Let's put tech and political bloggers together and try to talk to each other, and more important, actually listen to each other. That's the punchline, now the background...
I did a lot of writing over the holidays, and of course I think it's all worth reading. But the one item I keep coming back to is the Chinese Wall that separates what we think of as tech blogging and political blogging. It never was a good idea, and now, with new laws to control the Internet in the United States, it's keeps us, on the other side of government and tech (the users, voters, taxpayers) very weak. If we don't know how to talk with each other, if we're afraid to listen, we can't help the Internet, at a time when the Internet really needs our help.
Blogging is powerful, because it creates a level playing field where everyone can say what they see, whether or not their opinion is validated by corporate media. But that doesn't mean we get heard. Not unless there's s deliberate and systematic attempt to go through our fears and listen to people we're not accustomed to listening to.
To tech, this means finding out who our users are. To understand that they are not undifferentiated frankfurter meat (as I like to put it). They have skills and ideas, ambitions and experience. They are educated. They have something to say.
And to political bloggers, this means finding out what the Internet actually is. It's too easy to criticize our representatives for not understanding, when we don't understand. The Internet can be viewed from a lot of different points of view.
BTW, I thought it was funny the way people ridiculed the late Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) for calling the Internet "a series of tubes." He's actually right about that. It's a good way to visualize the Internet.
PS: What can you do? If you think we need more connections between the political and tech blogging worlds, send a link to this piece to a friend who a is a political or tech blogger. Listening starts now.