The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008

Archives

The Clickocracy

Up Next: The Right

By Jose Antonio Vargas
When it comes to online donations, to activity on user-generated and social networking sites and to community interaction on local and national blogs, this much is true: Democrats have had the upper hand. That was the case last spring. It remains the case today.

That's why the next few months, leading up to the November elections, will be a real test for Republicans, said Soren Dayton, one of the co-founders of The Next Right.

Launched last Monday, The Next Right is the latest high-profile addition to an online conservative mediasphere that includes the likes of Townhall.com, Pajamas Media and Red State. Founded by three well-known GOP online political operatives -- Patrick Ruffini, previously the eCampaign director for the Republican National Committee; Jon Henke, a former staffer for Fred Thompson; and Dayton, project manager at the online firm New Media Strategies and (briefly) a John McCain aide -- the new site aims to be a virtual think-tank and community-building hub for conservatives. And judging by outside buzz and actual activity on the site in the past week, it's off to a rollicking start.

A recent post headlined "GOP Group Relationships," which was later updated with a diagram, features arguably the most informative breakdown anywhere of various GOP groups. "Status Quo Republicans" (think Richard Nixon) should not be confused with "Paleo-Libertarian Republicans" (think Ron Paul), which is not the same as "Progressive Republicans (think Teddy Roosevelt).

It's all part of the quest to repair what conservatives see as online inequities between themselves and the liberals. To date, the conservative mediasphere has not yet found its online answer to Daily Kos. Though the conservative Drudge Report continues its reign as a must-click for news junkies, the unabashedly liberal Huffington Post, with its pioneering Off The Bus citizen journalists, has had several successes. And when it comes to the grassroots, user-generated political sphere, it often seems as if the Democrats have outnumbered Republicans online.

One of the "critical differences" between right and left blogs, Dayton says, is the level of interaction they allow readers. For many conservative bloggers, the goal has been to drive the traditional media narrative, not necessarily to build an interactive community between bloggers and readers. Following on the heels of Red State, where Dayton has contributed, The Next Right hopes to foster a robust interactive community.

"The Democrats have mastered two things online," Dayton said. "One, they've got more people producing, collecting and distributing information on the Web and, by my count, they have more local and state blogs. And two, they have a constituency -- or a coalition of constituencies -- that actually sits there, reads the blogs and interacts with them."

And so another recent post, this one headlined "Republicans on the Web -- Who Are You?", readers of Next Right were invited to introduce themselves.

This is the fifth in a series of online columns on our growing "clickocracy," in which we are one nation under Google, with e-mail and video for all. Please send suggestions, comments and tips to vargasj-at-washpost-dot-com.

Posted at 8:15 AM ET on Jun 3, 2008  | Category:  The Clickocracy
Share This: Technorati talk bubble Technorati | Tag in Del.icio.us | Digg This
Previous: Clyburn Endorses Obama | Next: Sketch: The Campaign Ends with Milbank


Add 44 to Your Site
Be the first to know when there's a new installment of The Trail. This widget is easy to add to your Web site, and it will update every time there's a new entry on The Trail.
Get This Widget >>


Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



How about on article on these "Clinton supporters" (actually sour-grapes Republican trolls) spamming the comments sections here at washingtonpost

Posted by: Billy | June 3, 2008 3:29 PM

To: JK | June 3, 2008 11:30 AM

Thankfully, the Clinton nightmare is over.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 3, 2008 12:01 PM

there is so much emotion-driven verbiage with the preponderance on very negative, accusatory language. it would be better to use provable facts, etc. the object is to instruct - not to harangue. we are all guilty of this at times. a highly disciplined, intelligent and reasonable approach will garner much more attention than a thundering, condemnatory blurb. zealotry is easily identified, and people make the choice to leave or stay quickly.

Posted by: gordon a. cronin | June 3, 2008 11:55 AM

NOT SO FAST , THIS RACE IS FAR FROM OVER, NEITHER CANDIDATE WILL RECEIVE THE NOMINATION UNTIL THE DNC CONVENTION IN LATE AUGUST. YOU KNOW THAT. WAIT UNTIL THE NEW TAPES ARE SHOW TOMORROW WITH MICHELLE OBAMA AND FARAKHAAN AND YOU'LL BE EATING CROW FOR BREAKFAST ALONG WITH ALL MEDIA WHO HAVE BEEN IN THE TANK FOR OBAMA. LOL.

Join womenforfairpolitics.com and sign the petition to encourage Hillary to take it to the convention where she can prevail. No one will be the nominee until late August at the convention where the delegates who are not really "pledged", they can vote for whomever they wish will vote to nominate the next Pres. candidate for the Dems. Their job is to nominate the most electable candidate for the general election. That candidate is and shall remain Hillary Rodham Clinton. Call them all and demand they support the better candidate, Hillary Clinton. Obama is unelectable.

The failure of the Democratic party to denounce the rampant sexism, racism, classism and voter disenfranchisement practiced by Barack Obama, his campaign and nasty supporters and the entire MEDIA is at their own peril. We will be voting for McCain in November if the Dems foolishly nominate an unqualified and unelectable Obama.

The Democratic party must learn a lesson. We will NOT stand for sexism,classism, racism and voter disenfranchisement. We will not stand for 1/2 vote for Michigan in Florida, 1/2 a person? It calls to mind the old, unacceptable Jim Crow laws when blacks were considered 3/4 a person. THIS 1/2 person/vote rule is even WORSE!

The Democratic party understands two things, money and votes. We have the power to withhold BOTH. DO SO, NOW. Thank you.

BREAKING NEWS WATCH FOR NEW TAPES TOMORROW SHOWING MICHELLE OBAMA AND FARAKHAAN TOGETHER RAILING AGAINST WHITES.....STAY TUNED......THE OBAMA TRAIN IS ABOUT TO DERAIL AGA

Posted by: JK | June 3, 2008 11:30 AM

You failed to mention the dailypaul.com website which has become the hub of conservative republicans.

Posted by: Marcelo | June 3, 2008 11:10 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 

© 2009 The Washington Post Company