This website began as an extension of a book–BLOGWARS–that I am writing about political blogs. But blogs are forever unfinished, their work always to be continued, revised, and extended later. Describing political blogging in a book that takes a year (and now much more!) to research and write and another to publish is like giving NASCAR commentary via stone tablets. Snapshots of the big picture of blogs will be dated by the time you read the book. But that is the point: A blogger’s work is never done, nor, I hope, is that of a student of blogs. You post an item but you cannot then triumphantly declare your mission completed as you could with a printed book or an academic journal article. Your blog readership, if you have one, expects you to return again and again to old issues or to move on to new ones. You cannot coast or rest on your laurels; your readers will abandon you or, worse, ask why you are failing them. That implied ellipsis at the end of every essay or post in a blog, of course, is one of the crucial features of blogstyle and content that make it often a joint enterprise rather than a monologue.
That said, BLOGWARS is now up on the Oxford website and is scheduled for April 2007 release! No one who has not written a book can understand the romance of seeing your ISBN for the first time:
ISBN10: 0195305574 hardback, 256 pages
The moderate price, $20.00, reflects that it is being pubbed by the trade division of Oxford. It would have been $90.00 if it was classified as an “academic” text–but then it would have been a different book.
The Capsule Description Reads:
Political blogs have grown astronomically in the last half-decade. In just one month in 2005, for example, popular blog DailyKos received more unique visitors than the population of Iowa and New Hampshire combined. But how much political impact do bloggers really have?
In Blogwars , David D. Perlmutter examines this rapidly burgeoning phenomenon, exploring the degree to which blogs influence–or fail to influence–American political life. Challenging the hype, Perlmutter points out that blogs are not that powerful by traditional political measures: while bloggers can offer cogent and convincing arguments and bring before their readers information not readily available elsewhere, they have no financial, moral, social, or cultural leverage to compel readers to engage in any particular political behavior. Indeed, blogs have scored mixed results in their past political crusades. But in the end, Perlmutter argues that blogs, in their wide dissemination of information and opinions, actually serve to improve democracy and enrich political culture. He highlights a number of the particularly noteworthy blogs from the specialty to the superblog–including popular sites such as Daily Kos, The Huffington Post, Powerlineblog, Instapundit, and Talking Points Memo–and shows how blogs are becoming part of the tool kit of political professionals, from presidential candidates to advertising consultants. While the political future may be uncertain, it will not be unblogged.
For many Internet users, blogs are the news and editorial sites of record, replacing traditional newspapers, magazines, and television news programs. Blogwars offers the first full examination of this new and controversial force on America’s political landscape.
Originally posted August 30, 2006 at PolicyByBlog