Now that our collective anxieties have been put to rest until the next political upheaval, I've been thinking about how much the candidates owe the blogosphere. Not the political blogs, nor the professional bloggers, but the citizen bloggers. Like most of those who read mine and I theirs. We have become a vital link in a world quickly losing it's print media.
We have suffered from it locally when the Spokesman Review first cut the North Idaho edition and the gutting that has taken place since. Now I read that delivery is being stopped in at least a portion of the Silver Valley. Who knows; we may be next.
The bottom line rules. The sad thing is that not everyone has a computer on which to fall back. More and more segments of the population are going to be even less informed than they are now.
Those who do have computers are the lucky ones. Next they have to have time and lots of it to wend their way through the headline sites. Another learning curve will be which sites are liberal, which conservative and which just plain nuts. Then they need to find Snopes and other fact checking sites to determine if what they are reading is factual. The same holds true for the big league Blogs. Research, research, research.
Maybe we little one-off sites are of most value. I think again of my little cadre of ladies that carried on a long and passionate support network for the Obama candidacy. I'm sure there were hundreds of such groups for all manner of candidates. Just regular folks letting the world know what they think and why.
From my own experience, I know we have an impact. Be it positive or negative depends on the perspective of the reader. Every once in awhile, however, when it comes to your attention that your posts may actually have an impact it's gratifying. Both The Chicago Sun Times and Reuters picked up a post I had written back in early October on why I supported Obama. The Sun Times ran it a few days before the election and again yesterday along with Reuters. The combined activity from the headline generated nearly 16,000 hits on the combined sites.
I, of course, get nowhere near that level of activity on a normal day, but every once in awhile something I write, and not always political, will hit the eye of the big guys.
It's nothing super intellectual, just what I think and why. It's out there for anyone and everyone to see. It's out there to let the world know how one senior lady living in northern Idaho feels about what is going on in the world. No more. No less.
If what I wrote about Obama, however, generated one single vote other than mine it was well worthwhile. Even if it didn't, it presented a rationale. That too was worthwhile.
So you see? We little, one-off bloggers, part of some 60,000,000 out there, have more of an impact than we may imagine.
Sixteen thousand hits on a headline. Not bad!