Democracy 2.0: preaching to the converted?

A new report from the Electoral Commission and the Hansard Society pours cold water on hopes that ‘more direct methods of participating’ will reinvigorate democracy. They reckon that new channels will only appeal to those already interested in politics, generally those in the higher socio-economic groups and older age brackets… ‘further marginalising the utterly disengaged’.
I don’t see this quite so negatively. Geeks are naturally the first to take advantage of new technology; but if the tools and techniques are any good, they soon find their way into the mainstream. It all comes back to Crossing The Chasm, yet again.
If you’re launching a new widget into a marketplace, who do you approach first: the people who already buy widgets, or people who don’t? It’s much easier to gain a steady foothold by preaching to the converted. This is not a bad thing… in fact, where else do you start? People feel marginalised because they can’t see any way to make things happen… but if they see others making use of new channels, and getting results from it, that may well be incentive enough.