The Internet as political tool

In Net gains, an op-ed in the Boston Globe, Cory Doctorow argues that a political sleeping giant – the Internet-savvy – is waking up and trying to learn how to go beyond pointing out flaw and poking holes.
He mentions the greater sources of news information online, weblogs, and things like the campign Meetups and [Editor’s note: This past Saturday I did some tabling for Howard Dean the Grand Lake Farmer’s Market in Oakland. I plan to write more about the experience, why I did it, the conversations I had, and who I met, when time permits.]
The crucial next step for the Internet generation is positively influencing governance and power:

Turning information into action is not easy. The quaint isolationism of the Internet’s early days is seductive: In the sublime purity of bits and binary, who needs the sticky, ugly business of politics? The more recent flavor of naysayer Internet politics, in which large groups of people were informed of suppressed information and enraged into lashing out, is easy – at least when compared with the political deal: putting your own items on the political agenda.

The learning curve is steep but we have a whole ant farm of plugged-in people working on it.