My blogger friends and I, sequestered in the press room and fattened up with brownies, cookies, and an endless supply of caffeinated drinks, are finding it frighteningly hard to, um, blog this conference.
One power blogger I’ve been sitting next to said the only thing missing is alcohol, which would further subdue us and separate us from the stone-cold sober throngs of billionaires three floors above us.
Some journalists and bloggers had access to the morning plenary that featured Bill Clinton, Bono, Al Gore, and others, but the seating for the press is roped off to the side. (When I stepped outside to get some air I finally saw my first celebrity — Bill Clinton. Been there, done that.)
The problem isn’t just access, though that’s a part of it. It’s more that those of us used to actually engaging with other attendees and getting down to brass tacks on the issues aren’t quite sure what to do with ourselves.
“This isn’t an easily bloggable conference,” the power-blogger said to me. She meant that she couldn’t figure out what to write about. We’re hearing a lot about really impressive people who have started new poverty alleviation programs, who are trying to stop global warming, or are bringing clean water to Africa.
These are all admirable things, of course. But the conference feels more like the equivalent of the home page of a large nonprofit (and kind of like the home page of CGI). There’s a ton of optimism, beautiful pictures, and requests for money. But, for those who couldn’t pony up a few thousand bucks to be actual attendees, no community.
P.S. I was just reminded of Obama’s whole “change doesn’t happen from the top down, it happens from the bottom up!” cry. It’s an obvious statement for many of us, but it clashes jarringly with the CGI.