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November 10, 2003

Politics (Doctor Dean) and the Web

Lots of chatter about Howard Dean and the web reshaping politics.. Lots of immediacy, not a lot of long term perspective. People keep thinking that all this stuff is new, but very little is new..

Dean gets the web, Dean is open-source, Dean is grass roots, the Internet disintermediates the web-- that's all well and good, and I think it's good for the web and it's good for blogging.

What's good about the web and politics is that the news cycle is faster, as memorably posited in Mickey Kaus' blog about his friend Brucer Feiler and his
Feiler Faster Thesis : the news cycle is quicker, response times must become quicker, and the web supports that. And he's got Joi Ito, and he subs for Lessig, if all this does is raise the awareness of blogs in the general population, that's okay too.

Dick Morris says it spells the end of television's dominance of politics.

But here's a few more interesting insights:
Michael Wolff begins with a longer term perspective, talking about the McGovern campaign's use of direct marketing as a previous innovation, and argues that the people who are online are not the same as the people who are America, and that the appearance of web success is not the appearance of real success. Wolff says the key is money, not the web, and he's got a valid point about the disconnect between the MeetUp crowd and the voters.

Garance Franke-Ruta comes up with a salient analysis: the sort of tolerant, open, sloppy but enthusiastic dynamic of the blog/meetup/Dean camp fits well with the zeitgeist of core Democratic enthusiasts, but perhaps not at all well with the message-discipline, top-down thrust of a Republican campaign. So the Dean blogs may be preaching to the choir, and the Question AtTheEndOfTheDay™ will be: how does it play with the center?


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