The job ahead is to recruit enough people who are involved on a grassroots level to bring a conservative candidate to office. For that, bloggers need to get out of their houses, go out, meet people (including each other) and become involved at every level.
Today Patrick Ruffini has the must-read for all political bloggers:
The mainstream things people do online are 1) e-mail, 2) connect on Facebook and MySpace, and 3) watch video on YouTube. Video is not on here because I don’t have a hard count of how many unique people watched Obama videos, but the advertising value of all Obama videos watched on YouTube was huge: over $46 million and bigger than the media budget for most primary and general election campaigns.
The difference between the Obama campaign and every other campaign is that they treated the online space as a mass medium, and not just a niche medium for the very interested. They announced online. They did their VP via text message. And they built up an e-mail list that was equal to almost 20% of their voters. They were maniacally focused on building up their e-mail list at every opportunity, requiring e-mail to attend events — and even setting up dummy registration pages late in the campaign for events where an RSVP wasn’t even required.
But Twitter, which is the successor to the blogopshere in many ways, is a different animal. Twitter is the medium of choice for opinion leaders — be they software engineers, political journalists, or bloggers. If you want to effect the influentials, Twitter, more so than blogs, is usually the way to do it — I’ve had random tweets of mine show up in outlets like the Huffington Post. Thanks to the work of trailblazers like Rep. John Culberson (who kicked off the #dontgo movement on Twitter) and Michael Patrick Leahy’s TopConservativesonTwitter.org, it’s very doubtful that the media can write the story about the left leading online on Twitter. Though Twitter users went about 86% for Obama — this is an accurate measure of tech industry and non-political Twitter users — political Twitter users probably lean right thanks to #TCOT.
That the right is seizing the Twitter moment is awesome, but I hope that we don’t lose sight of the more mainstream technologies (email and video) that give us the power — finally — to communicate directly to the general public and bypass old and new media gatekeepers entirely.
Go read the whole thing, and Patrick’s point is,
Ultimately, only one person used the Internet to win the election in 2008. And he did basically everything — maybe with less of an emphasis on blogs. As one of the major parties in the world’s most advanced democracy, we should be able to do nothing less. That means a focus on recruting 5 million people — bloggers and non-bloggers alike, moving our fundraising online, and giving people the tools to self-organize in their own communities.
While you’re at it, read more of Patrick’s posts.