Deconstructing the Internet Election

By Edward Cone  |  Posted Tuesday, December 09, 2008 10:12 AM

"Message drives money and triggers mobilization. Devoid of a compelling message to spur their use, the most advanced web tools will lie fallow. The impetus to use technology is always external to the technology; the impulse to connect and contribute begins with the inspiration to do so and the inspiration derives from the message."

An interesting take on the role of the net in the recent election by Peter Daou, a veteran of web politics who worked this cycle on the Hillary Clinton campaign. He's got more in mind than the obvious (and highly relevant) "Dean was made by the anti-war movement" or "Obama was fresh, charismatic, and not Bush."

I'd nitpick this statement, in that there was more than one thing, and the level of online organizing seems noteworthy as well: "If there's one thing that makes the 2008 election an inflection point, it is this: that the context, perception, and course of events is fundamentally changed by the collective behavior of the Internet's innumerable opinion-makers."

This rings truer: "The truth is that the Obama campaign was a triumph of integration more than technological innovation. It was the wildly successful marriage of time-tested political strategies and tactics, executed with acumen and discipline, seamlessly combined with cutting-edge technology and tied together with an empowering grassroots message. With a brilliant candidate at the helm. That, in itself, was innovative."

Interesting: "[I]t is now axiomatic that the greater the number of online commenters discussing an event or issue, the more unpredictable its unfolding."