Why Politicians Need Weblogs

Interesting page on the use of blogs by MPs:

A lot of the people that you reach via a weblog will post comments on a weblog of their own and link to you in the process. Some weblogs have an audience counting in the dozens, others into the hundred or thousands. Portals that watch or monitor such link activity have audiences reaching more towards hundreds of thousands. Good stuff – important stuff – reaches many, many people almost immediately in this way.

This publishing frequency (presented in the correct format) has a very positive effect not only on people, but also on the search engines that are using them increasingly to decide what is the most important, relevant and fresh result for any given search query.

A valid weblog will have a pronounced effect on the two top search databases on the planet – Google and Yahoo. People seeking information relating to issues you think to be important will invariably find your site among the top results.

End result?

You show the people who vote for you how hard you’re working, and attract the majority of those interested in issues you care about. You may even learn an important thing or two from us in the process.

It’s wonderfully organic, and it works. And you need it.

And if the MPs won’t do it themselves? How To Run a Weblog on Behalf of Your MP

There is certainly a huge role that could be filled by politicians blogging. It presents a means by which:

  • Politicians can cut out the middle-man of the traditional media and get their message across their way
  • They can become more accessible to their constituents through a more informal communication channcel and present a more human face
  • Through comments and email they can get feedback on policy ideas for more quickly (and cheaply!) than through focus groups etc
  • They can increase their recognition and popularity amongst a predominantly youngish, technology-savvy audience – who might not otherwise be engaged in politics
  • A blog provides an outlet for a politician’s ideas that might not get a public airing otherwise

Of course, the normal rules of blogging apply. Just like anyone else’s, a politician’s blog must be regularly updated, offer content that’s genuinely different from what is available elsewhere, offer a unique voice and link helpfully and regularly.