Blogger, the Google-owned site through which this blog operates, has been a great resource for a few years now. It's a quick and easy way for people to get information and ideas online. It's a very popular place that has expanded the scope of political debate.
Yet, a pure blog format has its limits for political expression. It enables me to have some words, with pictures if I want to add them, in a linear succession of pages, each of which disappears down the page and into an archive that is rarely visited. The form is eternal, but the content is fleeting.
I'm a few days into exploring another medium for political expression: TagWorld. TagWorld is one of those relationship sites, like MySpace, but it offers users a great deal more flexibility - and spares visitors the trashy advertisements for how to get dates with sexy young things who don't wear much in the way of clothes.
TagWorld lets users create blogs, but it also allows space for more enduring pages to supplement the blogs. Audio and video, as well as graphics, can be more easily integrated into a page that can serve as a solid center.
I'm still just in the process of playing around on TagWorld, and haven't yet made it sing for me, but I'm getting to feel more comfortable with the interface.
I'm contemplating the creation of a space centering around the 24th district congressional race there, as a way to reach out to a different kind of person than those who read this blog. Don't get me wrong - you're all great, but this format tends to attract people who are already interested and involved in politics.
TagWorld appeals to a very different crowd - younger, technologically saavy, but not yet involved in politics. Whether Michael Arcuri or Les Roberts becomes our nominee, we 24th district Democrats need to find new ways to expand the reach of the campaign, beyond cheesy television and radio advertisements, and glossy brochures that glimmer but don't say much. We also need to reach out nationally - local resources alone will not win the race.
Take a look at MySpace, and you'll see that many politicians, like Russ Feingold, Ned Lamont, and Louise Slaughter, are using the interface there to expand their political networks. Nobody is doing that yet on TagWorld, even though the TagWorld space is more flexible and powerful, and encourages people to link to eachother like crazy.
So, I don't think I'll abandon this place on Blogger in dealing with the 24th District race, but for those who are following the campaign in our district, I may be soon extending into the richer and more youthful environment of TagWorld. Give me a few days and I'll get back to you on it...