Can Dotcoms Really Make Politics Pay?

The biggest surprise of the Republican Convention was a swarm of brash new profit-seeking websites

With dotcoms imploding and voter apathy growing, this may seem an ill-omened time to launch a for-profit political website. Yet the Republican Convention swarmed last week with a new breed of dotcoms that offered everything from predictable punditry to floor-panning, 360[degree] webcams that online viewers could swivel with the click of a mouse.

The convention was both a litmus test and a coming-out party for the new for-profit political digerati, who occupied skyboxes and overflowed a media center that instantly became known as Internet Alley. At a site reportedly backed by $50 million in venture capital, 35 computers...

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