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Are O.C.’s political blogs still a force to be reckoned with?

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Are Orange County’s political blogs still a potent force in local politics?  Some of them have apparently already peaked and are now headed downhill, while others are continuing to develop new readership.

The Orange Juice blog, which was Orange County’s first political blog, has changed substantially since Vern Nelson took over as their Editor/Publisher late last year.  But they remain Orange County’s only multi-partisan blog, with a bullpen of Republican and Democratic bloggers.  Their traffic has remained fairly consistent since Nelson took over.  They are averaging over 40,000 visits a month, along with over 70,000 page views.

The Liberal OC blog, on the other hand, has really tanked over the past year.  Just look at their Sitemeter traffic data, which reveals that in July of last year they had over 30,000 visits to their blog.  This July however they have only 8,984 visits – which means their total at the end of the month will be about 18,000 visits.  And their page views have dropped from over 49,000 last July to 28,373 this June.  Not good!

The New Santa Ana blog is something new – it offers plenty of political coverage but it also has a lot of event information.  It is a civic blog that covers both Santa Ana and the County of Orange.  In the spirit of full disclosure, the New Santa Ana blog is published by Art Pedroza, the owner of OC PR & eMedia Solutions.  Pedroza started the Orange Juice blog, handed it off to the aforementioned Nelson, and then began publishing the New Santa Ana blog late in 2009.

In July of 2010, the New Santa Ana blog had just over 10,000 visits.  This July the New Santa Ana blog has already racked up over 12,000 visits, according to Sitemeter, with half the month left to go, with an astonishing 22,947 page views.  It would appear that Pedroza has once again started one of Orange County’s top blogs!

The Friends for Fullerton’s Future blog isn’t new but it does remain hot, in North Orange County.  There really is nothing like it.  Last year they were able to help their friend Bruce Whitaker get elected to the Fullerton City Council, and one of their own, Travis Kriger, got appointed to the Planning Commission.  They don’t publish their readership data but we’ll have a look at their Alexa ranking later in this post.  Alexa has them ranked higher than the Liberal OC and the Orange Juice blogs.

What about the Red County blog?  It is very hard to gauge their readership as they don’t use Sitemeter.  Alexa ranks them as the 29,048th website in the U.S.  Remember that Red County is a collection of over thirty blogs throughout the U.S.  If you were to rank their Orange County blog by itself it would be a much smaller piece of the pie.  Incidentally, their search traffic appears to have plummeted since 2010.

Another newcomer is the Voice of OC, which is run by a board dominated by trial lawyers and paid for by OC labor.  It is currently ranked #145,143 by Alexa.  They don’t use Sitemeter.

There are also a few smaller blogs, such as the Capistrano Beyond the Blackboard blog, that focuses on public school issues.  Their traffic is so low that Alexa does not rank them.

The Mission Viejo Dispatch does a good job covering news and politics in Mission Viejo.  Alexa has them ranked at # 147,358.

How does Alexa rank the O.C. political blogs?

  1. The Red County blog is ranked # 29,048 (national ranking – their OC blog is likely quite a bit lower)
  2. The New Santa Ana blog is ranked #45,590
  3. The Friends for Fullerton’s Future blog is ranked #105,870
  4. The Orange Juice blog is ranked # 140,028
  5. The Voice of OC is ranked #145,143
  6. The Mission Viejo Dispatch is ranked # 147,358
  7. The Liberal OC blog is ranked # 276,729

Are these blogs still a viable force in Orange County? Yes and no. They would be a lot more powerful if they worked together. The Orange Juice does allow the Friends for Fullerton’s Future bloggers to cross-post on their blog. That is a standard more of these blogs should follow. They should also provide links to each other’s blogs.

These blogs do well during campaign season, but they can also be viable all year long of they modify their content to include more than politics.

Above all, they must stay fresh and interesting if they intend to continue to make a difference in Orange County.

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