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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Friday, May 23, 2003

 

TNR on the netroots phenom http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?pt=MsFThRpEfeVRNVf9ei9j2R%3D%3D

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, May 23, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Ryan Lizza in TNR has an extensive article about the use of the Internet by Dean's campaign. It rightly identifies Joe Trippi as the visionary but goes out of its way to give the grassroots self-organizing phenomenon its due as well. Congrats to fellow DeanBloggers Ezra Klein and Matthew Singer, for their mention in the piece! (I'm now officially jealous ;)

The article is comprehensive and it's clear that Mr. Lizza is actively reading this blog for his research. The article lauds the DDF and the obsessive nature of the Dean Blog - calling us Dean fedayeen for our zeal (it's a compliment. I think) An especially interesting passage is the campaign-eye view of how Meetup became significant to the campaign:

For the Dean campaign, it all started with the Meetup phenomenon. Back in January, the campaign stumbled upon the Meetup website and noticed that 432 people were signed up for a Howard Dean Meetup group. "We didn't really know what it was," says Trippi. He watched from afar as Dean's Meetup numbers grew to more than 2,600 in February. In March, Dean showed up at a Meetup event in New York City. It was so crowded that hundreds of young supporters were pouring out onto the sidewalk waiting to get in. Soon the campaign began receiving mysterious donations with an extra cent added. They learned that the Meetup community intended to raise $1 million for Dean, and the extra cent was being used to identify the donations. It became known as the Meetup Million Dollar Challenge and has raised at least $300,000 for Dean so far (close to 10 percent of what Dean had raised overall, as of April). Almost overnight, Meetup had become the Dean campaign's most important organizing tool.


In fact, Deanlandia is directly responsible for the rapid rise of Meetup as an organiztional asset to the campaign - Dean Meetup was first mentioned on the Dean Blog on January 12th, after a tip from William Finkel. We should all reflect for a moment at how far we have come, and just how much influence we really wield. This is the real reason Dean has built such a following - becauise we all sense that by our actions, however minor, we can really have a significant impact. It isn't just about Dean's personality or even his issues. It's the fact that we all feel like we have a real voice.


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.