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Weblogs: A Major Change in the Political Equation

Howard Rheingold contemplates blogging

In an interview with BusinessWeek Online, digital culture guru Howard Rheingold — Editor of The Whole Earth Review and author of Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution — predicts the rise of online advocacy groups. Howard Dean's Presidential campaign was built upon Rheingold's ideas, using the Net to organize large groups of backers — getting them to contribute millions of dollars. Dean's blog-friendly campaign proved to be very successful, indeed.

“Rheingold thinks that's just the start of a long battle on the part of activists of all stripes to seize some of the power now wielded by political professionals and large media companies.”

The BloggerCon conference — to be held at Harvard University, in Boston, on April 17 (the cost of attendance is free, if you can afford the air fare and accommodation) — will explore many of Rheingold's ideas, with a focus on journalism, education, science, business and politics.

“We're interested in people's experiences with weblogs, now that they've been in use for five or six years ... This is not a technical visionary venue, nor is it a place for political activism. Our interest is in the use of weblogs. Of course technology and politics are related to the use of weblogs.”

On the BloggerCon web site, there's also an interesting essay by Clay Shirky, titled “Power Laws, Weblogs, and Inequality” that is well worth reading. Jeff Jarvis will speak on the money-making possibilities of blogging.

Thanks to the ever-productive Debra Galant for pointing us to this story.

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at March 26, 2004 12:25 PM in Weblogs


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