This article analyses how and why councillors blog on the government-funded civic-blogging platform, Read My Day. Through a mixture of content analysis and interviews, the article assesses the kinds of communication being facilitated and how the blogs were used during the 2007 local elections. The analysis and interpretations are framed by a critique of the normalisation hypothesis. The article concludes that blogs were largely used as tools of representation rather than for campaigning. The extent to which they strengthen representative practices is mixed. Many bloggers fail to exploit the networking potential of the medium such as creating blog rolls and engaging with the broader blogosphere; this leads to a danger that the politically-interested are talking to each other in isolation. Furthermore, the number of comments is limited, and councillors often do not reply to these: it is typically broadcast, one-way communication. However, there are potentially important positive changes that must be fully considered alongside this. If it is true to say that political communication is increasingly negative, attack-orientated, dominated by political leaders and lacking in substance, then the blogs on Read My Day do go some way to redress this: while it is an example of how technologies are being normalised, it is not quite politics as usual.
|Number of pages||15|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Dec 2008|
- campaigning E-democracy