Empowering the Blogarazzi

I mentioned last Sunday that the talented guys programming the new Spirit of America web site, Donovan Janus and Rhesa Rozendaal, have a web service called Exposure Manager, and that I was encouraging them to create a set of tools for bloggers. Well, you never know where a conversation with smart programmers might lead. In this case, it turned out to be Election Photos ’04 (EP04), built during an extreme programming conversation that ran well into Monday morning.

Here’s the description at the EP04 web site:

PHOTOBLOGGING ELECTION 2004: DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION
Leveling the playing field for grassroots convention reporting
– Free image storage and blog services for convention bloggers –

About ElectionPhotos04
Blogging this year’s political conventions may be the most exciting news about those staged events. Imagine the stories we might witness!

We launched ElectionPhotos04 to make it easier for convention bloggers to do some of the things that professional journalists’ companies do for them: index and archive images and retrieve then quickly for publication. Over the next few days the functionality of this site will be expanded to include searching by keyword. If you are attending the convention and you would like to apply for a free account, drop us a line at blogger@electionphotos04.com.

• 1 Gig of space for your convention images
• Easy single or batch upload to your personal gallery: web/ftp/email [phonecam]
• Easy-copy html strings to insert images in your blog (200 or 400 pixels)
• Keywords and descriptions for searching
• Who, What, Why, When, Where & How metadata tagging

Plus optional participation in the BigPub Photo Pool (offer your images to “the media” for $100 one-time use)

Your free account will remain live through Election Day 2004.

“I Got the Details, Chief!”

That last bullet point refers to one of EP04’s nifty features: convenient tagging with the classic “5 W’s & H” journalistic metadata. In addition to typing a description of each photo and keywords, the rushed photoblogger can click on a few check boxes to easily answer the questions the editor wants answered, like:

WHO

WHAT

WHERE

WHEN

WHY

HOW

Never Metadata I Didn’t Like…

EP04 needs some help from convention-savvy folks. The above categories are off the top of our heads and need to be improved and expanded upon. Who else should be listed? What Whats are missing? Where are the other wheres, etc. If you have a suggestion to enrich the convention bloggers’ metadata check boxes, please send an email to metadata@electionphotos04.com.

In reviewing this site in alpha, Dave Winer suggested that the bloggers will be busy and that there should be a way that the blogger’s reader’s can help classify images. While not in this version, I trust that each blogger will designate associates to login and add this info. We’re all fact-checking each other’s ass here in the blogosphere, so we might as well do something useful while we’re at it.

Start Spreadin’ the News…

The folks at EP04 are attempting to contact all known bloggers, but please contact anyone you know who wants to use the free service, asking them to get their login here. Convention bloggers not on the list should apply using this form.

Heh.
I see that Glenn Reynolds has already blogged EP04. He’s already big Exposure Manager user.
And we all know he’s a big fan of Democratic Conventions!

As a co-designer, I know for a fact that EP04 is not a bait and switch deal, and that there’s no adware or other drek, just a tasteful link to the host, Exposure Manager.

The Blogification of CNN

I went to Micah Sifry‘s booksigning party last night, introducing his and Nancy Watzman’s terrific Is That a Politician in Your Pocket? (Washington on $2 million a Day). It was held at a great spot in Hastings-on-Hudson with a pretentious name: 19 Main Street. Understatement is good…

As most of us know by now, Micah is Dave Sifry‘s older brother, and Dave is the guiding genius behind Technorati. I was pleased to meet their mom last night, ’cause Mrs. Sifry didn’t raise no dummies. As I left, Micah whispered excitedly, “You can’t say anything yet, but Dave and Mary Hodder will be on CNN from the convention floor, describing the blogosphere’s take on the convention.”

Like, maybe somebody on the train would know what that phrase means? Sheesh, by the time I got home, There’s an email from Dave announcing the quite thrilling news, and within minutes, it’s all over the blogosphere. This morning, even the CNN site has the announcement. This somehow relates to the EP04 project: We can collectively build and apply tools between free and cheap, and put a lot more brainpower behind our talking heads than the networks can put behind theirs.

Micah reflects this morning:

Or maybe we’re at the beginning of a new synthesis? Top-down capital-intensive broadcast journalism (thesis) meets the bottom-up people-intensive blogosphere (anti-thesis), resulting in a new hybrid form. Not MSNBC, where the merger between old (NBC) and new (Microsoft) was solely at the corporate, not creative, level. There are lots of valid reasons to worry that here, too, capital will triumph. Except that now we don’t have to be passive consumers of news anymore…

Cheap printing and Deep Conversation, Redux

One of my favorite themes is that our nation was borne out of the Age of Enlightenment, which itself was the result of technology-based discussions: prosperity initiated by the moldboard plough, inexpensive printing presses and the introduction of coffeehouses into Europe.

And here it comes again. technology has enabled new voices and their amplification. As Jay Rosen and others have said so well, the dialogue on conventions in the press is about as useful as the dialogue about governance at the Sun King‘s court. With technology, we’re creating new modes and forums, and Micah is as insightful as usual: It’s fascinating that major networks might nurture this cute little furry species called blogging.


Footnote

Here are the known convention bloggers, who have been listed at Election Photos ’04. DNCC bloggers can set up their free account by emailing EP04 here.

Jerome Armstrong:
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Atrios:
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Dave Barry:
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Tom Burka:
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Natasha C.:
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Erik Cornelius:
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Michael Feldman:
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Taegan Goddard:
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Matthew Gross:
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Rick Heller:
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Aldon Hynes:
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Gordon Joseloff:
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Kirk W. Johnson:
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Byron LaMasters:
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Allen Larson:
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Joshua Micah Marshall:
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Paul McCullum:
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Jeralyn Merritt:
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Karl-Thomas Musselman:
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Alan Nelson:
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OxBlog:
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Nathan Paxton:
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Dave Pell:
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Christopher Rabb:
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Cate Read:
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Brian Reich:
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Greg Rodriguez:
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Jay Rosen:
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Joe Rospars:
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Peter Rukavina:
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Bill Scher:
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Eric Schnure:
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Kabir Sehgal:
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Matt Stoller:
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Jesse Taylor:
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Zephyr Teachout:
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Alison Teal:
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Zoe VanderWolk:
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Dave Weinberger:
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Matt Welch:
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Jessamyn Charity West:
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Dave Winer:
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Wonkette:
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Stephen Yellin:
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Markos Moulitas Zuniga:
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5:07:41 PM    comment [commentCounter (309)]

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