How Political Blog Sites Took Over The World Ten years ago, political blog sites were

small and in their infancy. Flash forward to today and whether you are conservative or liberal, libertarian or authoritarian, there will be a site that caters to your proclivities. But have they become too powerful? When they started, a political voice was the lone voice of an individual, published onto the web. In 2000, the appearance of easy-to-use blogging software made this kind of venture feasible. When they began, these sites were non-corporate examples of what different people thought, people raising their voices to be heard outside the normal news channels of the internet. Today the line is not so clear, political blogs can have many contributors and charge major advertisers, just like news sites, and they are just as important as mainstream news used to be. In 2003 the nature of political blogging began to change. Both Howard Dean and Wesley Clark sought to exploit the power of blogs and those who read them as they campaigned for the Democratic Presidential nomination. Although they were not successful, they had some successes and the fact that they tried showed how much more important blogs had become. A year later, both of the presidential candidates in the 2004 election were, nominally, writing their own blogs. We were witnessing the birth of a new campaign tool. That year, political blogs came into their own during the campaign. They were at the heart of the 'Swifting' of John Kerry, and in the swift debunking of those allegations. They were able to do the research that CBS hadn't in their story about George W. Bush's military service. In the space of four years they had become a major (if still small) part of the political landscape. Over the next couple of years a new kind of political blog took precedence: one with many contributors. These, to some extent, replaced those initial blogs, which were so exciting because they allowed you to hear one person's opinions unfiltered, and took on a new role of research and activism. Now they were holding the mainstream media to account and developing narratives of their own, rather than just giving opinion. Since then, they have grown in influence, and in the sorts of stories they pursue. The ultimate moment of triumph came during when the 2008 campaign, when Barack Obama adopted the grassroots style and values of the blogs. Politicans learned quickly. It took less that eight years for those lone political voices to take over the whole process.

. the year 2000 seems quiet: political blog sites pretty much didn't exist. These tended to be less about an individual voice. It could almost convince you that it had gone too far. as the campaign of Barack Obama sought to emulate their style and energy.Political Blog Sites: Onward And Upward In retrospect. The rise of the blogs had not gone unnoticed in Washington. The 2004 election was when the political blog came of age. and controlling the news agenda. It took fewer than eight years. for political blogs to go from being nonexistent to dominant. the blog had arrived in time to help their campaigns. Today. they had highlighted some new avenues for garnering support. and this point marks the moment when politicians began to pay serious attention to the blogs. For the first time some of the contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination. The appeal was to hear a personal. Today you cannot hear yourself think above the clamor of the blogs. When they began. The 'Swift Boat' rumours about John Kerry were both spread and quashed by blogs. These blogs became a way of verifying what was in the other media. As a means of communicating in an unfiltered way. Their victory was shown most starkly in 2008. It had only taken four years for political blogs to find their niche and become an important minor piece in any politician's campaign. vied for the approval of the political blogs. two Presidential terms. In less than 18 months both of the presidential candidates for the major parties were writing their own blogs. all desperate for attention. of all different colors and stripes. activism. CBS' under-researched story about George W. They were no longer just an alternative take on the news. political blogs were just one person's voice. President Bush's second term is when the blogs embraced a corporate identity with many contributors. Howard Dean and Wesley Clark. gave these individual voices a way of being heard. so have the blogs changed their tactics. Bush's military service was debunked by the blogs. political blogs are just as likely to be corporate entities than the news sites they supplanted. The appearance of software that made blogs easy to compose during 2000 and 2001. individual opinion rather than that of a corporate news entity. of course. As their influence has increased. It was apparent that change was in the air in 2003. Although they didn't succeed. and more about doing research.

activism. In eight years. no matter what you political persuasion. of course. By the time the 2004 election rolled around both John Kerry and George W Bush were apparently writing blogs. They were responsible for both propagating and debunking the 'Swift boat' allegations about John Kerry. The importance of political blogs during the 2004 campaign is undeniable. although they were still relatively small affairs. and were better at fact-checking. large amounts of funding from advertisers. there are many blogs which have many contributors. They were made possible by the appearance of blogging software at the beginning of the 21st century. Blogs had gone from almost non-existent in 2000 to being a major political force by 2004. and their values and style were adopted by the campaign. At this point they became valuable checks on the mainstream media. Both men ultimately failed in that endeavor. but they showed that blogs were an important way of garnering political support. as the blogs were openly courted. These early blogs were individual voices. Now. They were able to follow up CBS' story about George W. Some believe there are too many. The blog as campaign tool had arrived. and announced the arrival of blogs as something politicians should take notice of. . and following and pressing a story. President Obama's 2008 campaign showed that the lessons from earlier in the decade had been learned. and they are real players in the political landscape. there are more than enough sites to cater for it. As well as personal bloggers who tended to be valued for their voice. multi-contributor blogs really began to develop a presence.The Rise And Rise Of Political Blog Sites It's difficult to believe but only a little more than a decade ago there were no such things as political blog sites. Nowadays. desperate to be noticed above the clamour of the rest of the internet. political blogs went from being an irrelevance to running the show. Political blogs have continues to develop their tactics and reach. The first major change was when Howard Dean and General Wesley Clark turned to the 'blogosphere' for support in their attempts to capture the Democratic nomination for President of the USA in 2003. the blogs with many contributors tended to be driven by issues. one person voicing their views on a website. rather than just intriguing lone voices. After this the larger. Bush's military service in greater detail than even the broadcaster had. The early political blogs tended to be very personal.

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