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August 24, 2008

Will 2008 be the year of the political blogger?

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With a US Presidential Election this fall, along with 1/3rd of the Senate up for re-election, and the entire House of Representatives, could 2008 truly be the year of the political blogger?

The New York Times certainly thinks so:

Beginning Monday, hundreds of bloggers will descend on Denver to see Barack Obama accept his party’s nomination. Next week, hundreds more will travel to St. Paul to witness John McCain’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. But now these online partisans, many of whom are self-financed, must contend with all the logistical and financial hurdles just to get there — not to mention the party politics happening behind the scenes.

This year, both parties understand the need to have greater numbers of bloggers attend. While many Americans may watch only prime-time television broadcasts of the convention speeches, party officials also recognize the ability of bloggers to deliver minute-by-minute coverage of each day’s events to a niche online audience.

To put this into perspective, the 2004 DNC in Boston credentialed only around twelve bloggers. This year, hundreds of bloggers have been credentialed at both convention. The micro-coverage from the smaller blogs and in-depth coverage provided by the larger blogs is going to elevate the artform of political blogging to a whole new level.

I can’t wait to watch..

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August 21, 2008

Simon Owens profiles bloggers covering next week’s DNC in Denver

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Following up to yesterday’s post about Google sponsoring a large bloggers venue at both the DNC and RNC political conventions over the next few weeks, Simon Owens, writing at PBS’s Mediashift blog, profiles some of the bloggers that will be covering next week’s DNC convention in Denver, Colorado.

Here’s a look at blogger Tracy Viselli:

“I really want to focus on some of our local or state stories,” Viselli told me. “For instance, not only is Nevada a swing state, my county is considered the swing county in the state. Also, we have the possibility of electing our first all-female congressional delegation, which is really exciting.”

She explained that her “over-arching narrative” at the Big Tent will be written from the point of view of a female progressive blogger from a swing state, a fact that she believes gives her a unique perspective.

A great post that looks in-depth at the upcoming political conventions. We’ve come a long way from 12 bloggers at the 2004 DNC to a huge facility for bloggers in 2008. What impact might they have on the upcoming election?

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August 20, 2008

Google will provide services for bloggers at both political conventions

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Google will be providing significant support to bloggers at the upcoming DNC and RNC conventions over the next few weeks, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal:

Google Inc. will help set up a two-story, 8,000 square-foot headquarters for hundreds of bloggers descending on the Democratic convention in Denver next week, and it will offer similar services at the Republican convention in September, as new media gain influence in politics.

Four years ago, Google wasn’t a significant presence at the Democratic and Republican conventions. Its high-profile presence at both conventions this year mirrors the growth of new media, which will provide their takes on events and compete with established media companies via Google’s YouTube video site and other social-media outlets.

In 2004, I was in Boston during the Democratic National Convention, and while bloggers were given press access to the event, they certainly did not receive support on a scale such as this. This is a significant step towards providing bloggers with a more equal playing field with mainstream media.

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