2008: The Year Convention Blogging Broke

google082008 2008: The Year Convention Blogging BrokeYesterday, The Wall Street Journal‘s Amy Schatz reported that Google would be setting up a "two-story, 8,000 square-foot headquarters for hundreds of bloggers descending on the Democratic convention in Denver next week, and it will offer similar services at the Republican convention in September, as new media gain influence in politics."

According to Ms. Schatz, for $100, Google will provide access to the workspace along with "food and beverages, Google-sponsored massages, smoothies and a candy buffet."

If it’s half as comfortable as it sounds, it will be a vast improvement over bloggers’ digs during the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York. Turn back the calender page to Sept. 26, 2004, when The New York Times Magazine placed Wonkette’s then-editor Ana Marie Cox on its cover with Jack Germond and the late R. W. Apple and a laptop so huge it could’ve been a briefcase.

In the accompanying article, Matthew Klam described the glamorous blogger workspace as follows:

Nine blocks north of Madison Square Garden, next door to the Emerging Artists Theater, where posters advertised ‘The Gay Naked Play’ (‘Now With More Nudity’), the bloggers were up and running. It was Republican National Convention week in New York City, and they had taken over a performance space called the Tank. A homeless guy sat at the entrance with a bag of cans at his feet, a crocheted cap on his head and his chin in his hand. To reach the Tank, you had to cross a crummy little courtyard with white plastic patio furniture and half a motorcycle strung with lights and strewn with flowers, beneath a plywood sign that said, ‘Ronald Reagan Memorial Fountain.’
The Tank was just one small room, with theater lights on the ceiling and picture windows that looked out on the parking garage across 42nd Street. Free raw carrots and radishes sat in a cardboard box on a table by the door, alongside a pile of glazed doughnuts and all the coffee you could drink. The place was crowded.

Yeah, that was rough. And no freakin’ massages.