Boom... Bust... Then...?
There's an interesting article in Salon today ("Howard Dean's fatal system error") asking the question whether Dean's campaign was just another example of a dot-com bust. It's a question that is, perhaps, a bit premature (Dean's not dead yet). But it is also an interesting question when placed in the context of past boom-bust cycles. While everyone remembers the booms and busts, many people forget that the busts are often followed by successes in the same field that eventually far outstrip the successes during the initial boom.
After all, even after the dot-com bust, there are a lot of viable internet companies out there today who are demonstrating solid business plans and may eventually become big economic players. Consumer use of the internet continues to increase despite the fact that the internet allegedly when "poof" back in 2000.
Remember the video game bust after the collapse of Atari? Nintendo came along soon afterward and ended up making even more money than Atari ever achieved.
So, even if Dean proves to be more homegrocer.com than eBay, I feel confident in predicting that the internet, online journalism, blogging, etc. will continue to show an increased influence over the political process.
We're here to stay baby!