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View Full Version : The Internet Social Networks or Citizenship 2.0



megimoo
11-28-2008, 01:15 PM
Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported an important effect of the 2008 presidential campaign: For the first time, traffic at left-leaning political Web sites overtook traffic at right-leaning competitors. The Drudge Report and Free Republic had the largest number of unique visitors in September 2007, but in September 2008, that honor went to the Huffington Post.

Political strategists have been analyzing the impact of the Internet on American political communication since at least the mid-1990s. When Hillary Clinton complained in 1998 about a "vast right-wing conspiracy," she was drawing on a 332-page study done by the 1995 Clinton White House alleging that a "right-wing conspiracy industry" was moving anti-Clinton material from Web sites in the United States to conservative papers in Britain and then back to mainstream U.S. print publications.

That 1995 report, and Clinton, too, were right on one point: The earliest significant impact of the Internet on political communication did come from the right.

Drudge was founded in 1994 and Free Republic in 1996. MoveOn was created in 1998 -- precisely to respond to online anti-Clinton efforts -- but it didn't gain real prominence until 2003, when George Soros invested. The other major left-leaning sites appeared after George W. Bush's election: Democratic Underground in 2001, Daily Kos in 2002 and Huffington Post not until 2005.

This pattern makes sense: The right, while in opposition, innovated with Internet tools; when the left in turn found itself out of power, it too developed new types of political communication.


But if Clinton was correct that the right dominated the Internet in the mid-90s, she wrongly attributed its success to conspiratorial methods. The word "conspiracy" fails to capture the remarkable power generated by Internet-based communication.

There are basically two kinds of influential political Web sites: sites that use a top-down hierarchy, whereby a central organization develops a message and disseminates it using social-networking technology, and sites that use a Wikipedia-type method, in which thousands of individual users contribute content and drive the message. This latter approach is exactly the opposite of conspiratorial.

The earliest and most powerful right-leaning Web site, Free Republic, used the non-hierarchical method. Free Republic developed innovative Internet architecture to build a sort of Wikipedia of citizenship, a do-it-yourself kit for spreading messages and connecting them with local, face-to-face activism. The site's discussion lists -- which have global reach -- are fed by participants and connected by those participants to a plethora of state message boards organizing real-time, boots-on-the-ground political action. The influence of the site reflects the power of self-organizing social phenomena, not a conspiracy.

Notably, the right has adopted the Wikipedia method more consistently than the left. MoveOn employs the top-down structure, as does the Huffington Post. Daily Kos blends the grass-roots and hierarchical methods.

Democratic Underground copied Free Republic's grass-roots approach, but with less powerful architecture. One can't help wondering whether the right's more successful use of such self-organizing systems reflects the concrete impact of libertarian ideology.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/24/AR2008112402119.html
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wilbur
11-28-2008, 02:35 PM
[SIZE="3"]
Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported an important effect of the 2008 presidential campaign: For the first time, traffic at left-leaning political Web sites overtook traffic at right-leaning competitors. The Drudge Report and Free Republic had the largest number of unique visitors in September 2007, but in September 2008, that honor went to the Huffington Post.

Political strategists have been analyzing the impact of the Internet on American political communication since at least the mid-1990s. When Hillary Clinton complained in 1998 about a "vast right-wing conspiracy," she was drawing on a 332-page study done by the 1995 Clinton White House alleging that a "right-wing conspiracy industry" was moving anti-Clinton material from Web sites in the United States to conservative papers in Britain and then back to mainstream U.S. print publications.

That 1995 report, and Clinton, too, were right on one point: The earliest significant impact of the Internet on political communication did come from the right.

Drudge was founded in 1994 and Free Republic in 1996. MoveOn was created in 1998 -- precisely to respond to online anti-Clinton efforts -- but it didn't gain real prominence until 2003, when George Soros invested. The other major left-leaning sites appeared after George W. Bush's election: Democratic Underground in 2001, Daily Kos in 2002 and Huffington Post not until 2005.

This pattern makes sense: The right, while in opposition, innovated with Internet tools; when the left in turn found itself out of power, it too developed new types of political communication.


But if Clinton was correct that the right dominated the Internet in the mid-90s, she wrongly attributed its success to conspiratorial methods. The word "conspiracy" fails to capture the remarkable power generated by Internet-based communication.

There are basically two kinds of influential political Web sites: sites that use a top-down hierarchy, whereby a central organization develops a message and disseminates it using social-networking technology, and sites that use a Wikipedia-type method, in which thousands of individual users contribute content and drive the message. This latter approach is exactly the opposite of conspiratorial.

The earliest and most powerful right-leaning Web site, Free Republic, used the non-hierarchical method. Free Republic developed innovative Internet architecture to build a sort of Wikipedia of citizenship, a do-it-yourself kit for spreading messages and connecting them with local, face-to-face activism. The site's discussion lists -- which have global reach -- are fed by participants and connected by those participants to a plethora of state message boards organizing real-time, boots-on-the-ground political action. The influence of the site reflects the power of self-organizing social phenomena, not a conspiracy.


That was a very complicated way of saying they started a damn forum.

"Boots on the ground political action", "innovative internet architecture", "do it yourself kit for spreading messages", yada yada yada... what a bunch of BS.

megimoo
11-28-2008, 03:41 PM
That was a very complicated way of saying they started a damn forum.

"Boots on the ground political action", "innovative internet architecture", "do it yourself kit for spreading messages", yada yada yada... what a bunch of BS.
May I take it that you disapprove of this post ?Social networks are more than just a forum .

The post was about the left leaning posters such as yourself being in the ascendancy .I was sure that you would object to the part about the freepers ?The WSJ pays by the word for its 'off site' pieces so they tend to be 'wordy' .

wilbur
11-28-2008, 04:03 PM
May I take it that you disapprove of this post ?Social networks are more than just a forum .

The post was about the left leaning posters such as yourself being in the ascendancy .I was sure that you would object to the part about the freepers ?The WSJ pays by the word for its 'off site' pieces so they tend to be 'wordy' .

No, I was just objecting to the over the top descriptions of web forums as some innovative political phenomenon.... that was my geeky side taking issue with that technical description, not anything political.

But yes, new social sites that don't specifically cater to a political niche generally seem to be filled with mostly libertarians and liberals of the atheist variety... It seems like the people on sites like the Freep don't venture much outside their own little world of sites that cater specifically to their worldview... or if they do, they don't seem to participate as much as the other groups do. They segregate themselves.

CueSi
11-28-2008, 06:40 PM
I believe conservatives segregate themselves for this reason: if they wants to be abused, they don't have to go to the internet. they have television to do it for them.

~QC

megimoo
11-28-2008, 06:49 PM
No, I was just objecting to the over the top descriptions of web forums as some innovative political phenomenon.... that was my geeky side taking issue with that technical description, not anything political.

But yes, new social sites that don't specifically cater to a political niche generally seem to be filled with mostly libertarians and liberals of the atheist variety... It seems like the people on sites like the Freep don't venture much outside their own little world of sites that cater specifically to their worldview... or if they do, they don't seem to participate as much as the other groups do. They segregate themselves.
Freepers tend to be patriotic and very conservative .The few liberals that wander through and stay in the background tend to survive for awhile .Those who try to change the place are given short shift .As for the Freepers being cloistered try going to a freeperthorn some day .They are boisterous and wide ranging. They are at Walter Reid hospital just about every weekend counter picketing the Military hating Pinkos and liberal freaks !

Sonnabend
11-28-2008, 07:05 PM
Conservatives don't post as much or spend as much time online because they have lives...and jobs.

Goldwater
11-28-2008, 07:59 PM
Conservatives don't post as much or spend as much time online because they have lives...and jobs.

No, conservaties have become the older generation, younger ones have become liberal, who are much more comfortable with technology.

megimoo
11-28-2008, 08:01 PM
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FlaGator
11-28-2008, 08:50 PM
Was that directed towards me Sonnabend and if so why all of the venom ?

Guilty conscience maybe? :D

megimoo
11-28-2008, 09:10 PM
Guilty conscience maybe? :DPerhaps, do you also judge me as being guilty ?

Sonnabend
11-28-2008, 09:22 PM
Was that directed towards me Sonnabend and if so why all of the venom ?Absolutely not , you wombat :)


For the first time, traffic at left-leaning political Web sites overtook traffic at right-leaning competitors. The Drudge Report and Free Republic had the largest number of unique visitors in September 2007, but in September 2008, that honor went to the Huffington Post. It's as I've always said...they have time to sit and comment all day long and we are at work

It isnt all bad...DU and HuffPo keep the Cheetos factories busy and , if they werent there, what would their families do with the empty basements?

http://i.pbase.com/u13/cmnoa/upload/38389098.lmao.gif

Meg...don't you ever dare change, and don't you ever dare stop. I enjoy your articles every day, and this place is humming and busy with all the stuff you bring in.

You, my friend, rock. :D

FlaGator
11-28-2008, 10:42 PM
Perhaps, do you also judge me as being guilty ?

I try to judge no one. I fail often but I keep trying. I was not judging you in any way. However, I didn't think he was speaking harshly to you. I was also thinking that you judged wilbur as disagreeing with you when in fact his post was confirming your opinion.