The Edwards campaign invited Scoble to travel with them around the country to formerly announce his run for the presidency. Political bloggers played a huge role in the 2004 presidential election. John Edwards has decided to reach out to tech bloggers like Robert who are perhaps less critical than hardened political writers.
I met with Robert and fellow Microsoft blogger Alfred Thompson backstage in the press section at the "town meeting". There was an area set up for bloggers and press people. There were at least 30 TV cameras from national and local press, and probably 10 videobloggers with hand-held cameras. My guess is there were about 10 regular text bloggers there as well.
Politics and technology don't usually mix very well, although Robert tells me that the most popular political blogs attract about 10 times more readers that the top technology blogs.
Robert is experimenting with videoblogging to see if there is an audience within the tech community for political topics. Robert is also looking at how presidential candidates use blogs and the Internet to reach the masses.
The Edwards campaign did a live webcast of the "town meeting" and will have recorded podcasts on the John Edwards web site soon. There were more than 1,200 people waiting in line to get into the small elementary school where the event was held. Only about 250 got inside due to fire regulations. Edwards went outside to address the people who couldn't get in. That is Robert in the blue shirt, back to camera, holding the video camera.
Edwards came back inside to make a speech and take questions. He also took questions from webcast viewers from around the country.
The political world has already adopted blogs as a political tool. It will be interesting to see if 2007 will be the year that political blogs cross over to the technology crowd. TechMeme already has a political version of its tracker service. In fact, it is probably more accurate to say that the political blogs took over the original Memeorandum, and a separate TechMeme was created for us technology people.
Here is a link to more photos on Flickr.