Blogging is moving up the political foodchain: 20 months ago at the innaugural Personal Democracy Forum, Congressman Anthony Weiner stated on the opening panel that politicians wouldn’t care unless and until blogging caused mainstream media coverage that in turn affected mainstream consciousness. Meanwhile an IRC room set up for people in the audience scrolled flame on a giant projection screen behind him. The audience numbered less than 200.
This June, by contrast, more than 2000 will gather for YearlyKos, the innaugural national bloggers convention for the Daily Kos community, the event will be keynoted by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and I’m betting (it will be in Las Vegas after all) that all the 2008 Democratic Presidential hopefuls will be there– just to try to impress and be one with the bloggers.
So, political blogging has gone mainstream and is de rigeur for up and coming politicians.
Which begs the question: what will be next online political revolution be?
I’m betting that it’s going to be the mainstreaming of online advocacy communities. Where blogging has broadened the range of people with a political voice that can be heard and eventually percolate up to mainstream media, online advocacy communities are already greatly expanding the range of people and organizations that through their collective action can actually impact the outcome of an election. It’s going to make having a heavily funded campaign less critical, and being an authentic and inspiring candidate way more potent (fingers crossed). DailyKos morphing into YearlyKos is a hint of this evolution already underway within the blogosphere itself. The fact that YearlyKos, The Onion, Air America, Spread Firefox and (Senator Chris) Dodd.Senate.Gov all use the same open-source platform– community-built CivicSpace/Drupal– is another.