Looking Forward

So, it’s decided.  The biggest, most important and historical election of our time is over and we have a new President elect.  It’s been a long journey getting here and I think everyone is ready for the politicking to be over.  The recent election process has been great fodder for bloggers, particularly those whose sole purpose in blogging is to cover politics.  These past few months could not have been any more exciting, frustrating, heated and blog worthy.  So what kind of an effect did blogs have on the election?  It’s time to open up some dialogue.  What do you all think? 

Because of the widespread impact of blogging, it seems that a new group of pundits, commentators and journalists stepped outside the box of traditional media and greatly impacted the world of politics.  Of course, blogging has been around for some time now and there are many who have established deep roots in the blogoshpere.  But, I would venture to say that it’s only been in the last couple of years that blogging has become common place for the average “Joe Six-Pack.”  It’s the redefinition of social media.  Where much of traditional media has its hands tied due to regulations, rules and flat-out bias (while trying to unsuccessfully hide such bias), blogging gives people a chance to find their voice, to state their opinions and to report the stories as they see them. 

That being said, bloggers now have a new focus in the world of politics.  It’s time to follow our new leader, to pay close attention to what he says and what he does and hold him accountable to do the right thing – not for his party, not for himself – but for the country.  As bloggers, we have just as much responsibility as those in traditional media to write with integrity, with honesty, with journalistic prowess and diligence.  But, we also have the distinct ability, if we choose, to include a personal opinion.  That is what makes blogging such a powerful and effective tool.  The key, of course, is successfully merging personal bias with journalistic integrity, because without the key component of the latter, a blog loses its ability to gain the trust of faithful readers. 

So what should President elect Obama expect in the next four years?  How can he utilize the emerging tools of online social media?  Should President Obama operate a blog (would he even have time?)?  A Facebook account was set up for Barack Obama the candidate.  Should it be maintained for Barack Obama the President?   Will President Obama give twitter updates?  How can President Obama benefit from social media?  Can social media make his time in the White House more trying?

Furthermore, as bloggers, what is our job in the next four years?  How can we effectively use this medium to make our voices heard?  There are many radical bloggers out there who abuse their “cyber power.”  What do we need to do to hold one another accountable?  How do we maintain the credibility of social media, particularly blogging?  What does the next four years hold for bloggers, not only in the political realm, but family bloggers, green bloggers, food bloggers, fitness bloggers, and so on?  How will we be impacted by last night’s election and how can we have an impact in the immediate future? 

The bottom line is this: Online social media gives us the power to become the new medium of information, so we absolutely must take this seriously.  We cannot abuse this power, as much of mainstream media has done.  We must tenaciously and boldly research, report, lead and write in a way that people can disagree with but cannot refute due to accuracy.  It is a powerful tool, the web log.  It’s a new age of reporting and we have a large and effective communication tool literally at our fingertips.  May we blog well, blog frequently, and blog with integrity.  Blog on!

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4 Responses to “Looking Forward”

  1. Well said.

    To Mr. Obama I say – let’s see what you’ve got. Remember, this is Missouri, so show me.

  2. I think that social media and blogging had a huge impact on the election…if nothing else, it was easy to find information. Of course, it is still the readers responsibility to be a critical reader and look for support of “facts” stated, but overall I think social media and blogs added to the public participation in the election.

    I am now considering starting a political blog, but haven’t found many that are a successful model of discussing issues and philosophies without breaking down to rumors, unfactual “facts”, personal attacks, etc….and then when you get to the comments, it gets REALLY bad.

    I also fear that having a political blog would have an overall negative impact on my “parent blog” which has broad appeal – or even to my family. I’d carry the same policies from “One Dad’s Life” over to any political blog, and would keep the same positive outlook, but it still worries me.

    Have others successfully kept personal and political blogs?

  3. I agree with you Gregg. I, too, am a little intimidated by the idea of maitaining a political blog. Would I be taken seriously? Would it negatively impact my family blog? Also, as I stated in the post above, maintenance of a political blog, in my opinion, requires vigilance in research and careful determination to not let my own personl opinion get in the way of the facts. A blog, by it’s very nature, is obviously motivated by personal bias, but would I be able to filter through my opinions enough to dig deep for the facts? I hope I would, but the idea is still very intimidating. Anyone else? What are your thoughts?

  4. Wow. Great post! Fantastic way to look forward to the next four years. It’s not for every blogger to talk politics, but to hold the president and our country accountable you don’t have to.

    Write where you heart is and write about what drives, aggravates, or inspires you. Trust me, there will be plenty in the next four years to touch pappa bloggers, tech bloggers, and even crafty bloggers. If you live in the US, we can take this change of president as a chance to step up our game and take an active part in our country’s direction.

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