Democracy Downloaded

“Wisdom of Crowds Hits the Campaign Trail”

Posted by joevoeller on March 27, 2007

Ariana Huffington and NYU professor Jay Rosen announced today that they are teaming up on an interesting new project that will assign upwards of 50 volunteer bloggers to cover each of the major presidential candidates.

See this link.

Huntington and Rosen believe that this “bottom up” approach will serve as a “counter-narrative to the lockstep consensus we often get from the mainstream media.” The Huffington Post is currently taking applications for interested volunteers, though the selection criteria are not exactly clear. (Will they try to weed out conservative volunteers? How?)

The announcement also cites author James Surowiecki, whose recent book The Wisdom of Crowds argued that “given the right circumstances, large groups of people are smarter than the elite few.”  

I continue to be impressed with Ariana Huffington. After flailing around for several years as a desperate-for-attention television pundit, she has consistently scored with her blog The Huffington Post. This is the just the latest in a series of interesting projects and provacative approaches that makes The Huffington Post a leader in the blogosphere.

And I can only imagine how the candidates are receiving this news. Presidential candidates have always had to be extremely careful, but imagine how much more careful they will need to be now that a ravenous herd of bloggers will be following their every move, desperate for an interesting story and less inhibited by traditional journalistic rules.

Look for these bloggers to bring some interesting new stories to the attention of the national media over the course of the campaign.  

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