I’ve been researching political logs lately, and specifically how many of the more forward thinking political minds (or those with a half decent PR team) are using blogging and the internet to get their messages across.
A great example of an MP who has fully embraced blogging is Iain Dale whose blog uses a good mix of political commentary and information on the MP to be highly informative and also raise his profile amongst a group who may not normally be politically minded or have Tory sympathies. He’s also using RSS and Twitterfeeds to keep followers interested and keep them coming back to his blog.
As good an example of a blog as this is it can hardly be described as impartial though seeing as its primary aim is to interest people in Iain Dale and the conservatives. The internet, as the great tool of public free expression, is also being used by a good number of independent bloggers. They often use many of the same techniques as the pro industry backed outlets, such as the aforementioned RSS and Twitterfeeds but often also gain momentum by creating communities around the blog for like-minded individuals.
Some of the major Blogs in this category are Harry’s Place and Guido Fawkes’ Blog which both have strong liberal leanings and give a vociferous if not always PC account of the major political stories as well as opinion pieces. I have mixed feelings about them.
On the one hand they give a voice to a section of political thought which can be marginalised by the popular press. Socialist newspapers are pretty rare and anaemic occurences these days and if they were to write with the kind of gung-ho accusations that blogs can they would be simply sued into the ground. In this way Blogs fill a vital political void giving air to all viewpoints which might have too limited a readership for print. Perhaps more blogs can help against the horrifying trend to centrism in modern politics which makes both Tory and Labour near identical.
But on the other hand it gives a voice to zealots, madmen and racists a chance to gain supporters and legitimise themselves.
To sum up, blogging is no longer possibly changing politics, it has and will continue to, its forming communities and creating debate, which can only be a good thing, just as long as people remember that blogs can be unreliable and that the people writing them may not be all they seem.