5/5: Howard Dean and His American Dream Team (Joe Edelheit Ross, Los Angeles Times)

Thanks to Dean volunteer Adriana Diaz for catching this article:

Howard Dean and His American Dream Team

In contrast, Dean appears to be building a nationwide constituency, though not by “sheer shoe leather.” Dean has collected more than 18,000 supporters online at Meetup.com, a free Web-based tool designed to facilitate monthly group meetings around various topics. Though not a scientific measure of electoral appeal, Meetup provides a mechanism for Dean enthusiasts to self-organize.

It remains to be seen whether Dean will be able to effectively plug into these local groups to raise money or organize volunteers. But for now, Dean is using the Web to build a nationwide organization on the cheap. If he succeeds, the lesson for future campaigns may be that it is as valuable to be “Netgenic” as it is to be telegenic in presidential politics.

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