I recently attended my 5th Netroots Nation Convention. I was on staff with the convention for the first two years when it was the YearlyKos Convention, then I stepped down after Chicago and have been on the advisory board ever since. I went to Austin and Pittsburgh with no responsibilities whatsoever, which was great. This year, I was asked to coordinate the Exhibit Hall with my good friend Linda Lee so I was on staff again. Having experienced the convention from the staff and attendee perspective has been quite interesting.

Being the Volunteer Coordinator for the first 2 conventions allowed me to meet and work with some of the most talented, dedicated, professional and committed individuals I’ve ever met. But it prevented me from attending any of the panels and only part of the keynotes. Being an organizer, I enjoy making an event like this run smoothly, but being removed from the actual programs doesn’t allow a clear picture of the event as a whole. Being an attendee put me on the floor and gave me a first hand view of the convention. That means I attended panels, parties, keynotes, unofficial gatherings and yes, I even went to Markos’ Daily Kos party.

So, here we are at the 5th anniversary of the convention and I’m back in the staff room. Working behind the scenes gets me places most attendees can’t access. Like backstage after the keynote speeches, and sitting at the table in front of the stage. But it prevents me from participating in the panels or the Screening Series and I’m often too exhausted to go to the unofficial events. Although I always find the energy to humiliate myself at the Pub Quiz, (“We’re #10!”), and the AAM has sponsored some very fun events so I did take the time to continue my personal humiliation at the bowling lanes. But it is strange when Nancy Pelosi is answering questions 2 rooms away from me and I’m watching her on the live stream in the staff office. I got up close and personal with Ed Schultz and Al Franken but I missed the panel on Warming up the Cold Call which would have been helpful in my campaign work and I missed the Screening Series completely even though I’m on the Advisory Board for that as well.

So next year we’ll be in Minneapolis and my question is should I go as a worker or a player? What would you choose?

This is my first diary for Planet POV and I’m very happy to be here.

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Alternate. One year work, next participate as attendee. Unless you – like me – decides that it’s not being done as well/efficiently as you decide it should be, at which point you then step back up to the plate and give up the chair. (I’ve been a volunteer coordinator for many an event – it’s challenging, but fun, too. I think the “roll up your sleeves” coordinators can ask for – and then get more – from the volunteers than the “radio contact only” ones. I’m sure you are a sleeve roller……..)

Nice to meet you, and welcome to the Planet. Lucky you – meeting AdLib, who sometimes blogs for God. And you thought Ed Schultz and Al Franken were somethin’……………..


Trouble on the horizon. I hope this isn’t Internet 2.0
As a tired telecom technician I have been on the inside of the system. Now I’m on the outside. This is the start of the era of the toll keepers.



This is a top priority for anyone who wants to protect the only remaining venue that citizens have to communicate and organize nationally. If we are left with an internet that is a mirror of the MSM, democracy will have a hard time ever replacing the strengthening corporate plutocracy.

Google is apparently denying that they have made a pact with Verizon to create different tiers, build walls and require additional tolls for using the internet (over and above your ISP costs).


Let me add another hearty welcome to the Planet, TakeInaPlay! I’m so glad you introduced yourself. Would you consider writing a bit more about your experiences over the last 5 years of NN? I have a bunch of questions; and please feel free not to answer them if you’d rather not! 😀

How did you originally come to be involved on the ground floor of organizing the Yearly Kos? What goes into organizing and getting something like this off the ground? How many hours of preparation? How are decisions made as to whom to invite as speakers?
What were your impressions of Ed Schultz and Al Franken (and any other notables you’ve been in contact with)? What would you say was the mood of the speakers/attendees this year?

Okay. I’ll stop bombarding you now! Let’s just say we’d like to hear more from you!

As for Minneapolis and what to do there: that’s a tough call. Any positions in which you can work up to opening day and then shift into “audience member” mode? Didn’t think so… That would be ideal…




Hey, j’avaz!! Your camping trip sounds amazing. I hope you’re taking lotsa pictures.

And, hey, b’ito! Where are you?


Welcome to the Planet!

The thing that always gets me, is that we know what the problems are, but we don’t have an answer.

I am so tired.

That does not mean that I’ll sit out on voting.

I know that you will disagree with me, as will most others, but there really is no difference between the Dems and Reps.

Yes, I know that you hate me for saying that, but they are all crooks as my beloved departed mother used to say, and she was a child from Hitler’s Germany.

You have to be me, when it comes to that.

My father was an illegal from Canada, and he came over illegally from Canada when he was 10 years old, and it’s a long story, but I cherish it.

My father served in WWII and even got a purple heart, silver medal and other awards for bravery under fire.

He had a bullet wound in his arm.
But like that generation, he never talked about it.

It f+cked him up when it came to us kids, and I can understand it all now that I am older.

IMHO, there really is no difference between the DEMs and REPs, as they are the best politicians that money can buy.


Hey javaz, nice to see you and the camping trip sounds like it was fantastic.

As you know, I strongly disagree with your POV on this. Would those 8 years have been the same if Gore had been President instead of Bush?

Sharron Angle and Rand Paul are identical to Al Franken and Nancy Pelosi?

I’m sure you wouldn’t generalize about any race, religion, gender, nationality, or any other profession, so doing so about this one would be just as mistaken.

I know how frustrated you are with what’s going on in our politics but the truth is that we have many principled Dems in Congress, the problem is that we don’t have filibuster proof majorities of them in the Senate.

There are huge differences. Consider the country under Bill Clinton and a Dem Congress. Then Bush and a GOP Congress. Then Obama and a Dem Congress. The differences are stark.


I get that, AdLib, I really do.

I can’t verbalize correctly what it is I’m trying to say.

Yes, I always vote Dem, except for one time when it came to the governor’s race in AZ and then both my husband and I voted for Symington and then he was forced to resign!

I’m a believer in that corporations rule and lobbyists are buying our politicians left and right.

There are exceptions – Franken and Grayson stand out in my mind at the moment.

I love Obama so do not get me wrong.

I get the differences in the parties so when I say that Dems and Reps are different sides of the same coin, it has to do with the corporate control.

Does my believing that corporations rule the world make me a conspiracy person?

I truly believe that corporations are running the show – G-8 and what are we up to now? G-20?

When world leaders gather and decide how the world is to be run?

And here’s another thing that I believe and hell, I don’t know what I’m talking about half the time –

But the right has people fired up about Socialism and Marxism and reverse racism.

Meanwhile, the left has us fired up about “fearing” the hate groups and their talk about a race war, civil war and whatever.

Do you ever think that we will ever unite again as we did for a short time after 9-11?

Somehow, imho, we as Americans need to UNITE and stop the insanity.

This is all a game for the corporate masters and corporate media – somehow WE THE PEOPLE must find common ground to fight what is really going on.

Am I wrong about that?


A warm welcome to The Planet, TakeInAPlay!

Must’ve seen you with out knowing it was you, I was bowling as well and it wasn’t that big of a place!

Very cool and thanks for all your wonderful work to help make NN a bigger success, year after year. This was my first NN and it was great, so much going on and tried to keep up with all the great seminars and speakers (Franken, Pelosi and Warren were my favorites).

As for whether to attend as a staff member or an attendee, as cool as it is to attend the panels in full, it does sound quite a bit cooler to be behind the scenes.

Amazing how NN/Yearly Kos has grown over the years…and no tea bags were harmed in the making of this movement!