I spent good 15 years on the internet on varieties of discussion boards. The best was U4Prez.com, now defunct. DebatePolitics is one of many boring and unproductive forums.
I did not read the book you refer to, but looked at it. Do not agree with its very premise. Our problems, are just modern variations of the same problems ancient Greeks were dealing with. The human nature did not change much since then. We face the same problems they did, but on a higher level of the civilization spiral.
In your writing you point correctly that one percent of the well-informed can change the course of politics. This exactly what we did in Poland, in the 1970s. The Soviet Union tripped over that.
In short, as most, you did not recognize the power and potential of Virtual Agora.