Monday, December 08, 2003

Let's say it clearly: the Dean campaign has created its own parallel media universe.

This is not just about a weblog, or social software. It's the combination of those and other online tools, animated by a campaign culture, that creates the networked campaign.

The Dean Media routes around the conventional press, but also piggybacks on it, feeds off it, critiques it. The mainstream media is still very important. But the Dean campaign doesn't have to rely on it.

Dean Media has its own newspaper -- the weblog -- that updates in real time and lets anyone contribute. It has online audio and video capability. It uses multiple electronic channels, from email to social software, to communicate with its troops, giving them marching orders and allowing them to organize themselves. Everyone gets a weblog. And the DeanSpace environment links it all together.

The press is starting -- starting -- to report on this. This morning's USA Today says Dean's "super web site" is a key to his early success. On the one hand, duh, but on the other hand, this is how the story goes from the Web to the mass audience. But the importance of the social software/organizational aspect is again underplayed (actually, it's ignored.) A great sidebar on other candidate's sites, though.

Yesterday's NYT mag story covered the social software angle, but was too heavy on the young-lovers-online conceit and thus missed what these young lovers are actually getting done.

When will the mainstream figure out what's reallly going on? Maybe the appearance of thousands of volunteers in New Hampshire and Iowa will be the clue they need.

8:43:50 AM    comment []