I’m new to Voce, just two months on
board. So far, so good.  Coming off years of public affairs work and
environmental advocacy on both East and West coasts and now I’m learning about
blogging.  I’ve been thinking about how blogging will impact the public affairs
world.  I think the 2004 presidential election was an excellent indicator…ok,
so does everyone else. 

Bloggers are able to be more transparent, break stories
faster, and they aren’t "handled" easily, if at all.  I read an article in the
New Yorker suggesting that political bloggers are sometimes the inspiration
behind mainstream news stories.  When I’m feeling idealistic, I hope that
blogging will bring a higher degree of truth and transparency to our political
process.  On the flip side, I still want reporters to be held to basic standards
of journalistic integrity. Perhaps Dan Rather is up for teaching a seminar or
two on vetting stories completely…

Someone recently asked me if I think
that blogging is a viable form of lobbying.  My first response was no…  The
more I thought about it, the more I realized that many of the environmental
advocacy groups I know and love (and some I don’t love so much) are using email
to send letters to their representatives to express support or disdain for
legislation, approps, and candidates. 

Blogging seems like a natural next step.
The real trick would be to establish a blog that staffers want to read.  Like
all forms of information, only the fittest blogs will survive.  Could blogging
be a form of lobbying?…yeah, I think it could be.

— Anne Sharman