E Komo Mai, visitors reading Haleakala Times

I haven't seen the hard copy yet, but I just got two calls from friends saying that they had read about this blog in the Haleakala Times. Here's Don Gronning's article on their website (missing the picture of me that is apparently on the front page).

But I'm also posting the full article in the extended entry because, first, HT's URL will change when their next issue comes out, but also I have made a few sma' kine corrections and comments on the article, and added a few links, so you might want to read it (again) here.

For anyone visiting this site for the first time after reading Don's article, welcome! E komo mai. I hope you find this blog useful and occasionally entertaining, and invite you to leave comments and share your mana'o. I hope you'll bookmark and come back regularly, as I post almost every day, and as far as I know (with all humility) this is the most up-to-date and comprehensive compilation of news and happenings regarding Hawaiian issues on the Web. A good place to stop if you want a quick way to keep up with the issues, or engage in a little discussion about them.

Oh, and BTW, the article also mentions Poinography.com, which, if you haven't visited it, is a good stop for news and insight on Hawaii politics in general, and all the other issues in the islands that I don't cover here.

Finally, a big mahalo to Don for the nice article and exposure.

Aloha - scott

PS - I want to state for the record that although I am listed in the article as Executive Director of the Kipahulu 'Ohana, this blog is not in any way associated with or representative of the organization. The blog and the opinions expressed here are mine personally. That just happens to be my occupation.

Haleakala Times
April 27 – May 10, 2005

Huge increase in number of blogs

Hawai'i, Maui have plenty of people keeping online journals

By Don Gronning

The growth in web logs, called blogs, is as evident in Hawai'i as it is throughout the world. They can be quirky, informative, entertaining sources of amateur journalism and have quickly become an important interactive part of the internet.

According to Technorati.com, a search engine that tracks blogs, the number of blogs has grown from 200,000 to nearly 9 million in the last two years. A Pew Research study says that 27 percent of the 120 million U.S. adult internet users read blogs and 7 percent created blogs.

"Blogs are where the internet was in about 1995," they write in a recent online report.

Blogs differ from standard websites in that they offer opportunities for readers to instantly make their own comments and answer other's comments. They are dynamic in a way standard websites aren't.

Blogs are becoming an important source of news and traditional news organizations ignore them at their own peril. They have drawn blood both from politicians and news anchors.

Liberal bloggers were considered responsible for Sen. Trent Lott losing his leadership position in the U.S. Senate for remarks he made praising southern Sen. Strom Thurmond at Thurmond's 100th birthday party. Thurmond, a senator from South Carolina, ran for president in 1948 on a staunch segregationist platform. Lott said the country would "not have had all these problems over these years," if Thurmond had won the presidency.

Lott's remarks were interpreted as praising Thurmond's role in the racist old South. They went unreported in the Washington Post's account of the party and the New York Times didn't report them until the story was well underway among bloggers, who amplified it with other Lott remarks.

Bloggers spread Lott's words that mainstream news organizations had ignored and he subsequently had to resign the leadership position.

Conservative bloggers publicized flaws in a CBS story about President George W. Bush's military service, pointing out that a document news anchor Dan Rather had used to illustrate his point that Bush received favored treatment was a forgery.

Rather was forced into resigning his position as anchorman and other CBS staffers involved were disciplined and even fired.

Hawaii blogs haven't resulted in any such incidents, at least not yet. But you can find commentary on both sides of the political spectrum on blogs originating here.

Scott Crawford operates the Hawaii Independence web log from Hana. He posts links and commentary on the sovereignty movement on his blog at www.hawaiiankingdom.info. Crawford is executive director for the Kipahulu Foundation ['Ohana] and is also a freelance web site developer. He says having his own blog seemed like a natural evolution.

"I've been involved in Hawaiian issues and independence since 1993 and have developed a number of web pages and maintained the Hawaii Nation e-mail list," he says. But everything else I was doing wasn't putting out my own voice."

Crawford says he spends anywhere from 15 minutes to over an hour a day on the blog. He visit's a variety of sites and posts links he thinks are relevant and adds his commentary.

Recently he posted links to a four part interview with Hawaii Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D 1st District) from the Indian Country Today website. In it, Abercrombie, supports the Akaka bill, the bill for federal recognition for Native Hawaiians. Crawford, along with many Native Hawaiians, opposes the Akaka bill.

Abercrombie told Indian Country Today that "I don't know if there are 100 people in the state who want to restore the kingdom. But I guarantee you that at any given hearing, 99 of those 100 will show up to testify."

Crawford, himself a Democrat, opposes the Akaka bill.

"I bet I can find 100 people right here in Hana who support independence, and the population is only a couple thousand!" he writes in his blog.

Because of the fluid nature of blogging, Crawford's posts were picked up by Poinography.com, a Hawaii blog that posts links and comments on various Hawaii news sources. It is this sort of immediate power to spread information that gives blogging its power.

Crawford says he gets about 800 visitors a day to his blog. He says the number of people coming to his blog since he started it in August 2003 has been steadily increasing.

"I took about four months off last summer [fall] and (the numbers) still kept increasing," he says.

Not everyone who visits Crawford's site agrees with his positions. He has an ongoing email [comments] exchange with Kenneth Conklin, who is an opponent of sovereignty for Native Hawaiians.

Ironically, both Conklin and Crawford oppose the Akaka bill, but for different reasons.

Crawford sees it as an impediment to true sovereignty, which the Kingdom of Hawaii had prior to what he sees as an illegitimate annexation to the U.S. Conklin says "it would carve up Hawaii by race, and set a precedent for similar balkanization throughout America."

Despite their differences, Crawford says he welcome civil discourse on his site.

"Conklin and I have a funny relationship," he says. "He sees me as an ally against the Akaka bill."

While Crawford doesn't see Conklin as an ally, he says some of the reason he does the site is to influence people like him.

[Actually, I don't really expect to influence Conklin or people like him. While I like to have hope for anyone, Conklin is quite set in his views. (Hi, Ken ;) But I challenge him and others to provide a critical analysis of their arguments and a contrasting view for other readers who can make up their own minds.]

Some blogs make money for their owners through advertising sales. Crawford has a small Google ad, but has yet to see any money from it. While he would like to find a sponsor for the site to justify the amount of time he spends on it, money isn't the reason he has the blog.

"I want to educate about issues and provide a service to the community," he says. "I'm compelled to do it."

[Actually, I have generated a bit of revenue, I just haven't reached the threshold for Google to send me a check yet :) It's peanuts, but every little bit helps. So please click the ad and support! And if you're interested in sponsoring the blog in exchange for ad space, please email me.]

Posted: Thu - April 28, 2005 at 01:15 PM    
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Published On: Dec 18, 2006 12:16 PM
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