Tales of the Sausage Factory

Last MAP Innovation '08 Panel Wed. Jun 25.

A shameless plug for my employer, Media Access Project (MAP).

As I have written before, MAP has decided to hold a series of events to try to get folks in Silicon Valley to care about Washington policy. Now, we are going to bring some of that back to D.C. On June 25 (this Wed.), MAP will have the last of its Innovation ’08 panels right here in Washington D.C. We have been fortunate enough to get representatives from both the Obama campaign and the McCAin campaign to come and chat about “what we learned while outside Washington — hint, they don’t think we understand their issues.” While fora around the candidates and their surrogates certainly abound here in D.C. at the moment, I feel confident that our unique MAP perspective will make this a grilling policy dialog and discussion to remember.

And, for those who want to understand what makes these MAP fora critically kick ass, you can get video of the first Innovation ’08 forum on DVD from MAP’s website

Details on Wednesday, Jun 25 10 a.m. event at the D.C. Office Dickstein, Shapiro below . . . .

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Tales of the Sausage Factory

MAP Brings DC To The Valley

Time for a shameless plug for my employer, the Media Access Project (MAP).

As long-time readers know, one of my frequent complaints is why don’t folks whose lives depend on the rules made in DC bestir themselves and get active on the policy front. All it takes is a web browser and a docket number, after all. Why don’t we see more Silicon Valley folks, VCs, and others show up at FCC proceedings.

Answer, they live as much in their own isolated bubbles as the DC folks do. If you are out in Silicon Valley, odds are good you rarely think of DC as having any relevance to your life and there is not going to be anyone or anything around you to tell you otherwise.

Well rejoice, lucky Silicon Valley people (and whoever else wants to make the trip out)! Media Access Project is sponsoring a series of policy forums (fora?) in Silicon Valley, wherein we will bring the D.C. policy world to you. And, lest you think this is some sort of socialist cult-like retreat wherein we will brainwash you with our public interest ways, we are working with big corporate partners like AT&T and eBay to assemble panels that present a wide variety of views. The primary purpose here is to get folks actually thinking about policy and why it is important for everyone to participate in the process. Think of it as a kind of “Rock the Vote” for Silicon Valley.

In any event, details below.

Stay tuned . . . .

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Tales of the Sausage Factory

Is Obama v. Clinton Really Style v. Substance? Or Is the Internet Changing Another Facet of Campaigning?

Unsurprisingly, Clinton has sought to portray Obama as mostly oratory style rather than substance. Whereas Obama may give uplifting speeches, she tells crowds, she is the one with the command of the facts and the true knowledge of policy. Clinton backs this up by giving well researched specifics and detailed policy recommendations in her stump speeches and in her debate appearances.

Also unsurprisingly, the herd beasts of punditryland in their never ending quest for simplistic themes that nicely boil down to “X v. Y” arguments have gobbled this up with a spoon. We hear constantly either about how Obama will need to show he has the same command of the facts, or how voters are more in the mood for change than for experience, and on and on and on.

I will humbly suggest, however, that what Obama has done is to match his message to the medium. He has put the details on his website for folks interested in specific issues. But when speaking in the context of a mass medium (huge rally, television appearance), he makes his broader campaign appeal.

Other candidates have done this in the past. But I believe we have now hit a sufficient critical mass on the wider availability and greater use of the Internet as a tool to become an effective campaign strategy. This relates back to my earlier observations on the interplay between the internet and the traditional mass media. I would love to see some actual empirical research on the subject. But my speculations based on what I know now below. . .

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Tales of the Sausage Factory

Tales of the Sausage Factory: FCC on Wireless–Mostly Snooze But Some Stuff I Can Use

Lost in all the hoopla last week on the Multicast Must Carry Vote (which I can explain in a future column) was the FCC’s Broadband Wireless Report. It’s conclusion – Wireless Broadband Is Good. Policy recommendations: Stay the Course.

Well, it’s a _bit_ more than that, but not much. See below….

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