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October 12, 2005
In New York City, political bloggers have yet to make an impact
Ben Smith of ThePoliticker blog writes in Newsday that the Internet has "yet to come of age" as a real force in local New York City politics. While there's plenty of demand for blogs about real estate, fashion, and celebrity gossip, there's little or no demand for passionate political discourse on a daily basis:
"The number of visits to political sites is a tiny fraction of the traffic that the dominant New York Web logs attain: The media-gossip blog Gawker, for instance, draws hundreds of thousands of readers each day. Curbed, a real estate blog, reigns over a vibrant universe of smaller sites on the same topic. The lesson of New York is that blogs aren't about politics - they're about passion. New Yorkers are passionate about real estate, gossip and fashion. The paucity of political blogs is the online reflection of the city's dismally low voter turnout in city elections: We're not passionate about our politics."
Even politicians who somehow manage to capture the hearts and minds of the blogosphere have a tough time translating that virtual support into real, tangible votes. Consider the recent campaign of Andrew Rasiej for New York City Public Advocate. The Technorati Candidate won only 5% of the vote, despite widespread blogger support. And, as Ben Smith points out, even big-name politicians like Fernando Ferrer haven't figured out how to tap into the power of the blogosphere: "The Ferrer blog's only audience, unfortunately for him, appeared to be Mayor Michael Bloomberg's opposition research team..."
(Hat tip: Wonkster)
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