Re: Re: How is technology changing politics?
I agree and disagree with Mossberg on the impact of technology on Politics. Has technology been "game changing"? Probably not, if you consider game changing as effecting the final election results. Has it "impacted" politics? Yes. How strong has that impact been? I'd say fairly significant, and it's going to be even more significant very soon.
Howard Dean was the first big name. He showed that big internet fund-raising campaigns can work. He showed that spreading ideas (much like Big Think) on the internet can work. He was a front-runner, and he had real momentum. I think it was one mistake, a whole lot of media play, and a perception change about him in the non-internet world from his "yee-ha" outburst that changed his momentum. The traditional media outcry over this had a lot to do with his downfall. That doesn't lessen the fact that he revolutionized presidential campaigining by using the internet effectively.
Also, Ron Paul has shown that he too can make a buzz on the internet and have his grass-roots followers raise record-breaking amoonts of money. Ron Paul, admittedly, has not broken thru in the voting. I would say that this has much to do with the traditional media's unfair treatment towards him. In this case it shows that the internet is a great way to get out your message, but that traditional media are still big players.
Next, people are spreading video and thoughts about candidates online this year, much like they spread funny internet jokes and e-mails aksing 20 questions about ones-self. Why venture out in the cold winter weather to hear a candidate speak, when you can go on youtube, big think, or the candidates own site to find out what they have said and what their stances on the issues are? People's perceptions of candidates are increasingly being formed by what they see on the internet.
Finally, we will see the internet making a huge impact on the 2008 election. I am sure someone has taped every hour of C-Span. That somone or someones will have the time to sift through all the hours of footage. They will cut together candidates remarks on issues and post them on You-Tube, Blogs, or Big Think to contradict a candidates stance on an issue. We will also see the candidates and the party's following, with video cameras, their opponents. They will be waiting for their opponenets to make mistakes and for them to show on camera, and be posted on the internet. The Democrats have already admitted they have spies with video cameras at all Republican candidates' events. I would not be surprised if Republicans are doing the same. Don't be surprised if one candidate rises or falls because of something that spreads like wildfire on the internet (and then makes it onto the TV).
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