It’s the opening of convention week here in Boston. For political junkies, this is nirvana. The mood is very upbeat, the sun is shining, security is high but the traffic unbelievably light, and there are lots of places to buy your Kerry-Edwards buttons. And the Red Sox even won last night.
Jim Moore blogged a Berkman Center planning meeting that we held earlier in the day at the Harvard Club on the role of the internet in politics. Our goal is to work toward a conference in December (i.e., after this election) that takes a hard, skeptical look at what’s worked and what hasn’t worked in terms of those using the internet to transform the political system in the US and around the world. We had a tremendous group of people: in addition to Jim and several others from the Berkman Center (including Andrew McLaughlin, now at Google), we were joined by a team from eBay, which is sponsoring the conference; Joe Trippi; Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren; Zach Exley and Dick Bell from the Kerry campaign; Chris Gabrieli, of Mass2020, Celebrate Boston ’04, and countless other good works; Matt Wood of Win Back Respect; and other all-stars. If you’re interested in being kept apprised of developments related to this conference, please sign up here. We’ll also have a planning meeting at the RNC convention in New York and another one on the Harvard campus in the early fall.
The revolution may not get televised, but the convention is certainly getting blogged. David Weinberger, one of credentialled bloggers on the convention floor, writing at boston.com, tells us that, so far, it’s “very, very boring. But only if you’re paying attention.” Dave Winer goes a bit further: “boring beyond belief.” (Maybe this great crowd of bloggers will regret going to the trouble of getting credentials after all that! I doubt it.) The Kerry-Edwards blog has Dave featured in color — even wearing a blazer, it appears.
There’s also quite a frenzy in the mainstream press to cover the blogging of the event. The coverage tends to put the bloggers at the “margins.” Or in the bullpen. With a meet-and-greet at WSJ. Yahoo! is running a Reuters round-up piece with perhaps the most bullish sentiment: “Hopes were high the bloggers would present a dynamic, irreverent, cutting new voice, reaching a vast online audience that the regular media cannot communicate with.” Most coverage keeps blogs away from center-stage, but part of the story; largely a story unto them-(our-)selves.
Perhaps best of all, Dave Winer has created an aggregator for convention bloggers so you can check out all the action.