Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Petty Victories In The Blogosphere

In the US, the big blogging story today is that a blogging member of staff for Presidential candidate John Edwards has been forced to resign. This has been heralded as a huge coup for the Catholic groups that set out to achieve this. It's yet another example of the influence of blogging on mainstream politics. The key question though is what it has really achieved? For some it will be proof that their contribution to the blogosphere has been recognised. For others it will be the culmination of thousands of words wasted in defence of a fallen comrade. For yet others it will mean nothing as they continue to blog about Jessica Simpson's new brown hair do.

So why is a relatively small online group of bloggers so focused on this story? I think we all feel that the political systems in our vast liberal democracies are remote, unresponsive and difficult to influence. These victories show that we can influence and that we aren't just shouting into a void. It's the little guy reclaiming some power for a change and what a rush when one of your blogging campaigns leaves cyberspace and ends up on the front page.

Blogging as a medium of communication is well suited to those of us with a slightly obsessive personality. From the early morning newspapers to late night TV, everything around us becomes something that might make a good blog entry. You can post instantly on any topic, so the desire to maintain a dialogue and a somewhat unique perspective on the world for your 45ish daily readers can concentrate the mind on issues that to others would appear to be esoteric and bizarre. These little victories can take on mammoth proportions. Let's just hope that the desire to be "influencers" doesn't just lead to petty squabbles and victories that are anything but.

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