May 02, 2008

Kevin Drum, on the "power" of the blogosphere:
If the respective left and right blogospheres had any real say in things, would we be looking at a McCain vs. Obama contest in November? Or McCain vs. Hillary? We would not. It would be Giuliani vs. Edwards, or maybe Romney vs. Dodd. The blogosphere is good at raising modest sums of money, and it likewise plays a modest role at the congressional level, but its influence on the national stage appears to be pretty close to nil. That was true in 2004, when Kerry won the Democratic nomination, and it appears to still be true four years later.
I think that's about right. Obama didn't really excite any of the Kool Kidz on the left until Super Tuesday; Edwards was the candidate who made the most conscientious effort to woo bloggers during the run-up to Iowa. And I'm not aware of any popular conservative blogger who backed McCain; even now, most of them are more anti-Obama than enthusiastic backers of the presumptive Republican nominee.

However, there is more to the netroots than just the blogs at the top of the Technorati 100. Even if bloggers like Kos were slow to warm to Obama, other bloggers were much more enthusiastic; even if their daily hits were a fraction of Daily Kos or Atrios, their combined totals were more impressive. Obama has been the most effective in raising funds over the internet, in large part because he pursued a "long tail" strategy concerning the blogosphere.

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