Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Josh Marshall reports on the Personal Democracy Forum 07

The --- What? Huh?

That was my first reaction. Probably yours, too. So get past it and go watch the video at TPM. Here's why.

It is about the use of technology, the Internet and its many and expanding permutations, in politics. Josh's video itself is an example. It is a tool of journalism, distributed by Internet rather than TV. It opens journalism to everyone.

The video itself is overall interesting. The first significant part was an interview with Andrew Raseij starting at about 1 minute 40 seconds. Andrew's challenge to the candidates is to ask "Who is America's first tech President? What are the candidate's positions on such issues as Net Neutrality? Providing broadband access to every American?"

The second significant part is the interview with Jeff Jarvis. Mr. Jarvis is watching the way the world changes. He likes to watch the election through U-Tube. Mr. Jarvis' issue is how the candidates use the Internet to get elected to office, and how voters and potential voters can use U-tube to excerpt candidate statements on a particular issue and aggregate them over time. This would display inconsistencies, which the next interviewer should ask about - then post on U-Tube.

The video is worth watching - maybe even the first minute and forty seconds if you are happy with a distant shot of a smiling Tom Friedman and pictures of New York City from a cab. I have to ask -- why did Josh publish his cab ride to the conference? I got nothing from that. I am also sufficiently non-social so that I really don't care who he was schmoozing with. The rest was really worthwhile, though, so watch it.

Josh also promises more. For someone reading this, Josh is exploring where the medium we are using right now is going in the context of its impact on politics.

For more on this, see does the Democratic Party have an advantage on-line?. It is about the nexus of the Internet, sociology (or social psychology) and politics. The Internet is the rapidly changing element in that triad, and the other two elements are being dragged along and adapting to the changes.

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