Saturday, June 24, 2006

Local Blogs Will Lead the Way

This week I came across 2 articles about the power and influence of blogs on the political scene.

The first was posted on DailyKos about the need for local blogs. The author states that, "Unless you are a big-time blogger, get a job with a big-time blogger or major media outlet or have some kind of national-level expertise or connections, you shouldn't spend all your time blogging about national issues."

The author then explains why small time bloggers should not focus on national politics. Here are 3 reasons why...

1. It's been done...The blogosphere is a crowded place and it is really crowded at the top, where there are a lot of blogs handling national issues.
2. You're needed elsewhere...In all likelihood, there are few people covering politics in your state in an in-depth manner. You can fill that void. National elections are won at the state and local level.
3. You'll have more success and fame elsewhere...There is a demand and a market, but little competition. How better to make a name for yourself.
In the other article, Julien Borger discusses the effect blogs are having on the Lieberman - Lamont primary in Connecticut and their influence on the Democratic Party as a whole. Over the past 2 months Lieberman's lead in the polls has gone from 27 points to just 6. Here is how Borger describes the race...
It is a test of strength between the old way of doing politics built around a hierarchical party machine and the new campaigns fought by the so-called "netroots", who organise themselves and raise money on the web...

If Mr Lamont stages an upset in the Connecticut primaries on August 8, it may signal the point of no return for American politics. "It will change the kind of person who goes into politics," said Arianna Huffington, who runs the political blog Huffington Post. "It will end the dominance of consultants who have been running campaigns in the same focus-group, poll-driven way that has taken the soul out of politics."

No one now doubts the power of the internet to fuel anti-establishment candidates such as Ned Lamont. It allows them to raise large amounts of money in small contributions with minimal outlay, bypassing the big corporate donors who were once the kingmakers.
Iowa is lucky to have some very good local blogs. However, the Iowa liberal blogosphere is filled with a transient population, where we have seen some very good blogs fall by the wayside. As time goes on, some of the blogs will shut down, some new blogs will show up, and some of the current blogs will mature into great blogs. By focusing on state and local polticals we might be able bypass the corporate donors and help the common Iowan become kingmakers in the Iowa political map. We have seen the beginnings with Chris, Drew, and Kyle interviewing potential Presidential candidates Mark Warner, Russ Feingold, and Mike Gravel respectively. The next 2 years should be very interesting.


Jeff Charis-Carlson said...

I was glad to come across T. Rex's column, "Blog Locally." He has basically outlined the philosophy by which I try to edit the Iowa City Press-Citizen's Opinion page.

Anonymous said...

Jeff, do you think you could have printed a more whiny column than Jess Duran's "move over" piece? Crimany.

noneed4thneed said...

I had never thought about the similarities between local newspapers online sites and blogs. If more local papers used the things outlined in the "Blog Locally" piece, they might get more traffic. The online site of my local paper could really use the pointers.