I’m mighty proud to announce that I, John Behan and UVa’s Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership are holding the first-ever Virginia political bloggers’ conference, The Summit on Blogging and Democracy in the Commonwealth.
The day-long event will be held at the Doubletree in Charlottesville, on August 27, from 9am-4pm, followed by an informal evening of dinner and conversation among all who can stick around and socialize. The agenda is absolutely packed, with presentations by Sorensen Executive Director Sean O’Brien, The McCammon Group’s Mark Rubin, and the Center for Politics’ Ken Stroupe. The thrust of the day’s talks, workshops, and discussions is the establishment of a political blogger’s code of ethics — a standard to which we will all attempt to adhere, in response to movement on the part of the Federal Election Commission to regulate blogging.
This will be a big day. Not just because there’s a lot packed into it, but because those who are in the room will take the blogosphere’s first big step towards self-regulation. Mark my words: we will be a model for the nation, and it will start at The Summit on Blogging and Democracy in the Commonwealth on August 27.
This is not just for bloggers. This is for anybody who values political blogs and participates or wants to participate in the process — those who write blogs, those who comment on blogs, those who read blogs.
John and I have talked quite a bit about the state of the Virginia blogosphere. It has grown rapidly and unevenly in the past six months, to the point where it’s divided into Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, with each side warily eyeing the other, always looking for differences, rather than remembering that there is far more that binds us together than separates us. More important, there’s a real danger that this wonderful resource will become an extension of the divisions seen, for example, in the House of Delegates, rather than a vehicle for positive change.
I’m asking you to be a part of that change. Registration takes just one minute. It costs $50, and that gets you a fine lunch and a couple of hearty snacks. If you can’t afford $50, that’s no problem — scholarships are available to anybody for whom price is an obstacle. Register now.
Come on down, meet your neighbors, be a part of something big.
We’ll see you there.