Awesome trip to Washington D.C. Saturday I had the amazing opportunity to attend Right Online! The conference was fantastic. The location was great (my first visit to D.C.– pics coming later in the week!). My second Americans for Prosperity conference (I attended Right Online and Defending the American Dream in 2013) this conference was just as exciting as the 2013 conference and offered some improvement from two years ago (hey– just the receptions and meals alone made conference budgeting easier for activists like me!). What more can I say?! Here are my breakdowns on the breakout sessions!
Net Neutrality: Not Yo’ Momma’s Internet FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai spoke about the ins and outs of Obama’s Net Neutrality push. In reality, there is nothing neutral about Net Neutrailty. Title II, a monopoly breaking rule, should not have been implemented to harness the Internet. Net Neutrality is all about control and though internet regulation may be touted by proponents as a fairness policy, it will lead to more taxes for Internet providers and a higher bill for the industry’s consumers. What does it mean for activists? Potentially, Net Neutrality may reign in the First Amendment. Pai urged opponents of Net Neutrality to contact the FCC Commissioners and voice opinions to Senate and Congress. Make leadership listen by making your voice heard!
Messaging to Millenials As panelists explained, Millenials want freedom and the right to choose. They tend to have a libertarian philosophy. It is important to reach them on a personal basis. Need a crowd? Recruit the younger demographic with an event with…you guessed it…pizza or sushi. It may be easy to attract youth with food, but don’t just expect them to do the grunt work– they want some fun and to be acknowledged as a member of the team! Give them responsibility and a share in the success. Working with Millenials should be a relationship not hierarchy!
Create Your Own Prosperity: Living on a Blog This panel featuring Chris Lillik of Keystone Report, Ed Morrissey of Hot Air and Ted Slater of a patriot ad group Amd taught attendees all about getting ads started. I found Lillik’s message to resonate with me as a state-wide political blogger, but the entire panel provided great information on how to get into the ad-selling business. From Ad Sense to direct ads, there is a lot to learn. The panelists also stressed the importance of a good email list– and the overlooked idea of selling ads that are included in emails.
Battling the Media: What would Breitbart do? As a Breitbart-inspired citizen journalist, this session was a must-attend for me. I grabbed a second row seat and prepared for live-tweeting the session. I’m inspired by James O’Keefe and others who have become the powerful new media that shapes our nation’s future. O’Keefe was a big hit in the Archives conference room which had standing room only. The crowd erupted with laughter after O’Keefe presented pictures of U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu’s campaign staffer Kirstin as she raced away from O’Keefe and his camera. Capturing the look on Kirstin’s face was worth far more than the proverbial thousand words. The second panelist was Sonnie Johnson who challenged the group to engage her community– African Americans. We have an excellent opportunity to show what we believe, she said. Ferguson and Baltimore should have taught us this! Why are African Americans rioting? Aside from the agitators, it is because they are fed up with Democrat policies which have forced them into poverty. “What are three words you will never hear from a politician?” Johnson asked, “The answer is ‘I love you,'” Johnson continued. Johnson stole the show, though it wasn’t easy after a rowsing presentation by O’Keefe. Brandon Darby concluded the panel with a tribute to Andrew Breitbart. “Without Andrew, my reputation would be gone,” Darby explained. Breitbart gave him a mission to defend those that the liberal media sought to destroy. This panel was probably the most inspiring and most awesome of all the breakout sessions. D.C. radio show host Larry O’Connor was a very good moderator and also shared his perspective on the ever-fearless Breitbart!
Self-Promotion is Self-Preservation With Jon Gabriel and John Brogidan unable to speak at the session, Ben Howe stepped in to speak about self promotion, adding humor to the panel. Guy Benson, another panelist, explained the self-promotion techniques behind Obama’s victory in 2008. How to self-promote: Become human. Make it fun. Don’t be afraid to ask for donations and help. Promote yourself, but don’t brag. How NOT to “promote” on social media:’No “Comment if this is important”. No requests for “Likes”. Don’t brag. Ignore the notorious Twitter eggs. Don’t be full of yourself. Take critism with grace.
Monetizing Your Blog The last breakout session I attended was on making money by blogging. A second group featuring Breitbart folks weighed in on new media approaches to making money. Again, I found that folks who ran regional/statewide blogs shared the information that resonated with me. Ali Akibar of Blogger Bash moderated the Q & A session featuring Jim Hoft (Gateway Pundit who was later awarded the Breitbart blogger award Saturday evening) and Robert McCain (The Other McCain) whom I frequently run into on Twitter. Javier Manjarres a Florida state-wide blogger and Jon Fleischman of Flash Report who covers California politics were two other panelists. Fleischman, was not originally scheduled to speak but was a great addition to the panel.
Enjoy this post? Please subscribe to my blog. You can also comment below or email me at politicalfireball[@]live.com What are my take-aways? Loved the conference and I hope to implement the new ideas and techniques I learned about monetizing blogging. While I don’t want to be chained to a blog, so to speak the online presence may not only open up doors for advertising, but prove to be a great source for other work as well, from consulting to email implementation. Later in the week I will share pictures of the awesome places I visited along the trip!