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Retro: 21st Century Politics: Consumption vs Deliberation
Alex Steffen, 24 Aug 05

Last year's U.S. presidential election focused attention on the potential for "second superpower" technologies and approaches to impact the political landscape. But, as Jon points out in 21st Century Politics: Consumption vs Deliberation, many politicos are completely missing the real potential of civic collaboration, which is not just raising money for political campaigns, but changing the way we do politics.

In thinking about the impact of emerging social technologies on politics, I think we all understand that there can be more interaction in computer-mediated environments, though much of the buzz within traditional political channels has been more consumption-based. The Howard Dean presidential campaign's unprecedented connection with its base via blogs, email lists, and meetups became legitimate in the eyes of political professionals only when the connection was monetized, and though activists have continued their conversations about the potential for grassroots technology to change the face of politics, the pros are focusing on emergent new channels for gathering funds.

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