how much of action is momentum? i think it helps get it on the radar, but ultimately it's not *the* deciding factor. people always talk about gaining critical mass, but look at the recent anti-war protests. Call me a naysayer or what you will, but I don't see how protests such as that will change the situation we're in right now.
it could be argued that the critical mass of anti-war protests doesn't do anything on a national level, what about a local level? does the squeaky wheel get the grease? i need to research this some more, but it seems that there isn't a clear yes or no on this particular issue on the local level.
ok...that's the offline scenario, but what about online? if there is momentum online, could it then translate into action? reflecting on what happened with the Howard Dean 2004 Presidential Campaign, it seems that all it needed was the momentum online. There seemed to be a constant flow of activity, and it seemed to be contagious. People started forming meetup groups all over the country and Dean For America groups were created by all types.
what about google, and do the page rankings matter? in this case, i would most certainly think so. how else will a particular issue ever get seen? if you have an issue and no one knows of it, does it really exist?
So if page rankings are king, what do you do about it online? well, there are tons of folks who know the ins and outs of page rankings, key words and the like (feel free to add resources in the comments)...all the ways to trick google into putting you at the top without paying for page ranking. the unknown factor in all of this is how the notion of social search, as we've seen with yahoo will impact this notion of tricking google. one would think that helps to make searches more relevant, as you find out the most popular saved pages by the world, or your peers. note, google has a "personalized search" that sounds similar, but i haven't tried it much. regardless, with either of these can you do specific peer group page sharing/tagging? that would be interesting.
somewhat related, an interesting report called "Pushing Power to the Edges." the report provides an "overview of the state of online democracy; what it is, where it is headed, and what it means for activists and those who support them." well worth the read. as i was typing, this resource popped back into my head. time to re-read it, i guess.