BloggerCon IV, Day 2: 2008 Election

 Lance Knobel, discussion leader 


 look back at the nature of democrateic politics, it ws originally a retail effort. pols went door to door, gave stump speeches... that's how people got engaged

 at some point retail transformed into wholesale. the tools of mass marketing and mass consumer marketing prevailed. power of television were visible in the way mass consumer marketing techniques became appliec to politics. modern electoral politics are about those techniques.

 i'd like to think that our new world might begin to change by in part bringing politics back into a retail era. conversartion with the individual. like to explore that.

 can these new techniques and ways of engagement be used in positive ways? or will we condemn thruough rumor andn innuendo. there is nothing about bloggin that is intrinsically good. we can discuss whether blogging benefits progressive politics, but I think blogging is neutral to what's being espoused. we can look at that, though


 1) what is the role of the blogger?

 how can all of us as individuals be engaged?

 2) what is the role of blogging campaigns?

 if you were advising a candidate, how would they become involved in the world?

 mark glaser:

 survey: only 23% of all senatorial candidates have blogs, and 8% have podcasts. Challenges do better, but...

 there are a lot of challenges. lot of fears.


 one important thing is the inertia in politics. fear of trying something new, in case it fails. midterms now... we might see a modicum of experiment there. thinking bout 2008... if things haven't been shown to work in midterm, when you get to the presidential scale, the worrry about risk becomes amplified many times over.... might be even greater resistance.

 what does shown to work mean? political operatives' reading of what worked with Dean was that he proved the internet can be used to raise money. he also proved that it doesn't deliver votes.

 we can also talk about putting issues on an agenda, galvanizing social action....


 are candidatew worried about a record that will bite them on the ass later?

 I think so. Was talking to Joe Trippi awhile back, and think the right wing machine might amplify this beyond anything we've dreamed of.


 was involved in the Dean campaign. One problem was that you may get too succ edssful at attracting interest, but not at delivering votes. (the campaign's gears were stripped). the blogosphere might be a giant ATM, but...

 main concern was dealin with voters face to face...

 lance: does it matter if the candidate is involved? Dean really wasn't, fully. Zephr Teachout and Matt Gross did most of the blogging, actually.


 why couldn't a blogger become political and run for office?

 flip it around. why should we just choose among leaders who become bloggers? why not the other way around?


 bloggers can go to events, start a conversation ... if a blogger took it upon him or her self and put in the time to followl... I keep hearing 'the machine'... blogging doesn;'t have to be part of that.


 talking about two levels. Local, state... on the national level, yes, people from out of the blue can get elected. look at reagan, czech...


 Lisa (something ) had a service,... VoterVirgin... incredible campaign for voter registration. Another would be to ... what if every PTA had a blog...


 in germany angela merkel is actually video blogging


 do we care more about grass roots issues activism, or to focus on the campaign,l or to make the distinction.


 the medium to me is so personal that I feel disconnected.

 we will feel more connected with a candidate if they blog. john edwards for example. we thought, "finally..." he answers questions... I think videoblogging can break this down. i videoblogged for Andrew Rasiej.. by the end of the campaign I was asked to make mudslinging ads. needed to stay pure.


 nature of modern politics is that they're not talking to you. it's the two-way nature that changes everything.


 i'd rather see a blogger run for office


 Ed Cone, who did this session at BC3, talked about a blogger who has won at the local level.


 to the point of mudslinging and fear...

 it's like anything else. if it's politics as usual, it will be politics as usual. if yoiu do it in the same old way, that's what will happen.

 a lot of us have gotten very ... cynical.

 I;'d be thrilled with a candidate who is clear about where she stands. i'd know when to write her or not write her. I want to iknow where they stand and have authentic feelings.

 I write my senators and reps all kinds of times... I have the luck to live in the district of a rep who speaks for me. Barbara Lee


 Me too.

 Doc :

 like the retail/wholesale distinction


 think back to Al Gore. seemed not very human,. but along comes the movie, and suddenly he's interesting.

 it would have helped him seem a full-blooded human being...


 Dean campaign, things like it, succeeding mostly as money-raising distributed efforts...

 I work as the democratic party in my county...

 the way they talk about grass roots... disdain for guy like westly because he came from tech and not real estate. meanwhile the right wing kicks ass because they move in lock step.

 right now the party wants to drive down messages and money raising... they see it as a channel.


 powerful bloggers who have eyeballs and attention should focus on issues, and authentic...




 You;re missing the point of blogging. *you* have the power.

 I have somethings in common with right ring bloggers. I;'ve met ____ who brought down Rather. i have more in common with him than with Dan...

 the left wing never said anything about the bringing down of Dan Rather.


 my point is that what's poerful about the blogsphere is tthe ability to rally support ande attention...


 skoop nisker


 met Zephyr and Kos. both have a good sense of using the blogosphere as mass media. when you're transcending, and serving a mass media role. most of us as bloggers are not tuned into that. think I heard doc saying he's not a political animal as a blogger.. in my community we have an org that is focused on the american ? company, which we feel is distributing electric power in an opportunistic way. so we're stuggleing to change that, using content management systems. to do community organizing... it's not like we're getting the message out, but using it as a focal point for communicating back and forth...


 doc said he hates politics.... how can blogs expose an issue like Net neutrality, unpick the ...


 the fact is that certain groups thave done an amazing job... they just aren't on our side. maybe the democrats just don't get... why aren't we using these communities... when it comes down to it, cash rules everything around me. It''s not about control, but there is going to be control.

 money will be flowing through blogs, thorough communities, who will be trained to work in the blogosphere.

 Lance: (reflecting) blogs are condemed to being used as political tools.


 Ithey're teaching churches about blogs.


 I'm feeling it's just broken. The lever is broken. it doesn't matter. The bush admin isn't delivering for its own constituency. Washington has spun off. It doesn't matter whether you have a blog or not.


 pelople should write about what they care about, what they're passionate about.

 I have framed the EFF's stuff about the broadcast flag in terms of the audio video stuff I care about. It was very effective, in the way i framed it... so if it fits in the context of what you're doing...

 Brian Montoya:

 i wlork with John Edwards. we've been podcasting an d vlogging for >1.5 years. We want to have a conversation with people.

 we're not dfoing what you'll see in mainstream media.

 edwards gtave a speech about .. (?). he was speaking directly to the people.

 Yet I hear peoploe saying they're disconnected.

 Q to group: what can we be doing? specifically about 2008? how can we be effective

 we want to listen, and be effective.


 if I want to engage with edwards about an issue I care about, what can I do?


 send a video message. we show him the video.

 call our audio line. he'll respond directly. we ask for questions from the audience.


 Does edwards blog?


 Yes. so does Mrs. Edwards. she has direct comms with many bloggers out there. there's more. Let us know.


  it's such a broken syhstemm... it makes no sense to say "A list bloggers..."

 Even if I make a statement to John edwards, what difference will it make?

 Mike Arrington:

 I echo what dave said. If yoiu rely on other people to make the world a better place, that's a terrible thing to think.

 I met Edwards at a session in palo alto. i don't share any views with him. but I'd be willing to vote for him. i connect with him on a personal level.

 i don't want him responding to video blogs. he should be a lot busier than that. I 'm more interested in having him think about what he's going to say in his own voice in a personal way.. the first who does that has the best chance of being successful.


 ... put the risk of putting it out there. Joe Klein's idea of what's gone wrong is that everything is packaged and designed and pre-cooked. there are no spontaneous moments. remember bobby K after MLK's assassination, gave this spontaneous and extremely eloquent speech. no focus groups... so that's what you're saying, Mike. the danger is deksigned spontaneous engagement and seemingly authentic posts. how do we decipher the difference.


 i do care that he is using his voice as a platform, such as poverty with no corporate money behind it. .. taking the risk of possibly not getting elected, because he's speaking about issues that there is no corporate money behind. No big comapny will give big money to eliminate poverty. maybe the firxt time around it won't happen, but... maybe we can change it.


 Risk. .. they look at ? as a media channel. After they leave office all these guys seem so much more intelligent. the real person comes outl. while running their Dean Scream kills the campaign.

 True bloggers have as much likelyhood of killing a campaign before it starts. ... if blogginb popularity is one more channel, what have we changed?


 i'm glad john edwards is running... i'm not a poltical person, but I'm glad...

 people do feel alienated and disempowered. but in oakland 3 votes brought a victory'

 I listen to barak obama talk on his podcast every week. I LOVE it. He breaks stuff down and chats it up in language i understand.

 Chris P:

 I am a registered independent. former R and D. Not sure if this is an offer... wish there were a nonpartisan bloggercon where we could talk about issues that aren't really partisan. is this possible? is there a way to put the kibosh on political (wholesalers)... without falling into the trap of polirtics?


 much more partisanship. issues that didn't used to be partisan now are.

 can blogs and new tools help us bring out these issues, whether partisan or not, so pelople can make informed decisions. so we can get.


 ? got announced in the last two weeks, to create a nonpartisan ? Blogger party?


 not interested in forming a political party.


 want bloggers to read Don't Think of an Elephant, by George Lakoff.

 Jay Rosen:

 i was at the 2004 dem convention as a blogger. I interviewed the CEO of the convention,., I was delighed to learn they had one.

 I wanted to iknow why they had invited bloggers. His answer was that "we;re just trying to get the party;'s message out, and want to use every possible means." they[ inv9ted 40 bloggers and 100 talk radio stations. any media outlet they could find. they saw the convention as essentially a media show. a message machine. for them, for the people who were behind him, blogs were nothing new. just another channel.

 what blogging'/s potential is, in politics, is to disrupt that whole system. Elites and masses. The message controlse the masses. the whole thing is potentially disrupted by the net and by blogging.

 those vested in the old system will try to put blogging intothat model.

 at the same convention barak obama came to talk to the bloggers.

 he didn't understand who we were. "great that the bloggers are here. welcome you to the party. we think blogging is great... I may even come to you with some tips. i even started to blog.

 Jay: I said "write it yourself"

 And now he's learned. Now he's showing that he doesn't necessarily see it in an elites and masses model. t

 the threat that blogging represents is to the people who controled politics. the people whose knowledge was the only knowledge. that is slowly what's coming undone. that group are not the only onese that matter in politics.

 the russert primary occrs asa few become anointed by obsrvers who become professionals.

 now there is also a blogger's primary. another set of poople you have to impress. that alone is different.

 At the yearly Kos convention, anybody who wanted to be in the race...


 In yoiur session yesterday, you quoted Dan Gillmor saying ...

 we need to lose the elites. the people need a voicea nd have a powerful voice becdause they'll make the goverbnment better.


 to your point that we're getting ever more divided,,... most poliblogers want to persuade. most have a POV, and want to shoot down the opositionl. the country as a whole that isn't as divided as you'd think. by the end of a long thread of conversation there came to an agreement between evangelical christians and secular liberals.... why not... ? Not sure the country as a whole is that divided.


 country is purple, not red and blue.

 mark Glaser

 way for people on a local level to discuss things in otuher countries...

 Roland Tanglao

 from canada... yoiur relentless discussion of all this is something we don't do.

 don't have the masses and elites model. you guys complain that barak isn't really a blogger... we're not even half way there yet. CBC could go a lot farher. they could have real blogs...


 reason for success of the poli=tical bhlogosphere is that the convention al media are so pallid ande lacking a point of view because of this lack-of0-objectivity value... the mainstream media are intensely politcal in Europ0e. here our palidness opened things for the Glen Reynoldses. We ahve a return to bpoliti9cal debate that ceased to exist for many years,.


 as a canadian wannabe, it's nice tohave people as polite,k helpful... nice


 we have a lack of representation... some of the systems here... when you get somebodey who says my constituents know more than i do, how far away from a system whjere l...


 difference between believing in rep democracy and having a ple3bicite. doesn't invalidate representation.


 little anecdote... I[;m part of a 3 person political blog. put out a thing, and within a few days we were getting 5-600 thousand.

 ifyoudo something that connects with people, you could happen into something that involves a lot of poeple...

 lisa williams:

 the government isn't listening any more and just doesn't care


 lots came up here.

 what is necessary for a pol to be authentic.

 pretty certain that as we enter the 2008 cycle we'll see a variety of approaches.

 some will see the 'sphrere as a continuation of elites speaking to masses. but... there's hope.



Last update: Saturday, June 24, 2006 at 5:34:03 PM Eastern. Number of updates: 16.