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SOC356Y1 (6)

Week 19: Reading Notes

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Jennifer Kayahara

Week 19: The Internet & Political Participation (Farell & Drenzer: The Power and Politics of Blogs) Abstract Two key factors: o The unequal distribution of readers across weblogs o The relatively high readership of blogs among journalists and other political elites The unequal distribution of readership, combined with internal norms and linking practices allows interesting news and opinions to rise to the top of the blogosphere o thus to the attention of elite actors, whose understanding of politics may be changed by frames adopted from the blogosphere. Introduction Blogs attract a small fraction of attention compared to the mainstream media o only 4% of online Americans reported going to blogs for information and opinions o 62% of online Americans had no idea what a blog is Bloggers do not appear to be very powerful o There is no central organization to the blogosphere. o There is no ideological consensus among its participants. o Blogging as an activity is almost a part-time enterprise undertaken for love rather than money However, blogs play an increasingly important role as a forum of public debate o with knock-on consequences for the media, politics, and policy www.notesolution.com This article concentrates on two interrelated aspects of the blogosphere 1. the unequal distribution of readers across the array of weblogs 2. the ever-increasing interactions between blogs and mainstream media outlets Even though, there are millions of bloggers, the median blogger has almost no political influence as measured by hyperlinks o This is because the unequal distribution of readers, with a few bloggers commanding most of the attention (the skewed distribution of weblogs) o Thats why, a few elite blogs can operate as both an information aggregator and as a summary statistic for the blogsphere A key reason why blogs are important is thatjournalists and opinion leaders are readers of blogs o political commentators relies on blogs as sources of interpretive frames for political developments blogs possess the comparative advantage of speedy publication The networked structure of the blogosphere the most important difference between blogs and more traditional media is that blogs are networked phenomena that rely on hyperlinks Links between blogs take two forms o blogroll: a list of blogs that the owner of the blogger frequently read or especially admire, with clickable links o Second, bloggers may write specic posts that contain hyperlinks to other blogs Links and page views are the currency of the blogosphere www.notesolution.com
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