That's right, prince of the church, Boston archbishop and jolly friar O'Malley will be in the blogosphere as of today, or perhaps have it rotate around him.
The first entry is a TEST TEST TEST. At his blog, it reads, "Cardinal Seán returns to Rome as a newly elevated Cardinal " with a note to check back for news from his trip, written remotely by O'Malley (but posted by a minion).
Good Catholic paper that it is, the Globe got the story first. The gist is that he uses email and is ready for showtime. He's on a 10-day visit to the Vatican and will recount his sights if not insights.
We hope that he does write his own stuff. What is allegedly his statement on this is clearly from a flack's keyboard:
I am . . . looking forward to a new opportunity to communicate directly with Catholics of the archdiocese through my own blog. While this is a new venture for me and for the archdiocese, I am eager to take advantage of the latest technology and mode of communication to share with Catholics of the archdiocese my experiences as I return to Rome and, more importantly, to share with everyone a sense of what it is that Boston's archbishop does on business in Rome representing the people of the archdiocese.Yada yada. You know his real stuff has to be better than that.
The article quotes Internet scholar Jonathan Zittrrain as saying that O'Malley has to get real for this to work. As he put it, "The key to successful blogging is that . . . one feels like on the receiving end of a conversation, that you get what you would learn if you had a beer with a person, rather than what you would learn if they had a press conference, (but) not all public figures can afford to do that, because almost anything they say will be seen as an official statement, and anything off the cuff that might be regretted or repudiated they could get in trouble for."
We'll have to see if he does that. He looks like a good drinking buddy.
Meanwhile, the Wordpress-based blog has a Boston Herald look -- lots of pix, few words and nothing to exercise the brain. It's kind of ugly with dark background and non-resizing left border. It smacks of a Mac production. Also, so far, there are no links, no mailto anywhere -- not interactivity at all -- and no podcast or audio of any type.
Let's see how the content fleshes out.
I'm sure the diocese has a stat counter on. Treat our red buddy like any new blogger. Give him a thrill and hit on the site. After his first 10-day test, he'll decide whether to join us for real.
WHOIS note: This apparently was a quick decision. The archdiocese didn't grab the blog domain until last week. However, they registered it for five years. O'Malley is at least thinking a long run.
massmarrier, Boston, blogging, Sean O'Malley, Boston Globe