Sunday, August 26, 2007

Netroots Panels at the State Convention & a Survey

Me and my big fat, um, keyboard! Back in Februrary and March, I wrote a few diaries over at FLA Politics on how the Florida Democratic Party and the Netroots should get together. Specifically, I suggested that they invite the Netroots to do a blogger panel at the state convention. Want to know how the FDP responded?

They said: good idea! Let's do it!

The FDP suggested that we first have a luncheon at the Jefferson-Jackson Weekend in June to begin the initial planning for the state convention. To be honest, I wasn't all that excited about the luncheon thing. It seemed to me that we could include people in the planning without the added burden of travel and a $50 lunch, but what do I know. My goal was to have a panel at the convention and if having a luncheon is what it took, then I'd do my part to help get the ball rolling.

As it turns out, the luncheon was quite a success! The fact that my fellow bloggers got press credentials was an added bonus. The stories coming back from the event about annoyed media types having to share their space with bloggers made it all worthwhile! Also, I'll happily admit that I was wrong. While it's true that planning need not involve travel or other expenses, there's a value in being able to meet people face to face that you can't put a price on.

Now, with the ball firmly rolling along, I rather naively thought I'd completed my role in this process, you know, that I'd done my good deed and could move on. Well, you know that old saying no good deed goes unpunished? Somehow I ended up helping with the planning of the darn thing!

Its my own fault. Nobody twisted my arm. I had the opportunity to be included in something that could at least potentially be a big deal and I took it. I've since asked myself on numerous occassions: what the heck am I doing here?

My punishment exceeds simple planning for a panel or should I say panels. There's going to be three on them! Plus, we may have an opening keynote and closing keynote address.

Anyway, back to good deeds and punishment. I'm going to be on one of the panels. Yeah, I can't believe it either. Here's a tip: keep your expectations low. ;-) Anyone want to take my place? (kidding!) (sort of)

This gets me to why I'm writing this whole schpeale in the first place. I want your feedback on what kind of information you'd like to see presented at the panels. That way I'll be able to share the blame, er, credit for the ideas. It'll also give me a chance to pass along your suggestions for all the panels to the other organizers. After all, while my role in this shindig is larger than I anticipated, its minimal compared to what others are doing.

Here's what we've got in terms of panels:

Netroots 101 - this would cover basics like what is a blog, what to write about, building your readership and using stuff like MySpace, Facebook and beyond.

Netroots Tools - discuss more advanced online technologies and digital media that one can use in blogging, campaigning, or party building.

Working with the Netroots - discuss how the party and the netroots can work together from the DEC's perspective, a candidate's perspective, state party perspective and the national party perspective.

So, please take this survey! There are only 5 questions and you don't have to answer all of them, just those where you have an opinion.

Update: I should have mentioned that you may recognize some other Florida bloggers on the panels such as Gatordem from Florida Kossacks, Ken Quinnell from the Florida Progressive Coalition, Ray Seaman from Build Florida's DEC's and Eddie Schwieterman from Grassroots Brevard.