FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Friday, June 16, 2006

Political Blogging Gets More Interesting with Age

The YearlyKos convention held by the liberal blog Daily Kos last week attracted a lot of media attention -- and not merely because of the high-profile Democrats who showed up. YearlyKos was cited by many pundits as one more sign of the mainstreaming of bloggers in the political arena, and the meeting of the digital and "real world" spaces. Surely, its only a matter of time before conservative blogs host a gathering of their own.

Political blogs have been making their presence known since the 2004 election (even though Daily Kos and other liberal blogs couldn't get John Kerry elected). Increasingly, the impact of political blogging is appearing in unexpected ways:

  • The government of Iran is recognizing the potential power of blogging. It has reportedly gone so far to set up an "Office of Religious Blogs," through which bloggers can receive technical training and support (and obstenibly be "coached" to write pro-regime posts). The office claims to have trained 500 novice bloggers.

  • Republican strategist Jack Burkman, who has appeared as a commentator on Scarborough Country and other political cable shows, has been accused of trying to solicit sex from a girl who was attending the recent DC Pride parade. The girl, who claims Burkman gave her his business card, blogged about the alleged encounter on MySpace.

RELATED: It wasn't blogging, but it's an example of how politics, sex and technology can get all jumbled up. When chatting with who he thought was a 14-year-old girl, former DHS press aide Brian Doyle said that President Bush was a "nice guy but not a good president ... he is not very bright and it is evident ... bush is a liar ... there were NO weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. total lie to go to war." Of course, with his real intention apparently being to seduce the "girl" (actually an undercover police officer), openly mocking his boss's boss would be the least of his worries... especially after he was arrested in April.