“Getting the Word Out”: Policy Bloggers Use Their Soap Box to Make Change

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Abstract

This study examines policy bloggers, a subset of the political blogosphere. These bloggers focus on one policy area and attempt to “get the word out” concerning the importance of their policy area and policy recommendations. Information was gathered from in-depth interviews with nine policy bloggers and content analysis of their blogs during the summer of 2006. Findings show that policy bloggers engage in six activities on their blog: filtering information, providing expertise, forming networks, gaining attention, framing arguments, and using windows of opportunity. They rarely urge their readers to partake in political activity. Nearly all received attention from major media sources, and some gained a significant daily readership. Despite these victories, their blogs were primarily labors of love, bringing in little money or professional rewards.

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