On a couple of occasions I've mentioned that back in 2009 Al Giordano wrote about the looming split on the left between the organizers and the activists. You can click on that link to see a summary of how he described the difference between the two approaches.
Or...you can look at how its all playing out right now.
On the one hand, you have the keyboard activists using screaming link-bait headlines about everything from the dangers of drones to warnings about the security state to "Obama's going to take away your social security." Every now and then one of these stories breaks out of the bubble to do a bit more than preach to the choir. But very little actually changes because there's no plan for follow-through and so pretty soon the faithful are chasing after the next shinny link-baited outrage.
On the other hand, we're witnessing some pretty powerful organizing happen on the ground. Here's a list of examples that have caught national headlines (I'm sure there are thousands more working at the local level):
Organizing for Action
Stand with Texas Women
The Dream Defenders
I'd suggest that what we're witnessing is a veritable renaissance in community organizing. Wouldn't you?
Its hard not to notice that the keyboard activists are dominated by white men whereas all of these groups who are organizing involve various members of what has come to be known as "the Obama coalition"...women, minorities and young people.
It will be interesting to watch - as these issues play out - which approach yields more results. I sure know where I'd place my bet :-)
UPDATE: I have to add Battleground Texas to the list of groups having a HUGE impact on the ground.