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    Success of ‘going negative’ changes campaign strategies
    [ # ] Presidential Blogging 101
    February 9th, 2007 under Programs/Events, 2008 Presidential Race

    By David D. Perlmutter

    presidential_seal.jpgOn the evening of Tuesday, February 13 at 7:30pm, the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics hosted a panel on “Blog to the Chief: The Impact of Political Blogs on the 2008 Election” as part of its Annual Presidential Lecture series.

    Guests include prominent political bloggers and professionals such as:

    Patrick Hynes (President of New Media Strategics, blog consultant for Sen. John McCain’s Straight Talk America PAC, and the founder and proprietor of the blog Ankle Biting Pundits)

    Jerome Armstrong (MyDD - My Direct Democracy) co-author of “Crashing the Gate: Netroots, Grassroots and the Rise of People-Powered Politics”

    Erick Erickson (managing editor of RedState.com, the largest conservative community blog on the Internet)

    Joan McCarter (contributing editor at Daily Kos, writing as “mcjoan” and one of a dozen bloggers who attended a private meeting with President Bill Clinton in September, 2006)

    Scott Johnson (co-founder of the blog Powerline, Time magazine’s first and so far only blog of the year [2004])

    The moderator of the event was David D. Perlmutter, KU professor of Journalism & Mass Communications who is writing a book on political blogs for Oxford University Press.

    Moderator’s Introduction

    Within less than a decade, an explosion of new, interactive media technologies and venues such as blogging, MySpace, YouTube, Facebook, podcasting, and others have affected many aspects of our culture, media, and society—and politics is no exception. While a majority of Americans do not blog, studies of political bloggers have shown them to be much more likely to vote and give money to campaigns; furthermore, they have proven able, for good or bad, to set the agenda of political attention of both candidates and mainstream media. At the same time, most so-called traditional commercial and political institutions and organizations, as well as a huge number of prominent individuals, are “blogging up.”

    For example, The New York Times, Ford Motor Company, Barbra Streisand and the deposed king of Cambodia all blog or host blogs. Of immediate relevance to us, all of the announced and probable presidential candidates for 2008 either blog themselves–allegedly—or “work the blogs” in a virtual form of old-fashioned retail politics to a greater or lesser extent, although some with more energy, enthusiasm, and talent than others.

    John Edwards has been campaigning the bloglands for several years and regularly holds private meetings with bloggers wherever he travels.

    Mitt Romney features a “Mitthead Blogroll” boasting bloggersclinton.jpgmore than 6,700 pro-Mitt blogs.

    Hillary Clinton has hired a blogger-in-chief for her campaign for the presidency, and her husband, the former president, held a lunch with top liberal and progressive bloggers a few months ago. Attendee TalkLeft proclaimed: “It was awesome.” Barack Obama, perhaps the most techno-savvy presidential candidate of our time, regularly guest-blogs and podcasts to his supporters.

    Finally, political consultants are hiring young bloggers and trying to determine how to use blogs in political campaigns as complements to traditional media such as direct mail and television ads.

    The ascent of blogs seems all the more remarkable when one considers that the word “weblog” was coined fewer than 10 years ago, and that political blogs became really prominent and popular only in 2003-2004 with the great experiment of Howard Dean’s presidential bid. But there is no question that now, as we look back at a mid-term election that was full of stories about YouTube and Facebook and blogswarms and blog-driven fundraising, political blogs have become an important and integral part of modern campaigns and elections as well as politics and policy-making.

    Clearly, though, the promise of blogs merges the past and the present. I have always told my students that, for Julius Caesar as much as for Bill Clinton, successful mass communication is that which best approximates successful personal communication. When you watch a political candidate in a 30-second television ad or in a televised debate or speech and you feel moved, persuaded, or impressed, you tend to think, “I felt as if s/he were talking to me personally.” Blogs allow our officeholders (and seekers) to attempt this with even more stylistic intimacy. This panel is a demonstration and an exploration of how blogging will affect the most important exercise that Americans participate in every four years: the election of our next commander-in-chief.

    But first a few wider perspectives:

    Most of us interested in so-called new media in general and political blogging specifically are properly astonished at how quickly the world of interactive, unlimited-channel, always-on, instant-everywhere, live-from-ground-zero, everybody-authored media has evolved and permeated our lives. I am old enough to remember when I had only 3 or 4 choices of sources for electronic news, when the remote control was the youngest member of our family, and when pretty much the only way that political candidates could try to convince me to vote for them was through a television or radio advertisements and “free” media—that is, coverage in print or electronic news—or direct mail to my home.

    At the same time, when you teach at a university and face a fresh crop of young people every semester, you learn that so-called “new” media get old fast. Satellite-reception, WiFi, laptops, cell phones, PDAs, digital photography, the Internet and especially instant-messaging are as familiar to KU freshmen as fire and the wheel. This merging of tech culture and youth culture is important in every part of the media world. In politics you see it in the explosion of blogs and vlogs and YouTubed political messages, but also, as older political consultants tell me, by the striking predilection of younger staffers to use blogs as their way of communicating with each other and their constituents.

    In fact, one problem we face in making any conclusion about blogs is that often the opposite is also true. Take some of the following sweeping statements about the weblog, made in some form or another in the last few years: “One day, everyone will have his or her own blog,” or “Blogging will eventually die out as people lose interest and move on to other fads.” And: “Bloggers are rabid political partisans who are lowering the level of civic discourse in our society,” or “Blogging is the ultimate fulfillment of the democratic experiment, empowering a true and positive marketplace of ideas.” And: “Blogs and blogging will become a hugely powerful political force determining not only who is elected president but the success or failure of her or his policies,” or “Blogging will always be a minor sideshow, mainly relegated to political junkies, and will not have much impact on general elections or major public issues.”

    In 2008, you can probably find evidence to support any of these claims or any milder version of them because there really are so many blogs out there doing so many different things.

    Take a basic question: How popular is blogging? According to the numbers we have, tens of millions of Americans and hundreds of millions of people worldwide—Chinese and Persian are among the most common blog languages—are jumping in and adapting to the form and the forum. But at the same time, even recent national surveys indicate that a large number of Americans do not really know what blogs are or have ever scanned one.

    Another issue: Do blogs unite or divide us? Certainly, cross-party attacks via political blogs can get poisonous, and blogswarms can often look and sound like lynch mobs. However…when the United States was first conceived and established, the “press” consisted of many small publishers and pamphleteers who were in bitter, often violent opposition to each other, but who also provided readers with a feisty marketplace of ideas. Today, political bloggers, left and right, even when attacking each other do provide links to the opposition’s point of view. And believe it or not, many right and left bloggers are friends in real life.

    How new are blogs? A historian of media will note that for thousands of years, in different forms—from personal letters to political pamphlets and broadsides to pigeon-borne messages—people have tried to express their personal comments to large audiences through an intimate, brief posting. One favorite example of mine and fellow KU professor Charles Marsh is the ancient Greek philosopher Isocrates who lived just before Alexander the Great’s conquest of southwest Asia. Isocrates’s “about me” page reads much like that of a stereotype of today’s blogger: he was fascinated by politics but did not actually want to be a politician; he enjoyed pontificating on every topic but had no desire to attend town meetings; he craved popular support but eschewed meeting the public. As a modern translator put it:

    “He endeavored to direct the affairs of Athens and Greece without ever holding an office and to mould public opinion without ever addressing a public assembly, by issuing from his study, political pamphlets or essays in oratorical form, in which then set forth the proper conduct of the Greeks in the light of broad ideas.”*

    And, most interesting, Isocrates put to use new technologies called “the alphabet” and “the personal letter” to publicize his ideas to kings and publics. So we could say blogging is as ancient as Democracy. But, on the other hand, only within the last few years has it become technologically possible, although not necessarily probable, that anyone could create a message that everyone else on the planet could read or view a few minutes later. So blogs in their present form are very new.

    These seemingly conflicting conditions, as well as a host of others, make understanding blogs and the great world of interactive, instant media exciting and humbling. None of us know all the answers about how blogs and their sister technologies will change the ways toothpaste is sold or rejected, music is appreciated or avoided, wars are won or lost, the planet’s environment is saved or spoiled, or how presidential candidates are elected or defeated. But maybe that is the key point about blogs, one we can all be certain of: that greater wisdom begins with the back-and-forth of post and counterpost, comment and response. In the surely blog-style-inspired words of the democratic frontrunner for commander-in-chief: Let’s talk!

    *[George Norlin, (ed. & trans.), Isocrates (New York: Putnam, 1927), p. xviii.] 


    Read the Comments

    [ # 14 ] Comment from Cammy [February 14, 2007, 4:00 am]

    Blogging is pretty irrelevant in the big scheme of the electorate. In fact, I don’t see the blogosphere as being any different from the mainstream media nor any different from mainstream politicians.

    Everything–blogosphere, media, and politicians–is completely controlled by rich, white men.

    And I don’t see that changing any time soon.

    [ # 15 ] Comment from KC09 [February 14, 2007, 6:16 pm]

    Of all the messages relayed by the distinguished panel the one that was echoed several times was that of two-way communication. The cautionary tale of politicians using blogs as a place to post a press release without any forms of interaction with the blogosphere reworked its way into the discussion throughout the evening.

    The first thing Joan McCarter said was that Presidential candidates must learn that “Blogs aren’t a static medium they can talk at.” Jarome Armstrong replied, “The blogosphere is a community that needs to be encaged.” Patrick Hynes quickly reiterated that statement by candidly discussing his advice to Senator McCain; “Don’t use blogs. Work with blogs.”

    Hynes not only emphasized the importance of a two-way conversation between politicians and bloggers, but the importance of candor. This room for candor as a result of two-way blog conversation was the most important point for me. Hynes said these bloggers are too engaged to be used by politicians. These bloggers demand forthright posts and comments. An example the panel gave of this was Senator Kerry’s openness about his stance on Iraq on the Daily Kos blog. However, in mainstream media questioning, Kerry was reluctant to step on either side of that issue. The blog allowed for free-flowing and frank discussion.

    Erick Erickson noted that some blog readers were dissatisfied when they learned that staffers were blogging for the candidates. Many people go to these blogs to get straightforwardness from a candidate that they cannot get via the local dinnertime news. However, when the candidates would post actual comments in response to reader comments it was a big hit. Why wouldn’t candidates want to take this grassroots, slowly accepted form of media, to show some personality and interact with the public?

    While blogs are certainly a place to garner attention and support, there are some limits to what politicians should expect from blogs. McCarter stated, “Blogs are not an ATM. Blogs are more than a quick place to raise money.” In fact, and rightfully so, I understand why bloggers would get annoyed with politicians that use blogs. Politicians must build that relationship with a particular blogosphere before expecting any benefits from it.

    The panel also warned that when politicians aren’t getting immediate satisfaction from posting on a blog they shouldn’t do something drastic. On stage panel members acknowledged that it was a mistake for McCain to just launch a blog out of nowhere. Instead, they felt McCain should have interacted more in the blogosphere before taking matters into his own hands. No one should expect to move to a new city without any acquaintances and throw a huge party with a high turnout. The new resident must go and feel out the community and people before expecting to make any friends. The same can be said for politicians and blogging.

    Ultimately this panel successfully highlighted the need for blogs in today’s political scene. While I myself was somewhat skeptical at first, these panel members made a convincing argument for themselves. Inherently politics is about innovation, open communication and people. These three descriptors are what blogging also means to me.

    [ # 16 ] Comment from dorothyp [February 14, 2007, 7:34 pm]

    Blogs will be extremely relevant to this election, but so will newspapers, television, radio, and other forms of media and communication. In a relatively short time period, blogs have become a new form of media, instead of being a different beast altogether.

    Think of blogs as “open source” media, willing and able to adapt and change more quickly than words on printed paper or traditional mediums (“closed source”). For example, alter the GNU operating system description of free software:

    “Free software is a matter of the users’ freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software.”

    and you get a definition of blogs as a medium for news and information distribution:

    “Blogs are a matter of the users’ freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve news and information.”

    Rapid user participation is what makes blogs somewhat different than the traditional media, much like the difference between open and closed source software. However, even user comments have an equivalent area in your daily newspaper; consider comments to be “letters to the editor”, on speed.

    Open source software allows users to make changes and fix bugs, and then release an improved version of the software, much like blogs allow users to comment and correct errors or provide additional news and information. Furthermore, if users are inspired by (or enraged by) “closed source” software (traditional media), they are able to create a free or improved version on their own and send it into the world as “open source” (or a blog).

    At the end of the day, this competition between open and closed sources (blogs and mainstream or traditional media) is a good thing – users and readers can take advantage of the innovations the competition inspires, and then choose to opt for a “free” version, or a proprietary version that seems worth the money.

    At the Blogging to the Chief program, Patrick Hynes said that bloggers are regular people, cutting out the middle man, but Joan McCarter recognized that she and other bloggers are now “professional bloggers” who research and write blogs. How is being a professional blogger any different than being a professional journalist, researching and writing articles? As for cutting out the “middle man”, even Daily Kos has someone acting as a content filter, as described in their FAQ:

    “But, what about Freedom of Speech?

    Doesn’t the First Amendment give me the right to talk about whatever I want here?

    No. Daily Kos is owned by kos. The servers are his. He pays the bandwidth charges. He makes the rules; we are here as his guests. If he decides tomorrow that anyone not posting in iambic pentameter will be banned, your options are either to brush up on your poetry skills or find/start another forum. “

    Furthermore, few – if any – blogs are truly free to readers; we’re subjected to advertisements, or we pay to avoid them (with either cash or our demographic information). Daily Kos is only one of many blogs supported by advertisers, just like newspapers, magazines, television, radio, and other forms of media. Daily Kos will let you skip seeing the ads, however, if you have a paid subscription.

    Still other blogs and “new media”, like Myspace, are under the umbrella of traditional media ownership, in addition to the onslaught of advertisements. Panelist Erick Erickson is the managing editor of Redstate.com, for example, which is now owned by Eagle Publishing:

    “Today, we agreed to a purchase agreement for the sale of the RedState network of sites effective January 2, 2007, to Eagle Publishing, Inc. Eagle Publishing, based in Washington D.C., owns Human Events, Regnery Publishing, the Conservative Book Club, and has long been a respected leader on the right.”

    His comments on the blog entry that announced the new ownership said:

    “I second the welcome to our new Beltway Overlords. Their decision to keep me around as Supreme Leader of RedState shows their great wisdom.”

    and:

    “It had not been our intention to sell, but when we were exploring the best ways to grow RedState so we could fulfill our mission better, Eagle was and is a very natural fit for us.”

    That sure smacks of traditional media business to me.

    [ # 17 ] Comment from LTN68 [February 14, 2007, 9:03 pm]

    One of the most important statements of the evening came from moderator, David Perlmutter. In Perlmutter’s introduction he makes the telling comment “successful mass communication is that which best approximates successful personal communication.” The success of the blogosphere lies in this revelation. The blogosphere can mimic personal communication more accurately and effectively than many other forms of mass media because allows interaction with the individual.

    Let’s look at a small group conversation. A small group of people exchange messages. During the conversation people can respond and react immediately. Each person in the conversation is responsible for the type and clarity of comments they make, and in this free exchange of ideas, each person questions and makes comments about the topic being discussed.

    Furthermore, conversation is used to build relationships. People seek out people who discuss topics and partake in activities they are interested in. Through these conversations a community is developed. Blogging mimics all of these characteristics of personal conversation.

    Erick Erickson and Jerome Armstrong both mentioned that blogging is a conversation and is not a static medium. Joan McCarter pointed out that, like conversation, blogging allows for quick response, forces people to be their own editors, and provides a critical audience, and Patrick Hynes mentioned that blogs work towards building relationships as the discussion focuses on what people think is important and communities develop.

    Blogging appears to be a virtual way for a politician to go door-to-door or to attend a town hall meeting. However, I must say that I think blogging takes it one step further than actual one-on-one conversation. Blogs not only provide conversation but they allow for constant dialogue. The discussion in the blogosphere never ends and provides a 24-7 venue for politicians and civilians alike to receive and send messages on issues. As Erick Erickson mentioned, with blogs politicians can’t avoid the conversation.

    I do agree that successful communication mimics personal communication, and I do agree that blogging is successful at approximating personal communication and thus will be somewhat successful in establishing opinions and setting agendas in American politics. How much, remains to be seen.

    [ # 18 ] Comment from bean311 [February 14, 2007, 9:16 pm]

    If the blogosphere were a mistress, she wouldn’t be a one-night stand. She would require your time and attention, and though a little wooing wouldn’t hurt, you had better think twice about using her or not telling her the truth.

    Such was the general sentiment of several political blog experts at last night’s panel Blog to the Chief: The Impact of Political Blogs on the 2008 Election held at the Dole Institute. Right or left, the bloggers all agreed that politicians, and presidential hopefuls in particular, are most successful when they engage in the blogging process — using a blog as a quick way to raise money, post press releases or skirt around the issues just won’t work for a medium that doesn’t shy away from the tough stuff.

    This says a lot about the people who read blogs. Patrick Hynes, a blog consultant for Sen. John McCain, said the political blog audience is too smart and too engaged to be fooled by politician-speak. “Politicians can’t talk at them, they need to try to have a conversation with them,” he said. Eric Erickson, managing editor of RedState.com, agreed that political blogs are likely to have a more sophisticated audience. “People who read blogs are the opinion leaders in their community,” he said.

    With the blogosphere becoming much more competitive for candidates than in races past, politicians had better learn to cater to an audience that demands more from its leaders. Jerome Armstrong, one of the first political bloggers, noted that with readership increasing 100-fold since 2003, more often than not, politicians are maintaining some sort of presence in the blogosphere. But for those who don’t understand how blogs work and what readers expect, blogs can do more harm than good — a lesson John Edwards has learned the hard way.

    Speaking of learning lessons the hard way, the panel discussed the likely fate of politicians who don’t acknowledge past mistakes or the criticism guaranteed to come at them from the competition. Hynes said that politicians can’t pretend they are not being criticized. “There has to be a level of candor brought into the process,” he said. “If you aren’t going to answer questions, you’re going to lose.” Let’s just say Kerry’s campaign could have turned out a little differently if the public had perceived him as more open and willing to admit to his mistakes. Sen. Clinton would do well to take note.

    When asked whose campaigns are getting off to a good start in cyberspace, the panel generally agreed that Romney, McCain, Giuliani, Edwards (present scandal excluded) and Obama are front-runners. The impact of social networks such as MySpace and Facebook were also discussed, especially the affect it will have on younger voter turnout. The world is waiting to see if Sen. Obama achieves his goal of one million friends on Facebook, a shrewd move for sure to appeal to younger voters.

    While it’s nearly impossible to measure the influence blogs will have on the 2008 election, there’s no doubt that people are paying attention to this medium that can make or break a candidate with a click of a mouse. If there is a lesson for politicians to learn, it’s treat the blogosphere with respect and she’ll be good to you; cross her and you may be waving as the presidential race passes you by.

    [ # 21 ] Comment from luckygirl [February 14, 2007, 10:43 pm]

    As KC09 says in her (or his) post, the theme of the night for the panel was making sure bloggers and readers alike knew that blogging was about keeping a constant dialogue going.

    Joan McCarter, a contributing editor at Daily Kos, said presidential candidates needed to learn that blogging wasn’t a static medium they could just talk at. Instead, she said candidates were most successful when they talked with people.

    However, another issue was discussed that raised my concerns. Political candidates who set up blogging sites oftentimes aren’t the people discussing important issues on their sites. Many hire support personnel who keep the public happy by responding to the public’s posts under the guise of being the actual politician. Sounds like something a politician would do.

    But my concern is this, if it’s not the candidate actually posting, how can we rely on him or her to do the job they’ve just promised us in their post (via another person)?

    Scott Johnson, co-founder of the Power Line blog, said he thought the gift of communication remained the most important aspect of any politician. His statement is spot on, but if politicians aren’t the ones actually communicating with the community, where should we rate them on being able to communicate with us?

    Of course, as stated by several members of the panel, TV appearances and radio spots won’t be replaced in the fight to become most popular with the people, but once again, these are appearances at which the public generally does not get to ask what’s on their minds.

    Patrick Hynes, founder of the Ankle Biting Pundits blog and president of New Media Strategies, said if political candidates weren’t willing to answer people’s questions on a blog, then they weren’t fit for a high-powered office.

    With all of this being said about needing to communicate with the community and needing to address the issues communities have, none of the panel members, which also included Erik Erickson, managing editor of RedState.com, and Jerome Armstrong, a strategic advisor for multiple Internet campaigns, said whether this trend — using other people to blog as the politician — needed to stop.

    The topics discussed at the Dole Institute actually left me more leery of the new medium and the effect it could have on political campaigns. Some examples of why I now feel this way were discussed by the panel, and include: expanding the campaign to cover the Internet community will cost more; bloggers could hurt potentially good politicians by spreading false accusations faster and easier (the opposite could be said as well); the inability to control or moderate the comments and posts on a candidate’s blog site is a security issue not likely to be solved soon; and one particular statement by McCarter left chills going up my spine, “We’re not going to ruin anyone who hasn’t set themselves up to be ruined.”

    Who actually sets themselves up to be ruined? I guess I’ll make sure not to be “ruined” by bowing out of this new medium.

    [ # 22 ] Comment from shackleton15 [February 14, 2007, 10:51 pm]

    What role do blogs play in American democracy? What impact will blogs have on the 2008 election? Why are blogs partisan in nature? What are the limits of blogging? These questions and many more were addressed at the Dole Institute’s presentation, “Blog to the Chief: The Impact of Political Blogs on the 2008 election.”

    Is political blogging important? Patrick Hynes, panel member, bluntly asserted, “you will lose if you don’t answer questions online.” According to Erick Erickson, politicians can’t avoid a conversation with bloggers anymore. After the 2004 elections, it seems blogs are here to stay.

    The five panel members were quick to point out that blogging is an interactive form of media. “Blogs aren’t static media you talk at,” Joan McCarter said. She cautioned that bloggers “aren’t just an ATM.”

    Several panel members asserted that bloggers are usually opinion leaders in their communities. Therefore, they serve as political catalysts, possibly marshalling support for their parties on a grassroots level. McCarter asserted that bloggers are sophisticated and smart, respecting candidates who engage with them.

    Because blogs are non-traditional media, they possess inherent strengths. Scott Johnson, panel member, said blogs allow readers to check their sources and assess the veracity of their posts. This is in stark contrast to mainstream media which is often obscured behind the closed doors of a newsroom.

    Immediacy of blogging is another asset in the blogosphere. McCarter pointed out blog readers will immediately challenge the veracity of a post if it is not perceived as accurate. The immediacy of the medium allows bloggers to respond to their followers and correct inaccuracies quickly.

    Bloggers also serve as a sort of antithesis to mainstream media. That is, Erick Erickson maintained the possible Clinton vs. McCain and Obama vs. Romney showdowns are largely a traditional media construct. Blogs are a way for bloggers to combat the agenda-setting powers of mainstream media.

    Both McCarter and Hynes agreed a major asset blogs possess is the ability to “refine political messages.” In the words of panel moderator Dr. David Perlumutter, “blogs are a kind of online focus group.” Politicians can test their campaign messages with a likeminded blog and determine if their message is well received by the party faithful.

    Blogs are a relatively new technology. As such, they readily embrace new mediums of communication such as YouTube or social networking sites like MySpace.com. McCarter asserted YouTube is a type of visual blog. In social networking sites, Hynes pointed out that your online “friends” are the ultimate filter of content as opposed to bloggers or editors.

    Despite the seemingly unlimited power of an emerging media, blogs face constraints. Erick Erickson pointed out that the moderate middle of American politics cannot sustain its own blog. The political poles generate the dialogue necessary for successful blogs. Indeed the partisan nature of blogs often discourages discussion between left and right wing blogs.

    What is the future of blogging? Hynes said blogs will increase the immediacy and accuracy of future news. The rise of professional bloggers—people who are paid to blog—will allow them to conduct more research bringing true depth to issue analysis.

    Hynes cautioned the mainstream media will attempt to buy popular blogs, potentially ruining them.

    [ # 24 ] Comment from bgn7@ [February 14, 2007, 11:57 pm]

    Something that stood out to me was the statement, “Blogs are changing every aspect of our society, even politics.” Ones that are a great interest to political candidates include facebook, myspace, and youtube. “Filters” are now my peers or in the example of facebook, filters are the people on my friends list. Patrick Hynes explained that media makes decisions on what we are learning information about, but blogs are written by individuals. However, Joan McCarter explained some traits of blogging by saying, “We are our own editors,” and went on to say that they have a critical audience that will catch them right away if they make a mistake. One other things that caught my attention was that media was for profit information, and with blogs there is no reason to sell it because it’s just people talking.

    [ # 26 ] Comment from $FMI4 [February 15, 2007, 12:09 am]

    It seems that mass communication is so easy for Generation Y. Facebook, Myspace, and YouTube are very powerful forms of media in the United States, and one cannot help thinking that these forms of power will strongly affect the next presidential election. The presentation at the Dole Institute showed me that blogging is most definitely on the minds of politicians, and they are genuinely interested in this relatively new, online phenomenon. One blogger has already said that popular blogs might be bought, thus ruining them. I happen to agree with this statement. Here’s my opinion: as soon as an authority of any sort attempts to control something that is popular, the popularity of that thing decreases. Although the status of blogging becomes scrutinized more and more as the election nears, I think that blogging is an idea that should be respected and enjoyed for what it is, not something that should be controlled and limited by authorities who fear it.

    [ # 27 ] Comment from Awoma [February 15, 2007, 12:41 am]

    Jay Rosen may have declared a trucebetween the MSM and bloggers, but if Tuesday night’s panel session was any indication, the battle is far from over.

    As the five political bloggers stood in the spotlight, they were quick to push the mainstream media right off the stage and then kick them while they were down. Their rallying cry sounded something like this:

    From : “The problem is the media. These old brokers of information don’t have the country’s best interests in mind.”

    Ouch! That really hurts. While the panelists made several valid points about engagement and interactivity (themes as American as apple pie and well worth supporting), their hostility toward the media ruined their overall message.

    Don’t get me wrong; I’m big on blogs. I like the instantaneous feedback; the immediacy; the engagement. I think the MSM can learn a lot from this new tool. What I’m not big on is bloggers slamming the mainstream media in public and then turning around and exploiting them in private. Take, for example, Joan McCarter, a professional blogger, who gets paid to write for the Daily Kos blog.

    McCarter said that being a professional allows her to do more primary research and reporting. And yet, over a two-week period during which I counted Kos links, the site was three times more likely to send readers to the MSM than to another blog. If the bloggers are so great, if the filters have been lifted, if the MSM is broken beyond repair (all claims the bloggers made Tuesday), then stop linking to them and link to the bloggers doing “primary research and primary reporting.”

    Otherwise, it’s a bit like biting the hand that feeds.

    Dissing the mainstream media in front of the camera and then linking to them when the spotlight is off is a smarmy way of doing business.

    As Christopher Swope wrote in a 2005 Governing article:

    Mainstream reporters and bloggers have a weird relationship, one that is symbiotic and competitive at the same time … After all, most of what they write is based on news that appears in the pages of daily newspapers and newsletters.

    Now, that’s not to say that the MSM don’t have problems. They do. One look at this poll from Zogby International is enough to tell you that. But, don’t just read the headline. Read down a bit farther to this little gem:

    Despite concerns about its quality, 72% of those in the national survey said journalism is important to their community. More respondents (81%) said Web sites are important as a source of news, although television ranked nearly as high (78%), followed by radio (73%). Newspapers and magazines trailed – 69% said newspapers and 38% said magazines were important. While blogs were rated as important sources of news by 30% of the online respondents, they were not considered as good a news source as the backyard fence – 39% said their friends and neighbors are an important source of information. (emphasis added)

    That’s right: only 30 percent of ONLINE respondents said blogs were a good source of news. If the bloggers’ own community isn’t willing to rally around them, why should anyone else? Yes, the MSM has problems, but at least they’re willing to acknowledge them. The bloggers? Not so much.

    Bloggers are on a slippery slope to self-destruction. Getting paid to write for a blog is no different really than getting paid to work for a newspaper. The bloggers can paint it any way they want: they’re no different than the MSM … and no amount of bullying or blogging is going to change that. It’s a bit hypocritical to say, as Hynes did: “I’m an individual and what I think is important is going to make it on my blog. That’s the beauty of the blogs; it’s individual,” and then turn around and accept money to blog for or serve as a consult to a politician. That’s just exploiting what’s best about the blogs: a regular old Joe just sharing his opinions. If bloggers accept money, they become something else: political puppets.

    [ # 28 ] Comment from cbh13 [February 15, 2007, 2:04 am]

    When reading information concerning the upcoming 2008 Presidential Election, it’s not hard to see that new media, in this case blogs, is of great interest to the public and the presidential candidates. Just take a look at some of the recent headlines from the past few months:

    1) “Throwing Their Blogs into the Ring” from The Washington Post
    2) “Campaigns brace for Webs video blitz” from The Kansas City Star
    3) “Edwards Learns Blogs Can Cut 2 Ways” from The New York Times

    As David Perlmutter, the moderator of Blog to the Chief: The Impact of Political Blogs on the 2008 Election, said, “We don’t know how all of these new technologies are going to affect us.” But the panel of distinguished bloggers Tuesday night at the Dole Institute agreed on a few important lessons concerning the impact blogs can have on presidential candidates.

    Getting Personally Involved: Erick Erickson, managing editor of RedState.com, put it best when he said, “Politicians can’t avoid the conversation anymore.” Politicians can’t ignore the criticism that comes with being in the spotlight anymore (much the way John Kerry did in the last presidential election). They need to face them head on – and blogs may be just the way to do this and reach a mass audience.

    However, politicians shouldn’t just jump on the bandwagon simply because they can. Like any part of their campaign, they must research, build relationships and then research some more. When Patrick Hynes, president of New Media Strategies and founder of the Ankle Biting Pundits blog, said that bloggers are too smart; they do their research. More importantly, bloggers are politically powerfully, and presidential candidates need to understand that. If they don’t do their research and fully commit to their blog, they are going to get in way over their heads. Since blogs are not a static medium, the candidates need to be active, added Joan McCarter, contributing editor of the Daily Kos.

    Reaching a Mass Audience: The rapid response rate and 24-hour access of blogs caters to the needs of voters today. We live in a world where people want their information now. This also means candidates who possess blogs need to realize their blog isn’t something to be neglected. Not only do blogs reach the public quickly, but they reach a mass audience. As Jerome Armstrong put it, “Blogging is where the people are.” Last cycle the readership of blogs increased 100 fold. However, because of these two factors, problems are always right around the corner.

    Blogger Beware: As Erick Erickson put it, “Blogs are more likely to harm than help you, but it’s important to get involved.” With the successes that are possible for presidential candidates by using a blog, there comes a flipside. The panel addressed a few of these issues they could foresee in the future concerning blog use. The danger of hackers provides a constant inconvenience for many political blogs and websites. This is why it’s important to hire competent and technologically savvy people to moderate a candidate’s blog so one doesn’t lose complete control over its content. This issues leads to another one – which is the rising cost of a candidate’s campaign. Blogs may seem like a cheap way to reach the public, but the panel agreed that campaigns were actually going to become more expensive. This is party due to the need to hire more people.

    It will be interesting to see how the Internet and blogs will evolve over the course of the 2008 and 2012 elections, but one thing is for certain, blogs are a hot topic and I’m sure the debate over their impact won’t end any time soon.

    [ # 29 ] Comment from swm1! [February 15, 2007, 2:17 am]

    By attending the “Impact of Blogs on the 2008 Election” on Feb. 13th, I got my eyes opened to so things I never knew. I even learned some things to help my look at blogs a different way.
    This night allowed me to view blogs differnetly, in many ways. One is that it can harm you more then help. This was stated by Erick Erickson. I feel I agree with this because if you do not ENGAGE, which was a huge message of the night, which I will touch here in a bit, in blogs in the correct manner, it can come back at you.
    What I mean by engage is that when Erick also stated that you must comment back to the community, I agreed with that. When people post things or want to know things. I feel that blogging is a fast source for you to reach or people. Blogging allows you to correct and be accurate, as Joan stated.
    Another thing I really did not think about before attending this night was how blogging would change the politians public speaking. With three people thinking different things about the affect: Scott saying there would be no impact, Joan saying maybe a change, and Erick saying it would inhance. I would say that it my soon begin to hurt the politian if they do not ENGAGE in the blog correctly.
    Other things that were mentioned that I connected were things like… blogging is opinionated. It can be used for analysis. I like how leadership has developed in the blogging to were blogging may change everything.
    I feel blogging has changed the political standpoint of many things, and I feel that in the future it will develop way beyond this topic and soon it will be a must to society like it seems to be to have a cell phone or computer.

    [ # 31 ] Comment from ted8! [February 15, 2007, 2:28 am]

    If blogs ever do become entirely professional, I believe the notion of bloggers as the everyday ordinary person will be lost. As long as bloggers maintain their integrity as well as the integrity of those who post and respond with their own honest opinions, then they will continue to change the face of media. Presidential candidates are already utilizing the internet in new ways such as facebook. The internet is the information super highway and the possibilities are limitless. I can’t wait until politicians are running negative campain ads via youtube as well as their own official blogging sites.

    [ # 32 ] Comment from dwd0# [February 15, 2007, 2:34 am]

    I have to be honest, I haven’t spent much time with political blogs up till now, so a lot of the discussion from the Dole Institute last night was an introduction to the subject for me. Though I have, in a very noncommittal fashion, read through some blogs here and there in the past couple of years, not quite understanding what they were, and I found that the quality of writing and craftsmanship of ideas didn’t measure up to a lot of other media, especially more deliberative media sources like the New York Times or the Atlantic that are (I think) considered pretty mainstream. When Joan McCarter says that “We are our own editors,” I think it’s worth pausing and wondering just what effect that will have on not just our national dialogue, as was thoroughly discussed last night, but on the quality of our journalism and media in general. Removing the chain of accountability and oversight that editors and managing editors are a part of not only makes it far easier for poor information to leak through, but the writers of blogs also lose those sober voices trying to steer the content of a media outlet toward clarity and insight in a constructive fashion that will be enjoyable to read or view, and maybe even improve the culture at large. I don’t think blogs are a viable replacement for established, organized media outlets, but I do think there is definitely a place for them, especially on the campaign trail, as a means of expanding “the conversation” between political candidates and the rest of us. I also think blogs could gain the power over our mainstream media that third party politics has had on elections in our past: not enough for an all out coup, but they can generate enough noise and energy that established media may be forced to adopt their issues, and, hopefully, some of their passion and energy.

    [ # 33 ] Comment from kmh#1 [February 15, 2007, 3:14 am]

    I would like to touch on a comment made about a future day when “politicians are running negative campain ads via youtube as well as their own official blogging sites.” This is an interesting point to consider because the internet does play a large role in influencing the choices and decisions of younger generations, and Jerome Armstrong mentioned that in the past four years the reader base of blogs has increased 100-fold. I think that this is a great way for politicians to gain insight into voter’s perspectives and a better understanding of individual communities. Blogs are a great possibility to better infiltrate into the voter base, particularly with the growing percentage of younger voters. However, we should also be on the lookout for a possible misuse of them, such as the example of negative campaign hits.

    [ # 36 ] Comment from CardiffGiant [February 15, 2007, 3:35 am]

    One thing I found particularly interesting about the presentation was the general consensus, across both sides of the aisle, that the left and the right approach blog usage in totally distinct ways. For the left, blogs represent a tool for collectivism and empowerment, useful in pooling resources and bringing people together. For the right, blogs are just another tool in a well-orchestrated and efficient means of achieving victory. They are used to solidify an already entrenched view of organization and planning.

    What is surprising is not just how well these different uses fit the stereotypes of the political spectrum, but how willing the panelists were to acknowledge it. LIberals have long been pilloried as a weak bunch, always looking for strength in numbers and putting the group’s needs ahead of the individual’s. Conservatives have been equally stigmatized as heartless, obsessively individualistic, and self-righteous in their dedication to a meritocracy. But blogs, supposedly the great leveler of participatory obstacles, have fit right into these assignations.

    Right-leaning blogs turn a ruthlessly efficient eye toward the political process, with dry, matter of fact, how-could-it-be-any-other-way posts. In doing so, they appeal largely to people with the same kind of cultural sense. Left-leaning blogs take a more meandering view of the issues and processes, with soul-searching examinations of a story’s angles and a slightly larger window for considering other viewpoints.

    That’s not to say that left blogs are free of passion, or that right blogs are devoid of sentiment. But it’s really stunning how each side has played directly into its own expectations. Or maybe it’s completely unsurprising; stereotypes, after all, live on for a reason.

    Another interesting point from last night was the brief discussion on the potential self-overrating by bloggers themselves. During the fierce Lamont/Lieberman primary fight in August, the general opinion in the mainstream media was that liberal bloggers were exercising a heretofore unseen influence over the race. Over the course of the election, it became a bit of common wisdom: The media began to say “Wow, those bloggers are having a real influence,” leading the bloggers to say to each other, “Wow, look at all this influence we have.” What was missing was precise data on how exactly the bloggers scattered across the country were affecting individual Connecticutt precints, or even documentation of how the influence was changing a single voter’s mind. (Bloggers themselves point instead to certain issues that got more attention thanks to their own promotion, or the money that was directed to Lamont at the bloggers’ urging.) But the point is that an atmosphere of self-congratulation quickly emerged, in which the bloggers were falling all over themselves to pat each other on the back, while the mainstream media, always terrified of being behind a news curve, began to assume the truth of the assumption. News stories routinely featured this opinion early in the text, and without any exact determination of the bloggers’ influence.

    I think this is where we need to be careful. Blogs, as stressed by several panelists last night, are a tool to be used in a certain process. They are not a technology-cum-savior, not the death knell of traditional media. Before we rush to declare blogs the essential component of the new political zeitgeist, let’s exercise some patience and see exactly where it goes.

    [ # 37 ] Comment from heabru [February 15, 2007, 3:37 am]

    Tuesday, February 13, 2007, the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas hosted Blog to the Chief: The Impact of Political Blobs on the 2008 Election, a discussion of panelists describing the role of political blogs in elections and with presidential candidates.
    The panel included Jerome Armstrong, a pioneer in the political blogosphere and well known for the blog www.mydd.com. Erick Erickson is the managing editor of the largest conservative community blog on the web RedState.com. Patrick Hynes is president of New Media Strategies, blog consultant for Senator John McCain, and founder of Ankle Biting Pundits. Scott Johnson is a founder of Power Line Blog, Time Magazine’s only blog of the year. And finally Joan McCarter, the contributing editor of Daily Kos, finished out the 5-person panel.
    A theme quickly developed in the night. All five blogging experts agreed that blogs are a TOOL for politicians; they are not the message. Blogging is a two-way conversation between the candidate and the audience. McCarter said blogs are not a static medium. It is a post and respond situation. They are a place to talk with the voters, not to the voters.
    Hynes said candidates should not USE blogs, but rather work with blogs. He reinforced that blogs are a place to have dialogue with voters and bloggers. He encouraged bloggers to take a step back from the message and realize that it is not a one-way message, but a place where you have to be quick to respond and unafraid to answer daunting questions.
    Another important message that come out of the panel discussion is the idea that the every candidate needs to blog. In the Howard Dean campaign during the last presidential cycle, Dean was the only blogger. Now everyone has a blog. Armstrong and others stated that in order to be successful you have to be different. Dean’s campaign was successful because he was doing something no one else did at the time. In the 2008 presidential cycle, campaigners have to come out of the gate quickly and try to be unique in order to keep up with his/her competitors. Armstrong said with the promptness of message delivery, one must be able to produce a rapid response.
    Armstrong said he thought the next innovation in political blogs would be informal video. He said this could raise a blog’s following. I found this point of high interest. If political blogs merged with sites like MySpace or YouTube, where streaming video is very much present, then the following of the blog could increase. I think streaming video would put a life behind the face. It is one thing to hear the candidate say he/she is pro-higher education standards, but to possibly see that candidate sitting down with his/her children teaching them spelling words or science terms adds a whole new perspective to that individual.
    Additionally Johnson and Hynes discussed blogs ability to remove the “media middle man.” Hynes said the media decides the front-runners in elections and blogs are able to escape from that biased direction. McCarter said that blogs have the ability to bring forth a revolution in campaign communication and conversations. Erickson said that he feels blogs are outshining the media. My question to that is, are blogs really outshining the traditional media or are candidates using traditional methods less in order to reach a new, untapped market of voters? I think all the panelists would agree that new voices can be reached through blogging that couldn’t have otherwise been touched.
    I think the 2008 presidential campaign will be one unlike any other. I think we could see candidates making fewer “public” appearances and more posts. Or I think we might see additional appearances in non-traditional places, like college campuses, in order for the candidates to gain “friends” on their Facebook or MySpace page. I could become one of Hillary Clinton’s 22,500 friends on MySpace, and then my friends would want to be her friend and so on. Blogs and the web have the ability to get the personal messages of the candidates out into the pubic faster and more widely than any other mass medium. I can’t wait until the 2020 campaign to see what we will be talking about then.

    [ # 39 ] Comment from SatNitHeat [February 15, 2007, 4:00 am]

    One major opinion I observed in this panel was the idea that technology will make our lives better. With each new technology, we must embrace it, learn it quickly, and it must become an integral part of our lives. The same holds true for political blogging. For the 2008 election, all of the panelists made it very clear that a political candidate must use blogging as a tool to win this next presidential election. I did find all of their opinions well thought out and valid. However, the idea that blogging will take over the entire political arena is not entirely likely. Jerome Armstrong asserts that since 2003 the amount of readers of political blogs has increased 100 fold. In fact Armstrong believes that if you’re not blogging, “you’re an anomaly.” This seems a fair judgment considering Mrs. Clinton has hired several bloggers to assist her campaign and that Joan McCarter sat in on a working lunch with Bill Clinton in order to talk more in-depth about how blogging works in the political arena in order to add more blogging capabilities to the 2008 election.

    However, as a fan of reading several newspapers a day I still believe that political blogging will not replace traditional political rhetoric completely. I preferred the points that Patrick Hynes brought up in the discussion. As Patrick Hynes (www.anklebitingpundits.com) stated, we are simply “adding layers” to how people receive their information about political candidates. What was essential for me in this panel was the push and pull of traditional media (newspapers/television/radio) with political blogging. I found it refreshing that none of the panelists were so extreme that they felt traditional media should be and would be eradicated by blogging. Rather, blogging is simply fighting for a “piece of the pie”. Blogging is fitting into that wide array of media available. Each new form of media must share a part in how people share information and receive it.

    Several of the previous commentaries that were posted focus on the dialogue that is so crucial to the usefulness of blogging regarding this 2008 election. I agree with Patrick in that blogging adds layers to political communication, but it is also a different way to interact. It is a way to tear down that wall politicians have created in the past. The political tricks used in order to avoid issues aren’t going to work anymore with the growing popularity of political blogs.

    I use the word popularity in that it is growing. As mentioned in the panel, political blogging is only actively reaching about 11% of the total voters. Of those voters, most of them are either on the left or the right of the political spectrum. Erick Erickson, (www.redstate.com), asserted in the panel that there just isn’t the market out there for political blogging regarding moderates and independents.

    Even though these political blogs are only actively reaching 11% of the political audience, this 11% can have a definite impact on the 2008 election. And even though most of that audience is not moderate or independent, these blogs can sway voters.

    According to Jerome Armstrong, the “axiom of all political candidates is to go where the people are.” I happen to agree as political blogging makes it possible for politicians to go where the people are and really make the voters feel engaged.

    These blogs make the voters feel as if the politician is speaking to them. As Professor Perlmutter put it, “successful mass communication is that which best approximates successful personal communication.” According to those standards, political blogging is indeed nudging the political arena towards more successful mass communication.

    [ # 41 ] Comment from esm2# [February 15, 2007, 4:15 am]

    To me blogging isnt gonna make a differnece on whether i will vote or not. Just because one candidate has a better blog then the other wont make me vote for one candidate over the other. Some people dont think it matters if you have a blog or not. My feeling is that on the next election if you dont have a blog you will be truley missing the boat. Like I said i dont care if someones blog is better then the other, but blogging is the new way to campaign. Politcians are always trying to reach out to the youth of America and this may be one of the best ways to do it. I spend most of my day on the internet as Im sure other college students do. Blogging is a growing “fad” and if they can get more people to vote then they have done their job. If blogging does well this election then I would expect that the 2012 election to have more of an impact with blogging.

    [ # 45 ] Comment from mdf$3 [February 15, 2007, 4:58 am]

    After attending the event “Impact of Blogs on the 2008 Election”, I realized that there is substantial importance to be found in the use of blogs by the presidential candidates in the upcoming election. However, I do not regularly use blogs myself, and in many ways feel that only a small population does. Yet, that small population which as one panel declared, only 11% of the population actively reads and uses political blogs. I think that the number could grow with the use of other online social networks such as youtube, myspace, and facebook. I also think that the close and personal means of communicating achieved through blogging will benefit the candidates and increase the small population of political blog users way beyond its current 11%. All in all after attending this event I learned a lot about political blogs which up to this point I had no idea so much importance was being placed on, and not only by blog users but the candidates themselves.

    [ # 48 ] Comment from Jhon3:16 [February 15, 2007, 5:18 am]

    I do believe that blogs will influence upcomming elections. Although elevin percent of the population reads the blogs, the numbers will increase. Being from Los Angeles South Central many people in my community uses the media as the only means of information on canidates.
    Canidates should post blogs that can apeal to a variety of people.

    [ # 49 ] Comment from bos!2 [February 15, 2007, 5:25 am]

    By attending the event “Impact of Blogs on the 2008 Election” , I found that what I say really does matter. Through what I write I not only speak out about what I believe in, but it can give others a chance to see something new. By writing a blog I may influence another persons opinion. It may not necessarily be as big to the older generation of voters, but with younger voters being online more we are more prone to be swayed by something that we read on a blog. For the upcoming elections a person can sway the voters on a larger scale now that they have come online.

    [ # 51 ] Comment from MaidM330 [February 15, 2007, 5:47 am]

    Joan McCarter set a frank tone at the Dole Institute Blog to the Chief panel Tuesday night by succinctly assessing what blogs are not about. “We’re not an ATM. It’s not just a place to get donations,” she said. With this statement, McCarter, a contributing editor at DailyKos.com, let it be known that political blogs, specifically those run by politicians and presidential hopefuls, must be communities of substance and true conversation where issues can be addressed.

    These sentiments were echoed throughout the night, as Patrick Hynes, a blog consultant for Sen. John McCain, stated that politicians will fail if they try to make blogs “work for [their campaigns].” Instead, he said, politicians must try to work with blogs. Erick Erickson, managing editor of RedState.com, identified blogs as a tool, stressing that they can do more harm than good, but are necessary in political campaigns. “You have to use it wisely,” he stated, “and not just think it’s the next big thing.”

    The harm he speaks of can be seen in the recent dust-up involving Sen. John Edwards’ presidential campaign and controversial anti-Catholic blog posts made by two of Edwards’ campaign bloggers prior to their work on his campaign. In a freshly paved and vague area of new media ethics, politicians are quickly learning the responsibilities and accountability that comes with embracing technology – sometimes at their own expense.

    But perhaps this type of liability is exactly what politicians – and the voters – need. Blogs allow for candid and less formal communication with politicians that may help to engage voters and prohibit canned and commercialized messages. However, this means that politicians must recognize a change in communication styles, and embrace it. Hynes pointed out that politicians “don’t have the same type of control over their messages as they used to.” He went on to say that their needs to be “a level of candor where they’re willing to address issues” on the blogs.

    While traditional politicians may fear the change in communication, they need to realize that they’re losing out if they ignore the trend. McCarter pointed out that “blogs are where the people are. If you’re not there and your opponent is, you’ll [miss out].” In fact, politicians who have jumped on the bandwagon to date may have experienced some preliminary hiccups in their operation, but for the most part, have gained a favorable reaction from blog readers, especially those who post comments. Erickson mentioned an instance on that took place at RedState.com, where readers were criticizing former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and DeLay personally commented in response, discussing his rebuttal point-by-point. Regardless of a voter’s stance on the leanings of a politician, this type of straight-forward behavior is widely welcomed and respected, giving politicians one more way to connect with Americans.

    The consensus of the night was that blogs should not just be seen as a necessary evil in modern campaigns, but also as a positive tool, if used correctly. Jerome Armstrong, a former architect of Howard Dean’s successful Internet campaign, said that pole numbers and media news aside, politicians must “realize that they have blog space 24-7,” to utilize, where they can “be taking action,” and reaching the voters. The evening was far from a battleground of tiresome debate, but more a meeting of ideas and opinions on how blogs need to improve, and what they have to offer the political process.

    [ # 52 ] Comment from Wade3! [February 15, 2007, 5:51 am]

    I believe that blogs will have some what of an impact on the upcoming election. Although, I do not think that they will have as much of an impact as anticipated. The statistics discussed at the event weren’t outstanding in my opinion. I believe that politicians need to encourage more people to use these tools in order to help them out. I believe that in the future, blogs will become more and more beneficial for one’s campaign. I also believe that it is a good idea to use blogs as it puts out the message you want to put out and lets others know what you’re all about and your opinions.
    Basically, it doesn’t hurt to use blogs, so the growth on them should continue in the future.

    [ # 55 ] Comment from lahuretz87 [February 15, 2007, 1:52 pm]

    I am not a blogger of any kind myself. May it be political or just other random cases. There are many who are into blogging but I also know many who have never tried or simply just don’t even know where to start. Especially an older generation, who will be the ones voting again this year. Many younger people choose not to vote the first few years. I think blogging could be a very important tool for politician’s campaigns and if I was a campaign manager, I would definitely consider utilizing blogging to capacity in order to help my campaign out. However, it is also a place where non-supporters may openly talk back on issues and may not always work as planned. With a filtering system that allows only one sided arguments in, this could be a very useful tool I believe.

    [ # 60 ] Comment from tjp#5 [February 15, 2007, 5:06 pm]

    I think that using blogs is a ingenious way to collect information when your running for office. When it comes to topics that you don’t know how the public will respond too, what better way forum than a blog. Not only do blog’s provide information, but they also do something very important and that is generating conversation. Blog’s can help spark conversations about topics that in past elections wouldn’t get the time a day. Not only are these things discussed but they are also argued back in forth. When your taking a stance and making a argument, most people would like to know what they’re talking about. So, blog’s are going to make it so more people have to actually look into topics to participate, which will give politicians more information, that is not only quantity but through blog’s quality.

    [ # 64 ] Comment from CCPA [February 15, 2007, 6:08 pm]

    I was always under the impression that blogs were for thirteen year-old girls who needed to express their “problems” on-line through MySpace or Xanga. I was proven wrong after attending “Blog to the Chief: The Impact of Political Blogs on the 2008 Election” on February 13th at the Dole Institute of Politics.

    The most interesting thing I learned was that blogging has become a profession! It has become such a crucial factor in political elections that now candidates hire their own personal bloggers. Although most blogs are not written by the candidates themselves (which bothers me a bit – but then again they do not write their own speeches), they are a great way to allow the candidates to define what messages they really want to get out there.

    I think that these blogs are going to become more important and more popular as the internet is becoming the world’s main source of media. It will be interesting to see how much they effect the 2008 presidential election.

    [ # 66 ] Comment from spb#1 [February 15, 2007, 7:13 pm]

    I never really thought much of blogging until just recently. I thought it was just a way people sat around and expressed the way they feel to see if someone will respond to them. Well, I feel a little foolish now knowing that it is actaully a very popular event to partake in. I thought the campaign on February 13th was very intersting. The candadites seemed as if they had a very strong passion for blogging and would not hesitate to comment on it. They have all clearly been dealing with blogging for quite sometime and have a good understanding of what all takes place in blogging. To think that it can be an actual profession is a little far-fetched, but I agree with them and I feel that if they can make it a profession and want to….By all means, have it at! It sounds like a great profession and potentially lots of fun!

    [ # 68 ] Comment from JMAA29 [February 15, 2007, 7:42 pm]

    As spd#1 was talking about how they never really thought of blogging to be as popular as it is and thats its not just people expressing there nonsense comments, thats definitely what I thought. I never began to think that something like blogging would become what it is and to the extent it has taken on.
    Blogs are changing the future of elections and the future of pretty much everything. The fact that blogging can influence something so important and big as a presidential election, it is a phenomena. The Internet has grown rapidly and everything seems to be heading online now, if its not on already.
    I think having blogs for the election will be good because when a candidate says something wrong, implies something they didn;t mean or makes a mistake, they are able to respond to bloggers that saw or heard these mistakes, and are able to now correct themselves faster and at all.

    Blogging leaves for more interaction to know candidates more than candidates in past elections, and know them more personally. This leaves for candidates to have a more personal relationship with their followers because it is more person to person level rather than just through television, with no responses.

    When a candidate responds to these blogs many people have respect for them because they made the effort to respond rather than ignore them. One of the speakers said that if the candidate isnt going to answer questions from people on blogs they might as well not go to any town halls to answer questions or even run for that matter. So blogging is going to be taken very serious for the upcoming elections which can make or break a candidate.

    [ # 70 ] Comment from KBea09 [February 15, 2007, 8:17 pm]

    Going along with much of what previous commenters have been discussion, without having attended this panel discussion on Tuesday night, I would have never known about the importance of blogging in todays society. I know realize that it is truely a new interactive media for those who take a great intrest in political activism. I think it is fabulous that citizens have an opportunity to openly express their feelings towards certain issues and be able to have those opinions addressed and responded to. I liked in the discussion how one of the speakers described blogging as an interactive media and not as an ATM. As an amature to the blogging sphere, I find it facinating that presidential candidates are actually taking the time to look at our posts and respond to issues that the country is concerned about. While I’m not sure of how much I agree with the idea that blogging will change the upcoming election, I do agree that it definately poses a competative advantage to those candidates involved in blogging because it allows them to evaluate and modify their platforms to what society is passionate about. I agree with JMAA29 in that through taking the time to discuss and communicate with candidates and their followers, it gives the candidate an advantage and a great deal of respect.

    [ # 71 ] Comment from eni4* [February 15, 2007, 8:46 pm]

    I really do not see a problem with Political blogging. We have entered a time in which computers and the internet are a huge part of our lives - especially for my own generation. People are free to say what ever they want to say on the internet for the most part and I think bloggins is just another part of this but more organized. It is a good way for people my age to get involved and figure out what is going on and different views about the Presidential candidates. It can help us attain our own views about what way our country should be heading and thus help us decide who we may want to vote for. Esstentially it is another way to get our generation involved. Those who do not like blogging, no big deal, just don’t go to the websites. I for one, had never been to a blogging site before today.

    [ # 72 ] Comment from Katy Pearce [February 15, 2007, 8:47 pm]

    After I attended “Impact of Blogs on the 2008 Election”, I think that blogs will have somewhat of an affect on the 2008 election. However, I do not think that blogs will change peoples way of thinking when voting for whover they might vote for. Furthermore, I do not think that blogs will have as much of an affect as people are thinking it will. A lot of Americans blog daily but there is also a larger portion of Americans that have never blogged in their entire life or know what blogging is. I know that I have never blogged or really knew what it was, and I believe that most Americans will not take into consideration what blogs they have read or written on when making such a huge decision.

    [ # 73 ] Comment from m&m4m [February 15, 2007, 8:49 pm]

    At the lecture I attented on Tuesday February 13th, blogging was the head of discussion. Professional bloggers tried to convince listerners that blogging was going to be the key to the 2008 presidential election. I personally do not think blogging websites will have that great of an affect for the outcome of the election. I do agree, however, that the use of Myspace and Facebook will have a major contribution to the outcome of the election if used right. I think this because how many young people are going to go to a presidential website where they can post comments when they can just go to facebook and do the same thing. If presidential candidates wanted to get their word out to a large new pool of voters, facebook is the way to go. College students probably get on facebook at least 5 times a day. If candidates could find a way to communicate to young people through facebook, and have times where they could have actual conversations with students, I feel they would have a much better response than just using blogging websites.

    [ # 76 ] Comment from ktr#6 [February 15, 2007, 8:54 pm]

    In our world today, we practically live over the internet. It has almost become a main source of communication. Once facebook and Myspace hit, blogging became the thing to do. Considering how much we do over the internet, I think political blogging was completely predictable. It is a faster way to get your opinion out in the open and at the same time, allowing more people to know what it is. I’m not sure how much political blogging will really effect the upcoming presidential election of 2008. People will say what they please, just as they would in a normal political discussion with another person.

    [ # 77 ] Comment from jayhawk0517 [February 15, 2007, 9:05 pm]

    During the Blog Panel discussion, the use of blogs for the presidential election was portrayed as a mixed blessing for the presidential candidates. When asked what advice he would give presidential candidates about blogs, panel member Erick Erickson said blogs are more likely to harm a candidate than help, but they are a necessary tool. Panel member Joan McCarter said the most important thing for a candidate to remember is that blogs are not a static medium for a candidate to talk at; it is not just a place to post press releases or try to raise money. Instead, it is important for the candidate’s blog to be interactive and fresh.

    Blogs do offer great potential for a candidate to interact with his or her voting base in a two-way communication process that traditional mass media can’t touch. This can have both a positive and negative effect for the candidate. On one hand, the level of interactivity offered by a blog can help voters feel like the candidate is hearing their voices. If voters leave comments on a blog post and the candidate responds to the comments in a way that truly addresses the issues, the blog can be a great tool in the election process. On the other hand, if the candidate fails to respond to the comments (as a whole, not necessarily individually) or responds in a way that is disingenuous, this can reveal a lack of engagement with the voters.

    At the panel discussion, Patrick Hynes pointed out that this lack of engagement was part of John Kerry’s problem during the 2004 presidential election, and a blog would only serve to accentuate such a problem in the candidate’s communication process. Hynes said that, especially with blogs, there has to be a level of candor brought to the process and that “you’re going to lose if you aren’t willing to answer questions.” A candidate can’t pretend that competitors aren’t criticizing him or her. And on a blog, a candidate would not do well to ignore comments or other forms of feedback, or to brush such issues under the rug with evasive rhetoric. Voters, especially those who are bloggers, will see right through that.

    Erickson said that a politician can’t avoid the conversation anymore now that we have blogs. If candidates do get involved with the kind of interactive conversation conducive to the blogosphere, it will improve their message and strengthen their debate. This can be a good opportunity for a candidate to really articulate a stance on a particular question or issue. It can also be to the detriment of a candidate that appears to dance around an issue and/or doesn’t have a clear answer to the question being addressed, in which case the candidate may be coined with the unflattering label of “flip-flopper.”

    Panel member Jerome Armstrong said that blogs also offer an opportunity for candidates to post multimedia updates to keep voters coming back. He said that informal video posts would be a good way to update the blog and make it interactive and engaging. It would be important for the video to be spontaneous and genuine, rather than a canned speech to the camera. An effective approach might be to have a camera follow the candidate around on the campaign trail and have an edit team that puts out daily video on the blog. This would give a behind-the-scenes feel to the viewer and offer a glimpse into the day-to-day life of the candidate. The video could also be posted on YouTube as a way to engage other online voters that may not necessarily make it to the candidate’s web site.

    Regardless of whether the content on the candidate’s blog is video, text, photos, podcasts or a combination of media, the key focus should be on ensuring that the content is engaging, interactive and candid. No matter how a candidate packages it on his or her blog, a message that comes across any other way will do more harm than good.

    [ # 78 ] Comment from PJM1 [February 15, 2007, 9:16 pm]

    It is impossible to deny the importance of blogging in the upcoming election. It was made clear by one of the panelists that if a candidate were to deny the significance of voters who ask their questions and look for answers online, and ultimately blow-off this whole demographic, that he or she would most definitely lose.

    I understand the positives that blogging brings to the general public, but it is difficult not to remain skeptical. Sure, the information does not go through the media or “middle man,” as it was put. However, during the sessions where the candidate engages in conversations with groups of curious individuals, it is hard to believe that he or she is giving completely impromptu, honest answers. I would imagine a whole group of PR people by his or her side, making sure no incriminating material is accidentally posted. All it really takes is one ignorant or unrehearsed statement to cripple an entire campaign.

    [ # 79 ] Comment from nik3! [February 15, 2007, 9:19 pm]

    Before attending the Blogging discussion at the Dole Institute I was entirely unaware of this culture and medium of media. Moreover, once I left I have not only an understanding but respect and intrigue towards this tool. Blogging is such a successful means of communication because it’s personal, the audience does not sit back and watch or read a program distributed to the masses with no power to reply, they are talking to the source and being able to give feedback which is listened to and used. This is not some static medium, posts are made regularly. Making the audience not some ATM, the public of today’s society is demanding and incorporated with their future. Blogging is the tangent medium of those pleading for movement and change, they are insisting their voices be heard and getting results. Blogging now allows the readers to check what others are saying and for politicians to watch over their shoulders, it offers independent view points to be seen. This makes presidential campaigns personal, they are working for the bloggers not using them, allowing conversations and interaction, contribution to their campaign. During 2003 Howard Dean instilled himself in the blogging environment revolutionizing the playing field of campaigning, by interacting with bloggers he unfolded different perspectives and held a greater understanding of the people. Blogging has now opened a new entity to be exploited and has made campaigning a more competitive landscape, if you are not blogging early you become the anomaly. Although the population of bloggers right now are at 11% they are the most important in the pool. Bloggers votes this year will run the election.

    [ # 82 ] Comment from one2! [February 15, 2007, 10:22 pm]

    I don’t believe that anyone would argue that the blogging community is not an important group of individuals to reach out to in the upcoming elections. As technology changes and the ways of media expand, it is vital for any serious candidate to change and expand his or her ideas of communication. It is fictional to believe that people who are reading blogs are not interested in the elections as was stated by someone previously. People seek out the media that interests them and engages them and thus those who are seeking out these political blogs could be a key group in the ‘08 elections.
    That being said: it is often to the detriment of the candidate to engage in blogging should he or she not be completely committed to it. The internet community is looking for answers to complex questions and issues – they are looking for the truth. Candidates who are not completely committed to the idea of continual conversation and two-way feedback and dialogue are not going to be helped by their investment in internet blogging. Blogging should not be used as a PR tool or be run by a PR director – blogging was created to be a personal reflection of a person’s beliefs – candidates should politicize a good thing and lose sight of what blogging was meant to be in the first place.

    [ # 87 ] Comment from tex7$ [February 15, 2007, 11:16 pm]

    The internet is a dominant form of communication. Especially with college students. Facebook is very popular and it’s easier and faster to communicate via internet. But, I don’t think that a political candidate should use Blogs as their main source of imformation and communication. They should use it “as a tool,” and a tool only. I know I wasn’t very fimiliar with blogging until I attended the event. I didn’t know it was rising so fast and that it was a profession as well! I do think that blogging will become more and more popular. Blogging is a good thing, if you don’t abuse it.

    [ # 89 ] Comment from Anonymous [February 15, 2007, 11:46 pm]

    Before attenging this event I knew nothing about blogging. I also couldnt really understand how this “blogging” thing could really affect the next ellection. I came to realize that it very well could however. I it is amazing that we have the technology and freedom today to be able to voice our oppinions for the whole general public to be able to read. Because of that though the possible harm of it are very real too. In the upcoming ellection it should be used because it is another source to get ones word out. People should be careful when reading though and not use blogs as their main source of information. I still dont really beleive that it can affect the next election too much. It will just add to the hype and propaganda.

    [ # 90 ] Comment from Anonymous [February 15, 2007, 11:47 pm]

    I forgot to put a name on the one before.

    Before attenging this event I knew nothing about blogging. I also couldnt really understand how this “blogging” thing could really affect the next ellection. I came to realize that it very well could however. I it is amazing that we have the technology and freedom today to be able to voice our oppinions for the whole general public to be able to read. Because of that though the possible harm of it are very real too. In the upcoming ellection it should be used because it is another source to get ones word out. People should be careful when reading though and not use blogs as their main source of information. I still dont really beleive that it can affect the next election too much. It will just add to the hype and propaganda.

    [ # 91 ] Comment from sky 1 [February 15, 2007, 11:49 pm]

    I forgot to put a name on the one before. and i just did it again. this internet is tricky

    Before attenging this event I knew nothing about blogging. I also couldnt really understand how this “blogging” thing could really affect the next ellection. I came to realize that it very well could however. I it is amazing that we have the technology and freedom today to be able to voice our oppinions for the whole general public to be able to read. Because of that though the possible harm of it are very real too. In the upcoming ellection it should be used because it is another source to get ones word out. People should be careful when reading though and not use blogs as their main source of information. I still dont really beleive that it can affect the next election too much. It will just add to the hype and propaganda.

    [ # 95 ] Comment from rlh3! [February 16, 2007, 12:38 am]

    It seems like technology has taken over politics after hearing the blogger panel on Tuesday night. It definitely does not suprise me, because it seems as if technology is changing the way we live our lives every single day. Personally, I have never ‘blogged’ and don’t really plan to, but I do agree with the majority of the panel when they say that bloggs will have an impact on the way the 2008 election pans out. With so many people being online and so many of these bloggs, I can’t help but think that thousands in some way or form will be influenced. I think for these people to be influenced, the politicians must be smart about the way they approach the blogging world. It was smart for Hilary Clinton and others to hire a chief blogger for her campaign committee. Technology is changing the way we look at certain things ang blogs are just a beginning.

    [ # 96 ] Comment from aas1! [February 16, 2007, 1:08 am]

    I had never viewed a blog before Tuesday night, and to be quite honest, I doubt I will start to now. It is my opinion that blogs will not have any sort of profound or even highly notable effect on the upcoming elections, but then again, I might be somewhat biased, seeing as how I dont really care for them or find them to be highly reliable sources of information. To be quite honest, I didn’t even take much away from the convention at the Dole Institute (except for the fact that Obama had a Facebook, which I thought was pretty cool). As for me, I think I will just stick to newpaper, television, and radio for my information, but then again, maybe I am just old fashioned.

    [ # 98 ] Comment from meg13* [February 16, 2007, 1:20 am]

    I believe that blogging does make a huge influence on society, yet I don’t see it affecting too many people. It doesn’t matter what the race, gender, nationality or anything else of the panel may be, their arguments & comments were all valid. I have never been a huge blogger, I do not understand all of the correct terms or reasons for blogging, but it is a way for society to keep a tally of each candidate’s ideas, comments, and arguments. The panel argued that their are TONS of people who are taking this blogging seriously, but I had not even heard that blogs were being used until this event was announced to our class. I personally don’t want to spend my time reading through a million opinionated comments about each candidate every day and if we survived without blogging for hundreds of years, why is it necessary now? Campaigning has taken a turn for the worst when internet blogging is a part of their every day life, people have too much time on their hands and need to spend more time concentrating on their own lives instead of worry about EVERY minute detail of each candidate. Although it may strike up a competitive advantage to those who have blogs, I’m going to vote for whoever makes an effort to make theirselves known, and for how I see as an outstanding candidate, not one who I happen to read about in a blog. I do realize that blogging has become an actual job opportunity, but everyone can blog for free … what makes some of us special enough to get paid for it? I could be completely wrong, but this is the tangent my mind just took me on. Actually life would probably just be a lot easier if each candidate was on Facebook.

    [ # 99 ] Comment from run#1 [February 16, 2007, 1:41 am]

    Although blogging might be beneficial for the candidates in the 2008 election, it can only reach a specific audience. I don’t know of very many people who regularly take part in blogs or even blog once for that matter. I’m not very informed on the numbers of bloggers in the blogosphere so I can’t be sure how many people are reached. I do agree however, that every bit helps. I also agree that candidates who do blog will have a slight advantage over those who do not. While it might consume a good amount of time it may be worth it. It is important however to look at the numbers and make sure it is worth it. If not, then find other more popular ways of communicating. I still think that television is the best way, but our society is getting more technological everyday and I can see the idea of taking advantage of these opportunities.

    [ # 102 ] Comment from jta7$ [February 16, 2007, 1:54 am]

    Before the “Blog to the Chief” presentation, I was very ignorant about the popularity of blogs. I knew what blogs were and how influential (or troublesome) they could be, but I had no idea there were ‘professional’ bloggers out there. The only people I had ever seen typing daily online posts were angry teenagers upset with their love life. This presentation showed how little I knew about the fast-growing media world.

    I think blogs will probably influence a much larger group of people this election than in the past, but I think credible bloggers run into a problem. The problem is, anyone can send out information over the internet. With today’s technology becoming easier to access, anyone with a Macbook can create their own website and dedicate it to their own opinions or beliefs without having any real knowledge or productive insight. Unless you are in the profession of online media and know where to look, you will not be able to tell whether David D. Perlmutter is an educated political analyst, or one of those angry teenagers I talked about earlier.

    Anyone can fabricate and display a lie, and the lie can affect an endless number of ignorant viewers. The more people who start to blog about serious issues like politics, the less credibility anyone will have, because there will always be troublemakers.

    [ # 103 ] Comment from sns7! [February 16, 2007, 1:57 am]

    I never knew what blogging was before I attended this event. After finally getting the chance to understand the basics, I now know that blogging can very well effect the upcoming elections. We got reasons for blogging should and shouln’t be used in the elections. I was sort of suprised to find that some of the experts did not think that someone that did not know how to use the technology of blogging should not use it for the upcoming elections. I believe, like a lot of the other people, that blogging should be used in the upcoming elections. It is definitely a good way to get your words out to the public and give the public a chance to understand your views. In conclusions, I think that blogs should be used in the upcoming elections but I do not think that they will have as big as an impact as many people believe.

    [ # 104 ] Comment from Felix23 [February 16, 2007, 2:01 am]

    Students from the University of Kansas braved the cold this Tuesday to attend “Blog to the Chief: The Impact of Political Blogs on the 2008 Election” at an installment of the Robert J. Dole Institute Annual President Lecture series. The speakers on the panel discussed the impact of new webs sites such as Facebook, MySpace, You Tube, purevolume.com, podcasting, and others on our society as well as answer questions from the audience. I left the event with a positive impression of political blogging. YouTube provides aspiring film-makers of all types an opportunity to express themselves just as purevolume.com does for underground musicians. Political blogs extend the same opportunity for people interested in politics to have their voices heard and I say why not.
    The explosion of digital communication has provided everyday people with an opportunity to express their thoughts on politics. Political blogs catered to thinkers from different political factions are sprouting up all over the web. Hopefully this new outlet for expression will help politicians become more responsive to the will of the people as suggested by the title of speaker Jerome Armstrong’s “MyDD – My Direct Democracy.”

    [ # 106 ] Comment from Adi#1 [February 16, 2007, 2:15 am]

    Blogging clearly has an effect on the upcoming elections. However, that effect has not even come close to it’s potential. According to blog polls, Howard Dean was ahead for the Democratic nomination for the 2004 elections. However, John Kerry was the one who won. Recent polls on blogs show Rudy Juliani ahead of John McCaine. However, the rest of the media continues to say that John McCaine is ahead. Blogs are not a good way of polling, because only 11% of the nation actually blogs. As influencial as this 11% is, it is still only 11%. I think that as more and more people around the nation blog, blogging will have more of an impact. However, I will much more easily trust newspapers and television when it comes to political facts and polling. The first reason being that there is a much larger audience for these medias and the second reason is that if they are wrong, they’ll be sued. It is much harder to get sued over a blog article.

    [ # 107 ] Comment from yol1$ [February 16, 2007, 2:15 am]

    I believe blogging is a very beneficial tool for candidates for the short term. Blogging really lets a person explain their true feelings, ( and goals, if you are a political candidate). You can post what you want without having to worry about restrictions, and you dont need to be a very charismatic person to do it. Until there are restrictions on blogs, i think that it is a good, honest tool for everyone. True goals of a political candidate are expressed, and the readers are getting a feel for the true nature of that candidate. They arent recieving a monotonous speech of all things that the candidate will want you to hear. A political candidate will morph their true beliefs to make his/ her audience enthuised by their speech. There’s a difference between the living room tv and their own internet site.

    [ # 112 ] Comment from AMV8# [February 16, 2007, 3:01 am]

    Before this event when I pictured these older political type people trying to “figure out” blogs I thought that really they would be more interested in using them for money-related reasons more so then being able to connect with the ‘common folk’ people who don’t personally know Bill Clinton. What I discovered was that these older people understand blogging very well, and have discovered that it could be very “cutting edge” of them to use it for political gain. One thing I found interesting was how one group of people recongnized how they could raise money through blogs, and how the other side used blogging to create more of a community. In my eyes I think that the potential power of blogging is to give ‘the people’ a stronger voice in politics so people can voice their opinions all across the world. I think that by trying to use blogs just to raise more money would be underminding the potential power that group could gain by creating more of an open community.

    [ # 114 ] Comment from Bianca6* [February 16, 2007, 3:12 am]

    I don’t think that blogging really has much to do with elections. I mean if you really think about it half of the people that blog aren’t even old enough to vote. Myspace…facebook things like that don’t seem to really be made for blogging about potential presidential canidates. I know that when I log onto my facebook I’m not looking to see what the latest news about the presidential campaign is. I don’t think that posting blogs online will do much to affect the presidential results. I think that other forms of media such as t.v. and newspaper articles would affect the outcome a lot more than a blog would.

    [ # 115 ] Comment from ales# [February 16, 2007, 3:34 am]

    Blogging is a new and interesting tool, that is starting to make a dramatic impact on political campaigns. Blogging, something that I had never thought to do in the past, allows people to post their thoughts and opinions, in this case people will be using them for political agendas. In the 2008 election, we can expect to see candidates utilizing these tools. The thought had never crossed my mind, that this technology very may well affect the voting for a specific person, running for the Presidency.
    I enjoyed listening to the speakers, because they gave me new insight on this new tool. It was made very clear that if a candidate did not take part in a blog, that their votes good take a dramatic hit. Now, in these times, people are using technology more to recieve their information, and not necessarily turning away from other sources, but surely not just the television or radio. It’s increadably to see these changes before my very eyes. We can not even grasp waht changes we may see in ten to twenty years from now.

    [ # 120 ] Comment from JHawk10 [February 16, 2007, 4:27 am]

    The emergence of blogs in today’s technological world has become an interesting tool for promoting or relaying an event or story. I definitely feel that using and mastering this technique definitely gives power to anyone who chooses to take advantage of it. The sheer publicity and information that blogs can bring is almost as strong as the word of mouth. With younger generations learning, developing, and using new technologies, blogs will only continue to appeal to the masses as younger generations grow. Their weight on presidential elections will definitely be felt as input continues to poor in from the responding people.

    [ # 121 ] Comment from hej13! [February 16, 2007, 4:39 am]

    There is no doubt in my mind that blogging will definitely effect this upcoming presidential election, but really how much are we talking here? Lets face it, the older generations are the ones making up the biggest percentage of voters in America right? And-no offense-but there are many people that do not know how to use computers, so how are they expected to read an internet blog about their preferred candidate? My generation has been blessed to have the knowledge of how to use the internet. People are trying to get us younger kids to vote, and blogging is such a great way to get us involved and interested in this presidential election. If each college student in the United States were to keep up with politics by reading blogs, then all the power to them. We need to do our part in voting. So I say that blogging is a great way for the younger generation to a)be up to date with each individual candidate and b)get us involved and interested in voting.

    [ # 123 ] Comment from lke#5 [February 16, 2007, 5:22 am]

    As a blogger myself, I believe that political blogging will definitely effect the 2008 Presidential Election in a positive way. We always hear about how most of the younger registered voters do not vote - maybe this will be the key that works. I check YouTube, MySpace, and my Facebook everyday. If there was direct access to the candidates through one of these blogs, I would be much more informed about where they stand on the issues and would, therefore, be a more informed voter.
    My only problem with the issue that these blogs are not actually written by the candidates themselves, but by “hired blogers-in-chief.” However, the panel at the Dole Institute also mentioned a way to solve this that involved following candidates around with a camera – a sort of “day-in-the-life” approach. The way they talked about it made it sound like some sort of reality show and all I can picture is CBS showing some tease for “Survivor: Political Edition.” Does anyone else think that this would be a terrible idea? (Not actually making the show, but the idea of following around a presidential candidate with a camera all day).

    [ # 133 ] Comment from jmb@4 [February 16, 2007, 6:24 am]

    I personally have never posted anything on a blog before nor do I go to them to find out information about any issues. I do see however that they can be influential in swaying peoples opinions about candidates and may be one of the ways that a candidate can get information or messages out to a wide variety of people.
    However I know a lot of people that pay little or no attention to blogs about anything and they still are well informed on what the issues are and they can form their own opinions using other sources too. I will just be turning to other sources for the upcoming election.

    [ # 137 ] Comment from ash1! [February 16, 2007, 3:39 pm]

    The panel was very interesting but I honestly had no idea that blogs were this important. I now know and will look in the future to see what helpful information I can find out in a blog. It will definitely be very helpful in makiing my choices for the upcoming elections.

    [ # 139 ] Comment from eeh8* [February 16, 2007, 5:15 pm]

    Everything that was said was very interesting an d I never knew that blogging was so important. I don’t believe that it is relevant in the electoral aspect. For the upcoming election I don’t believe that I will look at blogs for important information.

    [ # 140 ] Comment from her6# [February 16, 2007, 6:02 pm]

    I do feel that blogging will effect upcoming political events. However, i share mixed feelings as to whether i approve of the effects produced by blogging. While some may use blogs for relevant information and sharing of ideas, i feel that some may rely to heavily on what others think, not formulating their own ideas. I suppose overall i feel, or at least hope that there will be a positive effect produced by these blogging communities.

    [ # 144 ] Comment from Jo88* [February 17, 2007, 12:43 am]

    I found it really interesting to hear about all these major bloggers in the blogging world. I honestly thought that it was only teens and kids that write in blogs. I figured it was mostly on sites like xanga, myspace and facebook. I guess I always saw the political blogs as just being stories for main stream online journalism. I liked hearing about how politicans are now using blogs especially if it is to keep in contact with the people and not just for press releases. It’s really interesting to see just how technology effects much more than we realize. I think that it’s great that all sides of politics can get their opinions and messages out through something as easily accessable as blogging.

    [ # 148 ] Comment from pr03$ [February 18, 2007, 3:12 am]

    For a Presidential candidate, I find blogging a great medium to create an individualistic image. But merely posting to express your views is half of the equation. As pointed out by Hynes, engaging the comments with responses provides an environment where spin cannot exist. The issues will be directly confronted with no reserve, and if the candidate attempts to swerve the issue, the people will know. This is assuming the actual candidate is behind the keyboard. However, until political blogs become more mainstream, I cannot see an immediate effect on the outcome of the 2008 election.

    [ # 163 ] Comment from rst7* [February 18, 2007, 11:24 pm]

    To be perfectly honest, I had no idea that blogging had been or was going to be used by candidates as a form of mass media. If used right, I think that they will be a great form of media to use in the upcoming presidential election. Unfortunately I think that blogging will just end up being as skewed as many of our other types of media. For example, I’m never truly going to know who is behind that keyboard posting responses to comments made. I don’t think that comments should be written by anyone else besides the candidate. Also, I think that blogging will be very hard on candidates. There will be so many more questions asked of them; they will have to be very honest. I’m looking forward to seeing how blogging will be used in the future and how much it will affect politics.

    [ # 166 ] Comment from MEK#3 [February 19, 2007, 12:34 am]

    First and Foremost, I was surprised to hear that this is only the third election to be using bloggers. I’ms sure that most people including myself would have thought that it would have been going onf or much longer.
    Second, it seems as if the approach of the candidates campaigning is drastically changing. It seems as if the old fashioned walking from door to door aproach is completely changed into a more technological way of doing things. The online style might turn out to be more efficient, but then again I’m not sure if it is because hearing a person speak compared to seeing a blog online is a totally different concept. However, the program at the Dole institute taught me a lot , and I was honored to be there. I am looking forward to seeing how the blogging will affect this presidential race, and how it changes even more in the future.

    [ # 167 ] Comment from jmee17 [February 19, 2007, 12:44 am]

    Blogging will be a huge part of the next presidential election. It won’t take away from the television commercials, billboards, or ads on the radio but it will add a great deal to them. It will help spread the candidates’ message without having to go through the gatekeepers. The candidates themselves will decide what to put into the blogisphere instead of the messages being filtered first. It will help the candidates converse with the American people directly so America will be able to learn more about who they will be supporting before they vote. Candidates should not take this opportunity for granted because the people blogging are also the people who will have the most influence on others.

    [ # 172 ] Comment from Abs5# [February 19, 2007, 2:00 am]

    Before attending the speech on blogging I was a little unaware of all the details blogging included. After hearing and understanding the different usages for blogging I now have a better understanding as to what exactly blogging is. I feel blogging is a good way for people to give each other their opinions. While listening to the speakers I was very interested in the presidential blogging topic. I feel posting bloggs about the presidential election is a good idea. It will help clarify any questions people are having pertaining the election. Blogging over the election will also be beneficial for those who want to seek other opinions over the election.

    [ # 173 ] Comment from mc$ny [February 19, 2007, 2:03 am]

    Blogging is most likely to be a major source of media exposure for the upcoming election. Blogging has been around for the lat three elections and i hadno idea. This election i do believe will be different though. I think the American people will know about blogging more for this election than the previous. This is because the media will be announcing about blogs more and blogging has become a lot more popular in the last two years. Although in general i feel that this will help the Presidential candidates it may fall through and end up hurting a candidate because of some people who might post inaccurate posts.

    [ # 175 ] Comment from erd#7 [February 19, 2007, 3:03 am]

    Before the presentation on blogging, I can honestly say that I’ve never even heard of the term before.I believe blogging is a very useful and successful tool when an author wants feedback on a certain issue or topic that they are expressing. These writers can gain more intelligence by reading peoples opinions on what they are discussing. Furthermore, blogging is a great device for communication. Every few minutes a new log is posted up on the website, these entries are instant and fast for the author to read. Blogging is becoming more and more popular during the presidential elections. Blogging CAN hurt the running candidates, however, it’s useful because we the people have the power over who will become our next president in the 2008 election. Our opinions and thoughts need to be heard.

    [ # 176 ] Comment from mnr5! [February 19, 2007, 3:38 am]

    I would have to disagree with Cammy’s previous statement undermining the true relevance of blogging. As noted in the article, advances in technology are rapidly taking over every part of our lives. So much, in fact that the traditional forms of media are being shoved aside to welcome the new age of dependence on these advances. This is especially true for the younger generation. It is statistically and notoriously known that young people lack in participation on Election Day, but with the help of the blogging phenomena, politicians may finally have found a way to reach these kids. Personally, I rarely watch television anymore thanks to the gloriousness of YouTube, and any article or story I’ll ever need is a simple click away as well, thwarting the importance of print media. I also can’t go more than a few hours without getting my Facebook fix. The majority of all young people I know are subject to the same addiction, and even the older generations are being sucked into the fad. To believe that politicians making use of this craze is anything but brilliant is simply ludicrous.

    If Hillary Clinton needs me, I’ll be on Facebook.

    [ # 180 ] Comment from sns7! [February 19, 2007, 6:53 am]

    Like many of the people in this blog, prior to the blogging seminar, I wasn’t to familiar with the term. I had an idea of what it was, but I had not idea that it could have such large implications. I believe that blogging could be very useful when it comes to something like the presidential elections. Though I don’t believe that it could have a LARGE impact on the race, it could be a very useful tool in getting your point and views across to an audience you wouldn’t usually otherwise communicate with. I believe that the field of blogging will only get bigger and bigger as time passes, and who knows, maybe someday it WILL play a huge part in our presidential elections.

    [ # 186 ] Comment from Dzj#1 [February 19, 2007, 8:36 pm]

    The use of blogging has exploded in the new millenium. I can remember when I first heard the word “blog” and thought it was a funny term. Now, I hear the word regularly, and it is a part of my constant vocabulary.

    Political blogging does look to have the serious potential for influencing the 2008 race. With candidates like Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton taking full advantage, I’m sure that blogging will influence several voters.

    The most interesting thing I took from the Political Blogging panel discussion was only touched on a little bit; the power of blogging in agenda setting. In all prior elections, the mass media (i.e. newspapers, television, radio, etc.) have been the ones to set the topics of discussion. Now, bloggers from all over the nation will be able to voice their opinion, and bring up subjects that matter to them most.

    I hope that in the 2008 election bloggers will have more power to set the stage for discussion and not just follow along with what the mass media presents them with. I hope blogging will change the agenda-setting power to a more public, and less private, public discussion of what truly matters.

    [ # 188 ] Comment from !mgr8 [February 19, 2007, 10:40 pm]

    Although, I feel blogging is a rising form of information-sharing media, I don’t’ think that it will greatly effect the outcome in the upcoming 2008 election. While, I do believe that blogging is becoming a trend among the younger generations in America, the older portion of voters is still out there and many are not computer savvy. These are people who are educated and involved in American politics, but just don’t know or don’t care what a blog is or how to to get involved with the blogging community because its too new. I believe their generation still has a large effect on the outcome of the 2008 election. However, I commend Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for acknowledging the potential blogging can have in the future and starting to get the, “blog ball rolling” in this 2008 election. I do think political blogs can be very informative and helpful when looking at the different candidates and issues.

    [ # 202 ] Comment from alc8! [February 21, 2007, 3:52 am]

    I completely agree with the above comment. I have an extremely hard time placing too much merit on the idea of blogging and it playing the huge role so many anticipate. Based off of the demographics of the majority of the voters, I do not think that blogging is something that the older generations will be utilizing. I understand that the younger generations are starting to make their voices heard, but simply, the majority of voters are not going to be the teenagers and young twenty-somethings who use their computers in nearly every aspect of life.

    [ # 203 ] Comment from abb7$ [February 21, 2007, 4:53 am]

    Before attending the Blog seminar I wasn’t very familiar with blogging. Unlike others I am not big on the whole facebook thing. I could see blogging potentially being a big impact in elections for younger voters. The older voters, the main voters, are not as in tough with technology as the younger voters. Therefore I only see blogging reaching a small voting community.Blogging is becoming more and more popular and maybe someday will reach all ages of voters.

    [ # 204 ] Comment from baw1$ [February 21, 2007, 4:53 am]

    I think that the 2008 election will be the first election where blogging will have an affect on the election and its voters. True older generations will not be utilizing it as much as the younger will but blogging is a way to inform younger voters who may not have otherwise been as educated on the stances of the canidates.

    [ # 209 ] Comment from Hannie1124 [February 21, 2007, 5:25 pm]

    Blogging will clearly be a great tool in the next presidential campaign. However so will newspapers, radios, talk shows and many other forms of mass communication. It seems as though many people who have not grown up with this kind of technology are just blown away by how a simple blog or Internet post can affect someone’s opinion and help to shape a candidates campaign. However to those of us who have grown up with this kind of technology it seems very normal that the Internet should help to shape someone’s campaign. I did however think that it was very interesting how many of the bloggers kept mentioning how a blog was more likely to hurt someone’s campaign than to help it but that everyone needed to have a blog. It will be interesting to track the blogging during this next presidential campaign.

    [ # 221 ] Comment from Jac3# [February 22, 2007, 10:36 pm]

    I believe that blogging will not effect the next presidential campaign to the degree that the panel of experts claimed at the Dole institute on Feb. 13. It is my opinion that blogging will be as revelent as a newspaper, a television show, or the internet, and not more important. It is actually quite displeasing to encounter a panel of all white experts in politics, but then again politics has always been dominated by white, old men. It is in the best interest, at least I believe, that presidential candidates use a more culturally diverse approach to their forms of publicity, instead of hitting us in the head with the same boring list of “hot topics”. Although I feel this way, I do have to admit that the discussion was very enjoyable and informative, but still lacking in diversity. It seems that blogging is a one dimentional aspect of a campaign. No one thing will win a presidential race.

    [ # 228 ] Comment from aaa$9 [February 23, 2007, 11:23 pm]

    I have mixed feelings about whether or not Blogging will be a useful tool in the 2008 election. I think it could become a very popular way for people to express their thoughts and concerns, but will the majority of the public be able to navigate themselves to a blog? Something has to give with the information people are getting about the candidates and news in general. Like the blogging experts discussed, the mainstream news media has separated two candidates from each side in the ‘08 presidential campaign. I don’t know how much substance is actually in the news if I turn on the TV and see Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton constantly. Blogs may be another way for less popular candidates to voice their opinion on a broader stage. Blogs are very interesting but I agree, you cannot win an election using only blogs.

    [ # 235 ] Comment from ans1* [February 26, 2007, 3:11 pm]

    In watching the 2008 election discussion about blogs at the Dole Institute, I found myself wondering why we are views of leaders to be based on the internet. The internet is a great way of receiving information in class and other situations, but we all know the information that can be presented can be completely one sided. I believe candidates in the upcoming elections and in the ones within the past few years are at a great disadvantage as people pick a side most of the time based on hearsay and the media that surrounds them. If a certain media station is partial the viewer who mainly watches that station has a great influence on their vote, not based of their own knowledge or views of a candidate.

    How many Americans who vote actually watch the speeches given, or how many are simply too busy and may just go to work the next day and catch parts of it by viewing a website? The website a person may view to catch the views of the candidates they missed may only entail small parts of the speech, and not base its article or summary on those points important to each individual voter. Some could say if it is just one American getting informed of the candidates this way it is not a huge problem, but most Americans find themselves too busy this day in age to actually sit at watch a speech, they just figure they will catch key parts on a website. The sad thing is, most news medias, and websites are partial to one side or the other.

    I believe blogs are great in connecting people, such as Facebook or My Space, but political candidates have no advantage in conducting their business on such sites. I believe having a strictly political webpage or blogs is great, but making a Facebook as a politician is not a way to make people take your ideas seriously. I know my decision in 2008 will be based on television media as sad as that is to say, since I do not have time to sit and analyses every politician in the running, but I do know my view of a politician will be greatly changed if they try and create a Facebook or My Space, because I do not view that as a serious political move.

    [ # 236 ] Comment from kcsublime!4 [February 26, 2007, 5:38 pm]

    I think this is all way over-analyzed. How hard can it possibly be for a politician - someone we elected - to get on the internet and post on a ‘blog’ or message board? Do politicians really have their staff or members of a team write responses for them? Ridiculous.

    If you can think for yourself and spell out an opinion using the characters of a keyboard, why should you hold back? It’s almost like a joke to me that some politicians are either technically or mentally inept enough to post something on a fucking website. I don’t have a team of consultants doing my homework or writing my papers for me, then turning them in with my name on it; I think there’s a word for that - plagiarism.

    [ # 237 ] Comment from abs3! [February 26, 2007, 10:50 pm]

    After attending the Blog To the Chief conference I don’t believe that blogs will really play that big of a role in the 2008 election. Like people have said before the candidate most likely is not the one posting the blogs, rather it is someone who the candidate tells what to write. I also think that there are bigger things that the candidate can do to get word out about their stand on things, because not everyone is familiar with using blogs. Although blogs are a new and unique “fad” that the political campaigns are using their role in an election, I feel would not be that significant.

    [ # 238 ] Comment from jbm#8 [February 26, 2007, 11:55 pm]

    The Blog to the Chief panel discussion was informative in that it raised issues in an area most people don’t think or know anything about- political blogs. However, I think the future of internet campaigning lies in video, since more sensory gratification is involved, and ultimately, less critical thinking required. If the popularity of campaign blogs rise, will the public demand blogs directly from the candidates? Given the fact that blogging removes any ambiguous, vague stances and can be directly and specifically adressed by others online, could this mean a dismantling for some candidates? In what ways would this raise the expectations for future candidates, even change what it means to be a politician in the 21st century? Unfortunately these questions will probably be irrelevant; the public has never demanded that degree of accountability from the mass media. Direct candidate blogging is more likely to arise out of political competion, rather than from its audiences.

    [ # 241 ] Comment from mim1* [February 27, 2007, 4:22 am]

    During the question and answer part of the lecture was the most interesting and the most valueable. The one think that I took from the lecture was that just like the when the radio was invented the billboard did not disappear, it was just another place canidates could advertise. This was true for the radio, telephone calls, TV, the internet, and now the “bloggisphere”.
    The bad thing about a blog is that you can never be sure if the person is really who they say they are. Which makes me a skeptic on what is being said no matter who they say they are. For myself I will find other means to get my presidental canidate information.

    [ # 244 ] Comment from Kit7! [February 27, 2007, 10:05 pm]

    Although before this lecture I was truly not aware of all the blogs allow you to do, I now have seen that blogs are very useful. I myself have never been into blogs and have always been quiet confused by them, I have realized though that they are very easy and a great form of communication.
    Blogs are a great way to receive feedback from anything; you can also gain information from reading what other people say in their blogs. I think blogs on presidential candidate information is a great idea. For a person who is unsure of which candidate they want to pick, they could go on blogs and see what other people’s opinion about each candidate. This gives a person a sense of who they might want to vote for. Overall I think blogs are an easy and great way to find information and communicate with peers.

    [ # 245 ] Comment from kat8! [February 27, 2007, 10:21 pm]

    When it comes to blog influencing in the 2008 election, I share the same belief as others that blogs could be helpful but no more helpful than people allow them to be. Using websites and blogging pages is just an added venue for those with political views to misconstrue their opinion to others. The more technological advances you use to communicate, the harder it is to deliver a message properly (or the way you wanted to). For instance, when two people are having a conversation in person, they are able to use gestures, eye contact, voice tone, and their words to communicate a message. When having a phone conversation, you lose eye contact and gestures. When you bump that to blogging, a potential candidate now only has his or her words to successfully deliver the message they initially wanted to. Some may argue by saying that this is exactly what a newspaper offers, but perhaps the newspaper is not successful in communicating messages properly itself and could be why people keep trying to find better ways such as blogging. Even though it is impossible for a candidate to communicate with every voter in person to better deliver their message, blogging is the farthest way of being effective.

    [ # 246 ] Comment from ora8* [February 27, 2007, 11:26 pm]

    When it comes to the 2008 election and how the blogs will influence it, I believe that they will have an impact in the way that they younger demographic views the candidates. They are the ones that typically use the internet more and my parents wouldn’t have any idea how the blog actually works. But the blogs will be very important to their campaign. If the candidate did not have a blog representing them, they wouldn’t be represented as well as the other candidates. They would be put at a disadvantage that they the candidates would be able to communicate more easily with their audience. With the blogs, the candidates are making large strides to try and get through to the younger generation.

    [ # 247 ] Comment from Bar6! [February 27, 2007, 11:31 pm]

    Before the lecture on blogs I was intimadated, and didnt really see the point to blogging. I know see it is alot esaier, and actually really intresting to see other opinions on topics I also care about. But at the same time the words can be misleading because often writing can lack personality and you can mis read what people are trying to saying. You may not see the true tone of the authors point, So talking about poltical blogs it can be dangerous to the candidate becuase the words or the tone of the message could be mis read, or heard diffrently. But at the same time I see how effecient it is to just read, what you want and when you want.

    [ # 248 ] Comment from Cem#1 [February 28, 2007, 12:13 am]

    In regards to the 2008 presidential election, I feel online blogging will prove to be a very beneficial attempt in getting the younger generaion of people familiar with the candidates. These online blogs will be most likely geared to the younger population because they are the ones who seem to use the internet more so than the older population, and are already familiar with tpes of blogging and newspods such as facebook and myspace. Like the speakers had mentioned at the Dole Center speaking, blogging has already proved to be usefull tool in getting their messages across, so you already know that it most likely will have some kind of impact for the upcoming pressidential election. It is clear that the internet is growing more and more in popularity over the years, so blogging will most likely will take off and eventually may become one of the most popular and practical ways to familiarize the public with candidates.

    [ # 262 ] Comment from msk#9 [February 28, 2007, 6:31 pm]

    I had no idea, until we talked about it in class, that blogging was so prominent in things such as the presidential election. I thought it was something used more by the younger generation, so it never dawned on me how beneficial it may be to use blogging for the election. It will be a quick way for candidates to get their messages out and I feel that it may be very effective. Blogging also helps people see the different messages put out by the candidates and so that people can choose who they should support.

    [ # 266 ] Comment from ads2* [March 1, 2007, 3:41 am]

    I never really knew anything about blogs until this presentation. I still don’t completely understand what they are all about. I mean I knew about “blog like” tools such as facebook or myspace and how they appeal to the younger crowd. In that sense using blogs is a very productive way of reaching the younger generations and getting them involved in the political race. It is pretty pathetic the number of younger people that don’t seem to care or be interested in electing a proper candidate to lead our country. So if this new tool will help bring in the younger crowd in then blogs could hold more power then many realize.

    [ # 339 ] Comment from tay4 [March 6, 2007, 2:17 pm]

    I was very impressed with the dole Blogging presentation. It was very interesting and made me think how this new technology is really taking effect. However, I still don’t really know what blogging is. It seemed like the lecture was for people that new what they were doing and that understood what a “blog” was in the first place. I did not know what a blog was going into the lecture, but i do have a much better understanding of what they are now. I can see how they could and would effect the upcoming elections. They are all over the place and people can write whatever they want on them. People can read all sorts of different point of views, as well as share their own. It also seems like this new blogging will attract a new type of demographic. The 25 year old rage that has for a long time had one of the lowest voting rates, may increases. This slight change could make all the difference in this upcoming election.

    [ # 2127 ] Comment from imparare [April 15, 2007, 5:59 am]

    Interesting comments.. :D

    [ # 39008 ] Comment from Ed Cook [February 11, 2008, 4:43 am]

    New book may place democrats in a bad position about Iraq.

    ‘’Bible prophecies of 911.” hits hard at election time!
    A large christian publisher announces a huge biblical discovery about Iraq being freed by “eagle’s wings” in the Bible in a press release. This freeing of the Iraq occurs after there is “great slaughter” in the harvest season when the “towers fall”. “Isaiah 30:23-25.” www.eternaltruth.net

    Fellow Christian patriots,

    If a true Bible prophecy were being fulfilled today, would christians believe such were true? America faces the possibility of a left wing candidate becoming elected president this year. The left wing media relentlessly works to stir up and maintain hatred for the Iraqi war because they are assisting democratic candidates to win the White House by promising to pull the troops from Iraq.

    This means of surrender is proposed during a critical time when America faces the most dangerous enemies upon the earth having full intentions of attacking our great nation by any means possible! These enemies are plotting new attacks on America, which are driven by the very same hatred and fervor they intend for our friends in Israel.

    Suppose there were specific Bible prophecies deliberately written for 2008? There are certainly many prophecies written within the Bible which confuse Christians that are not yet fulfilled.

    If today’s Christians truly believe in Bible prophecy, they must not only accept the reality that they live in a time when actual prophecies are soon to be fulfilled, but also that these events will come in a powerful way. Do we not already see the prophetic signs in the Middle East?

    Christians may very well doubt true prophetic events becoming fulfilled today because of Christian enthusiasts who have relentlessly spun Bible prophecy as they have interpreted isolated meanings into unrelated biblical context. They have done so for the sole purpose of making money.

    Did a genuine fulfillment of Bible prophecy recently happen in our day?

    A Christian in the United states was recently studying the Bible prophecies a few months back. He was honestly seeking a true scriptural understanding concerning passages which had caused millions of Christians confusion for thousands of years.

    Suddenly this man understands something truly amazing in his Bible and falls to his knees in tears.

    Like the brightness of the sun bursting forth from darkened clouds, he sees the entire episode of 9 /11 in every possible detail within the pages of the Holy Bible. He seriously pondered what just accured while experiencing great joy as he contemplated a reality that he alone had made a biblical discovery no other person on the earth knew anything about. He then began to ponder just how to inform others of this knowledge without sounding like another nut seeking attention around American airports. How he could he avoid sounding like someone seeking the limelight through fabricating some sensational and disjointed story? He could contain this news no longer, he told his friends, who naturally wondered if he had lost his reason after enjoying a long reputation of being known as a sound reasonable man.

    The astounding news about actual biblical evidence over 9 /11 is convincing to this man’s neighbors and friends, even the local media investigated the matter, making this discovery into the news.

    Bookstores sell out a number of books in just days while Christians from Britain and Europe discover this matter and quickly sell out UK vendors.

    The national media was approached and deliberately ignored this discovery, refusing to investigate the possibility of any religious discovery bringing strong evidence of a “latter day Eagle” (America) prophetically entering into a modern Iraq soon after towers fall during a prophesied attack from hijacked “eagle wings.”

    The last thing the liberals want is for this book to reach the light of day during this election year. This message is not just another manipulation of Bible text but reveals an intentional message written by true biblical prophets for you and this nation. We are trying to reach honest Christians who seek biblical truth.

    If you lived 60 years ago when the television was first invented you naturally wanted to witness this miracle yourself, rather than rely on the testimony of others. Unfortunately, the only way for this discovery to reach the masses before the election this November, means this information must come from one investigating Christian at a time.

    See.. Amazon.com
    or www.eternaltruth.net/bpo911.html
    or contact Paul at 208-251-3519

    [ # 99919 ] Comment from annmarie [November 5, 2008, 2:02 am]

    I THINK THAT MCCAIN IS A CAIN FOR THE NATION TO LEAN ON IN ITS TIME OF NEED AND THAT OBAMA IS A BOMB FOR THE NATION. ( HINT; OBAMAS= OH BOMB US)
    PLEASE VOTE JOHN MCCAIN A GOOD MAN FOR OUR NATION

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    A Summary of the 2006 Blogger-Reader Survey

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    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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