Never doubt the power of the Internet. Kucinich is the first presidential candidate I’ve known very much about–because his campaign makes heavy use of the Internet–including blogging–to mobilize support and educate voters about the issues. Check out this page full of media, meetup and mingle ideas: Volunteer Action.
And he’s not the only one–there’s a taller guy doing it, too. Here’s a big lift direct from an article by Elisabeth Rosenthal in today’s New York Times online:
“The Dean interactive Web site, Blog for America, where visitors can post any message they want, gets more than 40,000 hits a day. His campaign drew in about $15 million in the financial quarter that ended in September, the vast majority in small online contributions. But the question is whether these numbers add up to a successful campaign on the ground.
So far, Dr. Dean’s Internet-based supporters seem inclined to answer the call to conventional arms. On the national Web site, about 2,000 people have signed up to go to Iowa. In October, when the Dean campaign headquarters posted a request asking supporters to send hand-written letters to a list of officials, 2,500 wrote to former Vice President Al Gore.
Six weeks later, Mr. Gore endorsed Dr. Dean.
“The whole point of the Internet is that it is decentralized and not hierarchical,” said Darrell West, a political science professor at Brown University. “Blogs are perfectly democratic. So it could be a challenge to get the troops moving in the same direction.”
The Internet seemed tailor-made for the Dean campaign, especially in states like Tennessee that do not hold an important primary. Here, the Web provided the Dean campaign with a vehicle for the growth of a galloping home-grown political movement that requires almost no outside supervision or financing….
“The Internet is just a very efficient way to connect people, replacing the inefficient tool of a phone call,” he continued. “What it changes is the ability to organize quickly and efficiently. But you still need old-school shoe-leather campaigning to take it from there.”
I love the way journalists always have to ask quasi-cynical questions in order to prove they are not biased. That’s one of the best things about blogging: no need to qualify or even defend your opinions. They’re yours and so is the blog, and if you want to brag–whether it’s about your candidate, your employees, your accountant, or your whole darn company–you get to. Just be sure you’re bragging about the value you bring your customers…