An article from The Nation questions whether bloggers had a significant effect on the 2006 election. Money quote: “There is no doubt that bloggers leveraged money and political buzz to make races more competitive and put Republicans on the defensive, but it was simply not the decisive factor in the elections.”
Well yes, of course. A blog is just a blog — it’s not a multi-gazillion-dollar television ad campaign. Even the really big blogs and online communities reach 1% or less of the population of this country, and asking more of blogs than they can reasonably do is silly. BUT, blogs can and did raise the profile of candidates who otherwise might have been written off, and they certainly helped keep activists on both sides deeply involved as the campaigns unfolded. They’re an excellent communications and community building tool. Just don’t ask them to cure the common cold, find your car keys or make the sun shine on a cloudy day. Thanks to i-blog for pointing out the article.