Tuesday, November 13, 2007

"Gate-crashing" Markos to write for Newsweek

Via Huffington Post

Score one for the Netroots! Newsweek has just announced that Markos Moulitsas, namesake and founder of the Daily Kos website, will be a contributor for the mag's 2008 election coverage.
I wish I could think of something to say, but I seem to have sprained some sort of irony-related muscle.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Washington Post Op-ed by Markos and Susan G

I just found out via Firedoglake that Markos and Susan G penned an op-ed for the Washington Post. They do make some good points.

But, if anyone feels so inclined, this would appear to be a good opportunity to write to the WaPo addressing the extent to which Markos speaks for the "left" or the "netroots".

The Washington Post
1150 15 St. NW
Washington, DC 20071

and by e-mail at:

Saturday, August 11, 2007

THIS is what I hate about politics...

Apparently (according to a front page post on Booman Tribune) Harold Ford is going to face off against Markos "The Great and Powerful Kos" Moulitsas on Meet the Press this Sunday. I'm guessing the idear for this match-up came about as a result of this statement made by Harold Ford on Fox News.
I would have gone to Daily Kos and told them, I think they’re wrong the way you go about practicing your politics. If you’re serious about winning the war and bringing the country together, get another message and another set of tactics…
Which tactics would those be, Harold? The ones where you cozy up to and make kissy faces with the people who will never be on your side no matter how "moderate" and reasonable you try to come across? The tactics where you buy, hook, line, and sinker, Bill O'Reilly's "spin" that Daily Kos is/are the "bad Democrats", because you think you can play that to your advantage? And that perceived advantage is so valuable to you that you can't possibly do the minimal, cursory research it would take to learn that "Daily Kos" is not as monolithic as you suggest.

Harold, do you seriously think that the way to "bring the country together" is to paint a Snidely Whiplash mustache on a segment of the Democratic party, and then celebrate that you and the Republicans now have a common foe? That's just freakin' sad.

I won't be rooting for Markos either. As far as I've been able to discern, his only core value is winning. Period. That, and I think he's an arrogant ass.

This is, of course, not the only thing I hate about politics, but it's a pretty good example of the petty pointlessness of it. And all this energy and air time is being directed toward something other than making things better for people. (Pssst! Millennium Development Goals, people!)

So I won't be watching Meet the Press. I'll be in church listening to my daughter sing with the choir. And I should probably spend some time in quiet contemplation, because I really don't know what's next. Part of me would like to tune out all of politics as Somebody Else's Problem. But I don't know that I could ever do that. A few years ago, I promised Someone that I would work to help "heal the world", and I meant it. I guess I need to connect with some other people who feel the same way, and start working together on one little part of the world that needs fixing.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

More bannings etc.

I haven't kept this blog up to date. Too busy working to "put food on my family", and doing the "save the world" stuff when I can. But in my peripheral vision, I've been aware that Blogmart is still the antithesis of what I thought I was signing on for when I started to become more politically active. But high profile individuals still frequently choose that blog as their soapbox for "netroots outreach".

Long story short, I will, to the extent that I can find the time, continue to post relevant links here.

Two Peace Activists Banned From Daily Kos by shergald
Memo to DKos: Time to End the Blogosphere's Stoning by liberalamerican
My Initial Response to Being Banned By Markos Moulitsas from Daily Kos by: Maryscott O'Connor
BREAKING: Markos Upholds Ban on MSOC by: Maryscott O'Connor
Through A Glass, Darkly by: Maryscott O'Connor

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Sunday, April 1, 2007

New link

I just found this link via Francis Holland's main blog. It's called The Truth About Kos. A number of links gathered together in one place.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The robots are not your friends

Thank you, skippy, for posting a follow up here: wizard of kos 2: bad news for booman.

well, bad news for booman: it not only hurt your traffic, it didn't help your google ranking one iota.

we wrote to bill slawski, the author of the original piece we based our post on, and of the blog seo by the sea - internet marketing and search engine optimization research and services. mr. slawski wrote back:
because of this line in the robots.txt file - "disallow: /user" - google isn't allowed to visit those diary users' blogroll pages, and index them, and follow the links upon them. in terms of ranking value for these user blogrolls, there is none, because google isn't allowed to visit those pages.

Oh, and apropos of nothing, but I keep meaning to mention this. Those snooty "what can make your blog worthy of a link from the Great and Powerful Kos" guidelines that made me not even bother asking for a link...

Get away from the default templates. Get away from Blogspot.


Heh. Guess it was okay to make an exception for atrios.blogspot.com

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Fairleft, in the land of the banned

Story posted at both Booman Tribune and My Left Wing.
Via skippy, more about why blogrolls matter

but what markos, and to a lesser extent, duncan, did was to injure liberal blogtopia (y!wctp!) as a whole in the arena of national media availability.

it was, among others, jon swift who pointed out that the conservative blogs are ironically quite liberal with their blogroll links. and, when google searching any number of stories, you may notice that more often than not there appears a higher number of conservative (vs. liberal) blogs in the search results.

now you know why. and now you know why we continue to make a fuss about the blogroll purge. it doesn't just hurt our feelings. it hurts liberal blogs' ability to be recognized in daily news searches. and techie markos would have had to have known this, if we can use the passive-aggressive voice.

Click for the rest.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

One more

...before I go to work. Can't pass this one up...

skippy writes:

try to follow this...

we don't think a second about taking a democrat to task for acting in an undemocratic way which runs against established democratic values.

but when we do it to fellow bloggers (ie take them to task for acting etc etc) then we are called "meta" and "boring" and "unproductive" etc etc etc.

as i've said elsewhere, my traffic has not suffered literally not at all at all by being dumped from dkos atrios & the others. it doesn't affect me one whit.

but it affects blogtopia and yes i coined that pharse a great deal.

no longer are we seen by ourselves and the world at large as a force with consistant goals. now it's pretty obvious we are just a bunch of people, the only common denominator is we all have computers and aren't afraid to use them.

i will take back what i said about getting dumped not affecting me. it affected me a great deal. i used to think i was part of a movement, of a great historical sea change in democracy.

then i realized kos, and to a lesser extent, duncan, didn't believe what they were saying about regular citizens taking back their governemnt.

what they wanted was regular citizens to help them force open the door so they could get a seat at the table with the government.

they have become the very thing that they previously eschewed: elitist, non-communicating pundits who can't be bothered to dialogue with ordinary americans about their policies.

we hate deborah howell and howie kurtz for the same attitudes...but somehow we're supposed to give markos, and to a lesser extent, duncan, a pass for being so elitist?

i think not.

The megablog as black hole

Another comment from the mega meta thread. This one from my husband Demetrius, who is no doubt tired of hearing about "blogroll amnesty", but who gets why it matters...

The blogroll purge is indicative of a larger phenomenon. The Big Box Blogs have accreted the kind of critical mass that allows them to be Players on the national level. And, as such, there is a vested self interest in protecting ad revenues over promoting the kind of free speech the internet has as it's raison d'etre in politics. (We wouldn't want links to some little blog that is going to be a potential embarrassment for politicians who want to come and post and pay $9000 a week for ads.) Once they get to be about maintaining acceptability to the other Players they stop being leaders in the Progressive movement.

Blogs are not a "personal thing" if they are built/promoted as a community effort. If purveyors want to run them like their own businesses (and screen content to suit their bottom line) they should pay contributors and be treated like any other MSM outlet. Yes. That *is* a fine line to walk.

DKos (for instance) has built it's critical mass on the labors of all the little diarists who have contributed. It was a community effort. But, it is clear that the larger community should not expect a fair benefit from their contribution. If they are lucky they have been able to reach an audience with their message. But, they don't share those ad revenues. They don't share the fame. They don't share in a democratic decision making process. They are just bits of "space junk" sucked into the gravity well of a massive "star". The purge was the supernova ejection and the "dense core" left behind has collapsed to the singularity of Kos' fame and fortune. We shouldn't be surprised that less and less light will escape that Black Hole.

I think shanikka "gets it"

This comment is from toward the end of the now incredibly long thread at My Left Wing. I think it's really worth reading, so I'm posting it here.

And as you know, MSOC, I try to stay out of drama, even meta drama. But I wanted you to know that this is what I just posted at DailyKOS in response to that bullshit diary that is on the recommended list likening you to a fucking wingnut:

Someone actually writes a diary directly calling out a long-term user of this site by name -- last time I checked a patent violation of known site rules (all while insisting coyly that this is not what has occurred, which is nothing less than an insult to the intelligence of anyone who reads it -- *and* links one of the strongest voices on the progressive left to "Wingnuts?"

Are you people who recommended this attack-dog claptrap high? What in the hell is wrong with some of you? Here we have a 1,000 comment recommended diary analogizing MSOC to a wingnut (to wit, the title "Wingnuts in Kossack Clothing") solely because (a) she dissed Markos; (b) she called DailyKOS centrist and (c) she did it on the John Gibson show and it is actually getting recommended, rather than its author being run out of here on a rail?

Let's be clear about where I stand before I talk about each of the beefs raised by this diary, so that people don't get confused. I am a participant at DailyKOS. I am a participant at MLW and a front pager there, although I have not written much for the past 9 months in either location. And I believe that when it comes to progressive, as opposed to party, politics, Maryscott O'Connor is one of the strongest voices writing in the blogosophere. I do not feel the same about Markos, and have made that clear long ago, even as I respect the technological idea he brought to the table to create this particular medium of communication. I also feel quite strongly negative about a developing orthodoxy of thought that I perceive as being collectively enforced at DailyKOS -- whether from order on high or simple lemming-think -- for some time. I've been clear about that, too.

And it is my observation that the bulk of it is being driven by folks -- starting with the author of this diary - that have some pretty weak-ass personal boundaries.

What is this nonsense equating what MSOC might or might say about Markos or DailyKOS -- a forum, not a person -- to an insult to "us"? (i.e. Kossacks?) There are 120,000 registered users at DailyKOS all sockpuppets aside. There is no *we*, except to hangers-on who need the fame, and prominence, and rep, and public spotlight that has resulted from the success of *other people's work*, including MSOC and Markos. Those types of assertions about the insult to the Royal We are IMO a juvenile jumping on the popularity bandwagon, a practice I thought most of us left behind in high school. This entire concept of DailyKOS as a unified single-acting single-thinking entity to which participants owe a duty, to the point where at least 100x a day I read some ego-displaced sentence along the lines of "we Kossacks think" or "we Kossacks are" is not only ludicrous, it's almost delusional.

No matter what I think about Markos, and what I think about MSOC, any personal animosity between the two of them is none of my fucking business, unless one of them *asks* me to make it my business. And it's none of yours either. Albeit for different reasons, both will still be standing and fighting their particular fight in politics long after virtually everyone here has moved on to something else. I'll say it again: This is not my beef, MSOC's issues about Markos and how he handles DailyKOS. More importantly this is not YOUR beef either. Markos is a grown-ass man and if he has something to say about, or be upset about, what MSOC does, it is on him to say it. Last time I checked, he didn't need any proxies to speak for him. Yet this type of thing has routinely occurred since the Washington Post article frontpaging MSOC last year.

And when you know that, you realize that the issue of what MSOC, a Kossack who has not only been here since virtually the beginning, but has proven her worth to both DailyKOS and the larger cause of bloggers by continuing her never-compromising progressive left voice no matter HOW much fame or attention she gets from the media or anyone else herself, is a non-issue. At least, it should be. You don't like what she has to say? Then disagree on the merits.

Membership and participation in DailyKOS does not convert the individuals who participate in it into the borg and no self-respecting liberal should want that. We don't sign a loyalty oath as a condition of participation, and yet folks have been carping since last April as if there was one where MSOC and MLW is concerned. About how she "hurt Kossacks" or "hurt us". (As if there was any "us" she was speaking about that one could identify with reasonable certainty -- one thing I will give MSOC credit for amongst many things is that she names names). What does that say about the so-called "liberal nature" of this site? I'd say, not much that is very flattering.

Since this particular "Shit on MSOC" diary was written by someone who has barely been here a NY minute where either MSOC or myself is concerned, let me break it down clearly for you, OP. Last time I checked, DailyKOS was a consortium of independent writers and individuals. It is not the borg, and all use of the term "we" and "us" to describe the more than 100,000 who are here is and has been utter bullshit since it first started being floated around here about a year ago. It is, and always has been, a collective of quite disparate voices, no matter how out of control troll hunters, troll taggers and misuse and abuse of site rules have been systematically implemented for about a year to silence voices that challenge dogma here on this site. DailyKOS is no more than the individual writers -- including some highly gifted ones -- that choose to donate their time and their ideas. Some of those writers are quite conservative as Democratic party politics go. Some are quite radical.

However, as the official purpose of the site has (now become) electing Democrats, increasingly there has been a call on DailyKOS about the need to keep up "appearances" for both the media and elected politicians has resulted in the need for centrism. Centrism in thought, centrism in rhetoric and centrism in proposed action. I do not believe that if you asked Markos the direct question he would deny that, assuming he would answer for himself (these days there is a whole chorus of folks feeling like they need to jump in and "defend" Markos who I genuinely wish would STFU -- he can speak for himself. You don't get to be a player and then claim the mantle of shrinking violet through silence. And that folks feel the need to do more than say "I hope MSOC and Markos work whatever it is out they need to work out" is evidence that some folks still get off on petty high school drama.)

There is a place for centrism in liberalism, most notably in playing active party politics, since we all know that radical thought is not something that the Democratic Party is holistically interested in. I'll say it again: there is nothing wrong with centrism and being called a centrist -- even on Fox News -- is not an insult. It's just not where people like MSOC and others like her hang their hat.
You'd think that since the site proprietor makes plain that he is not a progressive, but is in fact a libertarian who is a reformed Republican who does not hew to radical leftist thought (since that thought is possessed by folks like the radical feminist studies set and hippies, you know), folks would not find being called "centrist" an insult.

Because it's not an insult. It's the truth.

The last component -- that it was done on a Fox News show -- is the most easily dismissed. Who the fuck cares? As many diaries as have been floating around here about the demise of Fox News? You can't have it both ways: either Fox News is an important media outlet that has the capacity to reach and influence people, shill-status for the Republican Party or no, (and it is; as I noted in a diary recently, a huge percentage of Black folks watch Fox News and last time I checked they were not "wingnuts") or Fox News is dying on the vine, such that nobody should spend 45 seconds worrying about it. MSOC is entitled to the same fame as the others, and if someone invites her to speak on their show (as Gibson has done for more than a year, and each time we see sturm and drang here on DailyKOS about it) she is entitled to go for it. Folks are entitled to be unhappy about that, too. And to kvetch and complain. No problem there.

But they are not entitled to call her a "wingnut". That's just shockingly ignorant, given how little relationship it bears to the truth which would be evident to anyone who actually has bothered to read anything actually written by Maryscott O'Connor.

Finally, for those who in the comments felt entitled to discuss MSOC's mental health issues all I can say is this: someone should slap the shit out of you, the level of pettiness and deliberate personal hurtfulness such a thing displays. You don't like the woman? Fine. No requirement of that. But there are some places that so-called liberals don't get to go, and that's one of them. If you had any idea how many well-regarded folks in blogging have serious issues they are addressing with their mental health you couldn't wrap your brain around it. So don't go there anymore.

Here's a free safety tip: Considering the level of vitriol that I have seen directed at people here at DailyKOS personally that was undeserved, merely for expressing unpopular ideas or doing something politically that folks didn't like no matter what context (and I've seen it now for 2.5 years in discussions as varied as the question of voter suppression in Ohio to NARAL's decision regarding Lincoln Chafee to myriad discussions involving Black politicians and voters and implicating their intelligence) folks really need to take a good look in the hypocrisy mirror and examine what this thread really means about the so-called collective of DailyKOS and exactly how "liberal" it really is. Because the behavior sure isn't liberal. Its evocative of Free Republic at moments like this.

As usual, IMNSHO and YMMV.
Not my most coherent but me waking up at 4:45 AM and seeing that bullshit was the last straw.

I dunno, seemed pretty damn coherent to me.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

I can't believe it's not a meritocracy!

Also at My Left Wing

I while ago I suggested, half-jokingly, that I was thinking of giving up the Great Orange Megablog for Lent. That turns out to be easier said than done. And it really wouldn't serve any purpose, that I can think of. At this stage, staying away from that blog completely is only a huge inconvenience to myself--I can't imagine how long it would take to cobble together a collection of sites that would give me the same breadth of information. So instead I just don't link there. If I find a story that I just have to post about, I will find another source to which I can link. If the contributor has crossposted the diary on their own blog, I'll link there. Or I'll do a search and find another article on that same topic.

So, avoiding that blog, for me, at least, isn't easy to do. Atrios, on the other hand---pffft! That one has never been on my list of daily visits. No real sacrifice not to go there, but there's no avoiding hearing that name. This profile gives you some idea of the blog's reach.

He's the guy who got the ball rolling by declaring "Blogroll Amnesty Day" early in February. Other big sites followed suit. I doubt that anyone needed an excuse. But when one of the Big Boys of Blogging declared that February 3 was the day that one was free to dump links off their blogrolls without feeling even a twinge of guilt...well, why the hell not? Especially if you're already kind of a jerk. So that was one of the rare times Atrios occupied any significant portion of my brainspace.

Until just a couple days ago, when I saw comments about his recent entry, "Why your blog sucks". Damn, he's got a lot of nerve. He cuts all these links from his blogroll, damaging the traffic levels and rankings of those "lesser blogs", and now he's got the nerve to start opining about how these other bloggers can "pull themselves up by their bootstraps". I refuse to link to Mr. Blogging Elite, but if you want to read what he had to say, I've made the url of that post the alt text for this image.


The thing is, just like in the "real world", it is easier to make money when you already have money, Atrios and other big blogs get people linking to them *automatically*, simply because everyone else links to them. Recently I was looking at the DNC blog, and some of the candidate blogs (the ones that actually have blogrolls), and his site was linked on all of them. Does he have to suck up and ingratiate himself for that honor? Somehow I doubt it. People who work for these campaigns most likely link to Atrios and Kos and a few others *because* "everybody reads them".

So forgive me if I think it's a bit disengenuous for someone who makes his living at blogging, and is in a position where people link to him, without him asking, and without expecting a link in return. Certainly he deserves credit for his success. But it's absurd to suggest that other bloggers *could* make it, if only they tried hard enough. That attitude among the "haves" towards those who are struggling is not something I find charming in the economic world. I certainly don't find it any more appealing when I see bloggers copping that attitude.

Planet Amnesty Day

Not to beat a dead horse, but apparently after the IAU declared Planet Amnesty Day last summer, New Mexico is set to offer Pluto some real amnesty this week. How skippy of them. ;)

Friday, March 9, 2007

The Problem with Daily Kos

Good article by Conceptual Guerilla, which I have just added to the blogrolls here and at the Independent Bloggers' Alliance.

In part:

In fact, you are using a piece of the infrastructure that is undermining the power of elites, as we speak. It's called the internet, and it may be the single greatest contribution to democracy since the invention of the printing press. The infrastructural reason for the revolutionary power or the internet is very simple. The internet is a "pull" medium, whereas television and newspapers are "push" media. On television, you see what the broadcaster wants to show you. On the internet, you see you want to be shown. But that is perhaps, somewhat misleading. Ultimately, we all read and watch what someone else decides to show us. What gives us power are the choices we have.

Click here for the rest.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Missed this when it came out

I just found this MSNBC article from last summer. The headline is, well, a bit much, no?

Can Daily Kos Control Dems?
It seems as though the rock-thrower is growing up. Inside, a handyman is remodeling the Moulitsases' suburban living room, where soon the futon will be replaced by a daybed, and the big, boxy television by a sleek new flat-panel. If YearlyKos—where he was quizzed by the likes of Maureen Dowd and Tim Russert on what the Democrats ought to do to win—proved anything, it was that Moulitsas had forced his way into the upper echelons of party strategists. Moulitsas sees his new status as the start of a natural progression: "We said we wanted to crash the gates. We never said we weren't going to come in."
Who is this "we" of which you speak, Markos?

Wednesday, March 7, 2007


I love me some good word coinage. So I'll highlight this comment by mentaldebris in the My Left Wing essay I linked earlier...

Mission Statement - The minute the mission statement went up, so did those who seem to have assigned themselves DKops to stomp around waving it in the faces of anyone who dared to challenge *their interpretation* of statement. Like the Bible, some aspects of the statement were open to interpretation and those intent on molding DK to their agenda seem inclined to take a rather literal reading.
DK is still great, still what you make of it, and while I will always remember DK with great fondness and go there for my political ice cream, I've come to realize it no longer serves up exactly what I want these days. I need the fucking whipped creme and unique rainbow sprinkles with rants of cherry topping smothering my political ice cream these days. And I'd like it without someone shaking a finger in my face telling me how bad it is for me (or Democrats). Thank you.

Read the whole comment here.

What DKos has become

Click here for the diary at My Left Wing.

Maryscott introduces it with

(You know what? The discussion has become so good, I think IT merits front paging, even if the essay itself is cringeworthy. So, take my rant with a grain of salt, but the real meat of this thing is in the comments. As is often the case. - promoted by Maryscott O'Connor)

Diary here.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Delurking blogroll day

Hat tip to skippy for pointing out this post by Mike the Mad Biologist

Delurking Blogroll Day (I Am the Anti-Kos)
This is what happens when you leave posts in the Blogerator: someone beats you to it (hat tip: skippy). Unlike certain famous* bloggers, whose initials are Kos, I don't like to purge live blogs. Instead, I've been inspired by skippy. I would like anyone who links to this blog, and to whom I don't link in my blogroll, to leave your blog's title and url, so I can add you to my blogroll. Since blogging will be light for a couple of days, I'll leave this up here.

*I'm not famous, just Mad.

Independent Bloggers' Alliance mirror site

I set up the Independent Bloggers' Alliance site at Wordpress for a reason. I'm sure I did. At the moment, though, I can't remember exactly what that reason was. At least some of it had to do with the ease of using tags, so that, if the site got big

I mention this now, because I am becoming more aware of some of the limitations inherent in Wordpress--the most relevant being that *most* people use Blogger/Blogspot, and I think that's put an unnecessary stumbling block in the way of adding new contributors.

I don't know, ultimately, what the solution will be, but yesterday I spent some time creating a mirror site on Blogspot. Okay, that's when I discovered *one* of the reasons for using Wordpress--adding the site banner was a lot easier there.

But here's the deal...if you'd like to be a contributor to the Independent Bloggers' Alliance, and Blogger/Blogspot would be easier or more convenient for you, drop me an e-mail at ohiorenee(at)gmail.com and I can send you an invite. Wordpress has a function where I can import posts from another blog, so your posts will appear there even if you aren't signed up at Wordpress.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Pharyngula's Blogroll Open Enrollment Day

via skippy, who points out that Pharyngula is getting it right about blogroll amnesty
Today is Blogroll Open Enrollment day! What that means is that this is your opportunity to get onto the Pharyngula blogroll, after you jump through some hoops.

There are a few absolute requirements.

* For technical reasons, your weblog must have some kind of syndication. I browse other blogs through a newsreader, and my blogroll is compiled from my newsreader's OPML file, so that's the only way I can put you there.
* You should check the current complete blogroll first—it's so embarrassing to ask to be put on a blogroll when you're already there.
* It should be an active weblog. I do purge sites that haven't been updated in 30 days.

Click here for more.

Happy to recognize when a blogger gets it rignt. Will go ahead and add a link to Pharyngula here and at the Independent Bloggers' Alliance blog.

Monday, February 26, 2007

About that "Borg" reference

The one I made in response to Buckeye State Blog joining BlogPAC. Running late this morning, but it's only fair that I link to the follow-up. Enjoy.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Cat herding

Crossposted at the Independent Bloggers' Alliance

"Cat herding" video

Booman posts "What are we trying to do?"
As I see it, Daily Kos and Jerome Armstrong have not articulated a goal that has any synergy with my goals. We still have a huge amount of common interests. But I am primarily interested in shifting the debate to the left, while they seem to be interested in boxing in the netroots into traditionally acceptable parameters of debate.

I don't think that will do. It might bring us a result that they don't want (a Hillary presidency), but it won't fundamentally alter the assumptions and myths that made both Bushism and the invasion of Iraq possible. Are we going to gain something from Iraq or are we just going to end it so we fight another war on another day?

To summarize: goal one was to elect a Democratic congress. Goal two is to turn the Democratic Party into a progressive party. That means primaries. That means changing what is considered as the political fringe...which means changing the political center. The fight against Republicans required a lot of Democratic unity. But those days are over now. Now the battle is for the soul of the Democratic Party. And that means that it is the furthest thing from a waste of time to take on Ellen Tauscher and oppose Hillary Clinton.

Anyone that doesn't get that does seem to be missing the point, or selling out.
I don't think we're ever going to speak with one voice. To get that to happen would require a lot more cat herding than many of us are comfortable with. And when someone decides that one goal is all-important, sometimes they feel inclined to attack people they see as being "in their way". But those people are often working toward what *they* consider to be the most important goal right now.

There is no one goal that unites most of us right now. As the 2008 election gets closer, there is likely to be even more animosity. If we let that happen. We can always choose otherwise.

Me? I think it's important that everyone gets a chance to speak and be heard. The so-called netroots are not monolithic. Maybe some people would like to pretend that we are, so that we can be a powerful "special interest group" that candidates will try to cater to. But wishing doesn't make it so. I guess one way to *appear* united in pursuit of one goal would be to make sure that those who disagree don't have access to the microphone. Or find other ways to silence or marginalize them. In my mind, those are not acceptable options.

P.S. Here's a link to the post about the Independent Bloggers' Alliance that Maryscott frontpaged at My Left Wing, in case anyone would like to weigh in and contribute to the discussion there.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Friday night immaturity

Because it's been a long week, and it's just not possible to be constructive *all* the time.

Screenshot from the Sims game (like having little pet humans on your computer!)

Meet "Mark Gates".

He doesn't look happy, does he? Probably because he's got a fortune aspiration, but has crappy furniture and a cheap tv.

That, and possibly also the fact that I deleted his toilet and he just finished mopping up a puddle of his own pee.

The orange shirt? The name "Gates", as in, perhaps, "Crashing the--"? Nah. You're reading too much into this.

It's nothing personal.

More meta blogroll pondering

skippy points to yet another good analysis of the whole blogroll kerfuffle, this one by Shadow of the Hegemon:

What Kos doesn't get is that he's a member of a community, not a leader of one. He (among others) have been seduced into to thinking that since their websites are sub-communities in their own right, they don't need to worry about the broader progressive community as a whole. Why worry about some guy with some random blog named "skippy" when you're creating this great big beautiful community? When you've got people falling all over themselves to provide content for your site in the form of those "diaries"?

Yet it is precisely that kind of community-building that the right seems to understand better nowadays. The point of blogroll linking is not merely creating a portable favorites list, but creating a shared community and shared sense of identity. If you share a link with someone, on some level you state "I am like them". Even when you link to conservatives, you inherently give them some degree of respect and shared identity; you state "yes, I think you're a putz, but I also think you're a peer. You can be both."
There's more.

Speaking of community, you know, big, beautiful, diverse, interdependent, mutually supportive networking on the net, I'd still like some help with that.

If you write diaries that you crosspost at Kos and elsewhere, then how about becoming a contributor to the Independent Bloggers' Alliance. Or if you don't want to do that, maybe you can add a link to it on your own blogroll. You can even use this pretty button in your sidebar.

Independent Bloggers' Alliance

Independent Bloggers' Alliance update

I've been trying to keep moving forward with this project, but the earlier-than-expected start date for my next temp project got in the way. But before heading off to work yesterday morning, I did a quick new post. Not as polished as I would have liked, but an attempt to keep things moving. Since then, I did a couple of non-"meta" posts, so I wanted to make sure yesterday morning's post didn't get lost.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Independent Bloggers' Alliance

The Independent Bloggers' Alliance now has a logo, thanks to my husband, Demetrius. Comes in handy to have that sort of talent "in house". ;)

"How much is your blog worth?"

I first saw this graphic on My Left Wing--I'm sure many of you have seen it. It declares, "My blog is worth (dollar amount). How much is your blog worth?" Don't know how long ago it was that I first did this, but I clicked the link and entered the url for my Howard-Empowered People blog. The result was a badge declaring that my blog was worth $0, and below that the code was provided, so that I could proudly proclaim to the blogging world that my blog was worth $0. Now, why would I want to do that? (I did later discover the blog of an Episcopalian nun, who had done just that, and added the words "Says it all, doesn't it?" But she's apparently removed the badge since then--I haven't looked at that blog since the season of Advent.)

Well, I was curious about how a blog that had been around for some time could be deemed worth $0. It got a decent number of hits per day--more than any other blog I'd ever run--and a number of other blogs had linked to it. Of course, if I'd been *really* curious, I could have just clicked the link on that page to learn more. But it didn't matter that much, and I was working on other things.

Some time later, I was looking at one of those "How much is your blog worth?" banners again and noticed the "Powered by Technorati" button. Oh. I see.

I signed up for a Technorati account, and, while Howard-Empowered People is not valued anywhere in the same ballpark as the big blogs, the dollar amount is definitely no longer zero.

In the past couple weeks, there has been some discussion about the value of links, the cost of being dropped from the blogroll of one of the big blogs, and how mutual linking can be beneficial for bloggers. I've added one of those badges to this blog, mainly as a way of tracking the effect that links have on the dollar amount.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Buckeye State Blog teams up with BlogPac

Here's the post explaining Jerid's decision.

Thank You for Visiting BSB - A Proud Member of the BlogPac and Net-roots Com-mun-ity

It sounds like he put a lot of thought into it, and it was his decision to make. I did try to weigh in last night, but I'm not sure I was able to make myself incredibly clear. That it's not about thinking it's "selling out" to accept BlogPAC's offer, but that there are more complex reasons I don't like the idea.

I do still want to move forward with the Independent Bloggers' Alliance idea. Just not tonight.

Buckeye State Blog update

There's a post here. Decision forthcoming.

I've got a project wrapping up tomorrow, but after that I should have time to write up more thoughts about the Independent Bloggers' Alliance idea. Demetrius is working on some graphic ideas for me, and we'll make sure there is a version that is the right size to use in a sidebar.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Trying something

I decided to try something. It's far from finished, but sometimes it's easier to *show* what one is thinking about, rather than trying to explain it entirely in hypotheticals.

Take a peek, if you're interested...

Independent Bloggers' Alliance

When bloggers hook up

I need to go to work right now, so I don't have time to formulate a full post on this. Weekends are short, so I don't know how soon I'll be able to get back to it. But I wanted to point out a couple more posts in addition to the one I linked last night. (Please check that one out, as there's been a lot more discussion. Demetrius is my husband, BTW, for anyone who doesn't know.)

What Edwards and the bloggers might teach us

The author said this in the comments:

kingmakers like to get paid. they may not know it when they start, but learn soon enough. witness kos' support of a dlc candidate after railing against the dlc for a year. the difference -- money.

the problem, i think, is that bloggers begin to self-censor the closer they get to the party and to candidates -- and their money. in fact, it's the same ordeal that statehouse reporters face. if they write the real story, their sources dry up. if they don't, their credibility dries up.

that's why i think the kingmaker role is antithetical to the partisan audience of most blogs.

what does work, however, is the blog as executioner meme. taking out pols that stray too far from the party line.

there's an old saying that i'm gonna mangle here, but it holds -- 99% of the evil in the world is done for a paycheck.

And another post, from Writes Like She Talks: When Bloggers hookup: getting hired, getting sponsored, getting snookered, getting lost

Hope this can spur some futher discussion.

Friday, February 16, 2007

An example of the "new direction" for the Kos blogroll

I thought this might be of interest to the wider community, because it is an example of where Kos and "BlogPac" are investing their efforts. To refresh people's memories, liberalamerican wrote the following in a diary at My Left Wing:

The final piece of this may be the most interesting. Given that kos is a business, this latest move is what public relations people call repositioning. Daily Kos is repositioning itself as the central place for local blogs supporting political candidates. It is a brilliant business move with an election coming up. If the local bloggers buy into this, kos becomes in one stroke a major voice in the Democratic Party.

The $64 question is how much ideological control will kos exercise? His post gives a clue. He said, "Those are sites focused on the races that will determine whether we lose control of Congress, or whether we expand our numbers to Lieberman-proof majorities." In shorthand, kos had gone from Dean to Emanuel. Gone is the 50 state strategy. Gone are the progressive ideas. Instead he will publicize sites for candidates that can win.

Today, we find this post at Buckeye State Blog:

BlogPac and the Kos Crew Want To $ponsor the Ohio 'Sphere

Specifically, they've offered to pay the hosting costs (around $180 apiece) for the Buckeye State Blog and As Ohio Goes, and feature these two sites in their national project. I did not request a grant - BSB was offered one because of the significance we play in Ohio politics. Before we celebrate, it's important to note that this is a tricky situation.

Click here for the rest.

Ask Jim Webb to broaden his netroots outreach

Bit of trouble with the car this morning. While my husband is checking it out, I decided to do a quick post to pass this along.

Senator Jim Webb currently has a diary up at Kos. I recall a lot of discussion about his "kitchen table" appeal. I think it would be a good idea to contact him and ask, politely, that he consider crossposting his diaries at another group blog. Maybe Booman. I would say My Left Wing, but it might be easier to pursuade someone to post at the "frogpond" because it might be seen as less controversial. Baby steps, you know? With all the bannings and censorship going on at Big Orange, that's becoming a less effective way of really connecting with the netroots.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

"I hope"

Plenty to bitch about--including latest bit of blogger hubris documented by skippy. Started to get the "Not ready to make nice" song by the Dixie Chicks in my head. But I would like to refocus on the *positive* vision that is at the root of my impatience (sometimes outright disgust) with the Napoleanic tendencies of certain bloggers who have fallen into the trap of "believing their own press". So I'm sharing the lyrics fom another song from the same Chicks album:

From the Dixie Chicks album "Taking the Long Way"

Sunday morning, I heard the preacher say
Thou shall not kill
I don't wanna, hear nothin' else, about killin'
And that it's God's will
Cuz our children are watching us
They put their trust in us
They're gonna be like us
So let's learn from our history
And do it differently

I hope
For more love, more joy and laughter
I hope
We'll have more than we'll ever need
I hope
We'll have more happy ever afters
I hope
We can all live more fearlessly
And we can lose all the pain and misery
I hope, I hope

Napoleon Syndrome by Proxy

Entertaining new post by skippy today about bloggers suffering from a newly identified disorder that is known to affect only bloggers...

the first manifestation of this new strain was seen with the announcement over at eschaton of "blogroll amnesty day." without exhibiting any previous symptoms, atrios succumbed to an incomprehensible psychotic break that allowed him to see his blogroll as a tool for his own use, as opposed to the industry-wide accepted vision of blogroll as community support. since the appearance of symptoms was first officially observed at eschaton, this lead to the informal designation of the malady as the "duncan black plague."

the same outbreak went on to affect markos moulitsas and general jc christian, who also, operating under the delusion that their blogs were not beholding to the larger progressive identity, purged their rolls of the medium and smaller sites that make up the infrastructure of blogtopia, and yes, we coined that phrase.

bloggers infected with *napolean syndrome by proxy have lost the ability to empathize with their peers, and indeed believe that they no longer have peers. a general numbness of feelings with respect to democratic, egalitarian and liberal idealstowards individual people sets in. a sense of gradiose superiority overwhelms the bloggers, cutting them off from the reality of their situation: they are just guys with a web site.

a similar yet slightly different manifestation can be seen demonstrated by chris bowers at mydd. bowers recently began to exhibit bizarre behavior, claiming with a straight face that he wanted to be "an active member of the small clique, coterie or circle that identified the possibility for massive change and precipitated its manifestation." even worse than the strain of nsbp that has befallen moulitsas or black, this eruption is creating the delusion that chris is forefront of some sort of revolution, leading the rabble to throw off the "shackels of the elite" (we're not making this stuff up, folks). he no longer accepts the reality that he is, as stated above, just a guy with a web site.

(*Takeoff on Munchausen Syndrom by Proxy, for anyone who hadn't heard of that before.)


Just got home a little while ago, after working some extended hours today. Tired, and my fingers are still thawing. But I figured I'd better at least link to this, as part of the whole documenting censorship thing. This essay, Remember Where You Heard It First by One Pissed Off Liberal, appears on the front page of My Left Wing. Scroll down to the comments to see that it was apparently deemed inappropriate by the powers that be at Big Orange.

There's a list of prominent people--officeholders, candidates and others, who have posted diariea at Kos here. At some point, we need to start looking at that list to see who among those people we would like to start contacting, and, in a calm, intelligent manner, expressing our desire that they engage in some "netroots outreach" that is not filtered through Mr. Locking the Gates. (Of course, we wouldn't call him that in the letters. Like I said, I'm tired, and I'm pretty far from amused by all of this.)

Update: later comments in the post I mentioned above say that the diary deletion was some sort of "software bug".

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

"Gate crashing" for profit

Crossposted at Booman Tribune, My Left Wing, and Howard-Empowered People

As I note in the disclaimer/description I recently added to my Blogroll Amnesty Day blog, I never was linked by blogs that took part in "Blogroll Amnesty Day". I never asked to be. I do remember reading what Markos had on his "so you want me to link to you" page, and it was stuff about what your blog needs in order to have "the right stuff" so that it was worthy of linkage. I found that offputting, so I never asked. I don't know if that was the first thing that rubbed me the wrong way about Markos, but it's something that stands out. I'm really inclined to stroke someone's ego, especially when that person already has way more people willing to do that job than I think is merited.

But while I was not willing to suck up and ask to be blogrolled, there were a lot of other people at that site that I enjoyed reading, and the sheer volume of the place allowed for a wide audience if you wanted to draw attention to a particular issue. So, in the wake of the 2004 election where there were plenty of "irregularities", and knowing that the man responsible for many of those irregularities would be running for governor of my state in 2006, damn right I wanted those irregularities fully investigated. I wanted Ken Blackwell himself fully investigated. Imprisoned? In an ideal world, sure. But I'd have been happy with a full investigation.

And there were a lot of people at Daily Kos who shared that interest, so I was able to get diaries on the recommended list on a fairly regular basis. It felt good to be able to actually *do* something, even if it was just ensuring that a wider audience knew about what was going on--knew the extent of our then Secretary of State's treachery. It was a real effort trying to keep on top of that, since I was also teaching a few classes at the time. I'd often write a quick diary in between classes if I had found an article that no one had posted about yet. But the effort was worthwhile for the sake of a larger cause.

And speaking of effort, at the time of the 2004 election, I was working a temp job during the day and teaching a class in the evening, so I really did have to make a concerted effort to get to the polls on a Tuesday. I point out these facts about my life for a couple of reasons. First of all, I have some insight into why it can be so difficult for ordinary people to take an interest in politics--even tune in to what is going on, let alone get involved. But the great thing about the internet was that, as an ordinary person, I *could* make my voice heard.

Anyway, at some point he had his little front page pissy fit about those he called the "fraudsters". Some time after that it was the "pie wars". There were other things too, but I always managed to tell myself that I didn't have to like the man or agree with his politics to post diaries on that community blog. And there were plenty of other people there who made the blog worth visiting and posting on.

But the blogroll purge which, as I have already stated, does not affect me personally, has been the catalyst that prompted me to revisit some of these issues. Also an overarching issue that I have noticed over time: the man really tries to have it both ways. On the one hand, he's been quoted as saying that he is "not a leader" or that he's "just a guy with a blog". But on the other hand, he has often behaved like a very *autocratic* guy who just "happens" to have one of the most widely read blogs on the Democratic side of the aisle. And he has a great degree of power over what issues can see the light of day in front page posts.

This was starting to remind me of the situation with the mainstream media. *They* were controlled by interests *other* than "we the people", and they were too willing to play along with Bush during the buildup to the war in Iraq. They were also silent for far too long about the election integrity issues that many of us saw a mile away.

So, thank goodness for the internet! Here, the "unwashed masses" could speak the truth and have our voices heard. Of course, over time I realized that some voices had an easier time being heard than others. And much has been written over the past week or so about the fact that some blog voices have a much greater chance of being heard than others.

For one measure of the reach of the various blogs, you can check out this page which lists the blogs that participate in the Liberal Blog Advertising Network, how much ads on each of those blogs costs, per week, and the number of "estimated ad impressions". It costs $9000 a week to advertize on the premium spot on Daily Kos.

Back to my comment about "having it both ways", yesterday I saw the ad at www.crashingthegate.com for the first time. It is very short, so I can convey the main gist of it in a few screen captures.

Markos is strolling along, apparently listening to some tunes (young, hip guy that he is) and sees all these people pulling as hard as they can on a rope.

At the other end of the rope, there is a stubborn donkey, refusing to move.

From the look on our hero's face, we can see that he has a plan.

He walks up to the animal, and gives it a swift kick in the, er, "donkey".

Then there's some line about buying the book, and learning how to "get the Democratic party moving again".

Riiight. He's "not a leader", but he appears in an ad depicting *himself* as the only one who knows what to do, while all these other pathetic people are pulling on the rope with all their might, accomplishing *nothing*. Excuse me while I gag. And there's also the impression the ad give of him being "just this guy" bopping along, until he sees some obvious thing that needs to be done, and immediately, effortlessly, just *does* it.

Here's where I want to remind you that the "Mr. Everyman" you see above has ad space that can be bought for $9000 a week. I, obviously, don't. I don't make money from my political blogging.

So, to recap. We have this guy who runs a blog and co-wrote a book, who in the process has aquired some celebrity. He uses phrases like "people powered" and "crashing the gate" as his *branding*. In the meantime, whether he has indeed "crashed a gate", or merely procured, for himself, a seat at the table, he's made it clear that he is not so interested in helping anyone else get in.

But even beyond that, he's in our f***ing way! He's become yet *another* moneyed arbiter of what news is "fit to print", as it were, and which voices will have a harder time being heard. And I *don't* make a living by blogging, but somehow squeeze it in around work and family, in what I ironically refer to as my "spare time"--because it's *that important* to me to make a positive difference.

And given the time and energy I, along with countless others, have invested in the project of taking our country back, I simply can't stand idly by while the tools of the revolution are co-opted by would-be kings.

I don't have a plan, I don't have a big soapbox, or an army ready to charge into battle with me. But I heard somewhere that it's possible for a "small group of thoughtful people" to change the world. And I'm counting on that.

Senator Dodd at Booman Tribune

BooMan writes

Senator Christopher Dodd is going to stop by the Frog Pond tomorrow between 3:30PM (eastern time) and 4:00PM. He will be here to talk about the Restoring the Constitution Act of 2007. This act (.pdf) would help repair the damage down by the Military Commissions Act of 2006.

Click here for the rest.

And actually, "tomorrow" is today (in a couple hours).

"Outta there"

Josh Langdon writes, in part

I don't like being jerked around. I don't like to see it happen to others. And like anyone with a real and shall we say very demanding life, most of all I don't like wasting my time. It's not that I'm a self absorbed. i don't have time. It's not important how important you may think yourself to be. It matters if it perceived by others as valuable; but astroturf all you want, manipulate if you will, but ultimately a clear picture emerges who is credible and who is not. Yes, there are yummy perks and money becomes less an issue in the rarefied air... But the pace is quick, the breathing labored, and most often the air is stale.
You can read the rest here. I can understand that a lot of people are probably in a "let it go" mode about the recent ugliness at the orange place. But I can also understand that not everyone can keep up with the pace of the blogosphere. Especially people with day jobs where they can't access the internet during the day. And even once one does read enough to get up to speed on a subject, it can take a while to gather one's thoughts and compose a post. So I do kind of feel for the people who are just now finding themselves able to "weigh in" on the matter, who are bound to be told, "We've talked that to death--can't we *please* move one?"


I was looking at the Wikipedia entry on Markos. For all it includes, it does seem to leave out any reference to the animosity between him and many in the blogging community, spurred by things like the "pie wars", his "fraudsters" rant, and the recent round of bannings and warnings. There is a related entry on Daily Kos, where the section on content caught my attention with these words:

This section is a stub. You can help by expanding it.

You can create a Wikipedia account here.

There doesn't seem to be a page on Blogroll Amnesty Day either.

Jon Swift interview with Bloggasm

Just found out about this via skippy:

Interview with Jon Swift

Jon Swift: I think I was actually the first blogger to question the notion of Amnesty Day. All of the other posts I could find before I wrote my post talked about what a great idea it was to pare down blogrolls to a list of the blogs that are on everyone else’s blogroll. I’m afraid that if Atrios declared Shoot Yourself in the Foot Day we might have a lot of liberal bloggers limping around right now. None dared even link to my piece until skippy took up the cause and then suddenly it was as if people had permission to say the emperor was very skimpily attired. I have had a liberal blogrolling policy — which is that I will blogroll anyone who blogrolls me — for quite a while and I was surprised that it hadn’t caught on before. Conservative bloggers have already shown they can push quite a few blogs onto the A-List. They not only have larger, more inclusive blogrolls on average, they have a number of communities that are powered by Blogrolling.com that instantly give new bloggers hundreds of links. Liberals have virtually none. They also participate in Blog Carnivals and Open Trackback parties more than liberal bloggers. So far Atrios and Kos have responded quite defensively to the rumbling voices of dissent. As I pointed out in a comment to Kos’ recent post about the issue, “With great power comes great responsibility and there is always a danger that one will become aloof and out of touch, though I can’t think of any examples of that at the moment among our present political leaders.”

I don't tend to have a problem speaking out about the "emperor", by the way.

I just tend to be a little behind the times with the news of the day. So many blogs, so little time. I sometimes have to see the same post topics come up repeatedly, over the course of a number of days, before my curiosity is piqued enough that I say "Okay, who *is* this Gannon/Guckert guy everybody seems to be talking about?" Or "What is this 'Fitzmas' of which you speak?"

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A couple new posts

Jacta Alea Est: The Die Is Cast by Maryscott O'Connor

So Kos Is Wrong. It's Our Job To Be Bigger by Paul Rosenberg

On Banning, and Thanks to Maryscott by Nonpartisan

Elected officials' netroots outreach

Louise Slaughter has a diary up at Kos.

Yesterday I heard that Wesley Clark had a post.

I'd like to get a list of the various elected officials, public figures, and candidates, and contact them, politely, about extending their "netroots outreach" beyond Daily Kos.

Banned at DailyKos

By pyrrho

The funny thing is that, firstly, the privs started dissappearing before the ratings appeared, and when they appeared, they were largely in a counter-rant of mine (here) defending myself against BTD saying peeder and hrh are my heroes. The ironic thing is that there are many people there less friendly to alleged Democratic Ideals than myself, and that no one would deny that. So what else was so important?

I have criticized dkos MANY times, and praised it. This time... I said we could not have political fealty to corporations. We can rely on them as tools, but not have political allegience to them. Such allegience is wrong if given to a corporation, it makes you corporationist, not a good philosophy, at least, not for democracies.

Click here for the rest.

New "warning" at Big Orange

From 5hearts, who notes that attempting to do anything on that web site causes a message to pop up saying

Please stop rating up other users' fights in the comment threads. MLW and Booman fights should be left on MLW and Booman, not encouraged.

The warning is apparently accompanied by a little check box. One has to click to "acknowledge" that one has read and understands the warning, and posting is not enabled until the box is checked.

Monday, February 12, 2007

More on the business of blogging

By pyrrho:

DailyKos is a business. When I claim not to hate it, I'm told I really do (e.g. by cookiebear). To me there is some level of emotional dysfunction in that accusation because in my world I am not EVEN ASKED to be "loyal" to PRIVATE BUSINESSES.

My relationship with private businesses is not like my relationship with my family, my nation, my species. If I'm working for that company, I do have a great deal of loyalty, but EVEN THEN, not the sort one has to a nation or cause.

I like dailykos, I think it's still quite useful business, but it's impossible for me to have political loyalty to an organization in which I HAVE NO SAY.

Click to read the rest.

Blogging about blogrolling

From If I Ran the Zoo:

What's at stake here is the egalitarian and democratic nature of the blogosphere. If traffic and linkage are concentrated among a relatively few extremely popular blogs, then the vast majority are effectively shut out of the conversation. It is a basic liberal belief that great success carries with it the duty to extend opportunity to others; that's the duty that, as some see it, Atrios and others fail to live up to. As Jon Swift observes, the right blogosphere is actually much more liberal about linking to smaller blogs than the liberal side.

Click here for the rest.

Blogdom as high school

Good post by liberalamerican at My Left Wing. In part...

In his "shunning" post kos was being his usual disingenuous self when he said, "Despite popular misconceptions, a blogroll link isn't a major source of traffic, not even one on Daily Kos. It won't make or break a site." It may or may not be a source of traffic (more on that in a minute), BUT blogrolls can increase a Technorati rank, if you play them right. Remember, it's not how many links you have, but how many link to you.

Every blogger knows the drill: you send this letter, trying not to, as Atrios condescendingly puts it, sound like a "blog whore," saying you have posted a link to their site and will they do the same for you. Most of the time the Big Dogs will blow you off and you get nothing in return, but some people keep listing them anyway. According to Technorati, Daily Kos has 81,277 links from 1,086 blogs, ranking it 14th. Eschaton has 14,166 links from 2,616 blogs ranking it 182d.

Neither site has a blogroll even close to being in the thousands, but thousands of bloggers link TO them. I have seen many of these links from little blogs that for some reason feel compelled to put kos on their blog roll. It does them absolutely no good, but it's great for kos.

Read the rest here.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Galloping Beaver Weighs In

In "On blogs and elitism", Dave writes, in part:

I was once a member of a unit that was constantly described, in the media, as "elite". The media could get away with it. We could not. We couldn't afford to. No matter what we did, or how we did it, our egos had to be kept in check and we were constantly reminded that we were a small part of a much larger organization. We needed every part of that larger organization. In fact, there was nothing all that "elite" about us. We simply had a different job than other units and the great leveler was that anyone from that larger organization could apply to join.

Sadly, Dave also makes the all-too-easy (and common) mistake of *linking* to the offending members of the blogtocracy in a post about Blogroll Amnesty Day. Y'all really shouldn't do that, as I explained here.

I humbly suggest linking either to Jon Swift's post here or skippy's posts here and here. If people follow any of those links, they can find links to the original posts by the Big Boys of Blogging. There's no need (again, in my humble opinion as someone who was never linked by any of these folks, so really, it's no skin off my nose), to continue to contribute to their Google ranking as we discuss this issue.

Why links matter, part 2

Originally posted at Howard-Empowered People...

One thing I just discovered in my search for posts about Blogroll Amnesty Day, is that the main things that were showing up in Google were posts by the Big Boys of Blogging. And they were, of course, saying what a great idea Blogroll Amnesty Day was. It's yet another example of the power of links--the "big boys" have the power to be heard, even when it comes to someone doing a simple Google search to find out what the heck Blogroll Amnesty Day is all about.

Just sayin'...

Some thoughts from Brilliant at Breakfast

Jill of Brilliant at Breakfast has this to say about Blogroll Amnesty Day...

But with Kos and Atrios making a big show about "culling the blogroll", and Chris Bowers playing "Mine's Bigger" with the rest of the blogosphere, is this really what it's come to? Is this the Revenge of the Nerds come to fruition? Is this the guys who DIDN'T get laid on prom night finally staking their claim to coolness?

If so, are we going to sit by and take it? Are we going to just toil away while guys like Atrios and Kos and Chris Bowers define the rules and brand the rest of us as useless?

I don't know about you, but all this is making me feel just a wee tad Norma Rae here.

Fuck the big boys. They're the blogospheric equivalent of the Washington pundits who think they're better than bloggers because they get invited to the right parties and of the Democrats who hold fundraisers where they take money from corporations. We hold bake sales and support our candidates twenty-five bucks at a time. What's hilarious is that most of these guys come out of the 2004 Howard Dean campaign, only a taste of success has made them forget all about people-powered.

So all you progressive bloggers out there who are reading this and are damn sick and tired of these puffed-up assholes thinking they're somehow better than you are and that they decide who gets read and who doesn't, show yourselves in the comments. Let's hear your ideas for how we can help each other. And if you're planning to go to Yearly Kos in August, start thinking about how we can use that conference to brainstorm about where we go from here.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Shaping "the blogosphere we want"

Paul Rosenberg's response (in part) to one of Maryscott O'Connor's recent essays about the blogroll purging...

Setting everything else aside, when Kos decides to "trim" his blogroll, and does so thinking about himself and his site, rather than the political blogosphere as a whole, he is not doing anything to consciously create the blogosphere we need--even if I had no objection to the contents of the blogroll he ended up with.

And, of course if we're not really thinking about consciously shaping the blogosphere we want, how can we possibly be up for consciously shaping the world we want?

"Sweat Equity"

There's a very good post by peeder, who used to work as a contractor for Markos, about the business of blogging. I recommend reading the whole thing, but will share an excerpt from one of his comments here...

Daily Kos has gone very far on sweat equity, but harnessing quality sweat equity requires a discipline of respect, humility, and gratitude. Openly boasting of Bosendorfers and bigscreen TVs insults the volunteer force at some point.

Markos falls short in the areas of "respect, humility, and gratitude"...ya think?

Skippy's Blogroll Amnesty Offering

skippy writes, we got yer 'amnesty' right here

...ergo, we here at skippy are planning to retaliate by offering real blog amnesty. and here's how it goes:

many smaller blogs link to skippy for one or more of a few reasons: out of politeness, out of a hope that we might notice them and link back, or simply out of the imitation of what it takes to make a good blog. it's the second reason that interests us (we really should have put it as the last reason to be more clear with sentence structure (on the other hand, using less paranthetical phrases in a paragraph would go a long way towards grammatical clarity (too late now))).

to wit: any blog that has linked to skippy and has not received a reciprocal blogroll link will now be included on our roll! all you have to do is notify us in our comments section or email us, and we will happily include you! that will show those big shot elitists too good for the little guy blogs! ha!

and we hope to hell we have the longest blog roll in blogtopia!

and yes! we coined that phrase!

What the heck...

I made a t-shirt.

"My blog was dumped on "Blogroll Amnesty Day"...and I had to pay for my OWN lousy t-shirt!"

Blogroll Scrooges Must Be Punished

By Madeleine Begun Kane

Mr. Eschaton’s wholesale de-linkage
Hurts small bloggers through blogroll link shrinkage.
Kos has done the same thing.
Both are scrooges left-wing.
I’ve de-linked them and won’t give them inkage.

What is "Blogroll Amnesty Day"?

As explained by Jon Swift:

This past weekend Atrios, the proprietor of Eschaton, declared a Blogroll Amnesty Day, saying, "one of the big complaints by new bloggers is that it's impossible to get onto blogrolls because established bloggers tend not to add them." I thought that adding new lesser-known blogs to his blogroll would be a wonderful idea. Although for some inexplicable reason that I am at pains to discover, Atrios has never seen fit to link to me, I, nevertheless added Eschaton to my own blogroll and introduced myself to Atrios with a sincerely sycophantic email, since he is after all a blogging pioneer who deserves our respect.

But the more I learned about this Amnesty Day, the more I realized that it was a very strange amnesty indeed. The amnesty he granted turned out to be amnesty for himself. He wanted to assuage himself of the guilt he might feel at kicking blogs off his blogroll instead of granting amnesty to others to swarm across the border into his domain. "Everyone feels a wee bit guilty about removing blogs from their blogroll, so they're hesitant to add new ones to an ever-expanding list," he explained. So Atrios deleted his entire blogroll and disappointingly repopulated it for the most part with the usual suspects. Then others in the liberal blogosphere followed his example, including Jesus' General and PZ Myers at Pharyngula, who already takes a very Darwinian survival-of-the-fittest approach to blogrolling. Then Markos at Daily Kos joined this ruthless bloodletting. "It sucks and it feels bad," he said, daubing the tears from his eyes as he typed. So the end result of Atrios' Amnesty Day was to make some blogrolls smaller and even more exclusive than they already were.