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

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) 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.