The Evolution of Blogging Posted by: McQ
on Monday, August 06, 2007
I've been reading the YearlyKosafter action reviews (for want of a better description) and find much of it fascinating. On a particular panel about the evolution of the blogosphere, Duncan Black said:
Duncan Black: My blog is really my voice. I don't write a lot. I link to other people, link to new sources, link to people who make jokes I wish I had made or wrote things that I wish I had written. When we move out of my zone into communities of people who are talking about things I don't really know about, I may read them and find them fascinating, but there's a barrier to linking to them because they're not really in my voice.
I think there's a lot to be said for his point. My blog here on QandO is my voice. I blog about things that interest me. However, unlike Black, I do write a lot, because I find what others say a catalyst for my writing vs. just reporting what they said.
Blogs are different things to different people. Political blogs are a genre of their own. And political blogging has many elements which make it what it is today. Punditry, information aggregation, original reporting, activism, community building, etc. There is no one form or format which describes the genre. In fact, many blogs are combinations, in various percentages, of many of those types.
I do think the left has the leg up on the community aspect of blogging. I'm not sure how significant that is at this point, and I think much of it is driven by their political side being out of power (and thus driven more to activism than the right). But the left has made a concerted effort to develop a unified on-line community to push their politics and their ideological identity and do, at least for the moment, have their politician's attention. How that will play out in the future remains to be seen, but when a blogging conference can draw all of the Democratic presidential candidates to a convention, you have to say that political blogging has gained respect.
The right is still playing with the idea of blogging and its potential and use. I think the right is less inclined to the "hive" mentality than are many on the left. That's simply a characteristic of those who share the ideology of the right. However, it is wrong to think that there isn't any community based blogging going on. Townhall was one of the first communities on the right and it has added blogs. But it was more of a top-down attempt at getting information out there that is useful to those on the right. RedState is an attempt at community and has been fairly successful. But the right blogosphere is still dominated by "individual" blogs (they may be, in reality a group blog, but they stand-alone as an entity).
Whether that will change should the right lose its political power in '08 remains to be seen. I would assume it would, but we'll see. What we'll also see is, now that blogging on the left has such high visibility among and respect from Democratic politicians, how that works for them in '08. And we'll see what sort of outreach and adaptation the right does during that same time-frame. It should be a very interesting 16 months in the political blogosphere.
The right is still playing with the idea of blogging and its potential and use. I think the right is less inclined to the "hive" mentality than are many on the left.
The left his a history and culture of activism and movement-based politics that has never really existed on the right. The right has always been more focused on the individual than the collective, so the hive model is almost an oxymoron for them. This is particularly true for libertarians, who (speaking for myself anyway) tend to be temeramentally averse to joining any kind of group.