I'm no fan of Bill Hobbs*, but I try to give props where they are due, so here goes nothing. Hobbs left a comment at the farewell post at Volunteer Voters that deserves praise on a couple of levels. First, I'll make with what he said:
It’s been a week, and I’ve come to a conclusion about the demise of VolunteerVoters.com. It’s not a big loss. It’s a MAMMOTHLY HUGE loss. There is a giant hole in the media fabric in Tennessee when it comes to political news. VV was the indispensable go-to source for all things political involving Tennessee, and provided depth and context that the various disparate news outlets often lack.
Additionally, while MSM outlets mention or quote from press releases and documents and such, VV often uploaded the whole thing, or gave readers a link to it - making it a far more valuable resource than any single MSM outlet for politics junkies.
It’s a damned shame that WKRN couldn’t figure out how to monetize the single most valuable political news property in the state. Here’s hoping that some other news outlet, one which understands the new media - and the new media consumer - and wants to be an information portal for its readers rather than just an information destination, decides it wants to take over VV, or at least hire Kleinheider to build a VV replacement for them.
This comment from Hobbs is about as close to how I feel about the situation as it can be. That site was special. It did something no other site does, at least not on the same level (hard for those with other jobs to compete with a full-time, paid blogger), which is streamline local and related national political news and opinion for an influential and sizable audience. Nashville editors, Tennessee senators and journalists all over the country logged in on a daily basis to read what Kleinheider brought. Surely someone with some smarts and a little vision can turn that into a profitable endeavor, at least in the long term. Bill's dead on with that statement.
Here's what also deserved recognition, and what prompted me to write this post: Kleinheider gave Hobbs hell. I mean, he deserved it, but VV was relentless when it came to the GOP blogger who is, no matter how you slice it, a force to be reckoned with. And yet, Hobbs comes to one of his biggest critic's defense because what Volunteer Voters gave to its readers was bigger than all that. Cheers to Bill for being a big man. At least about that.
*Oh hai, understatement.