Thanks a lot to everybody for helping fund our trip to Netroots Nation. We had a great time, made a lot of new friends, and came up with a lot of ideas about future directions for the blog. I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to do any trolling but there just weren’t many opportunities.
Earlier I said that the conference seemed a bit sad, but maybe that’s not the best way of putting it. The panels were great, people seemed happy to be there, and everything ran smoothly. But hardly any bigwigs were there to “kiss the ring”. In
2008 2007, for example, all the Democratic presidential candidates came and met with conference-goers for an hour or so, in addition to having a debate. This time, the Obama campaign presence was fairly minimal and the only real marquee names were Warren and Kthug.
I like Daily Kos a lot better than most of you, but I think many of you are right when you say “so what, do we really want these rings kissed?” The real value of nearly all conferences is networking anyway, and there seemed to be a lot of that going on. There were tons of 20 and 30 somethings who had the appearance of working in progressive politics. But at the same time, it was fun and informative for people like me too.
If I have one big criticism, along with mistermix’s about the lack of engagement with Waterfire, it’s that there is a bit too much of a cool kids vibe with the Kos higher-ups. There should be more glad-handing and making people feel welcome. That’s part of why mistermix and I spent so much time doing meet-ups. Then, of course, the meet-ups were a blast and we learned more from them than from anything else — about waterfire from reader P and about the Republican debates from a debate expert who stopped by (I may post some of his commentary but he’s already signed on to do debate analysis at Wonkette and I don’t want to poach).
I don’t know how the logistics would work out, but maybe some day we could do something like this for BJ, maybe in combination with a few other blogs. That would be a lot of fun. I’m always amazed by how much I like BJ readers when I meet them in person.