Bloggers test boundaries

Keyboard commandos like Wilmington's Mike Matthews make political waves, but what happens when freedom of expression meets a full-time job?

The News Journal

Mike Matthews, 24, posts his blogs from the basement of his parents' house in Wilmington. He expects to receive a master's degree in education in May, and says that once he has a full-time teaching job his blogging may be curtailed. His opinions are anticipated by hundreds of daily readers. Many of them e-mail him when he dares to skip a day.

He's respected or acknowledged as a force in the Delaware political blogging world the way a more traditional newspaper columnist might have been respected decades ago.

But Mike Matthews is 24, and he's issuing those opinions and news from a keyboard amid the comfort of his mother's paneled den, complete with stone fireplace and hanging lights.

Matthews is one of Delaware's politically oriented bloggers, and one of the thousands of Americans on the edge of a movement that some say may change the mainstream media.

"I had a point at first," says Matthews in a deep, FM-announcer voice, leaning back in a chair that fronts his desktop computer. "Now it's just entertainment. I play the role of curmudgeon. I'm sensational and ridiculous."

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