Friday, February 25, 2005

There Goes The Neighborhood?

The revolution continues.

Discussing this with Craig Westover last night at our weekly conservative indoctrination session was interesting. He pointed out that a lot of bloggers hearing about politicians getting into blogging are reacting with the same elitism as journalists griping about bloggers getting into journalism.

True to a point. But not entirely without reason. Journalists started griping about bloggers after they had already been around, writing and gaining audience for a while. In this case we're frequently getting A BIG PRONOUNCEMENT about a particular politician having a blog before anyone actually does anything.

But that's politics. It's a dirty business, but I'd rather others do it than me. So to that extent I'll give them a break.

Also, I did suggest that Mark Kennedy start a blog on his web-page the very day I discovered his web-site, so I can hardly be classified as anti-politician blogging. Though I have a very real worry that poltico-blogs are going to range from the formulaic to the ghost-blogged to the so carefully vetted they'll be as dry as reading press releases.

But Craig made what I think is an excellent observation in response to that. All it takes is one. And the others will have to follow. Here's how he explained it, best as I can recall:

Say you're one of the candidates in a race seen as a long-shot. The press doesn't give you much attention. The party gives you the cold-shoulder. What do you do? Start writing bluntly and provocatively on your blog. That attracts the attention of blog-readers, who link and call attention to it. Uncomfortable questions arise for the more front-running candidates, and if they don't respond they start to lose credibility. Suddenly, the minor candidate is forcing other campaigns to engage in conversation instead of canned sound-bites.

A healthy thing for our electoral process as well as the blogosphere, eh?


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