DDTI: Effective Political Blogging


Effective Political Blogging panel

Doc Searls, Halley Suitt, Mitch Radcliffe, Cameron Barrett, and Dave Weinberger are doing a panel on effective political blogging.

Cam is talking about his efforts to help the Clark campaign. Clark's blog has the ability to support group forming around specific events and issues.

Dave talks about how unexpected and emergent what has been happening in the blogosphere surrounding politics is. There a surprising attachment between supporters and bloggers.

Halley talks about how blogging and reading political blogs got her interested in politics. She quotes ten trends of political blogging from her blog:

  1. Political blogs are simply political. Regular-people-telling-the-truth-about-their-lives blogs are subversive and radical.
  2. The blog swarm giveth, the blog swarm taketh away. (What bloggers write about -- jump all over -- swarm all over -- put at the top of the charts -- these issues can define the discussion, not because they are necessarily more correct, more fascinating or more important -- but because they are so FAST AND FRESH.)
  3. FDR: "We have nothing to fear but fear itself." Bush: "We have nothing so profitable as fear and fear itself."
  4. Cheney is not, and never has been the Vice President.
  5. "It's the credit card economy, stupid."
  6. There are no more Democrats. There are no more Republicans.
  7. We should kiss Europe's ass for reminding us who we are as a nation and who we must be and who we can not be.
  8. Remember the video of the LA Riots -- dads smashing store fronts, moms carrying away jumbo pack diapers.
  9. The Diebold Riots will not be pretty.
  10. Blogs opened our hearts, our minds, our lives. Dean opened our hopes. Meetup opened our homes. Can you spell C-O-M-M-U-N-I-T-Y? There is no going back.

I'm not exactly sure what 3, 4, and 6 have to do with political blogging. They out of character with the rest of the list. I guess you've got to get your licks in somewhere.

Mitch says we're making a fundamental error by treating the campaign as a horse race. This reinforces the position of the mass media in the election. We strengthen them by talking about them so much. We give CBA, ABC, and CNN power by naming them. We'll move past the Dean campaign.

Dave says that political blogs are social, not informational. The goal is to connect with each other, not to influence. Deanblog comments discourage flaming. This style gives people a sense of connectedness without letting them fight. Halley mentions that these people call what they're doing "blogging" even though most bloggers would laugh at the notion of comment posting as "blogging."

Is there something unique you want in a political blog? Cam: No, blogs are blogs and very generic. Halley: As a consumer of political blogs, I'd like to have a hefty "about" statement to understand who they are. Dave: Wouldn't blogs being fielded by a campaign want to have more social networking stuff built in? Cam: yes, for example, we'd like to have a way for people to enter their zip code and get a map to their polling place.

What is effective political blogging as opposed to popular political blogging? Cam: Comments add a community aspect of political blogs.

Blogging is the first step of many steps. How does it lead to action? I've long advocated techies being more involved in the legislative process.