Monday, February 05, 2007

"Now, I ask you, who gets it?"

[Posted by reader_iam]

More than a little snack for thought here. For example, consider what a friend and I used to call, in a different context, the emanating implications of the following:
Whether bloggers want to admit it or not, the political parties are starting to understand how the political blogosphere works. Now that people like Markos Moulitsas have staked their reputations and their standings with their followers on being able to Get Things Done, they have to come an accommodation with those politicians they are attempting to influence. Markos isn't the only one in the equation who possesses leverage. The political parties understand that now. One need only look at the quite genuine (and hilariously childish) glee of the KOS Kids getting blog entries from Senator Dick Durbin (or more accurately, from a low-level member of Durbin's staff) to see that what a whole lot of folks in the blogosphere crave is 'being taken seriously'. Last year the Kids thought Durbin was a Shit, but now that he's patronizing them, he's A-OK. Don't think the political infrastructure hasn't started to figure out how to use, rather than be used, when it comes to bloggers.

The other problem faced by bloggers attempting to get cash out of political parties is exactly the same problem faced by bloggers when attempting to get cash out of advertisers: Blog readers aren't necessarily the targeted demographic - the decision-makers, as it were. The political blogosphere is populated, for the most part, by partisans. These are not the folks who decide elections. The folks who decide elections reside in the Center, and are people who will vote for either party based on circumstance. Those sort of folks do not populate the blogosphere, and when they do, they tend to be repelled by the level of partisanship they encounter. So, just as the political blogosphere cannot tempt mainstream advertising because they don't reach purchase decision-makers, it seems to me that they cannot get subsidization from political parties because they do not reach the real electoral decision-makers.
Does this seem counterintuitive to you? More: Does it seem against the prevailing tides, given the recent announced hirings of various bloggers into either the official campaign world or official MSM world?

Are political bloggers (of any and all stripes) crashing the gates, or are political parties--and more specifically, individual candidates' campaigns--opening the gates while maintaining for them that vital sense of crashing which may, in some instances and contexts, be the most compelling part of the pull to join the system of The Man?

Who's really in charge of the goal posts?


In a nod to Ruth Anne, who I think was giving me a gentle reminder, here's a video version of one of the songs to which I've been listening tonight:

Then there's the following (surely you'll pardon my mixing sports metaphors in a single post):