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Where are the people?

by: DocJess

Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 06:22:43 AM EST

Has anyone else noticed how different "things" are then they used to be? Blogging about politics, until about 2010, used to be a process of checking multiple sites for information, fact-checking that information, and then writing about things that interested the individual blogger. The first change came when blogging sites started to decrease in number, and the "information" would spread from blog to website and elsewhere, often not fact-checked. This led to a decrease in sources for information, and a lack of veracity in a lot of the information that was found, even from sources that were supposed to be "clean". Second, a lot of individual voices disappeared, and thus specialized blogs with specific information vaporized. A lot of them went to the largest blog aggregators (on both sides of the political spectrum). 

Then there came a decrease in the number of topics covered in lots of places: blogs as well as mass media.

I stand perplexed. And to a certain extent, lonely. I spend a certain amount of time looking for where to place blame. Yes, I know that's unfair, but nonetheless, that feeling exists. The blame thing.

Take the Supremes. They may well take up both voting rights and gay rights cases. Where are the voices?

Then there are the state legislatures. Most are now either so red or so blue that there is no chance of compromise because the minority has been effectually rendered mute. Where is the outrage?  

In the wake of Sandy, where is the discussion on climate change? It's making the local New York and New Jersey papers, but the rest of the country seems to have forgotten. As they did the 9th Ward in New Orleans, which is, sad to say, still mostly a wasteland. The big relief effort, especially in the outer boroughs of NY has come from the Occupy movement. There is little press on that, but much gratitude from the residents. 

There is the fiscal curb which seems to be absorbing everyone. Yet no one is talking about the financial authorization bills, which are equally important, as well as intertwined. 

And what of human interest? Both Bob Dole and George HW Bush were hospitalized recently. Dole is now home recovering, Bush is still in the hospital in Houston. It made very few radars.

Have we become so focused that we can only think about one thing at a time? Where are the voices? Where is your voice?

For what it's worth, my voice has been getting hoarse working on convincing those who cared about the election that the work is not over, and that it's still important to stay involved. I'll be back with more information on what we're doing here in my little corner of the world, but I hope that you will get involved where you are: take action, raise your voice.  

DocJess :: Where are the people?

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Video Killed the Radio Star... (0.00 / 0)
Jess: I have been thinking this thought for some time.  You also see it in the reduced number of people checking in and commenting on this site.  I remember how dynamic this place was five years ago.  I think the problem is with twitter.  People are spending so much time "communicating" in small sound bites that they aren't really listening and they aren't really fleshing out a cogent argument. Too much is the short term "gotcha" and not enough on the in-depth analysis.  I am so happy that you and the others here haven't given up the fight.  That you haven't "gone corporate" like Nate Silver did.  That you aren't merely just one small voice on one of the larger sites like HuffPo.  Please keep up your posts.  

Thanks Peter (4.00 / 1)
I think that HuffPost and DailyKos did in a lot of ways kill the voices since everyone except the front page few are lost in the giant group. As for Twitter - it's a great tool for simple things, no nuance...

I read something interesting about Nate Silver recently. It seems he's gay, which doesn't matter to any of us, so I didn't know why a friend had sent me the article, but I kept reading. The point was that there are a lot of gay people who are role models to gay kids/teenagers in politics, music, art, movies, etc., but Nate is the first gay role model for young gay nerds. I thought there was something nice about that.

Thanks for your support -- so long as there is someone out there, my non-corporate self will keep up the fight!  

[ Parent ]
Long live DemConWatch! (0.00 / 0)
I very much appreciate and value the viewpoints and comments of people on this site. It is kind of a sanity/reality check for me in some ways.  Even though the bloggers here are geographically far from where I live, I feel like this is a "local" spot for me where I can drop in and hear from real people. I consider DemConWatch folks to be part of my community.  (Maybe that's also because I am surrounded by so many people of the "red" variety in my neighborhood and in my state.)

I wonder if blogging will change even more now that the election is over. Now is the time for discussion and raising awareness than ever before. I suspect that after the holidays, and people have rested from an election year saturated with more negativity and deceit than ever, some people will roll up their sleeves and starting punching the keys again. We are all evolving, many of us trying to figure out how to regain people power, how to communicate, inform, and motivate.

Thank you Etuscon (0.00 / 0)
Now IS the time for discussion and raising awareness. Action will soon follow.

In my little corner of the world, there were a number of people who headed the volunteer effort for OFA '12. They were quite different from the OFA volunteer leaders in '08, when people were selected by the campaign based on having a lot of prior experience. These folks were ABSOLUTELY dedicated, EXTREMELY hard working, and did a terrific job. None of them had much (if any) prior experience, so for them, doing OFA work is what they know.

I met up with them yesterday for lunch. They are all highly motivated to stay active and involved, but OFA never taught them how to self-design events, build groups, etc. They have terrific ideas, and with a little organizing, they'll be a force to be reckoned with, and will work well with the local and national organizations.

We're discussing HOW to build grassroots, and how to activate those people towards progressive ends.

How this nascent organization grows will likely parallel what happens throughout the country. I am hopeful that the effect on blogging is that there will be more and more local sites where people can talk local issues, connect with other local groups, and grow a strong organization from that, potentially throughout the country. It would end up interfacing with DFA, MoveOn, and all the other progressive organizations, but would hopefully retain the kind of local flavour that accounts for what makes places unique in terms of both issues and outreach.

Personally, DCW is my community, too. I value the voices here, the insights, even the people with whom I disagree. I am hoping to make this a larger community over the next year or so. I'm not sure how, but I'm thinking.

Thanks again for your support and your kind words.

[ Parent ]
Everyone is sitting back watching (0.00 / 0)
the Republicans implode.

It was discusting to see the Senate not pass the UN treaty that would bring the Disability rights that we have to the rest of the world, and use Home Schooling issues into the arguement? Are these people for real? I worry about America sometimes when I see that people have elected these fools to represent them. And to do that with Bob Dole, in a wheel chair, on the floor of the Senate. Shameful!

But the people are still here. While some blogs, news sites, etc., have started slowing down a bit, I think that was a moment of taking ones breath after the election. A could wacko sites that I visit are still going off on everything and anything. I spend some time there calling them out still for thier lies and distortions. They are blind follers of The Blase, Drietbart, Fox News, and sites in England that make grocery store checkout tabloids seem like legitimate news magizines. LOL

One area where traffic has increased was the petition site on the Whitehouse.gov site. It wasn't until President Obama took office that there was an easy way to petition your government. That site has a ton of seccession petitions. Idiots. ;o)  And the news media getting the fact on those petitions wrong has me laughing and crying. Like the one for Texas to secceed. They mention the number of Texans that have signed the petition, but if you look at who actully internet signed it, many are from other States. I'm guessing as many want Texas removed from the Union to get rid of it, as the amount that are actully Texans. If they actually put it on a ballot, with what it would mean, I'm guessing it would get less than 1% of the vote if that high.




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