BLOGGING POLITICS: A CASE STUDY OF THE 2004 ELECTION
The recent popularity of the weblog, or "blog", has been receiving a significant amount of attention within the mainstream press. While weblogs are devoted to issues ranging across the social spectrum, political weblogs have become the focus of most of this attention, as they increasingly weighed-in on events concerning the past 2004 election. Many scholars and journalists speculate whether the political weblog is a trend or a lasting online institution. With so much of their focus on elections, will political weblogs sustain their momentum and popularity after the election-cycle is over? Taking a pointedly partisan stance on national and state elections and issuing a running commentary on articles and issues in the mainstream and online press, DailyKos has established itself as the most highly trafficked, interactive, Democratic weblog online. To investigate the research question, my study compared activity levels and content on Daily Kos before and after the 2004 election. The results of this comparison show that the activity levels increased following the election, while the content transited from campaigns and elections to policy and party. There were also indications that the interactivity of the Daily Kos blog facilitated online community. Overall, these findings suggest that it is not the campaign and election-oriented content that sustains the momentum and popularity of political blogs like Daily Kos; it is the invitation to engage the political process through democratic discussion.
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