TwitNotes from #PDF09

Over 1,000 people earlier this week descended upon the Lincoln Center's Rose Hall in the Time Warner building in Midtown Manhattan for the annual Personal Democracy Forum. A who's who in the fields of government, technology, and media, the conference focused on how technology and the Internet can create a stronger democracy.

Below are some of my notes - taken on Twitter, of course - from the two day conference:


Mark McKinnon (McCain 2008): "Democratization means campaigns are losing control."

Joe Rospars (Obama 2008): Our new media component was linked to a traditional campaign component. I hired journalists to leave all their careers and lead their media team.

Andrew Rasiej: When Huffington Post gets one question at a press conference the entire internet world goes "oh my god they finally acknowledged us."

Rasiej: Public should be redefined as being searchable and readable on-line. In a connected society we need to redefine "public" in an open framework. We have a right to be re-defined in the content in the technologies we have today.

Rospars: Lawyers telling staff you can post YouTube videos is a battle that's played out across administration.

Rasiej: "'Public' should be re-defined as being searchable and readable online.

Rasiej: "We do have Big Brother now. Big brother now is us."

Rospars: The big risk is that people think new media and technology is a replacement for the traditional stuff. The best is when we combine the two.

Via Skype, New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg called into the conference:

He invited all the out-of-towners to move to NYC. He always welcomes more tax payers!

311 now has a Twitter account and a Skype account: NYC311

Google has agreed to provide NYC with data for the city services people are most searching for

Ning Co-Founder and CEO Gina Bianchini delivered five steps to being successful in social media:

1. Define your purpose. Sweeping impact with specific action is ideal.
2. Make your purpose immediately obvious.
3. Invest time upfront to kick it off right. It will be worth it.
4. Have a plan for growing commitment. Following alone won't create a movement.
5. Listen and iterate rapidly based on what you learn.

danah boyd (during her absolutely brilliant presentation. Read it here.):

It's our responsibility to work to prevent second class citizenship online.

Moving from MySpace to Facebook was a "modern incarnation of white flight. MySpace has become the ghetto of the digital landscape."

"Most likely you learned how to use twitter because people around you were using twitter."

"These aren't socially networking sites. These are where people reinforce their social network, they don't meet anyone new."

In the PDF auditorium, everyone is on Facebook. Two people were on MySpace. Yet, in "real world," each social networking site has an equal amount of people.

Early adopters in Facebook were Ivy bound. This set the tone for the site.

Jeff Jarvis: "We must give government permission to fail." (There was weak applause).

Jarvis: "Do what we do best and link to the rest."

Simon Rosenberg and Morley Winograd discuss the changing demographics in America:

Bush outspent Gore 10 to 1 trying to get the Spanish vote. This is why he won the election.

Gen X (born 1965 - 81) spent an average of 14 minutes per day with their parents.

Mellennials (born 1982 - 2003) - both parents are invested in the raising of their kids.

Election stat alert: By 2020 1 in 3 adults will be millennials

Values drive the use of technology, not the other way around.

Picture of Rachel Sklar moderating her Twitter panel here.

David All: "There is going to be another Macaca moment on Twitter and I am going to catch it."

All does not use the term "'new media,' because how much longer will it be new?"

IAVA Founder Paul Rieckhoff held a press conference today. Watch my interview with him (about NING and his major announcement) here. There are 1.8 Million Iraq and Afghanistan vets right now in America.


Craig Newmark: Nerd + Wonk = Nonk

Macon Phillips (White House director of New Media): Participation and collaboration are important to what the White House is doing now.

Note: out of the entire auditorium about two people raised their hands who admitted to being Republicans.

Randi Zuckerberg (Director of Marketing Development at Facebook) says history of Facebook roll out internationally was not linked to colleges and thus has produced a different relationship with users.

Facebook expedited the implementation of Farsi on the site. Many of the comments coming out of Iran are in Farsi.

Alec Ross (Senior Adviser for Innovation in the Office of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton):

"I look at the system, I am pessimistic. I look at the people, I am optimistic."

"Up till now diplomacy has been white guys with white shirts and red ties talking to each other." Now everyone who lives in society now has the power to be a Paul Revere (by using Twitter). Everyone one with a cell phone has a Gutenberg's printing press and a platform."

He who has access to information often has access to power and decision-making.

Todd Herman (RNC Director of New Media): Conservatives didn't use the tools available to them during the election, but that's changing.

Herman also displayed during his presentation a great social media flower chart

Dan Froomkin (formally of the Washington Post): "Not offending people is not a business model."

Sklar noted on her Twitter: Blogs are holding media accountable like they've never been held accountable before.

Frank Rich (New York Times) quotes:

"No one thought we would pay for TV. Well we do."

"The message is more important than the medium"

There is no example of an old media being replaced by a new media. There are examples of how media has failed though.

Rasiej on the millennial generation: "Not knowing what is happening right now is worse than death."

I just interviewed former Presidential Candidate Mike Gravel (watch here). When the interview concluded, we spoke about Obama and health care. He offered this advice that he learned as a "maverick" in the Senate: When you use all your political capital, you always get more.

"Truth Squad" can be used as a verb.

Ana Marie Cox said she heard from a "very good inside source at the White House" that they pay attention to Twitter

What makes bloggers unique is their nerve

When the mainstream media dies, who is going to do the big we can link to them? (from the blogging panel)

The best Blog aggregator for politics: Memeorandum

Dr. Mark Drapeau wins the best account for tweeting during PDF. Check it out: @cheeky_geeky

Cox during the "does blogs still matter?" panel delivered the best line of the conference: "I feel about anonymous blogging the way I feel bout anonymous sex: if it's good, how do you know who to go back to for more?"

If I missed anything or if there are some good blog posts / other notes, please leave them below!

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