Salsa Scoop> tag: ”blog:death penalty“

Blogging as signposting

I was talking with a friend the other day thinking of starting a blog of her own, and it got me trying to parse through the deliverable benefits you get from this sort of enterprise.

Community, active learning ... those things are great, and very real. But the one most quantifiable to a bottom-line-oriented boss is likely to be search.

Every post on a blog is a signpost that says, "here's a resource about X" -- for months or years afterwards when people punch the keywords into Google. It's an incredibly powerful, cheap and genuine search strategy and for any charity whose issue isn't solely indicated by incredibly crowded search environments like "Britney Spears panties". Every day, we see a steady trickle of traffic on topics we've covered here, both on-topic to our raison d'etre and off.

I got a weird but welcome example of that this week on my other blog. All of a sudden one day, I had huge traffic (by my paltry standards) coming to a single post -- but there was no identifiable link out there. It was all search. Out of nowhere, months after the publication, that post had its highest-traffic day ... and then, it dropped back into obscurity:

What the heck?

Turns out, it's a post about Strom Thurmond's romantic adventures with a condemned inmate ... and on June 19th, the day of the hit parade, Paul Begala referenced this affair on a front-page Huffington Post story whose (currently) 94 comments testify to the HuffPo's traffic footprint.

There's no link to little old me in the Begala story, more's the pity; but, just about anyone who searched it had a page of mine on the first page of results, and what with the salacious appeal of the lecherous old goat hooking up with a murderess on her way to the death house, it was searched a lot.

Not that I'm over there doing this specifically, but especially for an organization mulling a blog, or an existing blogger mulling what to post, one could do a lot worse than starting here:

I want this site to be found by everyone who goes online looking for _______

... and building posts around the various possible words and concepts that fill in that blank.

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Guess What McCain's Running On.

Like most of the blogoverse, I've consented to the unsatisfying and barely compensated practice of selling myself to Google Adsense on my hobby blog, which I should add is pointedly non-partisan. I hardly monitor religiously the stuff Google pitches my paltry readership, but you get the occasional one that makes you scratch your head and flip back to the entry to figure out how it made the match. Other times, there's less mystery than an episode of Columbo. Like when you post about an execution in Iran, and you get ...

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Happy Halloween: Mind the Werewolves

It's spooky that a site like even has enough material to exist. But did you notice that there won't be any new dates from the U.S. for a while? Not that our fair country is exactly free of medieval superstitions in our modern courts. Satanic murder case, "pretty much a witch hunt"?

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On Sitting in Section 214 When Finding Out Whether a Man Lives or Dies: Anatomy of a Successful Online Action

There's nothing like receiving a verdict of life or death while doing something embarrassingly trivial to force one out of the mundane. It was sometime around the sixth inning of a lackluster dog-days game between two dog teams at seemingly vacant RFK Stadium that my old comrade had a text message reporting that a man won't be put to death tomorrow. Such a tiny little message, and so many mountains moved to get it.

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The Quality of Mercy

The quality of mercy is not strain'd, It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest: It blesseth him that gives and him that takes. 'T is mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes The throned monarch better than his crown; His sceptre shows the force of temporal power, The attribute to awe and majesty, Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings; But mercy is above this sceptred sway, It is enthroned in the hearts of kings, It is an attribute to God himself; And earthly power doth then show likest God's, When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew, Though justice be thy plea, consider this, That in the course of justice none of us Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy; And that same prayer doth teach us all to render The deeds of mercy. -William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

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The Condemned: Coming to a theater (or a courthouse) near you

*The following comes from DIA community member David Elliot of NCADP, guest blogging for us today. Soon this movie called The Condemned is going to be opening in theaters from coast to coast. The plot line is that some rich guy "buys" ten death row inmates from around the world. They are taken to an island where they have to fight each other, and the lone survivor gets to go free. The purpose of the sorry spectacle (is that a strong enough phrase?) is TV ratings. A lot of people in the abolition community are already talking about this movie, and the level of disgust (is that a strong enough word?) is palpable. Reading my email this morning, I see that an old colleague of mine, Sally Kohn, has blogged on this movie over at Huffington Post.

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E-xemplar: Serialized Mission-Based Storytelling

"Watching my brother be executed was the hardest thing I ever had to do in my life ..." Death Penalty USA, the blog of DIA users National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, is two entries into a ten-part series called "Creating More Victims," which tells the heartrending stories of family members who lose loved ones to execution. (Here's the first, and the second.)

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