Three thoughts immediately come to mind. First, this is the latest example of the Democrats taking steps to embrace this new medium while the GOP appears to lag behind. There's no doubt in my mind that Republicans have the capacity to raise money via blogs - even outraise the Democrats - if they decide to devote time and resources to such an effort. They haven't yet.
"They are extending the 50-state strategy to include us, the bloggers, at the convention," Joan McCarter wrote at Daily Kos. "They are reserving 56 credentials for state and local bloggers, hoping that bloggers from all across the country (and territories) will come to Denver and cover the convention from their perspective."
State bloggers who want credentials must have been online six months and must have written at least 120 blog entries. They also must detail the depth of their audiences to the party, including their "authority" ranking via the Technorati blog search site. One credential could be shared by multiple bloggers for the same site. Credentials also will be reserved for national bloggers, niche bloggers who sometimes write about politics and video bloggers.
Second, the Democrats need to be careful with issuing "press credentials" and treating this crew as if they were journalists. Bloggers - specifically the bloggers that will receive credentials - are NOT journalists. They're raising money for candidates. The party is issuing one set of credentials to journalists, another to bloggers. These bloggers are raising more money than some, less than others. I wouldn't want to be the person who has to answer to the fundraiser who couldn't get into the convention because they didn't have a blog.
Finally, the Democrats seem to be depending a lot on Technorati if that's the tool they'll use to evaluate the heft of state and local bloggers. A "Technorati Rank" can be a relatively useful tool to evaluate a blog, but it can be easily manipulated. In short, your Technorati Rank depends almost exclusively on the number of blogs that link to yours in the last six months. If a decision has to be made between two state bloggers, what's to keep one of them from setting up a bunch of dummy blogs for the sole purpose of linking to the state political blog, raising its Technorati Rank?