Blogging, Politics, and Modern Media

    December 28, 2006

Robert Scoble revealed in his blog that he had been invited by the John Edwards campaign to cover the Senator’s announcement regarding his intention to pursue the U.S. Presidency.

Last week, I wrote a piece about the growing importance of blogging and other social media platforms in the realm of politics. As evidenced by Senator Edwards’ gesture of invitation to prominent bloggers, it seems that politicians – at least from the Democratic Party – are beginning to take hold of this concept.

Scoble had a quick sit down with Dan Balz of the Washington Post this afternoon, and relayed this interestingviewpoint in his blog:

Technology is radically changing campaigns, he says. First he’s no longer writing just for paper. Dan told me he’s updated his story several times in the past few hours, plus he’s been on radio and TV interviews. The Post wants him to produce podcasts and video blogs too, or look for opportunities in bringing other media onto the Post’s pages.

Before I go any further, I should state clearly that I’m not aligning myself with John Edwards, the Democratic Party, or any party for that matter in terms of the 2008 Presidential election. I merely want to reflect how some modern candidates are embracing new media as fundamental campaign platforms.

When I went to Senator Edwards’ website, a familiar logo immediately caught my attention…


I believe that online video is going to play a pivotal role in the upcoming election. I’m not talking about professionally written campaign advertisements that you normally find on television, but instead offering candid, real-life depictions of the candidates in ways that the American public has never before been able to access.

We’ve already gotten a taste of this with the infamous George Allen “macaca” incident. In what was originally thought to be a race that Allen would easily win, this video may have single-handedly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory for the incumbent Virginia senator.

That incident is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg when it comes to the role that online video will play in future elections.

The other key element that Edwards seems to be employing in his modern media strategy is a campaign blog. This platform will be vital in creating and maintaining a connection to the grass roots supporters of the campaign across the country. The American public has such a thirst for information that perhaps even hourly blogging wouldn’t satiate the appetite of the masses.

Nevertheless, the strategy to heavily push blog readership is a smart move, to be sure.

Will modern media alone get John Edwards elected? Probably not. The truth is that no single element will win or lose an election for a candidate in today’s political realm. What modern media can do, however, is bring a candidate’s message and platform to an entirely new audience of potential voters.

It will be interesting to see if the Republicans take a similar approach.

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Joe is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.