Miss Dem

{August 9, 2008}   online connections

23 August 2007

Online Connections

Each day, I peak back at my F-book tab on my trusty Firefox browser, learning who is bored, going on vacation, falling in love or having their heart broken. It is also my own personal RSS feed for dummies.

Ahh, yes.

My loyal friends, all Demoholics, circulate YouTube videos, news articles and candidate updates. As the loyal operator, I have had the privilege of passing through countless events and breaking stories to
folks interested in moving forward a vision of public policy designed to benefit the common good.

It was with sudden and rather heartbroken disappointment that I learned my account had been shut down. Apparently, I’m not a real person. As such, the nearly 200 friends (mostly from Maine) I have acquired over time are all so madly angry at me that they have continued to be my friend, tag me in items that need circulation and write nice compliments on my wall. Oh, the hatred!

It has taken me some time, but yesterday I began the process of rebuilding what was lost, this time with a more strategic eye toward keeping this high-profile profile a bit more on the down low. As we move toward an even more contentious election in 2008, it will be increasingly important to be able to quickly share relevant information, volunteer requests and events in a meaningful manner that
engages people in the process.

As I have gone around the state in the past year, I have been genuinely struck by how many people are simply tired of the polarizing effect that this administration has had on the political process in general. Folks are tired of hearing the “he said, she said” bit and are looking for real leadership. The independents aren’t blaming the Republicans, they’re blaming both parties and saying, “a pox on both your houses.”

Howard Dean has been incredibly insightful and diligent in rebuilding the party from the roots of the grass, inspiring new folks to shirk the sidelines and take action. Change is a collective effort; government is not meant to be a spectator sport. But life takes away time on so many levels, removing people’s ability to always get out and get involoved.

This is why online social networking is critical. Yes, the loyal of the loyal and the dyed in the wool congregate around the MySpace and Facebook profiles we’ve collectively built. But it’s the soccer
moms and the baseball dads and slammed college students who are picking up and circulating
information, too. We’re engaging people who might be astute to what the Democrats are trying to
do, but just don’t have the time to spread the gospel of the common good, the way some of us
loyalists can.

I, myself, find it difficult to sparse out minutes in the day to write, edit and code this blog while also
xholding down a full-time job and serving on a board of directors of a Progressive Maine
organization. And I don’t have children or a husband to focus on (not even a boyfriend at this juncture,
come to think of it).

It is only by engaging people on their own terms in a positive manner that we will win the hearts
and minds of this country. Indeed, it is community-by-community that the grass begins to green itself
and the country begins to right itself.

The people on the streets of Maine are asking for a fresh, positive vision for the future of Maine, and
for this country. By engaging in uplifting, ethical politics, by presenting our vision for the future, and by
implementing that vision, we will start to erode the negative, fear-based structure that has hijacked
our political process.

We are the people.

It’s time we were once again the government.


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