Democrats break into blogosphere; Likely ’08 hopefuls walk fine line between liberal base, mainstream,” Eric Pfeiffer, The Washington Times.

Liberal blogs, long the domain of mostly angry political junkies, have elbowed their way into the political process, especially among mainstream Democrat legislators forced to court the online activists popular among their party’s vocal base.

“Blog Rage,” Jim Brady, The Washington Post.

Blogs play a crucial role in the national conversation, whether it’s giving readers insight into a specific topic, providing a forum for healthy debate or holding the media’s feet to the fire. Bloggers have indisputably helped fan controversy over a CBS memo on a broadcast about President Bush’s National Guard service, publicize then Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott’s comments on Strom Thurmond and spread word of a contentious speech by CNN executive Eason Jordan. What’s distressing about my recent experience is that a small number of highly partisan, energetic bloggers poisoned the debate instead of contributing to it. Some of those angry about Howell’s error didn’t bother to present all the facts on their own sites. Instead, they picked the facts that conveniently fit their worldviews and ignored anything that didn’t.

“Podcasts, blogs help school district stay ahead of curve,” Jane Hawes, The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio).

The blogs and podcasts are all part of a drive to improve connectivity, of the high-tech and social sort, throughout the 10,805-student southern Delaware County district. Educators are wise to tap into these technologies, said Will Richardson, a self-styled “blog-vangelist” from Flemington, N.J., where he is the technology supervisor at Hunterdon Central Regional High School. Richardson, who has a book about using Web tools in the classroom coming out this spring, said he’s been keeping an “edu-blog” for more than four years and guiding his district’s use of blogs for three.

Russian LiveJournal: National specifics in the development of a virtual community,” Eugene Gorny (Oxford/London).

Although the Russian LiveJournal (RLJ) community constitutes a significant part of the LJ blogging community, it has hardly been studied and was a blind spot in blogging research. Sometimes researchers overtly admit that they exclude non-English blogs from their analysis, and more often this omission is accepted by default. The apparent reason of this exclusion is the language and cultural barrier. Taking advantage of his marginal position of trickster in-between Russian-language Internet culture and English-language Internet research, Eugene Gorny tries to fill this scholarly gap. He approaches the complicated issue of the correlation between the global and the local, the national and the universal, the general and the particular in the electronically mediated world, using the Russian blogging community as a case study.

Originally posted February 21, 2006 at PolicyByBlog

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