More D.C. blog readers

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One thing I heard a lot in Boston during the DNC was people telling me sotto voce that they or their staff or someone on their team or “everyone here” reads blogs.
I was told by one Senate committee staffer that they have a person in their office monitoring relevant blogs at all times, and are sometimes a ble to pick up on timely insights immediately. This alone should be reason enough for the various political and law bloggers to keep fighting the good fight.
Daniel Drezner notes from a WaPo White House Briefing by Dan Froomkin that the administration’s web content fellow reads blogs as well: danieldrezner.com :: Daniel W. Drezner :: Yeah, this’ll probably need to go into the revised blog paper:

Two of the most seminal features of blogs are interaction with readers and immediacy. And the White House Web site under Orr, an enthusiastic 37-year-old press office staffer, has already taken some steps in that direction.
White House Interactive is generally updated daily with a new e-mail question from the public and an answer, typically from someone fairly high up in the White House staff….
A while back, Orr was his own guest on “Ask the White House” One questioner raised the topic of blogging. And it turns out Orr’s a fan.
“Bloggers are very instrumental. They are important. They can lead the news. And they’ve been underestimated,” he wrote.
“Here’s what the bloggers do. They notice something in the news or something they’ve observed that maybe the ‘traditional’ media hasn’t covered or isn’t spending much time on. But they think it is significant. So, they give the story a second life (or first). And they talk about it. And others talk about it. Before you know it, it is leading the news.”

Why are most popular political bloggers men?

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The Columbia Journalism Review’s Campaign Desk blog recently ran an interesting article treading that familiar territory of comparing the abundance of public-minded outspoken masculine weblogs with the paucity of famous political blogs by women. The author of The Blogosphere: Boys ‘n’ Their Toys (even the title is reminiscent of the title of a Shelley Powers essay from last year) interviews or quotes a number of the leading blog commentators, from Reynolds to Shirky to Blood and discovers that (1) the blogosphere is not as much of a meritocracy as it is often portrayed and (2) female bloggers seem less interested in focusing exclusively on politics.
The most amusing comment comes from Reynolds:

“Men are programmed to show off to impress women and impress other men, and so blogs where you can be outspoken are naturally appealing to them – although if anybody thinks blogs are impressing women,” he adds, almost parenthetically, “they’re in trouble.”