Chad Dotson set the Standard

This AM Ben Tribbett announced changes in his blogroll rankings, including a change in his platinum category, saying:

I am moving BVBL to platinum. While I don’t agree with him on a lot of issues, he has become the #1 conservative blog in Virginia and will now take Chad Dotson’s old spot on the Platinum list.

First, congratulations to BVBL on his ascension to Olympian heights, and also to my neighbor at Anonymous is Woman to the Platinum/Gold level.

What struck me in Ben’s moves was mention of a name the Virginia blogosphere should endeavor to keep green.

To newbies that name might not ring bells. Chad Dotson was the creator of Commonwealth Conservative, past Commonwealth’s Attorney of Wise County, and is now a district court judge…not to mention a Cincinnati Redlegs fan and a poor lost soul who is constantly pulled between the Scylla and Charybdis of ACC sports and Big East sports.

The move brings back to mind a gentleman who was first a ground breaker then a pillar of the Virginia blogging community, and one who did things in a way that will likely never be duplicated.

Most blogs seem to fall into one of four categories:
a) Sole blogger, offering up their opinions of the world-be it focused (NLS, Waldo, BVBL) or with a wider beam (RR, Vivian Paige), etc.
b) A group of bloggers, typically like minded folks, also offering their opinions but in concert. The late lamented Sic Semper Tyrannis is the best example of this.
c) Aggregators or news reporters
d) Collective blogs where one person runs the show, but allows other folks to create discussion points. Raising Kaine is the best example of that in Virginia, where Lowell runs the joint and has QA and editing power, but community members can make diary entries, which effectively become blog postings.

What Chad did, and what I did not fully appreciate at the time, was to recreate the old country store cracker barrel/hot stove league effect in an electronic environment. He typically did not post lengthy opinion pieces-I imagine he had enough of that at work. Instead, he would note recent events, political goings on in Virginia, always advocating for all things GOP. He then threw things open for discussion…an invitation that was typically accepted with gusto.

Chad not only required posters keep a civil keyboard, but worked to facilitate it. He had the weekly caption contest, where he would post some outrageous photograph and invite folks to post their best shot (or shots). I was lucky enough to win one of these contests on October 12, 2006, although after having received honorable mentions I suspect it may well have been more an act of generosity in a slow week than a tribute to my scintillating wit.

Chad had a site that, by nature or by nurture, encouraged discussion. He clearly believed people could disagree without becoming disagreeable. I do not think it a coincidence that the level of decorum in the Virginia blogosphere dropped a couple of notches once Chad gave up the blogs last January (as a prelude to taking up the robes in the spring).

His contributions are missed, and his absence is keenly felt. Chad Dotson set a tone of solid reasoning, good writing, good fellowship, and good manners that set a standard that few if any have met.

In the interests of candor, Ben didn’t just move BVBL and AIAW. He also moved moi to the Platinum/Gold category. It is a clear call for AIAW. As for me…i consider it quite a compliment, and I thank Ben for the recognition.

However, and for the record, I think Vivian Paige has the finest opinion blog in the Commonwealth, and I think if anyone was going to be elevated, it should have been her.

But whomever gets moved, we all owe some debt of thanks to Chad Dotson for what he did to move political blogging forward in Virginia, and for the tone he set.

I guess that is why I have rambled on like this…I wanted Chad to be part of the blogosphere one more time.

Now, if I can just Ben to elevate Vivian…

Enjoy your Labor Day weekend!


2 thoughts on “Chad Dotson set the Standard

  1. Thanks for your nice words about me. I’m glad you are right there with me on the platinum/gold blogroll.

    I’m sorry I came in after Chad. I’ve heard mention of him and know he had universal respect. Thanks for telling us why. I agree with everything you just wrote about civility.

  2. Pingback: » Throwing Fame to the Winds

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