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....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?
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.
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....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.
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.”
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?