OC-Tech: Reflection on the conference (morning)

<p>Hats off to Rich and Liat and all the other [lk:oc-tech.org|Organizers Collaborative] folks. This was a really good conference and super affordable (the key IMHO). WE have a hard enough time convincing organizations to spend money on tech, let alone hundreds of dollars on sending staff to tech conferences.</p> <p>[l:http://micah.sifry.com/|Micah Sifry]'s key note address was interesting. As i mentioned in my earlier entry on the subject, I am not sure that I learned anything new–I am an avid reader of [lk:personaldemocracy.com|PDF] and many of the issues he addressed have been addressed there–but it is always helpful to hear someone bring it all together in one presentation (by bring it all together I mean talk about the democratization of the media, the effect of blogs and the internet on mainstream media and politics etc…) For folks who found Micah's keynote to be really interesting and new and revelatory for them, I suggest subscribing to the RSS over at [lk:personaldemocracy.com|PDF].</p> <p>The first session I attended was the weakest one. The folks were very interesting, but there were too many on the panel and the discussion, or presentations rather, were not focused enough on the topic of "Grassroots Technology and the Emerging Progressive Movement". Bob Fertig of [l:http://www.democrats.com|Democrats.com] was the bright spot for me on this panel. I have heard and spoken with Jo Lee from [lk:citizenSpeak.org] so that was nothing new. But Bob talked not about any one specific technology, he talked about how the democrats need to get their act together in order to start winning some elections. And the number one thing that he listed was getting data systems and data sharing systems in order. Bob hit the nail on the head. There are WAY to many dispatate databases out there and no good feedback loop in place that allows for the collections and integration of new data (acquired during a campaign) in a meaningful way.</p> <p>"If the democrats had the email for 65% of the 69 million kerry voters we would win" Exactly. Some audience members raised some very serious and important privacy concerns about there being one big huge database that traacked an individuals political activism and voting record<br /> (want to make clear it would be a self identified votering record, not a record of secret ballots cast)</p> <p>These are really technical and perhaps legal issues that can all, in my opinion be worked out.</p> <p>You can see my comments from the moment over [gh:node/104|here]</p>