Today, some of the best locales in the ever-expanding Bloggosphere are centered on dissecting mainstream media stories and offering spirited criticism of big-time editorializing, and that makes everything so much more interesting (not to mention, giving the “gurus” a punch they wouldn’t have imagined five short years ago).
Ed. Note falls within this lively category of blogs-on-news. The webmaster introduces himself thus:
And Just Who The Hell Is Ed. Note?
Ed. Note (but you can call him, “Ed.”) is a veteran Chicago newspaper reporter/investigator/editor who spent decades covering the daily dramas of that great Midwestern city. This blog is his way of presenting news and opinion to readers without the tyrannical, oppressive meddling of (mis)managing editors and assistant flunkies. Oh, the stories I could tell! But he has some good ones, too, that he’ll share with you from time to time. …
Ed. decided to go on-line on November 19, 2002, using one of the most common Blogspot templates on offer, and the same one I used myself to launch my first blog in July 1998. It’s the gray background, with a white reading area, a blog title stripe at the top, and the grayish column on the left for buttons, links, and the like. Ed. provides only an archive, and deep, deep down, outside the reading area, a link to the Windy City Webloggers, the Chicago Blogs Webring. There’s also a Rate me link for BlogHop.com. Ed. Note is free of ads, which I think is a must for all webloggers given the option.
Ed. focuses on “A periodic reflection upon the news, current events, politics, government, society and the mess that results from mixing them together”. And, boy, isn’t he right in putting up this statement! His posts abide by this motto, with Ed.’s trained eye catching the nuances as he surveys the mass of news stories out there. Witness, for example, his post on the death penalty (December 7th) and on Colombian defense minister Marta Lucia-Ramirez (December 2nd).
Younger bloggers should be reading blogs like Ed. Note closely. Writing a blog is thought to be an “unorthodox” exercise overall, but, in the end, there are many basics even Bloggsphere guerrillas should observe, unless they want to remain largely nonsensical. Ed.’s writing is on the mark, unhurried, lucid, and without the twists and turns many consider the hallmarks of “creative” scribbling. And for those who’d say “but Ed. is a professional journalist”, just trust me: there are scores of “professional” journalists out there who’d win the Tin Star Award anytime with all fours on the keyboard.
I give Ed. 3.5 points only because the run-of-the-mill template subtracts from the whole design/technical picture of the blog. On content/style alone, Ed. Note is certainly a 4 – 4.5 effort. Also, I’m not sure putting Ed. Note in the Humor category tells the story. I’d certainly choose News/Links as the more suitable realm. And I’m happy to recommend Ed. to a wider audience without reservation.