netroots - meaning "internet grassroots," a "netmanteau"?

Tom Zurinskas truespel at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Jan 21 15:54:52 UTC 2011

Shall we "blogswarm" to the term "netroots?"  I heard the word, "netroots", on TV yesterday on "Hardball" as if it were common parlance.  Not to me, but said often enough on TV and it could be. The Wikipedia definition is below.

Netroots is a term coined in 2002 by Jerome Armstrong[1] to describe political activism organized through blogs and other online media, including wikis and social network services. The word is a portmanteau of Internet and grassroots, reflecting the technological innovations that set netroots techniques apart from other forms of political participation. In the United States, the term is used mainly in left-leaning circles.[2]

At times the term netroots is used interchangeably with the term blogosphere, though the blogosphere is considered a subset of netroots in that blogosphere describes just the online community of blogs, where netroots includes that plus a number of larger liberal on-line outposts such as MoveOn, Media Matters for America and Think Progress.[1]

Advocates claim that the essential quality of the netroots is its flatness and inter-linked web connectiveness -- that it constitutes communication points that reach out to influence traditional media, but is not directed outward from any one point. Through events like a blogswarm, the netroots displays non-hierarchical and decentralized features.

first popular use of the term in its modern definition is Netroots for Howard Dean, by Jerome Armstrong in December 2002 on MyDD. Democratic political consultant Joe Trippi credits the short lived success of his then-client Howard Dean to their listening and taking the lead from netroots activity.

William Safire explained the term's origin in the New York Times Magazine on November 19, 2006:

Tom Zurinskas, from Conn 20 yrs, then Tenn 3, NJ 33, now FL 8.
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