Thursday, March 03, 2005

The Future of Blogging

Well, to be honest, it may not have a future. Apparently changes in the way that the Federal Elections Commission looks at the internet could have serious implications in how political bloggers operate.

One issue concerns the monetary value of a link to a candidates website. During the campaign I linked to both President Bush and Senator Kerry's websites. Should that have been declared as a contribution?

What about the owner of a mailing list? If that is used to coordinate support for a candidate does that count as material support for the campaign?

According to Bradley Smith (one of the FEC Commissioners), " . . . if nobody in Congress is willing to stand up and say, "Keep your hands off of this, and we'll change the statute to make it clear," then I think grassroots Internet activity is in danger. The impact would affect e-mail lists, especially if there's any sense that they're done in coordination with the campaign. If I forward something from the campaign to my personal list of several hundred people, which is a great grassroots activity, that's what we're talking about having to look at."

We'll have to keep our eyes on this one.

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