Ideas & Proposals
November 14 Election 2004 | Building/Consensus | | trackback url
Four years ago, I thought that to be elected a President, it was sufficient for the candidate to have experience in the White House, command of the issues, a platform which would benefit the majority of Americans, an abiliy to withstand the press’s snipings about his wardrobe, authorship of a government report on airline security… ok, all but the last. What I didn’t realize is that what he really needed was a collection of votes in New Hampshire and Florida, and a little door-to-door canvassing might have helped turned the tide. So, four years too late, I some did canvassing in those battleground states. (We took the granite, but lost the sunshine.) I only canvassed on a handful of occasions, but whenever I did, my fellow canvassers marvelled at the stories I told afterwards. So I thought it best to write it down to be useful for future campaigns.

Responses & Reviews
December 29 Media | Language/Structure | International | | trackback url
When an earthquake and a tsunami hit and cause deaths in the tens of thousands, what should a blogger do?. There’s three broad things that a media publication address: honor the victims; provide relief for the survivors; consider how to mitigate the risk for the future. I have reviewed the responses from the last three days of 25 online political writers (bloggers and columnists). I wasn’t expecting much, as I had picked those who cover on the American political scene (some of the “independents,” as I call them, actually dabble in many subjects). But this is a global world, after all, and it is cataclysmic events like this which should bring out the best in writers.

December 23 Internet | Language/Structure | | trackback url
The next leader of the Democratic party may be important to some people, perhaps not nearly as vital as the next Director of Homeland Security is, but it ought to have some importance to the 55 million whose were disappointed that their candidate didn’t win. The news is to be found on the Internet, in the blogs, and for many party people, it’s the DailyKos. “Kos” has been covering this story regularly since the end of the election, and he has most readers of any weblog.
November 24 Election 2004 | Access/Network | | trackback url
Throughout the 2004 campaign, I participated in the emerging conversation of civic activists engaged in using Internet technology to drive the campaigns. Most of the software components– mailing lists, websites, forums, blogs– were already designed and ready to go, so what was left was to debate how to properly use it. Part of that debate was driven by what values were inherent in the network models, a discussion that I felt was high on rhetoric and short on substance. So I thought I’d take time to sort out what network models mean and how they ought to be considered.

Analysis & Reports
December 27 Internet | Language/Structure | | trackback url
In the realm of online political commentary, there are blogs, and there are things which resemble or are thought to be blogs. It’s vital to know what’s what— not to castigate some as being on one side of the divide, but simply to help researchers and practitioners understand, what salient features they are referring to when they talk about “blogs.” A closer analysis is needed to understand which characteristics– including those that are inherent with the setup of the software, as well as those that are emergent— should be explored or employed for a particular situation.

December 4 Media | Familiarity | | trackback url
I took a brief trip to the mid-nineties last weekend, going to my tenth high school reunion, leafing through some old Wired magazines, and picking up Thomas Frank’s 2000 book One Market Under God. A common theme: how did I view the “elites” then and now? Frank hypothesis, which he expanded in one of this year’s most informative political books, What’s the Matter With Kansas?, has been that an American political discourse continues to be defined by a demonization of the elites. This is not very much different from high school, as it turns out. Who the elites are, who gains by painting them as such, and whether they’re the same as the “mainstream” are questions we should consider– whenever we encounter someone raging against the media. Here’s a little exercise, weighing in at four thousand words.

Definitions & Explanations
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