Campaign for change…by politicising the internet

November 9, 2008 at 4:39 pm (new age journalism) (, )

Source Flickr user Mykl Roventine

While doing my best to try to stay awake past the 2am spot to watch the US election, I realised how far the world of blogging had come. No, I didn’t have some kind of vision that showed me the power of the internet but it was a comment from one of the presenters that started the wheels turning. They mentioned that not only had it been the most expensive and long-drawn election, but that it had been the biggest internet based election, with blogs, twittering and all sorts of other vast internet tools that are beyond my knowledge having been used in the campaigns and media reports.

Blogs were used all over the world, by both the media and the public, and played a massive role in shaping the direction of the election. Just a few examples were the Spectator, the Guardian and the BBC. You only have to log into word press to see that the hot topic in the latest blogs, including this one (ironic I know) are about the election.

One of the main things about this hub of internet political participation is that it is probably not the first, and it will definitely not be the last time that this will happen. It just so happens that because the election was such a huge event all over the world that people really stood up and took notice of how much blogging was really going on. I can’t say I wasn’t surprised either, I hadn’t really considered how many people out there were blogging and using it, not only to push their own stories about their lives or their interests but to push political voting and campaigning. If you type ‘US election blogs’ into google you get 37,900,000 results. Obviously some may not be as relevant as others, but it is an indication in itself of how much activity is out there.

As for twitter, that was being used as a kind of mini blog with constant streaming and updating. The BBC used twitter to keep everyone up to date and other websites such as the Guardian used it to made people aware of new blogs on the election. And it was not just used for the results. Barack Obama was praised for his campaign team’s use of the internet to connect with voters that otherwise he would be unable to, as seen in the video below.

The only problem is that I was told this week that blogs needed to be interesting. I wasn’t sure what to make of this remark. Obviously, your blog has to interest someone, or it is never going to be read, and an entirely self indulgent blog is not particularly pleasant to read either. But surely what makes a blog interesting is completely subjective? If I take the example of pig farming, something I’m not particularly interested in myself, but something like this blog (about farming), I’m sure other pig farmers would find interesting.It’s difficult for decide what makes a good blog, and both the writer and the reader are being entirely subjective. However, as long as there is a variety of opinions and topics out there, and I can only see it growing, then there is going to be something to interest everyone.


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