Saturday, March 18, 2006

The Wisconsin Blog Summit

I'd like to thank WisPolitics/WisOpinion for their efforts in setting up today's enoyable blog summit in Waukesha. A couple of weekends ago this summit was a little bit controversial, but I think they ended up pulling off a successful event.

I am going to pass on summarizing the event, mostly because I just got back to my computer now and the summary will be anything but timely. When you have dozens of bloggers at an event and you haven't gotten your two cents in within a couple of hours, you are on the tail end of the story. I would like to say that everyone did a good job. I will pass along a couple of observations, though. First, it seemed like Ann Althouse may have been a little uncomfortable, seeing that she is a national blogger and not necessarily up on the very Badger-centric Wisconsin blogosphere. Still, her keynote speech was an interesting look at blogging.

Next, I was underwhelmed by the occasional comments from attendees who are employed by the mainstream media. One of these individuals, who I believe was Mandy Jenkins, I thought was going to make a decent point, but it seemed to descend into the usual condescension with a comment about bloggers relying on MSM reporting. The vast majority of us make no bones about the fact that we use MSM stories as seed for our commentary. The fact is that most of us have real jobs of our own and don't have 40 hours a week for original reporting. Having said that, though, I think most of us could have pointed to original reporting that we have done in our free time. We aren't saying that the role the MSM plays isn't necessary, what we are saying is that they aren't playing that role well.

My last observation will be brief. I've never seen Ed Garvey in person before, but after today it is quite clear to me the reason why he was pasted by Tommy Thompson in the 1998 Governor's race. He lacks in the "likeability" category.

It was great meeting bloggers that I had not met before as well as seeing Badger Blog Alliance bloggers again. Having an opportunity to sit down in an informal setting for a little while with them and Charlie Sykes, Jessica McBride, and Jeff Mayers was fun as well, even if I had to get going a little early. Thanks to everyone who put in their time and hard work to make this afternoon possible.

Side note: I'll be posting a few pictures on Sunday. I haven't had the chance to edit them yet.

Update: I put the photos up at the BBA.

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