Personal Democracy Forum's inaugural conference of Monday, May 24th, 2004 was held in New York City at the New School, Tishman Auditorium and featured a definitive roster of speakers and panelists.

Sessions included:
  • Money, Votes, and Community
    Moveon.org and Dean for America startled the political fundraising establishment by demonstrating that the Internet could generate significant funds. Many of the people who donated online were not the supporters of old. Somehow, new voters were activated with the new medium. This may well be the edge that strategists are looking for, but first they have to figure out how it works, what it changes and whether it makes a real difference. This panel addressed what has worked and what has not, the differences between online and traditional fundraising, whether or not dollars raised online success translate into election day success, and to what degree "community" drives donations.

  • Bloggers, Journalists and Politicians
    For better or worse, the paths of bloggers, journalists and politicians will continue to converge. Bloggers are gaining political clout. Politicians are blogging. Journalists are blogging about politicians. Bloggers are breaking the news -- in both senses of the phrase. This panel sought to examine these dynamics, looking for the positive outcomes that a realistic, far-sighted approach might uncover.

  • New Tools and Dynamics
    Outside the spotlight, away from the media, organizations are exploring ways to reconnect communities, debate important issues, mend journalism and keep politicians on the straight and narrow. These efforts include initiatives in Personal Democracy, Civic Journalism and Watchdogs, and they are finding one another -- slowly. This panel identified emerging trends, the key players, and the possibilities for a new working arrangement between established political forces and these newly evolved forms of personal democracy.

  • What's Next
    This panel examined the intersection of politics and the Net, shedding light on what works and what doesn't, discussing and questioning assumptions, and plotting a course for the remaining months of the 2004 election season.

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