Posts Tagged ‘FreedomWorks’

BlogCon

September 16, 2010

FreedomWorks, a national organization known for their stance on lower taxes and less government, sponsored a conservative political bloggers conference in Washington DC this past weekend.

Tabitha Hale, their “Interactive Media Coordinator” brought together 175 bloggers and activists from 35 states to network, to learn and to work on taking over the political world one blog at a time. (OK, I made that last one up, but I think we’re working on it anyway…)

I have to say, I’m a bit of a hard sell when it comes to conferences these days. So often the content is either dumbed-down or so little time is allotted that you can barely skim the surface. That was not the case with BlogCon. The classes were awesome and the networking fantastic.

We are a bit of a unique breed however. One activist who hadn’t really been around a lot of bloggers said it was the first conference she had ever been to where no one made eye contact with the speakers. As soon as they started, all eyes went to the iPads and cell phones – live blogging, live tweeting – even live-streaming in some cases.

Here’s a perfect example of a class that was not dumbed down: Twitter for people who are already using it Presenters Dr Melissa Clouthier and Stephen Kruiser started right off saying that Twitter is mandatory for bloggers – it’s all about the speed of information dissemination and if you’re not using it, you’re missing out on a powerful tool. It’s a great way to influence the influencers.

The next session was on podcasting. One of the key points for bloggers is that we must “platform agnostic” – yes we blog. And we use Facebook, Twitter, we podcast, we “vlog” and more (or we should be – Holly on the Hill needs to catch up with podcasting and vlogging….)

One of my top two favorite classes was Investigative Blogging: Making News. Will Lutz, who runs “The Lone Star Report” and Philip Klein, who writes for the American Spectator really dug into how to get to the stories, especially the ones no one else is covering. Once again, they emphasized all politics is local – and so is the blogging.

My other very favorite class was “Vlogging, YouTube, & interviews: How to be effective on camera” Fantastic information by people who are out there doing it – Lee Doren, Steven Crowder and Jason Mattera. Great stuff – even insiders tips on getting your YouTube videos to go viral.

We learned about Austrian economics, what to expect from the lame-duck session, the all-important “Pimp your blog” session on getting the most out of WordPress and ended the day with a righty-lefty debate on Internet influence on the political process. Awesome.

The networking and press access to the weekend’s events were also a definite perk.

Does all of that make you want to become a blogger? Great! Do it! You don’t even have to have your own blog – become a guest blogger on someone else’s site. I would love to see more of us out there. We need bloggers covering state and local school board meetings, city council meetings, county central committee meetings, county commission meetings, where they seem to love to raise taxes and we need more bloggers on Utah’s Capitol Hill. Come on in – the water’s fine and there is plenty of room in the pond.

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