Blogs in the Shooting Wire

Looks like blogs got a mention in the shooting wire, in an article about Cerberus in the gun industry:

That aversion was one that led gun bloggers, some of the new power-brokers in the gun world, to run an anti-campaign against a senior Cerberus member’s campaign for a position on the NRA board. After he failed to get elected, one blogger laughingly told me “maybe now they’ll realize if you don’t talk to us, we don’t have any use for you.”

I wouldn’t say we ran an anti-campaign against Kollitides, but we definitely aired concerns, and asked questions.  I agree with Jim that he needs to talk to people if he wants the grass roots support.  I’d be reluctant to suggest blogs are serious power brokers, but we definitely reach an audience, and in that sense can be a useful way for organizations and people to communicate with opinion leaders in the issue.  If George Kollitides ever wants to avail himself of that, he knows where to find us.  I think you’d find from talking to some of our other board candidates that we’ll be fair, and respectful of personal circumstances.

The goal in issuing endorsements isn’t really to broker power, so much as to make the board election process more transparent and available to members.  I think this is good for members, and good for NRA, as a whole.  Members benefit from the extra information, and NRA benefits from having a way to communicate with its membership in a more casual manner.  It helps both parties establish more credibility and trust with each other.

6 thoughts on “Blogs in the Shooting Wire”

  1. I’m wondering if that quote wasn’t misinterpreted. I can see where that could be someone commenting on how it is going to be impossible to build support online or justify having the support of online communities when a person refuses to engage in those same communities.

    Look at the forums. endorsed two candidates and the one who actually pops up periodically won. The one who went out and talked to people both online and in real life won the election and even outperformed the new NRA president. The other just lined up industry endorsements and put up a one way webpage. (Not that I think these kinds of webpages need to be interactive, but he didn’t do any sincere communication with the community.)

    I realize Jim says there’s hubris involved, but I don’t think that’s it. I can see that statement not as a sign of being gatekeepers, but rather that you can’t count on the online community for support if you refuse to participate at all, even a little something. Add into that the Kollitides doesn’t even talk to more mainstream outdoor media, and there’s fair concern about him. (Buying an ad about yourself in the American Rifleman doesn’t count as “talking” to media.)

    I also don’t like the characterization of my post asking fair questions about what Kollitides brings to the board since he doesn’t even show up for committee meetings as a campaign against him. Unless I’m exhibiting great hubris now and there was an actual campaign organized against him that I missed. If so, I’d love to see it. When I was checking search results for Kollitides during the NRA election, I didn’t see anything else.

  2. I think that the issue is that we, in the blog reading arena, have found a place where we get to interact with people about our hobby. it isn’t a one way, top down, elite media model any more. since we know that you can talk directly to us through the blogs we read, and more importantly, we can talk directly back, we assume that if you don’t, you simply don’t care. I don’t vote for anyone that doesn’t care.

  3. The “popped up guy” reporting as ordered!

    I am here and willing to listen….most importantly I will never forget who graced me with their support and made my successful campaign possible….YOU, the members of the NRA.

    …and for those who are not, I extend a most warm welcome to you to join us…

    I firmly believe in the “New Media” and I wish you all the best of success…Keep up the GREAT work…it is be noticed….

    Joe DeBergalis

  4. My opinion of George Kollitides was shaped by the article on him in American Rifleman magazine. At the time it came out I did not know he was running for the board. I had never heard of the guy before so I had no opinion either way. The article made him seem fake for lack of a better term. It was just a weird article that did not seem to fit the style of other American Rifleman articles. I got the impression that the whole thing was a public relations campaign to get me to like him. If anything the article did the opposite for me.

    1. I’ve heard that from a lot of people. Many took it as a sign he was trying to buy the election which didn’t sit well with them.

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