Two political conferences are being held concurrently this week in Las Vegas: the progressive Netroots Nation and the conservative RightOnline.
Netroots Nation, a left leaning conference of new media mavens, is organizing an aggressive web offensive designed to get 2008 voters engaged for 2010. The conference will include social gatherings and networking events, as well as training sessions and grassroots outreach programs.
Already concluded training sessions include "Blogging a Red State Blue" and “Creating Social Communities Around Politics and Film.” Some of Netroot’s speakers include Sen. Al Franken, assistant to the president for intergovernmental relations and rublic liaison Valerie Jarrett, Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter and Pennsylvania Senate candidate Joe Sestak.
The Democratic Governors Association (DGA) has planned to put members on the floor of the conference to reach out to liberal bloggers. They launched the website www.fighttheright2010.com, which is sleek and well designed. Its intention is clearly to fire up Democrats whose enthusiasm has been lackluster thus far.
RightOnline, whose website is frankly underwhelming, is having its third annual conference in the same city—a direct confrontation to Netroots. Their website is not discrete about their intentions: “RightOnline will confront the radical leftwing Netroots Nation Convention head-on in Las Vegas.”
RightOnline has its own successes to tout, this past year having birthed the Tea Party movement. Conservative activists online can take much of the credit for transforming an offhand comment from Rick Santelli and a general sense of dissatisfaction in the nation and assembling them into a nationwide political force with which 18 percent of Americans self identify.
Some of RightOnline’s speakers include Judge Andrew Napolitano, Rep. Mike Pence (R), Rep. Michele Bachmann (R), Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund and RedState.com founder Erick Erickson.
RightOnline’s conferences include Tools for Blogging and Podcasting, Facebook and Youtube 101s, and messaging on issues like the death tax and global warming. The citizen journalist conference is a must attend for anyone planning on taking their Flipcam to town halls this summer.
Noah Rothman is the online editor at C&E. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org