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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, November 07, 2003


We are Joe Trippi

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, November 07, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
I took a more positive view of Noam Scheiber's profile on Joe Trippi than my colleague Dana did (see his post below). Regardless, it is essential reading (free reg. reqd). I think that the Scheiber's coverage was quite sympathetic. However there are some details missing from teh account of Meetup's origins:

That's February. In March, something happens. According to Heiferman, the average pre-Dean Meetup size was between eight and 16 people--"a dozen knitters here, fifteen Harry Potter fans there." But, as Dean's March Meetup rolls around, Heiferman notices that there are 250 people signed up for a single location in New York--just one of hundreds of Dean Meetups set to take place across the country on the same day.

That "something happenned" is actually Dean Nation. William Finkel emailed me about Meetup in early January, asking for a plug (we were already ranked the #1 Google search for "Howard Dean" at the time). We did so, though if you read that post you'll note that we were fairly critical of the campaign for not taking the "netroots" seriously enough.

That plug worked wonders - on Feb 6th, Anna blogged another email from William Finkel, ecstatic about the boost to Meetup numbers. And all during February, we plugged Meetup very hard. IMHO, the single biggest reason that the March 5th meetup in New York drew such an enormous response, was because we learned back on Feb 20th (two weeks in advance) that Dean himself would attend the NYC meetup, and spread the word right here on Dean Nation (at the time of that post, Dean had only 1600 supporters signed onto Meetup). The rest is history.

The take home lesson here is that YOU - the readers of Dean Nation, the ones who read the posts and go to Meetup and tell me I'm completely wrong in the comment sections ;), YOU are the real story. The campaign's success is not about blogs, or even about bloggers. It's about the people who actually visit those blogs, read those bloggers' posts, comment, argue, discuss, link, and ultimately, contribute and meetup. That's YOU. And it's really an honor to be a part of the community that YOU have built.


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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.