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Monday, August 22, 2005

First There Was the "Blogswarm," Then "Adopt-a-Box-of-Docs;" Now How About a "Blog ____" to Fisk Bad Legislation, Regulation Before It's Approved?

Hugh Hewitt coined the term "blogswarm" to describe what happens when legions of Blogospherians start posting on an issue like the 60 Minutes National Guard Memos or Eason Jordan's anti-military foibles.

Now Hugh's faithful sidekick, Radio Blogger's Duane Peterson, has come up with the "Adopt-a-Doc" moniker for the gathering of a bunch of Blogospherians for an explicit purpose like going through thousands of John Roberts documents in search of potential grist for the Left's next sliming of the Supreme Court nominee, so that it can be de-slimed ahead of time.

Adopt-a-Doc is significant for many reasons, not the least of which is that it illustrates what can be accomplished via the concentrated power of bloggers as journalists. But there are other ways in which Adop-a-Doc can lead to great things, like focusing the power of the Blogosphere on an especially onerous piece of legislation or proposed federal regulation.

Some months ago, Ed Feulner, President of The Heritage Foundation, proposed that all appropriations bills in Congress be posted on the Internet for public examination for at least 48 hours before the Members take a final vote.

Having the actual text available to the Blogosphere before the final vote on that outrageous transportation bill with its 6,500+ pork barrel projects might well have forced major amendments to the measure or perhaps even a public outcry that could have forced a complete rewriting. At the very least, public understanding of what Congress is doing would have been much better.

As blog journalism progresses from a Model T to a Ford GT, clever people are going to figure out how the power of the Blogosphere to focus the wisdom of crowds can be applied to government at all levels. If that progress is to be led by the Right side of the Blogosphere, we need to get crackin' on the problem, folks.

Any suggestions?


Interadvocacy's Chip Griffin has a superb suggestion for what to call it: "Citizen-Assisted Research and Reporting," as in CARR. I love it! He is playing off of the fact I teach a Computer-Assisted Research and Reporting (CARR) course for journalists and bloggers, hosted by The Heritage Foundation at the National Press Club in coordination with its Erik Friedheim Library.