Denis Horgan of the Hartford Courant has turned his newspaper column into a blog. The blog format is very well suited to online news sites, unlike, say, the use of wiki, which failed so spectacularly at the L.A. Times's site.
Denis has done the right thing so far in actually responding to questions and comments readers pose. Not only is this good form, it gives the public a chance to actually interact with someone they've been reading for years.
The same is true of candidate blogs, I believe. If Dan Malloy and John DeStefano posted and responded on their blogs on, say, a weekly basis, regular voters might start taking more of an interest in them. There is certainly a lot of interest here when candidates come for Q&As.
Blogs might start being useful in non-campaign years, too. Elected officials certainly answer a lot of mail and email: why not add in a bit of time to post and respond in something like a blog format? It's one thing to answer private mail, but interacting with people on the public web could help elected officials reach and talk to thousands they never could before.
The example not to follow for this is Kevin Sullivan's poor little abortive blog, which started off well enough but hasn't been updated in almost two weeks. Sullivan never actually responded to the questions people posted on the site, many of which were genuine, and the conversation first degenerated into a grouchy snarkfest and then petered out entirely. Sullivan promised interactivity and then didn't deliver, which frustrated people. I can't blame them.
It's telling, though, that there are so many comments on the site. People are interested. They want to talk to the Lieutenant Governor, even if he apparently doesn't want to talk to them.
Websites in general and blogs specifically are still evolving as a medium. Kudos to Denis Horgan for being willing to interact with the reading public. Here's hoping more will follow his example.