Local, local, local. In the Information Age, hometown news and opinion define our franchise You may read about Anna Nicole Smith or Alberto Gonzales at countless Web sites, but if you want to know about what people are doing and saying in Sonoma County, California, the search begins at pressdemocrat.com

Fortunately for us, an informal survey this week shows readers share this outlook.

In announcing the launch of The Insider blog, we invited folks to fill out a short questionnaire identifying what subjects most interest them. Local news and politics blew everything else away. With the opportunity to vote for three topics, 76 percent of the respondents mentioned local news. Next came national news and politics, 37 percent, followed by more local information – hometown people in the news – at 35 percent.

What else did we learn? In this sample, comprised mostly of recent authors of letters to the editor, 27 percent said they check online news and opinion several times a day, and another 27 percent said they check the Web for news once or twice a day.

“I’m an avid consumer of national blog content and think the development of local blogs with strong journalistic backing is a great trend,” said one.

But 19 percent said they seldom go online to check the news and 10 percent say they never do. “I know I’m old-fashioned,” explained one respondent, “but I’ll keep reading my daily newspaper as long as it is delivered to my door.” OK. But the response was delivered in an online survey.

In other comments, readers reminded us that not everyone perceives us in precisely the same way.

One said, “As a reader, I think The Press Democrat’s views are very conservative…”

But another complained, “Please, keep your left-leaning newspaper less biased.”

-Pete Golis