Wired News: "They're already calling her the Weblog Candidate." Tara Grubb gets some more good publicity. Props to Paul Boutin, the writer, for processing a lot of complex information quickly. I think the story is a little short on the Weblog angle, actually, but I understand that Wired needed to do some remedial work for people who haven't been following the whole P2P issue (which, by the way, I will revisit in my N&R column on Sunday.)
Boutin notes that the digital rights issue will follow the chairmanship of Coble's subcommittee to another district, so that running against the man may be "futile." But it's not futile, there's a bigger picture. The next chairman is going to be in the bloglight from day one. Both the entertainment industry's dollars and the weblog network will follow the issue to that representative and his/her opponents. P2P is almost certainly not going to knock off Howard Coble , but that's not the point. The weblog has moved from talk to action.
Using the Internet for politics is not new, and in Tara Grubb's case the weblog network may be a meaningful but not revolutionary step in the development of Web activism. But there is something else going on that may prove more important than the Berman-Coble bill: Tara Grubb has a weblog of her own. Unmediated, instantaneous, regularly updated, one-to-many-to-one communication from a candidate for the United States House of Representatives. Others candidates will surely follow.
And others will surely not. Blogs are tools, not toys, and somebody could end a political career pretty damn fast by letting out some 2 AM brainfart onto the Web. Politicians will have to be careful with their weblogs...and yet the immediacy of the medium might allow some candidates to be less concerned with looking perfect every moment. A talented weblogger in a tight race, connecting to bloggers everywhere, is going to win an election, soon.