Monday, July 24, 2006

"The Hippies Behind the Youth Movement"


"Dean's presidential campaign was remarkable at the time for its extensive use of the Internet to reach out to its supporters," a Wikipedia summary now notes. "The candidate's staff, and occasionally even the candidate, frequently 'blogged' while on the campaign trail and even sought advice on important campaign-related decisions -- in at least two instances even making decisions through online polls of supporters."

Dean's approach was certainly innovative at the time, but what most people didn't realize was that his supporters were not generally the disengaged college campus youth who wouldn't have been involved if not for Dean's Net tactics. Instead, Pew Internet Research reports in a 2005 study that "the group's overall age distribution" was "fairly close to that of Democrats in the general public." They were also "far wealthier" than general Democrats and were not the most frequent Internet users.


According to a 2006 survey by comScore Media Metrix, netroots members at flagship blog DailyKos are positively grey-haired. The survey states, "the demographic snapshot of readers reveals that while all adult age groups are represented, there is a very large skew toward adults 65 and older. In fact, this age group is nearly four times as likely as the norm to visit the site."

And, in a related matter, The Freeway Blogger leaves his mark on Seattle.

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