[NetBehaviour] Can Blogs Revolutionize Progressive Politics?

news news at netbehaviour.org
Wed Feb 8 11:30:11 CET 2006

Can Blogs Revolutionize Progressive Politics?

By Lakshmi Chaudhry

Bloggers tout the rise of the netroots as changing how politics works, 
but will the internet just become a new method of conducting politics as 

We have no interest in being anti-establishment," says Matt Stoller, a 
blogger at the popular Web site MyDD.com. "We're going to be the 

That kind of flamboyant confidence has become the hallmark of blog 
evangelists who believe that blogs promise nothing less than a populist 
revolution in American politics. In 2006, at least some of that rhetoric 
is becoming reality. Blogs may not have replaced the Democratic Party 
establishment, but they are certainly becoming an integral part of it. 
In the wake of John Kerry's defeat in the 2004 presidential elections, 
many within the Democratic leadership have embraced blog advocates' plan 
for political success, which can be summed up in one word: netroots.

This all-encompassing term loosely describes an online grassroots 
constituency that can be targeted through Internet technologies, 
including e-mail, message boards, RSS feeds and, of course, blogs, which 
serve as organizing hubs. In turn, these blogs employ a range of 
features -- discussion boards, Internet donations, live e-chat, social 
networking tools like MeetUp, online voting -- that allow ordinary 
citizens to participate in politics, be it supporting a candidate or 
organizing around a policy issue. Compared to traditional media, blogs 
are faster, cheaper, and most importantly, interactive, enabling a level 
of voter involvement impossible with television or newspapers.


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