Norwegian blogging politicians – some tendencies

I’ve been invited to talk at a blog seminar tomorrow, arranged by Høyre, the Conservative party in Norway. I’m going to talk about blogging politicians, digital media and how/if political journalism has changed because of bloggers/social media.

As I’ve been preparing for the talk, I’ve been looking at which Norwegian politicians (at the national level, either ministers or parliamentarians) are blogging. I’ve been thinking about doing this for a long time, and finally, I got a good reason for compiling the list. On top, you find the three political parties in the government, Arbeiderpartiet (Labour Party), Senterpartiet (Centre Party) and Sosialistisk Venstreparti (Socialist Left Party), below you find the four opposition parties.

Short conclusion: Few of the politicians have grasped the blog format. Many avoid linking, answering their readers, and use the blog as another platform for monologue (just like newspapers or television), instead of engaging in the  digital conversation. Humour is hard to find.

But there are some clear exceptions: Minister of Education, Bård Vegar Solhjell (SV – he just started blogging, Nov last year) and Torbjørn Røe Isaksen (Høyre -not blogging anymore, stopped June 2008) are among them. They are/were engaged, personal (but not necessarily private, which is something completely different), funny, frequently updated. Solhjell’s personal twist is music, every week he presents a new record (this week’s record is Talking Heads: Fear of Music), which seems to engage his readers. Just as I’m writing this, I read this tweet about Solhjell’s blog, written by Fredrik Johnsen: “Bård Vegar Solhjell says what he means about Israel-Palestine… Refreshingly direct!”

I assume we will see some digital changes and improvements among the political parties as the election is approaching in Sept this year. Otherwise, they haven’t learned the lesson from Obama! Politics is no longer viral, it’s viral.

Please let me know if I’ve missed any blogging politicians on the national level. If I have, you better make sure to make them more visible on your website!

Arbeiderpartiet (Labour party)

Helga Pedersen

Bjarne Håkon Hanssen

Rødbloggere

Sosialistisk Venstreparti (Socialist Left Party)

Bård Vegard Solhjell

Heikki Holmås

Audun Lysbakken

Akhtar Shadhry

SV-bloggere

Senterpartiet (Centre Party)

None

Høyre (Conservative Party)

Erna Solberg

Jan Tore Sanner

Jan Tore Sanners skatteblogg

Finished – Torbjørn Røe Isaksen

Peter S. Gitmark

Høyres programblogg

Blåbloggere

Venstre (Liberal Party)

Lars Sponheim

Trine Skei Grande

Venstre-bloggere

Kristelig folkeparti (Christian Democratic Party)

None

Fremskrittspartiet (Progress Party)

None

8 thoughts on “Norwegian blogging politicians – some tendencies

  1. Wow, I really liked Solhjell’s blog. Open and fresh, unlike most of the other politicians that use it like any other silly platform, like you said, they drive a monologue with no questions from the journalists answered…

  2. Pingback: P 6/09 « Plinius

  3. Thanks for your comments and links! I’v added Gitmark, because he is a blogging parliamentarian. I have not included the others since they are neither in the Parliament or Ministers (I’m focusing on blogging politicians from the Government/Stortinget).

  4. Pingback: PL 4/09: Libraries and the public sphere « Plinius

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