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May 25, 2009

Netroots Nation 2009 - NN09 - here in Pittsburgh August 13-16, 2009

Netroots Nation 2009 (NN09, for the cognoscenti) will be meeting here in Pittsburgh, August 13-16, 2009, as mentioned in this press release.

(Politics is not my beat, but this is Pittsburgh1 Geek2 & Web3 politics, so...)

This is the fourth annual edition of this event, originally called the YearlyKos Convention, and rebranded as Netroots Nation in 2007.
Netroots Nation 2009 will include panels led by national and international experts; identity, issue and regional caucuses; prominent political, issue and policy-oriented speakers; a progressive film screening series; and the most concentrated gathering of progressive bloggers to date.

Netroots Nation is committed to fostering a legacy of environmental stewardship. We believe we have a responsibility to not only green our event, but to use our gathering to educate others about sustainability issues. Netroots Nation 2009 will be held at the first and largest certified “green” convention center in the world (Gold LEED certified) and will incorporate green practices such as minimizing waste and donating leftover food to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible.

NN09Here's a NY Times article about NN08 and the struggle for the soul of the Democratic Party between the DLC and the Netroots. Heady stuff. (Also: a list of Wordpress blogs about Netroots Nation 2008.)

Accept for discussion, if you will, the notion that the introduction of a large mass of activist web-grokking Progressives (Progressives 2.0 ?) from beyond the 30-mile circle is likely to produce some impact on the local political scene. For instance, this article talks about the remarkable fundraising impact of out-of-town Netroots conventioneers affecting a Congressional election.

Questions include:
  • Netroots Nation is a direct challenge to the hegemony of legacy political machines. What's the impact of celebrating Netroots Nation and disintermediation in the middle of a 1950's machine city?
  • Who are the Pittsburgh Netroots?
  • What is the impact of NN09-Pittsburgh on Arlen Specter's future?
  • What's the impact of NN09-Pittsburgh on Dok Harris's Indy run for Mayor? On Kevin Acklin's Indy run for Mayor? (kudos!)
  • Is Braddocc (sic) Mayor John Fetterman the local politico who charms them and leaps to a higher stage? (Colbert, Carbon Caps, etc)
  • Where do we expect to see protests and vigils during their visit?
    • If Pittsburgh is Eds and Meds, where is the focus likely to go?
    • UPMC, the non-profit that makes million$?
    • Software Engineering Institute?
    • CMU's National Robotics Engineering Center?
    • hybrid Labor/Eco-Brownfield event at the Homestead Strike site?
    • where else?
    • Does a web-based movement even do physical demonstrations?
  • Is the Convention Center and the downtown WiFi capable of supporting 2000 bloggers?
  • Was it the solar water heater at the fire station that cinched the deal?


kentropic said...

Thanks for the post. This event won't make the cultural/media splash of a Super Bowl or a Stanley Cup, but its potential to raise the city's profile in positive, long-lasting ways FAR exceeds the sports extravaganzas.

Bram Reichbaum said...

Downtown WiFi is barely capable of supporting my left...

I halfway fear the wired and progressive legions are going to descend upon us like beings from a distant galaxy, engage in a little surreptitious anthropology when it suits them, and zip on out of here. On the plus side, some person just brought to me the idea of organizing the bloggers at Netroots to return to Pittsburgh for the G20 on an extravagant, international and philanthropically subsidized blogger Welcome Wagon operation. Could be nice.

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