Monday, September 08, 2003

The net is not enough

There's an interesting article by Farhad Manjoo up on Salon right now about efforts by Dean supporters to take his message offline and raise support for Dean amongst the non-connected ("Dean's Army Goes Offline"). It is an interesting article because of what it says about the political savvy of Dean's supporters(*). Far from falling into the trap of thinking that Dean can win purely through his online efforts, Dean's supporters understand that it will require a substantial real-world effort as well. And many of them are more than willing to do what needs to be done to make that a reality.

There have been those who have scoffed at the Dean movement, comparing it to the boom and bust of the 90s. But this article points to one key difference: the'rs thought they were leaving the brick-n-mortar world behind them to build something entirely new. When the bubble burst their dreams of an all virtual marketplace went up in smoke. Perhaps because of that lesson, a lot of Deanizens are not sitting back with the assumption that they can do it all through the net. They seem to understand, instinctively, that the net is not enough.

As in so many other things about this movement, I find this highly encouraging.

(* Manjoo calls it "Dean's Army", which brings to mind an amusing analogy to "Dumbledore's Army" from the most recent Harry Potter book.)


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