Blogosphere: September 2010 Archives

While the Republican Party has a quadrennial convention, which not only conducts the official business of the party but provides a networking opportunity for activists, elected officials, bloggers, consultants and others connected with the conservative movement, many conservative non-profit groups hold events every year that allow the networking to continue between Republican National Conventions. CPAC is the oldest such conference, but many more have sprung up in recent years, each with its own focus and target audience, but with considerable overlap.

Last weekend, for the first time ever, I attended a national event targeting conservative activists -- BlogCon 2010, sponsored by FreedomWorks. It was wonderful to meet political bloggers from all over the country, the conference panels were full of interesting and valuable information, and the social events were great fun. I don't recall hearing a word of grumbling about the weekend from anyone.

Some of the bloggers at BlogCon have attended many of these other conservative conferences. Many of them were at Red State Gathering in Austin this weekend. Others stayed in Washington for Values Voter Summit or went to Chicago for Right Nation. Many were at Right Online in July and plan to be at CPAC next February.

As a way of keeping all these different events straight, I've put together a list of national conservative events that have occurred or are scheduled for 2010. Let me know if there are any that I've missed.

Each item in the list includes dates, conference name (with link if available), location, and sponsoring organization. Where appropriate, I may add a summary of the conference's target audience and emphasis.

More video from the 9/12 March on Washington, this time from the rally point at the beginning of the march, northeast of the Washington Monument.

Stand-up comic Stephen Kruiser is a blogger, has appeared on Fox News "Red Eye," has a show called "Kruiser Control" on, writes for Big Hollywood and Big Journalism, and performs in military outposts around the world with Armed Forces Entertainment. He's also a conservative activist, helping to organize Tea Party events in Los Angeles and participating in events like Right Online, BlogCon, and the 9/12 March. He's on Twitter, too, and he and Melissa Clouthier led a BlogCon session on how to make the best use of Twitter.

Here's Stephen Kruiser's talk to the Tea Party activists gathered to march in support of limited government, and his theme comes from a Thomas Jefferson quote: "I own that I am not a friend to an energetic government. It is always oppressive." Our job, he said, is to be the Government's Xanax. We're also here "to make sure the Federal behemoth doesn't get any fatter."

If you're a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, there's a bit you'll especially enjoy about 5 minutes in.

(NOTE: All the videos I've posted of the march were taken by me with a Flip camera. FreedomWorks loaned several out to BlogCon bloggers to help us cover the event. This was only the second video I took, and you can tell I'm still getting used to it.)

Thanks to the hard work of FreedomWorks new media director Tabitha Hale, BlogCon's tireless organizer, intern Sarah Desprat, and the rest of the FreedomWorks staff, the 175 bloggers at the event got to relax and enjoy the program and one another's company. As a result, most of us didn't do much actual blogging. One notable exception was DaTechGuy, who would break away now and then from the mingling and schmoozing to interview bloggers, taking photos, and uploading multimedia to his site.

He was kind enough to interview me on Thursday, the first day of the event, as we were waiting for the start of a meet-and-greet between bloggers and Republican congressional staff. Click here to watch DaTechGuy's interview with me. Visit his "Field Guide to Bloggers" category to see more interviews, including a very strange interview with Iowahawk.

By the way, in real life, DaTechGuy is a tech guy, the kind that can fix your PC. He can even fix your PC from the other side of the world. Read all about the services he offers here.

Just a quick note to mention that I'll be at the 9/12 March on Washington this afternoon, along with many of the other BlogCon attendees. You can read live updates on the BatesLine Twitter feed and by searching for the hashtag #912dc. A number of us will be shooting video as well, but look for that later in the day.

The first ever BlogCon, sponsored by FreedomWorks, has been a huge success. FreedomWorks new media director Tabitha Hale put together an event that was fun and highly worthwhile. On Thursday, bloggers had a chance to get face to face with congressional staffers -- how they can do a better job of working with us, which begins with understanding how we differ from traditional media.

Friday was packed with excellent seminars, many of which were more technological than political -- for example, how to make more effective use of Twitter, the role of humor in blogging, and the amazing capabilities of WordPress and its many plugins. (I'm now very tempted to switch, and it appears there's a plugin that makes it possible to migrate without breaking old links.) Matt Kibbe delivered an informative lunchtime lecture on Austrian economics. The day was capped off with a left-right debate at the Newseum.

Saturday morning we got a bit of a respite, which I used to visit some nearby friends who have a brand new baby. In the afternoon, former House Majority Leader Dick Armey and FreedomWorks head Matt Kibbe held a book signing for their new book Give Us Liberty. That evening a bunch of us attended the premiere of a new movie by Citizens United and Newt Gingrich called "America at Risk: The War with No Name." All of us bloggers were badly underdressed for what turned out to be a gala occasion. The film was introduced by Citizens United head David Bossie and Newt Gingrich and his wife Callista.

Every evening has concluded with informal socializing, a great opportunity to connect faces and real-life personalities with Twitter handles. Among many memorable conversations, my favorite may be talking to Iowahawk, who digs Tulsa and mid-century modern architecture.

You can get a sense of the event by looking at the Twitter hashtag #blogcon.

Blog Con 2010

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I'm excited to be in Arlington, Va., for Blog Con, a conference for political bloggers presented by FreedomWorks. From the organization's "about" page:

What We Do

FreedomWorks recruits, educates, trains and mobilizes millions of volunteer activists to fight for less government, lower taxes, and more freedom.

Why We Do It

FreedomWorks believes individual liberty and the freedom to compete increases consumer choices and provides individuals with the greatest control over what they own and earn.

How We Do It

FreedomWorks' aggressive, real-time campaigns activate a growing and permanent volunteer grassroots army to show up and demand policy change.

This is the first national bloggers' conference I've attended, and it's my first chance to meet up with bloggers from across the country since the 2008 Republican National Convention. Friday's program will be filled with interesting talks from the leading voices in the conservative blogosphere. On Sunday, we'll be attending the 9.12 March at the Capitol. Hundreds of thousands participated in last year's march, a protest against a wasteful and bloated federal government.

I will be writing here about the conference on a nightly basis, but for more immediate updates, follow the BatesLine Twitter stream and the #blogcon Twitter feed.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Blogosphere category from September 2010.

Blogosphere: August 2010 is the previous archive.

Blogosphere: January 2011 is the next archive.

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