Bloggers 4 Huckabee

Recently over at the Huckabee Forum, someone asked an excellent question regarding negative media attacks aimed at the Huckabee campaign…

How do we counter that?

How, indeed?

The attacks from the Right have come from A-list blogs, as well as well-funded interest groups, and media outlets and pundits generally sympathetic to conservative causes. These first-generation centers of influence in the Right Blogosphere, along with talk radio, have comprised the lion’s share of opinion-molding and issue-framing of conservatism ever since Rush Limbaugh and the EIB Network changed the way America thought and spoke about Conservatism. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 had a similar effect on the growth of A-list blogs, notably on the Right, Free Republic, Little Green Footballs, Michelle Malkin, Instapundit, Powerline, Captain’s Quarters, and Hot Air.

How do we counter that? If it is possible, and I believe it is, we need to find a way to change the playing field.

I’m not saying anything that hasn’t already occurred to the netroots of the political Left. They are years ahead of us in this arena, and quite frankly, anything we do isn’t going to have much effect on them at all. The only one on the Right that even comes close to competing with them is the Libertarian candidate. His grassroots success, for which the candidate himself claims no personal credit, is positively netroot-ish in its attitude, passion, and ability to manipulate second-generation tools and strategies.

The Huck campaign is doing some of this already. Raising 5 million dollars on line is nothing to sneeze at. Plus, the grassroots forum is another step in the right direction. In fact, I saw an article praising the Huck campaign’s use of the internet over at MyDD.com, comparing the campaign to Dean ’03. High praise, indeed. But, to counter the influence of the attacks from the Right, we need to use a few more tools, and make a concerted effort to influence the news cycle.

Try this: Take a quick look at popurls.com and see the news of the day from social networking 2.0 perspective. It’s almost a chicken-egg type situation: does web 2.0 drive reporting of the top news stories of the day, or do the news stories of the day drive the social networking sites? The news cycle is a daily occurrence, even on “slow news” days. On those days, headlines from social networking sites may be 3 of the top 5 stories of the day, as reported by the main stream media. A-list bloggers and talk radio can drive 1 or 2 stories, but unless there is a breaking current events story, the left controls 60-80% of the news cycle by default.

Responses to campaign slurs and negative articles can achieve widespread visibility by a significant increase in friendly blogger “authority.” Authority is generally measured by incoming links to other blogs and overall traffic. Ranking services such as Technorati, TTLB, and Alexa use linkage and traffic to rank websites. Stories and web searches are often ranked by authority, with search engines providing access to the higher authority blog as the default choice. Another criterion for blog ranking is the number of RSS subscriptions from services like Bloglines. Blogs which consistently have the highest number of links, traffic, and subscribers are considered generally credible sources, and are often quoted by other providers of original content. A response linked by a large number of blogs goes to the top of the list of stories at Tailrank.com, and combined with a significant number of votes at Digg.com, has an opportunity to greatly influence coverage.

There are currently close to 800 bloggers on the Bloggers for Huckabee blogroll, many who are registered users in the grassroots forum, growing daily. Linkage to the rest of the grassroots would very quickly put friendly blogsites in the top percentiles of each of the ranking services. Authority assures that responses to negative reports are circulated and heard. Strategic linking of favorable articles and posts will give specific articles of interest an opportunity to rise to the top of the 2.0 sites, as users are constantly scouring news sites for popular articles.

There are enough motivated grassroots users to have a significant impact on targeting articles of interest for circulation.

Click this link to add the Bloggers for Huckabee blogroll to your website.

See also: When will the Right recognize the cost of conceding web 2.0?

Trackposted to:

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Fla newspaper publishes problem teacher list

From AP

A confidential, nationwide list of 24,500 teachers who have been punished for a wide array of offenses was made available to the public Friday by a Florida newspaper.

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune created a searchable database of the teachers’ names after waiting for years to gain access to the list. The paper began seeking the material as part of its earlier reporting on teacher sexual misconduct in Florida. It obtained the list from the Florida Department of Education.

The list, gathered and maintained by the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification, does not provide any information on why any of the teachers were disciplined. Sexual misconduct, financial misconduct, criminal convictions and other misbehavior all can bring disciplinary actions against teacher licenses.

A nationwide Associated Press investigation earlier this year sought five years of state disciplinary actions against teachers and the reasons behind them. In the years the AP studied, 2001 to 2005, roughly one-quarter of all disciplinary actions against teachers involved sexual misconduct.

The AP’s seven-month investigation found 2,570 educators whose teaching credentials were revoked, denied, surrendered or sanctioned following allegations of sexual misconduct.

The association’s list is the only nationwide effort by school systems to track teachers who get into trouble, but the association does not make the information available to the public. The group is a voluntary, nonprofit organization of state education agencies.

About time. I imagine this database will get quite a workout over the Holidays.

This is the World Famous Friday Open Thread. A Free-Speech Zone.

Comments, questions, links, trackbacks, Holiday greetings, and shout-outs are welcome.

WFFOT: To Boldly Go Where No Thread Has Gone Before

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