Blogwars

Overview

Political blogs have grown astronomically in the last half-decade. In just one month in 2005, for example, popular blog DailyKos received more unique visitors than the population of Iowa and New Hampshire combined. But how much political impact do bloggers really have?
In Blogwars, David D. Perlmutter examines this rapidly burgeoning phenomenon, exploring the degree to which blogs influence—or fail to influence—American political life. Challenging the hype, Perlmutter points out...

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Overview

Political blogs have grown astronomically in the last half-decade. In just one month in 2005, for example, popular blog DailyKos received more unique visitors than the population of Iowa and New Hampshire combined. But how much political impact do bloggers really have?
In Blogwars, David D. Perlmutter examines this rapidly burgeoning phenomenon, exploring the degree to which blogs influence—or fail to influence—American political life. Challenging the hype, Perlmutter points out that blogs are not that powerful by traditional political measures: while bloggers can offer cogent and convincing arguments and bring before their readers information not readily available elsewhere, they have no financial, moral, social, or cultural leverage to compel readers to engage in any particular political behavior. Indeed, blogs have scored mixed results in their past political crusades. But in the end, Perlmutter argues that blogs, in their wide dissemination of information and opinions, actually serve to improve democracy and enrich political culture. He highlights a number of the particularly noteworthy blogs from the specialty to the superblog-including popular sites such as Daily Kos, The Huffington Post, Powerlineblog, Instapundit, and Talking Points Memo—and shows how blogs are becoming part of the tool kit of political professionals, from presidential candidates to advertising consultants. While the political future may be uncertain, it will not be unblogged.
For many Internet users, blogs are the news and editorial sites of record, replacing traditional newspapers, magazines, and television news programs. Blogwars offers the first full examination of this new and controversial force on America's political landscape.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Would blogs really matter that much, and if so would they alter the American political system for the better or worse? David Perlmutter, a professor of journalism at the University of Kansas, has plunged into cyberspace as both a researcher and blogger to look for answers...For readers unfamiliar with the political-blogging terrain, his book serves as a worthy introduction."—The Boston Globe

"A significant advance in the study of blogs...this book represents a major step forward in blogs being taken seriously and analyzed not simply as words on a computer screen but as a dynamic part of the political landscape."—DailyKos

"David Perlmutter 'gets' the blogosphere in a way that few outside observers do, going beyond the tired arguments about whether bloggers are damaging the civil debate by their partisanship and volume, about whether nonprofessional journalists and pundits should have a say in that debate, and about whether the phenomenon is just a flash in the pan. Perlmutter recognizes what these new media-blogs, YouTube, social networking sites-bring to the table: a reinvigoration of the public side of the public debate, a real and profound demonstration of the political process."—Joan McCarter (mcjoan), Contributing Editor, DailyKos

"Perlmutter's Blogwars is an impressive primer on the politics and political implications of the blogs and the blogosphere."—Kathleen Jamieson, University of Pennsylvania

"David D. Perlmutter seizes lasting truths from the phantasmagorical whirl created by ever-new communication technologies. Blogwars makes a lasting contribution to our understanding of politics and the Internet, while establishing Perlmutter as a pioneer and important voice in modern political communication scholarship."—Steven Livingston, George Washington University

"An experienced blogger himself, David Perlmutter has without question written the most comprehensive book to date on blogs in American politics. This volume is essential for anyone who wants to understand the history and impact of blogs, as well as the critical role bloggers have played and will play in the electoral campaigns, and a must-read for anyone interested in politics in general."—Robert E. Denton, Virginia Tech

"Books on blogs by bloggers vastly overstate their case and overpromote their cause. David Perlmutter, however, puts blogs in the proper perspective, giving an insightful and highly useful account of how blogs actually are changing American politics as a new tool in a growing arsenal of weapons for political operatives and pundits."—Erick-Woods Erickson, Editor, RedState.com

"David Perlmutter brings the analytical bent of a scholar on the phenomenon of blogging. As a lover of news as well as the new, he also brings a fan's passion to the subject. I am most grateful for both the scholarly perspective and the fan's passion."-Scott. W. Johnson, powerlineblog.com

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195305579
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/7/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 9.50 (w) x 6.50 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

David D. Perlmutter is a Professor and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research at the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Kansas. Author or editor of four books on politics and the media, his writings have also appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, International Herald Tribune, USA Today, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He is a former board member of the American Association of Political Consultants. He is editor of the blog of the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas (http://www.doleinstituteblog.org/).

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Table of Contents

Preface     xi
Beyond the Blog "Revolution"     3
From Cybercommunity to Blogland     49
The Ascent of Blogs     61
Mercuries and Wisebots: External Political Roles of Bloggers     109
"My Fellow Blogging Americans": Internal Political Roles of Bloggers     149
Afterpost: Continue the Conversation     205
Notes     213
Index     237
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