As posted to Cairns:
The UK’s Hansard Society has produced terrific research on e-democracy under the leadership of Prof. Stephen Coleman (also of the Oxford Internet Institute). This summer they released a paper that looks at how blogs can be a tool for democratic participation. As described on their web site:
Political Blogs – Craze or Convention? reports on the relatively new phenomena of political blogging and examines whether these blogs can offer an alternative to traditional channels of political communication in the UK . The research study focuses on eight political blogs as representative examples of how individuals and organisations are harnessing blogging as a tool to promote political engagement. The research monitored activity on these blogs and, in addition, a blogging “jury” of members of the public with little or no experience of blogging scrutinised the blogs to assess their relevance as channels of political thought and debate.