Cian has a blog post as an afterthought to the Blogging the Election event. What can bloggers do? It’s a valid question which probably has no wrong answer.
Me? I’d like to see bloggers follow around a politician for a “normal” working day even before the election gets into fill swing. In fact I’d love to see one done for every party and see how things work from all sides. I think it would be good for a blogger to document the average day of a TD and give so many the perspective that we may not have. John Gormley mentions the time poverty most politicians suffer and it would be nice to have someone follow them around to see this. It ain’t an RTE documentary but I think it could be good blog viewing.
What I think bloggers would be fantastic for is fact checking. One person may not be able to consistently fact-check politicans but an army of bloggers could. It would be nice to use blogs, archive.org and much more to run what they said last week, what they’re saying now, what they said four years ago. Or as Guido pointed out at the conference. – what they say to one group about a sensitive subject and what they’ve said about the same subject to a group with an opposite viewpoint. It would be good to see who is pandering and running with the hares and hounds. I think this was the essence of Bernie’s break out topic at the BtE event.
I’d also like to see campaigns for asking politicians some good questions they can’t worm out of and comparing their answers to their fellow party members of even themselves a few days later.
Time poverty or not I’d very much like to see more politicians blogging and especially women and we certainly need to see more Fianna Fail and PDs blogging. Note to the PD advisors, stop telling your bosses that blogging is a waste of time. It is not. Maybe we need to prove how powerful blogging can be for you? Do you require some kind of Guido stunt? Maybe we should make Damien Blake the first Google result for Fianna Fail and the Disillusioned Trendies the first result for Progressive Democrats?
John Gormley also suggests that TDs could have anon blogs where they disclose all the gossip from Leinster House. That’s interesting. Or maybe someone that solicited gossip from there and printed it. But how could you verify this gossip? Actually that’s a very good question we could have asked Mr. Fawkes. On that topic Ethan Zuckerman has one technical suggestion for remaining anonymous while blogging using specialist software.
This would certainly test the libel laws which is a question Media Forum were asking today. Here’s a view on how it works in the States.
Branding would be great too. Would love to see bloggers get invited to politcal events and seeing laptops with Aspoke.com designed skins with IrishElection.com on them, as well as IrishElection.com on the polo shirts worn by the bloggers attending.
So what do you think bloggers can do?
Update: Cian’s view.
“Note to the PD advisors, stop telling your bosses that blogging is a waste of time.”
What a charmingly quaint view. How come you have not realised that it is the handlers who are the bosses and the elected politicans who report to them?
[…] That photo aboveÂ is actually from last year’s Les Blogs – this years event is something I would reallyÂ love to attend, must do lotto tomorrow night! – but the photo (or a bit of it) could also be from any of the set pieces to come in the next 9 months. Damien and Cian are thinking about what we can do to blog the election. Hopefully the ideas come to bear fruit and I know there are a lot of other bloggers who could be interested in and contribute to some of the ideas being tossed around at the moment. […]