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Blogging and Environmental Advocacy: A New Way to Engage the Public?

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Abstract

While there is a growing literature on weblogs (or “blogs”), most studies focus on a few high profile blogs, or on blogs written by individuals. This study assesses the little-researched area of organizational blogging through a content analysis of blogs by 40 national-level environmental organizations. I examine the general purposes that these blogs serve and the extent to which organizational blogs differ from traditional websites. Additionally, I explore two blog features—interactivity and personalized content—that offer the potential to strengthen the connections between group leaders and their supporters. I find that groups use their blogs primarily to inform readers about policy developments and news headlines, but that the level of interactivity between blog authors and readers is low. Thus, while the potential exists for blogs to enhance grassroots support for environmental groups, that potential is far from being realized.

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