Friday, March 03, 2006

Getting the Message Out

For you politicos out there, a new site for your blogrolls ...

Getting the Message Out is a nonpartisan blog by my better half, Kathy Mitchell, on the subject of online campaigning - an especially hot topic in the political season.
She runs the online campaigns for Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports magazine.

Kathy's web organizing and now blogging have been getting a lot of attention: she's spoken on the subject at several conferences and had a recent item
re-posted on Micah Sifry's Personal Democracy Forum. In this post she summarizes a study of online campaigning by consultants at M&R Strategic Services, while here and here she gives tips on redesigning an activist website. As an organizing tool, she thinks email is more important than blogging. (I discussed my own views on blogging and organizing here.)

Speaking of blogging, Kathy also points to an interesting report on web credibility published last fall that found just 1 in 8 readers, 12%, think the information they read in blogs is mostly credible, even though 27% of the public had recently visited one or more blog.
One in five, or 21% thought that blogs were NEVER or almost never accurate!

I find that really interesting because I view many blogs as MORE credible than the MSM in this sense: In the newspaper, I must trust the reporter and I usually don't. With blogs, the writer links to their sources and I can decide for myself what I think. I also like that
commenters can punch holes in bloggers' arguments, while other blogs provide competing views. I'm naturally skeptical and even if they provide links I don't assume a blog is credible, obviously, but that's the beauty: I get to make that judgment, not some know-it-all newspaper editor.

What do you guys think? Are blogs a good source of information?


Steve said...

What do you guys think? Are blogs a good source of information?

It's like anything else - blogs come in a wide variety. Some blogs are useful sources of information and others are ... not.

What worries me about blogs is that they tend to facilitate Cas Sunstein's echo chamber, of which I see signs in myself. Being concious of the echo chamber motivates me to try to counter the effect by deliberately visiting blogs expressing views different from those I tend toward. It's tough, though. In fact, I just can't stand reading most of that junk!

Anonymous said...

your blog is a good source of information.. a lot of the political blogs out there though are just op-eds where you are allowed to curse.. it helps that you are a professional in the area you blog about..