Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Power of Blogging

The optimism and excitement with which Paul Levinson writes about blogging is apparent. He makes the saying "you can make a difference," very believable. In the section "Changing the World with Your Blog," Levinson gives an example of how Joan Walsh, editor of the blog Open Salon and frequent guest on several MSNBC shows, and himself, to a lesser extent, influenced Barack Obama's decision not to delay the debate between himself and Senator John McCain in 2008. Walsh responded to Levinson's blog saying, "Paul Levinson speaks, Obama listens!" Although this may be an exaggeration, it highlights the potential that every blogger has to influence anyone even the President of the United States.

Earlier in the chapter, Levinson discusses several instances in which he received feedback from several actors or from family of the actors who read his blog. Rich Sommer, who plays Harry Crane in AMC's "Mad Men," not only corrected Levinson but expressed his gratitude for Levinson's reviews. A similar exchange took place with Idris Elba, who played Stringer Bell on HBO's "The Wire." Like Sommer, Elba also thanked Levinson and the two shared some musical interests. Levinson also heard from Len Cariou's ("Brotherhood") wife and Aaron Hart's ("Mad Men") father. This must be a rewarding experience for any blogger. Influencing the President and chatting with certain celebrities, which a few years ago was seemingly impossible, are just two prime examples that demonstrate the power of blogging.


  1. The power of blogging can really be seen through feedback. It must be very rewarding to have people, especially those with great influence, responding to blogs about them. But how often do you think the favorable blogs are commented upon as compared to those with negative feelings toward people.

  2. In all fairness, Levinson does say that his blog probably had no effect on Obama's decision.

    Back in the days when people started playing attention to email, its democratizing tendencies were duly noted, that there were no social boundaries, no status distinctions, so a kid could email a major authority or expert and get a reply, or high and low status people would engage in discussion as equals on bulletin boards and listservs. The blog seems to extend that bias further, and even invite such interactions.