Cheat-Seeking Missles

Friday, March 10, 2006

The Net Roots Project

Anyone interested in public affairs, as I am, needs to track the Net Roots project.

Some background on grassroots campaigns. Yesterday, environmentalist groups from around the country got their members to call their Senators to urge no reform of the Endangered Species Act. The call-in day was coordinated with a media blitz, all designed to create a "fog of war" to obscure the very real need for ESA reform.

Pro-reform factions will do something similar in the next few days.

Why? Because the Senate will take up ESA reform later this month.

Enter Net Roots.

Net Roots is an effort to get bloggers in a particular area to write on an issue just before it comes up for a vote or hearings. Then everyone urges friends and family to read the blog posts on the topic. Net Roots wraps up with a campaign of letters to the editors, calls to Congress, and the usual public affairs fare.

There's a Net Roots program underway now in Pennsylvania, purposed to get Dems to sound off on the upcoming hearings on NSA intelligence-gathering. Apparently leading the charge is Vichy Democrats.

The fact that I said "intelligence gathering" shows the power of Net Roots. The Dem blogs will not use such nice words, and readers will be "educated" by blogs that don't follow the normal MSM protocols of (at least some) objectivity and balance.

It's a great way to use one side of the story for political gain.

The Pennsylvania effort is a little rough, requiring people to do too much work on their own, but for public affairs folks like me, it's an exercise that must be studied, because it just might be the future.

Art Credit hat-tip: memeorandum
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