blog (v.)
to write entries in, add material to, or maintain a weblog.
(American Heritage Dictionary)

I read a fascinating tidbit in the Washington Post yesterday. In Joel Achenbach's column, he wrote:

"The first use of the word 'internet' to refer to a computer network seems to have appeared in this newspaper on Sept 26, 1988, in the Financial section, on F30 - about as deep into the paper as you can go without hitting the bedrock of the classified ads."

Fast-forward 20 years... Today Sen. Barrack Obama, who at the beginning of last week, seemed all but certain on the path to clinching the Democratic nomination, is now ferociously defending himself against charges that he is an out of touch "elitist" over comments he uttered in San Francisco when describing the situation of some small town Pennsylvanian voters.

Why?

Because of a blogger named Mayhill Fowler at Huffingtonpost.com who broke the story... and then, it went "viral."

Now pay attention to that term "viral" because you are going to hear it again and again. It refers to what happens when a story EXPLODES in the blogosphere and the speed with which it can move in cyberspace.

And the REAL power of a story exploding on the Internet is that it almost always features amateur Audio or Video of the person or events taking place. So whether you like or not, or are willing to admit it or not, we live in a 24-7 digital world where the cameras and tape recorders are always rolling. TV crews can't be everywhere - but your average citizen's cell phone likely comes standard now with a camera.

The end reality is this: traditional journalists in TV, radio and print have trouble keeping up with the story and highly orchestrated campaigns go into overdrive and almost inevitably lose control over the message.

Turn on any TV today and you will see Obama spinning away; and Clinton and McCain hammering, chiseling, whittling at the opportunity.

The real point here is that what began in the blogosphere, is essentially driving the NATIONAL CONVERSATION in a matter so incredibly important as deciding the future Leader of the Free World.

Think I'm wrong?

Ask former Sen. George Allen, or "Mr. Macaca." By realistic estimation, there was a good chance that George Allen might have been the Republican nominee today had not a blogger been at a small gathering of folks with a mini-camera in the hills of VA.

Understand too, that there are bloggers of partisan sentiments on the Left and Right (think Daily Kos versus Red State) as well as a plethora of fantastic political journalist blogs like Politico.com, the Corner, the Page, the Note, Marc Ambinder... and so forth.

Bottom Line: What seemed like something out of a Sci-Fi novel two decades ago, will in my opinion, ultimately play a historical role in deciding who our next President will be and politicians or campaigns will forever have to change how they approach engaging that odd thing called... the Internet.

We've come a long ways from "Tune In and Drop Out"... it's "Log On and Digg In" now!