Tomorrow I head to Netroots Nation
Tomorrow I leave for what is almost a political blogger’s dream vacation. Okay, that does sound a little weird but if you are anything of a political wonk and like to write about it Netroots Nation is the perfect place to be, especially if you’re on the progressive side. For three solid days a bunch of progressive political bloggers from across the U.S. gather in August to share ideas, hear from key political figures and get a recharge to head back and cover the political landscape of our states, counties and cities. Some, such as founder Markos Moulitsas of the Daily Kos, will bring the conversation up to the national level. Others like KT Musselman, Matt Glazer, and David Mauro, all of the Burnt Orange Report, will bring us the scope at the state level. Regardless, for one weekend we’re just a bunch of political bloggers enjoying the time together.
Personally I’m on the local level and look at local politics sporadically. Always a political junkie, my interest rekindled during the 2008 Presidential election starting with the primaries. There I found the BOR and jumped into the conversation through the Internet. In the early days I stumbled a lot, thinking I had all the answers on subjects. There I quickly learned I had an opinion on matters that resonated with some but not all and quickly took my lumps from others. I realized the Net can be a pretty blunt channel for criticism, some of which I dished out myself in retaliation.
In August of last year when Netroots Nation was held in Austin I jumped at the opportunity to see how things are done on the big stage. Among the hundreds of others wrapped up in the 2008 election cycle I heard from Gen. Wesley Clark, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former Vice President Al Gore. I discovered the Lessig Method of presentation commonly known as Identity 2.0 presented by the expert himself, Dr. Lawrence Lessig. I sat at a table with R.G. Ratcliffe, political reporter for the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News, and got a good taste of the “innards” of Texas politics from someone who covers it daily including a great story about the Killer D’s travels to Ardmore.
Since then I have started my own blog at the urging of several and have started to find my blogging voice over time. Instead of focusing on one particular subject I try to cover the waterfront in San Antonio and give a different viewpoint on matters. As some may say, “I calls ’em as I sees ’em.” Sometimes it’s about politics but other times it’s about San Antonio in general. There are even times I take blogger’s privilege and write about my own interests such as college basketball.
Lately I’ve been in a blogging slump trying to adjust to life downtown, working through some personal things, trying to help the non-profit community on social media, and connecting with some very cool social media types in San Antonio. That’s a lot to take and and still keep a focus. So, this weekend I return to my roots – the Netroots. During this weekend I’m just going to take in the same experience I had a year ago and reconnect with what this is all about where the public regains its voice.