Politicians out to control the Internet will surely suffer rude surprises.
It's the age of the virtual soap box. Just as self-proclaimed orators once stood on hand crates to pontificate, political bloggers sound off on websites. They post photographs and videos. They check facts, amplify fallacies, and hit with the force of a wrecking ball.
Howard Dean tapped the raw power of the Internet. When Senator John Kerry ran for president, he hired blogger Peter Daou to manage the campaign's Web communications. Last month, Hillary Clinton hired Daou for her 2006 reelection campaign, a bid to be reelected as New York's junior Democratic senator that could be a test run for the presidency in 2008...An early battle has been won: Bloggers have become a force to be reckoned with. Many mainstream journalists and readers are paying attention. The next step is harder: focusing blog content where it can help define the future. In both mainstream news and blogs, scandal gets attention: Just type Ann Coulter's name into Google's search engine...