In two consecutive presidential election cycles, the Internet has proven itself the most effective fundraising technology since the advent of direct mail. . . Any medium that lucrative is bound to hold the attention of politicians. And bloggers look very much like the custodians of the political Internet.
[However] The blogosphere links people all over the planet. It can generate volumes of comments and email that feel like a tidal wave to those accustomed to the milder responsiveness of the print medium. When I worked on the opinion page of The Wall Street Journal, then the largest circulation newspaper in America, a very provocative article might have elicited as many as a hundred letters to the editor. Today, an exciting post on a major blog can generate thousands of posted comments and emails. Few people possess the internal fortitude to stand up to a seeming barrage like this. ..
For those who participate in it, the blogosphere takes on the scale and reality of an alternative world—a world whose controversies and feuds are so absorbing, whose alliances and enmities burn with so much passion, that only the most level-headed of the participants ever seem to remember that somewhere between 97 and 98 percent of American voters have never looked at a blog in their lives.