Thursday, October 25, 2012

"Netroots Bloggers Mark 10th Birthday in Decline and Struggling for Survival"

David Freelander (The Daily Beast):
Susie Madrak started blogging in 2001, just after Sept. 11, back when the country was hurtling head-first into war and the blogosphere was a mysterious frontier on the far edges of the Internet. “It was infuriating,” Madrak recalled of the political moment that spurred her to start throwing her own commentary online. “I could see that they were fabricating the reasons for war. Blogging was what I did instead of throwing a brick through the window.” She started her own site, called Suburban Guerilla, and it soon became one of the boldface blogs of the “Netroots,” a new network of engaged political progressives giving a voice they thought was missing in the mainstream press. In time, millions like her took to their own keyboards, and thousands of similar sites bloomed. The Netroots became the world’s first online grassroots political organizing effort, and the goal was nothing less than to remake the American political system by pushing Democrats leftward. “We didn’t trust the traditional progressive movement—labor, the issue orgs, the party—because of a record of failure and futility,” writes Markos Moulitsas, founder of Daily Kos, in an email. “In turn, they didn’t like us petulant upstarts. A popular sentiment was, ‘What are those bloggers going to do, hit George Bush in the head with a laptop?’” MORE...

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