Political Blogging. Getting it in general, and understanding the SDWC.

I spent some time reading through the RNC's website and the section they have on blogging, as I try to find my way and justification my existence as a blogger within the GOP. Not that I feel a burning need to justify myself.

I blog because I know what way this stuff is going. Most of the readers - in either party - know how taking news and media and placing it in personalized context, as a blog does, not only makes it more real to the reader, but it allows the blogger to put their own spin on things. But as opposed to big media, this spin is accepted - and interactively debated.

I came across an article they were quoting on conservative blogging and bloggers in general:
Liberals lag conservatives in political blog presence

By Donald Lambro
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
August 12, 2005

Liberal activist Web loggers have made major advances on the Internet, but they remain far behind their conservative adversaries among the top 250 political blogs, according to a study by a Democratic think tank.

In a detailed report on the political power being wielded by bloggers, who have become a potent force in national and state campaigns, the study found that while liberals have "a decided advantage" over conservatives among the top 40 blogs (24-16), "conservatives hold a whopping 133 to 77 advantage" among the next 210 blogs.

The study said this was "a serious problem that progressives must confront," if they are going to overcome the conservatives' advantage at the local level.

(Now, here's the part I find interesting.. - pp)

"An edge among small, local political blogs also means an edge in small, local, political races. While progressives may have a marked advantage in overall blogosphere discourse, it could also be argued that conservatives are taking a decisive lead in the sort of targeted blogging that will provide them with real, tangible benefits ...," the report says.

If liberal activists "do not invest time, energy and resources building a local blog infrastructure superior to that currently possessed by conservatives, the comparative advantage of progressives' overall traffic lead will be significantly reduced."
Read it all here. "Conservatives are taking a decisive lead in the sort of targeted blogging that will provide them with real, tangible benefits." Blogging targeted towards specific political races has already proved effective in South Dakota. SDP, Sibby, and others did it in the 2004 Thune Race. CCK, Thunewatch, Proud Liberal and others have already responded in kind, in preparation for the 2006 races.

My point is, at least for the next few cycles, blogging of some shape or form is the tool du jour. They are going to continue to be used, and talked about.

In South Dakota, Republicans activists who aren't reading this stuff need to start reading, and they need to learn. And if so inclined, they need to start their own commentary and blog themselves. Because while they might be deciding that "it isn't important, and doesn't matter," an opponent on the other side of the aisle might be using it to incite an electorate to vote against them.

I hold out an example that Nick Nemec (D) posted in the comment section under a previous post, on how the opposition views blogging. While some Republicans consider blogs circus freakery; at best a curiosity or at worst, something to be feared, consider Nick's account of how the other side in SD views bloggers:
I know for a fact that at the Democrat Central Committee meeting Judy Olson Duhamel introduced the Clean Cut Kid with great fanfare and a hardy thank you and the Central Committee members gave him a standing ovation.
To the credit of the opposition, that's a little better than the reception Todd Epp had gotten as a Democratic (now independent) blogger a few months earlier. And it shows that the Democrats are now starting to actively embrace it as a tool. They've seen how effectively it can be in driving media coverage and energizing a base.

And Republicans are foolish if they don't do the same.

For better or worse, political blogging is going to be around for a while. (I'm predicting it will remain hot at least through 2010). So, like it or not, you'd better get used to it. And me. Get used to me. Because I'm not going anywhere.

I'm not looking for a standing ovation at the next GOP central committee meeting by any means. But understand this - love me or loathe me, I'm my own Republican, and I'm here to win elections.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I'm glad to see you are going to keep at it. You fit a niche that needs to be filled. Your blog is informative, practical and unafraid. I commend your efforts!
Todd Epp said…
Amen, PP. The SDGOP is foolish if it and its members don't listen to you. I only wish you weren't so good at what you do! (grin) Keep up the good work and just keep telling the truth as you see it. There will always be a willing market for insight and honest analysis such as you provide.

Todd Epp
S.D. Watch http://thunewatch.squarespace.com

S.D. Watch
Douglas said…
Hey, I'll even write: "I'm glad to see you are going to keep at it. You fit a niche that needs to be filled. Your blog is informative, practical and unafraid. I commend your efforts!" and then put my real name on the post.

I will note that I spent more than a little time prior to the last election trying to convince some Democratic powers that be that blogs were a very good way to keep their supporters and volunteers updated...mostly to no avail at the time..or even a response for that matter.

While I am complimenting instead of blasting, your use of Feed Digest makes all SD blogs more available and is another good service that your Republican friends should recognize. If the Republican approach is any good, it should be able to withstand comments from more than newspaper and college sychophants...same goes for Democratic perspective too however.

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