A modest proposal
Two stories about blogs in the paper today! What’s gone wrong? Have we flipped?
One is about the Obama’s web designer; the other about the blogger who was given the full-press treatment by Ryanair’s stormtroopers, who called him a lunatic among other things.It’s timely for this reason.
I am starting to do research for a longish feature in April about the growth of the influence of web and mobile technology, social networking, youtube, twitter, blogging etc on the world of politics.The basic premise that I’m starting off with (though I may be proved wrong on this) is that its influence is growing here in Ireland but that we still lag behind other countries (America by a lot; other larger European countries by a little).
And if you were to apply the power of the new forms of communication to electoral outcomes in Ireland until now, their influence has been marginal.But it’d it make a difference in the Lisbon referendum last year? Can we see big changes in the run-up to the elections and referendum? How have political parties adapted to the change? Have we seen ground-up movements or lobby groups make a difference on the net or through blogging in Ireland?Or are newspapers and TV and billboards still ultimately where things are at in terms of the important political messages?Extraordinary things happen on the blogosphere. And it has served brilliantly as an outlet to let smart and engaged people in society give vent to their views. It’s great for journalists like me to get feedback (and some of it stunningly on-the-pulse); to be put in my place from time to time; to be given a yellow card for holding woolly views to allowing too many typos or to putting lazy assumptions out there). I would appreciate people’s views and would also be grateful for being pointed in particular directions that are interesting, quirky or pioneering. I intend to do the research in a non-traditional method, ie by means of the the media I am writing about. And though the feature will appear in dead wood, I think I’ll chat with the relevant people in the IT to make its presentation a little more expansive… maybe by doing on online special..
By the way, Genevieve Carbery has a piece on how the party’s websites are gearing up for the local elections in Saturday’s Weekend section.