The Dawn of the Information Age and DailyKos
by pinche tejano
Wed Aug 09, 2006 at 12:01:28 PM PST
I remember when I first came by here, it was off a link from Buzzflash!, which is still in my daily news rotation. Back then; I made the daily rounds of everything from Little Green Footballs to Crooks and Liars and the always the amusing Drudgereport. See, I plan to be a historical writer when I get long in the tooth, and I was looking for something, I just did not know what it was yet. I could see a subset of the Internet evolving into something, put since it did not exist yet, I could not put my finger on it. Then I came across DailyKos.
Arriving just before the post-Katrina user explosion, I gladly signed up and was assigned user 60118, and I recently heard DKos was about to break 100,000, which probably has happened during the epic CT-Senate week. It is said week that I was waiting for, because I have a good eye for picking horses, and I knew this is where Dkos was headed. Remember this day, this week my friends, because you, as community, have finally got your foot in the gate. Always knew you would. You, as a community, have combined all the right parts to make something special.
And it is a you, a we, not a he, which is why I am fascinated by this site. The mere fact that Kos has not cashed in on what he has created speaks volumes of the man. It is his sense that this is a community that sets it apart from other sites, blogs and online media outlets, which tend to breakdown into tryouts to become the next great pundit. It is his hands off approach that has let it achieved something I believe will be of historical significance. This is the first fully functional wiki/pagerank network-based community, which just happens to be geared toward politics.
The concept of a wiki here is not that we edit, delete or modify each other’s works, but actually each other’s concepts and ideas. And by the use of recommends and troll ratings, a PageRank for the importance of the information has been allowed to evolve and filter up or down data and issues according to central meme of the community. Combine these two things together, and you have one of the first truly functional public works of Information Age.
Since the Information Age has brought about instantaneous and disconnected communication to the fingertips of the American people, we now find ourselves at a real tipping point. Twenty years ago, we would not be here. Arguments can be made that even 5 years ago this would not have been possible. Roadblocks to the rational truth that use to stand for years under the antique model of network television and newspapers are now broken-down in the matter of hours, as HackerGate stunningly showed yesterday.
The average person now has countless sources at their disposals, and countless others in constant communication working with them to bring once hidden hands with hidden plans into the glaring light of justice and accountability. The search engine, though still just a baby, will be held in the same regard we hold the development of the printing press today. It basically unclogged a huge bottleneck in the flow of information and ideas, allowing them to spread all over the world at the instant they are requested.
Vast distances of both time and geography have also been solved, allowing DKos to become a town hall of the masses for the masses, where everyone has a voice, even if it is drowned out in dissent. And considering we are just in the dawn of the Information Age, there is no telling where the wiki/pagerank network-based communities will take us as technology advances. I, for one, am extremely excited.
As the Information Age seeps through the strata of societies and civilizations, other wiki/pagerank network-based communities will arise, and empower that group by the fashioning their memes through repeated discussions and counter-discussions. Hammering away, through troll ratings, recommended diaries, pie fights and keen eyes for stories slipping down the memory hole, DKos will continue to act a filter for the massive amount of information available to the average person, each voice.dairy helping to mold the overall shape of the Dkos community.
I knew this was coming, I am glad it is here. But remember, I believe DKos is like a data shark, it most keep moving forward or it will die. Your foot is in the gate, now throw the locks and flood the halls and knock down the ivory towers, as a community. Always as community, which uses the gifts of the information age to pull the best and brightest of America together for the common goal of bringing democracy back to the people, for the people, by the people.
This is what makes the mainstream media and gatekeepers so anxious, even though they do not know why yet. Because with a wiki/pagerank network-based community, we gather and assimilate information together, deciding what the real issues and constructs are, how we should move forward with our collective idea, and they will never again be allowed to spoon feed us the party line. Because now the people can act as a we.
Guard against schadenfreude, and especially again laurel resting. And never, ever, forever-ever become a one-issue pony. That would break the model, which broke the mold.
I, and other historical writers, are watching and waiting.
Cross-published in my book, Life in the Americas at the Turn of the Millennium, set to be published in 2040.