Political Blogging

Chair: Mark Bahnisch
Panel: Senator Andrew Bartlett, Brett Soloman (GetUP!), Graham Young On Line Opinion).

Mark began the session with an overview of the political blogging landscape and the comparisons between blogging and critical analysis in mainstream media.

Mark noted there was “no business model” for blogging and that blogging is more about taking advantage of the gift economy in online communities.

Brett spoke about GetUP! and the fact that people have experienced a need to have their voices heard. Alternative analysis has been seriously lacking in mainstream media. This is an opportunity to do an expose on political actions which are otherwise unreported. In the case of the NT landrights legislation, GetUP! had a chance to provide a context for a consultative approach – it failed in changing the law, but it was a forum which was not being accommodated by mainstream media.

GetUP! also ran a fund raising exercise to inform the public about climate change issues by running ads in the Grand Final coverage. Raised over $189,000 in 5 days with the average donation being $50 per donator.

Senator Bartlett reinforced that the value of blogging is in comments. My view is that the Australian political environemnt is all about following. Blogs have the chance to lead political decision makers.

[[AB responded to my question that most politicians and corporate reps would love to blog if there were no comments – how do you respond to that – was to say that you can manage it. You need to give people time to adapt to the process of participating in comments based systems]]

Quite an interesting discursive environment emerged on grassroots debate. Unfortunately, I was interrupted by my client requests and couldn’t blog much for 20 minutes!!!!

Grassroots lobbying and developing a deliberately provocative blog which can change opinions and aggregate distributed knowledge.

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