Blogging and Vlogging the Campaign

Posted by Katherine | June 19, 2008 – 5:51 pm
Blogger with election balloons
[Mr. Wright / Flickr]

This is a brief step back to the meta: a look at webby aspects of the campaign.

Abhi lives in North Dakota. He reminisced recently that the 2004 Democratic National Convention inspired him to create Sepia Mutiny, a South Asian American group blog. This is part of the email he wrote back in 2004 to other South Asian bloggers to float the idea (hat tip to volunteer curator Roshan Abraham):

This past week with the Democratic Convention in the news, and all the talk of the bloggers that have been invited and how much power they seem to have, it got me thinking how there is no widely read news/issues/discussion/politics/random musings source target for South Asian Americans on the web. […]

I was thinking “what if” all the most widely read South Asian American bloggers joined forces somehow and created a superblog […] This could be the definitive source for South Asian issues / news / opinion / culture / entertainment etc.

Four years later, Sepia Mutiny has joined the big leagues: it just received its own credentials for the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Abhi says this means “all of us can say we have a Macaca in the tent… We did it y’all.” So from convention to creation of blog back to convention. A pretty cool loop.

Nicolette Bethel, the Director of Cultural Affairs in the Bahamas, claims right up front that she’s “not addicted to the American election.” But she has a thing or two to say about it. She thinks it’s significant that a black man actually won the Democratic nomination. And that the primary was “a truly democratic one.” By democratic she means driven by citizens… online. (Found by Misa Dayson via Voices without Votes.)

Forget the spin and the punditry and the experts; nobody has a real clue which way this election is going to go, because nobody has figured out how to translate the discussions that are going on in cyberspace — and that have driven Obama to his victory — into votes. The people, for the first time in what seems forever, are driving the candidates and the spinners and not the other way round.

Bethel put her finger on the heart of new-media talk. Maybe one day projects like BallotVox will help some internet academic figure out whether or not she’s right.

[Update 20 June 08: Abhi says he was just joking about living in North Dakota. Really he’s a big-city guy. (See his comment.)]


  1. One Response to “Blogging and Vlogging the Campaign”

  2. I don’t really live in North Dakota :) That’s a running joke on our site since almost no South Asians live in North Dakota. Our bloggers are based in big cities throughout the country.

    By Abhi on Jun 20, 2008

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