Friday, August 14, 2009

(VIDEOS) Netroots Nation Day 2: Dean, Specter, Sestak... Oh My!

It's 11:15pm on Friday night. I'm running on 5 hours of sleep since Wednesday (only 1.5 of which was last night). We are filming all day, and editing all night. On Friday morning, we released 11 short videos covering day 1. Today, we have another stack of videos for you covering day 2, plus some more videos from day 1. We filmed a health care town hall with Governor Howard Dean, a Pennsylvania Leadership Forum with Senator Arlen Specter and Congressman Joe Sestak, a media availability with the Congressman, and four more panels. It was another busy day.

One of the panels that I filmed on Friday was "Organizing in Second Life and Other Virtual Environments." I was not exactly sure what to expect, but I had become intrigued with Netroots Nation in Second Life or NNinSL. Before we decided to apply for press credentials for NN'09, I had planned on attending some of the events in Second Life.

Anyways, I show up to find that more than half the panel is joining us in Second Life, and they'll be feeding from my camera, live at the Second Life Netroots Nation stadium. The panel, turned out to be very exciting. One point that really drove home with me was this, the more communication the better. Blogging has rapidly expanded our ability to communicate, and most notably in politics, to hold politicians and news organization accountable. What Second Life does, is provides us with that same ability to communicate, only your voice is there, and you have an image. And while your image may not be real, it is that association of voice, image, thoughts and ideas, that drive each moment deeper into your memory.

The panel left me convinced to start up a Second Life account just as soon as we return from Pittsburgh. We'll also be providing you with coverage of this panel shortly (but not today).

Thursday, August 13, 2009

(VIDEO) Netroots Nation in Pittsburgh, Day 1

6:50pm - I finally found a minute to sit down and type up some thoughts on my first trip to Netroots Nation. We are close to done with day 1 of filming. We filmed 8 panels, interviewed a handful panelists, and are prepping to film President Bill Clinton's keynote address. Below, you will find a play list of day 1 coverage, including interviews with Greg Dworking (DemFromCT), Nate Silver, Congresswoman Donna Edwards, Monique Hoeflinger, and Michael Wilson:

7:56pm - I'm sitting on the press rise, getting ready for President Clinton's speech. This is a big moment for me, as President Clinton inspired me at an early age and sparked my interest in politics. As I got older, and watched the Bush administration reek havoc on our nation, I studied the Clinton administration (which I was too young to fully comprehend during his two terms). This is the first time I have ever seen him give a speech in person. The crowd has filled the room, it's time for me to check my gear one more time. As I look out over a crowd of bloggers and blog enthusiasts, fellow kossacks, I can only feel pride.

8:30pm - Judd Legum, from ThinkProgress just took the stage.

8:37pm - Debra Bowen just too the stage. #socialvoter

9:20pm - I am an activist by nature, not a reporter. So you can imagine the odd feeling I have as I sit in the only section of the hall that no one claps in. No nodding heads, no chanting, no applause. Surrounding us on all sides, are lefty bloggers who take no measures to restrain their... Oh crap, Markos just walked right by me. I was ready to leap off the high rise.

Check back at all weekend for Netroots Nation coverage.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

(VIDEO+PICS) Dedication of a Memorial Garden in Honor of Dr. George Tiller 8/08/2009

We were excited to receive the email, roughly a week ago. One of our viewers had seen our coverage of a vigil in honor of Dr. George Tiller on June 1st, 2009. She asked us to come out and film the dedication of a memorial garden in honor of the late Dr. On Saturday, August 8th 2009, a Sum of Change News and Blog Team made the trip to one of the local clinics where the dedication would be held.

The crowd was a close nit group of clinic workers, abortion clinic escorts, pro-choice activists, and a couple elected officials, including Congressman Jim Moran (who, I should add, thanked me for being a clinic escort the second we met, it was much appreciated Congressman). They choose to dedicate a garden to symbolize the continuation of life and the planting of new roots. The vigil we attended in June was a moment to grieve and commit themselves anew to the fight for women's rights, this more recent event was a chance to find closure to their mourning.

We hope you enjoyed the video, below you will find a lot of pictures (click on a picture to enlarge). Check in at Sum of Change for more coverage, and don't miss our coverage of Netroots Nation in Pittsburgh August 13th-16th!