"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

A Case For Democrobot

A while back, I got the url democrobot.com, based on a conversation with Jon Berger and Eric Klotz about how there aught to be a digg.com for political news. At the time it was sort of trendy, and not especially needed (this was in early 2006 IIRC).

I think the time for such a site may be drawing near. The relationship between the established blogosphere, the newsmedia, and the major Democratic political campaigns is becoming increasingly symbiotic. Many major bloggers walk the line well, but quite a few don't. Trust is on the decline as people play favorites without acknowledging their biases, and/or take professional gigs with no disclaimer.

Add that to a campaign season which seems to have a very strong top tier, and you have a very different scene than 2003-04, when the internet fueled disruptive insurgent candidacies. At this point, online communications are a fully-integrated integrated part of the political establishment, and that includes much of the widely-read blogosphere. This isn't a bad thing, necessarily, but it's not like before.

However, at the same time, there are a large number of new/upstart citizen journalism projects which will produce a large volume of (relatively) independent campaign journalism. There's also a much greater chance that staffers will post anonymously about the inner workings of some campaign operations in more obscure fora. There will also be a glut of low-quality audio and video content to sift through. This is all new.

The sifting is what's needed. That's where democrobot might have a purpose. If you added in Zack's old "PPipes" idea of aggregating progressive/Democratic mailing-list messages, you'd have something that would be pretty interesting, and pretty useful too.

I clearly don't have a lot of bandwidth to take on additional projects, but it might not be all that much work to get up and running. We'll see.