Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Blogs and political campaigns

Politics and the Internet used to be all about static Web Sites. These sites were pretty much nothing more than a political brochure. Then came the bulletin-board type political sites where people could post their opinions on political issues.

Blogs have changed all that. According to Common Dreams NewsCenter:

Every month, 250,000 people in hundreds of cities participate in meetups, local gatherings of political activists of every stripe who find each other online.

The result is a new form of intimacy between campaigns and their far-flung supporters, the creation of virtual political communities powered by people devoted to the candidates.

One of the most important aspects of the political blogs is the interaction between real people. Once this interaction takes place, there tends to be a sense of loyalty to the particular candidate. A real part of this has been meetups:

One of the most tangible results of the new wave of Internet organizing is the explosion of monthly meetups. Participants find each other through Meetup.com, an independent Web site originally designed to help connect the like-minded, whether they be Harry Potter fans or Chihuahua lovers.

The Dean campaign has taken things up a notch. Through "DeanSpace", local campaigns are given server space to create their own local blog pages. The main blog then features links to some of the best local blog postings. A fantastic idea that seems to be working extremely well.