We had a Bloggers Breakfast this morning, before the start of the 2nd day of the DFA Campaign Training here in Ocean County. A very different breakfast than I expected. I thought we’d have 5 people. And we had 19.
Jeff Gardner & I played host, and some familiar names showed up. Deciminyan tells me it’s okay to out his real name – Steve Stern. Deciminyan blogs here and also at his own blog. And he explained how he took his username – one-tenth of a minyan. tabbycat31‘s here too – Caroline – for Blue Jersey and her Outspoken Liberal. And Joey Novick focuses on writing about the right-wing. And that kicked off a ferocious conversation about Tea Party followers, and what might be gained from talking to people who disagree with you, or whether it’s a complete waste of time (it isn’t).
One of the most interesting conversations was started by Clay, who is sharp and young and despises all pundits. He thinks blogging’s a complete distraction from winning elections; he doesn’t want our reliable voters (like most bloggers) talking to other reliable voters, but to persuadables. My issue with that is that blogs – unlike many party activities – are never dormant the way elections often evaporate when the last confetti hits the floor. Blogging is one way to keep a community informed, engaged and prepped for what’s next. And do research, the way people like huntsu and Thurman Hart were digging up stuff on Chris Christie and putting it in context 3 years ago. They had Chris Christie’s number before almost anybody did. Adam Gordon from Fair Share Housing Center was there too, and he talked about how Blue Jersey readers flooded key legislators’ offices with calls demanding more transparency, and how Asm Jerry Green responded to that.
We also had some regular posters at Daily Kos, and regular readers of TPM. There was a lot of talk about how to break ideas out of the echo chamber. How linking posts to facebook & Twitter, which your college roommate, your friends from the gym and the guy you work with read – and aren’t the well-informed progressive you are – gets your stuff outside the prog circle. There’s also a lot of quiet reading of right-wing blogs. Shhhh.
Several people who came this morning are so fresh to blogging that they didn’t know how to find a blog, or what to do once you find one. And that was great; we love new people and Blue Jersey will be emailing them a little info package of blogging stuff to dive into.
A couple cool ideas came out of this morning’s conversation, one a resource for activist writers that Blue Jersey might be able to make available and the other a maybe way to have Sunday Morning Bloggers Breakfast every week.I want to say thanks to everybody who came this morning and all the old hands reading this right now.