Chris Anderson, the editor of Wired, occasionally says something clever. Why doesn't his magazine cover politics? "We're not working on an election story," he told MarketWatch. "This comes from my own sense that politics today is being driven by the institutional structure of the past 20 years." Too bad Jimmy Wales hasn't figured this out. Proclaimed the founder of Wikipedia on July 4, 2006:
Broadcast media brought us broadcast politics. And let's be simple and bluntly honest about it, left or right, conservative or liberal, broadcast politics are dumb, dumb, dumb.
Wales's commandments to his followers: Join a mailing list and start editing his advertising-supported Campaigns Wikia site. The wiki has seen all of 14 changes in the last month. Wales himself stopped editing the wiki in September 2006.
Barack Obama and other candidates have demonstrated that the Internet is useful enough for raising money and, more importantly according to bloggers, impressing bloggers. Campaigns Wikia has done neither. After an initial spate of press, the site now goes entirely unremarked in a heated political season. Why? For a simple reason. There is actually no shortage of information about politics, much of it delivered by seasoned professionals. It may not be perfect, but it does not leave a void that needs filling by an empty-headed Internet philosopher. Politics may require transformation, and Anderson may be right that it's not happening. But to think that a Web page anyone can edit, but no one cares about, will change this state of affairs? Dumb, dumb, dumb.
(Photoillustration by CEOsmack)