Friday, November 30, 2007

Thirty Days Has September...

...April, May and thank goodness November!!

I have to say I love the challenge of NaBloPoMo. What I need to admit is that it completely drains me of any worthwhile posts.

I've been exhausted this month. Each night, I've waited until after 10:30 p.m. to even begin writing. It's no wonder you've had to put up with the schlock I've been shoveling out.

So enough, I say. Enough!

I'm a political consultant. That's what I do in real life.

Today I attended a conference about "innovative advocacy." A panel of Congressional staffers spoke about the types of contacts that gain their attention. They discussed faxes and emails phone calls and personal meetings. They described the overwhelming amount of information they must process on a daily basis in an attempt to stay on top of the issues they cover. An audience member asked them if they read blogs. Across the board, each one of the staffers said no they didn't have time. Bloggers, they said, were just rogue folks spewing out whatever their whimsy. They also said they discouraged their bosses from reading blogs.

I was a bit put off.

But then the next panel came on.

This panel was comprised of grassroots practioners who were there to present case studies of some of the more innovative grassroots programs they had seen. Obviously these two panels hadn't talked. The very first presenter is now involved in internet advocacy BECAUSE of a post he wrote for DailyKos that eventually led to the Congressional Committees Project. Each of the panelists discussed blogs in one manner or another, especially underscoring the value of advertising on blogs and how economical it is.

Now I realize the first panel was talking about the grassroots efforts that got their attention and there is no reason to believe that they are out searching the blogs to see what folks are saying, but they seemed to discount them so thoroughly. But I've witnessed the viral nature of blogs. As someone who has worked for an advocacy organization, I'm constantly amazed by how quickly bloggers can get information out and gin up support for issues in a matter of days.

I was mad that bloggers didn't seem to have the respect of folks who are essentially in charge of making the laws of our land. But I didn't get too angry because I know something they don't. And they have no idea how wrong they are to ignore such a source of power.

8 Deserve Mamma's Love:

Nancy said...

Although I have been blogging for less than a year, and reading them just slightly longer (and not just mommy bloggers)you'd have to be living in a cave to not see the power and possibilities with blogging.

Be it advertising, collecting information, posting info ... I'm shocked at the first panel dismissing those facts.

Gunfighter said...

Don't buy it, ML!

Staffers and various political writers would have you believe that bloggers mean nothing... but they only want us to believe that because of their own agendas.

Bloggers are important to today's political discourse for any number of reasons... not least of which is that people with similar views are now in regular contact with those that they may never have casusally encountered becase of factors such as geographical seperation; race/class/ethnicity/gender; employement status.

People can communicate... and communication and the passage of information is what makes political movements.

I give you the case of Howard Dean. Dean would have made an excellent candidate against GWB, and likely would have whipped his ass. Unfortunately, Terry McAuliffe and the Clintons didn't want a maverick like Dean around, so they sandbagged him, and left us with a shite candidate like John Kerry... and you see what that got us.


Sorrt yo have gone on so long.


Lawyer Mama said...

That would have pissed me off too. Some politicians do listen to bloggers. I got an email from Senator Dodd's online outreach staffer after a blog post I wrote about him once.

And then there's the whole John Edwards thing.... The politicians who want to know what people are thinking BEFORE it's reported on CNN or Fox or in the Wall Street Journal read blogs. The ones who don't, are making a serious mistake.

Marty, a.k.a. canape said...

I add a foot stomp and an "amen" to this.

witchypoo said...

Do you know that Blogger/Google no longer lets you link to outside sites when you comment. You have to create a Blogger acount now. For what to do, check out Suburban Oblivion This is not my site, but I hate those word verification things on Blogger anyway. No linky love is just being mean of Google.

Unknown said...

That seems a little odd that they're not at least paying attention to blogs -- I can see why they don't gather the information, because that's difficult -- but blogs have really had a major impact on the dissemination of information. I'm pretty sure that they read them, even if they say they don't.

Mrs. Fussy Fussypants said...

You are a political consultant. VERY COOL. How did I miss that.

Debbie said...

glad I didn't know that about you in July at the conference or I'd have talked not just your ear but YOUR ENTIRE HEAD AND FACE off with my political rants and expostulations that are generally immature and uninformed.

p.s. oh my god, TOTALLY. this is all so very true.