That’s my synopsis of this report by the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet & Society.
Here is the chart of their findings as to right-wing (red) and left-wing (blue) blogs. Note particularly the second column, showing the high percentage of solo right-wing bloggers:
Sites on the left adopt more participatory technical platforms; are comprised of significantly fewer sole-authored sites; include user blogs; maintain more fluid boundaries between secondary and primary content; include longer narrative and discussion posts; and (among the top half of the blogs in our sample) more often use blogs as platforms for mobilization as well as discursive production.
One of the authors of the study has more nuanced thoughts in this interview.
Here is my version of the findings:
Sites on the left are echo-chambers in which like-minded individuals come together to tell each other how smart they are, in the comfort of a platform provided to them by ideological gurus (can you say Arianna, Markos and Jane) who lead these bloggers to pre-determined fundraising and political action while deluding the bloggers into thinking they are part of a grassroots movement so they can feel good about themselves. Right-wing bloggers, by contrast, exhibit the rugged individualism that built this country, defeated fascism and communism, and put men on the Moon.
James Joyner has some other observations worth noting, including:
In terms of “participatory technical platforms,” they’re talking about the use of Scoop and other diary-based platforms that allow dozens or even hundreds of users to create their own subblogs, often with a chance of being bumped to the main page by a group of editors, and commenting systems like Disqus that are hosted off-site and allow integration with other social media sites, sharing with the commenter’s own community, and so forth.
Conservatives tend to be less likely to experiment with such models because they necessarily mean giving up control.
Left-wing blogs, through their collective action, were more effective politically in the short run, i.e. 2006 and 2008 elections.
This success will end for the left-wing blogosphere in November 2010, because an effective platform cannot make up for an unpopular message, in the long run.DONATE
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