Election Day 2008: The Best Blogs and Social Media Resources

barack-obama-talking-with-john-mccain

barack-obama-talking-with-john-mccainUpdate 1 Nov 2008: We’ve added several links. Thanks to Jackie Sheeler for making the first suggestion. Feel free to add more in the comments!

The 2008 US presidential election will be over in about 100 hours (unless Florida can’t make up its mind again).

There are, in fact, other elections as well next Tuesday. But of course we all know the real battle is Obama vs. Palin – er, McCain.

Without further ado (and before the comment firestorm begins below), The Blog Herald presents the best blogosphere and social media destinations to track Election Day 2008, in no particular order:

1. CNN Political TickerYes, it’s a mainstream media site. But it’s also a blog. The differences are so blurry now in 2008 anyway. :) It’s common to see hundreds of comments on a post here as Election Day approaches. You can subscribe to twice-daily email alerts if you don’t want the barrage of zero-hour coverage to disturb your day off from work. Bias: Obama. [Read more…]

Blogs Influence Buyers More Than Social Networks Do, BuzzLogic Study Finds

Buzzlogic Logo

Buzzlogic LogoReaching for your wallet? You might just have read a blog article.

On Tuesday, BuzzLogic released a report called Harnessing the Power of Blogs which concludes that the blogosphere has more power than online social networks when it comes to shaping consumer buying decisions.

The report analyzes the results of a survey, conducted by JupiterResearch and sponsored by BuzzLogic, that asked 2,210 online consumers in the US about the ways in which different kinds of websites influenced their purchasing choices.

One conclusion of the survey: “Frequent” blog readers – that is, those who read blogs once or more each month – actually depend more on blogs to find other blog content than on any search engine.

Another interesting find: the number of people who read at least one blog a month has quadrupled since 2004. [Read more…]

Brian Gardner Launches Revolution Two Open-Source WordPress Theme

brian-gardner-revolution-wordpress-theme

brian-gardner-revolution-wordpress-themeProminent WordPress theme designer Brian Gardner has released a new open-source theme set called Revolution Two to essentially replace his highly popular Revolution WordPress theme. The new theme set includes 10 themes for free downloading.

The release comes two days earlier than previously anticipated, with Gardner saying in his most recent blog post announcing the launch of the new Revolution theme, “I figure I owed you all an early release.”

That, or he really just wanted to be able to nurse his post-Halloween sugar hangover on Friday night. :)

Starting November 1, the original Revolution theme will no longer be available for purchase (although existing Revolution buyers will still receive support “for life”), except for necessary updates for 12 months to maintain compatibility with WordPress. Instead, Gardner has opted to go the open-source route for monetization, with plans to sell premium support for the free Revolution Two themes on an annual ($99.95) or lifetime ($149.95) basis.

Follow the Revolution Two project on Twitter for project updates.

Have you ever used the Revolution theme for WordPress? What do you think of the new Revolution Two themes? Do you agree with Brian Gardner’s decision to make the Revolution Two themes open-source?

Mainstream Media Still Stingy About Linking to Blogs?

26econ Blog Directory

Felix Salmon at Portfolio.com has sour news for econobloggers. According to Salmon, blogs may have gained more respect over the past year among mainstream media publishers of economic news and opinion, but they are still not recognized by some as deserving of outbound links.

The latest evidence for this, as Salmon sees it, is the refusal by VoxEU, an economics news portal that has been called a blog before, to be included in Aaron Schiff’s popular directory of top economics blogs.

While I’m not so sure VoxEU is clearly a blog – it seems more like a blog-like aggregator to me – I think Salmon is absolutely right in asserting that mainstream media news sources are still generally reluctant to treat blogs as equally valuable (and linkworthy) disseminators of useful information.

What do you think?

Thousands of Bloggers Tackle Poverty for Blog Action Day 2008

Blog Action Day 2008

Last Friday, Chris Garrett asked what you are doing for Blog Action Day 2008 – Poverty.

If every blogger involved in the annual October 15 event would have left a comment at Chris’s post, there would be well over 10,000 of them.

And yet, if every person living in poverty were to comment, there would be more than 3 BILLION comments.

Can you fathom it?

I am grateful to be an assistant event coordinator for Blog Action Day this year. It has broken my spirit several times over to consider the magnitiude and subject matter of the effort. [Read more…]

BlogCatalog Launches Social Media Search Engine

BlogCatalog Social Search

Look out Technorati and Google Blog Search. BlogCatalog is gaining on you.

BlogCatalog.com has just announced the launch of a new “total aggregation search engine” that helps you find anything on their blog directory and social network as well as on more than 20 other social media websites.

For instance, you can select “All Results” above the search box and search for blog herald to get a section-by-section list of BlogCatalog members, BlogCatalog discussions, other slice-and-dice results from BlogCatalog, and (perhaps most interestingly) results from StumbleUpon, Delicious, Twitter and many other popular social bookmarking or social networking sites. [Read more…]

Sarah Palin Blogs: 10 You Must Follow

Sarah Palin News

It’s been about four weeks since we first covered U.S. Republican vice-presidential nominee  Sarah Palin, the Alaska governor who vaulted from relative obscurity into international prominence overnight when her nomination took America by surprise a little more than two months before the November 4 elections.

Since then, the blogosphere and mainstream media have continued to buzz about Palin more than Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee for president; more than Joe Biden, Obama’s running mate; and even more than John McCain, the GOP pick for prez. [Read more…]

The Future of Blogging: Interview with a Blogger from 2018

Future of Blogging
Future of Blogging

Future of Blogging

Have you ever wanted to know the future of the blogosphere – say, what blogs will be like 10 years from now?

Thanks to The Blog Herald’s brand new Advanced Blogospheric Chrononavigational Discombobulus (ABCD) – basically a time machine fortuitously dropped at our doorstep last night by an unknown person – now you can.

Immediately after checking the outcomes of the next 5 U.S. presidential elections (Nader ’24! Who’da thunk?) and finding out exactly when World War III will start (thank heavens we can still prevent it), The Blog Herald excitedly sat down with a Ms. X, a professional blogger in the year 2018.

Here’s what X had to say about the future of blogs. [Read more…]

Blog Networks in a Tough Economy: Adapt or Starve

b5media Blog Network Team 2007

b5media Blog Network Team 2007

The U.S. and Canada are going through hard economic times. You knew that, right?

And you probably knew that blog networks, like all businesses, thrive or perish according to their ability to respond to changes in the economies in which they operate.

But what you maybe didn’t know is the extent to which the current economic struggles of Canada and the U.S. are affecting the blog networks you visit on a daily basis – Gawker, b5media, Federated Media, Splashpress (which owns this blog) and Weblogs, Inc., to name a few. [Read more…]

Blogs About Sarah Palin: Who’s For Her, Who’s Against?

Sarah Palin BlogPulse Popularity

Sarah Palin is the first woman ever to run on the U.S. Republican party presidential ticket. If Americans elect John McCain on November 4, Mrs. Palin will be the first female Vice President of the United States.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, both BlogPulse and Google Trends show more – a lot more – discussion in the blogosphere about Palin than about either Obama or McCain (see charts after the jump).

But what are the underlying causes for all the Palin talk? Why the fuss?

Is it because blogs may actually be responsible for John McCain’s selection of Palin as his running mate?

Is it because Palin came seemingly out of nowhere to get picked ahead of several other contenders?

Or is it just because she’s a woman? [Read more…]