May 21, 2007|
We've wondered why liberal bloggers are more prominent and influential than their conservative counterparts here in the United States before, and I got an interesting insight into the nuanced answer last week.
Last Thursday afternoon, I attended a conservative blogger event hosted by The Washington Times. The paper wanted to gather conservative bloggers to determine why liberals fare better and how conservatives can react.
Concerning why liberals do better on-line, I mentioned that the left treats bloggers in many cases as activists while the right tends to ignore their enthusiasts on-line. Several bloggers in attendance responded that the right wants to have pundits more than netroot action. There was further discussion of whether or not the right wants the same kind of success as the left.
This has made me wonder about how serious the right is about the blogosphere. The main objectives of liberal bloggers are to elect Democrats and keep their pet issues — along with their stances on them — in mainstream political discource. Even when the Democrats seemed fragmented a couple of years ago on key issues, this was their strategy. On other hand, the right seems uneasy about loosening control of the Republican's main objectives to the netroots, especially since the party has internal fights about issues like immigration, but such constraint is not helping their on-line efforts.
The blogosphere is so much more useful than just as a tool to disseminate a party's main talking points among the politically active. Liberals use it to also spark action and bolster Democratic pols, and they have done so with some decentralized control of who controls the message. While the right is understandably weary of such a proposition, what they're currently doing is not adequate to the counter the liberals.
Meetings like the one I attended at The Washington Times indicates that the right is conscious of the need to improve its on-line presence, but the shindig also reveals that the right doesn't know what it wants to achieve yet either. It cannot excel until it knows what it wants.