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Filter - Cynthia L. Webb
Democrats Get Wired in Boston

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_____About Filter_____
Filter looks at the day's top technology news through snapshots and analysis of what the world's media outlets are covering. Washingtonpost.com's new Mon.-Fri. feature is penned by technology reporter Cynthia L. Webb. If a technology story breaks, a company falters or triumphs, or there's a new trend in technology, Filter wants you to know about it.

_____Filter Archive_____
Microsoft, Amazon Go up Against the Wall St. (washingtonpost.com, Jul 23, 2004)
EBay Wins a Beating (washingtonpost.com, Jul 22, 2004)
Microsoft Gives Back, Grows up (washingtonpost.com, Jul 21, 2004)
We Built This City on Spam (washingtonpost.com, Jul 20, 2004)
VoIP: The Next Household Word? (washingtonpost.com, Jul 19, 2004)
More Past Issues
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Video: Kerry's Speech
John Kerry told delegates "America can do better" by electing him and John Edwards.

Speech: Text | Video Highlights
Video: Kerry Biopic With Analysis
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Text, Video From the Convention
Mon. | Tues. | Wed. | Thurs.
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___ Convention Diary ___

Multimedia Scrapbook
Post editor Robert G. Kaiser and photographer Lucian Perkins explored Boston.
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Full Convention Coverage


In a posting to her site yesterday, Cox reaffirmed the conventional wisdom that bloggers aren't under pressure to conform some of the traditional journalistic modes of delivery: "So far the only real work being done here is by burly men lifting things. (Yum!) Everyone is basically filling out their dance cards, trying to scam invites for the hot ticket parties. Now, what's considered a hot party at a gathering of people whose biggest addiction is their PDA is a good question. But some parties are harder to get into than others, and those are ones people want to go to. Barring those events reserved for kajillionaire donors, the following soirees seem to be picking up steam," she wrote, then ticked off a list of parties.

The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz talked about the blogging phenomenon in today's paper: "In sheer numbers, these online commentators are a relative blip compared with the combined reach of the networks. But they have a cyber-pipeline to politically attuned voters. And unlike the hordes of anchors and correspondents who at least try to be balanced, most of the bloggers are unrepentant liberals who are here to support the nominee. 'I'm committed to seeing Bush out of office in November and want to do what I can to help,' says Jeralyn Merritt, a Denver defense lawyer who writes the TalkLeft blog. 'To me the purpose of a convention is solidarity and getting strength from each other and renewed commitment to a joint purpose. I am a cheerleader. I am a partisan. I am an advocate. My goal is to get everyone else stirred up.' Josh Marshall, whose TalkingPointsMemo is one of the more popular sites, says he plans not to push his liberal views but to 'capture the mood' of the convention."

This is similar to the aim of Seattle resident Greg Rodriguez, a delegate who penning a blog for the King County Democratic Party, the Associated Press reported. "We want to make people feel kind of like they're there," Rodriguez said. "That's really the goal, to provide some little tidbits of what the after-hour delegate parties or caucus meetings are like, stuff you wouldn't see on TV. People are really starving for that, especially this year."
The Washington Post: Boston's Bloggers, Filing In the Margins (Registration required)
Associated Press via Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Delegate Bloggers Offer Insider's View of Convention

All of this blogging does not mean there will be more flashiness in convention news coverage, the Associated Press reported in another story. "Gone from Internet coverage of the political conventions are most of the gimmicks, like 360-degree cameras that Web surfers can control from their homes. Also gone are television-style reports at USA Today's Web site and an original newscast from America Online Inc. While 2004 brings better use of high-speed Internet connections, Flash animation technology and independent Web journalists known as bloggers, media organizations are largely returning to the basics on the Internet. They are dropping the bells and whistles in favor of what they do best: covering the news," the article said.
Associated Press via San Jose Mercury News: Online Media Drops Gimmicks for Conventions (Registration required)

Virtual Money

Kerry's fundraising efforts have gotten a nice boost from the Internet. "Fueling Kerry's money surge have been credit card collections on the Internet, a technique pioneered by his onetime rival Howard Dean in 2003 but used with even greater success this year by the presumptive Democratic nominee. Kerry has been raising more than $10 million a month on the Internet, for a total of more than $65 million, compared with $8.7 million for Bush in the past year, according to officials with both campaigns," The Washington Post reported on Saturday. Through June 30, Kerry's fundraising "machine amassed $186.2 million, five times as much as any previous Democratic contender," the Post said.
The Washington Post: Redefining Democratic Fundraising (Registration required)

And an update on an enterprising Web entrepreneur's efforts to profit from the Kerry-Edwards partnership. "Things are looking up for 34-year-old bail bondsman Kerry Edwards, who two years ago staked out his own patch of online real estate by purchasing the Web address www.kerryedwards.com," washingtonpost.com reported on Friday. "Edwards said he started receiving offers for the address within hours of Sen. John Kerry's (D-Mass.) July 6 announcement that North Carolina Sen. John Edwards would be his running mate in his bid for the White House. He hired Sedo.com, a Cambridge, Mass.-based company that specializes in auctioning off Internet domain names, to take bids. ... Bidding opened at $150,000, and the company has already received an offer, said chief executive Matt Bentley. 'I wouldn't be surprised if it reached a price in the mid-six-figure range,' he said."
washingtonpost.com: Kerry Edwards Sees Big Payout For Web Address (Registration required)

Embracing Technology, Politically Speaking

Some tech leaders are making no bones about wearing politics on their sleeves, or in their wallets. "Behind John Kerry's bid for the White House is an elite network of mega-donors who want to make their man president -- and stand to benefit if he wins. Weighing in with $50,000 or $100,000 apiece, the top-tier players in the Kerry money machine have raised more than $40 million for his campaign, nearly a quarter of the Democratic hopeful's total. They include corporate executives with business before government, trial lawyers seeking an ally in the White House, Washington lobbyists, Wall Street chieftains, high-tech entrepreneurs and more than a few ambassadors-in-waiting," the Dallas Morning News reported.
The Dallas Morning News: Vested Interests In Kerry (Registration required)

CNET's News.com last week gave a rundown of the politicians some of tech's high-flyers are supporting. Hewlett-Packard chief exec Carly Fiorina donated $2,000 to President Bush's re-election campaign, the article said. Michael Dell, whose company is based in Bush's home state, "gave $25,000 to the Republican National Committee and $2,000 to Mr. Bush. Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers also gave $2,000 to Mr. Bush and recently hosted a fundraiser for him. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Chairman Bill Gates also gave to Mr. Bush, as did Richard Parsons of Time Warner, eBay's Meg Whitman and Yahoo's Jerry Yang. On the Democratic side of things, Gateway founder Ted Waitt gave $2,000 to Joe Lieberman and $1,913 to John Kerry. Legendary Silicon Valley venture capitalist John Doerr gave $25,000 to the Democratic National Committee and $2,000 to Mr. Lieberman, while Symantec CEO John Thompson gave $2,000 to both Joe Lieberman and John Kerry. Intel CEO Craig Barrett was one of the few who backed candidates in both parties, giving $2,000 each to Mr. Bush and Joe Lieberman. Mr. Barrett's wife, Barbara, is active in Republican politics, having run for governor in Arizona and having been considered by Mr. Bush for the position of secretary of the Air Force. Yahoo CEO Terry Semel gave $50,000 ($25,000 in 2003 and $25,000 in 2004) to the Republican National Committee and $2,000 to Mr. Bush, but also donated $5,000 in November to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He also donated to Al Gore and Bill Bradley during the 2000 presidential race."
CNET's News.com: Silicon Valley Votes With Its Wallet

In other political tech news, the New York Times Sunday Business section reported that technology lobbying has shifted from the Silicon Valley to Capitol Hill. "Today, TechNet, like other advocacy groups, has its lobbying gatherings in Washington, not Silicon Valley. Contingents of technology executives travel to the offices of various Congressional leaders, not the other way around," the paper said. "Even when they are campaigning in their districts these days, a tech photo opportunity no longer seems obligatory. 'In the late 1990's, if you gave a politician a choice of posing in front of a semiconductor or at an old-economy factory, they wouldn't hesitate to head for the semiconductor site,' said Dan Schnur, a political consultant based in Sacramento who was then one of TechNet's two political directors. 'Now it's more like six of one, half a dozen of the other.' Mr. Schnur says he has worked on the political campaigns of candidates who have opted for the old-economy photo ops.' Yet the political stock of technology may again be on the rise. Last week, the industry won a surprising vote in the House of Representatives on the issue of whether companies have to count stock options as a normal business expense. Although a fight still looms in the Senate, the House vote symbolized a re-energized effort to exert influence on Capitol Hill."
The New York Times: The Tech Lobby, Calling Again (Registration required)

Google Gets Hotter

Google fever is rising this morning with news that it plans to sell 24.6 million shares for between $108 and $135 each. Reuters said Google will use the symbol "GOOG" to trade on the Nasdaq. The pricing information would give Google a market capitalization of $36 billion, CNBC noted in its early-morning coverage of the news today. Google's filing is available online.
Reuters: Google Sets IPO Between $108-$135 A Share

The Financial Times today reported there is concern on Wall Street that "Google's stock may collapse once trading begins. The question of how to price Google's shares has become a battle of wills between Silicon Valley and Wall Street and led to bitter accusations, in private, from both sides. The banks underwriting the deal have been guaranteed fees of only about 1.75 per cent, far lower than normal, according to two people familiar with the arrangements. The low fees have added to the tensions between the two sides. Google has also set aside another 1 per cent in fees to be handed out on a discretionary basis. Backers of the internet search engine claim that Wall Street priced the stocks of internet companies too cheaply during the dotcom boom of the 1990s, depriving Silicon Valley of some of the gains from selling the shares and handing windfall profits to favoured investors. Google's founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, and its powerful venture capital backers, John Doerr, of Kleiner Perkins, and Mike Moritz, of Sequoia Capital, have picked an auction to ensure they get the highest possible price."
Financial Times: Google Poised To Announce IPO Price Range

Filter is designed for hard-core techies, news junkies and technology professionals alike. Have suggestions, cool links or interesting tales to share? Send your tips and feedback to cindyDOTwebbATwashingtonpost.com. (Yes, those spammers have been having a lot of fun with my e-mail address lately.)

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