See you at the Blogger Bash

Media seems to think that bloggers have arrived when they get credentials to the Convention.  Um, no.  Bloggers have arrived when they get their own Convention party. Get ready for drunkblogging.

Google News and The Blogosphere

Yesterday I was sifting through Google News for poll internals, when I noticed that sites such as Townhall and RushLimbaugh.com were among the links my searches produced. I didn't think much of it, but then I searched for Dailykos, Billmon, Talking Points Memo, Eschaton and (yes) MyDD. None of the large leftist blogs produced links, except for when they were discussed in other news sources.

Why are highly partisan sites that do not collect any news and only produce opinion linked by Google News but blogs are not? In fact, especially come convention time, many blogs will actually be producing on the ground, first-hand reporting, rather than just commentary on primary source news. It would seem to me that we are just as worthy of Google News as the two conservative sites I mentioned in he first paragraph. Hell, considering that we exist only on the internet, occasionally receive press credentials, sometimes produce primary source news and usually demonstrate superior poll analysis than other news sites, we are probably more deserving. As such, I think we at least should be included in Google News searches.

If you agree with me, email Google News and list some prominent blogs you feel should be part of Google's news searches. Their feedback email is news-feedback@google.com, and can be found at the bottom of this page.

1,000,000 Visits to MyDD

Site Meter has just recorded MyDD's 1,000,000th visit. That is a remarkable achievement, and Jerome should be very proud.

Personally, I have only been posting here for around 20% of those visits, but in that time I have had a tremendous amount of fun, and I have learned a lot. A little less than two years ago, MyDD and Dailykos were the first two blogs I ever visited, and it has been an honor and privilege to be able to contribute to both of them. Thank you Jerome, thank you Kos, thank you Rusty and Jeremy for working on the site, and thank you to all of our visitors. The visitors and the community are what make any blog special.

Is a New Counter-Culture About to Hit the Mainstream?

Today, Fahrenheit 911 will pass $80M in total ticket sales (who knows, maybe the ticket I purchase when I finally go see it tonight will be the one!). By the end of July, it will probably come close to $150M, passing the previous record for a documentary film by more than seven times. If Bush loses the election, F911 might be considered the most important movie of all time.

Other polemic documentaries, such as Control Room, The Corporation, The Hunting of the President, Outfoxed, and Super Size Me have also received, or are about to receive, significant, widespread attention. It seems that every week a new documentary comes out that takes on a topic from a perspective I have long wished to be available.

The Blogosphere continues to grow in leaps and bounds. For example, check out the traffic at dailykos and Eschaton over the past year. Both have quadrupled from what were already soaring heights, and now each has almost as many readers as your average cable news talk show has viewers. Hell, the daily traffic here has more almost tripled in the past three months. At the Swing State Project, my other blog gig, it has increased six fold over the past three months.

Meetup numbers? While nothing has achieved what we witnessed in the Dean campaign, they still continue to soar, with the Democratic Party passing 60,000, and Kerry passing 125,000. Many organizations and issue groups, almost all of which lean left, have passed 5,000 members. Oh yeah--and Presidential campaigns now receive around 33% of their money from small donors.

Throw in the continuing growth of music, video and other file sharing, as well as the continuing number of people who use the internet, especially the independent internet, as their primary source of news, and I have to seriously wonder if we stand at the brink of the explosion of a new counter-culture in America. Rising out of the anti-war protests of February 15, 2003 (the largest protest in history), and before that the smaller anti-globalization protests, this is a culture that is highly active, independent, group-oriented, bottom fermenting, leftist, and viciously anti-corporate. The first two major shockwaves it has sent into the culture at large were the Dean campaign and Fahrenheit 911.

As of yet I am unable to formulate a name for it, and I am also unable to identify its "goals." While it certainly seems to have a major impact in the political, aesthetic and culinary realms of our culture, I am not sure if it extends into other areas as well. Is it even enough to be considered a counter "culture?" Perhaps, because it is still in its genesis, such determinations are impossible to make with any accuracy.

In short, over the past two years, I have slowly become more and more convinced that we are at the beginning of an enormous cultural shift, or even a rebellion. Have I just been blogging too much? Does anyone else out there feel this way?

Reaching Out to the Online Democratic Community

The following is a memo from Ben Rahn, founder of Actblue, that he has been sending around to campaigns who ask about the blogosphere.  The content here is really good, and Ben kindly gave me permission to post it.

In the days following the June 28 launch of ActBlue, we were contacted by several Democratic campaigns asking for suggestions on how to effectively reach out the online Democratic community.

I'm hardly an expert on communications strategy (Internet-based or otherwise), but I'm certainly happy to offer a few thoughts and observations.  My response to these queries formed the basis for the following memo.

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