Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Internet, Reality, And The Ron Paul Campaign

The Washington Post today has an article on the Ron Paul phenomena. Ron Paul is running in the low single digits in the opinion polls. On the internet, the former libertarian, is the hottest thing on the market.

Others may have commented the same on the parallel, but I see this as "Snakes On A Plane" part two. Last year, buzz was building about the movie, just based on the title alone. Websites, spoof youtube videos, chat rooms were all dedicated to the movie. The media started reporting the phenomena, the script writers did reshoots with more money to catch up on the hype. The movie was released, and bombed.

We are in the age of micro audiences. Bill O'Reilly has a massive lead in the total viewership on cable political shows. He has two million viewers often. This also means that two hundred ninety nine million people aren't watching.

Some of the top blogs on the internet have several hundred thousand people reading. These several hundred thousand people spread about the internet and make a lot of noise. While they can donate money and affect a race, their really is no Big Three networks of the internet.

If there was, the world of politics truly would be shattered. Picture ten million dedicated readers of a blog all giving $5 each to a candidate once a month for any race. If people could be harnessed that way, it would change the world.

Some obscure challenger for a congressional seat with fifty million tossed his way five dollars at a time, might be able to buy an ad or two. The internet does have it's impact, don't get me wrong. But internet hype leads us to talking about the massive popularity of Snakes On A Plane, and Ron Paul when we could be focusing on genuine popular trends. The internet can build a buzz now, but the other bees have to chip in too.