Friday, July 18, 2008

Live Blog from AFP-Texas Defending the American Dream Summit

9:00 AM - Opening panel

David Ali
David Almacy
Rob Bluey
Matt Sheffield

About 60 folks are crammed into the San Antonio Room at the Renaissance Hotel in north Austin listening to a panel of geeks talk about the use of the net to promote our conservative agenda.

Here in this slide we see Barnie, the first dog, running around with a camera attached to his head. (Oh what Nixon would have done with that...)

That was in the early days.

They've (the Whitehouse geeks) now graduated to RSS feeds & iTunes and more relevant subject matter. It's now all about platform and content sharing.

Now published on Twitter / Twitterfeed by a private individual.

The future is video.

Now David Almacy, VP of Digital Strategies, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide is talking about an early use of Youtube to connect constituents directly with their Representatives in Congress. He told about how a member of Congress got a question sent to him via Youtube and responded directly back to the constituent via Youtube. provides a platform for you to build your on slate of candidates which you can promote and give money to. It de-localizes support. Allows you to support candidates that believe like you do no matter where you, or they live.

David is talking about how John Cornyn's "Big John" video which was shown at the RPT 2008 State Convention and now is on YouTube getting many more 1000s of views than it did at the Convention.

David has moved on the talking about how Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams is in 11 social networks online. No one is inspiring the youth and yet 70% want to be entrepreneurs Michael is hosting two camps teaching kids about how to create energy related video games. Why the Internet? "There is only one of me and I can't be everywhere...We are in a brand new day and we need to learn to communicate..." - Michael Williamson

Now we're in Q&A

Check out

A participant asked for the panel to knock the assertion that people who are plugged into the Internet and producing content are not willing to knock on doors, give to candidates, or even vote. Members of the panel basically responded that candidates cannot afford to ignore the net resources.

That's a wrap and it is now 10:00 AM.

Heritage Foundation Online Research Training (Invitation Only)

I decided to crash the Heritage Foundation training for at least a little while. It's now 10:20 AM.

So far about 9 people have introduced themselves as being from the Austin American Statesman. I feel a little out of place. The balance of the room is made up of people of various other stripes, including Don Zimmerman, our Anti-tax Collector Assessor candidate for Travis County.

I think I'll listen some now and leave the blog for a while.

11:20 AM - Going a bit slow as the instructor teaches the students (remember there are 9 AAS reporters/etc in the room) the most basic Excel spreadsheet instructions...a real snoozer for an Excel literate engineer like me.... I wonder what I'm missing from the AFP-Texas Activists and Organization tracks?

1:00 PM Sessions

I decided to try the Activist track. Matt Sheffield is the speaker.

In the intro, Matt talks about how he and others exposed (took down) Dan Rather using the net. An activist starts off by saying "somebody ought to..." That's the beginning of activism but it is important to know what it is you are trying to do. Everybody wants to do their own thing. The left work together. They collaborate. We need to do the same.

Be original. "Those who report the story control the debate."

Be original. Original...

...Analysis (roundups / link dumps)

Reporters are basically lazy and want easy stories, so send them stuff. May want to leave some holes in the story. Also, look for holes to plug in reporters' stories and plug the holes if you have the missing information.

Must be accurate in your reporting.

70% of online users watch viral (spreads like a virus) video.

Write/post to for as many blogs as you can. Use wikipedia and link to your blog / website (adopt-a-page).


You want to be able to fit your activism into your lifestyle rather than vice versa.

To increase traffic, cross-post to the big bloggers. Post original, reasoned, accurate reports. Team up with other people.

That's a wrap for the first lecture of this session. Sorry about the spotty's 2:10 PM.

It's now 3:20 PM. I took a little diversion into some Formosa Association for Public Affairs "business" as I sat in on the last part of the application of the Heritage Foundation training session that involved a case study that utilized the Excel training I has boohooed this morning. The students were doing a case study and were reporting the results in groups. The data indicated that the Mayor of the city of the case study was extremely dishonest in her reporting of the compensation of city employees. The AAS guy behind me who was the spokesman for his group of reporters was gleeful in his reporting of the mayor's extreme favoritism of the "whitie" employees in the case study.

Now we are learning how to navigate That's where, among thousands of other pieces of information you can see just how much money George Soros (and other 527s) is throwing in support of the far left. There you can also find who the Top Revolving Door Members are and the Top Congressional Travelers.....etc.

I think I've gotten all I can out of the Heritage Foundation "training" and in the processed have missed much of the other AFP-Texas Summit sessions of interest to me. It's 4:10 PM.

I shifted over to the Organizational track's session called "Total Reputation Management: Protecting Your Online Identity". The speaker William Beutler is with New Media Strategies. He has been talking about Wikipedia and the wiki entry he created for his company, how to get your organizational's name to appear high in a Google search, how to get your blog listed on aggregate blogs like
, how to use RSS feeds, and the importance of taking ownership of your name on the Internet.

And that is the end of today's Live blog. It's now 5:00 PM.

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