Atrios explains his ad policy and wraps up by comparing BlogAds to the Dean blog.
What the Dean campaign tapped into was a bunch of people who wanted to feel personally invested in a campaign, but hadn’t found any way to do that. Too many state and local parties are completely ossified and don’t return calls by people offering to volunteer, and are often run by people who don’t seem to want any new blood interfering with their little fiefdoms. Between impeachment, Florida, and the Bush administration there are a lot of people new people who decided they wanted to become “involved” but didn’t know how. The internet allows a small degree of personal involvement by a large number of people, and they’re grateful for candidates who let them feel involved. Haines, who is running to be the nominee in Georgia’s 12th, started taking/responding to comments and criticisms. That’s smart.
Look, a lot of the internet “personal involvement” is an illusion – and most people know that. Nobody ever thought Howard Dean read through thousands of comments on his weblog, but it nonetheless allowed them to feel they had a wee personal connection to the campaign, and that’s all that mattered. The truth is, I think it’s relatively easy for a campaign to tap into that sentiment, though not all campaigns will be comfortable doing that – and nor should they try. Blog readers are not your “typical voter” or your “typical Democrat,” and not all campaigns/candidates are necessarily well-suited for trying to tap into that particular vibe. But, some are and with a little creativity and not too much effort they might be able to get the little extra money/attention they need to put them over the line in November. And, hey, write me a nice fat consulting check and I’ll tell you how to do it… ;)