Think. Say. Do. That's the basic cycle we all go through when we want to make big changes.
Think: It could merely be a growing sense that something ain't right. That something needs to change. You might not know exactly what yet, or maybe you're considering possibilities.
Say: This is where we enter active negotiation with ourselves, and identify exactly what it is that is wrong. Rather than simply mulling the matter in the background, we tackle it head-on. Cynicism and self-defeatism shrinks.
Do: Finally, we take action to cause the change.
This happens with communities and nations, too. The rise of populism is always related to this process in a large population.
Our political system is overdue for a reshuffling. Congress has been too split apart from the interests of the public for too long. The bankruptcy bill is a perfect illustration of that.
How does the blogosphere fit into this cycle?
The blogosphere has thus far mostly been about "Say". As people get more engaged, they start sharing their opinions and discussing them online - they reinforce each other's views, pile on to causes, and start engaging in that dangerous practice - idealism. The blogosphere is perfectly built for this because it is so easy to find someone else with the same whacked-out crazy mix of interests. Hundreds of thousands of small ponds, with all of us as big fish.
So far, however, the blogosphere has not been a great fit for "Do". There are a myriad of cynical ways to say it - pajama-clad bloggers agreeing that something needs to be done, and then not doing anything - but the truth is simply that there is often still a long distance between "Say" and "Do".
However, the blogosphere broke down the barriers for "Say" already. Anyone can go to blogger.com to create a free weblog, and there are clear upgrade paths.
Similarly, it's just a matter of time before more barriers are broken down for "Do". All it takes is the creation of more tools. The tools that will work best are the ones that can easily be dropped in to a person's existing weblog, regardless of platform. This requires open standards. Eventually all weblogs could have a spruced up open "plugin API" that supports more functionality than simply posting to a weblog.
In order to break down the "Do" barrier, here are some possible tools we could see:
Many of these tools are in development, and some are further off into the future. There are some closed systems like CivicSpace that require a certain weblog platform to take advantage of their tools, and many other standalone tools that can be dropped right in to any weblog. In addition, the blogosphere always jumps around in strange directions - will we be seeing a blog-driven public lobbying organization with paid lobbyists? An actual blog-driven shadow democracy with elections and office-holders?
Politology will be tracking these developments and analyzing how they are affecting politics. We'll also be actually working on developing some new tools; write if you want to be part of a development team.
Posted by tunesmith at March 16, 2005 01:01 PM
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Tracked on March 19, 2005 09:36 AM
Tracked on March 19, 2005 09:36 AM
Tracked on March 19, 2005 09:37 AM