Thursday, November 1, 2007

What a Week in the Florida Blogosphere


What a week it has been in the Florida Blogosphere! Well, if you want to start a week on Friday and end it on Thursday, that is.

This week in the Florida Blogoshpere started off in Orlando and ended up in the Wall Street Journal!

Follow me for a recap of the week that was...WOW!

On Friday, Florida Democratic Netroots activists began gathering in Orlando for the Florida Democratic Party 2007 Convention. Normally the convention in the year prior to a presidential election is all about the Democratic presidential candidates. But because of the flap over Florida's January 29th primary date, only Mike Gravel came to see us. However, the convention was far from a bust.

Included as a part of the convention was an afternoon long Netroots Conference on Saturday. This conference had a standing room audience all afternoon long. As we moved from panel to panel and as people came and went, hundreds of Florida Democrats took in some or all of the Netroots Conference.

The Conference began with a Florida Progressive Coalition blog talk radio interview with none other than one Markos Moulitsas, the founder of DailyKos. There followed the panel discussions on blogging and netroots activism. The conference proper ended up with a rousing talk from our keynote speaker, Matt Stoller of Open Left and BlogPac.

Matt was moved to say some very nice things about the Florida Blogosphere and netroots activists:

I met the most wonderful people in Florida yesterday, and though I've become immensely cynical of late, the people-powered revolution quietly sweeping through the party was clearly in evidence. ... The whole Democratic Party is actually in transition, and I was impressed with the talent I met. The Florida netroots, who are simply amazing, raved about Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink as a star and a future Governor. I spent some time chatting with state Senator Dave Aronberg and candidate Michael Calderin. Both are eminently comfortable with blogs, with Facebook,and with the open form of politics that is on the ascent.

The feeling I got was one of renewal. ... The Florida netroots is growing, and you can find a list of blogs off of the Florida Progressive Coalition blogroll. I was so impressed I joined the Florida netroots caucus with a $35 contribution.

The Netroots conference was followed by the Netroots / DFA / Progressives soiree which ended up being addressed by none other than the aforesaid Mike Gravel. But the highlight for me came when the winners of the 1st Annual Florida Netroots Awards were announced.

On Sunday, The Florida Democratic Party made the FDP Netroots Coalition an officially recognized organization within the Party. The FDP Netroots Coalition is organized like an interest group caucus within the Party. Among it's purposes:

Section 1 - It shall be the policy of this coalition, in the execution of all endeavors, to contribute to the growth and influence of the Democratic Party, to establish and maintain a Democratic online community, and to promote the party and all party candidates for Democratic leadership throughout the state and nation.

Section 2 - We further resolve to assist and encourage Florida Democrats, including clubs, county, and grassroots organizations to get online and establish a communication network and promote online participation among Democrats.

Thanks again to Phillip Perry and Mark Bubriski at the FDP and to FDP Chair Karen Thurman for reaching out to embrace the Democratic netroots activists in Florida.

On Monday, it was back to the real world of working to get Democrats elected to office. But the Florida Blogosphere was a Buzz with every one's take on the FDP Convention and the Netroots conference. Florida Netroots blog has a good roundup of the MSM press coverage of the convention.

And then today (Thursday), an amazing thing happened. The Wall Street Journal linked to this Florida Kossacks blog in a Page One story online about the influence of the blogosphere on the presidential campaign. Of course, being MSM, they got it wrong. They confused our Blog Florida Blue branding effort with the FDP Netroots Coalition. But, hey, they didn't spell my name wrong! Actually, they didn't spell my name at all. The story was mainly about the Blue Hampshire blog, an influential Democratic blog in New Hampshire.

But the Florida Blogosphere is getting noticed and we are making a difference. So let's get out there and

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