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Random Notes from YearlyKos

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, August 2 2007

...Overheard and not understood: 60s icon and antiwar activist Tom Hayden looked at the schedule of the dozens of workshops happening here and said to my colleague Andrew Rasiej, "I can't believe that there's nothing about Iraq." Actually, there is a session on public opinion, Iraq and the 2008 campaign, but it does appear there isn't a specifically antiwar session on the agenda. Curious.

...Barack Obama is apparently winning the wristband poll among registered attendees, who have to pick one of the candidates' bands when they sign in, so they can get into the one-on-one sessions that each of the presidentials attending will be doing Saturday afternoon, after the main presidential forum. I'm told that Obama's session is full, in fact, and latecomers are being asked to choose among the other candidates attending.

...Three interesting exchanges with Markos Moulitsas at his 3pm press conference:
Q: What do you make of the fact that 6 of the 8 presidential candidates are here when none of them went to the Democratic Leadership Council meeting last week?
A: The problem with the DLC is that they haven't built a movement. If they had a list of 3 million people, you can bet the candidates would be there. We have a much more activist audience that provides troops on the ground, they just like to scold.
....
Q: Do you worry that any of the leading candidates are co-opting you at all, such as Hillary Clinton defending you from O'Reilly's attacks and thus getting a pass on the war?
A: She has a funny advantage because everything she does is seen as politically calculated, but what she did recently with O'Reilly is a sign of growing respect. It's good that she's defending our medium. And they're realizing that while they may not win the blogosphere primary, there's a lot of hostility that they want to reduce. And that's a good thing for the party.
....
Q: Why isn't there a DailyKos of the right? Do you think that now that they're out of power and frustrated, perhaps we'll see something like that arise? Or is there a deeper cultural difference at work here?
A: There's a lot of debate among Republicans over whether they should be more grassroots and embrace new technology, but you can see that with the YouTube debate they're afraid of new technologies and anything that they can't control. Apparently they are afraid of a question from a snowman. On the right, most of the blogs follow the pundit model, instead of the community model. They don't even allow comments on most of them. They all want to be O'Reilly or Ann Coulter. What community sites have done for the left is to take one of our traditional weaknesses, our reluctance to take orders and argue, and make that a strength. There's clearly a different culture on the right than on the left.

News Briefs

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New Media Sites in Iran Blur Lines Between Citizen Journo, Professional Journo, & Activist

In 2010, Newsweek declared Iran the “birthplace of citizen journalism.” Iranian bloggers were hailed by Westerners as “brave” for their coverage of the aftermath of the disputed 2009 election. A 40-second video of the death of Neda Agha-Soltan during an anti-government protest won a prestigious George Polk Award, the first anonymously-produced work to be so honored. And then came the 2013 study “Whither Blogestan,” which sought to explain Iran's shrinking blogosphere. Of nearly 25,000 highly active and connected blogs in 2008 and 2009, only 20 percent were still online in September 2013.

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