Washington’s Blog
April 2, 2010

Yesterday, I asked whether blogs are useful or a waste of time.

Perhaps blogs are useful to the extent that they:

(1) Convey information not available from the mainstream media;

(2) Give hope that things can improve;


(3) Suggest concrete ways to improve things.
Conveying Information Not Available from the MSM

This one is easy, since the MSM censors virtually all information critical of the powers-that-be.

Of course, a website is only as good as:

(1) It’s information is scrupulously attempts fact-checked to maintain accuracy, and speculation is labeled as such;


(2) It conveys or aggregates hard-hitting or useful information in a timely manner.
Because the MSM does a horrible job of “connecting the dots”, blogs provide a valuable service if they tie together seemingly disconnected facts to show a pattern or put events in a historical context. Obviously, the pattern and historical context have to be accurate; if they are just Glenn Beck style free-association, they are worse than worthless.

Give Hope

While false hope – the kind peddled by Obama – is interfering with our ability to turn things around, real hope is a necessity.

People who are wholly cynical and don’t think anything can change won’t lift a finger to change things … thus ensuring that nothing will change.

So blogs have to point out the bleak facts, but then remind people that – if enough of us get angry and demand change – things can change. See this and this.

Suggesting Concrete Actions

Disclosing truth and giving people some hope won’t go very far if people aren’t given concrete suggestions about actions to take which might actually change things. Nothing will change if people are informed and hopeful, but then don’t actually do anything to change things.

A blog is most useful if it suggests specific actions. Whether it’s moving our money from giant banks, promoting protests, sit-ins or strikes, refusing to pay debts incurred for unlawful purposes, or some other concrete action which can actually change things for the better if enough people do it, a blog should be more than just a passive scribe documenting facts.

There might be much more effective actions than the ones listed above. There are hopefully much smarter strategists than me concerning how to affect social change.

Of course, blogs which call for unlawful acts which will be unsuccessful or just discredit all those who question the actions of the powers-that-be are counterproductive.

As usual, I am just trying to start the conversation … not provide the definitive answer. Hopefully, someone has a better framework or a better idea, and this will get the ball rolling.

Obviously, some blogs will stress one of the three useful attributes more than others. For example, a blog written by a whistleblower is useful if it provides otherwise unknown information, and a site focused on organizing protests is useful for helping to inspre people to take action. Most people read several blogs or websites, and can get the 3 attributes from the various websites they read. But the 3-attribute framework provides a useful model.

And websites which convey practical knowledge about investing in periods of financial chaos or producing our own energy and food could be very valuable in the future … if we can’t turn things around, we may need to learn how to provide for ourselves without the benefit of our current institutions or organizations.