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Convention blogging reconsidered

Brian Reich at Campaign Web Review is researching what will be a series of posts about convention blogging. To that end, he’s posted some questions for convention bloggers. As a credentialed blogger at the Democratic National Convention, here’s my take on some of them:

What did you think of the Convention?

What does David Letterman’s couch think of David Letterman? We were all just props for the TV. I ended up staying home the night of Kerry’s speech so I could watch it on TV to see how it really was.

That aside, the convention was both exhausting and exhilirating. It is empty ritual and true show biz, but it also builds community.

What did you want to do that you couldn’t, or didn’t get a chance to?

I had no expectations, and every one of them was met!

I thought the Democrats treated us extraordinarily well.

What did the bloggers add to the Convention?

Aside from dancing like monkeys for the mainstream media, I thnk we added little to the Convention itself. We added something to the coverage of the Convention, though … if the Convention and its coverage are separable, which they’re not. I think I can be quite precise about what the 35 bloggers added: 35 points of view expressed in 35 voices. Anyone who expected more than that doesn’t understand what blogging is about.

What is your take on the media fascination with bloggers?

Through the lens of the media, bloggers look like itsy bitsy media. So, of course the big media want to know how the itsy bitsy media are going to affect them; that’s just natural. But bloggers aren’t journalists (except for the tiny handful who actually are). We’re not wee broadcasters. We’re something else.

What would you do differently for the 2008 Convention(s)?

I’d stop credentialing bloggers. Instead, I’d credential the few people who publish their journalism in blogs. I’d then provide very cool blogging services to the convention attendees — from delegates to security guards — who write blogs anyway: a great, open aggregator, wifi everywhere, “DNC Blogger” buttons, etc.

What do you think are the most exciting developments in online politics in 2004?

The way campaign blogging for a while threatened to let campaigns sound human again, and the way trusting and empowering your supporters got raised as a possibilty before the professional politicians in the Democratic Party decided that would be a distraction from their non-nonsense, hard-ball drive toward defeat.

What will political blogging look like after November (if President Bush wins re-election or if Senator Kerry wins)?

If Senator Kerry wins, blogging will continue as before. If President Bush wins, there will be no reason to do anything ever again.

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