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6 Ways to Change the World Glenn Reynolds-Style


This is Week 6 of Season 3 in my new 13 Weeks of Wild Man Writing and Radical Reading Series. Every week day I try to blog about compelling writers, their ideas, and the news cycle’s most interesting headlines.

From the primordial, pajamahadeen era of the blogosphere, Glenn Reynolds has been a tremendous influence on untold numbers of writers, bloggers, and New Media troublemakers. While others' influence has waned and once-dominant voices have now lost their relevance, Glenn has grown brighter as a beacon of hopeful, future-minded light. Here are six ways to draw from his knowledge and experiences to make your own changes in yourself and your world:

1. Read Instapundit, the best news aggregation blog.

Everyone who uses Twitter or Facebook is Instapundit today. Glenn was just ahead of the curve. The format, style, and vocabulary that he developd with Instapundit is what just about every political tweeter does today whether they realize it or not. Glenn rose up through pioneering the New Media genre known as micro-blogging -- the practice of doing frequent, quick updates of what's new and consequential in the world.

The lesson of Instapundit, its rise and continued success is a recognition of the nature of today's media and technological environment. If you want to grow the number of people who are listening to you then you have to start talking and you have to keep them engaged. Obviously everybody can't go at the rate of posts that Glenn somehow manages. But the general principle applies for everyone interested in using New Media to do something. One should cast their line into the big black void of the web as frequently as possible. A blogger with a dozen great posts a week on a number of subjects is likely to grow a bigger following than the specialist who does a handful of excellent posts on the same subject each week. Flexibility and adaptability are vital to success in today's New Media world.


2. Implement an Army of Davids-style strategy in your life

This 2006 manifesto by Glenn should be regarded as a founding document of Conservatism 3.0. New Media activists should start here, and Megan Fox did at PJ Lifestyle in her ongoing series about her push to stop the Orland Park Library's tolerance of public pornography and sexual predators. In this part here she started by quoting from Army of Davids:

Power once concentrated in the hands of a professional few has been redistributed into the hands of the amateur many… Millions of Americans who were once in awe of the punditocracy now realize that anyone can do this stuff — and that many unknowns can do it better than the lords of the profession.

Megan is up against a library bureacracy that rather than dialogue with her would demonize her and defend the rights of men to watch hardcore pornographic films in the computer labs of public libraries. She did Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to discover that library staff had systematically been neglecting reporting crimes. Further FOIA requests revealed how library staff responded to her complaints.

3. Learn to master the op/ed column, and start by reading Glenn's USA Today columns each week

Whatever field you're engaged in in life, at one time or another you are going to need to fight for something you believe in. You'll need to figure out how to persuade someone to come around to your position. In winning over your new ally you will have finite time -- a limited word count. You will be in competition with distraction and perhaps even others with competing ideas.

Glenn's weekly columns are models of how to argue effectively and persuade. Glenn is among the best models here of how to present freedom-based ideas to broader, general audiences beyond the conservative blog world. That is something I don't hear discussed enough. I'm so sick of the standard right-wing, conservative boilerplate. With Glenn he's always framing concepts in fresh ways that can't be easily dismissed.

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