September 6, 2008

RNC2008: The Final Post

I should finally get around to the final RNC2008 post.

City:
St Paul is one of the neatest cities I've been too. Outside of the oddly gridded, yet not gridded, street layout there's not much to not like. Especially the architecture. A number of the bigger buildings appear to be from the 1920s or 1930s...

The curving gridded layout leads to some epic sights on the horizon, especially the view up towards the State Capital and the St Paul Cathedral.

People:

"Minnesota Nice" is absolutely 100% true. The people of Minnesota were hyper nice and always willing to help out with questions.

Without a doubt, the Texas and Alaska delegations were the friendliest... and always willing to BS. Hard to explain... but it seems like everyone I had long conversations with were from those two states. Odd.

The protesters really disappointed me. Not because I didn't get to see their antics... I saw some... but I resented riding a bus from the hotel with a police officer on board and then driving into a double-gated convention compound. Quite seriously, the 10 block area around the Xcel Energy Center was a fortress, with limited access in or out. Because of the hippie gates.

Conservatives protests and protestors are always a lot classier and, with all seriousness, are non threatening. Leftists always want to cause trouble.

Setup:

Big red marks to the RNC for the way the bloggers were treated. The bloggers I talked to were, for the most part, self funded travelling on their own and reporting on their own.

Blogging from the center was not easy.

Unless you were one of the elite top shelf bloggers, you got to sit in "behind" the stage. Not great. Seating was totally within their control... there were allegedly 200 of us there. That's a couple rows ... in the center... hell, up high is fine. No matter where we sat, there was still the question of power. You can't run a laptop for the four to six hours from your seat, so you need to plug in somewhere.

There was no wi-fi at the center, so you were on your own for internet access... (crucial to a blogger)

See also here.

I ended up camping out at a concession stand's cafe area, hogging a table (though sharing with other bloggers / journalists) and it's two plug outlet. It was about 10 yards from my blogging area over to the top of the section, so I could snap pictures and watch speeches and run back to my computer. There were some TVs in the cafe showing the networks, as well as the live feed and the audio was pretty decent.

Oh... and the biggest complaint? Where's the master list of bloggers blogging the convention? I still don't know who was there? I met some bloggers at some of the events around town... but was that all of them? Were all 200 there?

But meeting a bunch of bloggers I've been reading for a long time was definitely a big highlight for me.

Overall:

Despite those complaints, I still had a good time. But it was awful lot of work... my heels are still recovering from the blisters that I broke on the first day walking around and looking for protesters in the city.

St. Paul is a great place and I look forward to visiting again.

Will I go back in four years? That's an eternity in the blogosphere (though I have been blogging since 2002, I think).... maybe as a delegate. ;)

Thank you all for reading and kind words of encouragement.

RNC2008 Posted by AlexC at September 6, 2008 10:30 PM

I LOVED it Alex. As others have already graciously noted, you added a flavor and insight to this convention that many of us would not have had otherwise. We can't thank you enough for "swimming upstream" as it were to get blog content out from a less than ideal setup. (Think of this: How much better might blogging provisions be 4 years from now!)

Well done, and thank you.

Posted by: johngalt at September 7, 2008 11:01 AM

And, and, and: ac made Instapundit for his reviews of blogging inadequacies.

Posted by: jk at September 7, 2008 2:34 PM

holy crap! i didn't even notice that!

Posted by: AlexC at September 7, 2008 8:48 PM

Yup, you're an internationally famous whiner! Your wife must be proud.

Posted by: jk at September 8, 2008 11:06 AM | What do you think? [4]