Saturday, November 22, 2008

Is it time for a Democratic blog summit?

Today's announcement by Lowell Feld that he and Eric Grim will be shutting down Raising Kaine, or RK as it became known more recently, raises an important question: is it time for a Democratic blog summit?

The Virginia Democratic blogosphere has always has a significant "edge" over its Republican competitor. Raising Kaine was always a big part of that edge, becoming the "flagship blog" of the Democratic blogosphere. It's a tribute to Lowell and Eric's success that the managed not only to build a "community forum," as they intended, but an actual online community of surprising vibrance.

Our Republican rivals understand how important our success has been to the wider Democratic success in recent years. The Republican Party has made new media a major theme at their statewide annual "Advance" meeting next weekend. With the Republican Party gearing up for a major online effort during next year's elections, Democratic and Progressive bloggers need to consider how they will respond. Raising Kaine can never be replaced, but a new community will need to be built to help supply the same sense of shared purpose that RK provided.

To that end I am proposing a Virginia Democratic bloggers summit, to be held in Richmond, Virginia some time after the New Year. By meeting in Richmond, we can take advantage of the central location of the state capital, the meeting facilities of the Democratic Party of Virginia, access to Democratic elected officials in Richmond for the General Assembly, and, if possible, we could coordinate our meeting with the annual training of the DPVA, providing us with more opportunities to network and recruit.

I can't offer any details at this point, all of this will need to be figured out. I think the next steps are to ask whether there is an interest in such an event and to solicit volunteers to help organize the details.

With some luck, the Highly Secretive Virginia Democratic Bloggers' Association could finally meet in public.


AnonymousIsAWoman said...

I think it's a good idea. One suggestion is to do it when the state Democratic Party holds its Jefferson Jackson dinner. At that time lots of us will be in Virginia to attend that.

An alternative would be during a state party meeting when they are holding workshops anyway. Again, lots of the same folks would be in Richmond anyway.

Eileen Levandoski said...

I'm game!

The Richmond Democrat said...

I agree Karen, that linking it with an already existing event is important. Either statewide training or JJ. We need to get the details from DPVA Monday morning and form a steering committee to do some basic planning.

Teddy said...

Yes, we need a Democratic Blog Summit, and more, we need a successor to RK before it is too late. There's too much going on in Virginia politics to dawdle

Joel McDonald said...

I love the idea of the Democratic blog summit in Richmond. Moreover, I like that this concept is being born on the blogs, and not organized by the party. It shows the power of blogs, and that we still have an advantage when it comes to new media.

Count me in!

Riley Murray said...

Excellent! Count me in! BRD say proceed with all "deliberate haste".

aznew said...

I would be very interested in attending, and would be happy to help plan. Contact info is on profile at RK.

Among other things, I would want to use the opportunity to hear from both former and current candidates about how they perceive the blogosphere, how we can help them, what they fear, etc.

Paradox13VA said...

I'm in.

We tried to put something similar together at the JJ earlier this year. No love though - too much stuff going on.