11.26.07

With Netroots Nation Coming To Austin, DMN Does An Article On Blogs

Posted in Around The State, Blogging, Commentary, Good Stuff, US Senate Race at 11:04 am by wcnews

It’s nice to see some recognition from the traditional media for blogging with Netroots Nation coming to Austin in July. Here’s the article, Texas bloggers reap the fruit of their new political clout.

The decidedly liberal Texas blogosphere, once content with its role as outsider critic, is finally putting its money where its mouse is.

Earlier this year, bloggers formed a loose coalition, the Texas Progressive Alliance, and soon began raising money for Democratic candidates through the state’s first blogger-created political action committee, TexBlog PAC.

But the biggest coup of all is the recent announcement that the daddy of all blogger meet-ups – Netroots Nation – is bringing its third annual conference to Austin.

It shows that the Texas blogosphere has arrived, members say. And they’re confident their groundbreaking activism in Texas and efforts to raise the national profiles of their favored candidates – such as Democrat Rick Noriega, who is trying to unseat GOP Sen. John Cornyn – have begun to pay off.

“What started as just a way for Democrats to vent in a Republican-controlled state has turned into a way for us to organize,” said Matt Glazer, 25, the editor in chief of the Burnt Orange Report and a director of the TexBlog PAC, which has raised more than $10,000. “We’re learning how to be more than just an echo chamber. We’re really getting out there and informing people.”

The decision of Netroots organizers to bring an estimated 2,100 bloggers to Austin was not simply a response to the hip culture and cheap hotels that are attractive to the young, not-always-gainfully-employed blogger set.

Organizers said they also chose Austin to highlight races such as the Cornyn-Noriega contest and as a nod to the increasingly vibrant progressive blogosphere in this notable red state.

It was, in fact, the recognition of a new era in Texas politics: the metamorphosis of online commentators from a sea of disorganized, anti-establishment voices raging to each other into a cohesive community that could affect elections in a real way.

“Texas is pretty amazing when it comes to people getting organized and trying to create the change they want,” said Gina Cooper, executive director of Netroots Nation 2008, formerly known as the YearlyKos convention. “It reflects a bigger trend, but they also seem a little ahead of the curve.”

Rick Noriega’s race will be a center piece of the convention next year. While the GOP is trying to make inroads into the blogosphere it’s doubtful they’ll ever have the same presence as Democrats and Progressives do because they already have so much with the likes of Fox News and talk radio. The “wing-nuts” don’t need to read blogs. There’s much more in the article including quotes from Karl-Thomas Musselman and Charlie from Pink Dome.

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