Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Power of Blogging Recognized in Politics

Well as I was getting my dose of what I consider TV news, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, I caught his interview with David Perlmutter, a professor at the University of Kansas. They were discussing his book "Blog Wars". During his interview, Mr. Perlmutter talks about the power of the Internet and blogs and their impact if any on the political process. Now I use the Internet for my needs, news, education, learning, blogging, but it never truly occurred to me that politicians are using blogs as a way to reach online social networks, and that they realize the power of these networks. In researching this a little, I found the following regarding Obama's online presence at a blog at the Washington Post.

"Barack Obama is very interesting in this regard. It is interesting to watch in his online efforts, and he's raising a ton of money online. He has to go to fewer $1,000-a-plate dinners than John McCain does. Campaigns are paying attention to that. He's also able to bring in newer voters, as he certainly did in Iowa. If you look at the entrance polls in Iowa, the spread of young voters between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, was the widest in the history of entrance and exit voting. I think that had a lot to do both with the qualities of Barack Obama the candidate, but also with the campaign's outreach through online social interactive media."

It is enlightening to know that politicians realize the power of an online presence and social networking. It is undeniable proof that social networks are and can be extremely powerful. In doing a Google search for blogs, Obama, Google comes back with 13,400,000 hits. Now I realize these are not all blogs, and some are posts but wow, that is impressive.

Blogging is changing the face of elections. Politicians actually hire professional bloggers and keep them on payroll according to the interview.

Is it possible that social networking could help candidates win elections? Are they/we that powerful? If so, I need to get it right so I can land a teaching position :)

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