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Daily Digest: The Bloggers at Night Are Big and Bright...

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, July 18 2008

The Web on the Candidates

  • The Heritage Foundation's Rob Bluey laments that being a conservative at a tech/politics gatherings is "too often...quite lonely." But this week, at least, Rob will have some company. As we type, Austin, Texas, is playing host to not one, but two, blogger conferences: the left's Netroots Nation and the right's RightOnline Summit. Jose Antonio Vargas has a terrific profile of the two events. Jose rightly points out that, with some 2,500 attendees, Netroots Nation is about five times the size of RightOnline; it also has attracted about six times the credentialed press. Another sign of the distance the right still has to travel online is that while the big names at its event belong mostly to pundits, Netroots Nation boasts more or less a who's who of the Democratic Party leadership. The New York Times' Caucus blog has more on the dueling bloggers' conventions and the Wall Street Journal covers Netroots Nation. It's pretty clever: with Netroots Nation in the news this week, would the press be writing about the RightOnline if not for the fact that it's happening 12 miles down the road? Who's to say.

  • Why Get on a Plane?, Part I: Now that Twitter has acquired Summize, it's easy peasey to follow the action down in Texas; just track the hashtags #rton08 and #nn08. Alternatively, check out and the Huffington Post's Netroots Nation-dominated Twitter page. Both mark the new use of tied-together tweets function as crude group blogs -- albeit group blogs with very, very short posts.

  • Why Get on a Plane?, Part II (at least as far as Netroots Nation goes): The Talking Points Memo video team is prowling around the Austin Convention Center and has already logged interviews with General Wes Clark on NATO's role in Afghanistan and DNC chair Howard Dean on the non-ATMness of the Internet.

  • A look at Barack Obama's schedule for June suggests that his $52 million haul that month might mark a shift from online to in-person fundraising.

The Candidates on the Web

  • Do site stats tell us that John McCain is newly attracting the attention of supporters of Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee, two candidates popular with the GOP's more conservative wings during the primaries?

  • The RNC is telling Cafe Press to quit printing up keyrings and t-shirts featuring the GOP elephant.

  • The guiding vision for John McCain's acceptance speech in Minneapolis-St. Paul this fall, according to the New Republic's Michael Crowley, is to offer an alternative to Obama's "narcissistic world of Facebook and YouTube and Scarlett Johansson."The goal, interprets Newsweek's Andrew Romano, is to frame Obama as a millennial. But you know who's also into all that fuzzy-wuzzy social media stuff? The Army, which, reports Wired's David Axe, recently added blogging to their graduate school curriculum.

TechCongress and Beyond

  • The Next Right profiles three Republican congressional candidates successfully experimenting online. Check out the beautifully-produced, from Illinoisan Marty Ozinga, the owner of a concrete business now running for Congress. Also worth a look: Warner Wire, a news aggregator-style site dedicated to Democrat Mark Warner's campaign to become the next senator from Virginia. (Disclosure: This writer once worked for Warner as he explored a presidential run.)

  • Nation fellow Amy Alexander explores the color line online.

  • Why Tuesday? -- the effort to fix our farblunget voting system, starting by moving elections to a more sensible day of the week -- has recruited New York Democratic Rep. Steve Israel to serve as a correspondent. Equipped with a Flip video camera, Steve promptly began quizzing tourists, staffers, and fellow members of Congress. The move was picked up by Newsday, Israel's local paper. Steve, the author of the Weekend Voting Act, breaks the issue down for newbies: "When I came to Washington, I thought there was a good reason to vote on Tuesday. There's not."

  • After Boing Boing posted a link to an xkcd-style web comic from Sean Tevis, a candidate for Kansas state house, his fundraising took off. According to Tevis, the fact that more than 4,000 people donated pretty much sextuples the record for donations for state rep race in the Sunflower State.

In Case You Missed It...

Armed with his trusty Nokia N95, Micah Sifry is broadcasting live from Netroots Nation. Ping him via Twitter at @mlsif if there's something in particular you'd like him to capture.