As you can see from these poll results, 26% of Blue Virginia’s readership says it’s from Arlington, Alexandria and Falls Church, which have a combined population of about 350,000 (4% the population of Virginia). In addition, 17% of Blue Virginia’s readership appears to be from Fairfax, which has a population of 1.1 million (about 14% the population of Virginia). Combined, that means that the core, inner NOVA suburbs account for about 43% of Blue Virginia’s readership.
In contrast, the NOVA exurbs – Loudoun (312,000 people), Prince William (402,000), Stafford (129,000), Fauquier (70,000), Manassas (36,000), Fredericksburg, (23,000) etc. – could definitely be better represented here on Blue Virginia, as they now make up something like 6% of apparent readership, compared to 12% or more of Virginia’s overall population. Also, the Richmond area accounts for about 15% the population of Virginia, but only 10% of Blue Virginia readership, which definitely implies room for growth. Finally, it appears that Southside and Southeastern Virginia are both somewhat underrepresented among Blue Virginia readers, implying definite room for growth there.
Bottom line: I’d love to see more geographical diversity on this blog in terms of coverage and readership. That, in turn, means that new contributors from around the Commonwealth are most welcome. So, if you’re a Democrat and/or a progressive with something to say about Virginia politics, along with an ability to say it well, we strongly encourage your contributions to this blog.
One thing to keep in mind, as there seems to be some confusion on this point (I’m not sure why, given that community political blogs like Daily Kos, Raising Kaine, etc. have been around for nearly a decade now, but there is): this is a community blog, which means that anyone can set up a free account (takes about 1 minute, max), leave comments and write “user diaries” which they can post on the blog.
By the way, speaking as a non-techie/liberal arts major, it’s no harder technically to blog here than it is to log into Facebook, or to send an email for that matter. Instead, to the extent that there’s a challenge, it’s in figuring out what you want to say, then actually taking a few minutes, typing it up and posting it. After you’ve done that, one of the Blue Virginia editors might decide to “promote” your diary to the “front page,” giving it even more exposure. Eventually, you might be asked to become a “front pager” yourself, which will allow you to impart your wisdom to the tens of thousands of readers we get every month. No, you won’t get rich as a blogger, but you might make a difference in this state’s politics, even if it’s rather frustrating at the moment.
Also, we’d particularly love to see members of Democratic committees from around Virginia posting on interesting events, news, etc. in their areas. Photos and videos are great, but are certainly not required. If you want to post a photo with your diary, I recommend getting a free photo-sharing account on Flickr (or whatever) to host your photos. As for videos, YouTube works great, and there are really cheap and easy video cameras that you can use to quickly upload them.
Finally, I want to extend a particular invitation to members of communities that are currently underrepresented in the Virginia political blogosphere: African Americans, Latinos, people who live in rural areas (e.g., Shenandoah, southwestern Virginia), etc. If you have any questions, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or just leave your question or comment in the comments section to this diary. Thanks!