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    Success of ‘going negative’ changes campaign strategies
    Blog World
    November 19th, 2007 under Blog Program, Blogs in the News. [ Comments: none ]

    Recently I (David Perlmutter, KU) and Lawrence Bush of the Dole institute traveled to the BlogWorld & New Media Expo, 2007 at the Las Vegas Convention Center where I moderated two panels.

    Created by blogger Rick Calvert, BW was be the first business expo to showcase blogging as well as the other interactive media. The array of talents, attendees and sponsors was impressive. The first panel, on Thursday, Nov. 8, focused on “The Power of Political Blogosphere.”

    The panelists included: Hugh Hewitt, Pam Spaulding, Dave Nalle, Taylor Marsh, and Brad Friedman. The next day I moderated “Political Blogs and The Political Press” featuring John Hinderaker, Natasha Chart, Mary Katharine Ham, and Freidman and Marsh.

    Here are the current drafts of my presentations that introduced the panels.

    In my forthcoming book Blogwars: The New Political Battleground, [Forthcoming, Oxford University Press, Dec. 2007] I argue that 2008 is the year that blogging and other interactive media are coming of age–in political campaigns and elsewhere such as in commercial marketing. Everyone from car companies to mayoral candidates are experimenting with blogging, podcasting, Myspace, Facebook, flikr, Twittering and of course YouTube. The world of online interactivity is now simply our world. In many ways a business convention about blogging which featured entrepreneurs as well major companies such as Microsoft is a perfect marker that everyone is taking so called new media seriously.

    Some Perils of Political Interactivity
    August 2nd, 2007 under Uncategorized, 2008 Presidential Race, Blogs in the News, Blogging & Politics. [ Comments: 1 ]

    I just finished my final draft of Blogwars: The New Political Battleground (Oxford University Press). It’s a book on the history, present and future of the role of the weblog in American politics. 

    As I have said, writing a book on blogs is like reporting NASCAR with stone tablets–so much happens so fast. One topic of current interest is the nature of interactivity: what are its benefits and drawbacks for politicians or for the public? In the bloglands, you can’t pack the rooms with your supporters, shut out hecklers, and enforce message discipline. Here are some examples of interactive blowback…
    Read more »

    Blogs not gospel, experts caution
    February 27th, 2007 under Uncategorized, Blogs in the News. [ Comments: none ]

    TORONTO — Britney Spears and Anna Nicole Smith don’t just have their drug habits in common. The troubled celebrities, one dead and the other on a rehab roller-coaster, have provided celebrity gossip blogs and websites with their brightest glory days.

    Sites like TMZ.com, Splash News Online and X17 are leading the mainstream media on fast-breaking developments in the two biggest celebrity stories in years — Spears’s in-and-out rehab drama and the entire Smith saga, from her sudden death to the ensuing battles about her baby’s paternity and where the former Playboy Playmate should be buried.

    TMZ, in particular, has led the charge in posting up-to-the-minute information on Spears — she was back in rehab, by the way, as of late Thursday afternoon — and also featured running posts on the sordid fight in a Florida courtroom about Smith’s final resting place. America Online owns TMZ.com and the infotainment show Extra.

    But the mainstream media shouldn’t hang their head in shame as they scramble to keep up with blogs and websites on sensational celebrity stories, says Bob Thompson, a pop culture professor at Syracuse University in upper New York state.

    “Let’s face it — blogs rush in where angels fear to tread, or in this case, where legitimate media fear to tread,” Thompson said. “The mainstream media has to keep its cool in light of all this — they have to continue to do their jobs, to confirm developments with credible sources and to give each story due diligence.”

    Read full story 

    US presidential candidates learn blogs can bite back
    February 19th, 2007 under Blogs in the News. [ Comments: none ]

    WASHINGTON (story link) –  A controversy which has flared over two bloggers working for the campaign of US presidential hopeful John Edwards has highlighted the pitfalls facing candidates as they embrace the Web to reach voters.

    The bloggers, Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan, resigned following outrage over allegedly anti-Catholic rhetoric they had posted on their own blog posts before they joined the Edwards campaign last month.

    The 350,000-strong Catholic League, a conservative religious group, had demanded that Edwards fire the two women and threatened to unleash a public relations blitz against his campaign.

    Marcotte and McEwan said though Edwards, a Democrat, did not ask them to step down, they had decided to resign to spare his campaign any further undue criticism.

    Political commentators and experts said the incident illustrates the treacherous terrain facing candidates as they redefine their political strategies to reach younger and tech-savvy voters.

    Read more »

    Candidates find both opportunity, minefield on Web
    February 19th, 2007 under Blogs in the News. [ Comments: none ]

    From SiliconValley.com

    For candidates embracing the brave new world of online politics, the Internet giveth and the Internet taketh away.

    The 2008 presidential campaign is revving up earlier than ever, and candidates are using new online tools or techniques already used by advocacy groups and non-profits. They include popular social networking sites to organize, a growing reliance on high-profile bloggers and use of widely shared video — such as the Webcasts of Democrats Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama announcing their campaigns.

    ‘Web campaigning is becoming highly sophisticated, a central part of any candidate’s plan to win,’ said Rick White, a former Republican congressman from the Seattle area and a consultant on tech issues.

    White said the ‘next big thing’ in online politics may be carefully targeted ads, including video clips that will be different than conventional TV spots.

    ‘Each campaign is looking for the best ways to use Web 2.0 applications,’ said Julie Barko Germany, deputy director of the Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet at George Washington University.

    As evidence of the growing importance, Germany notes that the Webmaster consigned to the bottom rungs of a campaign a few years ago is now an ‘online communities strategist’ who can be just as influential as any other adviser to the candidate.

    Read full article 


    The Dole Institute of Politics is a bipartisan facility. Our mission; to encourage political and civic involvement, especially among young people; to encourage civil discussion on important issues; to emphasize that politics is an honorable profession; and to provide opportunities for all to interact with political leaders, practitioners and writers.
    While content on the blog will be moderated, we in no way wish to stifle vigorous debate. We request that participants engaging in the online discussion avoid personal, vitriolic attacks, and maintain respect for different opinions.
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    A Summary of the 2006 Blogger-Reader Survey

    Fall 2006 Blogger/Reader Survey Details and Research Reports
    In December of 2006 Dr. Dhavan Shah of the University of Wisconsin and his “Blogclub” of graduate students and Dr. David D. Perlmutterof the University of Kansas conducted a survey of major political blogs and their readers. The project was partially sponsored by a grant from the Knight/Carnegie Foundation’s Future of Journalism initiative. The summary of the results are posted here--please fully cite us if you refer to the findings.

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