My Rootscamp 2008

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Rootscamp 2008, DC 007

I was technically at Rootscamp because of my interest in political campaigning so I registered as being part of Brooklyn for Barack but media came up a lot and I had as many conversations about media, web 2.0 and Global Voices as I did about the campaign trail. I was generally pleased to find that the dress code was very casual, which only surprised me because the event took place in DC.

Rootscamp 2008, DC 011

As un-conferences go, there were elements here that reminded me of Open Translation 2007 (organized by the creators of the genre, Aspiration tech). Like the agenda setting process. Both (un-)conferences featured spontaneous, on the spot agenda setting which considerably toned down the potential for top down stuffiness.

But Rootscamp's agenda setting and Rootscamp generally were much less collaborative and collective than Open Translation 2007. Open Translation 2007 did a much better job ice breaking and discouraging the banding together of people who already knew each other. OTT used inane quantities of alcohol to accomplish that goal and though Rootscamp offered mimosas at breakfast on day one, its evening party was ridiculously tame ... One of the pluses of the OTT approach is of course the bonding but it's also more emotionally taxing.

Rootscamp 2008, DC 013

Tracy Russo, formerly of the Edwards campaign offered an online organizing session that turned out to be a hit and had to be repeated the next day. Among other interesting points, she expressed skepticism with the notion of blogging under one's own name on behalf of a campaign or organization. Specifically, campaign or organization blogging have to by definition be vetted and thus unspontaneous.

Rootscamp 2008, DC 017

I learned tons throughout the conference but one session held by two women from Mobileactive.org on cell phone organizing and fundraising stood out. The ladies of mobileactive.org (Katrin Verclas and Catherine
Geanuracos, pictured above) talked about the high response rate on text organizing whether it be for GOTV or for fundraising. An astonishing 46% response rate was discussed which is much higher than the email response rate.

Rootscamp 2008, DC 028

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The Nightshift Chronicler said...

will there be a second date for you, Chelsea and Matt?

Katrin Verclas said...

Thanks for the plug, Alice! It was great to meet you. And for those interested in mobile strategy for their campaigns, our company is at http://www.calderstrategies.com. MobileActive.org is the nonprofit!

Thanks again, and stay in touch - our office is on W 27th St :-)