week 9 – organizational and political communication

Discussion: the impact of blogging technologies on traditional communication


  • Reading summary
  • Discussion
  • Project time


Quote (Charles)
I know that most of the time there is a perceived level of objectivity in news reporting, but these things don’t happen in a vacuum and someone’s opinion is bound to influence stories. I think we recognize that as readers and it is therefore only natural that we find blogs to be more authentic and credible as a result. At least it’s clear which way political bias leans in blogs and it makes it easier for readers to understand how a post may be skewed.
Quote (Glenn)
I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the future of mainstream media begins to look a little less like a circus, and more like organizations who have to compete with more raw, real, and altogether better, though smaller, news sources. In competition, in my world I’m painting in my mind, mainstream media will start concentrating on  unfettered, hard news. Pandering to drama will become a thing of the past.
Quote (Kimberly)
Politics makes me sad. It really does. I get very frustrated because politics is all about getting your way and doing what’s best for the people whose hands are in your pockets, not the people you represent.
Quote (Megan)
The million dollar question is, how do we integrate the web 2.0 into the existing structure? My personal opinion (and I’m pretty sure the economy would crash, again, if this advice were to be followed), is that it shouldn’t… The change I am suggesting is not just that we give up on local papers and local news channels – but we need a bigger culture shift. Be comfortable with listening to something and give credence to words and ideas and thoughts and feelings that come from something other than CNN and ‘brought to you by…’ pictures. It’s different than our parents past, and different from their parents. This is still the infancy of the Web 2.0 revolution, and right now it’s only the media that we are discussing, but we are in an in-between stage right now, and it isn’t far enough. I’m willing to walk down that path, because the only other option is to turn back.


  1. Andrea on Graham
  2. Ava on Dana [KG -> point out benefits of themes that provide permalinks for comments]
  3. Ben on Graham
  4. Benjamin on Charles
  5. Charles on Tim
  6. Cheryl on Glenn
  7. Doug on Charles
  8. Glenn on Charles
  9. Graham on Kimberly
  10. Jasmina on Katie
  11. John on Tasha
  12. Katie on ChrisA
  13. Kimberly on Ava and Zach
  14. Megan on John
  15. Shelby on John
  16. Tim on Graham
  17. Zach on Kimberly 

Discussion leaders

Quote (Ben):
I’m glad the author referenced the @BPGlobalPR Twitter feed at the height of the Gulf oil spill. To me, reading that every day, was like taking Jon Stewart, The Onion and Twitter, and mashing it with our collective frustrations and need to cope with the insanity and stupidity.
Quote (Graham)
My Grandpa is a retired politician. He retired about 20 years ago. I remember finding a bunch of pot holders in an old box at his house when I was a kid.  They were red, white and blue and they had his name on them, along with a small elephant silhouette. That was part of campaigning back then. When I asked him about the pot holders he said, “The idea was to try to get women votes.” Because of course that’s what a man of his age would say.
Quote (Katie)
The second finding I was intrigued by stated that blog readers perceive blogs as a more credible source of news than any other medium, including newspapers, TV, and radio news.  One of the reasons for this is because complex information is presented in a manner that is understandable and relevant to their audience.  That is the exact reason that if I were to want to start following political news, I’d turn to blogs.

1. Discussion questions (small groups and then larger group)

  • Why might readers perceive blogs as more credible than traditional news sources?
  • How has politics been affected by social media?

2. Tips questions (small groups – summarize and comment on this blog post w/group member names)

  • How do you find blog(s) that you follow? [political or otherwise]
  • How do you evaluate a blog [political or otherwise] before committing and subscribing to it?

Your questions

  • How do you find blog(s) that you follow? [political or otherwise]
  • There was a study finding in the “Why Blog?” paper that stated that blog readers perceive blogs as a more credible source of news than any other news medium.  Why do you think this to be true? (If you even think it’s true.)
  • What do you think it would be like [what would it take!] if something as big as CNN just completely abandoned television and went fully digital?
  • What does it mean that politics has been affected by social media?
  • How does politically concentrated blogging activities compare with offline participation in politicians campaigning for office?
  • How do you evaluate a political blog (before committing and subscribing to it!)?

From comments

  • what other arguments are there that support separating amateurs from professional?
  • [flipped] how will formal news agencies affect blogging?
  • Why does a political candidate get positive attention for taking full advantage of social media, when they likely don’t even know the login/password to their account?
  • What would encourage consumers to look past their preconceived ideas?
  • why do people never question the validity of anything in the media about politics? What gives them the “approval” stamp?
  • How can we awaken people to other conversations when they’re not necessarily wanting to be open in the first place?
  • What exactly makes a source credible?
  • what impact do you think is being made through using social media?


My questions/Assignment

Pick one of these questions and write post before we reconvene on Wednesday. Categorize as “assignment”

Project/lab time

  • Work on projects solo or with project team members or ask me questions

Leave a comment


  1. * Readers might find blogs more credible because of funding source and ownership
    * People who are blogging are vested in what they are saying because they care about the topic
    * People are close to the source – may be more credible than outsider
    * Easier to relate to
    * Focus/speciality
    * MSM source is an entity but a blogger is usually one person – possible to have a more human relationship
    * More convolution in MSM than in blogs

    * Mistakes travel faster (and live forever)
    * Idea of Votizen – political missionary
    * Cheryl’s preso – campaigns raising $ thru social – $1- $1.5 billion ads
    * Politicos stuck in campaign mode – soundbites
    * Easier to make fun (parody)
    * If you don’t have social media, you don’t exist

  2. Glenn Doom

     /  27 February 2012

    Glenn and Benjamin
    B: Other blogs I follow.
    G: The blog I write has helped me find blogs similar to mine and interesting to me.
    B: Scan it. The more often it posts, the more inundated I can get. I like to read most of it.
    G: Read it a little bit and see how they lean, what opinions they hold, if they can back up their ruminations with facts, or at least common sense.

  3. From Katie, Ava, and Cheryl:
    Find blogs by Facebook friend referrals (friends posting links to blog articles), Google’s blog search.
    Evaluating blogs: Look at the About page, author’s credentials, determine if you agree with the author’s opinion, how exciting do you find the material, does it keep your interest, blog ranking services, humor.

  4. John G

     /  27 February 2012

    Ben, Doug, & John

    How to find a blog:
    Aggregators, Affiliates, Bloga Rings, Recommendations

    How to judge a blog:
    Cited sources, do they have a voice, conversational tone, intimacy, less ads, no membership requirement, needs pictures

  5. Tim, Graham, Andrea

    -Search Google for topic, item, event(s) interested in learning more about
    -Finding/following a link from a friend
    -Through an article or post of related topic interest

    -They reflect us personally;opinions or otherwise.
    -Have regular and note worthy updates
    -Reading their about section; finding out who they are to create a connection
    -Whether it’s well written or not
    -Humorous or entertaining

  6. Find blogs through association with topics, authors and SME’s (subject matter experts), as well as their links to blogs that the people you read disagree with.
    Subscribe to a blog if your frequency of returning to a blog is high, frequency of their updates is high, do they have a comic – and is it funny?

  7. We (Jasmina, Zack, and Me) find the blogs that we follow from other social media sights, like YouTube or StumbleUpon. None of us use RSS feeds, but if they are on the same blog host we can follow them through that. None of us subscribed to blogs via email. If they are on a different blog host, I like to follow them on Facebook or Twitter so that it’s easy to see what’s new. Following them on Facebook and Twitter is my favorite. We all agreed that we looked for blogs that seemed trustworthy and gave honest advice and opinions. A clean, easy to read layout was also a must-have!


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