Conservatives Take Social Networking to the Next Level, by Caroline May

Though my musings are often posted here, on a blog — a quintessential tool of the web savvy Gen Y-er — I am really no more than a troglodyte, blessed to be surrounded by many kind, helpful, computer nerd friends and co-workers. My level of personal internet knowledge is about that of a hound’s understanding of pancakes, they’re good, but just as the hound would rather chase birds than learn the intricacies of a griddle (indulge me as I ignore the obvious lack of opposable thumbs for the purposes of this tenuous metaphor), I often find myself engaged in other endeavors besides exploring the inner workings of Al Gore’s much heralded brainchild. For, despite my relative youth, I am a representation of the type of conservative that needs to pull her act together and jump on the internet/social networking/online media bandwagon.

Many already have. The vast swarms of patriotic Americans who showed up for Tea Parties and Townhall events around the country used networking tools like Facebook and Twitter to communicate, organize and coordinate. Their efforts yielded tremendous results and will serve as a model for future ventures. While many may argue that it was the passion fueled by representatives’ deafness to constituent appeals and the Obama/Pelosi/Reid government’s odious infringements on American liberty, the Internet’s ability to connect people drove a large portion of the movement’s success.

It is a relief to see the conservative movement embrace these new methods of communication. During the 2008 election Barack Obama and his youthful disciples were experts at manipulating the Internet to manage their movement and garner popularity. Conservatives, it appears, are catching up and taking the directive a step farther. This week, the Washington Times and the Heritage Foundation gave new meaning to bringing “power to the people” with the launch of a new website that does just that, only online, Using various multimedia communication and information gathering applications, is a one-stop-shop for political research, networking, and debate.

The site’s architects hope to use the site as a way to proliferate knowledge and facilitate connections among not just the conservative/independent hoi polloi, but also leaders in positions of power. John Solomon, executive editor and vice president for content of The Times expressed his enthusiasm: creates a cutting-edge new marriage between the social publishing world of bloggers and the social networking world of Twitter, YouTube and the like. Most opinion sites today enable thought-leaders to talk down to the masses, but empowers users to change the direction of that dialogue, allowing the Joe the Plumbers of the world to speak up to major thinkers, like Newt Gingrich.

Conservatives continue to make great inroads in the world of Internet organization. While we conservatives were working, raising families, and going to church the left leapt ahead early on to harness the political power of the Internet. Now that we are catching up, conservatives can and will do it better — as perhaps demonstrated by innovative

I for one resolve to join this new site and become an expert on all things Internet… Join me!

Written by Caroline May, policy analyst at the National Center for Public Policy Research. Write the author at [email protected]. As we occasionally reprint letters on the blog, please note if you prefer that your correspondence be kept private, or only published anonymously.

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