The Undecided Voter

Posted July 29, 2008 by dirnerc
Categories: Uncategorized

With the conventions right around the corner, the polling and race for getting the voting percentage is getting tight.  So early.  VP candidates have not even been chosen yet and McCain and Obama are duking it out over the undecided votes.  I guess the early  bird does get the worm.  

In an Wall Street Journal Blog post, Quinnipiac University Polling Institute says undecided voters are concerned about the economy and homeland security.  This gives McCain and advantage, according to the blog posting.

This concept got me thinking (something I don’t try to do to often).  Does this mean that undecided voters are just careful decision makers?  Is it possible that decided voters make emotional decisions?  

In a series of Quinnipac University polls, it was found that “These voters, who make up about one-fifth of the electorate, think the Iraq war was a mistake for the U.S. — which is a cornerstone of Sen. Obama’s campaign — yet they are more comfortable with the proposed solution suggested by Sen. McCain.” 

Even this statement is full of uncertainty.  Maybe I should chose this guy because I think the war is a mistake, but I am concerned about my security and this other guy is with a party whom has protected us, or at least we have thought has protected us for the past 7 years.  

This tells me that the undecided voter is someone who doesn’t walk into a a car dealership and buy a car on the first visit.  Talk about micro-targeting! No wonder Karl Rove did so well.


Obama Travels. New Meda takes it and Runs.

Posted July 21, 2008 by dirnerc
Categories: Uncategorized

Now, my headline might be a little bit misleading.  News organizations are running with this story as well.  Anytime a political figure heads to a war zone the public is interested.  However, Sen McCain the opposing candidate and other congressional leaders have spent a lot of time in Iraq and Afghanistan.   Why now?  Is this a political game? Of course it is.  All bets are off when it comes to a Presidential race.  

Today Obama met with the Iraqi Prime Minister, and is focusing the message on troop with drawl and even some what of a surge in Afghanistan. 

In an effort to counter attack media and blog attention from Obama’s travels, Sen McCain made the rounds on the morning shows and ended up making a big gaffe. 

There are certain dangers to aggressive media counterattack techniques.  The problem is before blogs these things wouldn’t have been posted too youtube in seconds and already circulating through out the blogosphere.  The speed of news is accelerating by the day. 

The interesting thing is while McCain’s gaffe on Good morning America is all over the Internet, video of Obama in Iraq has yet to be found.  I realize it it is only several hours later, but isn’t it interesting bad news travels fast? 

There is a Presidential race going on yes, but there is a much more important race going on simultaneously.  The race of media.  Who can get their message out the fastest, with out gaffes?  who can control the message?  And who comes out looking as if they are on top?

This is the real race.

Lessons From Blogging

Posted July 21, 2008 by dirnerc
Categories: Uncategorized

There is a website entitled  Having read an article from the New York Times on up and coming blogs, I found this suggestion particularly interesting.  A website that addresses the issues / feud between the world of blogging and the world of journalism.  The site discuses inner turmoil of newsrooms and how each organization is handling the use of new media.

One of the more fascinating new phenomenons is the sharing of embed video.  Most news organizations are not sharing video due to various copyright and other legal issues.  MSNBC however has broken the mold.  Click on this site to watch President and Publisher Charlie Tillinghast discuss why they started allowing any user copy their embed code and use their videos.

In the video Tillinghast describes what used to be the way of the average youtube / blog user.   A user would TiVo or DVR a program such as a nightly news broadcast and use the finished product and post it on youtube in any fashion they wanted.  

By allowing users to copy embed code MSNBC is once again controlling the message.  TIllinghast discusses how often times the way a user records video depends on the quality of it, as well as the quality of the audio and video once it is posted to the web.   Using trained professionals who put the content together in the first place distribute the video via the Internet eliminates the middle man.  It also puts the power back in the hands of the news organization.

The more and more I have studied the concept of blogging it appears that bloggers are media’s watchdog.  Sites like, mediabistro, and wonkette all exist to keep the media in check.  So stealing back the embed process might seem like a blessing for blogers, but perhaps in the end it is completely defeating the purpose.  The message.


Posted July 11, 2008 by dirnerc
Categories: Uncategorized

For this weeks class we read a series of politically based articles on the use of micro-targeting in political campaigns.  How fascinating.  Although, is it to elementary to think of voters as just consumers?  For that matter, why are we thinking of consumers in such a simplistic manner. 

For instance, as I was reading the New York Times Article on food consumption and political party affiliation, I happened to be drinking a Dr. Pepper (Red State sign) but conveniently in my drawer at work I have a stash of Bare Naked granola (so liberal).  For that matter, I happen to enjoy going to Whole Foods (again so democratic of me) as well as drinking a beer and having stuffed pizza.  

Does this mean I am a confused consumer, or a confused voter?  Perhaps both.  Those with the strongest ties to their political party tend to have very strong opinions.  They know what they believe.  To be honest with my huge blogging audience, I don’t.  So maybe Matthew Dowd has me pegged. 

As a journalist, I have learned that the more you find out about people, things you would think would ever be important, i.e. where they live, how many kids they have, shampoo they like, the more you can understand who these people are. 

So maybe the Bush campaign in 2004 took it to an extreme, but they were on the right track.  They were doing what any good politician should do, their homework.   In journalism, we always want to know who are audience is, so maybe we shouldn’t blow off where they shop and what they consume.  

The real question is what do you do about those voters who like Bare Naked and Bourbon?  (Hopefully they don’t mix together) Is it worth the while of a campaign to change their taste buds or just bend their ear?

What’s the point of the widget?

Posted July 11, 2008 by dirnerc
Categories: Uncategorized

Which one’s will stick around? After receiving the requirements for our blog entries, I started to begin to add some bells and whistles to my blog. Tags here. Links there. Blogstorm. Clouds. Etc.

It seems that a lot of these new bells and whistles won’t last. The useful ones will obviously stay. I.E. linking. However, when it comes down to items of the 2.0 generation that won’t last there seem to be some obvious widgets that get in the way of the media consumption process.

One widget in particular has stopped me a time or two. The scroll over function in which as your mouse scrolls over a link it pulls up a preview of what the page will look like. This function has interupted my reading a time or two, and sometimes gets in the way of the blogging process instead of enhancing the viewing pleasure.

And what is the point of the calendar? Will these widgets last?  During technological progression there is always an invention that might seem as though it had staying power but do not pan out.  If bloggers had a glass ball in order to look into the future which parts of generation 2.0 would still be there.  

Video has become one of the biggest successes on the Internet.  The connection it brings to the consumer is invaluable.  Is there enough space for these videos to last?  I think so.  The blog roll while interesting, may change.  I think it doesn’t quiet have the practicality it needs to make it to the next generation.  

As technology changes on the Internet certain functions will be adapted or left in the dust, can’t wait to see what lies ahead.

Was or Is James Kotecki a Journalist?

Posted July 6, 2008 by dirnerc
Categories: Uncategorized

Not in the traditional sense, but then again if you compare Chris Matthews to Walter Cronkite, I am sure you see some changes in the industry there as well. 

This is not a slam against either Chris or James, but rather a mere observation that over the years with changing technologies there has been a blurring of entertainment and journalism and entertainment.  There was never a rule book that said that journalism could not be entertaining. 

Kotecki is referred to as a pundit in the interview with Garrett last year. 

In fact not only is he a pundit, according to Washingtonian magazine, but he is the top pundit in his “niche” of youtube and politics.

Kotecki, at the ripe age of 23, understands the repetitive nature of present day media and has decided to come up with his own hybrid form of journalism.

Above is a video giving a brief history on how is blog postings came to be.  We have discussed repeatedly in class the use of edgy behavior and language when bloging.  Kotecki takes this idea to a new level.  In the most recent post he spent the last 33 seconds of the video blog quoting the 1996 movie Independence Day.

One of our journalism professors in this program told our class once that our mission as journalists is to tell a good story and tell the truth.   If this is what definines journalism, than what are the limits? 

Obviously, how we get the message across to the general public is subject to change based on the changing technologies.   Kotecki is now optimizing on the changing medium of online video programing. 

Because the medium of which the message is being transmitted is changing, so is the message to adjust to the audience.  In recent years we have found that more and more news consumers are getting their news from comedy news sources such as The Daily Show or The Colbert Report. 

So yes journalism is changing because of the new mediums on which it can be presented.  Does that mean Kotecki is a journalist?  Possibly, I think we will have to wait it out and let history decide.

Bloggy Blogs vs. News Blogs

Posted June 29, 2008 by dirnerc
Categories: Uncategorized

In class, we have discussed the top political blogs and their role in the 2008 election.  Recently, I was thinking about the model of a blog and what it’s role will be with in the next five to ten years.  Right now there appears to be a great divided in the progressive technological world of journalism. 

It is though when blogging first emerged a style was formed and developed for citizen esque journalism.  One person could be a reporter, a publisher, an oped columnist and a web developer.  Once major news media outlets started catching on to the web based reporting phenomenon they started having their own reporters feed the beast of the blogging world. 

So, where is the divide?  It is between the journalist turned blogger, and the blogger turned journalist.  There is a clear difference in technique, standards and etiquette. 

Top Blogs                                                          Top News Blogs

1. Buzz Machine                                                1.  Political Punch

2. Daily Kos                                                      2.  The Fix

3. Huffington Post                                            3.  The Swamp

 If you read these blogs on a regular basis you tend to notice some key differences in style.  The news blogs tend to be story or even driven, and the strictly politically based blogs tend to use events to drive a political message. 

This appears to be the core difference between the two types of blogging.  A lot of the blogs we have been asked to read in class have the new short format.  If you look at Daily Kos’s most recent blog it is all about previewing Monday and pushing for Obama supporters to donate.  This is a platform for rallying supporters. 

News blogs would never venture in these territories, although they all have ventured off course.  A perfect example of this is the Mother Theresa blog post done by the New York Times which we discussed in class. 

The big big question is where will the two meet? Or will they?  Could they end up in two separate categories?  Will big media companies eat small $15 a year run blogs? Or vice versa? 

Only time will tell.  (That’s what she said)