Ohio and the Blogs
by blogswarm, Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 09:59:42 AM EDT
This morning's Columbus Dispatch has an editorial blasting the Brown campaign for reaching out the the blogosphere.
As someone who spends most of my time talking about the importance of the blogosphere, I think this is total bullshit to attack a politician for trying to reach out online.
As I see it, the attacks about the money and Jerome distract from the real campaign and the real issue at hand.
After the OH-02 Special Election, the quote everyone picked up was how Republicans should be on notice, but so should the Democratic Establishment. This is the crux of the issue.
Brown seems to think his voting record means the netroots will flock to his campaign. But it hasn't happened and it won't. Online, people want interaction, they want involvement, they want participatory democracy. Over the summer, Hackett gave the blogosphere inspiration, hope, and a way to get involved. One person at a time, we were inspired and began to act.
Blogs aren't like political organizations, getting the support of a blogger doesn't mean you have the support of the readers. Blogs operate from the bottom up, not top down.
The true story is how this is shaping up between an politician trying to take a top-down, talk-at-you-with-ads approach to the blogosphere vs. an outsider who inspired netroots activists one at a time to have a vast bottom-up movement. That is the story that should be written.
But enough of this crap about Jerome. Seriously, enough attacks against individual bloggers in this race.
I'm glad to see Sherrod Brown trying to reach out online, even if he thinks of it like traditional broadcast communication. I'm glad to see candidates advertise on blogs, I would love it if we had enough ads so that 10 times as many bloggers could blog full time.
That is one of the reasons I support Paul Hackett, because he gets it when it comes to the blogs. While I know Hackett appreciated the support of so many bloggers during the Special Election, I think what really blew his mind was how many individuals got involved in a race nobody thought was winnable. Because it wasn't about winning the election, it was about democracy and giving people a choice. That is the true power of the blogosphere, not raising money or attacking opponents, but helping people participate in politics.
So let's not bash people for reaching out online.
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