David All will be “blogging, vlogging, tweeting … and phlogging” up a storm in St. Paul.
The 29-year-old Republican consultant from D.C., who calls his eponymous company “the nation’s first conservative web 2.0 agency,” is one of nearly 200 bloggers who, for the first time in large numbers, have been given press credentials to cover the Republican National Convention.
He plans to cover — what else? — the phenomenon of blogging and how it plays out among GOPers. That breaks down to a series of questions, All recently blogged, including:
• How are the Convention staff handling the bloggers?
• Is our space better than that of the MSM outlets?
• What does the Google Lounge look and feel like?
• How expensive is the Internet connection?
• Do Republicans still think that the Internet is just a series of tubes?
“We’ll spend the week there, armed with our Macs, our iPhones, our video cameras and our cameras,” All said. “And we’re looking forward to helping shine a light on how technology is playing a larger role in the Republican convention. It’s probably not an issue that will be covered that well.”
Oh, and he wouldn’t mind linking in to Meghan McCain, whose photo-heavy, comma-lite blog is on his daily reads. “She’s one of our favorites,” All said, “and not just because she’s good-looking, but because she’s done a good job.”
(The 2007 college grad, whose father called himself a computer “illiterate,” even made time on the busy campaign trail to chronicle her June 12 registration as a Republican.)
A new deal
Although they are vastly outnumbered by the 15,000 members of the media expected to cover the RNC, the inaugural presence of credentialed bloggers will shape the conventions, said social-network expert Albert Maruggi of St. Paul, a senior fellow for the Society for New Communications Research who served as press secretary of the RNC in 1988.
In general, expect quirkier, more candid coverage from RNC bloggers.
“There may be unique ideas that catch the eye of bloggers, and they’ll start spinning these ideas as only the speed of the web can do,” Maruggi said. “Bloggers may cover things going on outside the convention better.”
Maruggi expects bloggers like All to “pick up on that whole user-generated abundance of information,” which “may be something that the mainstream media doesn’t cover.”
They may be prone to pick up “nicks” in convention planning, too — although Maruggi says it’s a pretty finely tuned orchestration.
Bloggers may add a little shelf life to a speaker’s 15 minutes of fame, so often reduced to five-second sound bites. “Specific moments will be revealed during these four-day conventions, and then go away, because we go back to headlines, and the blogging community may allow readers to savor those moments longer,” Maruggi said.
Bloggers are unrestrained from the worries of word counts and time limits, which can lead to a deluge of political facts and personal musings.
“QUES #DNC08: What defines ‘coverage overkill’ from a twitter/utterz viewpoint? And do we care?” tweeted D.C.-based techie Jill Foster, who is mobile-blogging the DNC and the RNC.
Bloggers are also free of editors, which David All appreciates. “I do not consider myself a journalist,” he said. “I consider myself a blogger, in the sense that I don’t answer to anyone else and I don’t have to write. But it always gives me an opportunity if I have something to say, I can say it. And that’s what I think is really important.”
“This whole notion of blogging is democracy at its best, and potentially at its most confusing,” Maruggi said. “Everybody has a point of view, and you certainly don’t have to be qualified to have an opinion.”