Wednesday, June 29, 2005

A democratic medium

Here's Kos testifying before the FEC yesterday:

How are Internet technologies different than their offline media counterparts?

The barriers to entry are ridiculously low. A computer and an Internet connection can turn anyone into a publisher who can speak to a mass audience. Every single one of the communication technologies I mentioned above - the blogging, podcasting, Yahoo Groups, etc - is available to people for free. By comparison, it takes millions to start or buy a newspaper, television station, magazine, or radio station.

And that low barrier to entry ensures that anyone can communicate. It ensures that corporations or labor unions or wealthy individuals have no bigger say than people like me. I am a former war refugee from El Salvador. Didn't speak English when I came to this country. I never had friends in influential places. I wasn't part of an old boy's network. My father, a Greek immigrant, loaded freight in a warehouse. My mother, a Salvadoran immigrant, started off as a secretary. It is rare to see people of such modest backgrounds become media stars. Yet here is a medium that didn't care about things that didn't matter - like class, wealth, influence, or social networks. . . .

The Daily Kos is the highest ranked political blog of any stripe, registering more than 500,000 unique hits per day. It has more than 50,000 registered users who post a collective 275-300 diaries per day. Unquestionably it has changed the nature of political dialog in this country. All in three years. Thank you, Markos.

Interesting analysis on the stagnation of the right-wing blogosphere here.

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