there in the new media, and we’re doing everything we can to help them!
“What?” you might ask, “we have pwned the Brady Blog!”
This might be true, but when it comes time to talk to their donors, do you really think they are going to say:
“Well, we started a blog, but it quickly became a forum for gun rights people to bash us, and then talk amongst themselves.”
No. It’s going to get spun like this:
“The Brady Campaign is definitely reaching out to New Media. Paul’s blog entries are cross posted at the Huffington Post, which is one of the leading progressive new media sites. Our own blog is getting thousands hits a day, and we’re getting hundreds of comments on each post that Paul does. Our new media efforts are getting our message out there, and people are responding.”
They won’t mention that most of the traffic and commentary is being driven by the gun blogosphere. This doesn’t mean I think we should just ignore the Brady Blog, because we need to have fun, after all; it can’t be all serious, all the time. But just keep in mind, they aren’t stupid, and one thing they are masterful at is spin. If they are letting us dominate their blog, there is probably a reason.