Political blogs

Weblogs in Presidential Politics. Dave moderates, Eric Folley (DNC), Joe Jones (Graham), Mathew Gross (Dean), Cameron Barrett (Clark).

Eric: The vetting process is emailing to a list. Only legal can veto if we’re breaking a law. And either Communications or Research has to approve, since they’re the fact checkers.


Matt: We’re doing 2200 comments a day on our site. On average 12-14 posts a day. We try to keep the page moving to keep the audience’s attention.

Dave: What are you going to do in a month?

Matt: Well, I’ve hired two assistants.

Dave: That’s the mythical man-month. Asks how do you scale

Matt: We made the first big strides.

Dave: What about giving everyone in the campaign a blog?

Matt: Well, there are a ton of non-campaign blogs, and they will be out there even if we get trolled.

Dave: Will the other campaigns host blogs? Joe: We’re looking at it. Eric: The DNC won’t be hosting weblogs. We can’t afford it. Dave: Don’t the blogs pay for themselves?

Chris Lydon: What makes a candidate bloggable? Cam: Theoretically any candidate with personality is bloggable. Ed Cone: But my senator, Edwards, is charismatic and a good communicator, and his blog sucks. What makes a blog work? Joe: It has to be personal. Matt: There’s no central organizing committee at the Dean campaign. We’re personal and we respond quickly. Dave: Is the DNC a good blog? Matt: I read it, but when the Research division posts I’m not interested. Eric: We had a rule that there had to be names, but the Research Division wanted to be a division, so we said OK. That might change.

Question: How do blogs change campaigns? Cam: We read all the comments and it affects the blog and the speeches. Esther: What about the policies? Joe: Policy doesn’t matter. Dave: But doesn’t the blog allow us to expose policies? Joe: Blogs are about building community and buzz. Dave: Isn’t that what got us into trouble in 2000? Matt: It depends on if the campaign is hierarchical with layers on layers or really responsive. We respond in realtime to those comments.

Question: How can we best use blogs? Bloggers are only 2% of the vote. How can we win with them? Dave: What about journalists? They don’t treat 2% of the vote.