Presidential Candidates Make Serious Use of Weblogs to Motivate Grassroots
Earlier this week Editor and Publisher ran a story on how weblogs are changing the way U.S. presidential campaigning is done for the November 2004 Election. The article cites a number of weblogs that have been launched, including Howard Dean's so-called Blog for America and a blog covering campaigning in New Hampshire, called NHprimary.com.
It is hard to put these political weblogs into perspective, because the majority of the current activity is on behalf of those opposed to George W. Bush. A lot of commentary on Howard Dean's use of the Internet has been very positive, although a few hardcore bloggers like Dave Winer and Doc Searls have put his effort into perspective.
We are in the early days of the use of weblog technology for national political campaign purposes. So far, the most successful applications seem to be fundraising related. One day, the aides to political candidates are going to figure out how to harness the technology. Then, they will be able to get their message out without media filtration.
It's far more difficult to judge how long this relatively sophisticated, rapidly evolving technique for grassroots politicking will take to arrive at the state and local level. Based on what arrives in our mailbox and what we hear over-the-air in New Jersey, it may take a couple of years for weblogs to be effectively utilizied here.