Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Only 580 days to go...

Dana B. has an interesting thought about the "Kos primary" and the netroots' effect on the 2008 race as a whole. It's a unique view, though I'm kinda confused...

Four years ago Markos Moulitsas (left) was a common blogger. Like me (and many others) he became an early fan of Howard Dean, and in the summer was hired as an Internet consultant to the campaign. His suggestions were not followed, he was let go in the fall, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Today his site, DailyKos, and fellow consultant Jerome Armstrong's MyDD are the largest Democratic Party clubhouses on the Internet. They are both best-selling authors, and their communities (not blogs, communities) are where new liberal ideas are tried out, where Netroots consensus is built on politics and policy.

Markos himself has not chosen a candidate (although it won't be Hillary Clinton). He has tried, in this cycle, to act as a reporter, although one with an obvious point-of-view and some self-awareness of his influence. Thus his recent attack on Barack Obama is important, and may have done more than Elizabeth Edwards' cancer diagnosis to raise John Edwards' profile among the Netroots.

Then we have today's news. Obama's $25 million campaign haul, from 100,000 people, $6.9 million from the Internet alone, 100,000 total donors. It's a sign of significant grassroots support, as well as institutional support. Obama has become the Tiger Woods of the Democratic field.
...Kos is as influential as ever, yet Obama raised $7 million off of the internet without him. Kinda contradictory, though Obama's surge is very encouraging overall. We all know about the famed blogroll purge and Amnesty Day and all that (you can read the latest about that the ongoing silliness here...somebody's getting pissy), but I think this proves that the concept of the 'long tail' where the big names in a field--music, books, blogs, etc.--are still the big names, but there are so many other voices out there that the big names cannot dominate simply because they raise their voice. That's a very good thing.

Now, I know a lot of middling blogs have seen their hits drop since the blogroll purge (our own hits have dropped about 30% in the last couple of months, but that has infinitely more to do with less people googling La Fea Mas Bella than it does blogroll purges...since, you know, we weren't on any major blogrolls), but this shows that the smaller voices in the blogosphere still have a voice of some sort.

And meanwhile, I got to listen to Andrea Mitchell and Tim Russert on the evening news tonight, telling me how absolutely shocking it is that someone else actually raised some money this quarter and that--clutch the pearls--Hillary isn't the runaway Democratic favorite. Good times.