Why does politicians and political commentators need to start taking the 'blogosphere' seriously? Well, according to Donald Alexander of Charles Sturt University a reading of academic articles published between 2004 and now, plus commentary in the political media, shows that blogs are beginning to exert some influence on political agenda. Additionally, the increasing use of blogs means that political commentators no longer have to rely on the media to reach the public.
In an article (not yet published) in The Bulletin, a Charles Sturt University magazine, Alexander writes a short introduction to the 'why', where he presents a briefly preview of some of the academic literature discussing the topic. Personally I find the article is worth a read. Some might find the piece a little in-comprehensive and out of date. Other might ask 'why' the piece wasn't published two years ago.