The Daily Blog

As a longtime viewer of both shows, it is both surprising and easy to understand why The Daily Show and The Colbert Report have garnered such a large and loyal following. They utilize a methodology that is familiar to bloggers: filtering through a number of “news stories” and providing a provocative caption for the action. The back-to-back shows have become “must see TV” for many viewers that are dissatisfied with mainstream sources of information, again a common reason that people flock to blogs for insight.

The current issue of The Rolling Stone features Stewart and Colbert on the cover, bearing the title “America’s Anchors.” The interview itself demonstrates the utter ease with which the duo uncovers the humor of any situation, from the moment that Maureen Dowd set the recorder down: “’I had one like that in 1973,’ Colbert notes. ‘I thought it was a chaise,’ Stewart says. ‘I was going to lie down on it. I suppose there are two gerbils in there slowly paddling, and that’s moving the wheel.’” Wrote Dowd, “He asks if I also brought a calligrapher.”

Just this week, The Daily Show made note of CNN’s interviews with various bloggers at a so-called “blog party.” Clearly amused by the situation, Stewart commented that the occasion was short on “party” and long on “blogging,” and enjoyed that CNN was asking a blogger about blogging who was at a blog party, following it up with the comment that they would probably “talk about the interview on their blog later.”

And while there are certainly “fan sites” for both shows, there is actually a bona fide blog for fans of The Colbert Report which was established “to aggregate topical news articles and buzz from the blogosphere featuring Stephen Colbert into a comprehensive web site, as well as to feature archived articles, videos and other files for reference and educational purposes.” [Read more…]

Should Book Authors Blog?

I begin my new Oxford University Press book BLOGWARS by claiming, only half facetiously, that there are good reasons not to write a book on political blogs and the rise of interactive social media’s role in campaigns, elections, and public affairs and policy-making. My analogy is that d escribing political blogging in a book that took three years to research and write and another year to publish is like reporting a NASCAR race with stone tablets. I think I captured the origins of politicking via social media like blogs (and now YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, etc.) through October 2007, and so far my predictions of the 2008 race have been pretty good. New stuff is happening so fast, though, that it’s hard to keep up.

But that is the point: A blogger’s work is never done, nor, I hope, is that of a student of blogs. Bloggers cannot coast or rest on their laurels; their readers will abandon them or, worse, ask why they are failing them. Blogs are always unfinished, their work always to be continued, revised, and extended later. Books are supposed to be different. In a sense all books are orphans. Only in some screwball comedy movie is it possible for an author to change his mind and run into bookstores and add new material.

With BLOGWARS, however, Oxford Press’ author’s blog and the Internet allow me to “follow up” in a way that previous generations of authors could only do in second editions. In a way, it has to be so. The age of the author writing the non-fiction book and walking away from her re aders is dead: long live the afterpost! I say this knowing it is against the instincts of most authors, including me: When I finish a book (BLOGWARS is my seventh) I want to walk away and be done with it…but that model of authorship can’t sustain itself anymore. If you want to write non-fiction nowadays you have to keep writing it long after the bookstores have your tome on the shelf. [Read more…]

Medical & Health Blogs (Medblogs)

Taking off from my work on political blogs I am now looking at health and medical blogs. I had noticed them over the years, especially ones by students and friends (see below). On March 26, 2008 I spoke to the “Grand Rounds” Public Health seminar at the KU Medical School and simulcast to online participants at other Kansas Public Health Departments. My presentation was titled “PAGING DR. BLOG! Nontraditional Sources of Health Information.” It was a study of how blogs and other social-interactive media are changing the dissemination and reception of health information for both the public and health practitioners.

Medical blogs (medblogs) fall into certain categories:

(1) Personal Illness MedBlogs: blogs written or edited by people suffering from a specific disease, condition, or injury.

These can be:

(a) First-Person

  • Focus is on self, really for personal processing of illness.
  • Started by one or very few people who are ill.
  • Emphasis is on personal “I” in writing style and topics.
  • Often contains self-encouragement.
  • Often contains a chronology or updates of treatment.

Example: lifebeyondlupus


Hi! I was diagnosed with systemic lupus in 2003. My health challenges forced me to leave behind a career as a social worker, professional musician, and superwoman. My life is quieter now. Come join me on this journey. [Read more…]

Hippocratic Oath for Medical & Health Webloggers (medbloggers)

As noted in my previous post I am now looking at the world of medical & health weblogs (Medblogs). One very important issue for medblogs resonates with a controversy in political blogging world: codes of ethics. Mary Schoen, one my students and I did a study of ethics codes in among political bloggers. In brief, we found very few had formal codes or even thought that they needed to have them.

For health care professional who blog, the ethical issues are much acute. So I am working on an adaptation of the Hippocratic Oath to apply to the medblogger.

Question: Should professionas who are MedBloggers take a Special Hippocratic Oath? [Read more…]

Citizen Journalism Workshop: BlogWorld & New Media Expo 2008

If you are a blogger, hope to see you in Vegas! I am helping organize the workshop below.

Citizen Journalism Workshop

An Exclusive Event at BlogWorld & New Media Expo 2008

Date : Sept. 19, 2008 – 10:00AM – 4:45PM
Location : Las Vegas Convention Ctr.


As blogs take their place as legitimate and respected sources for news, information and analysis, BLOGWORLD & NEW MEDIA EXPO 2008 introduces a new Citizen Journalism Workshop.
There are about 112 millions weblogs worldwide, and while many are blogging for casual reasons or for just a short time, others, especially news and information bloggers, are serious about their blogs’ success in the greater marketplace of ideas.
How can someone “break in” as a news, politics or current events blogger and build a readership, get attention from major bloggers and mass media, and more important perhaps, affect or influence the traditional press agenda, politics, and public opinion?
Traditional news media outlets and bloggers have not always had the best relationship. And yet traditional media has tried to learn from the blogs. In 2008 most mainstream media outlets have blogs, or have their journalists blogging independently.
Now it’s time for the bloggers and other new media journalists to mine the history, tradition and most importantly, the knowledge base of traditional journalists.
In 2008 BLOGWORLD & NEW MEDIA EXPO 2008 is introducing a journalism training certificate workshop for bloggers seeking to deepen and broaden their skills. This workshop focuses on tools and skills news and information bloggers can use to improve the quality, and impact of their blogs.
Bloggers will learn techniques of traditional journalists, including styles of opinion writing, investigative reporting techniques and fact-sourcing, avoiding legal pitfalls, and tips on what makes a post most likely to get one quoted or cited by larger blogs and even the mainstream media.
The instructors for the sessions are accomplished news & information practitioners and educators who have established skills in practical and applied areas of professional journalism training. Participants will receive a Citizen Journalism Certificate and Web icon that will allow them to display their dedication to improving their journalistic skills, and providing them with a distinct brand differentiation from the millions of other news and information bloggers. [Read more…]

Perlmutter Interviewed on KUCR Public Radio

bB editor David Perlmutter was a panelist on the “Up to Date” show on KCUR Public Radio in Kansas City. Host Steve Kraske led a roundtable discussion of journalism and politics. The other guests were the Kansas City Star readers’ representative Derek Donovan and Bottom Line Communications head John Landsberg.

Originally posted September 13, 2008 at PolicyByBlog

Perlmutter Speech at the Society for Scholarly Publishing

David Perlmutter gave the Keynote Speech at the Society for Scholarly Publishing Top Management Roundtable Conference, Philadelphia, PA, September 4. The topic: ” How Blogging Is Changing Our World: The Lessons from Politics.

Some links:

Originally posted September 16, 2008 at PolicyByBlog

Paleolithic Blogs

Dave (askdavetaylor) Taylor gave the Keynote address of the Executive & Entrepreneur track at the Blogworld & New Media Expo 2008 in Las Vegas. (I am here as track director for the Citizen Journalism Workshop). Mr. Taylor made the comment that from the very beginning media–such as early cave paintings–has been biased in that it reflected what the creators wanted to show and not what they did not want to show.

Interestingly I discussed this point in my book Visions of War (St. Martin’s, 1999) which looked at the history of pictures of war. I noted that cave paintings, like those at Lascaux, France were the first physical “medium” of communications outside of the human body. They date back to the appearance of us–anatomically modern humans–and flourished during the Upper Paleolithic (Old Stone Age) era about 35,000 to 12,000 years. Interestingly, when researchers have counted the scenes, flora, and fauna represented in the images on caves you see a huge “bias.” There are very few images of “gathering” or small animals or fish.

On the other hand, overrepresented are big-game animals that weigh more than 100 pounds: bison, Mammoths, deer. They are attractive animals–from carnivore’s perceptive. Many are hugely bloated. These animals do not match the surveys researchers have done of the actual faunal life in the area of the caves. “La Grotte de Cent Mammouths” is one example: there are some 158 or more pictures of Mammoths but only a few Mammoth teeth testify the big animals were very scarce in the neighborhood. [Read more…]

Perlmutter Speaks on American Political Blogging to Europeans (Dept. of State)

I just finished up a U.S. Department of State speaking tour of the Netherlands and Germany. Interest in American politics, new media and this election was VERY high.

For more on the events in Munich–sponsored by the U.S. Consulate–go here.

My different events and speeches:

David D. Perlmutter. Panelist: Discussion on the Presidential Debates, Munich Conference on “U.S. Elections 2008: The Digital Campaign” at the German-American Institute, Munich, Germany, October 8, 2008.

David D. Perlmutter. Keynote speaker on “Blogwars: The New Political Battleground,” Munich Conference on “U.S. Elections 2008: The Digital Campaign” at the German-American Institute, Munich, Germany, October 8, 2008.

David D. Perlmutter. Keynote speaker on “Overview of the New Media Landscape,” Munich Conference on “U.S. Elections 2008: The Digital Campaign,” on German Public Radio, Munich, Germany, October 7, 2008.

David D. Perlmutter. Presentation on “U.S. Elections and New Media” at the German-American Institute, Nürnberg, Germany, October 6, 2008.

David D. Perlmutter. Presentation on “U.S. Elections and New Media” at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, Netherlands, October 3, 2008. [Read more…]

A Slow (or Bright) Blog Manifesto

It ought also to be said that he was immensely painstaking. [When he made] Broad and powerful statements…they were no mere assertions, but the product of countless hours of research into the minutiae of the subject. Even by the usual scrupulous standards of comparative philology, Tolkien was extraordinary in this respect. His concern for accuracy cannot be overemphasized, and it was doubly valuable because it was coupled with a flair for detecting patterns and relations. ‘Detecting’ is a good word, for it is not too great a flight of fancy to picture him as a linguistic Sherlock Holmes, presenting himself with an apparently disconnected series of facts and deducing from them the truth about some major matter. He also demonstrated his ability to ‘detect’ on a simpler level, for when discussing a word or phrase with a pupil he would cite a wide range of comparable forms and expressions in other languages.*

I have been thinking lately about these words written by a biographer of J.R.R. Tolkien, the master-builder of the Lord of the Rings universe and great scholar of language. For the past several months, I have been traveling, giving speeches about blogging and other online social-interactive media (OSIM) and Campaign 2008. Either in person or in tele-video or Webchat connections, I have spoken to groups in Germany, the Netherlands, the Philippines, and Afghanistan. In the United States, my audiences have varied widely, from high school teachers to the New England Journal of Medicine.


All ask the question: Where can we go to get trustworthy information?

In some ways, the great communications conceptual issue of the 20th century was that of access: Up through the early 1990s, to speak to large audiences, to have any real voice in public life, you either made do with an audience of your peers in a Norman Rockwell-like town hall meeting or you had to be a discourse elite. These latter were journalists, politicians, government staffers, celebrities and influential rich folk who made up the Golden Rolodex of who appeared and spoke on the narrow range of news, information, and political outlets then available. Now, hundreds of millions of people have potential access to a global audience through OSIM from blogs to MySpace, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr and many, many other venues. Not only can we create content—that is, be both a sender and receiver of information (what I call an “interactor”)—but also we can affect the popularity of other content through interfaces ranging from blogrolls to our google search histories to thepreference engines of DIGG and others. [Read more…]