Friday, May 26, 2006

Blog power

I got the following mass e-mail from Katie MacGuidwin of the Republican National Committee today.

You’ve heard the buzz – now, take advantage of a new tool on GOP.com that has many features built specifically for bloggers.

Through MyGOP, you can create your own website on GOP.com. The address could be as simple as yourblogname.GOP.com. Through your MyGOP site, you can:

- Keep track of personal fundraising efforts through a personal fundraising page

- Keep tabs on the number of people you recruit, and even run a voter registration drive

- Build a personal e-mail list to distribute your news and GOP talking points

- Post photos

- Link to your blog

- Sidebar widgets to post to your blog promoting your site and your campaigns

- Move up in the rankings through our live leaderboard post on www.GOP.com/MyGOP/.

This tool was built partly in response to feedback from bloggers who asked how they could keep track of the activity they generated through their blogs. Now, you have the opportunity to make an impact online for 2006 and 2008, and to be able to know how many dollars you raised, volunteers recruited, and voters you registered.

Recruiting? Fundraising? A live leaderboard? "Distribute GOP talking points"?

I thought bloggers were supposed to be independent observers. Are they really just supposed to be conduits for party propaganda? Should bloggers really be competing to see who can most slavishly follow the party line, raise the most money for the party, and so on?

It's a GOP effort, but I'm sure the Democrats have something similar going on.

This sort of thing highlights both the power of blogs and the challenges facing them as parties increasingly try to co-opt them. Will conduit blogs be readily identifiable? Or will the independent voices get lost in a sea of party drones?

It's enough to make a blogger say "there ought to be a law" or something.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Dyre42 said...

Considering how many bloggers seem to tow party lines without question this might be a good thing. You'll be able to know which blogs to avoid just by their web addresses.

5/26/2006 9:37 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

If blogs are clearly labeled, sure. My worry is if they're not.

It's like the bloggers who are paid to blog about certain companies while maintaining that their independence hasn't been compromised. R-i-i-i-i-g-h-t.

5/26/2006 9:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not that familiar with how to start a blog or what the rules are. But Sean....would you let a far right organization advertise on yours? I think if I was going to start one, I'd rather it be my own thoughts and not distributing "talking points" from any side.
JP5

5/27/2006 7:24 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

JP: Given that I use Google ads, I probably do let far-right organizations advertise on my site. This post often has an RNC ad associated with it because of Google's advertising algorithm, for example.

There are no real rules for blogs, of course: a blog is whatever the owner wants it to be. But there's really no value in a blog that is nothing more than a parrot of a party's talking points. And if enough such blogs appear, it devalues the entire blogosphere.

5/28/2006 1:12 PM  
Blogger JP said...

I'm thinking most people that find blogs mindlessly towing the line are going to skip those blogs. I'm not that interested in a *.gop.com blog.

6/05/2006 8:32 AM  

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