But first, to the day. The Tsongas arena wasn't the perfect place for a DSC Convention, but I thought it was a damn near good place. First off, Downtown Lowell is a stunningly beautiful city, with lots to do. I wish I had more time to have taken advantage of it. The parking was cheap and plentiful, the Tsongas Arena big, beautiful with lots of room for tables and booths. It had plenty of AC to cool us all off on a hot day. The only thing it was lacking was a solid plan for handicap access, as that second link points out.
The speeches were mostly an afterthought. People were too busy meeting other Democrats at first to worry about speeches. Governor Patrick gave a decent speech, with some lines memorable enough to get everyone's attention for bits and pieces, but eventually even he lost the audience. It wasn't until the day's main event came up , the speeches of Senator Kerry and challenger O'Reilly and their supporters, that people really started to pay attention. O'Reilly's speech was fiery, but not polished. He clearly gets the frustrations many in this state have for Kerry, but not the answer. Kerry's speech was the best of the evening, but he also went twice the allotted time, due to an 'oversight.' (I'll give John Walsh the benefit of the doubt - that it was an accident - but even my suspicions were raised. Walsh did offer O'Reilly 12 more minutes, to match Kerry's 24 minute speech, but O'Reilly - thankfully - declined).
I tried to make it through all the voting, but unfortunately I had to pack up at around 2:30 to leave. I only found out later that O'Reilly made it onto ballot with slightly more than 20% of the vote, with angry Clinton supporters likely making the difference - since Kerry endorsed Obama.
I had an ulta-cool press pass (why it's cool, I do not know, but I didn't have to wait in a line to get it and it was certainly a conversation starter), but didn't know where the press room was, so I didn't the truly awesome perks... such as lunch on the state party, according to Lynne. I did embrace my inner Team Unity by buying a button for Obama. I also got to visit around a dozen activists/peers/friends from around the state - from DSC members to campaign volunteers I've worked with. That's always one of the best parts of an event like the State Convention.
In other news: the Blogger Workshop presentations are online at BlogLeft Mass, in the file section. Around 50 people came to the workshop, which I thought was a big success, so definitely feel free to use the presentations. To get them, join the BlogLeft Mass Yahoo group to get access to the files. All you need is a (free) yahoo account.
There's a general overview on blogging, as well as my "tech stuff" presentation - which includes detailed instructions on creating a free podcast, as well as various tools to make your blog even better. As time goes by, I'll improve the Tech Stuff presentation to include even more detailed instructions on how to do certain things, but for now if there's something on there anyone needs help with, just send me an email. Finally, we'll get the Netroots 101 presentation up there as well.
To get a yahoo account.
Go to yahoo.com
Press "sign in" on the right-hand side of the page.
It'll take you to the sign-in page. Below where it says sign it, it says "Don't have a Yahoo ID? Signing up is easy." Click the "Sign Up" button.
Fill out the page, then click "create account."
You'll get a confirmation email to your primary email account that you have to open up and press "Important. Click here to activate your new account."Then, to sign up to BlogLeft Mass, just click on this link and press "Join this Group." Fill out that page, then press "Join."