Five ways to find local bloggers

By Henri Makembe on 04.13.10

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As Tip O’Neill once stated, “all politics is local.” But if we’ve learned anything since the 2004 presidential election,  it is that thanks to the advent of the internet, all politics is viral.  Given these two facts, it’s understandable how blogs with a local-focus have become a major player in local politics. Increasingly candidates and campaigns have come to the realization that a successful communications plan includes comprehensive blogger outreach plan.  With that said, how should campaign go about finding blogs with  local-focus? Here are some places to start:

Local content aggregators –  Investors and media companies have realized the value of local content.  With this realization came bundles of money for sites built to aggregated and geo-tag content.  These sites includeoutside.inEveryblock.com and Placeblogger.com.  Using one these sites, a user can search for content generate within his/her zip code, city or state.  Once the search results is available, the user in only a few clicks away from author’s blog (and presumably their  contact information…if available on the blog).  For example, a search for “politics” in and around Seattle,WA on outside.in yields 591 results compared to 791,000 results for a “politics AND Seattle” Google blog search. Obviously, the former set of results is much more manageable to go through then the latter.

Blogrolls – A blogroll is a list of other blogs that a blogger recommends by providing links to them.  This is usually done on the side bar of the author’s blog. Most blogger read and trust the blogs that are listed on their blogrolls.  Unless otherwise stated, one can assume that will have share similar interest and political ideologies. If part of your communication plan is to create an echo-chamber around the candidate or issue, sifting and contacting bloggers from other bloggers’ blogroll may be to your advantage.

Blogs Directories –  The most famous and most commonly blog directory is Technorati.com.  A quick search reveals that they are 23 blogs listed for Topeka,KS.  Locally, many bloggers have taken upon themselves to to organize and maintain blogger directories for their town, city or state. One of the best examples of such a directory is dcblogs.com, which list self-submitted local DC blogs as well as featuring a couple of them on its homepage daily.  Similarly, a list of left leaning blog in Kansas can be found at http://www.leftyblogs.com/kansas/

Twitter & Twitter tools – Since most bloggers have twitter accounts, Twitter has become one of the easiest way to find them.  Mashabale.com has an extensive blog post on how to find local twitterers.  It includes using Twitter’s own search as well as third party apps such as LocalTweepsTwitterLocal and Twitterholic.

Local paper website – Despite talks of the internet destroying the newspaper industry, bloggers and journalists have grown quite fond of each other.  This is partly because many laid off journalists have become bloggers.  For their part, bloggers have proved they are not just geeks living in their parents’ basements.  The groups have learned to co-exist and will often link to each others work.  Moreover, the dwindling staff in many newsrooms have forced newspapers to rely on local bloggers for content when covering local issues and campaigns.

This list is clearly not a exhaustive list but should be enough to get any campaigns started. What did I miss? Share your thoughts in the comments.