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July 29, 2006

BlogHer politics panel went well

The BlogHer politics panel went well. To my astonishment, about 60 people showed up for the 3:30 panel. The room was actually full.

Our very able moderator, Lisa Williams of H20Town, managed to juggle five energetic panelists and a very participatory audience while making her own contributions to the discussion.

Kety Esquivel of Cross Left talked about her experiences as a progressive Christian in the blogosphere.

Jarah Euston of Fresno Famous and Courtney Hollands of Wicked Local had very interesting things to say about blogging ultra-local politics and current events in their respective communities.

Fellow panelist Ann Althouse insisted that she wasn't a political blogger. I didn't challenge her on that point.

My only regret was that the discussion was more discursive than adversarial. I was hoping for a vigorous debate about the norms of citizen journalism, or the role of the netroots in '06, or the latest controversies in the political blogosphere. Instead, we focused more on our personal approaches to blogging, our subject matter, and the balance between the personal and political facets of our writing.

I thought the discussion was worthwhile. I got the impression that a lot of audience members who weren't previously involved in the political blogger might be interested in exploring further.

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Comments

I caught the panel, I agree: it felt more about building audience, building conversation and how to find under-reported topics to again, build audience, than it had much to do with politics.

While I wasn't looking for adversarial, which didn't seem to be the ethos at BlogHer, it would have been nice to hear more discussion about how blogging and politics are impacting one another... I felt the conversation was really good - but 80% about building audience and 20% politics and bloggers role therein?

I didn't think there would be much politics at BlogHer, but I was glad to see you there. FM had quite a few authors we rep there, and we wanted to put in a good show of support - while none of the folk I work for were on your panel, I do read Majikthise regularly and wanted to catch the panel.

You shouldn't have to make excuses for your fascination with sex workers and prostitutes - this is America.

Fellow panelist Ann Althouse insisted that she wasn't a political blogger. I didn't challenge her on that point.

Typical Ann---"I'm not a political blogger, even though I blog primarily about politics and agreed to be on a panel on political blogging." Similiar to saying, "I'm not a Republican, though I support them whole-heartedly and have nothing but criticism for Democrats."

BTW, I was supposed to tell you and Lauren to avoid the tech guys in khakis that linger around. I figured you'd guys wouldn't have a problem figuring that out, though. ;)

Wish I'd been able to go to Blogher, but life has me locked in an idyllic place on the other side of the country. I'm a woman blogger, predominantly political, and deeply into the nuts and bolts of politics. I find that most of my interactions are with male bloggers. Actually, in real ife, I'd usually rather hang with girls, but that seems rare in the ether.

Professor Althouse is, of course, a reality TV blogger.

If you look at Ann's front page, only about 1 in 4 posts are about politics (12 out of 41). She just kind of blogs about what "she's into" (reality TV, art museums, Bob Dylan's radio show), and it happens that one of the things she's into is politics. So I think that's why she doesn't consider herself a political blogger.

Ann also voted for Feingold.

That's the panel I should have been in--shoot.

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