It has for me. Today, as a matter of fact. So to celebrate I'd like to invite you all with this virtual champagne.
After that, if you are still here I'd like to give you my thoughts on what it means to me to have been here for 10 years.
I stumbled on DailyKos early in 2003. And I lurked for over a year. I had become very very upset with the Bush/Cheney administration lies in the build up to the invasion of Iraq. In those days I considered myself a Republican. I even corresponded via email with some Republicans who opposed Iraq invasion like Arianna Huffington and Jim Webb who switched and became Democrats about the same time. As I understand Markos himself also switched around that time. It was Howard Dean who inspired me to become a Deaniac.
Back in those days I called myself a "moderate" libertarian as I explained in on of my first comment threads in 2004. I have evolved and now I consider myself a "progressive capitalist" as I explain in one of my latest diaries.
In 2004 I lived in The OC. I became precinct captain only to find out there were a total of 3 registered Democrats in the district.
After the frustrating 2004 elections I published my first diary. I still stand by what I said then although I got zero recommends and only one comment.
Along the way DailyKos gave me hope. I had found a place on the web that kept saying the truth. A place that exposed me to the knowledge and ideas of many who saw things the way I did. I was not alone. And I started believing that we could make things change.
DailyKos kept growing. By 2005 there were over 50,000 registered and quite active users. The social media nature of our participation connected many of us who lived in the greater Los Angeles area. So we decided to meet for the very first time.
We communicated through DailyKos and we decided to meet at Jorge Strunz's house in Encino. I remember I parked 5 blocks away and walked. I was paranoid enough in those days to think it could be a setup to go after bloggers opposed to the Bush/Cheney administration. In this historic first meeting of LA Kossacks (I also helped the new LA Kossacks get started) about 10 people showed up. We started introducing ourselves in the living room and it became clear to me that one of the attendees was a fool at best, given his idea of engaging in violent action, or an "agent provocateur" at worst. I looked around and I saw a girl that looked at me and in her expression I could see that she noted the same thing about this guy. The girl turned out to be Maryscott O'Connor. We made friends and we decided to organize more meetings at her house. Those were the days. We got to meet other Kossacks and we started organizing for action. I realized then that meeting other bloggers in person is fundamental to understanding who to trust and how to organize.
The next year, 2006, Markos organized another historic event, the first YearlyKos in Las Vegas. This is a photo of me enjoying the occasion. Progressive, liberal, Democrat bloggers from around the country and the world meeting for the first time. I also threw a party with Maryscott and since then I have been to all the Yearlykos and Netroots Nations (except Pittsburgh) and thrown parties in all.
Along the way I started blogging about different causes with some positive results. My most recommended diary was one related to getting what I call Christian totalitarians out of the military working together with the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. This cause is still hot.
Later in 2007, Kossack nyceve alerted us to the Natalie Sarkisyan tragedy. My office was in the same building as CIGNA so I got involved with the demonstrations. I diaried about her funeral. Pris from LA, another LA Kossack educated me about single payer and through DailyKos we organized demonstrations in Woodland Hills near the HQs for most insurance companies in California. I have been a fairly busy single payer activist since then.
DailyKos has become part of who I am. I must admit that I am into the "better" part of "more and better Democrats". Here in California we understand this "better" rather than more, better than elsewhere. I have been and I am involved in many campaigns to get this done.
I'm still around and enjoying it, however much I have learned about the "dark side" of politics. I have made many friends (some that I have yet to meet in person) and it has changed my life. I learn all sorts of new things almost every day. I do believe that together we can improve things and we can build a better future for all. And I'm already organizing another party at Netroots Nation 2014.