November 27, 2007

Blogging the conventions.

I see the Democratic Party is about to accept applications to bloggers to cover their convention (in Denver next summer):
The move gives bloggers and the new media a chance to shine, much as they did at the trial of Scooter Libby earlier this year, and to bring a whole new perspective, and competition, to convention coverage. This is, after all, the first convention since the rise of YouTube....

Convention activities will go for 96 hours; with networks no longer providing wall-to-wall coverage and television viewership declining, [Jason Rosenberg, the director of online communications for the Democratic National Convention Committee] hopes bloggers can help kindle excitement about the event and, by extension, about the Democrats themselves.

“Bloggers can give you 24-hour coverage of the convention, of the delegate meetings, of the caucuses, of the parties,” Mr. Rosenberg said. “Everything that goes on, the bloggers can be there to cover.” This includes speeches not delivered in prime time or too late for East Coast print deadlines.
Well, anyone can watch the whole thing on C-Span. The best way to cover the conventions is to TiVo the whole thing and then watch and blog what catches your attention. Do you really think you'd do better on site?

Still, there are other things you'd see if you were there. Imagine wandering around with your little video camera — looking for... trouble. Then there's the whole seductive practice of blogging the other bloggers.
[The bloggers'] presence also makes the media itself a bigger story and increases the likelihood that you will be seeing more stories by the media about the media covering the media....
See, that's a big reason for a blogger to go there. You might be the center of attention. You might be more interesting than the blowhard on the podium. Wouldn't it be just like a blogger to take that bait? Of course, I know the feeling. Remember when I traveled to Washington to be on CNN on election night — TV watching me watch TV? What a thrill. Who hasn't watched TV and thought: Wouldn't it be cool if there was another TV show that would be me watching this show?
Bloggers obviously bring a different take — less restrained, more granular, in real time — from that of the mainstream media, and that’s exactly what the Democrats want...
Mmmm.... granular.
Mr. Rosenberg said the bloggers would be of “all stripes,” but asked if that included Republican or conservative bloggers, he said that would be decided case by case.
They want good press, of course. Should I apply? To see if they reject me? But then if I attended, I'd be around a lot of bloggers who — I think — hate me. Yet, in my experience, most of the bloggers are pretty nice. Most. Not all. Compare this and this.
Jen Caltrider, executive producer of ProgressNowAction, said the Democrats “are doing a pretty good job of bringing bloggers into the fold”....
"The fold." Want to be in the fold? You sheep. They'd like to tame you... make you feel privileged... so you'll get invited again...
So the local Colorado blogosphere, spearheaded by ProgressNowAction.org and in conjunction with dailykos.com, is picking up the slack and hosting a blogger hangout at the Alliance Center, just across the street from the Pepsi Center....

It will provide food, couches, big televisions, studios for multi-media mixing and will snag big-name convention-goers for interviews with the non-credentialed bloggers.In a plug for the blogger center, Markos Moulitsas, the founder of dailykos, wrote recently: “I learned in 2004 that being in the convention hall is not that great. It’s hot. You get the crappiest seats. WiFi is spotty at best. Getting through security is a nightmare. Ugh. I’m not even going to apply for a pass.”

He said that not being at the convention center “won’t be a disaster, since the REAL fun will be at our blogger gathering.”
A different fold. Want to be in that one? I know I don't belong there. Though I do like cool air, comfy seats, and great WiFi. But I can get all that right alongside my TiVo. It's so much easier to see what's going on from home. You can hear. You can pause. You can vlog yourself watching and pausing and commenting. You've got no distractions. Nobody cajoling you. Nobody scowling at you. You can think straight and write sharp things.

ADDED: A reader emails, responding to my "'The fold.' Want to be in the fold? You sheep. They'd like to tame you... make you feel privileged... so you'll get invited again...:
Hah! Pretty good.

Except you don't quite have the whole sheep thing down. Nobody tames sheep — I speak as one who raises sheep on a little hobby farm down in Oregon (WI), where the family and I have a herd of 15 head at the moment. Instead, what you do is either fleece them — i.e., shear off their wool for spinning; or you slaughter them. That's about it, as far as the sheep business goes. They're quite tame already, any more and they'd be more like fainting goats (some hilarious video footage of them here).

Still and all, as far as metaphorical grist for the mill (fleecing, spinning, slaughtering) goes, not too bad, eh?

20 comments:

froggyprager said...

You should defiantly go! The value of having bloggers there is not to hear the formal speeches and comment on them but to work the crowd, talk to politicians, delegates, get the inside view of what is going on, etc. Be more like a reporter which few bloggers do.

SteveR said...

Might be a good place to hang out but really what can possibly happen at a convention now days? There is so little drama other that that created by all the coverage. "A" covering "B" covering nothing.

Is there something backwards about using a 21st century technology in a 19th century way?

Ann Althouse said...

Yeah, what is "going on"? A modern convention is an advertisement for the party, so what matters is on the podium. Why not observe and interpret that?

What's to report from behind the scenes?

And I'm not a reporter. I'm about inventing the role of blogger. I'd do something creative. I'd shoot a lot of video and do a lot with it.

MadisonMan said...

defiantly go!

Deliberate, or the best typo ever?

Carl said...

Poor Ann...this reads like "Nobody loves me, everybody hates me, guess I'll go eat some worms..."

Must be tough not being invited to the cool parties.

jeff said...

Don't be ashamed Carl. Work on your reading comprehension. You can get better.

So I take it they are not looking at bloggers as media but rather as publicists? How do the bloggers that attend view themselves?

Fen said...

Don't be ashamed Carl. Work on your reading comprehension. You can get better.

Yah Carl. Where does her post say she's not invited?

rhhardin said...

fold

Three sheep equals one sheep, the saying goes, if you want to direct them all. With only two, you have a problem.

There's also a thing called a sheep squeeze (none on the supposedly all-knowing web!), a couple of gates that can be squeezed together on a sheep and then tilted or interverted or whatever you want, say to trim hooves or shear the thing.

This is all part of modern journalism theory.

Ron said...

Go, already! Come in Stealth Bomb Throwing Mode. Make nice, and let them fall all over themselves on camera. You could multiply the vortex many fold...

Ann Althouse said...

Stealth, eh?

Maybe my readers can suggest ways for me to disguise myself.

1. Wig.

2. Glasses.

3. ???

Fen said...

Go as Lucy Ramirez. I'm sure CBS will set you up in their box.

froggyprager said...

It was a typo but a good one

SteveR said...

Just don't eat any "Southern Chicken".

Chip Ahoy said...

A disguise is a bad idea, the consequence of being noticed too unthinkable. You seem to attract admirers who look hard for any trace of flaw. There was a recent story of such a thing at a hacker convention, the non-geek reporter stuck out noticeably to the nerds who drummed her out ignominiously. The episode was photographed and published.

Revenant said...

1. Wig.
2. Glasses.
3. ???

Groucho glasses and moustache.

TCG said...

Please go!!!

It has been a while since you had one of your public crying fits. There would probably be more than one at the convention.

Oh, everyone hates me!! Boo hoo!!

I can't wait, for Annie at her Anniest!!!

Ruth Anne Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

Going would be interesting. It might even be fun (but I would not get your hopes up too high in that regard). Some would shun you. Some would find it impossible to shun you and have a compelling need to heap verbal abuse on you in public, but most people would just be polite or friendly.

Mr. B. said...

Hell yes you should apply. It would be great fun to see your reports. Think of it: Hilary, Obama, ...

Ciao,

Bonzo

JohnTaylor88 said...

3. ???

A beret.