Beppe Grillo Launches Citizen Primaries: Italian Blogger Takes On Participatory Grassroots Politics Via His Own Blog
Up, among the A-list top ten of international independent bloggers there is a new name. A name that if you are not from Italy, you may have never heard before: Beppe Grillo. Presently at position 10 on the Technorati Top 100, Beppe Grillo's blog is fast moving up the ranks and at the speed is going it will be soon among the very top 5 world blogs in terms of number of links (17,447) and web sites and blogs (6,012) linking to it. Google itself has over 3 million links to it.
Photo credit: Technorati Top 100
Beppe Grillo, who blogs nearly every day on topics that range from political commentary to media criticism and to underground story coverage, outnumbers even Slashdot when it comes to the level of participation and engagement shown by his audience, as each post is enriched by hundreds if not thousands of comments per day. Just to give you an idea, this last Sunday, February 5th, his post entitled "Vergogne d'Italia" has seen already over 2000 comments being posted to it. Unbelievable.
And while the blog is originally written in Italian, an English version is also available. Unfortunately, the English translated version has none of the heat and passion that Italian readers have injected into the Italian version of the blog, but it nonetheless offers a unique way for international readers to get a glimpse of how effective a radical and ousted television comic can be when given a blog to make his voice heard.
Beppe Grillo, to me, represents blogging at his best.
Because Beppe leverages his unique insight, openness and personal communication skills to uncover and share critical news and information that would otherwise never see the light of the day. A true counter-mainstream-media voice, Beppe Grillo's extends a blog natural potential for personal expression to voice and comment on important issues.
Beppe Grillo, has realized way before Italian politicians did, that blogs will enable anyone who has enough braveness and integrity to stand out publicly in front of his ideas and vision. And since Beppe Grillo is an unstoppable volcano of underground and alternative news never covered by Italy's and the international mainstream media press, he has tons of good content and commentary to share.
Outspoken, with a strong personality, a unique view on reality and politics, Beppe Grillo is a man that does not ever send someone else to announce what he thinks.
For his unrestrained and uncensored views on politics, economy and on many corporate mishaps which he makes the core part of his hilarious shows, Beppe Grillo has been long censored and excluded from all of Italy's major television networks.
If it wasn't for his blog, Beppe Grillo could express his ideas only through the always sold-out shows he takes to the many Italian cities he tours every year. Beppe sells also a DVD of his show on his blog site, which, please note, has (for now at least) absolutely no other commercial advertising.
Particularly striking has been Beppe Grillo's idea to recently launch the Citizen Primaries on his blog (English version here). The idea for Beppe is to put out a number of suggestions and solutions to different important issues, such as energy or the economy and to then let all Italian readers publicly comment and provide in-depth feedback to them in the blog. A participatory, grassroots democratic process in which everyone can participate to respond, extend or counter Beppe Grillo many interesting and much needed suggestions.
The initiative has had so much success that already three popular Italian political leaders and their parties have decided to back, respond and participate to Beppe's call for contributions by sending in their ideas and proposals.
Here is how Beppe Grillo first introduced the Citizen Primaries on his blog:
"Up till now it's been our employees who've done Primaries.
Now's the time for the employers to do Primaries.
From today I'll be publishing proposals about important issues like Energy, Transport, Electoral Regulations and I'll be assisted by recognised experts in the field, so that I can receive your comments.
The posts will be visible on the right hand strip under the title: "Citizen Primaries" together with your comments right up to the time of the elections.
I'm also inviting representatives of the Political Parties to send their views on the different points dealt with, to this Blog for publication."
Here is the first Citizen Primary post addressing energy issues and suggesting several alternative solutions to it.
I invite you to support all of the Beppe Grillos out there, because they are the only true independent voices who can help many of our friends wake up to the realization, that unless you switch off the tube and start asking some serious questions there is no way out about all the bad and negative things you may see around yourself.
One way to do so is to buy Beppe Grillo's DVD show on DVD. Yes, it is in Italian, but if you can understand the language is worth every single cent you pay. The DVD contains the recording of his 2005 tour show (2.5 hrs), as recorded in Rome in April of last year.
(Bear with the Italian instructions in the purchase pages while Beppe's staff looks into giving you an easier and more understandable way to get this great DVD).
Beware that the DVD is in the European PAL television format (it requires a DVD player that supports PAL) and that the DVD is set for playback in Region 0.
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