Anyway, I did attend the Friday afternoon session (legislative folks, traditional media hacks, bloggers, etc…) and had some reflections.
1. The way that bloggers use the media and vice versa. David Goldstein from Horsesass.org talked about his series of posts on David Irons’ family and their weird history had a real impact on the King County executive race because it changed how the traditional media was covering the race. Just getting the story out on a highly read blog moved the race. If David has written what he did, and it never got past his immediate readership, it wouldn’t have mattered much.
On the flip side, Sandeep Kaushik talked about the Stranger using a blog (Ameriblog) to create buzz for a story that they hoped would go national, Microsofts’ abandoning of HB 1515 because of pressure from Pastor Ken Hutcherson. Prior to the story hitting the news-stands out here, the Stranger sent drafts of the story to Ameriblog and the New York Times. They hoped Ameriblog would “amplify” the story and that the Times would give it a national platform.
According to Sandeep, by the time the NYT started looking into the story (they initially said it was a great story “if it were true”) Ameriblog had created a firestorm that had been raging for ten hours. In king of the same way that Goldstein blazed the trail for the Seattle PI and the rest of the regional media, Ameriblog created a national controversy for the NYT to write about, but it was a so-called Traditional Media outlet that first pushed Ameriblog. Did anyone else feel weird how I referred to the Stranger as traditional?
2. Legislative blogging. The last session included two elected folks and two Dem caucus staffers. One of the points had to do with ethics rules limiting the use of state resources around certain times to prevent electeds from using public resources to campaign. Those rules also the use of state resources to blog. Bummer, maybe we could get the rules changed.
Or, as I and another YD (the great Rob Dolin) reflected before I dashed off rudely, why don’t they use campaign committee resources to blog? Or, as I thought later, they could use free resources available (like the one I’m using right now) and blog on their own time using their own internet access (or publicly available free access).
3. Lynn Allen is a very good writer, and a nice person. Bloggers get credit for political engagement, moving opinion, getting points across, promoting dialogue. Often times we forget we’re also writers, and she is one of the best we have. It was nice meeting here for a short while.
4. What the heck do you mean the entire campus isn’t wireless? The hearing room we were in had a great network, but not the entire campus. It may be for elected folks, but I don’t understand why there isn’t a campus-wide public network. Might move the city to do the same.
Here’s what everyone else that was not dorky like me and went to the Saturday session is saying:
Rick at Olyblog: Blogging conference concludes
Preemptive Karma: Pacific NW bloggers unite at conference
PNI: Conference a huge success
Horse’s Ass: Bloggers of the NW unite