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We are young. As a movement and as a people we are young, and one of the most striking things I found at this year's Netroots Nation is how very young the crowd is compared with YearlyKos in Chicago in 2007, when I last attended.

It's a bittersweet finding as I edge on into what we can euphemistically call “middle aged”. The sweet part is the energy and the determination, which gives me hope that my golden years (still a bit off, but looming) will not be spent begging and scrounging to get by but rather maybe watching from a porch swing as the dog romps in the yard.

For a movement to live it must have a strong inflow of new members. Sitting at a computer, it's hard to tell who my fellow bloggers are. But here in San Jose it's clear that some of them are still in school. High school. Or, maybe just out of college. And they aren't just attending because they want to get together with other writers. Many of them are here for their jobs in various progressive organizations. They're here for business, to learn the tools of the trade, like how to look good on TV or how to make effective film or video.

And clearly, they've come here to make this their life's work because they are just starting out. They are young.

(Pictures below the fold.)

I noticed just how young when Robyn Swirling belted out a perfect rendition of Pat Benatar's “Love Is a Battlefield” for karaoke night.

Roman Collins and Kris Colen at NN13

(Via sabijoy on Instagram)

We are young
Heartache to heartache we stand
No promises, no demands
Love is a battlefield
We are strong
No one can tell us we're wrong
Searchin' our hearts for so long
Both of us knowing
Love is a battlefield
I looked around at a crowd in their twenties and thirties. These people aren't going away. They're just arriving.

Now, I'm looking around my table, where we have Roman Collins of MovetoAmend and Kris Colen of

Roman Collins and Kris Colen at NN13

Someone from Wolf PAC came over to talk about Citizens United.

Where are the big media companies? I think they're missing the boat. But new media is here.

Sam Sedar of Ring of Fire Radio at NN13

(Courtesy of Sam Sedar at Ring of Fire Radio)

Alex Lawson of at NN13

(Courtesy of Alex Lawson at

Where's MSNBC? I don't see you on radio row. Come on folks, there are plenty of people here from DC and NY. And, it's not like San Jose's a tiny, little cow town. Last count, it had almost a million people. There's food. There's water. There's air. There are even hotels.

And, there's a company that wants to replace the New York Times as the place to go for headlines.

Victoria Fine, Kaye Toal and Adam Mordecai of Upworthy at NN13

(Victoria Fine, Adam Mordecai and Kaye Toal [not in that order] for Upworthy.)

standing room only crowd for Upworthy at NN13

And their session was packed.

Media is a battlefield. So is politics. But no one can tell us we're wrong!

Originally posted to Liberal Thinking on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 03:40 PM PDT.

Also republished by Youth Kos 2.0.


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