October 19, 2016

"Every four years, by journalistic if not political tradition, the presidential election must be accompanied by a 'revolution.'"

"So what transformed politics this time around? The rise of the Web log, or blog. The commentary of bloggers — individuals or groups posting daily, hourly or second-by-second observations of and opinions on the campaign on their own Web sites — helped shape the 2004 race."

From "The Revolution Will Be Posted," NYT, November 2, 2004.

I'm just indulging in some haphazard nostalgia. Remember when blog was the revolution and mainstream media tried to seem with it by getting the bloggers to come over and stomp around for a short spell? Now, they just embed tweets. More efficient. Less messy.

19 comments:

Johnathan Birks said...

In another dozen years we'll think back on Twitter and Instagram as a quaint relics of another era. "140 characters? Who's got time to read all that?"

MadisonMan said...

@Birks: tl;dr

Carol said...

I recall MSM especially newspapers starting their own blogs. What could be more boring. Did any really take off? Locally they'd get someone young and supposedly hip, only to find out they had nothing to say after the first week.

Opinions are dangerous anyway.

robother said...

"Less messy." The overriding media management objective for Les Messman types everywhere.

David Begley said...

The revolution this year is that now the whole world knows the MSM is corrupt.

Ann Althouse said...

"I recall MSM especially newspapers starting their own blogs. What could be more boring. Did any really take off? Locally they'd get someone young and supposedly hip, only to find out they had nothing to say after the first week."

Well, they were adopting the format... adapting the format. If someone were only there to blog, wouldn't he be trying to leverage that position to something else? Wouldn't everything he wrote really be pre-sold-out as a means to an end of getting somewhere within his field that would be regarded as more prestigious. It would be awful to feel your job was to supply hipness to a established media entity. But established journalists may have done some blog-like things back then. The big change was Twitter, and I think established journalists are forced to maintain a Twitter presence to try to drive traffic to the traditional news website. I don't know how they feel about having to do that, but I don't find their tweets tweety enough. They're more like the "breaking news" email that I get from CNN.

I don't tweet every time I put up a blog post, but I could. It's too boring to do. I only want to tweet if I can do something tweet-y, refine the ultra-short text into something that's good because of its shortness, like an aphorism. Maybe when I'm not teaching anymore, I will work on that. I have some ideas I could roll out in that sphere. But I like the blog because it's my place, people are visiting me — not Twitter or Facebook or the New York Times.

Gusty Winds said...

Trump's use of Twitter and Instagram (more Twitter) is this campaign's biggest revolution. Whether he wins or loses, his ability to manipulate and sidestep the mainstream media, communicating directly to his millions of followers certainly got him the nomination. The rest is TBD.

I would imagine, post election credibility of the media is gone. Attempts will be made by Democrats to regulate the internet and cap our free ability for point to point communication and debate. I'm sure the elite miss the days when everything had to hub and spoke through three networks and the Associated Press.

Gusty Winds said...

Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter, and Amazon (through Bezos) have become information monopolies. It's and interesting battle between users, and the executives controlling trends, what is and isn't acceptable, who gets banned etc...

If you look at the FB trends everyday it's a joke. They are still controlling it fully. There is no algorithm involved. You can see twitter users fighting to keep there #hashtag trending and those users seem to have a bit more control. Google is willing to manipulated and betray is search algorithm (which built the company, and revolutionized search engines) for political gain.

These companies who control information will become more powerful, and will eventually build a Death Star with a planet destroying gamma ray.

Mac McConnell said...

The main stream media is just a human centipede, it's been interesting how they've transitioned from one host to another, from Obama's anal pore to Clintons.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

No no no! Only the Right talks about "revolutions," and it's scary and hate-filled when they do it.
It's similar to the phrase "take our country back;" when someone on the Right says that it's rock-solid proof of their racism, their sexism, their homophobia, their xenophobia, and their desire to "put ya'll back in chains!"
When Democrats like Al Franken, Barack Obama, etc, say it though it's just a stirring rhetorical phrase--gosh they're such lovely speechmakers, after all.

Careful with that "revolution" word, Professor: you wouldn't want to end up on some SPLC list.

Dude1394 said...

The revolution this time is the coming out of the closet by the democrat media. This will forever change the integrity of the press in most Americans eyes.

Darrell said...

Hillary Bus Dumps Shit in Street...
You really have to be full of shit to do that.

damikesc said...

The revolution this time should consist of disemboweled journalists.

Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter, and Amazon (through Bezos) have become information monopolies. It's and interesting battle between users, and the executives controlling trends, what is and isn't acceptable, who gets banned etc...

Should a Republican ever win the WH again -- highly unlikely --- it might be time to dust off anti-trust law and go. to. town.

Brando said...

This campaign showed that a lot more can be done through social media and free media than paid advertising. It's not the easiest method to use though--it helps mostly to be outrageous and attention-getting, and while it can get you the notice you need it can also turn off more voters than it wins over.

Brando said...

"Should a Republican ever win the WH again -- highly unlikely ---"

It's looking unlikely without some major party shift. The GOP constituencies are shrinking and not well sited geographically for the electoral college. And the longer the Dems are in power, the more they solidify their hold on a lot of their own coalition.

But things are always changing, and coalitions can break. Ten years from now we may be looking at two very different parties.

damikesc said...

It's looking unlikely without some major party shift. The GOP constituencies are shrinking and not well sited geographically for the electoral college. And the longer the Dems are in power, the more they solidify their hold on a lot of their own coalition.

Until the elites go all-in to being the party for the disaffected working poor, the GOP is dead, dead, dead.

Brando said...

"Until the elites go all-in to being the party for the disaffected working poor, the GOP is dead, dead, dead."

At least the GOP as we know it. We're just seeing the end of the Reagan coalition which held together a surprising amount of time.

Owen said...

Seems to me that the trend here is toward increasingly compact statements. We used to listen to 3-hour orations or read the transcripts. Then we went to op-eds and 30-minute TV features. Then: a page or so of bloggery. Then: 140 characters. Next: ?

What is the effect of this? We each only have so much bandwidth. In a world where ideas and arguments come in 3-hour chunks, those are the dominant expression and everybody (kinda) knows what they are. In a world of tweets, you read yours and I read mine, and never the twain shall meet.

I think the technology and culture are tending toward an atomization or certainly a narrowcasting.

Politically, who benefits from that? Somebody who can cultivate the narrowcasts and then "bundle" them into a "consensus" on Election Day?

OGWiseman said...

Side Note: "The Revolution Will Be Posted" is a trash title and a bad riff on the title of Scott-Heron's poem. The ending verb has to be of the "-ized" variety, both because that's the form of the original and because there's a poetical acho between "-tion" and "-ized" that simply doesn't exist between "-tion" and "-ed". Headline writers suck.