Monday, November 08, 2004

Targeting the Message

Virginia Postrel in a NYT article [registration required] says that the ability to target a message makes a candidate's message go to extremes. I think that is true. It is essentially how Kerry campaigned. One targeted extreme after another.

Trouble is the Internet short circuits the targeting.

I believe in the long run this will drive the party's messages to the middle. Where ever you go whatever you say some one is listening and reporting.

It is not just 9/11 that has changed everything. So has the Internet. Even the NYT piece agrees with me.

Since the success of extreme messages depends on keeping your supporters better informed than your opponents, the model suggests that changing news media could be as important as changing social groupings.

"If every time you say something in private to a religious group or a feminist group, it ends up on Drudge within three minutes in screaming headlines," Professor Glaeser said. "It's going to stop people from going to extremes."

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