The invention of the Internet has allowed appearing a principally new phenomenon such as political blogging. In the context of the today's political culture, such form of interrelation between the analyst and his readers has no precedents. Blogs allow the authors to provide their evaluation of the current political situation immediately. They are always staying in touch with subscribers and readers who can leave their comments to each post. In this way, the political analytics became polylogue instead of monologue. The specifics of political blogging requires some fundamentally new tips and approaches to the bloggers' relationships with their audience. The reason is that it relies on the technical fundamentals different from those of political analytics realized through newspapers and magazines that dominating before the Internet. Besides, the political blogging appeared and developed spontaneously as well as any other social phenomenon uncontrolled voluntarily. To understand its new basics, one should compare and contrast some of the most successful and popular political blogs. Such a research will demonstrate what is common (in this way, important) as well as what is different (unimportant) for contemporary political posts online. The political blogs of Marc Ambinder and Joe Scarborough are very popular today. Their authors discuss the most important issues concerning the American and global politics from different points of view. They are using different approaches, styles and other elements of writing. The key to success in the field of today's political blogging lies in two directions. They include both a deep analysis of discussed issues and staying in dialogue with the readers feeling the author's position as their own.
The Characteristics of the Blogs Researched
Mark Ambinder is a versatile person whose main occupation is a political version of journalism. Thus, he is a contributing editor at The Atlantic, a senior contributor at Defense One, and a regular writer at The Week ("Mark Ambinder's Blog"). His political web blog concerns the main issues in politics that directly concern the USA. Thus, in some cases, he writes about the political phenomena that take place not in America but have the relation to it. For example, some posts are connected with the ISIS, Osama bin Laden, and so on. Through his publications, Ambinder demonstrates the position of a journalist whose main aim is to provide the correct information to the world, especially to the American nation. It is very symptomatic for such authors that the journalist never promotes some concrete political program, movement or position. Instead of that, he poses a position of a speculator. This is a person who sees the situation from above and underlines all mistakes, uncovers all hidden information being able to uncover, and makes other similar acts of an independent writer. For example, his blog contains a lot of criticism of President Obama. It seems that he criticizes the president's politics only because he is the country's authority. However, his critics does not concern some theoretical contradictions between Ambinder's and Obama's views on the development of the US. In this way, such author is always direct. The reason is that he just criticizes the recent government and does not propose any alternative ways to realize the American politics. It is very predictable that after the presidential elections Ambinder will criticize the new politicians. It does not depend on the individuals that are going to be elected. At the same time, the independence of Ambinder's position as well as its negativity allow him always demonstrate the hidden side of all political phenomena in the American society.
Charles Joseph Scarborough (or just Joe as the blogger asks to call him) is an American lawyer, a radio host, a bestselling author, and a former politician from the Republican Party ("Politics"). He has his own website as well as some radio projects and three books about the politics of the USA through the prism of the today's conservatism. This writer has a rather specific position concerning the Republican Party, the American conservative movement, and other connected issues. It is difficult to call him a Republican propagandist or proponent. He rather just shares his thoughts concerning everyday news through his specific conservative worldview. It is very important that Scarborough has a very personalized blog. He always writes from the first person, calls himself just Joe instead of Joseph, and uses other techniques to be as close as possible to readers. In this way, the blogger in this way shows the American conservatism with a human face instead of some abstract model based on stereotypes and personal doubts of each separate citizen. Scarborough's posts in his blog on his own website are related to the main political issues that take place in the USA. The author avoids official tone and writes as a conversationalist who discusses the politics with his friends. In this point it is clear through the information mentioned. Before that, the blogger's style applied in his blog is a result of his practice as a radio host. It is also important that except the political writing online the website analyzed includes the sections that concern sports, music, and life of the journalist. In this way, the author makes the first step in the process of acquaintance with his readers. He looks like a person similar to any other American who just wants to discuss the political questions.
The Common Features of Scarborough's and Ambinder's Blogs
As stated before, the common features of political blogs allow understand what makes them popular and successful. In this way, such a comparison has a great theoretical importance that can be implemented practically. Through the comparison of both blogs it looks that their main similar characteristics is the polylogue character of texts. This feature allows readers to feel themselves in touch with each blogger. In my opinion, this effect is based on some fundamentals such as the actuality of discussed issues, the underlined personal position, deep analysis provided in the posts, the connection with each reader, and the equality with him or her. Bloggers achieve these effects through different ways depending on their personal styles and writing techniques. Therefore, I provide the discussion of each mentioned feature in the parts of essay related to the differences between the blogs researched.
The actuality of issues does not mean just a discussion of the recent news. Political bloggers write their posts on the themes that are actually interesting for the American nation. Despite the actuality of Scarborough's and Ambinder's entries depending on different factors, the following fact is clear. Both authors appeal to some aspects of news that may attract their readers. At the same time, both bloggers demonstrate their own position. In this way, they share their worldviews through each entry. In some cases, even when the debated problem is not interesting, the journalist's specific point may worth reading about it. As for the deep analysis of the concerns discussed, it is important to underline that the political blogging relies on commenting and supplementing of the news already known for readers through specialized sources. That is why any political blogger always has to provide some new aspects of the issues discussed. Therefore, both Scarborough and Ambinder achieve this point but in different manners. The connection with readers as well as the equality with them is one of the most important details looking common for both blogs. The entries analyzed online allow the commenters feel them speaking with an interesting friend who just wants to discuss some political problems or provide the new information on the problems already known. Using such techniques together, both Scarborough and Ambinder are becoming popular and attract new readers.
The Differences of Scarborough's and Ambinder's Styles
Despite relying on the same features briefly characterized before, both bloggers provide their analysis of the political issues. They are using different styles that reflect their personalities. Thus, each of the blogs analyzed remains with the same technical basis. However, they are colored in other specifics dependent of their authors' biographies, general occupations, and tactics in their relationship with readers.
Both Scarborough and Ambinder discuss the themes understandable, actual and interesting for many people. While Ambinder tries to show some hidden facts, provide new data, and uncover the government's mistakes through his criticism, the other blogger provides his own reflection of recent political issues. For example, when Ambinder writes about the ISIS, he just tries to reveal the structure and the main goals of this organization in order to allow Americans understand who those people are. In the case of Scarborough, he does not give new facts. However, he mostly reinterprets the data already known. In this way, his blog is much more personal. It reflects the author's subjective position. At the same time, Ambinder has a pretension to look like a non-biased journalist without any personal point of view. Thus, the analysis of Scarborough is limited by his conservative opinion. Meanwhile, the blog of Ambinder operates primarily with independent facts. Both positions have their weak and strong sides. The same fact concerns bloggers' relationships with readers. For Scarborough, whose blog reflects primarily his worldview and personality, the audience looks like his friend. Therefore, the process of reading is like a conversation with readers. Scarborough always uses the first person in his posts, appeals to his personal experience, tells some stories from his life. In other ways, the author underlines that his blog reflects his personality, first of all. As for Ambinder, his posts have more objective character because of his pretension for objectivity and worldview independence. At the same time, he always shows that he is an American journalist and writes We instead of using the Americans or the USA. In my opinion, such peculiarity of the relationship of both bloggers with their readers is a result of their general occupations. Scarborough is a well-known radio host. He is also a lawyer and politician. Meanwhile Ambinder is a journalist and the mentioned before magazine's editor and contributor. In this way, it is more natural for Scarborough to express his thoughts through the form of a free personal speech. Therefore, he uses this kind of communication both in radio and his political blog. That is why his website and posts are so personal and attractive for his readers. The same concerns Ambinder whose general field of work is not speaking but writing. In contrast to Scarborough, this blogger expresses him through the written text. In this way, his personality paradoxically appears in his unbiased position.
Despite the formal differences analyzed, it is clear that both authors rely on the same principles allowing their blogs attract readers. It means that the differences between the online resources of Scarborough and Ambinder concern only the external sides of their projects. Through this fact it is possible to claim that the peculiarity of a successful and popular political blog depends on its author's possibility to combine the own style with the polylogue concept of blogging.
The Personal Evaluation of the Issue
After the analysis of both online resources through the prism of their common and different features, it is also important to provide the own evaluation of them from the readers' position. In my opinion, both blogs have their weak and strong sides. In this way, they accomplish one another. It is naturally that this fact mostly is related to their stylish differences. For example, Scarborough in his Republican position sometimes looks biased. Therefore, in such moments, he needs the objectiveness of Ambinder. At the same time, the living passionate character of Scarborough's texts would make the posts of the other blogger more vivid. Ambinder's position with its negative character oriented on total criticism as well as the free informational society development sometimes lacks an exact personal position. His posts are very informative. Therefore, he writes extensively. Meanwhile Scarborough's aim is an intensive analysis and discussion of the facts already known for readers. In this way, it is impossible to say whose blog is better for me through other people's points of view.
It is possible to illustrate the mutual accomplishing character of both online resources through the comparison of the authors' position concerning the same theme. The approaching presidential elections presuppose the topics for most of posts. Thus, Scarborough mostly criticizes Obama. In this manner, he indirectly addresses his criticism to the Democratic Party at all. In some posts, he sympathizes to Donald Trump who belongs to Scarborough's political party. Thus, this blogger focuses his attention on the internal issues of the US politics. At the same time, Ambinder is more interested in the discussion of international issues. The reason is that he does not belong to any party and tries to have an independent position. Such an example shows that even thematically these bloggers accomplish one another. It is clear that the same fact may be related to other popular blogs as well that also provide some specific information and positions. One should read more than one political online resource in order to have a full image of the American political climate.
The popularity and success of both blogs is a result of realization of the mentioned principle of polylogue. Neither Scarborough nor Ambinder claims that his point of view is final. Each of them takes into account any alternative positions. In contrast to the pre-Internet times when people just were reading newspapers and could not discuss the published thoughts with a great range of other readers and the author, the today is a different period. Nowadays, the audience has a possibility to take part in such a discussion in the online regime. In my opinion, the main condition for increasing of the political blog's popularity is the author's ability to create a friendly atmosphere for the debates. Blogs are not newspapers. Today, the reader wants his or her voice to be heard as well as the writer's opinion highlighted. In this point, certainly, the political blogging (and the phenomenon of blogging at all) reflects a progressive idea of democracy, multiculturalism, and tolerance that should define the relationships among the people in the American society today.
The phenomenon of political blogging has appeared as the result of both technical progress and democratic values' development. The invention of the Internet has allowed readers to make their voices heard. In this way, the political analytics has become polylogue instead of monologue as represented in paper newspapers or magazines. Thus, through the analysis of political blogs of Joe Scarborough and Mark Ambinder, the following fact becomes clear. The main condition of the political blogger's success is setting a possibility for everyone for the productive and interesting discussion concerning the posts published. In connection with each author's particular style, such friendly and suitable blog will be popular and effective in accordance with the social demands today.