From the early demise of Trent Lott at the hands of bloggers to the agonized scream of Howard Dean; from Daily Kos and the blogosphere to the rise of Twitter and Facebook, politics and new media have co-existed and evolved in rapid succession. Here, an academic and practitioner team up to consider how new and old media technologies mix with combustible politics to determine, in real time, the shape of the emerging political order. Our political moment shares with other realigning periods the sense that political parties are failing to address the public interest. In an era defined by the collapse of the political center, extreme income inequality, rapidly changing demography, and new methods of communicating and organizing, a second-generation online progressive movement fueled by email and social media is coming into its own.
In this highly readable text, the authors – one a scholar of Internet politics, the other a leading voice of the first generation netroots – draw on unique data and on-the-ground experience to answer key questions at the core of our tumultuous politics: How has Internet activism changed in form and function? How have the left and right changed with it? How does this affect American political power?