Blogging is a hard-won pleasure. It can be a lonely business too. It feels like one of those dreams where you practise your part in the school play and when the time comes, the curtain comes up and you are all alone, on stage talking to an empty house.
But, it seems, bloggers are no longer ranting at the silence. Their audiences are growing, their effects increasingly far-reaching. Now it seems, the humble blog has played a major role in helping to defeat US Senator Joe Lieberman in the Connecticut Senate primary.
In the past, websites like The Daily Kos or MoveOn.org have helped make a Right Royal Racket, but they have added up to produce few tangible electoral results. Until now.
In Tuesday's Democratic primary, the blog-o-sphere didn't just get a win, but they secured something no-one would have prophesised a few months ago.
Joe Lieberman wasn't a nobody. He was only hairs-breath from being a Democratic vice-president six years ago. And he had virtually the whole of the Democratic establishment (including Clinton) backing him in his bid against the previously unknown Ned Lamont.
The bloggers, riled by Lieberman's pro-war stance and his attacks on many of his party who opposed President Bush's policy there, opted for Lamont. Even Lamont has admitted that their support was crucial early in getting the word of his candidacy out. He got much help from The Daily Kos, blogger Tim Tagaris (who left his job at the Democratic National Committee to work on Lamont's campaign) and mydd.com all jumped on the bus to Connecticut to shout from teh rooftops to support Lamont.
Of course, the humble blog can't take all the credit. The blue state was pretty pissed off anyway. Liberals there were frustrated by Lieberman's lacidaisical position on other issues, such as his support for school vouchers. And Lamont used up his piggy-bank supply of $4 million to put his vision forward (and he hired veteran Connecticut political operative Tow Swan to help him out too).
But this primary win has signalled a change in the media landscape that is so important to US politics. Blogs will now be treated with a good deal more respect from now on. And the savvy are already courting the changes. Hillary Clinton has hired a blog advisor. Presidential candidates made an appearance at the Daily Kos convention in June. Senate Leader regularly meet with MoveOn.org.
But while it may empower the bloggers, Republicans are predicting that the whole thing is bitter-sweet. In truth, Lieberman's defeat will actually help the Republicans keep control of Congress later this November - whilst many Democrats share this sentiment. And Lamont's victory will no doubt give Republicans ammunition to caricature the Democratic Party as too liberal.
Whatever the outcome, this race sends one clear overriding message: politicians defy the blog at their own peril.