Digital Democracy Teach-In

The Digital Democracy Teach-In, an adjunct session to this week’s Emerging Technology conference, is off to a great start.

Joe Trippi, former Dean campaign manager, was the first speaker, and provided both a great overview of how the internet is changing electoral politics as well as an insider’s view of a modern internet based political campaign. The rest of day looks to be very interesting and thought provoking as well. Based on the sound of the many keyboards I hear all around me, there should be more than adequate coverage of this event!

I took a number of notes, but my main take-away from this session is that the internet and related technologies are (going to be) a powerful force for change in the political world. Some are calling it similiar to the effect TV had on campaigns 40 years ago, and I’m inclined to agree. The other thing to note is just how scary this whole set of activities is to the main-stream media, who are used to setting the agenda and controlling the “story”. That’s becoming much, much harder with thousands of distributed reporters blogging and chatting about the issues that interest US!

Update: Joe Trippi repeated something a couple of times that should be noted here. If 2 milllion folks donated 100 dollars to the right candidate, that candidate would more or less be unstoppable. That’s less than one percent of the US population, and a dollar amount that almost eveyone can afford. Think about what this means!