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The Myth of Digital Democracy
Matthew Hindman

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Chapter 1 [HTML] or [PDF format]


List of Illustrations ix
Acknowledgments xi

Chapter One: The Internet and the "Democratization" of Politics 1
Democratization and Political Voice 4
A Different Critique 8
Gatekeeping, Filtering, and Infrastructure 12
The Difference between Speaking and Being Heard 16

Chapter Two: The Lessons of Howard Dean 20
The Liberal Medium? 21
"Big Mo'" Meets the Internet 26
The Internet and the Infrastructure of Politics 27
The End of the Beginning 34

Chapter Three: "Googlearchy": The Link Structure of Political Web Sites 38
What Link Structure Can Tell Political Scientists 41
The Link Structure of Online Political Communities 45
Site Visibility and the Emergence of Googlearchy 54
The Politics of Winners-Take-All 56

Chapter Four: Political Traffic and the Politics of Search 58
The Big Picture 60
Traffic Demographics 67
Search Engines and (the Lack of) User Sophistication 68
What Users Search For 70
Search Engine Agreement 78
How Wide a Gate? 80

Chapter Five: Online Concentration 82
Barriers to Entry 83
Distribution, Not Production 86
Online Concentration 90
Comparative Data, Comparative Metrics 91
A Narrower Net 99

Chapter Six: Blogs: The New Elite Media 102
Blogs Hit the Big Time 103
Bloggers and the Media 105
So You Want to Be a Blogger 113
Blogger Census 118
Bloggers and Op-Ed Columnists 125
Rhetoric and Reality 127

Chapter Seven: Elite Politics and the "Missing Middle" 129
The Limits of Online Politics 131
A Narrower Net 133
Political Organizing and the Missing Middle 139
New Technology, Old Failures 141
Appendix: On Data and Methodology 143
Support Vector Machine Classifiers 143
Surfer Behavior and Crawl Depth 150
Hitwise's Data and Methodology 151
References 155
Index 173

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File created: 4/21/2017

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