Monday, March 26, 2007

New Media Overtaking Campaign Finance Reform

Patrick Ruffini draws a very interesting lesson from the 'Hillary 1984' ad: that peer-to-peer politics is back:

There is nothing new or unnatural about this way of doing politics. The broadcast era was all about artificial limits imposed by imperfect, transitory technologies. Broadcast TV replaced door-to-door politics and civic involvement plummeted. Campaigns slashed budgets for canvassing and plowed their money into television.

Today, peer-to-peer politics is back with a vengeance. Except your local precinct is the entire country. It's politics as us junkies have always wanted it to be -- with no holds barred and no limits of geography or financial support.

It's scary to think about, but one kid can produce a YouTube video that changes the tenor of the campaign. And the only thing a candidate (and most importantly, their supporters) can do is to raise the volume. Make sure that the sheer scale of the activity on your behalf is louder and more compelling than the attacks against you...

There has been a lot of talk, particularly on the left, about the Internet enabling "community." I think there's something to do that, but the bigger story is how the net has empowered individuals. It's the individual who produces the YouTube video, who slaves over code late at night, who generates the paradigm-shifting ideas that new communities are built around. Groups of individuals are remarkably adept at "post-filtering" ideas, sifting the good from the bad. But the Web depends on the effort of rugged individuals to generate those ideas. And those ideas are no longer ignored just because they don't fit into a predefined media frame.

One more demonstration of how new technology empowers the Army of Davids.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'd say this is a very good thing that's happened to the cause of democracy in a LONG time. And I wouldn't worry about undue influence of silly videos like the recent Hillary one. These will shake out as the process matures. For instance you wouldn't have seen the Hillary video here...