04 July 2007

Who the Fuck is Ron Paul? (Part 3)

If you've spent any time on the internets, you've probably seen Ron Paul's name. He's usually the first search term on Technorati, his articles are always on the front page of Digg, he's been featured in Wired, interviewed on the Daily Show, the Colbert Report and Real Time With Bill Maher. But who is he? How does a man with so little traditional media exposure find his way to top of the internet, so to speak?

I've just searched for his MySpace profile, and I've found something interesting. There are at least three profiles that are almost identical for him. Same text, same videos, just a different background or typeface. Hmm.

Speaking of Digg, I came across an article about his internet celebrity. It's written by Ron Sansone, and comes from the International Association of Online Communicators (?), and is an investigative look into the Ron Paul Digg Phenomenon.

How does Digg work? Essentially it is a bookmarking service. You find an article you like, submit it to Digg. Other people trolling around Digg, looking for interesting articles, find it, like it and add 'Diggs' to bring it up the rankings. Articles, pictures, pages, and videos on the front page of Digg have anywhere from 113 to 578 Diggs (as of 12:21pm CST 7/4/07, when I checked). Articles on the front page, by virtue of their high profile, in turn get more Diggs. More people are directed to the articles in question.

What Sansone discovered is that there are a core of about 30 Ron Paul supporters, who do nothing on Digg but Digg any article with a mention of Paul's name. It doesn't take too many to get the ball rolling. Sansone discovered this when he posted a blog entry that mentioned Paul in the title, but scarcely in the article itself. He ended up suddenly with 17 Diggs, more than he ever got for a blog post.

I've noticed it here at the Idea of Progress, too. This is the third in a series of Who the Fuck is Ron Paul? and I've gotten more page views on these than any other postings, and I couldn't figure out why. I had rationalized that it must be my insightful and witty writing style, but I think Sansone's more on track than that.

If this sounds like a lot of silliness to you, like "Who cares if his name gets pushed up on some bookmarking site?" bear this in mind. More than likely, his television appearances have been generated by the sudden 'interest' in him on the the internet. His Daily Show appearance, certainly.

It's not that Ron Paul himself is personally behind this, although I'm certain his campaign is intimately aware of the situation. Paul is 71, and find me the internet savvy 71 year old that even knows what a blog is. I don't think that he's a psycho, and while I am hardly a Libertarian, if a Republican was to be elected, he's hardly the worst of the candidates. But that doesn't mean I'm going to give his campaign a pass for their internet manipulation.

Maybe just a gold star for thinking creatively.


Gary said...

Interesting, but you didn't answer the question posed by your own title. Rep./Dr. Ron Paul is a congressman from the Houston area running for president. He is a constitutionalist/libertarian/republican. He is for The Constitution and the rule of law and he is against big government, The Federal Reserve baking system, and interventionist foreign policies.

It's strange, but because he respects the principles of our country, he represents a drastic change over most Republicans and Democrats who have gotten fat over the years by ignoring those principles.

Because of this, he has been marginalized by the bureaucracies and and corporate media that support them. The internet has been a meeting place for his supporters, but I can assure you that we are real people and that our numbers are growing.

While Paul's libertarian tendencies make him adverse most government programs, there is one function that has been outsourced to privet entities that Paul clearly wants returned to the government and that is our banking system.

If you really care about "The Idea of Progress" as the title of your blog suggests, you should know how the manipulation of inflation by the private Federal Reserve system acts as a backdoor tax which hits the poorest Americans the hardest.

I don't imagine that any rational person would support a tax which avoids the rich, but hits the poor the hardest, yet this is precisely what our monetary and banking system do. Paul wants to change that and in doing so, he would do more to help the disadvantaged of our nation then any number of billions in welfare dollars ever could.

That, and his opposition to war as a method of foreign policy, makes him a welcome alternative for voters who value peace and social justice.

For more on how The Federal Reserve System hurts the poor, check out this video called Money as Debt.

Anonymous said...

Oh lord, what a waste of space. I can't believe I clicked to get here. Next!

The Idea Of Progress said...

Thanks, Anonymous!

Cipher Theory said...

Anyone who is against abortion rights and gay marriage isn't okay in my book. Nice of gary to gloss over that. Because, you know, those ideas are the epitome of progress and forward thinking.

Liberitarians... it's what's retarded in America.

Progress... I think one of Paul's henchmen posted on your blog.