Michael Markman, a longtime reader of this site, writes: "It looks like the bloggers at the convention have very little to say except, 'Look! we're blogging at the convention. I just got credentials." I respond: It's just the second day, and the first convention. Of course the first comments are going to be It works! And maybe that's all there is to it. We'll find out. You can't hurry love. - Dave Winer, Scripting News
Dave Winer was interviewed this morning on National Public Radio about being at the Democratic National Convention as one of the bloggers with credentials. I was excited to get in and read what he had to say about Clinton's speech last night. There are many things we see eye-to-eye on and some we do not. Winer has been quite critical of Clinton on his Scripting.com weblog. I was curious to hear what the experience of someone like Winer would be while seeing someone reputed to have such a powerful presence would be.
So I saved the reading until I had a bit of time at lunch. I read up and down and there is no comment on the blog about the speech. Nary a word about what President Carter said either. Bummer.
I've been thinking a lot lately about the "are bloggers journalists" question that goes around. The short answer is that most bloggers are not journalists. Most bloggers are story tellers who occasionally tell stories of news. I'm a die-hard blog reader and there are many fantastic blogs that provide a great deal of insight into situations. The problem I see with the DNC bloggers is they are trying to out report the big media. Winer has interviews with some of the less prominent figures that one wouldn't see on NBC's coverage tonight... but one could see them on one of the cable channels that is devoting more time to the convention.
What most good bloggers are good at is sharing what the experience is like at a more personal, less professional level. What would benefit the American public is a view of what the convention is like from the inside. What is it like to be a delegate, not a big-name politician's five minutes in the lime light, but what goes on.
In a previous post, which made NPR, Winer says "it's boring". No surprise there. Most big events are a lot of boredom and a little excitement. What we've come to expect from bloggers is a better explanation of why it's boring. What is the experience like for Jane Doe, a Delegate from a small county in Wyoming, who is attending the convention? Does it inspire her? Put her off? Most often bloggers are great at telling about things they have a personal relationship with. Most great blogging connects people at this level. Otherwise it's just another wire service feed from a slightly different angle.