Interesting New Yorker article on Joe Trippi making Dean, recently a Technophile, into the first real “Internet” candidate. Found my self not surprised, but perhaps disappointed, that Dean didn’t have a computer until 1998. However, five years of using the web is probably five more then the other candidates have. If Dean wins perhaps we will finally see eGovernment start to flourish.
Trippi proposed using the Internet to build a base of supporters. As they discussed how the process might work, one of Dean’s questions was “What’s a blog?” In Vermont, Dean’s staff regarded him as a Luddite. But, listening to Trippi, he grasped the idea of a blog as a running political-debate forum, with an abundantly flexible capacity to receive and broadcast ideas and opinions, and suddenly Deanwho didn’t use a computer until 1998 and who had refused to have a government e-mail addresswas a technophile.
Last January, three months before an interactive Dean Web page came into being, supporters on both coasts were discovering each other online through Yahoo.com. The same month, Meetup.com, a new Internet service that made it possible for like-minded folkhood-ornament collectors, ferret ownersto find each other and congregate in local communities, began listing gatherings for people interested in various political candidates.