Blog readers feel an ownership/vested in their favorite blog - and thus more willing to help/act.
Blogs Matter Because Reporters Read Them
“ Ironically, the most fervid blog readers are journalists — the group perhaps that feels most threatened by them.” (PEW/Columbia)
A 2005 University of Connecticut study found:
41% of journalists read blogs at least once a week.
55% say they read blogs as part of their work.
Blog Activism: Cell Phone Privacy
US House Passes Privacy Bill
Passed US House on April 26, 2006 vote of 409 – 0.
From National Journal, Beltway Blogroll, April 26, 2006:
As reported in my Feb. 14 column, the push to protect phone records had languished until early this year. After John Aravosis of Americablog read an article about the issue, he decided to make cell-phone privacy a pet cause.
Aravosis first bought his own records to prove a point, then he bought the records of someone who mattered: 2004 Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark . That ploy generated lots of publicity and jumpstarted the issue in Congress.
Three House bills and two Senate measures were introduced within days. House Judiciary approved H.R. 4709 by voice vote on March 2, and Senate Judiciary approved a similar measure, S. 2178, by voice vote the same day.
Path to 9/11
The Blogs Engage
10 Days Later
Led by Think Progress and AMERICAblog, blogs
“ swarmed” the story.
Traditional media became interested.
Created an environment in which elected officials felt comfortable speaking out.
ABC/Disney cut 1/2 hour.
Major PR disaster for network.
Scholastic backed out of distribution deal.
American Airlines threatened lawsuit.
AARP and the Blogosphere
Should AARP have a blog?
Answer: It depends.
The Good: Blogs work to build a community share information; create conventional wisdom/spin.
The Bad: Loss of control for HQ.
Campaign-type (Citigroup: Katrina) blogs can be very effective.
Consider having state players do a local blog.
Working with Blogs
The blogosphere is not a monolith. Each blog has its own focus/interests.
AMERICAblog: Issue advocacy.
Top liberal blogs view themselves as partisans: We are Democrats first.
Liberal blogs tend to be anti-establishment, anti-“DC insider.”
Working with Bloggers
Treat bloggers as potentially friendly journalists.
Get to know them before you trust them.
Some are more trustworthy/interested in helping than others.
Each has a different specialty, area of interest.
Caveat: Blogs don’t operate under the same rules as journalists.
“ Off the record” may not mean anything to a blogger.
How to Reach Out to Bloggers
Send them your original content.
“ I gotcha” moments.
Partisan material (targeted).
Not press releases.
Several blogs (DailyKos, Huffington Post, TPM Café, and soon AMERICAblog) accept blog posts from a wide range of writers.