Tuesday, April 1, 2008
We saw it coming.
Just as MySpace and Facebook change the way we communicate, just as YouTube alters the way we entertain ourselves, just as eBay and iTunes modify the way we shop, the Internet is transforming the way we engage with this never-ending presidential campaign.
Like it or not, we now belong to a clickocracy -- one nation under Google, with video and e-mail for all.
Want to find a candidate's position on home foreclosures?
In the past we scoured the newspaper or found the phone number for campaign headquarters and placed a call. Now we Google "John McCain," "Barack Obama" or "Hillary Clinton" and drown in the information flood.
Want to give money to a candidate?
These days all it takes is a credit card and three clicks -- once on the home page, then on the "donate" button, then on "submit." That's much easier than writing a check and making sure you have the right address to mail it to, and certainly more accessible and egalitarian than attending a black-tie fundraiser at the Capital Hilton. No wonder, then, that Clinton and Obama collectively raised $75 million online in February, roughly $2.5 million a day. If politics is money, there's a new bank in town.
Want to create an anti-Obama Facebook group or a pro-McCain video?
Who's going to stop you?
This interactive medium is rebooting the first three words of the 220-year-old U.S. Constitution for the 21st century
Online, "We the people . . . " takes on a whole new meaning.
* * *