Another thing that was covered last night (again, chiefly by Matt and Ross), was the history of political blogging. Ross pointed out out that when blogging really got started around 1999-2001, it was mostly reactionary in nature in that it was right-wingers reacting to what they considered to be a dominant liberal media. The irony of that was that this coincided with a time period in which the Bush administration was receiving extremely favorable press, and liberals quickly reacted.
Another thing that was noted was that liberals were much quicker to embrace blogs as a tool of political organization, and the Daily Kos was mentioned. Ross seemed to be upset that conservatives still had not caught up to liberals in this regard.
One of the overall recurring themes, although it was never stated outright, was the reactive nature of blogs. Mainly, this was touched in the question/argument over whether blogs will replace the traditional MSM, and the prevailing opinion was that no, they would not. More than likely, they would consume each other, as we are seeing now. As an anecdote, Ross mentioned what the Atlantic crew was doing. Essentially, they built their blog operation around Sullivan and his traffic, and the idea was that the best supplement to the long-form writing at the Atlantic was blogs.
This is a recurring theme that seems to play out in almost every discussion of blogging. While there is, no doubt, a great deal of original reporting on blogs, much of what blogs do is simply react to what is reported in traditional media. I don’t suspect that will change much, and we see it every day. If you go to memeorandum, most of what you see is people reacting to the news of the day. there is a great deal of pushback, there are attempts to correct the narrative of the day, and there are attempts to push the stories that bloggers agree with throughout the news cycle.
At any rate, I will try to get a link up to a digital version of the presentation as soon as there is one available. From my perspective, it really was the Ross and Matt show, as they addressed the issues I found interesting. Terence really seemed out of place, as he was more of a traditional reporter who recently made the leap to theRoot.com, Phillip was more of a professional campaign worker, and Abbi basically discussed how she covered blogging on the news, which seemed sort of meta to me.