Monday, July 21, 2008

A Tale of Two Conferences

The NetRoots Nation Conference—formerly known as Yearly Kos—took place last weekend in Austin, TX. Started three years ago by Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas, the conference has quickly become the most impressive gathering of progressive bloggers, politicos, and activists in the country. Whether you came to rub elbows with Wesley Clark, learn about new advances in online activism, network with fellow bloggers, or sing protest songs, the conference offered a little something for everyone.

This year, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered the keynote address, but with the help of a surprise guest: former vice-president Al Gore. The two discussed, among other issues, the pressing need to address climate change and implement sustainable energy solutions:

Meanwhile, not far away, another conference was taking place in Austin: the RightOnline Conference. Founded by the Americans for Prosperity as the conservative answer to NetRoots Nation, this year’s conference attracted over 500 bloggers, activists, and politicians to discuss the latest Internet trends and tools—and how conservatives can harness these to their advantage.

The video below, posted by rgratcliffe, takes us inside both conferences, and shows that while the online momentum may be with progressives this year, conservatives are taking heed—and getting mobilized.


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