Friday, May 24, 2002 - Technology - Technology
Julie Strietelmeier suddenly has a bunch of new suitors.

The 37-year-old, who operates a Web site on electronic gadgets as a hobby, recently was courted by Sharp Electronics Corp., which paid her way to California for the launch of its new hand-held computer. Microsoft Corp. also vied for Ms. Strietelmeier's attention by paying for a trip to Seattle so she could attend a shindig on its Pocket PC hand-held software. Palm Inc. has invited her to attend gatherings and to join an exclusive mailing list. And Handspring Inc. has offered to lend her an assortment of its products.

"It's quite flattering," says Ms. Strietelmeier, a software programmer who runs her Web site, the Gadgeteer ( at nights out of her home in Columbus, Ind. "Of course I like it," she says of the attention. "Who wouldn't?"

With tough times in Silicon Valley, many makers of hand-held devices, facing cuts in their marketing and advertising budgets, are trying to woo people like Ms. Strietelmeier, one of about 50 around the country known by the industry as "influencers."

This is almost Gonzo, but it still has a bit too much of broadcast feel to it for me. Encouraging sign though.

Landing in the Zone of Gonzo Politics

Excuse my flailings as I try to figure out where this snippet of text will land, or even it is lands in the Gonzo Politics thread. Funnily enough, we're working with a small team of people in Ireland, trying to set up and run a wireless blogging network for a series of conferences in the autumn. If our work is successful, we will be able to reduce mailing list chaos by implementing a more coherent flow of blogged comments.

Tuesday, May 21, 2002

Gonzo Politics

Eric - what you need is to start a conversation. Gather up email addresses at your meeting, and start a mailing list ( makes this fairly easy).

You'll need to marshall it,but hopefully the conversation will get going.

Once you have a conversation, pick some issues, and set up a blog for each one. Invite people to join in. Escalate good postings from the chaos of the email list to the semi-permanace of the blog.

None of this will work though, unless your group contains people who can write (and think) clearly; finding them will be the hard part.

If you do find them, tell us about them, and if we like them, we'll tell our friends. It worked for Andrew...

I can't speak for Jeneane as to why , but you can comment here, but you need to do it in front of the class, on the main thread. It stops the conversation fragmenting. Layers of comments are only really needed with a much bigger group (cf slashdot, boingboing, metafilter). Doing it this way helps focus the discussion (IMO), as one is more likely to reflect before posting, thus getting closer to the ideal writing/reading time ratio.
I've been wondering about the implications of gonzo for politics. Current politics, although different in certain specific aspects, still uses primarily a broadcast model. The primary goal of which is to sell their product (candidate) by way of advertising (TV spots; yard signs; personal appearances). They use "focus groups", much of which has watered down the discourse to the least common demoninator of what they think we are thinking, which leads to fucking boredom. And I think that is really why the kids don't vote (not to mention us old kids). It is the same reason that we'd rather get online and chat than read a press release. Ugh. Hell, I'd rather get a molar pulled than read a press release!

Anyway, the reason for blogging this, really is to get some feedback. I'm looking to organize a forum for progressive groups in Ohio to look at the Internet and how it can be used to better support their causes. I heard recently in a meeting of progressive types the familiar lines: "We started a website, but nobody came." "We have an email link, but nobody uses it." "The Internet is not the silver bullet for political activism." To which I said, "Horseshit. It Is! You're just not using it right yet." OK, so that's what I wanted to say. I chickened out. Bock Bock!

So while sitting there thinking about organizing a forum (mostly due to the "Internet doesn't work" comments), I look down at my copy of Gonzo Marketing and start thinking about how it applies to politics. What are your thoughts?

I've also been wondering why we can't comment on entries here...
I guess there was a problem with the blogspot server...needed to republish. Done.