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Kinsella: How to Get Votes Cast for Your Blog

Canadian author and blogger Warren Kinsella gave a talk at our Exploring the Fusion Power of Public and Participatory Journalism conference on how blogs, if they were candidates, could get elected. His talk, which we finally got transcribed, is filled with good information unless you accept Jay Rosen’s point of view. He has a very different take on what makes a great blog. We’ll hear from him and lots of other folks like Jeff Jarvis later because they too spoke at the conference.

Any how over the next couple of weeks, I will be posting bits and pieces of the transcribed notes. There will be plenty of good stuff, which at the end we will wrap up into a nicely downloadable package.

But since it’s election day, let’s start with Kinsella’s advice. So here today is Part I of:

If Blogs Were a Political Candidate, Here’s How to Get Them Elected

One of the things I do is run political campaigns in this country (Canada), so what I wanted to do is take a crack at blogs as a political commodity as if you were trying to get blogs elected, cause I’m not sure if blogs have been fully elected yet. And for the sake of argument, the Mainstream Media (MM) is the enemy. As I told the reporter last week, blogs are punk rock media, independent and anti-authority if they’re doing what they’re supposed to do. Thus a corporate blog is an oxymoron.

So the Daily Blog Campaign, like a political campaign, is organized around major questions. The first one is what’s the big deal about them? Second is who’s my target? Next, what’s your message? Why should anybody care? So, are blogs powerful? Most of us think so, but what do we say to the many skeptics.

You can say that they have significance:

(1.) Firstly, they’re free to do, free to use, and free to see. Free gives them an edge on the mainstream media.
(2.) They are proudly biased and do not play the objectivity game like the mainstream media, and we know that most readers and certainly most voters don’t believe the MM is in any way objective anyway.
(3.) They are easy to access. blogs are a potential 500 million-channel universe. They are a Hegelian dialectic. Shenk talks about a data smog, and I believe in that, they poked through that with the dialectic.
(4.) And they’re populist. says 55 percent of bloggers are doing it because they have a desire to inform., 67 percent because they have a desire to write, 75 percent because its fun, and 86 percent because they don’t want ads on site.
(5.) Google power. They’re significant because you do a search and they show up, infiltrating the mainstream. Specialists as well as generalists are welcome. Interactions are welcome.
(6.) Blogs invite criticism, queries and commentary.
(7.) They’re pithy as heck, and we all know the MM can be pedantic and long and boring.
(8.) And I guess this is the criticism, they’re rather faddish at the moment. So are blogs the next digital pet rock?

Someone said the Internet is the next vanity press for the demented, and maybe that guy’s here today. It’s a bunch of angry white males raging against Michael Moore in some corner of the ether, but I don’t think so. I think there’s some thing that we can do and should do to make sure they don’t go the way of hoola hoops and long darts.

My free tips on ensuring they last past Christmas:

It’s possible in a few years most of us will be embarrassed that we came to this conference. I found some old pictures of my wife in the garage wearing those shoulder pads. It could be the same thing, but I think there are some things we can do.

(1.) You tell a story, because facts tell a story and make it real for voters and readers because if your not communicating in stories you’re not communicating.

(2.) Brief, be brief. Your readers demand it; they don’t have time so the KISS-rule applies to the blogs in my opinion.

(3.) Leave no charge unanswered, and this is crucial in this 500-channel universe.

(4) Make it current and exciting for people.

See Part II of the Warren Kinsella’s advice tomorrow.

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