[NetBehaviour] Can Blogs Revolutionize Progressive Politics?
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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