The Politics of Blogsphere

Candidates for political office often run advertisements that portray opponents in a damaging light. Likewise, bloggers are beginning to take an increasing amount of liberty in their negative portrayal of certain individuals who are viewed as influential throughout the blogosphere.Most would think that since Election Day has passed, the practice of mudslinging would begin to die down.… don’t tell that to Loren Feldman.The outspoken head of production for 1938 Media has made some waves in recent weeks with his sometimes heated, often satirical criticisms of what many consider to be some of the blogosphere’s most influential players.

First, let’s consider the much maligned PayPerPost and the subsequent debate surrounding the company’s payment-for-blogging model. Jason Calacanis goes on the record repeatedly as an opponent of PayPerPost, even labeling the company as “stupid and evil”.

Feldman, however, had some choice words for Calacanis in an October 23rd video blog entry. He responded to Calacanis’ criticism of PayPerPost by retorting, “What people want to do with their blog is their own (expletive) business.”

Offering guidance to PayPerPost, Feldman advises the company to “…tell [Calacanis] to (expletive) and get out of your office!”

Clearly, Loren Feldman isn’t afraid to say what’s on his mind.

A week later, Feldman introduced a new show, entitled Jason’s Place, in which he pokes even more fun at Calacanis. This time however, Feldman didn’t limit his ribbing to the Weblogs, Inc. founder, but also drew blogosphere darling Robert Scoble in to the fray.

When I asked Robert for his taken on it, he told me, “I thought it was funny.”

Calacanis, however, would seem to be less jovial in his attitude toward Feldman’s criticisms, as multiple attempts to contact him for a response have went unanswered.

Feldman’s venomous volleys, however, haven’t been limited to just Calacnis. TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington has felt the sting of his video antics as well.

So what is point of all this mockery? Well, other than my personal amusement, I believe it all hinges around the concept of blogosphere politics.

Bloggers, like politicians, serve a constituency. For most politicians, it takes years of careful planning and perfectly executed strategy in order to build a solid constituency of voters.

In the same respect, bloggers are always looking to add to their viewership; and election results are tallied in terms of page clicks and community feedback rather than raw voting numbers.

So while Feldman’s tactics could be perceived as underhanded, he is accomplishing his goal. More people are taking note of 1938 Media and his video blog.

Is it moral? That’s debatable.

Is it effective? Most definitely.