Sunday, June 11, 2006

Gathering highlights power of the blog...

Over a thousand progressive political bloggers gathered in Las Vegas this past weekend for an event called YearlyKos.

As Adam Nagourney suggests in yesterday's New York Times, the blog is becoming recognized by leading Democratic politicians as a powerful tool for engaging people at the grassroots level .

I've come to believe that all Democratic politicians should be using a blog as a means of engaging supporters at the grassroots level. The potential of this technology has not yet been harnessed by most politicians.

This coming week I'll be talking to a State Senator here in Massachusetts about how I can support him in using a blog as part of his PR effort. During the coming months I'll be offering similar consulting services to other elected officials and Democratic candidates at the state and national levels.

The Dean campaign three years ago demonstrated how the Internet can be used not merely to reach potential voters but also to get them from their keyboards into the streets. It can be a very powerful tool to engage and motivate citizens.

The key to publishing a political blog is to make it an effective two-way communications tool. Ideally, the blog should foster a "conversation" between public official and his/her constituents. This can not be accomplished by a traditional Web site.