I went to a panel on blogs and the recent elections at the Museum of Television and Radio at the end of November. It had a distinguished panel--Duncan Black, Ana Marie Cox, Peter Daou, Micah Sifry, Matthew Ygleisa--all of whom are bloggers although Ms. Cox has moved on to Time magazine. The moderator was Jeff Jarvis of CUNY.
According to panelists, blogs had a decisive effect on some of the recent elections and politicians are beginning to start their own. Blogs, for example, spread the "macacca" quote far and fast of George Allen and a man who was already under suspicion for his racial attitudes lost his election. Bloopers are spread instantly. Blogs are particularly important because the press does a poor job of covering local elections. They allow those with like minds to coalesce quikly around an issue. The trick is to then turn that into winning condidates. An interesting blog to check out is porkbusters. Bloggers pride themselves on transparency; jounalist pride themselve on their objectivity. That makes for an interesting tension. As I re-read this, it is pretty telegraphic. My apologies, but since we have started our own blog, I hoped that readers would be interested. Comments are welcome. Just click on my name at the top right.