The Nation notices the rise of open-source politics

· The Power of Many

In The Rise of Open-Source Politics, Micah L. Sifry discusses the influence of the new grassroots technologists on the past year’s campaign:

Josh Koenig, one of the twenty-somethings who cut their teeth at the Dean campaign and a co-founder of Music for America, says, “We’re only seeing the first drips of what is going to be a downpour.” When he told me that in most high schools in America, students are using the web to rank their teachers, I thought that was a bit of hyperbole. But then I discovered RateMyTeachers.com, where more than 6 million ratings have been posted by students on more than 900,000 teachers at more than 40,000 American and Canadian middle and high schools. That’s triple the number from one year ago, covering about 85 percent of all the schools in both countries.

Just imagine when they take that habit into their adult lives, and start rating other authority figures, like politicians and bosses. The future is in their hands, though the rest of us will be taken along for the ride.

(Micah is also, as noted previously in this weblog, my editor at Personal Democracy Forum.)