“Free” blogging tools on display at John Edwards’s site

Posted in blogging, politics at 4:11 pm by cori

John Edwards’s candidacy interests me – I think he’s right on a lot of the issues and has a good opportunity to be a serious contender for the Democratic nomination. I’ve been subscribed to some of the feeds his site’s producing for a while, and the other day I took a look at their efforts to involve bloggers and to encourage folks to blog.

The site makes on-site blogs available for interested bloggers; simply sign up for an and they’ll provide you with a blog or “Diary” within their community. Sensible enough, as far as it goes. I also came across this information regarding starting your own blog on their “For Blogger’s” page” regarding ways to start you own blog :

Perhaps you are already a blogger on the John Edwards Blog. Maybe you already have your own diary on our site. That’s fantastic. But we encourage you to do more. You should start your own independent blog.Check it out; it’s easy and free.

Here’s what you do (remember – it’s all free):

  1. Go to a free blogging site. A few examples: www.blogger.com, www.typepad.com, www.wordpress.org, and follow the given instructions. It only takes a few minutes. Again, it is easy and free.

(From: For Bloggers / John Edwards ’08 Blog)

I think it’s great that they’re encouraging folks to start their own blogs and put their own voice on the web, out from under the umbrella of the John Edwards site. But right away I noticed some errors and misleading info there, so I sent them an email:

Hey all;

I noticed a few things that could bear a little attention on the site with respect to growing a blogging community. On the for bloggers (http://blog.johnedwards.com/bloggers) page there is an error and an “opportunity for improvement”

  • Contrary to the claim that “it’s all free,” TypePad accounts are not free. The lowest cost plan is $4.95/month. Not a lot of money, I agree. But not free.
  • While the WordPress.org blogging software is technically free, it requires a hosting account to host the software so that the blog is available on the web. Again, the lowest commonly available cost for hosting that I’ve seen is $4.95/month. Alternately, a WordPress.com blog is free, and requires nothing but to sign up.

The next day I got a response from David Pierucci:

Hi Cori,   

Thanks for writing in and thanks for the info. We are working 
on adding message boards to the chapter pages. Please 
feel free to write back with any questions or ideas that 
you may have. Thanks for your time.   


Nice enough, I suppose, but woefully inadequate. In fact, I get the feeling that not only do they not care that the information’s inaccurate or misleading, but that David doesn’t even understand what’s at issue. Several days later neither of those bits have been corrected. Not an outstanding way to attract bloggers to your cause, if you ask me; I had better hopes for Edwards’s “netroots” organization than that.


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