Had to comment on this before I hit hay. Jill’s post about her meeting with Chris Redfern got some reaction from a couple of prominent lefty bloggers (OH02 and BSB). Like others have pointed out, Jill’s stuff is always well written and entertaining. There is more there than Redfern’s dismissal but we bloggers like to focus first on getting slapped in the face with the white glove of establishmentality:

If he were in a position akin to that of a media placement advisor for a corporation, but doing so for a politician, what percentage of a budget did he think blogs would get?

Zero. Unequivocally.

BSB has the best rundown of why this is serious hogwash and extremely disturbing given this man was just elected to strategize for us all.

Chris might have a point that the relative size of bloggers and blog readers is very small compared to the general Ohio population. The point he completely misses is the growth curve. He thinks the story might be different in 4, 6, or 8 years. I love the large room for error there…but they are all very largely overshot. It won’t be that long. Growth online happens very quickly.

So Chris, my man. Hope you see this. Here’s the thing. Be Toyota on this one and not GM. Don’t wait for the damned bell curve to pass you by…get out in front of it. It is, believe it or not, what is expected of you. See it coming and react – because it is coming.

Blogs are social networks and they connect. New blogs equal new nodes. New nodes foster more people involved in the political process. Grassroots, baby! You did say the following in your survey responses when you ran for chair:

reaching out to new and diverse constituencies and building a strong party infrastructure with an emphasis on technology.

How the hell can you advocate effectively ignoring blogs, but believe in “reaching out” and putting “an emphasis on technology”? I know you didn’t spend much time on the survey as it was mostly blither blather, but still.

Here’s the deal. Blogs will one day be where the news is had. It will eventually be a complete reversal from what we see now in most blogs: get story from old school media, comment. The next wave will be (and there are already examples of this): old school gets news from new school and reports in old school way.

Case in point: Hackett comes to Delaware. I go to the event with my laptop and blog about it live. How the hell can the old school model keep up with this? No can do. Top down command and control is too costly. I take photos, record audio, and post all of this within a few hours. The question I have is why wouldn’t you want to leverage that? Zero resources? I’m worried about that one.

We blogs practice asymmetrical media…distributed nodes that connect, disconnect, then reconnect in sometimes unpredictable ways. Read up on asymmetrical warfare. The War College is. I predict that either traditional media will figure out a way to leverage blogs, or they will be forced to follow blogs and will no longer be the news makers, but the news relayers. My advice to Chris would be to give up a little control to get a LOT of return. Get to know your bloggers…ask them to come and cover stuff…then reward them in some way (insider info…first to know PR…hell, T shirts). You’ll get back ten times what you give.

But unequivocally zero? Come on man!

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