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Sunday, June 25, 2006

BlogRevolt.com by David Kline

The Future of Political Blogging: 6 Predictions, by David Kline

1] Blogs have broken the monopoly of the mainstream media over political discourse and recast the traditional political agenda to include long-ignored voices and issues. Moreover, by challenging the historic media pose of "objectivity," blogs are leading America "back to the future" of a much more diverse and openly-partisan media -- to a revival of the 19th Century "broadside" and "penny press."

2] Blogs are to politics today what TV was to the Nixon-Kennedy campaign of 1960 -- the midwife of a new paradigm in campaign strategy. From now on, victory will go not just to the master of the television "sound bite," but also to the candidate best able to mobilize and direct what author Hugh Hewitt calls blog-fueled "opinion storms" around key issues.

3] "Sound bite" politics, of course, was an artifact of media "scarcity" -- most especially the limits of the 90 second TV story format. But in the new era of media "abundance," in which any citizen can broadcast and publish at will, blogs will very likely result in more substantive issues-oriented political campaigning.

4] Although some worry that blogs are deepening the polarization and divisions already present in American politics, their participatory and popular character cannot help but engender a significant resurgence in citizen involvement in the political process and in voting. The days are over when only 50 percent of eligible voters will show up at the polls on presidential election day.

5] Blogs are not simply political persuaders, however. They are also "collective organizers" of grassroots political action that are already beginning to weaken top-down party control of the political process, erode Big Money's absolute domination over the selection of candidates, and enhance the ability of insurgent candidates of all political hues to emerge and compete effectively.

6] Indeed, bloggers' unique and unprecedented ability to mobilize the "long tail" of electoral politics -- i.e., the myriad streams of independent political opinion in America whose collective vote-getting ability, if only harnessed and directed, could potentially rival that of the two main parties -- could very well fuel the emergence of viable 3rd party candidates by the end of this decade.

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