Monday, June 19, 2006

why bloggers suddenly are noticed

Remember when bloggers were referred to in the media as this intreguing side note? Oh those rabble rousing youngins, with their computers and internets, what will they think of next?

Well it turns out, you hold a convention, you get coverage. YearlyKos might have been the smartest move the blogosphere's made in a while. The MSM really could wrap their heads around what the blogosphere is and what its demographics are. No matter how much we complained or paid for surveys. Because the media was able to attend the event and speak to bloggers face to face and see the thousands of them who paid their way there, they could finally cover the blogs properly.

Reporters could see with their own eyes that bloggers were not all college students, in fact that the average age is in the 40s and 30s, not the 20s and teens. They could see that they bloggers don't wear pajamas and are actually real people, just like those Iowan caucus goers political reporters like to cover.

I think comparing the left and right bloggers to Iowan straw pollers/caucus goers is actually quite apt. Both are relatively small portion of the Democratic Party, and not necessarily representative of the entire party. They tend to be more educated, whiter, etc.

They are called activists. Now some are activist (online and off) of the kind that deserve the term used in its pejorative context: the single issue Nazis who demand ideological or racial loyalty, reality be damned.

The kind I prefer and read are mostly the best kind of activists: concerned, organized and vocal citizens. Folks like John Aravosis, who fights for gay rights as he sees them, urging boycotts, calls to Congress, exposing hypocrites etc. While he may be focused mostly on gay rights, he also delves into other privacy rights, like cell phone records, NSA wiretapping, credit history, etc.

The blogosphere will continue to be influential because we are using an incredibly effective medium of spreading our ideas, message, efforts, and money to the candidates and causes we believe in. Its power will only grow as more people go online and more people read blogs, especially decision makers and reporters.

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