Review of Aaron Barlow's Blogging America -- Discussion

bumped - roxy - orginal posting info 2008-08-26 13:30:47 -1000

Cho reviews Blogging America, ePluribus Media founding member and director Aaron Barlow's latest book on the phenomenon of web logging and how it re-vitalizes America's public sphere and contributes to our democracy.

From the review:

This second book zeroes in on blogs themselves and how, at a very detailed and specific level, they are transforming our cultural landscape, creating, as his title suggests, a new public sphere. For those concerned about the future of democracy, the existence of such a civic space may be our last defense against neo-liberalism “disappearing” open discussion.

The rest of the review is on the Journal.

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Cho, I think you make what I've done seem better and more important than it actually is... simply a part in a discussion ongoing about the changes we are experiencing as "online" becomes part of our "real world."

Many old timers like me are lost in blogging terminology, but can readily make use of Internet networking. Case in point, before the war in Iraq began, several Vietnam veterans created a web site called Veterans Against the Iraq War ( and posted a petition to President Bush stating a number of reasons for not rushing to war. Within weeks, thousands of veterans found that web site and signed the petition, including veterans of WWII, Korea, Vietnam and Gulf War I. Many of them joined a lively forum on the web site, which is still on-going. Much of the initial discussion was on how to write a letter to Congress/local newspaper stating how an angry ex-soldier felt about invading another nation. The networking grew, so now there's a wide array of veterans' organizations with web sites addressing the issues that war has raised.

I hope more examples can be provided from Aaron's book and other resources showing people new to blogging how to get seriously engaged in both online discussions and larger community actions.