Watchblog: Coming From All Sides
June 16, 2003 7:28 AM   Subscribe

Proximity Politics. One kind of proximity politics refers to new-found adjacency resulting from globalization which forces new dilemmas before citizens. Another kind of proximity politics refers to the coat-tail riding of aspiring politicians who try to trade on the fame, glory or popularity of others. Still another kind of proximity politics are practiced in attack ads, in which politicans seek to attach their oppenents' names to negatives without explicit accusations, relying instead upon a series of words or short phrases without the grammatical glue which might permit proper parsing or analysis. And the final kind of proximity politics—probably the most positive—are those practiced by WatchBlog, which calls paid to the inward-looking, self-reinforcing echo chambers of one-view political forums. Instead, the two main American parties and their myriad third-party siblings are posting to the same arena. It's the answer to the question, "How can people's minds be changed if they only seek out what they already agree with?" If the opposite camp is in the text column next door, maybe you can't help but to take a dose of what's turning out to be strong commentary largely free of carbon-copy rhetoric, cardboard cut-outs, and cookie-cutter opinions.
posted by Mo Nickels (9 comments total)
*puts on asbestos pants*
posted by shadow45 at 7:37 AM on June 16, 2003


But I think Cam's come up with a good idea here. Here's hoping it works in practice.
posted by GrahamVM at 8:29 AM on June 16, 2003

This has the potential to change minds and foster understanding. I sincerely hope it doesn't devolve into a partisan pissing match.
posted by aladfar at 8:48 AM on June 16, 2003

Very interesting site...could be a valuable resource as we head into Election 2004. Thanks.
posted by davidmsc at 8:56 AM on June 16, 2003

I sincerely hope it doesn't devolve into a partisan pissing match.

I hope so too. I built the site with the idea of providing an equal platform for discussion and commentary for each political party. Already I have too many editors for the Democrats blog and not enough for the Republicans blog. I hope to balance this out soon.

I'm keeping a watchful eye on the radical nature of a few of my editors. They are told when they are granted editor status that troll-bait and flaming are strictly prohibited. Two warnings and then their account is revoked. I'm also enlisting the help of the editors to keep the comments section tamed by deleting the anonymous, ridiculous and troll-bait responses.
posted by camworld at 9:01 AM on June 16, 2003

So far it looks like a left wing plot--the Republican Watchblog is way too dim bulb.
posted by y2karl at 9:10 AM on June 16, 2003

Great idea & it looks good. And reading it makes me thank my lucky stars I don't live in the good ol' ...
posted by i_cola at 10:02 AM on June 16, 2003

Great idea for a great resource... Those of us the MeFi's left-wing majority should invite some of MeFi's right-wing minority to sign up to be editors for this: not to take them away from the 'Filter; I'm one of the few who does appreciate the political debate in here, even when it gets flamey/snarky/repetitive. Maybe we could also hunt down a couple Bush-disenchanted hard-core-Libertarians for the 3rd Party Column, or some Perotistas (where did THAT constituancy vaporize to?)

And, a note to the newbies from us oldbies: Grant "Mo Nickles" Barrett is NOT Cam Barrett's twin brother. That's another guy. (Although I keep hearing this 'long-lost triplet' rumor; but that usually refers to Dave Winer)
posted by wendell at 11:48 AM on June 16, 2003

I just added a form to the site so that people can send in an application to become an editor. Hopefully this should help in attracting some more people. I'm sorely in need of critical-thinking, conservative, Republican-minded editors (no radicals or fundamentalists, please!). The Democrats blog editors are currently posting three times as much. I could use some more good Third Party editors as well.
posted by camworld at 12:23 PM on June 16, 2003

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