During the weekend of June 8 to 11, 2006, progressive political activists around the country descended on Las Vegas for the first annual "YearlyKos" convention. The brainchild of highly trafficked political blog DailyKos.com, YearlyKos drew several hundred "netroots" (internet political activists) from behind the veil of their online anonymity, into an in-person gathering to discuss the future of progressive politics and the issues of the day.
In many ways, the netroots are changing the face of democracy. During the 2004 campaign season, their ability to fundraise at the grassroots level for Howard Dean's presidential campaign served notice that the internet possessed a unique ability to influence the political process. With November elections looming, the mainstream press is now paying more attention to netroots. Several heavy-hitters in the Democratic Party ingratiated themselves to the netroots community by speaking at the event, including Dean, former Governor Mark Warner (D - VA), and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D - NV).
DailyKos founder, Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, garnered substantial media attention at the event, reportedly spending much of his airtime dispelling misconceptions about political bloggers. On NBC's "Meet the Press" Zuniga remarked about a "perception of bloggers as being these anti-social people, typing away at keyboards in their parents' basement. And I think what we've seen is that actually the people who read these blogs are a real cross section of the Democratic Party, a real cross section of America." While visitors to DailyKos.com do not represent the entire netroots community, the following profile provides insight into this segment of the activist community:
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