Making political points, not profits

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Kai Ryssdal: Liberal online politics has a very real world location this week. Two thousand left-of-center bloggers have descended on Austin, Texas, for something called Netroots Nation. And they're riding high. Blogging is where a whole lot of politics is playing out this election cycle. Barack Obama has proven you can raise a ton of campaign money online. But what about ad revenue? We asked Marketplace's John Dimsdale whether bloggers have the potential to become entrepreneurs.


John Dimsdale: Political blogs are going mainstream. According to a survey by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 46 percent of Americans use the Internet to keep up on politics and politicians. The most popular sites are visited by hundreds of thousands of readers. They include DailyKos, Huffington Post and Instapundit. Blogs may be a great way to solicit donations from the political faithful, but...

Jeff Gregory: I find it really hard to believe that people are gonna make the jump from ideology to commerce.

Jeff Gregory is President of Brand Council, a business strategy consulting firm. Even though some political blogs are beginning to generate ad revenue, he doesn't expect big companies to start surfing the blogging wave anytime soon.

Gregory: Advertisers are very sensitive to the kind of content their ads are running beside. So, if someone is really letting a candidate have it on a political blog, I am sure that a Fortune 1000 company is gonna to look at that and say, "We don't want any part of that."

Besides, Gregory figures blog readers aren't likely to be receptive to online ads.

Gregory: These folks are just too much political propeller heads to respond that well to advertising.

In Washington, I'm John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

About the author

As head of Marketplace’s Washington, D.C. bureau, John Dimsdale provides insightful commentary on the intersection of government and money for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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