Digesting the Teach In, part I

Cross-posted at Daily Kos.

The Digital Democracy Teach-In yesterday was fabulous, and I want to give props to everyone involved. But… the talking heads on the panels on showed a weakness in the tech community.

Those who assembled the panels invited people they knew. (I don’t blame them, I’ve done the same.) The “advocacy as application” panel included tech activists (plus this token right-winger, with not much to say for himself). There are hundreds of issue advocacy organizations using the Internet as a tool for grassroots organizing and lobbying. In fact, these organizations know a lot about organizing that the geeks present do not. Where were they?

And I saw a huge gaping hole there on the “political blogging” panel without marKos there. Daily Kos did get a mention, I think from Cam Barrett. but I spoke to folks present who had no idea about dKos.

It sounds like another teach-in like this might happen next year. I hope the star of online politics doesn’t fade along with Dean’s campaign. Let’s all help to make sure Tim O’Reilly hears (respectfully) from those of us really using the tools for social and political change.

All in all, a wonderful event… but let’s do it even better next time.

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