: I’m now in Dan Gillmor’s Presidential Blogging session.
: Matt Gross, ex-Dean, says that done badly (in reply to Dan’s question) a campaign blog can be a new press release but done well it can open up new interaction with the voters and the larger blogosphere.
: Zephyr Teachout, also ex-Dean, says she “ends up blogging my mistake.”
She sees three audiences:
> The press, which would end up using the language from the blog.
> The activist audience; blogging is an organizing tool.
> The campaign itself, which is having mixed results, she says. “Fasciinating to see how the entire campaign looked to the blog to come up with ideas and to try to gauge response… sometimes falsely, because it is small.”
: Cam Barrett, ex-Clark now Kerry, says he learned that Movable Type and one blog would not scale. They decided instead to “create a network of community-oriented blogs…. So instead of one blog with 10,000 comments you had 1,000 blogs with 10 comments each.”
: Dick Bell, the official Kerry blogger — “the last standing official blogger,” Dan calls him — says his role is “a missionary role inside.” The campaign did not adopt a blog until August. They also tried and rejected MT “in an adversarial environment” because of troll problems and no registration. They have the blog and a forum.
He says it’s about messages out and messages in and sideways — people finding each other.
He says they are developing new and more sophisticated tools.
Vs. the two tribes of journalists/bloggers, Dick says in politics it’s two cultures. “Politics is a very high-touch culture… and it’s a very conservative culture. Most political consultants would never do what Joe Trippi did….”
“Most campaigns — to date — don’t want other personalities emerging. They focus on the candidate.”
: Says Jim Moore of Democrats: “We’re coming from way behind, including on the web.” He says the Republicans were “way into the Dean campaign and studied it closely.”
: Dan repeats Jay’s question from the last session: What do we want.
That is the theme for the day. It’s what I’ll be asking later re business.
: Dave Winer says what he wanted from the Dean campaign was something to convince him to vote for Dean. Instead, the blog was about people already convinced talking to each other.
Dan Bricklin says what he hears Dave ask is a bunch of feeds with different perspectives.
: Winer says campaign blogs take on elements of journalism. Dan asks Dick about whether he links to things that disagree with the campaign, because blogs get much of their credibility from doing that (that is an act of journalism).
I want to say that blogs are essentially and should be essentially propagandistic.
Oliver says supporter blogs offer a different perspective.
: The Daily Kos controversy comes up.
Dick says that it’s “common for someone involved in a campaign to fly off the handle every once in a while… and they’re not on the advisory committee in Arizona anymore.” He says there are lines you don’t cross.
Cam says it’s not just blogs; it’s real life. When Michael Moore endorsed Clark and then went to a rally and said things the opposition would use against Clark, it caused a similar problem.
: Dan asks whether Pres candidates should blog themselves. Almost all agree that’s unrealistic.
But Henry Copeland says that at lower levels — Congressional, say — it will come to pass that “the winner will be the candidate will blog.”
Mark Cohen, a state legislator in Pennsylvania, blogs and likes the freedom it gives him to talk about other topics.
: Matt Gross says that the blog added transparency to the campaign, it — mixed metaphor my fault — pulled back the curtain sufficiently so that this audience now understands how busy a campaign is and how it’s not realistic for the candidate to blog. That wasn’t being said at the last Bloggercon.
: Matt says building the blog is building a media channel with different shows. Kate was the lifestyle role. Zephyr was the organized. “And Matt Gross,” Matt Gross says, “was the Walter Cronkite.”
: Dick Bell says “all of these professional communities are being opened up.”
This in response to Jay on transparency; he found it amazing — “if true” — that the Dean campaign believed there were things to learn from the blog and thus the people there.
Zephyr says yes, they did learn, but don’t overvalue blogs.
: Bell says that 10-15,000 emails come in a day. Wow.
: There’s a question about whether the blog really can bring out votes. Matt Gross says he believes they did but it’s only one of so many factors. He says it won’t affect that person who makes the decision in the voting booth or a day before or a week before (that’s the line where I’ll start to quibble).
Matt Stoller says that OhMyNews definitely made the difference in a campaign in South Korea. Rebecca McKinnon adds that mobile connectivity — SMS — also made a difference there.