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Mandate Media: Digital Strategy for People Changing the World
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Candidates that Blog

With bloggers everywhere chatting about politics, connecting people around issues, and hassling politicians and media alike, some political campaigns in 2004 decided to start their own blogs.

Here's the rub: Too many 'official' blogs suck. They're more like stacks of press releases or, worse, ghost-written drivel that goes out over the name of the candidate.

Daniel Terdiman, writing in Wired Magazine (Longing for a Blogging Candidate) argues that campaigns "have yet to discern a way to incorporate blogs in any meaningful way. ... most candidates are missing the boat on what could be a powerful political tool."

Why's that? By engaging directly with voters, candidates can illustrate their openness to the public. By engaging supporters, they can generate goodwill, excitement, buzz, and yes, money and volunteers.

Ed Cone (of EdCone.com) argues that it's not going to happen at the presidential level, but rather a local politician first. "It's going to be from the ground up, not some big-name person deciding to do it."

Ed, meet Randy Leonard - a city commissioner in Portland, Oregon hearing out his constituents on BlueOregon.com. As Commissioner Leonard has discovered, sometimes you might even learn something from the blogosphere.