Keep Trying

Friday, January 23, 2004

Your Mileage May Vary

Did blogging do in Dean? That is the burning question on the minds of some people.

The always entertaining Andrew Orlowski tells us that it was not blogging that failed Dean, it is Dean himself who is the problem:

Correspondingly, Dean's failure this week isn't down to the shortcomings of the Internet or weblogs: unless you insist on attributing mystical powers to either, which as we've explained, we don't. Dean's failure this week was that not enough people like the man, or the message, and/or his base can't convert the unconverted. Maybe all three can be fixed, maybe not. But they'll only be fixed by reasserting the human qualities of all three.

Jeff Jarvis who is a more solid believer in the mystical power of blogs asks:

Did the strong community that made Dean's organization and fundraising work so amazingly well become too insular and self-congratulatory? Did it amplify the opinions and attitudes already there? Did it become so loud inside that room that it became hard to hear the noise outside, where the voters were?

Did his enthusiastic supporters online egg Dean on to be stronger against the war, louder against his opponents, nastier against Bush?

I'm not sure the answer to any of that is "yes." At most it's "maybe." But at least it's worth asking.

I think bloggers and blogging software providers should be required to post the following disclaimer:
"Reading and writing blogs has been shown to be useful to some people in some situations. However your mileage may vary"