Greenberger, Peter. “How Tweets influence political donations: New Twitter study with Compete”. 12 Oct. 2012. Web. 24 Oct 2013.
This article is written by Twitter’s Director of political ad sales. This article brings something different, compared to the other articles, because instead of talking about influence, it talks about something that is easier to measure, money. The article includes a graph created from tracking #debates on twitter during the presidential debates. Data from twitter shows that the average twitter user is 68% more likely to visit a campaign donation page, compared to the average internet user. Those exposed to political tweets are almost twice as likely as other twitter users to visit donation pages. The author chalks this up to influence of tweets and exposure. He also states that it is not the party, but the frequency of engagement that political twitters tweet that determines their donation rates. This goes to show that political blogs are starting to influence people, more than the previous loyalty to 2 party system has. Political blogs are changing the way politics are run and is shifting the power.
Social media is media platform that allows people to interact with another through a certain channel. Comparability, other forms of media are forms of communication that do not show direct interaction. For example books, movie, and tv are all forms of communication a message, but what makes social media different is that unlike all these other forms, you can continually interact and give feedback to the people who communicate with you. The method of communication is much less linear in social media. Social media creates networks that allow people to talk and directly share information with people over the platform.
A blog is one form of social media. A blog allows the blogger to relay information to his followers, who are also able to comment and directly provide feedback to him. In addition a lot of blogging platforms have whole networks that allow users to view each others’ blogs and interact on different levels. Within these networks are also different sub-networks relating to different interests that allow people to communicate with like-minded individuals. By creating a space for people to share information and interact, blogs can be defined as a form of social media.
Adams, Daniel. “Will social media influence election votes?”. Fairfax NZ News 2013. Web. 17 Oct 2013.
This article is written in reference to New Zealand politics, so it may slightly differ from what happens in the United States. I wanted to include it because it argues for the opposite of what many of my other articles argue; it claims social media does not have a major influence in politics. The article goes on to say that support on social media did not translate to more votes on recent elections. Social media is only important in spreading more awareness of little known issues, rather than convincing people to sway from their original beliefs. Only when the race is extremely tight does social media contribute a meaningful factor to politics. “However, using the number of Facebook friends as an explanatory variable, only 16.7 per cent of election winners were predicted correctly.” This shows that internet popularity is not always equal to popularity, as social media users only make up a certain portion of the voting population.
The blog is not in linear form. In my mind, linear form refers to things placed directly one after another, with a common theme in progression. In her book, Ellen Lupton describes how forms of media are “attacks on linearity” because of their refusal to adhere to a “one-way stream of discourse”. I agree, because although a blog is generally written in short vertically aligned posts, there are many variations to the way it can be written. These variations can completely deviate from the one-way stream of discourse, while it may also hold true to it. In addition, each blog has it’s own header, pictures, outside links, categories and pages that further increase its entropy. This is completely different from the stripped down, bare form that defines linearity in Lupton’s terms.
There are cases where being linear is preferable. It is the fastest way to get all the information you are looking for, without any sort of hindrance. Some blogs may want to adopt linearity or come close to it, when the message is the only thing that matters. You want to get the point across as fast as possible. However, in most cases linearity can appear bland and unappetizing. Blogs always look better when they are dressed up and formatted in a way that the reader can navigate to specifics. This also prevents the reader from getting bored, which can easily happen in linear forms.
Smolkin, Rachel. “The Expanding Blogosphere” American Journalism Review. June/July 2004.
In this article, the author discusses the rise of political blogging. This is an older article from back in 2004, before blogs were considered a main source of information for people. It talks about how established news organizations are hiring political bloggers or creating their own. The author makes the point that mainstream media, which used to be the focus of contempt by political bloggers, has stuck its hand into blogging. The author also talks about the differences between the attitude in journalism and blogging. With bloggers capable of fixing and editing posts right away, they are more likely to spew information without fear for accuracy. Blogs are also able to provide instant reactions compared to journalism, which makes it a more visceral for the reader. Bloggers are also free from the institutionalization of journalism which gives them more a lot more freedom with what they can express. However, the author also notes how bloggers have to put something unique out there to attract an audience, compared to mainstream journalism which already has one established. The author ends the article with some speculation as to how the expanding blogosphere will effect the state of media in the future. Looking now, almost a decade later, the internet is saturated with all types of blogs, both amateur and those run by major news outlets and institutions.
Hyperbole and a Half is probably one of my favorite blogs. I find myself constantly laughing as I read and sometimes quoting it in conversation with people. It is a blog with mostly humorous posts. It uses an unlikely combination of excellent writing and really campy looking pictures that are clearly drawn with ms paint. The dichotomy between the detailed blurbs between images and the childish text that is part of the image enhances both of them. The posts are laid out in a strictly vertical fashion, so as you scroll down, the “story” progresses.
The writing style has a very strong and identifiable voice that is humorous in an deadpan and neurotic way. However, an almost separate but still identifiable voice is present in the text contained in the pictures. She also makes great use of sentence variety to build up a rhythm for reading, ranging from punchy to long and lingering. Sometimes there will be paragraphs of text between images, other times there will only be one short sentence. All the writing is carefully written and fits into the idea or theme of the post. All the writing is organized in a chronological and anecdotal fashion.
Karpf, Dave. “Measuring Influence In The Political Blogosphere: Who’s Winning And How Can We Tell?” Institute For Politics, Democracy & The Internet
This article is helpful for my paper because it focuses on ranking the influence the different blogs that are out there based on index, using the Blogosphere Authority Index (BAI). This article is written from the perspective of a Democrat and acknowledges the dominance of the progressive spectrum on the internet. The author goes on to explain his reasoning for how he developed his system for ranking. He then shows which categories he gives people ratings on and puts together a list of the most popular blogs and their rating. The article is presented almost in a manner similar to the lab report of a scientific experiment, a format that I am personally very familiar with. It also includes his reasoning on why he thinks the progressive side of the blogosphere is more successful with this. Similar to the bandwagon mentality seen on many social media sites, does the overabundance of liberal blogs influence political purely through mass exposure?