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December 08, 2002

Does the Blogoshere Matter?

Okay folks, we have a test now of whether these odd weblog linking discussions matter in the way talk radio or other alternative media forums matter.

From lefties like Josh Marshall, Atrios, Kos and myself to righties like Instapundit and Virginia Postrel, there is wide agreement and ranting over Trent Lott's obscene tribute to Strom Thurmond. And the regular media has been largely silent.

So if the story dies, we have to admit. The blog world just isn't that relevant yet to wider political society.

But if the story reexplodes and is reenergized-- well, that doesn't prove anything quite, since other folks like Jesse Jackson are pushing for Lott to resign. But it might indicate that we all are helping to sustain some energy on an issue.

Posted by Nathan at December 8, 2002 09:27 PM

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My theory is that the blogosphere functioned like the crowd in a mosh pit, or the thermometer in a pool. Across the political spectrum, people could see that there would be a lot of support if they took the plunge. Or, that the water temperature was fine, depending on your metaphor.

Or, perhaps we are just raving delusionally. Works for me!

Posted by: Tom Maguire at December 10, 2002 04:42 PM


I think your formulation is a good one-- and probably a reasonable description of how talk radio has functioned at times as well.

And given the reexplosion of the story today, it indicates the possibility that the blogworld may be having an impact.

Posted by: Nathan Newman at December 10, 2002 06:51 PM

Every blogger should be regularly reminding readers to contact others and let them know about blogs. That's how we can grow our readership - and widen the number of informed people. We need to expand the reach of this important alternative to the "librul media."

Posted by: IssuesGuy at December 11, 2002 03:35 PM

although i just left a real snarky comment about this on issueguy's blog, i think that blogtopia (yes! i coined that term!) does matter.

today howie kurtz quoted more than one blogger (not me, damn his eyes) in his review of the trent lott mess. and, while i don't agree at all with andrew sullivan's point of view on anything except going bareback during anal sex, i not only applaud his right to blog, but the fact that many mainstream sources quote him (but not me, damn their eyes!)

will we matter as much as cnn and faux news? no, but then, neither does the washpost or nytimes. there is a pecking order in the universe, and while we may be close to the bottom, we are above backyard over the fence gossip and messages stuck in bottles and thrown in the ocean.

trust me, kids...if it weren't for the bloggers out there, i myself would have gone crazy long ago...so if nothing else, you all matter...to me.

Posted by: skippy at December 12, 2002 12:50 AM

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