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Bloggers Type It Like It Is in Boston

The Los Angeles Times has a helpful "Convention Blog Watch" feature (check out the right-hand sidebar for a fill list and links to credentialed bloggers). The blog review last night picked up on some of the better updates from the Edwards family picnic, otherwise known as the convention speeches Sen. John Edwards, his wife and daughter delivered last night to cheering conventioneers: "Are we sure Edwards isn't a prisoner blinking messages in morse code?," blog RobBernard.com wrote, the Times piece noted. A link to the post adds more: "In a 34.5 second span during John Edwards' speech I counted 52 blinks." CNN's Web site also has a convention blog watch, as does the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Other media outlets have joined the blogging fray, including the National Journal and Minnesota Public Radio, the Minnesota Star Tribune reported.
Star Tribune: Bloggers Getting Political Dirt Right Off the Floor

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While the media is busy covering bloggers, the blog writers are proving it's a vicious circle, covering the media at the convention as well. Instapundit.com blogger Glenn Reynolds, one of the blog world's most famous scribes, told Hollywood Reporter that the thing that bloggers "will cover the most will be the journalists covering the news." A prime example of this? Check out a posting yesterday from OxBlog: "Will the NYT please make up its mind? Is the Democratic Convention an exceptional event that deserves its own special eight-page section in each morning's paper, or is it a stage-managed pseudo-event that isn't worth its readers' time? According to RW Apple, conventions have become nothing more than long infomercials."

More from the Hollywood Reporter article: "That has been a sore point for many journalists who aren't keen on being second-guessed -- or worse, beaten on major breaking news -- by any number of laptop pundits. They point out the often-partisan nature of most of the politically themed blogs as well as the fact that almost anyone with a computer and an Internet connection can become a blogger. Critics also point out that one of blogs' biggest attractions -- its freewheeling nature -- is exactly what separates it from the ethical core of traditional journalism."
The Hollywood Reporter: Web Sites Offer Alternate Views of Political Conventions

Another example of how blog coverage is different than traditional news coverage at the convention: "Alan Nelson of the Command Post blog, which has 120 writers that contribute to provide updates, told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer: "While I think it's noble and symbolic of our legitimacy that we were asked (to be here), the fact of the matter is the DNC couldn't control the medium if they wanted to." Nelson contends that when John Kerry announced John Edwards would be his running mate for the presidential election, Nelson's site had the news online three hours before CNN. ... Yesterday afternoon, Nelson was blogging about a John Mellencamp warm-up session, putting a photo and audio on his site, www.command-post.org As many as 15,000 people visit the Web site each day."
Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Bloggers: The New Media Or A Fad?

Some journos are crying foul. John C. Dvorak of CBS MarketWatch wrote of the convention blogs: "From what I've seen so far on the Technorati convention blog watch, I'm not impressed. Many of these posts are vapid observations combined with simple Kerry boosterism or knee-jerk Limbaugh-Republicanist complaints. Some are simply an undecipherable mess. Hopefully a few professionals will come in and publish some thoughtful pieces before the exercise is over, but this looks laughable thus far."

A blogger for the Industry Standard whined: "As a journalist myself, I can't help feeling slightly jealous. Instead of working your way through dead-beat trainee journalism jobs in dead-end regional newspapers; instead of working your way up from Concrete Car Parks Monthly; just set up a blog and get to go to the hottest news event this side of the US presidential election."

Sour grapes, I say. Bring on the blogging.
CBS MarketWatch: Blogging At the Convention
The Industry Standard: Guest Blog: Mike Butcher

As the Blog Turns

The credentialed bloggers aren't the only scribes from the convention floor -- the delegates are blogging too, posting live updates to the Net from the FleetCenter. The Washington Post wrote about the Virginia delegation's blogging effort, found online at www.documentingdemocracy.com.
The Washington Post: Blogging Brings Convention Home To Virginians (Registration required)

Texas's self-described youngest delegate has a blog from the floor. And from Iowa: "Two Iowa delegates are blogging from the convention, offering Iowans an inside view of the event. Christina Butts of Des Moines and Daryl Lewis of Clear Lake are running separate blogs. "The Iowa Democratic Party may even blog from future conventions, said spokesman John McCormally. Iowa party leaders recently revamped their Web site and weren't able to set up a blog before the convention, he said," the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier Online reported.
Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier Online: Blogging Your Way Through The Dem. Convention

The GOP Blog Bandwagon

The GOP will hand out press credentials to bloggers at its New York convention next month. "The recognition of blogging by both political parties is one indication that this forum for political discussion is entering the mainstream," Voice Of America reported.
Voice of America: Democratic Convention Grants Media Credentials To 'Bloggers'

The Republicans are sending out invitations already. "Republican convention spokesman Leonardo Alcivar said his party plans to give media credentials to 10 to 20 bloggers," the AP reported. "Like the first skybox provided for CNN in the 1980s and the rise of talk radio in the early to mid 90s, we believe this is another media milestone in convention coverage," Alcivar said.
Associated Press via The San Jose Mercury News: GOP Invites Bloggers To Convention

And lest we forget that conventions offer vendors an excuse to treat the political stage like one giant trade show. Internet company Terra Lycos is hoping to profit off of the blog craze. The company used the convention to announce its new mobile blogging features, called "moblogging" in the blogging world, for people to post blog updates with text and photos beamed in from cell phones, PDAs and other mobile devices. Of course, the company said it is demonstrating the moblogging features at the convention in Boston.

Wiring New York

Credit goes to the New York Times for finding a tech story buried in all the convention hype. All of the computers, video screens and other gadgets of the convention had to be wired up in advance to bring the convention happenings to the masses. The paper writes of Louis Libin, who "runs the convention's wireless coordination committee, and he enforces his own brand of zero-tolerance justice. Armed with advanced detection equipment, Mr. Libin maintains a lookout for radio pirates. With so many wireless cameras and microphones, so many walkie-talkies, so many cellphones and so many law-enforcement agencies, 'this is probably the busiest, noisiest radio frequency environment on the planet right now,' said Mr. Libin, a 45-year-old technology consultant from Woodmere, N.Y. 'We've been working for months on a plan to divide up the frequencies, and if someone is not complying with the plan, we have to shut them down.' In terms of technology, a political convention is rivaled in complexity perhaps only by the Olympics. And with the march of digital technology, past experience offers only a partial road map. After all, just four years ago almost no one had even heard of Wi-Fi."
The New York Times: Wiring A Convention, Version 2004 (Registration required)

From Blogs to Wikis

Got a handle on blogs? Now try a "wiki." The Wall Street Journal brought readers up to speed on this online technology that's been around since the 1990s. "Wiki is a Hawaiian word for 'quick,' and some say it has the potential to change how the Web is used. A wiki is a type of Web site that many people can revise, update and append with new information. It's sort of like a giant bulletin board on an office wall to which employees can pin photos, articles, comments and other things. A wiki can gather, in one place, the data, knowledge, insight and customer input that's floating around a company or other organization. And it's a living document, since workers who are given access to it can make changes constantly. No elaborate programming skills are needed. Users can simply click an 'edit' button to add comments or make changes," wrote Journal journo Kara Swisher. Curious? Check out the Wiki Wiki Web site and a Wiki explainer site.
The Wall Street Journal: 'Wiki' May Alter How Employees Work Together (Subscription required)

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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