How Do You Feel About Non-Political Blogs Dabbling In Politics?

Filed as Features on September 10, 2008 7:51 pm

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, there’s an election this year in America and opinions and emotions are running passionate and heavy. As a result, I’ve noticed a few blogs I read toss in the occasional political slant, and sometimes a full-on political post.

As a reader, I generally don’t appreciate when a blog I read, that claims a subject of expertise, suddenly shift to a completely unrelated topic. I do read some political blogs and that’s where I’d like that subject to remain.

I do make some exceptions: when the blog falls under the banner of “personal” as in, it’s more of a diary than a source of niche information, or where politics intersects the blog’s subject matter.

Some may feel that this country will never move forward unless there is more political discussion, or the stakes are simply too high for people to remain passive and avoid politics in any venue. While both are true, it’s also important to find the appropriate place for discussion if it’s even to be taken seriously. And if a blogger really wants to get into political discussion, how about just starting a political blog, separate from their current one?

I would be annoyed to open up the latest issue of Cat Fancy magazine to find an article laying out the moral hazard of the Fannie Mae / Freddie Mac bailout. Surprise aside, I wouldn’t trust the writers of a pet magazine to discuss economic policy with any level of competency. I feel the same way about blogs that stray from their stated subject.

Going “off-topic” is rarely a good idea for any niche blog, whether that topic is politics or something else entirely.

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  1. By Chris Garrett posted on September 11, 2008 at 5:17 am
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    “this country” – you mean the internet is a country now? >;)

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  2. By Andy Merrett posted on September 11, 2008 at 5:54 am
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    “I wouldn’t trust the writers of a pet magazine to discuss economic policy with any level of competency.” Oh I don’t know, politicians seem to think they can do it, why shouldn’t other people have a go.

    In the UK, we may as well be part of the US, the amount of coverage we have to endure. It’s almost more than that of our own political parties, not that I’m complaining about that…

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  3. By Jason K posted on September 11, 2008 at 10:32 am
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    @Andy yes, I’ve noticed some of the best US political coverage is in The Economist, a British publication.

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  4. By jhay posted on September 11, 2008 at 4:36 pm
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    Well it’s all covered by the freedom of expression and of speech. Every blogger, regardless of their niche has the right say what they think about almost anything, especially politics.

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  5. By Stephen Downes posted on September 12, 2008 at 9:01 am
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    Blogs aren’t magazines. They can go ‘off topic’ if they want. It’s not like you’re paying $6.95 to read the thing. If a blogger has a political opinion, deal with it – and move on.

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  6. By Suzannah Porter posted on September 16, 2008 at 11:40 am
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    Sorry, but I completely disagree. As a former campaign worker, and former nonprofit executive, I fail to see a niche that is not affected by politics.

    We have a saying in the political world, and that is that “The Personal is Political.” From that standpoint, what niche is not affected by politics?

    The marketing niche has much to learn and comment upon during this election season. Note the use of 2.0 tools and priorities in the current campaigns.

    The nonprofit niche, including any sub niches of women, minorities, education, and medicine all have huge stakes in this election.

    Even those in the blogging niche, who are currently dealing with the complications and reprecussions of blogging have a stake. As each campaign sets up “free speech zones”, i.e., where and when you are allowed dissent, bloggers are affected. Those wishing to be able to blog or have a voice outside of work are persecuted or fired for having their say.

    What of the poor pizza girl who simply blogged her horrific experience dealing with the delivery of a pizza to the Utah State Senate Majority Leader, or any other posting where an average, everyday joe or jane has a run in with our authority figures? These all serve as important insights to what is otherwise well crafted and highly managed profiles of people who affect our daily lives.

    I challenge you to find a single niche that is not affected by the politics of this election. I would be more than happy to respond with exactly how that niche is affected.

    Sincerely,

    Suzannah Porter
    Former President
    National Organization for Women, New Jersey State Chapter.

    Reply

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