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Stopped Clock

May 28th, 2010 - 11:41 am

Kevin Drum pretty much punted yesterday in his “Why Did North Korea Do It?” piece — “running interference for Iran” never once came up, not even in the follow-up. But today he’s onto something, looking at how the Right pretty much owns social networking. We’ll get to the meat, but first read the lede:

Back in the early aughts, liberals took an early lead in the blogosphere and never looked back. Conservatives were apparently too stodgy, too top-down oriented to make effective use of online technology.

Then a couple snipped bits, followed by this:

I’m going to take a guess here: online technology is fundamentally more attractive for insurgents than it is for the party in power. Partly this is because the party in power already has lots of other tools available for fundraising and communications. Partly it’s because the party in power is more invested in leadership keeping control of its message. Partly it’s because the party in power is just flat out busier with the actual work of governing. And partly it’s because online chatter is riskier: if you’re tweeting all day long you’re bound to screw up sometime and say something stupid. That’s more dangerous for the party in power than it is for the party out of power.

Fair enough — but not far enough. Drum concludes that he doesn’t “expect this state of affairs to last much longer,” but he might want to rethink that. Once one side becomes entrenched, it becomes very difficult for the other side to win back control — or even parity — within a given medium.

The Left owns movies, TV, and the blogosphere (not to mention academia). The Right owns talk radio and social networking. And there’s no sign yet of any insurgencies, not even against the insurgents.

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