For those of you that blog on a regular basis attending a seminar on blogs and using video probably is of little use.  But for activists attending this weekend’s Defending the American Dream Summit in Washington D.C. these semeinars and others like it are essential to train the base so that they can fight the left that has so effectively used the web to promote their variuos causes.

This morning I attended a “Blogging 101” course given by Robert Bluey, the Director of the Center for Media & Public Policy at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.  Bluey who at the age of 29 is a veteran in the blogging world is extremely knowledgeable and showed the audience how to start a blog, post an entry, add a picture or YouTube video and answered a host of questions.   I even picked a up a few things during the session as he used blogivists as the place to start a blog.  It was the first time I had seen this blog site which runs on a WordPress platform so it is very easy to use but geared to free marketeers.  Also since I have only started using WordPress recently I hadn’t looked into posting pictures and video and now I know how.  So watch out!

The second session was on using video and was taught by Mary Katherine Ham who is also another young veteran blogger and has worked for many conservative organizations in D.C.  She is currently with the Weekly Standard and appears regularly to discuss web related news and events on the O’Reilly Factor.

Her topic was how to use video and it was another useful lesson especially coming directly after Bluey’s beginner blog presentation.  Ham showed some of her favorite videos and talked a little about what type of equipment she uses and the length of the perfect video, somewhere between 30 seconds to two minutes.  If you look at most YouTube videos they rarely run more than three minutes and are often much shorter.  For the video audience they have to be.  The attention span of a YouTube user is very short so you have to hook them right away otherwise they will move on.  Producing the video by adding music or other graphics can really add to the video but it also increases the time spent editing the footage.  It can take anywhere from one to three hours or even more to get the video just right.  And yet the quality of YouTube videos is quite low so unless you are planning to use the video somewhere else it probably isn’t worth spending hours on to create a two or three minute version.

So today was all about training and these sessions and more were sponsored by the Leadership Institute in Arlington< VA.  Other training sessions included a Samsphere hosted by the Sam Adams Alliance which tends to be very techy but good amd some other training by the Lucy Burns Institute.

Tonight their is a dinner tribute ro Ronald Reagan and tomorrow we will hear from all sorts of conservative luminaries as well as panel sessions concerning Energy, Taxes and New Media to mention a few.

For more information on the summit visit the  Americans For Prosperity web site or follow the conference on twitter at #afp08.