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View Diary: The Important Thing Is My Opinion Doesn’t Matter (273 comments)

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  •  oddly enough (5+ / 0-)

    it seems to me the opposite is the case, more people, fewer facets.  one of the downsides of the huge growth is the compression of positions and voices into a bigger entity with a more well defined "lowest common denominator" around which the interaction actually takes place.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Sun Apr 01, 2007 at 08:15:25 PM PDT

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    •  I think ... (7+ / 0-)

      ... it really depends on what you read.  As far as the recommended diaries go, yeah, I'd say there's a preponderance of fact-lite entries (with many exceptions, tho, as there are some great recommended diaries as well).

      But I've found over and over again from visiting Daily Kos a great deal of clarification on stories I've read in the traditional media, really intelligent analysis I wouldn't find elsewhere when it comes to the political news of the day and so much that comes out of that analysis that transcends just the political.

      •  I wouldn't argue (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MissLaura, Rolfyboy6, Welshman, matt2525

        that the level of intelligent analysis is lessened, just the variety of perspectives. This place offers something that commercial media doesn't, quite clearly.

        But there simply is a marked difference in the range of viewpoints one sees discussed at dKos these days, compared to what was here in its early days when the community itself was decidedly smaller. On the surface, perhaps, that seems counterintuitive, but it isn't really.  You'd think bigger audience, more diversity, (the old "marketplace of ideas" metaphor that the right (and the commercial media)loves to trot out.  But, and there's plenty of sociological and historical explanations for why this isn't the case, the growth in size of the community was almost certain to lead to a reduction of perspectives, unless choices were made to specifically counter that rather inevitable gravitation in that direction.  And other issues and concerns were bigger priorities, so that simply didn't happen, so what you get is a lot of folks interested in a smaller range of stuff, but that stuff they are interested in gets very high viewings and sometimes even comments.      

        Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

        by a gilas girl on Sun Apr 01, 2007 at 08:48:50 PM PDT

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        •  Whew! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MissLaura, greeseyparrot

          That's a lot of thought there.

          When Daily Kos was a smaller site (and I was not around then, having joined in September of 2005), there was no doubt much more room for many different perspectives.  For one thing, the smaller number, as well as the less structured format, made it possible for most folks to feel they really knew each other, and thus the dialogue had to have been far different than it is now.

          So sure, I'd agree that a larger number of folks would pretty much lessen the atmosphere that would have to be there in order for the kind of multi-perspective dialogue to which you refer to take place.

          I also think times changed -- this site went from an "underdog" mentality, pretty much the notion of "we've got nothing to lose," to a real winner when it came to helping to make Democrats once again the majority and to finally enter the public discourse in a way which was utterly blocked by the Bush regime.

          And then, of course, there is just the organic changes that happen with any group -- the "golden age" never lasts very long, but it always seems eternal while it is happening.  In that sense, those of you who were around at the beginning are very fortunate individuals, for that opportunity won't come around again here on the tubes.  There may be other wonderful opportunities ahead, but in the sense of this site, you were the real "pioneers."

          •  The other major factor (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MissLaura, rightiswrong

            you hint at as well: the "celebrity journalism" model that has infiltrated the place with the msm attention kos brought as a dem party fundraiser.  the rd's also contribute a bit to that mentality in the community, which gives yet another one of those ironic moments: at the same time the site wants to criticize and offer a strong and plausible alternative to msmedia, it coopts some of the more problematic dimensions of its culture.  

            I have obviously never been a fan of rds, though I do read some of them.  I have to confess I don't find it as useful a tool as many do.  It does help me decide if I'm going to spend any time at dkos on any given day, since I don't read the front page very often, if there's nothing in the rd's that looks interesting then I scroll through the first fifty titles to see if any hidden gems have yet to be "discovered".    

            Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

            by a gilas girl on Sun Apr 01, 2007 at 09:15:53 PM PDT

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            •  Sure. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MissLaura, Welshman

              I agree with your entire first paragraph, but I also think it was inevitable as the site grew to the number we see today.  I think that is more an indication of a sickness in our culture than anything else, and how could the internet be any less subject to that sickness?  And yes, it is very ironic indeed.

              I recall being very impressed with one particular blogger, Steve Gilliard, I believe, who refused to go to any of the "blogger luncheons" that were arranged between liberal bloggers and politicians.  Again, I'm not absolutely certain of the details, but I believe he made some sort of statement that he didn't want to lose his impartiality.  I very much respected that view.

              I read the FP posts for information.  I look at the recommended diary list but don't always go first to those diaries.  I spend most of my time looking at the recent diaries and, of course, I have my favorite diarists -- that when I see their names as the author of the diary I will be right there reading it.

              I don't think Daily Kos is the be all and end all of internet communications.  Just as in one of my passions, science fiction, the "golden age" grew organically into the new wave and so on, changing every decade or so, I also think blogging will change as well and we'll see another new wave of communicating that will make what we have now seem antiquated.

              Because there'll always be folks who are pioneers and who want to change things.  And the rest of us will always be happy to join in once the bandwagon starts rolling.

        •  i don't think it's size (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Annalize5

          so much as the consequence of SYFPH as site culture. once it weas made clear that certain points of view were not welcome, it became part of the DNAS of the place, self-reproducing and gradually intensifying, as new people came in and were told "these are the expectations," when once the very expectations were an open debate and contested.

          surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

          by wu ming on Sun Apr 01, 2007 at 11:06:00 PM PDT

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          •  there is that (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wu ming, Welshman

            i wasn't here as much during that period, so I can't speak with any kind of certainty about it.  I don't mean to dismiss that, the attitude from the top down is a big factor, certainly, but I'm just trying to remember that such a dynamic (increase in size leading to narrowing of viewpoints) is a fairly common one in the social dynamics of communication UNLESS something is done to counter that.  Your point, of course, is that not only was nothing done to counter that (my arguement as well, since it wasn't a priority), but that more than a handful of other things were done to actively encourage that already present inclination.  

            Markos wasn't interested in having a general issue left-leaning site going on.  Progressive issues weren't at the center of his agenda, something else was, and while he's certainly interested in promoting quality discourse and analysis on his site, the narrowing of the focus did contribute to the lessening of the quality of discourse and analysis, because a narrowing of focus will pretty much do that, if left to its own devices.  

            I'm trying to be as impersonal and non-judgemental as possible in my assessments here, not because that's my standard mode of engagement, but because under the circumstances my own assessments and judgements are irrelevant.  So, I'm trying to take myself out of it.

            Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

            by a gilas girl on Mon Apr 02, 2007 at 05:51:35 PM PDT

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    •  has the site really grown all that much? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ek hornbeck, Annalize5

      in size, i mean. if you look at the traffic numbers on sitemeter or alexa, we're past the period of rapid growth, it seems to me, and while the UIDs keep increasing, it doesn't account for inactive, banned or less active users.

      i'd say that what we've seen over the years is less the pains of growth, but rather a shift in membership, and a redefinition of site culture.

      surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

      by wu ming on Sun Apr 01, 2007 at 11:02:03 PM PDT

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      •  I always go by... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ybruti

        jotter's active users (members only).

        3.5k who rec, comment, or diary.  Pretty constant year to year.

        7k+ who at least read.  That's new so I'm not sure about the year to year.

      •  I'm still comparing it to the days (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Welshman

        before the "this is a partisan Dem site", when it was smaller and it was a vibrant arena for a broad range of issues, not just a candidates poll site.

        Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

        by a gilas girl on Mon Apr 02, 2007 at 08:40:41 PM PDT

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