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A Question

What did people think of the Prospect's convention blog? From my perspective, it was interesting to write, but it was a pretty unorthodox exercise and I couldn't get any real sense of whether it was something anyone was interested in reading. If it was innovative and successful it seems like we should think about extending that sort of model to other big political events, but if it was a failure we can stick to writing magazine articles.

July 31, 2004 | Permalink

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Comments

I actually liked it, though I didn't actually read much of it until I got home. It fit "my idea" if what that kind of convention coverage would be like from a blogger perspective.

Posted by: Atrios | Jul 31, 2004 10:33:48 AM

To put it politely, I thought that was crap.

Only kidding. It was pretty good for the first time. The print was too small and the location at TAPPED a bit hard to find at first. But I wonder about this new trend in team blogging or big media blog entities. It seems to have the potential to alter the real value of blogs ... their independence.

So is this blogger invite also happening for the Republican convention?


Posted by: Zaboo | Jul 31, 2004 10:39:49 AM

It was the best coverage of the convention I came across. The variety of perspectives on a variety of different aspects of the event was really useful, though I would have liked to have seen a lower proportion of the entries on TV coverage. And the on-the-fly quality of it worked. I would have liked to have seen more on events going on behind the scenes -- the coverage of the foreign policy event was the single best item, and more would have been welcome. (I don't recall anything on the equivalent domestic policy event.) I also appreciated the small amount of reflection on the phenomenon of blogging the convention -- not so interesting. So on the whole I think the model worked really well.

Posted by: Jeff L. | Jul 31, 2004 10:55:39 AM

I liked it too.

Posted by: fnook | Jul 31, 2004 11:15:29 AM

Loved it. I lived in Boston for a few years so it was interesting to visualize y'all as you filed your reports. The whole thing might make a good script for a documentary.

Posted by: Gabriel | Jul 31, 2004 11:27:54 AM

Four stars. The pieces looked like they were fun to write, and were fun to read. That may have been just cause y'all were having fun at the time.
Everything wasn't covered, but I wouldn't expect it to be.

I learned considerably more about who these writers were, their styles, interests, prejudices.
The brevity need not lead to carelessness. A day can be spent on an epigram.

Blogs, and the style of blogs, can change political commentary for the better. I might actually gain more useful information from O'Reilly's snark than Fineman's caution.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Jul 31, 2004 11:34:17 AM

I'm surprised that no one has pointed out yet that you are an elitist from a privileged background. You sort of asked for attacks, I guess that has a disarming effect. Or maybe Dellis was fired for being a bit too much of an idiot.

I think that one of the basic critiques of all convention coverage is that nothing much really happens at conventions. The military presence, for example, told as a lot about Kerry's electoral strategy -- though we could have guessed it anyway -- but didn't really tell us what Kerry's foreign/military policies will be, as Matt indeed did complain. But the purpose of campaigns is as often to obscure as to reveal.

So TAPPED's coverage was a s good as can be expected from saturation coverage of non-events.

Posted by: Zizka | Jul 31, 2004 11:38:21 AM

It was probably the best out there, actually.

Posted by: John Cole | Jul 31, 2004 11:45:14 AM

I liked it too, the most fun to read during the convention and I think fun is what it is mostly about. I think having lots of folks on the same blog was a good idea and for info nerds like myself just having a new post fairly frequently is about all we ask, even if we can't remember what is was about or what the previous one was about. I know, I'm pretty shallow (but I sure do read a lot of blogs). Maybe that should be (and I sure do read a lot of blogs).

Having something like that blog for other political events would be, to use my tired description, fun, especially events where the whole credential thing is not an issue (such as protests, marches in Washington, even a single fundraising event, etc.). Not sure The Prospect can devote resources like that too often, but it seems to me that "substantive" articles would most likely result in addition to the blog posts.

Posted by: abject funk | Jul 31, 2004 11:45:17 AM

It sucked ass. As a retrospective it would be interesting to read. But in real time, the ephemera was too much to digest. CSPAN was better.

Posted by: Carleton | Jul 31, 2004 11:55:51 AM

For this political junkie, your blog entries from multiple perspectives were a welcome respite from the despicable cw and group-think on tv/cable and elsewhere. And it poked around beneath the surface to gave a feel for events for those of use who couldn't be there. But it was hardly 'essential' reading and wouldn't want it to detract from more substantive reporting which you all seemed to pull off at the same time. Nicely entertaining (and sometimes enlightening) but only if you can chew gum and walk at the same time (which you apparently can).

Posted by: julian | Jul 31, 2004 12:01:42 PM

« REPORT FROM THE FRONT DAY TWO – the Vietnam Veterans against Kerry demonstration at the DNC.

July 31, 2004

NOW IS THE TIME FOR VETS TO TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT VIETNAM!

Comrades, John Kerry reopened the door of the Vietnam War by making his few months service there the centerpiece of the DEMOCRAT NATIONAL CONVENTION and his campaign, ignoring his accomplishment-free nineteen years in the Senate and his years as Lieutenant Governor under hyper liberal Michael Dukakis. His plan to fool America is working so far as illustrated by my experience two days ago:

http://pep.typepad.com

Posted by: Adrian Spidle | Jul 31, 2004 12:11:51 PM

The blogging was fine, but I just don't understand why a seperate blog existed. I mean, TAPPED is already there. It can't have focus sometimes?

Posted by: zwichenzug | Jul 31, 2004 1:03:44 PM

Like Jeff and a few others above, I thought it was the best blog coverage of the convention, and said so last Wednesday:

http://www.needlenose.com/pMachineFree2.2.1/weblog.php?id=P1505

Posted by: Swopa | Jul 31, 2004 1:31:29 PM

I agree that the print was too small and that y'all needed to locate the sub-blog more clearly! Other than that, it was a very interesting way to supplement the other modes of coverage.h

Posted by: TJ | Jul 31, 2004 1:50:16 PM

I thought it was pretty poor, you guys are much better when you maintain some distance from the events, I think. It was too much like regular journalism.

Posted by: CalDem | Jul 31, 2004 1:52:56 PM

It was alright... allowed me to get some idea of what was going on while the convention was off-network.

I was also reading the newsweek blogs and the tnr blogs for the convention, and overall there was some repetition...

Posted by: George Koch | Jul 31, 2004 2:08:14 PM

Best blog of the convention, without a doubt. Especially good for things like your chance conversation with Joe Wilson, the TAP stuff on policy summits, etc.

(Laura Rozen was top banana, too.)

Posted by: nick | Jul 31, 2004 2:19:04 PM

I agree with many above -- I found Tapped's coverage the best among the blogs I visited. Unlike Jeff above, I liked the commentaries about TV and would even argue for more of them: I can't watch everything and I want to be tuned into the conventional spin about events.

Excellent coverage. More of everything, please.

Keef

Posted by: keef | Jul 31, 2004 2:46:58 PM

Great coverage, probably the best group blog effort. The linik to the blog was not obvious enough, perhaps a permanent link at the top would work better. Blogging a convention is a work in progress. Keep doing it and it will get even better. It is such a relief to read all the different voices and I liked the commentary on the "other" news coverage. It reinforced for me the necessity for reading blogs.

Posted by: Barbara Musolf | Jul 31, 2004 3:10:47 PM

I thought the TAPped Convention blog was great - I couldn't get enough blog coverage, and TAP for me is the closest opposite to NRO, and the Convention blog was the first time where I felt TAP matched NRO shot for shot (TAPped itself, while I love it, can be slow with new items and closes at regular business hours. This internet thing is big because it's 24/7/365). If anything I wish TAPped became as chatty and fast paced as the convention blog was. Adding some more voices, across time zones, might help that. I hope TAP covers the GOP convention as well with a day-by-day blog - it may be my only hope. :)

Thanks for asking!

Posted by: weboy | Jul 31, 2004 3:14:59 PM

I happened to watch all 28 or 29 hours of CSPAN coverage of the convention and I'm suffering from convention burnout now. That personal note might affect my opinion of your coverage.

As someone noted above, I felt the coverage of the foreign policy element was the best part. The worst part of all the weblog coverage was how it all seemed to concentrate on emotional impact. My own writing on the subject did exactly that but I'm not a professional writer.

The strength of every weblog I bother to read is examination of policy. If all anyone sees is TV coverage, it is difficult to figure out an opinion on anything specific. Often, it comes down to opposing whatever the Shrub in office supports.

With the Republicans putting the nation out on a limb with their terrible policies, I find it important to support the Democratic Party. Magazines like TAP help most when they concentrate on intra-party matters. It seems to be one of the only ways to get the information needed for nuanced opinion.

I wish the convention coverage had been more along those lines but I also understand how technical issues made posting difficult. Perhaps the best possible job was done because conventions never seem to be about nuance.

Posted by: John | Jul 31, 2004 4:32:58 PM

I thought it was worthwhile. The model is great -- this kind of event lends itself to multiple reporters pulling together tidbits. However, I did get tired of some of the non-story echo-chamber coverage. Example one were the stories about what songs were used to introduce the speakers. One post about that, comparing songs for several speakers, would be OK. But that well ran dry pretty quick.

Posted by: Dave | Jul 31, 2004 5:19:01 PM

I echo Atrios and most everyone else's sentiments, I thought it was a great meta way of looking at the convention through the lenses of people on the ground and people in front of the TV.

Posted by: Greg | Jul 31, 2004 6:59:14 PM

It was useful, but I would have liked comments and a bit more diversity of attitude in the posters.

Posted by: Gene O'Grady | Jul 31, 2004 7:49:10 PM

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