« NY-Sen: The Thirty-Two Second Gap | Main | Dobson's Tips On Curing Gayness »

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Report: "The Emergence of the Progressive Blogosphere"

Posted by DavidNYC

Two guys well-known in the blogging world, Chris Bowers and Matt Stoller, have authored a report for the New Politics Insitute about the progressive blogosphere - sort of like a primer for establishment-types not wholly familiar with the warp and woof of blogistan, but also packed with a lot of information that even experienced bloggers will find interesting.

One part I liked a lot is the first appendix, which offers advice to local campaigns seeking to engage bloggers and the netroots in general:

• Hire a "Netroots Coordinator" and be prepared to work with him or her on money, messaging and organizing. Most organizations hire one and relegate them to a position where they are asked simply to raise money. If you follow this model it is not worth engaging the blogs. A good Netroots Coordinator can deliver messaging, media, and money.

• Put up a link on your web site that says "Got a blog?" Ask for bloggers to give you their name, email, IM, and blog address. This list is valuable – it is the list of bloggers who are interested in your issue.

• Take your list of bloggers and add them to your press release list. Call through to introduce yourself, and invite them to cover events, and if possible give them press passes and access.

• Read the blogs who sign up. If you use an "aggregator" such as www.bloglines.com, you can read many more blogs much more quickly. Get a sense of who is on your side and who is not. Go into the comment section of various blogs and add comments when relevant.

• Hold conference calls with your strategists/candidate. Treat bloggers like friends and allies, but also realize you are on the record.

• Periodically do a "blog round-up" where you email interesting blog posts on your issue to all the bloggers as well as internally.
Link to interesting blog posts from your web site/blog; make sure you link to a few posts that disagree with you. This will lend your online presence more credibility.

• Listen and respond to criticism. These are your friends and often not that experienced in politics – treat them like they are here to learn, not like they are cynical, hard-boiled reporters.

Good suggestions, all of them.

Posted at 04:59 PM in Netroots | Technorati


NPI also hosted a seminar called "Reflections of a Blogger," with Joe Trippi and Markos Moulitsas. They talked a lot about the Hackett campaign, and gave a plug to the SwingstateProject.

The video is online at:

Posted by: progressiveU [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 10, 2005 07:01 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

More guidelines are needed.

These guidelines are excellent advice for medium-to-large campaigns. They are not quite right for fetal and neonatal campaigns.

It takes several hours a day to blog; it takes several hours a day to do fundraising; it takes several hours a day to do the stated work of your organization (recruit members of congress, organize public service events, etc). Of course it's part of the fun that all these hours add up to more than you have, but it seems like there could be a little more practical advice for people who don't have the time & money to invest full time staff work in blogging. Since the list of such people includes at least one Senate candidate I know, those people should not be considered irrelevant!

Are there any good "How to blog if your life isn't lived online" guidelines out there?

Posted by: Eric Loeb [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 12, 2005 11:35 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Are there any good "How to blog if your life isn't lived online" guidelines out there?

One suggestion is to try podcasting. In some ways podcasting was more difficult than blogging up until recently, but with new tools it is getting easier. For people who are on the road a lot podcasting can be great because you can have your candidate or surrogates call in their thoughts over the phone.

Check out Odeo.com and Audblog.com for tools and ideas.

Posted by: progressiveU [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 12, 2005 01:35 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Here's the passage that's seared into my brain.

Clearly, blogging is a world with a handful of haves, and a nearly uncountable number of have‐nots. There are likely a few hundred thousand blogs in this country that talk about politics, but less than one‐tenth of one percent of them account for more than 99% of all political blogging traffic. [emphasis added]

What does that mean for the 99.9% of the rest of us who are sharing 1% of the traffic?

Posted by: Terrance [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 12, 2005 08:08 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment