August 20, 2008

All That's New is Old Again

David Grenier (a man who agrees with me about as well as a raw habanero agrees with my stomach) had a pretty interesting take on the role of the Internet in politics in general, and John McCain's self-proclaimed online illiteracy, specifically.

One thing about being stuck in front of a computer eight or more hours every day; you spend a lot of time thinking about the evolution of the Internet. I remember thinking, back in 2004, that the Internet of 2008--blogs and other personal online journals, specifically--would be THE vehicle that would steer the election.

But, a funny thing happened over the last four years: blogs and other online journals became considerably less remarkable. Oh, sure, they're still out there, broadcasting into the online ether, but the Web has become ridiculously more diluted nowadays. MySpace, FaceBook, YouTube, online forums and comment engines on everything from reviews to practically every news and opinion piece posted by most news organizations, have unintentionally conspired to make online commentary tedious at best, laughable and insane at worst. In other words, the Web has just become a literary garbage pile of comments and general nonsense.

What's more, as media outlets continue to catch on to the emerging world of search engine optimization (SEO), and they realize the importance of appearing in the top 10 or 50 search results of a given keyword or keywords--and they dedicated the money and man hours to attain the best SEO--the pendulum, in my opinion, is swinging back in favor of the mainstream media. Blogs and other online journals, and MySpace and FaceBook posters, for that matter, have neither the time, inclination or resources to dedicate to something as intricate and boring as SEO, so their sites slip farther and farther back in search results.

The point being, the 2008 election cycle isn't being nearly as guided by the marketplace of online ideas as I thought it would be all those four years ago.

UPDATE: I should specify that I think news organizations like and and the like are what I'm referring to when I say "mainstream media."

Newspapers are still pretty much fucked.

Posted by Ryan at August 20, 2008 06:07 PM | TrackBack
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