It's incredibly cool. Here's what the North Carolina section looks like, for instance. It organizes blogging coverage of candidates in a way that tempers a search engine-type query with an editor who takes into account place and person..
I asked Mastio in an email to send me some comments on his thinking behind the project. He said he'd be blogging about that Tuesday, but he said, in part:
... I wanted to build a place where people could get information from the blogosphere where geography, local expertise and a long-term commitment to covering the subject mattered -- to serve that reporter and that independent voter and to help those local bloggers get the recognition and the traffic they deserve.I think he's right. This is a great journalism election tool. It's also a great tool for anyone interested in politics and elections. Bookmark it!
The only way to do that is to combine the technological know-how of an Internet guru (BNN's Tyler Abbott -- also a University of Iowa guy) and the knowledge of an editor who was willing to spend thousands of hours getting to know the bloggers in every state, finding the blogs are the must-reads focused on state and local level news (that would be me).
I think what we've created at BlogNetNews.com/Elections is something special because it isn't just blogging and it isn't just a neat tech toy and it isn't just the same old journalism. It can only exist when all three are combined in a way that I don't think they have been before on a national level.