Antoinette Pole's disciplined research is getting publicity, apparently places where it matters. Here's the abstract on her paper.
This paper explores the role of black bloggers in the blogosphere. Among the top political blogs, blogging has primarily been undertaken by white men, coined by Chris Nolan as the "Big Boys Club." This research assesses how bloggers of color use their blogs for purposes related to politics, and it investigates whether the blogosphere facilitates political participation.
The data for this paper are based on in-depth interviews with 20 black bloggers conducted in November 2005. Primarily exploratory, this paper examines the issues and topics discussed by bloggers of color, and whether and how bloggers are using their blogs to engage in political participation. In addition this research attempts to assess whether black bloggers face discrimination in the blogosphere. Findings from this research suggest that black bloggers do in fact use their blogs to encourage their readers to engage in various forms of political participation. Finally, the data also show that bloggers reported that they do not feel discriminated against or excluded by other bloggers.