Blogging: A lesson in Postmodern communications

Blogging: A(nother) lesson in Postmodern communications
Because of Postmodernist’s penchant for tribes, many people feel the sense of community that we now know will be lost in a Postmodern world. I’ve argued the opposite, and now comes a lesson we should all note for future reference.

Reuters reports that a simple question on Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist’s Website Wednesday led to a voting war between right and left-wing Americans Wednesday night. That wouldn’t normally be interesting, but here’s what happened.

A typical voter poll on the Frist site generates few votes. The Reuters report notes that on Tuesday, a question about honoring veterans drew just 35 votes. But Wednesday’s question was a simple yes or no vote on the process of confirming judicial appointments.

“Should the president’s nominees to the federal bench be allowed an up or down vote on confirmation as specified in the Constitution?”
Well, the Senate is currently locked in a marathon session over Democrats’ attempts to block four of President Bush’s appointments, so, in terms of politics, it’s a big issue. The poll question was spotted by a liberal Weblogger, who linked to Frist’s site and asked his readers to weigh in. By early evening, over 9,000 people had responded, with some 60 percent voting “No.”

It gets better. Over in the Senate, Democrat Harry Reid of Nevada used Frist’s poll as fodder for the debate. “Even the majority leader’s Web site indicates that what is going on here is absolutely wrong,” he said. Then, the conservative Web forum, FreeRepublic.com, got involved by encouraging its readers to “help the poll.” A few software tricks by both sides dramatically boosted the votes, and by late Wednesday night, Frist’s people shut down the poll with 106,615 votes, 54% Yes, 46% No.

The thing that’s important to note is that the Internet doesn’t destroy the concept of community. It actually can enhance it! Imagine politicos trying to accomplish this rather amazing feat 10 years ago.

Blogging is rapidly becoming a primary information tool for Postmodern tribes, and it doesn’t take long for messaging to get around. Consider the TV News “community,” for example. An injustice to a reporter anywhere is known by nearly everyone in the business within 24 hours. I think that’s a good thing.

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