Dan Drezner ’90, easily the most famous of Eph bloggers, has an academic paper on “The Power and Politics of Blogs“. The paper will be presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association in Chicago in 3 weeks.

Here is the abstract:

Weblogs occupy an increasingly important place in American politics. Their influence presents a puzzle: given the disparity in resources and organization vis--vis other actors, how can a collection of decentralized, nonprofit, contrarian, and discordant websites exercise any influence over political and policy outputs? This paper answers that question by focusing on two important aspects of the “blogosphere”: the distribution of readers across the array of blogs, and the interactions between significant blogs and traditional media outlets. Under specific circumstances — when key weblogs focus on a
new or neglected issue — blogs can socially construct an agenda or interpretive frame that acts as a focal point for mainstream media, shaping and constraining the larger political debate.

This may be going on right now with the Kerry/Swiftvets controversy. Alas, I won’t be able to get to Chicago to see Dan present, but, if anyone else does, please let us know how things went.

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