John Edwards Meets the Bloggers by stevegarfield, uploaded from flickr.
Going into this meet the bloggers event I was wondering how I'd get a chance to talk to John Edwards about video blogging when he was only scheduled for 15 minutes with us and there were 20 bloggers in the curtained off area.
I'd wanted to have him try my Nokia N93 and talk to him about how holding the camera yourself and shooting video can make videos more personal.
After the first blogger asked one question with two follow ups, I knew that I was in trouble. No one was in charge of the meeting beyond bringing John in and telling him when to leave.
I understand how these things need to be tightly scheduled, but came away disappointed.
Maybe the John Edwards campaign can work with local blogger representatives to make this a better experience at future events.
5 Reasons Why the John Edwards Blogger Meeting Was a Disappointment and How It Can be Better
1. 15 minutes.
I guess it's ironic that bloggers only get 15 minutes of fame. Ha ha. I'd ask for more time, but only if these sessions get more organized. Who is in charge of these 15 minutes? John Edwards? Campaign handlers? Local bloggers? If I was running this session I'd make it clear that we had limited time, cut off long winded questions, and move things along so as many people could talk to the candidate that wanted to.
2. One question per person.
You might think that what you have to ask is the most important thing in the world, but it's common courtesy to think about the bigger picture and realize that you can's really ask a long and involved question, get an answer, and then ask a follow up. This selfishness limited the questioners to maybe 4 or 5.
3. Let's talk about blogging
If you are in a bloggers meeting, lets talk about blogging. One blogger did ask about the importance of new media. He gets it. Other bloggers who asked about health care and the war in Iraq do not get it. Edwards will be answering those questions all day long. Let's use our time to talk about something different. it doesn't have to be about blogging, but at least ask something that doesn't get you a standard stump speech reply.
4. Lights. Camera. Action.
It'd be nice if the meeting could take place in a well lit area with available power.
The lighting was too dark for me to shoot anything other than poorly lit grainy footage, and there was no place for me to plug on my light kit. So even if I had time to shoot some video with Senator Edwards, it would have been poor, unless we moved over to a better lit area. I would have done that if there was time.
5. I Didn't Get to turn John Edwards into a fleeting moment Vlogger
I know that John Edwards has embraced video blogging and podcasting. By putting up the first video of this official campaign on YouTube shows that he gets it. By having Blogs and vlogs with RSS 2.0 with enclosures on his site proves that he and his staff understand the power of new media.
What I wanted him to experience, was the power of holding the camera and sharing his personal feelings. The connection that's made when recording a video while holding the camera yourself is different than standing up and talking to a camera that's sitting on a tripod. It also opens up the idea that you can always have a camera with you in your pocket, and record a fleeting moment and share that.
I posted links to all the videos over on John Edwards blog.