19 November 2007

Blog-friendly Democrats Depend on Technorati?

National Journal's Beltway Blogroll reports on the Democratic National Convention's work to accomodate bloggers -including state and local bloggers - in Denver next year:

"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.

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.

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?


Julie Pippert said...

This is really timely! Yesterday I vented about having to miss lunch with Barack Obama, not because I didn't get an invitation (I did) but because I didn't have the thousands of dollars the privilege required.

Oh, and I quoted you. :)

This is a step in the right direction but again here is the obsessive dependence upon Technorati ranking as a guide to who to select.

I've given up on the proven-to-be-flawed-and-
full-of-pitfalls-and-errors Technorati.

I think less looking for the "quick, independent, quantitative" guide and more" spend a little time reviewing the blogs."

The personal touch is a far better guide. You can very quickly ascertain much more important things than simple ranking, which, albeit useful, shouldn't be the deciding factor.

Using My Words

PunditMom said...

I am so hoping to get credentials, but if this is the test ... :(

Lawyer Mama said...

I'm glad they're recognizing the influence that bloggers have, but honestly I know that no one in my bloggy circles would qualify according to their criteria.