Britain’s prestigious political writing award, the Orwell Prize, will include blogs for the first time.
There are 83 eligible entries.
Perhaps vilifying the British government’s planned recruitment of a director of digital engagement, a recent study by the Hansard Society suggests that MPs are only using the Internet to inform their constituents rather than engaging with them.
The research suggests that, while 92% of MPs use email and 83% have a personal web site, just under a quarter use any form of social networking tools, and just one in ten blog. Many of these blogging MPs don’t enable reader comments. [Read more…]
Compared to the US, the state of British political blogging tends to receive far less attention, yet it hasn’t stopped a prominent politician in the British government slamming the UK’s political bloggers for “spreading corrosive cynicism”.
Wrapped up in a speech which called for politicians to come from a wider social base, Hazel Blears accused political bloggers of fuelling disengagement by “unearthing scandals, conspiracies and perceived hypocrisy” and having “disdain for the political system and politicians”.
“The most popular blogs are right-wing, ranging from the considered Tory views of Iain Dale, to the vicious nihilism of Guido Fawkes,” she said.
“Unless and until political blogging ‘adds value’ to our political culture, by allowing new and disparate voices, ideas and legitimate protest and challenge, and until the mainstream media reports politics in a calmer, more responsible manner, it will continue to fuel a culture of cynicism and pessimism.” [Read more…]
Update 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 Ticker – Yes, 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…]
At least that’s the feeling you get when reading Duncan Riley’s post on Crikey Blogs over at The Inquisitr. He reckons the Australian blogosphere is some 5 years behind the US, which is interesting.
The network brings together some of Australia’s leading political blogs, including PollBludger and former Senator Andrew Bartlett under the one roof. The Crikey blog network is live now, but I understand that other blogs are to follow, including some leading Australian blogs in excess of 1 million page views a month.
They manage this by buying existing blogs, rather than just recruit bloggers and build from the ground up. The actual blog network is powered by WordPress MU, which the WordPress Publisher Blog gladly points out.
Hijacking isn’t brands isn’t uncommon online, the classic hijack being registering a domain name, and then sell it back. Nabbing a user on Twitter and pretending to be someone you’re not is, however, pretty easy to battle, so I’d expect this fake Cindy McCain to disappear soon enough. That is, if it is fake…
No surprise here, but the recent debate means more Twitter activity. Twitter reports that they had a 160% tweet increase compared to the same time the previous week, and that the daily update was up 18.5%. More stats in the Twitter blog post. The same also tells us that they’re polishing the Election page we’ve mentioned previously.
Wired’s Epicenter blog gets to wrap this up:
Predictions for Thursday’s VP debate? Sarah Palin tweets crash the site in record time.
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.
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…]
Rosanne Cash, the daughter of country musician Johnny Cash, uses her blog to tell John McCain to back off on using her fathers name to bolster the Republican presidential campaign:
It is unfair and presumptuous to use him to bolster any platform. I would ask that my father not be co-opted in this election for either side, since he is clearly not here to defend or state his own allegiance.
Naturally, this got quite some coverage in the press. On a slightly different note, I recommend getting the later albums by Johnny Cash in particular, his dark and then-wavering voice is really powerful.
With a US Presidential Election this fall, along with 1/3rd of the Senate up for re-election, and the entire House of Representatives, could 2008 truly be the year of the political blogger?
Beginning Monday, hundreds of bloggers will descend on Denver to see Barack Obama accept his party’s nomination. Next week, hundreds more will travel to St. Paul to witness John McCain’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. But now these online partisans, many of whom are self-financed, must contend with all the logistical and financial hurdles just to get there — not to mention the party politics happening behind the scenes.
This year, both parties understand the need to have greater numbers of bloggers attend. While many Americans may watch only prime-time television broadcasts of the convention speeches, party officials also recognize the ability of bloggers to deliver minute-by-minute coverage of each day’s events to a niche online audience.
To put this into perspective, the 2004 DNC in Boston credentialed only around twelve bloggers. This year, hundreds of bloggers have been credentialed at both convention. The micro-coverage from the smaller blogs and in-depth coverage provided by the larger blogs is going to elevate the artform of political blogging to a whole new level.
I can’t wait to watch..