Elephant Ears

This blog is dedicated to the political happenings in the Valley and Southwest Virginia. As the the name implies, this blog will have posts based on what is heard by this elephant's (GOPer's) ears. It is also a great treat to get while at the county fair or a carnival.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

My Thoughts on Blogs

Old Zach at SST has up a post regarding his opinion of the blogosphere. He basically makes two points: that blogs are not a forum for lots of people but more for the activists, and that "gossip" sites are not as useful as "thoughtful" sites because they have an agenda.

I will agree with the first point. Almost all blogs are run by political activists giving their opinions, and most of the readership is from that group of people. This is partially because blogs have become so streamlined with their thinking. Originally, people did blogs b/c they could be anonymous and give their true feeling of a situation at hand. Now, very few bloggers are truly anonymous and therefore cannot necessarily give their opinion without sounding like they are bashing their party. For example, I did not see one single blog that thought the governor's race would be won by the opposite party. Why? B/c most bloggers are political activists within their parties and want to be viewed as team players. Going against the grain would only hinder their ability to make a difference in their party.

On the second note, I am in less agreement. Every site has an agenda, the key is knowing what that agenda is. Not Larry Sabato's Ben Tribbett is well known for disliking Dave Marsden and Gerry Connolly. Even so, readers know this and take his commentary on those issues with a grain of salt. Same goes for Too Conservative's Vince Thoms opinions of Sean Connaughton, Tom Davis and Jeff Frederick; as well as Republitarian's opinion of Matt Lohr and Mark Obenshain. If you want to read these blogs because you agree or disagree with them, fine. At least you know where they stand and why they have an iron in the fire (for example Ben Tribbett ran against Dave Marsden, or Republitarian supporting Matt Tedrick). This is no different than Shaun Kenney writing about tax increases or "RINOs" (after all, Kenney was a VCAP challenger). We know where he stands as well. Any of these blogs are good and bring useful information to the table, they just have to be viewed through the prism of their own personal biases toward certain individuals as well as their political ideology in general.

I think blogs can be a useful tool for activists to use to gauge what others think about the candidates and/or issues, but I doubt they will ever become a "mainstream media outlet" that a vast majority of the public uses to determine their votes upon.

13 Comments:

  • At 4/01/2006 6:10 PM, Blogger Old Zach said…

    Actually, the second "point" is not what I said at all. I actually said that ALL blogs have agendas and that's what makes them interesting. I said that the "gossip" blogs approach makes it hard for people to take the quality posts seriously when they have them.

    I would also point out that on the first point, I said that they are not "yet" a resource for a broad cross-section of the electorate. Not that they are unsuitable for those folks.

     
  • At 4/01/2006 8:20 PM, Blogger republitarian said…

    Hokie, Do I come off as a party activist, and if so which one?

     
  • At 4/01/2006 8:23 PM, Anonymous antifeminist said…

    So if all blogs have agendas like you said, and if "gossip" posts deter from a blog's overall credibility like you said, I don't see how this post about blogs having an agenda and being less credible contradicts your post.

     
  • At 4/01/2006 8:24 PM, Anonymous antifeminist said…

    ^that was for old zach by the way

     
  • At 4/02/2006 1:50 AM, Anonymous tooconservative said…

    Fair analysis.

    I don't like Sean Connaughton though...

    he's a tax and spender..
    .......
    ......
    .......
    ........
    ......

    APRIL FOOLS!

     
  • At 4/02/2006 12:15 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    Myron, you obviously are an activist b/c u helped with Tedrick's campaign as well as Fulk's.
    You are a bi-party activist :)

    Zach, I just dont see the difference btw NLS ranting on Mardsen or Kenney ranting on tax raisers. They both have agendas, and they try to promote them with their blogs. I apologize if I misconstued your post though, that wasnt my intention.

     
  • At 4/02/2006 1:41 PM, Blogger republitarian said…

    That would make me a best candidate activist.

     
  • At 4/02/2006 4:25 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    I suppose some would call it that

     
  • At 4/03/2006 8:02 PM, Blogger ED Skywalker said…

    Regardless of their positions or bi-asses, blogs are great for pure old fashioned American argument. Thirty-Fifty years ago the bars and pubs of Georgetown, DC, and Alexandria were filled with some great minds arguing opposing points night in and night out. Now, life has sped up, we have blogs that enable us to have these kind of arguments. Unfortunately, like most of America today a lot of people let their biased one sided views lead them along. But, regardless of the positions there are a lot of inteligent arguments made on the blogosphere. And, it is probably far better for people to write down there arguments, albeit quickly and crudely, than to spit them out in a bar.

     
  • At 4/03/2006 9:37 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    I agree with ya there ES

     
  • At 4/07/2006 10:57 PM, Blogger f mcdonald said…

    The blogosphere is still an infant and while readership is extremely low compared to other media it is beginning to flex some muscle such as stories American Daughter, jveritas and Michelle Malkin have broken.

    All political activists are aware that radical change can be wrought by just a few determined people. History has taught us that.

    For now, it is fun to explore the possiblities of blogging and try not to get hemmed in by too many rules & regs (all voluntary of course) that keep things orderly but encourage the ordinary.

     
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