Demogogic Blogging

I stumbled across the blog of Zach Braff today, specifically his garden state blog. It is a reminder of how powerful celebrity has become. Some of his posts have over three thousand comments, and the average seems to be about one thousand comments per post. Admittedly, the posts seem to be on the order of about one per month, allowing more time for comments to be made.

Such large numbers of posts, particularly when compared to most other blogs seems to indicate something about the internet audience. Mainstream North American culture has a huge presence on the internet, and its presence seems to justify the use of the term audience, the majority of its presence on the internet is not interactive, it is one way communication: no one would expect Mr. Braff to respond to comments, and the comments reflect that. Because of this, I feel many people tend to underestimate its online stature.

It is this mainstream which is being completely missed by most websites. Sites like RealClimate and even much larger sites like slashdot or fark, still can’t address even a fraction of the audience that conventional media reaches. In addition, the internet audience of those sites generally tends to be the converted, not exactly the median view on any given issue.

I feel it is the challenge of the left to push their message into the mainstream in such a way that it is for the most part indistinguishable from entertainment.

2 Responses to “Demogogic Blogging”

  1. sieber says:

    I am just amazed by this. I wonder how scientists or those on the left could possibly compete with this. One could ask, why should we? On the other hand, shouldn’t the public know as much about the impacts of our consumptive lives as we do about the inner lives of celebrities. (More cynically, maybe they’re one and the same.)

    Take a look at the Salon article, Attack of the celebrity blogs for a sense of their popularity.

  2. Liam says:

    No doubt the public should know, but the public should also know about the policies of the people they’re voting for.

    Saying people should eat their vegetables won’t necessarily make them do so, even if they should. We need the political equivalent of vegetables in potato chip form, probably with the words LOW FAT all over them.