New study shows people feel politically empowered through the use of the internet. A little acadmic vindication for me and my types, though I feel compelled to point out that there's a bit of an important distinction between "feel politically empowered" and "have increased their political power."
I think we'll get there, but to be frank we've still got a ways to go on that front.
The study also has some interesting stuff inside. Net use is about to top 80% in the US, with 2/3 of all citizens having access in the home. The fastest-growing demographic in terms of access is those earning below $30k. Close to 50% of all users are on broadband, and the net is more valued than television, meaning, if you had to dump your internet or your TV, which would you prefer... people would kill their televisions before they'd kill their internet.
Also interesting, people who visit certain websites frequently have an 80% degree of confidence in the information they get there. Considering that confidence levels in traditional media, political parties, government and even the M-F church fall well below 80%, I think there's something going on here.
Ironically, the full report costs $500 (or $1500 if you're corporate), but you can get the highlights, which is where I culled all of the above, as a PDF.
This information aught to be free.