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Daily Kos has gone through four major stages, four major moments of upheavel. All of them coincided with rapid growth -- during the 2002 midterms, Bush's War, the Democratic Primary, and the runup to the general election. And each one has put major stresses on the community.

I've seen it three times already, and now I'm seeing it happen again. We have an established community. The influx of traffic means lots of new faces who don't know the established etiquette start posting on the message boards. There is tension as the established guard clashes with the old guard. Eventually, the old guard is outnumbered, and seeing fewer and fewer of their old online friends, kind of fade away. It's like seeing your favorite pub taken over by a new scene.

As the old guard fades away, the hanger-ons complain how the old-timers are being "chased off". But there's nothing I can do. Online communities are not static. People come and go. And those "old-timers" once upon a time chased off the established community that preceeded them. And those guys chased off the original community. Like I said, four waves.

Each of these transitions hurts a bit. Old friends fade away, rarely with an explanation or a chance to say 'goodby' (like Theoria). And the new crew, well, they don't have the history. But then months pass, and then the history is there, and I make new friends. Until history repeats itself. And during it all, there's nothing I can do about it, and nothing I will try to do about it.

There's another dynamic that is currently causing a lot of grief -- the desire to close ranks close to an election. "Groupthink". And while I am no paragon of party unity, it's not a desire I'll fight. We should close ranks before an election. Those who insist on fighting those battles now are merely distracting from the ultimate goal. Eyes on the prize, and all.

Once the election is over, we can get back to fighting over policy, whether to tackle the DLC, hating Greens or welcoming them to the fold, being a "Wellstone democrat" versus "Dean Democrat" versus who knows what else, etc.

For now, if you come here and trash a Democratic candidate, expect to be trashed back (just like I get trashed when I criticize the party). If you can't take the heat, then don't write that post or diary. Or consider returning after November 2. It's that simple. This is a Democratic blog after all.

As for the current strife, it was much worse during the Democratic primaries, and we came out just fine.  

Finally, there's a small cabal that has decided that they can run a community better than I can. And perhaps they can, though actions usually speak louder than words. In any case, I'm not too worried about adding this feature or that feature because I'm too busy keeping the fucking site up through election day. I've invested over $15,000 the last month on technology, plus a full-time programmer, to make sure the site survives the next four weeks.

After the elections, when things are a bit more calm, I'll be more responsive to suggestions. Until then, it's my lowest priority. If you're obsessing about what gizmo you'd like on Daily Kos, you're not doing enough to win the elections in four weeks.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:09 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'd like a new feature added... (4.00)
    that can direct nicotine directly into my veins so I don't ever have to get up and go outside to smoke, thereby missing what is sure to be the next greatest diary ever.

    Other than that, I'm cool.

    Of cours, since I've pledged to quit smoking once John Kerry is certified President, that feature would be obsolete soon anyway, so, don't bother.

    Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

    by Maryscott OConnor on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:08:21 PM PDT

    •  John Kerry is certified President (none)
      when the Electoral College votes, right? Or are you willing to go with the election results (unless there is a repeat of 2000)?

      In either case, nicotine chewing gum tastes a bit nasty bit can bring on quite a buzz. Adictive but without the health problems.

      Good luck on quitting!

      No, data is not the plural of anecdote

      by MarkInSanFran on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:30:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Considering these bastards... (none)
        and what they're willing to do -- I'm holding out for certification.

        That gum makes me vomit.

        Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

        by Maryscott OConnor on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:32:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The patch (none)
          My roommate's quitting with the patch and it seems to be working. It's been over a week and I've only caught him smoking once. And zero vomitting so far. Actually, to be honest, it's a combo of the patch and bonghits, which he claims helps feed some kind of "lung hunger". But whatever method you choose, you should quit now and donate your cigarette money to the DNC.
          •  A tip (none)
            If you smoke ciggies while wearing the patch, you get a righteous headrush.
            •  Testify! (none)
              Having tried to quit with the patch and failed miserably, I know exactly of what you speak.

              Freedom is hammered out on the anvil of discussion, dissent, and debate.--Hubert Humphrey

              by Raybin on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 05:38:13 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  it's kind of astonishing (3.66)
                that such a serious thread, that so many people have been waiting to read, is totally hijacked for two screens about smoking.  No offense, but that's Open Thread material, and it's just not right to fill up the entire front of this post with garbage.

                I've gone down four screens (and I have a BIG screen) and it's just jabber.  

                http://www.katemckinnon.com

                by kate mckinnon on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 07:30:29 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Sorry. (none)
                  I was being flippant with my first comment, which was really just supposed to get across the point that I think Daily Kos is perfect as is.

                  Perhaps I shouldn't have responded to the people who wanted to talk about smoking/quitting -- but that feels rude.

                  Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

                  by Maryscott OConnor on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 09:22:46 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  it's just what happened. (none)
                    nothing against you, maryscott, and nothing against Open Jibber, cause that's always fun too.

                    It's just a shame about this thread, because Galiel and others have been waiting for some time to have a substantive discussion on this subject.

                    "Dissento", hilariously, rated my objection to marginal clutter in a serious discussion with a marginal rating, which is really beautiful, don't you think?

                    HA!!!  thanks for the laugh!

                    http://www.katemckinnon.com

                    by kate mckinnon on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 10:42:09 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I apologize (none)
                      And you are right, Open Threads are for that kind of thing.

                      I've noticed smokers can't usually help but talk to each other about their shared habit.  

                      This is ironic, I'm cluttering things up MORE with this post, I suppose.  I shall behave from now on.

                      Freedom is hammered out on the anvil of discussion, dissent, and debate.--Hubert Humphrey

                      by Raybin on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:26:57 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

          •  Today (none)
            is the beginning of week 4 on the patch for me.  I had two puffs (not even a full cigarette) at my birthday party during week 1--and I forgot to put the patch on that day.  Nothing since.  Only a couple cravings.

            You may get my nicotine, but no one will EVER get the caffeine from me!

            If the misery of our poor is caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin. **Charles Darwin

            by MAJeff on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 05:36:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Try Mint flavored (none)
          I've been smoking it for 5 years and only want a smoke now and again.

          "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

          by johnmorris on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 04:56:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I'm for that (none)
      the getting up thing is old. Especially at "work."  I guess we could quit . . .

      "We're not criticizing Bush for going after terrorists, we're criticizing him for NOT going after terrorists." - Paraphrase of J. Kerry, tip to Gen. Clark

      by Armando on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:41:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Maryscott, you can't give up ... (none)
      ...smoking. Think of your fellow Californians...we need the excise tax revenue.
    •  Just started smoking (none)
      outside.  Part of my quitting program.  I think of really great diaries out there on the porch, too.
    •  I Wont be Boring, So (none)
      "Standard Anti-Smoking Rant from Oncology Nurse"

      There, neatly summed up! Cant wait to see/hear what yer diaries sound like during withdrawal in November... Rage, rage indeed!!   ;)

    •  Cold Turkey (none)
      worked for me.  It took about 5 tries.  At first, there wasn't a moment that I didn't think about cigarettes.  But I've been clean for 4 years now and the smell of cigs makes me ill.  

      Its just a matter of time.

      John Kerry: The New Abe Lincoln

      by lapin on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 08:42:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Cold Turkey (none)
        has always worked for me in the past.

        The biggest hurdle to quitting is gathering up enough Real Desire to stop. I'm so accustomed to that first few days of hell that they are not an impediment anymore when I consider quitting.

        It's just working my way back to wanting to quit more than wanting to smoke.

        But it's coming. And when Kerry wins, I'm quitting whether or not the desire is fully there.

        Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

        by Maryscott OConnor on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 09:24:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I will have you know (none)
          I quit smoking on my honeymoon in 1980.  Came back and two weeks later Reagan won and I was out of a job in DC.  Managed not to restart smoking however, so you can do it.
          •  Adopting a vigorous physical regimen (none)
            of chinese martial arts cured me of my addiction to tobacco and cocaine. Oddly, quite a few high level practitioners of these arts actually smoke cigs, a fact which boggles my mind.
  •  Kos (4.00)
    Thanks for this.  I don't agree with everything you've written here, but just the fact that you bothered to address the issue in a mainpage post is enough.

    Let me be the first to acknowledge your devotion to this site, to this community, and above all to the cause of taking our country back.  You've hit all the major points in an enlightened manner.

    Kos -- I salute you.  Thanks for making this THE coolest place to hang out on the Net.

    Now, let's kick that bastard back to Crawford.

    I like Paul Babbitt. After you read this, so will you.

    by Nonpartisan on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:09:28 PM PDT

  •  I want a pony (4.00)
    well said.

    now is not the time to wonder why.  now is the time to do, and die.

    who in the what now?

    by slapshot57 on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:09:42 PM PDT

  •  i have recommended this diary (none)
    you should too.
  •  Well ahoy! (none)
    And let the chips fall where they may.

    As for the waves, I've surfed all four of them. Proud Kossack since summer 2002!

    Though I've always wondered what happened to my diaries from 2003 and early 2004 (I've had them erased twice...server problems?).

    'Fie upon the Congress' - Sen Bob Byrd

    by Maxwell on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:11:33 PM PDT

    •  Obviously, Kos doesn't like what you write. ;) (none)

      "You can't talk to the ignorant about lies, since they have no criteria." --Ezra Pound

      by machopicasso on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:14:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Could be... (none)
        I was a vocal Clarkie in the third wave, but I don't think that's it. I stopped posting for a month or two due to job overload and travel, and when I came back my diaries were flushed and my trusted user status was gone.

        I think the Mojo system works partially on timeliness of posting.

        'Fie upon the Congress' - Sen Bob Byrd

        by Maxwell on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:22:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly what it was (none)
          Markos was running us off, but we didn't leave.  So there kos.

          And thanks for everything.

          "We're not criticizing Bush for going after terrorists, we're criticizing him for NOT going after terrorists." - Paraphrase of J. Kerry, tip to Gen. Clark

          by Armando on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:29:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Lotsa Clark these days... (none)
            Kerry's entire Iraq and security rhetoric seems lifted straight from the Clark campaign, does it not, Armando?

            'Fie upon the Congress' - Sen Bob Byrd

            by Maxwell on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:15:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Preaching to the Choir Max (none)
              You know I have been asking for that for months.

              In fact, after the NYU speech I said if we lose, I canhardly play the blame gamecuz Kerry was saying and doing exactly what I wanted, particularly when he followed up with the Friday Iraq as Diversion to WoT speech. Notice I changed my sig - now Kerry says that too.

              "We're not criticizing Bush for going after terrorists, we're criticizing him for NOT going after terrorists." - Paraphrase of J. Kerry, tip to Gen. Clark

              by Armando on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:19:28 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yup. Yup. (none)
                I still wonder if Clark wouldn't have been in the catbird seat these days had he been the nominee. Zero American casualties in his war.

                But they would have Swift Boated him as the mad General from Kosovo. They were already preparing the poison darts.

                'Fie upon the Congress' - Sen Bob Byrd

                by Maxwell on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:35:24 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No way of knowing (none)
                  That's all spilt milk. I don't even think about that stuff now.

                  Though,in idle moments, I do hope Kerry gives Clark the reins on Iraq.

                  "We're not criticizing Bush for going after terrorists, we're criticizing him for NOT going after terrorists." - Paraphrase of J. Kerry, tip to Gen. Clark

                  by Armando on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:53:24 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Ah, memories (4.00)
                    Armonda, are you the one who told me to grow up when I was moaning and groaning over Dean's loss in Iowa and New Hampshire?  Well, I deserved it a bit.

                    Right now I could not be prouder of Wes Clark.  And I listen to his T.V. appearances anytime I can.  Dean and Clark are doing themselves, their supporters, and our country proud.  And we are better for having supported each of them.

                    I did not realize I had been here that long until my registration number was lower than just about anybodies.  The change to scoop just about drove me off.  Took me weeks to figure out how to post again.  Us newbies have learned a lot.

        •  Quality, quantity, timeliness (none)
          All count in keeping your Mojo up and hence your TU status.
        •  I was kidding. (none)
          I wouldn't take the loss of user status personally.

          "You can't talk to the ignorant about lies, since they have no criteria." --Ezra Pound

          by machopicasso on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 06:43:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Archived (none)
      They'll be much easier to access in the near future. Not so easy right now.
    •  I was wondering (none)
      about the missing diaries too.  I don't write diaries often (my most recent one was June 30th), but they're all gone now, along with all my comments before July 5th.  Is this temporary, or do diaries and comments have only a limited life before they get automatically deleted?  I don't mind if it's the latter; I'd just like to know in case I write anything worth saving.
  •  How do I know... (none)
    ... when I supposed to "fade away"? Or do I just wait for someone to chase me away?

    It's so hard to figure this stuff out any more.

    •  someone will inform you of your travel plans (none)
      in a manner that's unmistakable. You'll laugh and give it back, or...

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 05:23:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kos ho is the new server going.. (none)
    I've noticed the site has been much faster lately but since I'm a night person on weekends I've not been around much during peek hours.

    We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

    by delver rootnose on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:14:52 PM PDT

    •  Temporary server (none)
      Right now the site db is a loaner from my data center.

      I got the latest and greatest db server I could find, and there's a huge shortage of them. IBM decided to send one from their Mexico warehouse, but it got stuck in customs. It's supposed to finally arrive this week. But the loaner, which only has 4 Gigs or RAM, compared to 8 for the server on its way, is doing awesome -- barely a glitch despite serving up close to 1 million page views per day the last week.

      The new db server should really rock.

      •  Have you ever though about going big if you could (none)
        afford it.

        I think there are really big IBM machines that run linux or Unit and serve web pages.  I'm a mainframe assemble programmer and I have heard of the smaller mainframes being used as web servers etc.

        We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

        by delver rootnose on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:52:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Kudos to you Kos (none)
        I've been here since damn near the beginning.  I love it here, but I do admit to feeling crowded out by our growing on-line family.  That being said, I love it here.  I haven't been posting much because I started grad school in August so now I can't sit on my ass all day in my cubicle reading DKos.  When I get home in the afternoons I log on and read everything.  I don't post usually because everything has already been said.  thanks for all that you do for us Kos.  we all appreciate it.
  •  On this quote: (4.00)
    "Finally, there's a small cabal that has decided that they can run a community better than I can. And perhaps they can, though actions usually speak louder than words."

    Respectful of their opinions BUT:

    If that is the case, why don't each of them go start their own blog then like you seem to be suggesting. Wasn't that exactly one of the goals of the DailyKos clearly stated from the get-go... to encourage people to go start their own blogs when and if they needed more 'legroom' for their ideas than could be found at Kos?

    "The world is full of Eddie Barzooms just jogging into the future." -Satan in The Devil's Advocate

    by LeftHandedMan on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:16:10 PM PDT

    •  Two reasons (none)
      1. fragmentation is not necessary a virtue when the goal is to organize and activate and inform. Ironically, the call to just work together for the elections and stop complaining contradicts your call for everyone to go do their own thing the way they want to;

      2. The suggestion that "if you don't like it here, start your own" doesn't hurt the people you are addressing it to, it hurts those who stay behind, it hurts the community as a whole, and it hurts kos, because he is stuck with an accelerating customer service nightmare because of poor design and failure to create affordances for self-management, and because the people with the greatest sense of stake in the community--which tend, naturally, to be those that want to help make things better--leave.

      The idea that any suggestion for improvement is itself a bad thing is in itself an all-too-familiar symptom of online community pathology. In healthy communities, contributions are welcomed and respected. That doesn't mean everyone's ideas get implemented, but it means at the very least there is a discussion about them and a sense that they are welcome. Ultimately, the community as a whole benefits.

      "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

      by galiel on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 06:31:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This "oldtimer" (4.00)
    has been here since long before the Scoop transition...has been the target of many a flame, has laid out some of my own flamage...and regretted some of both (and deserved some of the former, and was justified in some of the latter)...

    This "oldtimer" is perfectly happy with the site, except that I would really like to see a "Transfer 25,000 dollars into RedDan's Bank Account" Button...

    This "oldtimer" has a hard time believing that I, an avowed socialist who really doesn't like ANY Democrat, but who, for political, personal, strategic, and sanity reasons is fully behind Kerry and any and all Democrats this cycle...is more disciplined, committed, and willing to put the party  before my own pet issue(s)...and so many Democrats and other liberals appear incapable of it...

    Finally, this "oldtimer" thinks that the site is just fine, thanks, both in terms of tech and in terms of population...

    And that those who left in anger or in sadness were and are making a big mistake...

    And that if anyone wants to see REAL groupthink, they should go over to Tacitus, RedState, or Die FreiRepublik and check out the vibes over there.

    There ain't no freakin' groupthink here, far from it.

    There are a bunch of spoiled brats who want everyone to agree with them and listen to their shit all the time without pointing out that they're being divisive and depressing at a critical juncture...and that's just lame.

    The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

    by RedDan on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:16:29 PM PDT

    •  you have been the antithesis of groupthink from (none)
      beginning. Somehow I'm not worried asbout that with you around.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 05:25:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Having been through a few online communities (none)
      My advice is "Don't overinvest." Get what you can from the site, but don't depend on other people behaving in a certain way. Change is inevitable, and make your contribution to that change, but don't convince yourself that you do have (or ought to have) total control. The only person who has that control is Kos, and if he's not meeting your needs or desires, find a community that's a better match. I think Kos has carved out a community that allows for a lot of leeway, so I would suggest to those old-timers who are thinking of leaving that they maybe get creative to see what kinds of new impacts and subcommunities they can create.

      Also try to have other outlets for yourself, both IRL and online, or else you end up overinvesting no matter what happens.

      I'm pretty boggled to see from the UIDs that there are tens of thousands of members, but that's not a measure of anything, really. It's the posting and quality thereof that matters. The Scoop mechanism does a good job of filtering that, as far as I can tell. (Though I'm a little annoyed that I have to come back and post like a madwoman every few months to stay elite.)

      Also: Don't get in flamewars. If someone's awful, give them a one. If they're just dumb, ignore them, and write an essay that responds to what they're saying without singling them out. It will make you think your own ideas out, and it avoids the confrontation, and most of all it encourages you to make a much more positive contribution to the community. (If you need help doing this, just visualize all the fours you'll get.) It will also lower your blood pressure. :)

      It seems I can hear God say to America, "You are too arrogant, and if you don't change your ways, I'll break the backbone of your power."

      --MLK

      by Melissa O on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 05:43:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  new guy... sorta (4.00)
    Kos -

    I've been reading for about 18 months. I registered awhile back but have never posted until now. (which "wave" does this put me in?)

    I just wanted to say: THANK YOU.

    You and Atrios are the only reason I still have any hope left. :)

    Keep up the great job.
    -reason

    •  Just a step up from that (none)
      I read and rarely post. I'm too busy to edit to my standards as a former professional writer.

      There's a marked difference in the Kos experience between lurking and posting. Some good, some bad.

      The good: you don't get caught up in the Mass Lemming Actions that afflict any grouping of liberals. Most of the flame wars, the Dean v. Kerry, the 'are you liberal enough' fights fall into this category. I'm not liberal enough, but I'm fighting like a motherfucker to get Kerry elected.

      The bad: you miss the visceral thrill of being involved. Worse, you don't have as many Mary Scott O'Connor mojo-hits as you probably should, she being full of grace and redeemer of all.  

  •  Newbie here (none)
    I'm new here and want to say I am so lucky to have found this place.  It took me nearly a month of just snooping around to even understand how the place works. I've found many great ideas and some not so great ideas here.  But the most significant find here at dKos, is the ability to share with like-minded folks on matters of politics and sometimes other matters.
    I did vote for this site as the best Democratic blog ...  
    HERE
    ..
    So, no bitching from me, just eternal gratitude.
    Thanks.

    "you'd think that the worst thing that ever happened to us was the best thing that ever happened to you." Bill Maher

    by Tangerine on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:17:29 PM PDT

  •  #@$%#$&*@#$ and &&#%$ (4.00)
    Who are you calling a hanger-on?

    Who are you calling the old guard?

    And who the &%#$(@* #^@%$ing @##^ are you calling an old-timer?

    Someday, fella, you're gonna have wrinkles.

    •  Old and in the way (none)
      that's what I heard 'em say...

      Heh!

      The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

      by RedDan on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:19:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  holy crap (none)
      Meteor Blades ... your user id is 6!!!!
      Wow, I'm impressed.

      "you'd think that the worst thing that ever happened to us was the best thing that ever happened to you." Bill Maher

      by Tangerine on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:23:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We should all start (none)
        waving our e-pe..id numbers around now!

        As a newcomer, old-timer, fade-awayer, and hanger-on, I just want to salute Kos once again. I love reading through all the old comments in the pre-scoop days when we could put any username for any comment. Those were chaotic but fun times. I've contemplated registering a Helen Lovejoy account just to post "Won't somebody please think of the children", but it just wouldn't be the same :(

        Now that you're a bigshot on Air America, I'm just happy that you still talk to us every now and again. =)

      •  #6 and $3.50 will buy you a ... (none)
        ...latte at Starbux. Make me an offer: my #6 for your #18682 and, say, enough for my next month's mortgage?
        •  how about just a latte a day for #6? (none)
          I've been saving my money for a down payment so one day I too can have a mortgage ... I have refused to make any large purchases during this administration, but I plan on buying a home of my own next year, with Kerry in the WH ...
          Till then, have a cup of latte on me every day ....

          "you'd think that the worst thing that ever happened to us was the best thing that ever happened to you." Bill Maher

          by Tangerine on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:36:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  How do you see someone's User ID??? (n/t) (none)

        I like Paul Babbitt. After you read this, so will you.

        by Nonpartisan on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:31:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  See my name beneath this comment? (none)
          right click on it, open in new window.

          The url has my user #.

          Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

          by Maryscott OConnor on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:36:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Awesome -- thanks (n/t) (none)

            I like Paul Babbitt. After you read this, so will you.

            by Nonpartisan on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:40:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Alternative (none)
              You can just put the mouse cursor over the name and look at the bottom left of the browswer window.  (Avoid having to click to another page....I know...what a friggin' hassle that is!)

              "Quit covering up your lies with half-truths and gorilla dust!" - Bill McNeil (Phil as Bill)

              by The Free Man on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 08:59:27 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  user id... (none)
              interesting to see their displayed chronilogically.  I left the site in December, but I'm starting to come back a little now.  I did notice that all of my old comments from the "Dean Fall" of 2003 are gone.  Server upgrades must have blown away archived comments, or else they were dumped to punish my inactivity.

              Running a site of this traffic must cost Kos a freaking fortune.  I hope he gets paid well from blogads...

        •  Put your cursor over their (none)
           name and then check the status line. Or click on their name and check out the path in the address line.

          And (smack forehead here) if you are like me, and claim the former  doesn't work in Safari (like I did some weeks ago), go to View and make sure you have selected Status Bar.

          But always remember that User ID only gets you back to the implementation of Scoop, it misses at least two of Markos's 'waves'.

          And while the free-wheeling days of picking any screen name you wanted for every post may have been fun, except when it wasn't. A case in point was the last weekend pre-Scoop when a troll or trolls went on a campaign of identity theft, posting right in the face of known posters until you lost track of who was who. That wasn't fun at all and would have melted down dKos if Scoop hadn't of rescued the day.

      •  Hey i would have a lower (none)
        Hey i would have had a lower ID if my DNS hadnt been so slow.

        Whatever I am I think i am in the 40s or 60s but been around since before 2002 election. Man I love this site. Its kept me sane so many a day.

        Well as sane as i get.

        •  Just be glad (none)
          your number isn't THX 1138.

          John Kerry: The New Abe Lincoln

          by lapin on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 08:50:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  IDs (none)
          When you click on "Who has recommended this diary," people are listed in user ID order. Same with comment ratings. 73, baby! If I recall correctly, some of us couldn't get over to the Scoop site immediately.

          Swing State Project - Analyzing the 2004 battleground states.

          by David Nir on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 08:51:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I became a lurker around augs of 02 (none)
          I post sporatically and write poorly. I give fours out lavashly and troll rate rarley. I at times hope for more substance but understand that I lack the leadership and time to set a standard. Did I say writing skills.. My id # is just above 1000 and I have my name from pre scoop. All in all Kos has done fine by us and we from him. Things will improve in the months ahead. Remember before the kosopendia and diaries, When a sixty post thread was long and it was a much greater back and forth. Now it seems it is harder to get heard but also easier.

          People change, there lives and priorities change they come and go and come back again. Remeber the eighties and Regan, Iran contra, Some hear can tell you about the sixty and characters they met most of us have just read about.

          The great thing about us as a whole is that we can find, check condemplate any question, answer we choose to try and understand. At least for a little while we are a collective in a modern since. We are individuels that bring everything to the table and hash out the good, bad and ugly. We scream and yell leave and comeback to the topic or others.

          Thank you all and thank you Kos his friends< staff and all of our other posters for being the reason in a world that that seems hard to find... Davici......................

          Lots of people see the world in Black and White. It is mostly just shades of grey.

          by Davinci on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:09:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Check out Kos' uid: (none)
        #3.  Who is No. 1?

        You are #6.

        I am not a number.  I am a free man!

        </Prisoner parody>

    •  But will he have stories as (none)
      good as yours?  I doubt it.

      "We're not criticizing Bush for going after terrorists, we're criticizing him for NOT going after terrorists." - Paraphrase of J. Kerry, tip to Gen. Clark

      by Armando on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:30:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, BUT Will He Wrinkle (none)
      in my lifetime?  It's makin' me nuts. I seriously think he should run for SOMETHING but who the heck is gonna vote for someone who looks like he's in middle school?

      BTW, WTF happened with Theoria?   I didn't know he'd gone before today.

      I miss that dude and I really wanna know what happened.

      Damn.

      You can't always tell the truth because you don't always know the truth - but you can ALWAYS be honest.

      by mattman on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:47:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  always interested in the demographics of (4.00)
      who we are. Yes, Meteor Blades, you are old. That's also wise, experienced, and maybe other things as well, but compared to the median Kossak (late 20's-early 30's), I'm old, and you're older than me.

      BTW, the sig ID is relatively but not absolutely a sign of how long you've been around. I'm one of the newer old kids (pre-scoop but not Billmon vintage) but didn't sign up instantaneously.

      Whether new or old poster, etiquette should prevail. Troll ratings should be reserved for trolls, not unpopular ideas. But if you put it out there, don't complain about the response. And better to argue with your tongue than your finger (i.e., troll rating). Everyone has their own definititions (not for today's thread, please) but on the whole, we're all on the same side. Of course,if we're constitutionally unable to remember that, it's also part of who we are.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 05:42:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  etiquette vs design (none)
        etiquette should prevail

        As communities scale, design beats etiquette everytime, for better or worse.

        "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

        by galiel on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 06:21:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I wasn't aware of much strife, but then (4.00)
    some people think I'm "arguing" when actually I'm merely dicussing something.

    If you're obsessing about what gizmo you'd like on Daily Kos, you're not doing enough to win the elections in four weeks.

    Definitely.

    I really appreciate the work you do to keep the site going.  Thanks!

  •  Interesting. Can we remember to hear more (none)
    about this after the election?

    Finally, there's a small cabal that has decided that they can run a community better than I can. And perhaps they can, though actions usually speak louder than words.

    Of course no one can "run" a community. There's a nuance there struggling to come out. Communities that don't "run" themselves end up in the dustbins. Meta-topics like these never go anywhere, but they sure can be interesting and in their own way fun.

  •  Right on, Kos! (none)
    The continuity of the community through stress and change is a testament to the strength of its underlying principles. (Thank you!) Like anything else, in times of change, a community must evolve or perish.
    •  Evolve or perish. (none)
      Agree!  I am new to the blog and to assertively communicating my polical position(s)and I am really old (HS grad.'64).  To me this blog is one of the stronger more dynamic voices calling all American citizens to action. Don't get me wrong. I first started voting in 1968 and have not missed a local,state, or federal election since.  Have all my family and most of the inlaws voting KC04. Some say no because Kerry says he will not allow portion of persons Social Security acct to be privately invested.  On most other issues they're o.k.  Kos you're the man when it comes building a righteous blog.
      •  Perish or Evolve (none)
        I'm a newbie (ish) here, but a refugee from another blog.  I can relate to what Kos wrote because, after a series of changes at my "old bar", I decided it wasn't the place for me anymore.  so I moved along through the blogosphere, through some blogs I watched, but hadn't become part of the community (you know, that bar down the road you kinda like, but don't really hang out at).  I came here.  I like it here.  You have a nice balance of "news collectors" and "news commentors", which i really enjoy.  I'm a commentor, but appreciate the work of the collectors -- depend on it, really.
  •  Well said... (none)
    That was like the Kos State of the Union address!

    Very accurate and heartfelt. I agree 100%

    Why do people who want to start their own site and leave have to bother you with that? They should just go and do what they want and stop whining to you. I'd be like "have fun - buh-bye."  

    Now, just give me the names of the people threatening to cecede and I know a few people who can take care of things for ya.

    LOL.  

    Unity and diversity are not opposing forces.  

  •  "Groupthink' versus closing ranks. (4.00)
    I will never turn off my brain, values, morals and personal opinions.  I refuse to become like a brain dead robo-republican.  I am however a yellow dog Democrat.  I hold my nose at times, but vote a straight party ticket.  From my observations here, 90% of the membership does exactly the same thing.

    People here give money, time, in many cases their hearts and souls to campaigns, most to liberal/progressive candidates.  If they (and me) sometimes express frustration at being asked to support candidates that don't advance the liberal/progressive agenda.  Tough shit.  If some of us at times want to give Kerry/Edwards a kick in the ass, tough shit!  He's our candidate too and our future is resting on them.

    If this ever becomes a "Groupthink" blog, I'll follow Theoria and others out of here.  We came close during the Dean/Clark period when "bad posts" about them were discouraged.  As strongly as I supported Dean, I always welcomed and rated up interesting posts supporting other candidates.  I suggest we all continue to do the same.  

    We are Democrats!  We think for ourselves!  We are Democrats!  We are suppose to be like herding cats!  Yes, it's irrating, but it's ultimately our strength, not our weakness.

    Patriotic, flag waving, radical centrist Howard Dean voter on loan to Kerry/Edwards04.

    by rusrivman on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:25:34 PM PDT

    •  Agree to a point (4.00)
      But earlier this week we had a member troll rate someone because he didn't like his sig. The sig simply suggested it was okay to vote green in a safe state, and was the same sig this regular poster had had forever. This was group think at its worst.

      Bush demands you sign a loyalty oath before you even make it in the door of a campaign event. The day it feels that that is the rule here at dKos you can color me gone.

    •  One thing people forget is though (none)
      Sometimes your brain, heart, mind, whatever, might be countered with someone else's brain, heart, mind, or whatever, and so unless they're troll rating you and literally censoring you, it's not 'groupthink' blog.  It's 'I don't effing agree with your methodology' blog.
    •  Religious-like atmosphere (none)
      The one thing a progressive blog should know and represent is the negatives of unquestioning,  blind religious-like following.  In the partial words of Senator Benson:

      I know a progressive blog when I see one, and a religious-like blog is no progressive blog! Remember that

      Political censorship is the root of all evil! It is the antithesis to a functional democracy!!

      by truthbetold on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 06:56:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kos Racer (4.00)
    Here he comes
    Her comes Kos Racer
    He's a demon on wheels
    He's a demon and he's gonna be chasin' after someone.

    He's gainin' on you so you better look alive.
    He's busy revvin' up a powerful Mach 5.

    And when the odds are against him
    And there's dangerous work to do
    You bet your life Kos Racer
    Will see it through.

    Go Kos Racer
    Go Kos Racer
    Go Kos Racer, Go!

    He's off and flyin' as he guns the car around the track
    He's jammin' down the pedal like he's never comin' back
    Adventure's waitin' just ahead.

    Go Kos Racer
    Go Kos Racer
    Go Kos Racer, Go!

    "He needs a slave for his vision of the promised land / No I don't believe a word" Stone Roses

    by spot on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:26:22 PM PDT

  •  points clarified (4.00)
    There's another dynamic that is currently causing a lot of grief -- the desire to close ranks close to an election. "Groupthink". And while I am no paragon of party unity, it's not a desire I'll fight. We should close ranks before an election. Those who insist on fighting those battles now are merely distracting from the ultimate goal. Eyes on the prize, and all.

    Once the election is over, we can get back to fighting over policy, whether to tackle the DLC, hating Greens or welcoming them to the fold, being a "Wellstone democrat" versus "Dean Democrat" versus who knows what else, etc.

    For now, if you come here and trash a Democratic candidate, expect to be trashed back (just like I get trashed when I criticize the party). If you can't take the heat, then don't write that post or diary. Or consider returning after November 2. It's that simple. This is a Democratic blog after all.

    That's been the elephant in the room that's been danced around in the short time I've been here. You've set the parameters clearly so i now know that if I want to dicsuss liberalism in general, this is not the blog to participate in. Kos obviously wants this blog to focus on Kerry and the Democratic party with caveats against discussing policy etc. I don't agree with such tight restrictions but it's Kos's blog, so what I think doesn't really matter. I have other outlets for broader discussions and will use them. I think it's unfortunate that policy discussions are out of bounds because I now feel like if I'm not here just being a Kerry cheerleader (which I am) then I don't have much to add. Having said that, I will tow the line and limit my discussion here.

    Thank you for the clarification. Perhaps it should remain on the front page.

    •  I didn't take it that way (4.00)
      I think Kos is all about discussing policy.  And I think he said pretty clearly that whatever restrictions ARE there will only last for another month.

      I don't see this as nearly so restrictive as you do.

      I like Paul Babbitt. After you read this, so will you.

      by Nonpartisan on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:31:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  and that's what I quoted (none)
        Please people! Please take my post for what it is! It is not a criticism of Kos or this site in any way, shape or form. I thought I stated that clearly. What did I miss? Exactly how did I misinterpret his statement? I can't see it whatsover.

        Please relax a bit. I'm pretty sure I understood what he wrote. He spoke very clearly and I thanked him for doing so. That's all.

        •  I'm not saying you criticized him (4.00)
          I'm saying you misunderstood him.

          He did NOT say that you couldn't discuss "policy".  I don't know what "policy" means in Canada, but in America is means issues, like whether we should support nuclear testing or the like.  Kos didn't say anything about this.  He was commenting on campaign strategy instead, arguing that we should refrain from delivering sucker-punches to people like Terry McAuliffe before the election.

          In short, I believe this argument took place because you misused the word "policy".

          I like Paul Babbitt. After you read this, so will you.

          by Nonpartisan on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:52:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  If you're wondering (4.00)
          why people are reacting negatively to your post (and the reaction isn't even that negative), it's because it seems to have a vague air of self-righteous victimhood.  There have been a lot of sarcastic posts recently about the supposed intolerance of this site, which generally read like "Thank you for clarifying that dissent is off-limits.  It's too bad that being anything but a blind Kerry worshiper is banned, but I guess I'll go along because my opinions don't matter."  Yours isn't quite this bad, but it's similar in tone.  The fact that you seemed to be spinning Kos's words to be as restrictive as possible didn't make you look any better.
      •  Marie (none)
        I'm a bit confused.  Could you explain your marginal-rating of this post?  I was simply trying to interpret what Kos said.  Was I wrong?

        I like Paul Babbitt. After you read this, so will you.

        by Nonpartisan on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:01:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Can't rate Kos - (3.00)
          You are endorsing self-censorship -- that's how it began for journalists in response to the attacks by Nixon/Agnew and it built from there into what we now see passing for journalism.  Even those from the "old guard" who in their youth were trained in journalism like Dan Rather are now self-censoring when information could impact an election.

          This is precisely what Billmon was pointing out in his LA Times Op-Ed as a problem for successful blogs.  Even when they are not commercial enterprises, they will emulate them.

          I don't disagree that booting Bush is a worthy goal, but I also know that politicians listen best at election time and a Kerry in the WH will not even begin to listen to the left until '08.  Maybe not even then since he hasn't done so in the past two years, relying instead on the fact that we have nowhere else to go.  Not too different from what OK DEMs are faced with in voting for Carson.  And maybe, just maybe we would today have a seat at the DEM table if the ABB sentiment hadn't been pushed in venues like this beginning early in 2003.  

    •  Strawman (3.66)
      Read the original post.

      Kos:

      "if you come here and trash a Democratic candidate, expect to be trashed back"

      Catnip:

      "if I want to dicsuss liberalism in general, this is not the blog to participate in. Kos obviously wants this blog to focus on Kerry and the Democratic party with caveats against discussing policy etc"

      See the difference?

      Discussing policy, discussing liberalism, discussing what you would LIKE the candidate(s) or party to say, stand for, or propose...is DIFFERENT from Trashing the candidate 30 days out from the most important election in decades, if not ever.

      Get it?

      The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

      by RedDan on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:31:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  this is what I was referring to (3.50)
        Once the election is over, we can get back to fighting over policy, whether to tackle the DLC, hating Greens or welcoming them to the fold, being a "Wellstone democrat" versus "Dean Democrat" versus who knows what else, etc.

        The "fighting over policy" quote is what I was referring to. I thought it was pretty clear. And, yes, some people do think that disagreements over policy here equals trashing Kerry.

        (Side note: I had the feeling that people would jump on me for what I wrote but if you read it carefully, I hope you see that it was written with humility - not in a critcal tone.)

    •  What he said was (none)
      that we can discuss policy after the election, not that it's banned from the site.  Furthermore, I think it's clear from context that Kos is referring to policy related to the nature of the Democratic Party, not "policy" in the broader sense, as you seem to interpret it.  
      •  I know (none)
        I know that he wants to put aside policy discussion until after the election. It was in his very quote I pasted. As for policy:

        Democratic party blog> Democratic party policy (postponed until after the election)

        That's clear from what he posted. I'm a Canadian Liberal. My issues are broader than that scope. I merley said I will find another place more suitable to those types of discussions. That's all.

        •  If you know that, (none)
          then you shouldn't have phrased your post to imply that policy discussions are forever off-limits.  All Kos is saying is that we should put off this hand-wringing about the future of the Democratic Party for less than a month.  This suggestion hardly justifies the grim picture you painted in your post.

          If you're afraid that you'll get shouted down because you start a debate over policy, I don't think you have to worry, unless the "policy" in question is closely connected to ongoing intra-party battles.  People might not be interested in your discussion because of the focus on the race, but that's not the same as saying that it's off-limits.

          •  forever off limits? (none)
            Where did I say that policy discussions were "forever off limits"? Show me the quote.

            "grim picture"? Let me reframe this for you: I'm a buddhist. I am opinionated but I am a humble person. I respect people who tell me what their limits are in a clear fashion. I strive to understand my place in the world from a base of humilty. I accept limits.

            Now, go back and read my post with a sense of humility and you'll see that it comes across in a far different manner than this "grim picture" that you've described.

            •  You didn't say it in words (none)
              but your interpretations of Kos's statements eliminated any reference to time restraints, e.g.:

              You've set the parameters clearly so i now know that if I want to dicsuss liberalism in general, this is not the blog to participate in. Kos obviously wants this blog to focus on Kerry and the Democratic party with caveats against discussing policy etc.

              Frankly, all your talk about humility is wearing thin.  I have read and re-read your post, and it's clear that your words make Kos's comments look more restrictive than Kos's own words.  This is because you omit references to time constraints, and broaden the word "policy" beyond what Kos intended.  If you want to keep arguing about how humble you are, I suggest that you re-read your own post, to see why it might have provoked the responses it did.

              •  just troll rate my post and move on (none)
                n/t
                •  Now you're just being silly (4.00)
                  I haven't troll rated any of your posts, nor have I seriously considered doing so.  In fact, as I write this, I don't think that anybody has done so.  I don't think you're trolling.  I just think that you wrote a comment that painted Kos's rules as more restrictive than they are, and seemed to play the familiar role of the self-righteous but obedient victim.  That's what's annoying everybody.  I don't know what tone was intended in your original post, but the tone that you actually conveyed was rather unpleasant.  

                  Once again, you're making things seem worse than they are.  People made some (mostly) civil criticisms of your comment, but you're implying that we're all out to troll-rate you.  You need to sleep on this, or something.  

      •  What he was saying (none)
        Was that some people here have think skin and if you post and get flamed troll rated etc. That right now the passion level of this election is overriding many peoples since of what is good or bad for the election. It is only group think if you let people intimidate you by rating you down.

        For me the rating make know difference even if at time I have wondered what it takes to get mojo. I have admonished many for there troll ratings on posts but also that I don't go threw the time to look at posting history to decide if they are always posting for the sake of conflict.

        Maybe if we all look at building an arguement toward understanding and concensice. It seems to me that I can agree with many people here on priciple but that there tactics of statigy is flawed.
        Example: In south Dakota we have a conservative Dem Party. Culturally they have know choice or they turn into Kansas that has a republican party that infights like cats and dogs between the moderate Republicans and the Delay, falwell wing of there party. That the moderate republicans are less conservative than some dems in other states does not mean that don't get slapped into party lolity when it comes to speaker votes. This is why kansas has Moore in district 3 because moderates will vote a dem in before a hard right republican. It is also why we have a democratic as govener because the inter party fight was one by the hard left in the primary. So if you have to support tacidly a dem in south dakota or the south that is the lesser of two evils that is life. They only way to change the system is to have power within it. Even then for many of us the change does not happen over night and it is frustrating.

        The repulican party has taken thirty years to get to this point and it will take twenty before we see the change we want. Some of us will never see our dreams in our lifetime but the work has begun and we will win lose and learn many lessons in the coming years...

        So post your thoughts, some will engage, some will not, some will flame, and some praise.. You can post and take your licks and praise and even get missed which to me is sometimes the most disheating.... Have a great day all .....

        Lots of people see the world in Black and White. It is mostly just shades of grey.

        by Davinci on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:39:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Up to the Election (none)
      But if you are willling to fight, then fight. don't whine if you catch hell.

      When the primaries were goiong, I had nightly wars, and lived to tell the tale.

      Skin is too thin for all you supposed feisty types.

      "We're not criticizing Bush for going after terrorists, we're criticizing him for NOT going after terrorists." - Paraphrase of J. Kerry, tip to Gen. Clark

      by Armando on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:38:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Armando, you fool (4.00)
        Don't you know that if people are bitching at you, they are censoring you?  You know what critics of critical posts should do?  They should just shut up, to help foster dissent.  Otherwise we will be relegated to mindless cheerleading of the candidate instead of one another's pulitzer prize winning posts.  Get a clue.  Twink.
        •  Yep (none)
          Because you know criticizing a criticizer is so stifling.

          I'll tell you what though, this whining is amzing, compared to the primary fights - the insults then were glorious - if I was not called an idiot more than 10 times in a day, then it was a good day back then.

          "We're not criticizing Bush for going after terrorists, we're criticizing him for NOT going after terrorists." - Paraphrase of J. Kerry, tip to Gen. Clark

          by Armando on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:31:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Ah, the nightly wars (none)
        damn they were fun :)  

        Patriotic, flag waving, radical centrist Howard Dean voter on loan to Kerry/Edwards04.

        by rusrivman on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 10:34:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Catnip (none)
      You are panicking.

      This blog may have gone thru 4 phases but they all were different iterations of the same thing.

      LET'S GET THIS ASSHOLE OUT OF OFFICE.

      We have spilled a trillion words.  And now, the election is upon us.

      It is not the time to come on here and complain about whether Kerry is anti-gun enough, or pro-labor enough, or anything enough.

      If you want to post on the merits of a policy, no one will object.

      Policy is welcome.

      But it is time to circle the wagons.

      Every word ever written in this blog was in some way dedicated to the defeat of George W. Bush and other republicans.

      And let's honor that fact by doing a little less blogging and a lot more organizing.

      And contructive blogging is for exposing what the media ignores, giving the campaign advice, facilitating organization, and relieving stress.

      Not in JamesB3 negativity, or in bitching about Kerry's or other Dems shortcomings.

      I think I see eye to eye with Markos on this.

      It is time to put our differences aside...temporarily.

      And as for "running a community", Markos is already a legend.

      "What can I say? I just tip my hat and call the Yankees my daddy." -Pedro Martinez

      by BooMan23 on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:42:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not what is discussed (4.00)
        It's how it is presented.

        JamesB3's negativity could and should be USEFUL for focusing on where we need to respond and converge in rapid response...

        James is getting there, and getting much better at it - like his latest, excellent diary.

        There are others, including myself, who have made the transition...

        Others still need to do that.

        And when the election is done, all bets are OFF.

        The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

        by RedDan on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:52:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Once we win, which looks more ... (4.00)
          ...and more likely, we're gonna kick Kerry's ass ...politely some of the time, angrily some of the time. Some of us are Democrats because we think the party's swell, some because Bush is turd, and some because what other practical choice do unrepentant leftwing social democrats have in America at the presidential level?
          •  DAMNED (4.00)
            RIGHT!

            I think that the left made a huge mistake when we lined up and quieted down behind Clinton.

            This time is gonna be differ'nt.

            This time we (or at least myself and many of my friends) are gonna:

            1. Vote for Kerry, after having raised tons of cash and organized like hell for ANY and ALL democrats this time around...

            2. Take over our local party organs...which we are already well on our way to doing.

            3. Take over the leadership seats of those party organs, committees, and caucuses.

            4. Primary Challenge, run for seats, and otherwise hammer the Democratic party into submission from both within and without...

            Let's see...what else did I miss?

            Oh, right...Steal Underpants, ?????, Profit!

            Love ya, MB, and hope that your corporeal being is hale and healthy after your medical incident...

            The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

            by RedDan on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:13:11 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'll look forward to seeing those discussions (none)
              n/t
            •  Agree and disagree (3.66)
              As usual, I find myself in the middle of this current disagreement.  Politics is the art of negotiation -- or at least until the republicans started this 'my way or the highway' type of thinking.  Noone gets it all their way.  not the republicans and not the democrats.  It is a give and take process, just like posting here.

              What is the point right now of having a flame war about support of Israel or gun laws or anything else we could and do disagree about.  These are huge issues that go beyond left and right.

              And you said that we should hold kerry's feet to the fire even after he wins.  True to a point in my opinion.  We need to let Kerry know our issues and speak loudly.  But the republicans will be all ready to do to Kerry what they did to Clinton.  Many of us were mad at Clinton and did not support him enough when they came after him.

              We were not organized then.  Nor did we recognize the extent of the threat.  Everyone is wide awake now.  We need to confront Kerry as well as defend him.  If we go after Kerry, and the republicans go after Kerry, we get Jeb Bush in 2008.  NOOOO.

              On troll rating, I only troll rated someone once and found that their seemingly out of sync post with bad language was a remote referece to some book or something.  I learned my lesson.  Someone rated the post up to counter mine.  

            •  steal underpants! (4.00)
              That's not our job; it belongs to the guy on the left...
               

              On to the community part...I've been around a while...There's nothing I can do about the ebb and flow of new and old posters.  I'll miss some, and some I probably haven't noticed yet.  We can't control other people and their reactions; we can only control our own.  Keep up the good job, Markos.  Two years ago I felt hopeless and alone in the sea of pro-war, anti-liberal/dissent propaganda.  Now, I'm registering voters, I am going to a Move On meeting tonight, and I've convinced people to vote for Kerry!  Because of this site, I am active.  There's really no other reason (except I should give credit to Tom Tomorrow for linking/introducing me to this site back in the day).  I was quite deep in "helpless" mode; and if I hadn't been made aware of all the people here getting up, going out, and doing something to change the situation I think I would still just be lying on my couch, miserably waiting for W's re-selection.  Now I'm fighting so that day doesn't happen.  Thanks to all our work on this site and when we pry ourselves away from the keyboards.  I couldn't feel part of this online community if you weren't here.  So that's my testimonial.  

              "I have come to the conclusion that politics are too serious a matter to be left to the politicians."~Charles De Gaulle *CHEERS to blogs!*

              by spyral on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 09:57:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  seriously booman (none)
        Show me where I appear "panicked".

        I am surprised now at the reactions to my post. I thought someone would misinterpret it but apparently that's contagious.

        Let me rephrase my post for all of you:

        "Dear kos,

        Thank you for you post and the stated parameters. Now I know what's suitable to post according to your guidelines.

        Love,

        catnip"

        •  THIS is what you said that bothered us (4.00)
          "I don't agree with such tight restrictions but it's Kos's blog, so what I think doesn't really matter. I have other outlets for broader discussions and will use them. I think it's unfortunate that policy [misused word] discussions are out of bounds because I now feel like if I'm not here just being a Kerry cheerleader (which I am) then I don't have much to add.

          Clear now?  Doesn't sound like a love letter to me.

          I like Paul Babbitt. After you read this, so will you.

          by Nonpartisan on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:55:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  my last post to you about this (none)
            This IS Kos's blog. Therefore, what I think about how he runs it does not really matter. I don't have a problem with that! It's HIS blog.

            I did not misuse the word policy. Look at Kos's statements re: fighting over policy. Those are his words, not mine.

            •  Nobody wants to say it (2.60)
              so I will:

              Fuck you, catnip!

              Look: I grew up in the People's Republic of Washington Grove, Maryland, so I know all about growing up in a cocoon of safe liberalism.

              But you know what? I live in Tennessee now, and what flew in Washington Grove don't work so good in Nashvegas.

              So I would thank all y'all pampered libruls in Canada and California to shut the fuck up about what Kerry should be, or what Brad Carson should be, or what Stephanie Herseth should be.

              Goddammit, they are Democrats. They may not be as far to the left as you may like, but they will by-God stand up for the working people of this country, who need our help right now (largely because they're us).

              I would suggest you take your litmus paper and....

              •  I like to explain my troll-ratings (4.00)
                I have a lot of respect for you, Hamletta.  You're an old-time Deaniac, even earlier than I (March 2003 I started posting on the U-Blog).

                That said, I take offense at anyone who tells another poster to "fuck you".  We just finished trolling RonK for this kind of stuff.  Even trolls don't deserve that sort of epithet.

                I know others will disagree with me, but I wanted to let you know where I stand and why you got the rating.

                I like Paul Babbitt. After you read this, so will you.

                by Nonpartisan on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 01:52:03 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Almost agree (4.00)
                  Hamletta was also one of the people whose posts I liked most when I first showed up here, and I agree that it's unacceptable to tell regulars to fuck off, especially when they're being as reasonable as catnip is on this thread. One point of disagreement: except when someone is really losing it, you should remember that a troll is someone who is not posting in good faith, and it is almost never appropriate to label or rate a regular a troll. (Hence my "2" above.)

                  One of the recent dynamics that I find distressing, actually, is how quick folks are to assume that someone is not posting in good faith. The ratings and first response to this post are an especially stupid recent example (to appreciate the stupidity it helps if you remember RonK's primary choice, and why he abandoned his front-page position at legacy Kos). If I were to let myself just rant about Kerry's foreign policy, say, I'd expect to get flamed, and it wouldn't bother me if it happened; but more than likely I'd also find my sincerity and integrity called into question, and I imagine that would bother me (no doubt I am too sensitive).

                  ...That's not actually the most distressing recent dynamic, I think, the most distressing one is the way that people's loyalty gets made an issue in these threads. And it's interesting how this one played out during the primaries (I do not apologise for bringing up the primaries, they're part of the subtext here, and not only or even especially for those would not have chosen Kerry first). There was some pro-Dean groupthink in those days (though it wasn't as monolithic as folks sometimes make out), and some of the Dean supporters were too quick to call "troll." But it was almost exclusively the Dean supporters, and Dean himself, whose loyalty to the party was ever called into question (there was some of this directed at Clark and Lieberman, though in different ways). And now, when it becomes an issue of loyalty, there's a frequent theme, "Please tell me you're not an unrepentant Naderite or Deaniac who can't face his guy having lost." When all along, you couldn't have found a Dem more loyal than Dean.

                  (Oops, didn't plan to go on so long, sorry.)

                  •  Troll ratings are also for comments (3.00)
                    that contain no inherent value and are worthless.

                    ANY comment containing the words "f*** you", for ANY reason, from ANY poster, is, my opinion, such a comment.

                    I like Paul Babbitt. After you read this, so will you.

                    by Nonpartisan on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 05:11:47 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Dammit Checkers (none)
                      I used asterisks!

                      :)

                      I like Paul Babbitt. After you read this, so will you.

                      by Nonpartisan on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 06:28:19 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  look, I told you before. (none)
                        If you won't let me say "fuck you", then Dick Cheney won't be able to tell Patrick Leahy to go fuck himself, and then where would we be?

                        Although I wouldn't have said it, I personally took enough vicarious satisfaction from Hamletta's post to rate it back up.  Irritation with multitudinous posts from Catnip does not a troll make.

                        I can afford a few 0s and 1's, if that's what it takes to stand up for my right to say  "FUCK YOU, Dick Cheney."

                        And I say "bring it on."   because it's hard work to defend anyone saying "fuck you." And lord knows we have to try to practice our love on people who would say that around the country the best that we can.  hard, hard, work, getting 1's.  big heart, Hamletta, big heart.  hard, hard 1's.  Bring it on.

                        http://www.katemckinnon.com

                        by kate mckinnon on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:11:14 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  Advisory note - gong (none)
                    The community should not assume it is aware of my reasons for reducing my presence here last fall.

                    I will disclose that as first-listed contributor on this site's receipt of last year's Koufax Award, I asked the panel to remove my name from the citation, and they declined.

                    •  Fair enough (none)
                      I remember about when it happened, and jumped to a conclusion. Still, the post of yours I linked really did get a dumb reception. (Of all the things that worry me about this election, maybe the most worrying is how much of what people say now to explain Kerry's position in the polls reminds me of what people were saying pre-Iowa to explain Dean's position in the polls; fer crissakes, people have started talking about cell phones again.)
                •  apologies (none)
                  for the accidental troll rating, non partisan!
                  flailing newbie still getting the hang of things.
                •  Fuck you, nonpartisan (1.71)
                  Two points:
                  1. I have not employed this abbreviated form of argument except in response to cases of severe personal abuse, namely when dissenting analysis was summarily characterized as evidence of either disloyalty or dementia (frequently with allusions to one of the communities genuinely troubled members).

                  2. Markos's rendition of the "generations" version of community issues is -- descriptively, strtegically, and ethically -- a total crock.

                  To 'nonpartisan' and other self-appointed guardians of community standards who endeavor to disappear responses but maintain the inciting insults, a heartily deserved FUCK YOU!
                  •  In person (none)
                    I am curious to know whether you bellow phrases like that at people you meet at parties, bars, at work, etc. who rub you the wrong way, or if you reserve this kind of language only for the online world.

                    I am of the opinion that a lot of people treat others online far worse than they would treat people in person. I find that sad.

                    Swing State Project - Analyzing the 2004 battleground states.

                    by David Nir on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 09:08:02 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  In several years on the net ... (none)
                      ... I've used such language in three instances.

                      Once (in milder form) on September 11, 2001, in response to a winger who proclaimed God's righteous punishment of a sinful nation.

                      Once, serially, in the run-up to the Iraq invasion, responding to a poster here who proffered counterfeit tales of history, each with a warmongering moral, and the sign-off "Peace".

                      And here, in the past couple of days, serially, in abbreviated reponse to various abuses that are inimical to enlightened liberal discourse.

                      No regrets.

                      In many online communities, I've functioned as an exemplar and advocate of civility, and an adjudicator of disputes.

                      Speaking of how people treat each other online ... don't you have a conspicuous apology you've been meaning to post? Or have I missed something?

                      •  Past (none)
                        In regards to that last discussion we had, we were talking about two different things. The original poster brought up the simple issue of the crowd size at the Dean event in Seattle. (In other words, he was simply pointing out that there was a big crowd for Dean, without bringing up any kind of debate over the actual size of that crowd.)

                        You brought up the issue of the dispute over the crowd size at the Dean event. That is what I was referring to when I observed that you had brought "it" up first.

                        I apologize for the misunderstanding.

                        Swing State Project - Analyzing the 2004 battleground states.

                        by David Nir on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 10:56:34 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  Hmmm ... (none)
                    You dropped an FU on Bob Johnson the other day. When you do that to one of dKos' two most reasonable members (JMS ties him for that honor, IMO), I kind of think you've temporarily lost it.

                    I'm Blue the Wild Dog, and I approved this message.

                    by Blue the Wild Dog on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:01:03 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Hmmm ... we must be talking about different BJ's (1.00)
                      The Bob Johnson I know holds interminable grudges (especially when he's got the worst of a debate), delights in tossing grossly abusive non-sequiturs at people he's disagreed with in the past, and apparently has a habit of posting while intoxicated at regular calendar intervals.

                      And JMS? Perhaps your definition of "reasonable" is conflated with your definition of "politically correct"?

                      •  Sounds like ... (4.00)
                        we're talking about different dKos's. Oh well.

                        I'm Blue the Wild Dog, and I approved this message.

                        by Blue the Wild Dog on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:29:47 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I'll Take the Middle Position (none)
                          I've had some rows with Bob Johnson that made me think he was absolutely stark raving insane, just completely devoid of reason.  (He probably thought the same of me at the time, but of course I was right and he was wrong.)  However, contrary to Ron's belief, I think Bob does NOT hold grudges.  In fact, it almost makes me wonder about Bob, because we've had a couple incindiary arguments, but a week or two later he's posted comments to my posts or to comments on a thread that seemed to suggest he had forgot about the previous dispute.  I guess he's either periodically insane and doesn't remember what he did, or remarkably and admirably capable of letting bygones be bygones.  I'm betting on #2.  (But Bob, if you read this, recognize that I haven't completely given up on the possibility that the explanation is #1.)
                          •  It's also possible other people (none)
                            ... (mischievous teens?) post on Bob's account -- which would explain the variant personalities, crude non-sequiturs and apparent blackouts ... but the Bob Johnson I'm most familiar with is something of a stalker.

                            Maybe Bob would like to clarify. And you too, Bob.

                          •  Well (none)
                            Like I said in my post below, I haven't seen any of that from BJ, so if I missed out on the provocation, I apologize to you, Ron, for jumping in like that.

                            I'm Blue the Wild Dog, and I approved this message.

                            by Blue the Wild Dog on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 08:31:44 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Accepted (none)
                            Funny little primates that we are, the faces we show each other here often depend on whether we identify each other as members of our own troupe, or as "other".

                            There are "higher norms" that permit stable equilibrium in such communities, but they are not adopted here.

                          •  Hmm ... (none)
                            I've never seen anything like that from Mr. Johnson. In my experience, he's always been a voice of reason. But it's pretty hard to keep up with everything that happens at dKos, and I may have missed somethings.

                            I'm Blue the Wild Dog, and I approved this message.

                            by Blue the Wild Dog on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 08:23:20 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  I will not (none)
                    Dignify this with a response.

                    I like Paul Babbitt. After you read this, so will you.

                    by Nonpartisan on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 10:18:54 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  "pampered libruls" (4.00)
                I normally wouldn't respond to a post including "F you" but let me set the record straight for the benefit of anyone else who might agree with your perceptions of us "pampered libruls" in Canada.

                I live in the most right wing province in the country - Alberta. It has been run by conservatives for 30+ years.

                • This is a province that as late as the 1972 still sterilized "mentally defective" people: "Professor Douglas Wahlsten, a leading psychologist at the University of Alberta, described the government of Alberta as "the only jurisdiction in the British Empire where eugenic sterifisation was vigorously implemented."

                • This is a province with a population of 3 million people in which 400,000 children live below the poverty line.

                • This is a province so rich from oil royalties that it will be debt free next year. That goal was met by severely cutting social programs throughout the 90s. Schools were closed. Teachers took pay cuts. Health care was gutted. A hospital was blown up. Emergency services no longer worked efficiently. Disabled people receiving gov't pensions have only seen a one time $23/mth increase over the span of 10+ years. The gov't has thrown out the environmental rules and has catered in every possible way to the oil companies and big business. The energy sector has been deregulated in a way that was totally mismanaged.

                • This province is rife with people who have no tolerance for immigrants or people of different races, religious practices, or sexual preferences.

                • This province's government consistently uses its' collective mouth to criticize and threaten the federal liberal gov't (which, btw, is now in a very precarious position having been reduced to minority gov't status after the last election).

                • This province has a party and many people who want to seperate from the rest of Canada.

                ...and on and on.

                So, this "pampered librul" will not "shut the fuck up" about what Kerry should be. I will hold back here until after the election but, after that, the gloves are off. But don't get too excited. We have a provincial election coming up here in November and I'll be dedicating my time to ridding this province of the fascism that is my government so my posts here will be limited. I refuse to give up my right to critcize any politician but as my original post stated, I have no problem with throwing full support behind getting Kerry elected and keeping my broader opinions on Democratic policy to myself until after the election.

                •  Just the kind of responce we need around here (none)
                  You might disagree and but I would bet you dollars to donuts that this is the kind of responce that the F@@@ Y@@ post was trying to intice. It might have been harsh and the poster would never admit it as such and it was over the top in my view. Good luck in your fight up north I will be rooting for you and yours. We can all use luck from time to time...

                  Lots of people see the world in Black and White. It is mostly just shades of grey.

                  by Davinci on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:12:22 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm not sure (none)
                    But...thanks so much for the encouragement. It really helps to keep me motivated.
                  •  You thought it was over the top (none)
                    ..but you gave hamletta's post a 4? I don't understand.
                    •  we 4 givers don't want Hamletta's post hidden (none)
                      that's all.

                      A 4 does not always indicate complete agreement, it can be a counter to other, trollier, ratings.

                      Troll rating someone for using profanity is not what this particular site is about.  This site is Fuck Friendly.

                      http://www.katemckinnon.com

                      by kate mckinnon on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 03:36:45 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Yes it was over the top (none)
                      But it need to be part of the thread and it had a point after the attack. Since it was not myself that was being attacked it is easier to see.

                      I also live in an area where being politically correct means being silent somedays....Which is a point made by carvel when he talks about liblabs(purists) the only example is the tastless portrait in primary colors. He talks about winning elections in areas where people eat meat and hunt they go to church etc. It is not about pet issues.. The only thing they understand about anwar is that it has oil and that seems good. We on the left understand that for a couple of months it is amazing. It is also frozen for most of the year which is the argument. That and the footprint or impact on the surrounding area. You might understand this kind of arguement since you have seen it up close in Canada. To many people these arguements are more about who they trust. Republicans go much more on faith and us dems have to Bitch even when in the ballot box.

                      Opps am I rambling....

                      Lots of people see the world in Black and White. It is mostly just shades of grey.

                      by Davinci on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 05:38:04 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  well besides the look at me attack (none)
                I agree with you on content but not on tone.. I still took you with a grain of salt concidering the election is 30 days out and nerves are frade around here.

                But I gave you a four for showing that you can post anything as long as you can give a shit if you get zero rated....

                The attack was over the top in my view but the point was right on. The midwest and south is not california or oregon or the NE, now fly over country needs work but you have to talk to people not down to them. Many of them have been raised in the father figure mode talked about by lankanof( I am sure I butched his name) Sometimes you take what you get and try an improve it. I am  late in responce so I will enjoy reading how others commented....

                Lots of people see the world in Black and White. It is mostly just shades of grey.

                by Davinci on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:56:14 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  you panicked by responding (3.50)
          that you were taking your blogging elsewhere, where there were no restraints on "policy" discussions.

          I supported Kerry before he even announced he was running.  I am a distinct minority here.  I always get troll rated when I make fun of Howard Dean, and I do it anyway.

          Now, everyone is on MY TEAM. And I'm not gloating.  Kerry isn't perfect.  And he is not going to magically turn Iraq and Palestine into Nirvana.

          I don't agree with many of his policies.

          But for the next 30 days, I am not going to respond kindly to posts that are about how Kerry is a shitty candidate, or that just want to lament that Clark, or Gephardt, or Dean is not the nominee.

          Kerry is winning.  Dean is not the nominee, and it is hard to argue that he would be winning right now.

          You want to talk social security?  Go ahead.

          But, let's realize that if Kerry loses, every word ever written on this blog will have been in vain.

          That's a pretty big incentive for us to do everything we can to win this election.

          And I think that is one of Markos' main points.

          "What can I say? I just tip my hat and call the Yankees my daddy." -Pedro Martinez

          by BooMan23 on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:08:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  sincerely booman (none)
            I do understand that Kos wants to keep the push on getting Kerry elected and I've made countless posts supporting him. And I said I will continue to cheerlead and leave the policy discussions for later.

            It's not a matter of me "taking my blogging elsewhere". I said that I've just been here a short time and it's been difficult getting the feel of the place especially when people get troll rated right and left for just having different opinions or are being told to shut up about Dean etc. I'm glad Kos has refocused the community with these succinct parameters. I'll stay around and keep my posts appropriate now that I know what he wants. In the meantime, I can wander elsewhere, as I always have, if I'm dying to have that discussion about social security, the anti war movement, or the missile defence system.

            Does that clear up where I'm coming from now? (because I sure am tired of having to explain it)

            ;-)

            •  Yes, it clears it up (4.00)
              you are pouting.

              If you want to write a post about how much better the Green platform is than the Democratic on some issue, you probably should do that on another blog until Nov. 3rd.

              Not because it is in bad taste, but because you probably will find an audience preoccupied with other more pressing matters.

              It just was a misinterpretation on your part to think that such posts are discouraged.

              The point is to WORK.  For the GOAL.

              You are being petulant.

              "What can I say? I just tip my hat and call the Yankees my daddy." -Pedro Martinez

              by BooMan23 on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:29:31 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Liked your comments except for one thing (none)
            But, let's realize that if Kerry loses, every word ever written on this blog will have been in vain.

            I rated you a 3. This is the only thing that prevented a 4.

            No matter what, nothing done here at KOS has been in vain.

            "I wish I had a baseball bat the size of Rhode Island so I could beat the s*** out of this stupid planet!" - Cheese, of Milk and Cheese.

            by Jank2112 on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 01:57:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  BooMan, you may not recall this... (none)
        since it was way back in August 2004, but when people were really flipping out about the Swifties stuff, about Kerry freefalling, and then on into September, I wasn't one of the people who was doing the most hysteria.

        So if I'm negative, then I have company.

        The joke in all this is that I'm derided for being negative and yet also derided for suggesting that people should support Democratic candidates instead of saying they look ugly and that sociopaths like Tom Coburn are the real Democrats. So I'm negative even when I'm positive, I guess, and people who just throw the mud around are being positive and sunny.

    •  That's not what he said (none)
      He said you can just expect to get a reaction.  It's kind of how people often misapply their 'right to free speech' in every day life.

      Sure, I have the right to talk about ancient Egypt all I want, but those around me also have the right to tell me they wish I'd shut the hell up or that I'm boring them or that my thoughts on the subject are moronic.

    •  A war to win... A community to grow (none)
      Yikes catnip, you sure know how to set off a firestorm!

      My $.02:
      One of the reasons I started hanging around here is the number of
      extremely intelligent and articulate people, people who are
      willing to listen to an argument, but will disagree with you in a
      mostly reasoned (if sometimes heated) way...

      We are not freepers.

      In the end, I think that this is Markos's great skill - He has
      managed to attract a group of great people, given them a voice
      - and a response - that they might not have had otherwise.

      That said, I would hate to loose the voices of reasoned,
      constructive dissent to an environment of groupthink. Yes, I
      wholeheartedly agree that we need to rally behind Kerry at this
      time, yes I agree that at this point much of the strategy of the
      campaign is in place, and we have come to a point where our
      attention needs to be on GOTV and media communication of 'the
      message'. I even agree that one of the strengths of the Repugs is
      their incredible ability to close ranks like the behemoth of a
      Roman phalanx, shields raised and impenetrable.

      We have a war (election) to win.

      ...And we have a community to grow, with the hope of eventually
      getting progressive ideals (whatever these be), instilled in the
      electing hearts of Americans.
      One of these ideals, I would argue, is the right to constructive
      dissent. This is dissent not for the purpose of breaking down, but
      for building up.

      I wonder if it doesn't make sense for people to look at the
      comment they are about to troll from the map, and ask whether it
      is truly a troll, or it is a constructive criticism that would be
      better to respond to and argue against than pull from the page.

      That said, if one sticks one's head up from the trenches,
      one should be fully prepared to have it blown off... (ducks)

      Just remember that - despite their appearance of disorganization -
      it was the barbarian hoards that brought Rome down.
      While the Repugs see their strength only in their hegemony, we
      know that real strength comes from the testing and dissection of
      different ideas, and that as long as we keep the goal in sight,
      constructive argument can lead to better ideas.

      Besides, it makes for a far more interesting place to hang out,
      than in the world of freeping dittoheads.
      </$.02>

      •  well said (none)
        And this certainly isn't the first firestorm I've ever set off. I think I need an editor to pre-screen my posts. ;-)

        This blog has invigorated me so much that I've decided to totally jump in and volunteer for my local liberal candidates for the upcoming Alberta election. I have health problems that have made it impossible for me to work but after seeing the incredible amount of time and energy kossacks have put out to ensure a win for Kerry and their local Dem candidates, there is no way I can now just stick to my usual methods of influencing people in this province ie. using every possible opportunity to take my gov't to task on local and national talk radio, advocating mostly for a single issue (poverty), giving input to the gov't (nice way of saying that they get lots of letters and calls from me!), LTEs, doing research, talk talk talking to my friends and family about what's going on etc.

        I'm now more focused on the GOTV efforts, making more noise, getting signs out, working specifically for 2 local candidates (we haven't had a liberal member of our legislative assembly from my city here in years) and so on. I need to get more physically involved and will do that as my health permits.

        Kossacks have given me that inspiration and drive and I won't let them down. I love learning and this blog is full of wisdom. I'm also very opposed to "groupthink" because it stifles education and dissent. It seems that people here have varied opinions of that term so sometimes that's a bit confusing, but I think I get the general meaning as it applies here now. It's nice to talk to people who agree with me but I need to learn from people who don't as well. If there's one thing that I know, it's that I don't know much at times.

        There's a line I like from a speaker I heard years ago. He said, "I'm here to disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed". He wasn't talking about politics but I think it applies.

        •  afflict (none)
          "Afflict the comfortable, and comfort the afflicted."

          Or the other way around.

          Nobody seems to know for sure who coined this phrase -- some say H.L. Mencken, but it might have been a newspaper editor in Kansas. In any case, it was originally about the proper job of a journalist. But it's also been used to describe the proper role of religion. Nowadays, they both seem to spend more of their time afflicting the afflicted, and comforting the comfortable.

          If a landslide falls in the bit bucket... was there an election?

          by Canadian Reader on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 10:52:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I agree... (none)
    with your assessment of internet communities. I've been involved in some forums that have also seen strife between the oldies and newcomers. In fact, one of these clashes forced me to leave one of the aforementioned forums permanently. I guess it's just something that happens.

    Anyways, I really appreciate you running this place and I'm glad to see that you have gotten a lot of recognition for your efforts. I know you don't necessarily do it for the recognition but I still think it is well deserved.

    To be great is to be misunderstood

    by LordFairfax on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:27:05 PM PDT

    •  Me, too (none)
      Another (non-political) community I belong to is going through a really bad time right now because of one of these shifts.  As one of the old-timers there, I've been really upset.  I have to thank Kos for unknowingly providing me with some much needed perspective about my other group.  This morning I fired off an uncharacteristically angry post back at the manager over there.  Tomorrow I will go back with a fresher head.
  •  the other type of groupthink (none)
    kos
    remember the run up to 2002 election ? there were so many good ideas and thoughtful commentary on here --
    the first whiffs of a democratic community on the web led to groupthink  --- we actually thought we had a great chance to retake congress and senate..
    i remember the stun when the results came through 2002 election night -- the numbers actually were closer than people were lead to believe but we got smoked ... and with it the realization that blogging wasn't ready for prime time.

    on one hand i check myself to make sure we don't get into that groupthink again.. but on the other hand it is hard to believe that users of this site have grown 1000x bigger since 2002 so maybe this is election we make the difference.

    •  Horrible (none)
      Arrived here in Aug or Sept 2002 in search of some reason to be optimistic about our national politics.  The polls kept saying one thing and the weak message of DEMs running for office said the same thing.  Yet, here and at MyDD there was so much confidence in DEM chances for the election that I either suspended disbelief or figured the people here had more experience at reading polls and evaluating elections than I did.  That was some virtual hangover I had the day after the election, and I had nobody to blame but myself because I had read the political landscape correctly and then allowed myself to be talked out of it.  Perhaps a reason that I've been sort of a pitbull around here since then.
      •  Sort of? (none)
        I have some missing parts of my ass which make the "sort of" a bit of an understatement. You always apply some salve though.

        And I would not want you to be any other way.   One of my 5 favorites.

        "We're not criticizing Bush for going after terrorists, we're criticizing him for NOT going after terrorists." - Paraphrase of J. Kerry, tip to Gen. Clark

        by Armando on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:56:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Just your imagination -- (none)
          I have a loud bark but never bite.  (so non-violent that even in fencing, I couldn't jam the foil into my opponent's chest.  thus ended a brilliant career my instructor had plotted out for me on his team.)
  •  I still love the (none)
    site. There are some people that bug the shit out of me but there are so many others now that it's much easier to ignore the a-holes.

    I think the progression here has been a net positive in a big way. What used to be a discussion between a thousand people or so has become a clearinghouse for ideas from over twenty thousand. I've also seen a lot of ideas put into action that have made a real difference. It will be interesting to see what happens next.

    •  Clearinghouse is exactly right. (none)
      20,000 is wrong - 20K are registered...but 5 or so million read it every month...if not more.

      Another good analogy would be a Node in the sense of "Barabasi Networks"

      The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

      by RedDan on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:35:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I resemble that remark (none)
      and yes you ignore me just fine.  I'm kidding I hope.

      "We're not criticizing Bush for going after terrorists, we're criticizing him for NOT going after terrorists." - Paraphrase of J. Kerry, tip to Gen. Clark

      by Armando on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:40:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I liked you (4.00)
        even when you backed the wrong guy. Not real happy that you haven't bought the L.A. contingent a round of drinks but I can live with it.

        I won't name names but my ulcers have gotten better since I started ignoring the people who bug me.

        •  Heh (none)
          But I haven't been to LA in 6 months.  AND  I haven't bought an drinks either.  So happens I am in NYC rightnow, sent out a call Thursday night and got virtually zip response. I took that to mean the NYC contingent did not want my stinkin drinks.  Hoity toity that lot is.  LA gets its chance in January probably.

          "We're not criticizing Bush for going after terrorists, we're criticizing him for NOT going after terrorists." - Paraphrase of J. Kerry, tip to Gen. Clark

          by Armando on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:57:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Typical (none)
            You know I'll be out of town in January so you say that's when you'll be here. That's ok though, there are plenty of drinks to be had in Cabo.
            •  Sorry (none)
              but that's when I get the free ride out, the free hotel, the free . . .

              But how about these NYC bums?

              "We're not criticizing Bush for going after terrorists, we're criticizing him for NOT going after terrorists." - Paraphrase of J. Kerry, tip to Gen. Clark

              by Armando on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:01:00 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  They're probably still (none)
                recovering from the convention.
                •  Mebbe (none)
                  Saved me somedough though. I'll give some more to that facist Carson I think.

                  "We're not criticizing Bush for going after terrorists, we're criticizing him for NOT going after terrorists." - Paraphrase of J. Kerry, tip to Gen. Clark

                  by Armando on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:06:19 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  do i count as one of those bums? (none)
                i was planning to meet up with y'all in NYC when it was back in august, but i must have missed the announcement this time.  guess i've been out doing stuff instead of watching the site 24/7...

                you're just heading out of NYC? guess i'll have to catch you next time.  even though i was teasing you about buying beer, i really couldn't care less about that part of it.  mainly i wanted to meet some more people from the community. i met a few at the tank during the RNC.

                it'll probably have to be after the election, though.

                maybe we'll all have to come to PR ;^)

                courage, faith and truth my brothers and sisters

                by zeke L on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 09:33:13 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes you do (none)
                  You get another shot in about 2 weeks. The LAST CHANCE.

                  "We're not criticizing Bush for going after terrorists, we're criticizing him for NOT going after terrorists." - Paraphrase of J. Kerry, tip to Gen. Clark

                  by Armando on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 07:37:57 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  The risks of absorption (3.50)
    It's so easy to get absorbed into all there is here at Kos.  There's always a new diary to read, thousands of cool people saying things that you can interact with, and an opportunity to learn about some of the most important issues in the world.  

    The ease of getting absorbed into this site can have a bad consequence, though -- people see the Kos world as a simulacrum of reality, and regard events in this world as if they were the corresponding events in the broader political world.  So when some poster or diarist expresses doubt about Kerry, we get infuriated as if a real high-profile Democrat was expressing doubt about Kerry.  Your fury would be justified if it were Terry McAuliffe expressing doubt about Kerry and undercutting him before an election, but if it's AZdude4dean* who's talking, nobody really cares. Now, it's good if you can convince the aforementioned AZdude to change his view, but yelling at him for betraying the cause is really too much.  He's not actually hurting our chances of winning -- you aren't going to see headlines the next day in the NYT saying "AZdude retracts support, Kerry campaign damaged."

    Now there may be times when expressions of support actually matter -- during debates, some media types have looked at right-wing blogs to gauge how well Bush was doing, and I could understand being upset with a Kos poster who went negative then.  Still, the thing to do is to start your own positive diary with positive comments and push him off the page -- not add to his comment count by starting flame war.  

    I'm very proud to be a part of this community -- I just want to make sure people don't overestimate its significance in the world, and feel the irrational emotions that result from such an overestimation.  The fact that Kos is so rich and absorbing makes it easy to do so.  

    *name chosen to be representative of some random guy on Kos.

    •  I disagree... (none)
      any venue that is mentioned in a massive NYTimes weekend article, the WaPo, and on the Tee-Vee...that gets millions of visits per month, that gets featured on Google due to site traffic, that gets national notice for specific comments and stories...

      Is much more important than you are pointing out...maybe not as important as I am implying...

      But still pretty damned important.

      Ben Chandler and Stephanie Herseth sure think it's important...Carson, Seeman, Hoeffel, Frost, Knowles, and others sure think it's important...and so on.

      The point is not to repress dissent or argument or criticism...

      The point is that at this stage in the game, it is crucial, critical, staggeringly important to pay close attention to frame, to context, to rubric, to the "global picture" when making a criticism, and to make sure that this criticism clearly carries both a positive message and the critique itself.

      The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

      by RedDan on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:40:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And I in turn disagree (none)
        Lots of movers and shakers are aware of dKos, they recognize the ability of this site to raise money and they understand the huge traffic that runs through it. Eyeballs mean money and votes and so they pay respect, however grudging, to the power of Kos. But comments and diaries are second order phenomena and are not being read directly by the Powers and no one here should be deluded that they are. Which is not to say that they are not important, but you have to take them for what they are: attempts to shape the discourse at the grass roots, and not speaking Truth to Power.

        Nobody should be thinking they are speaking directly to Stephanie Herseth (though Jeff Seeman is a different story, he shows signs of actually reading what we post, for good or otherwise).

    •  You're right (none)
      There's no need to toe the party line here if you don't want to.  You can fret about Kerry's inadequacies, real or imagined, as much as you want; it won't harm the candidate.  Just be prepared for the response you're likely to get from other Kossacks.  

      Kos is handling this right.  Everyone's still free to say what they want - as long they're willing to live with the consequences.  

      "Why do they call it the World Series if it's always played in the Bronx?"

      by randym77 on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 04:13:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Goodonya Kos (none)
    EYES ON THE PRIZE PEOPLE!!

    THE FUTURE OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE IN THIS ELECTION!!

    Pulling together with laser-like focus on winning this election should be our only priority for the next 30 days.

  •  Regarding new features (none)
    The dKos system is outstanding, and I urge that no one agitate for new features until the election-wave is past.

    I've been encouraging just a little bit of discussion of changes that might foster community because I believe that improved media are the hope of the world. This has been a central concern of mine for over 20 years.

    Thank you, Markos, for building a system and a community that gives me more hope.

    The medium shapes the message -- we need new new media, more biased toward truth.

    by technopolitical on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:42:57 PM PDT

  •  Change (4.00)
    Well I for one want all you "fresh faces" to leave and all my old friends to return.  (I'm kidding...sort of.) I'd also like to be nineteen again and able to eat cake without gaining weight.  

    I had a professor once tell me we can't always have what we want.  I was a graduate teaching assistant and wanted to run the university gallery instead of teaching design for another semester. He eventually gave in and I ran the gallery.  But you know he was right, you can't always have what you want.  So I'm resigned to change even though it's often painful.  And I do, very much, miss Theoria.

    They aren't bushes; they are weeds.

    by pacifica on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:45:53 PM PDT

    •  I couldn't log onto the site (none)
      for over a week, forgive the dumb question but what happened to Theoria?  Can someone provide a link?

      thx (and apologies for being so behind the times).  

      "Consult the genius of the place in all things" - Alexander Pope

      by a gilas girl on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 05:23:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Theoria (none)
        There's a long thread about it in Nonpartisan's diary, and the former theoria explains it here.

        (For over a week? I'd go blind or something.)

        •  Thanks (none)
           for the links, that's a lot of reading.   Not sure that I'm better off for having read it, but at least I don't feel so backgroundless.

          (For over a week? I'd go blind or something.)

          Yes, it was weird, both technologically -- I still don't know why I couldn't call up the site -- and intellectually.  But, it was also healthy, cleared my head a bit.  Worth a try, just for that reason.

          "Consult the genius of the place in all things" - Alexander Pope

          by a gilas girl on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 07:34:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Technologically (none)
            Yeah, I took a couple of months off after New Hampshire, and I can't say I regret it. But if you want to know how to deal with the tech problem, my best (strictly amateur) guess is that for some reason your ISP had problems with dailykos.com, and you can get around that sort of problem using a proxy server. (I have to do this whenever I want to see an image someone has put on ImageShack, for example, or on those rare occasions when I want to check the BC04 site (yes, my ISP won't let me look at BC04).) I've found this site very helpful.
      •  There you are!! (none)
        I was afraid you left too.

        I'm glad you are still around.

        "Don't judge men's wealth or godliness by their Sunday appearance." - Benjamin Franklin

        by Madman in the marketplace on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 06:22:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Still here (none)
          I haven't posted much because frankly, there hasn't been that much to comment on of late, that and the technical glich.  I've been reading, but have found less of interest to read as the content increases.  (I have the same problem when I go shopping, though, the more things in the store, the less stuff I find to buy/that I like or need). Perhaps that's just the way of our culture.

          I'm distressed to learn that Paper Tigress has departed.  Hers were the posts that brought me here daily. There's a tangible loss in her absence, given all she contributed, especially the daily time lines.

          C'est la vie.
           

          "Consult the genius of the place in all things" - Alexander Pope

          by a gilas girl on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 07:39:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agree (4.00)
            I've been reading, but have found less of interest to read as the content increases.  

            Or maybe the volume just makes it much more difficult to find the gems?  Don't want to romanticize the quality of pre-Scoop dKos (and conversations on 400 posts comment threads were difficult and not for the faint-hearted) but there was a time when thoughtfulness, political analysis and goodwill was stronger.  I would date that period from after the 2002 elections and until March or April 2003.  After that the campaign operatives began appearing and the "my guy rocks and yours sucks" comments became more common.  Cold-eyed and practical analyses of the challenges for Democrats in this election cycle gave way to people being pushed into competing camps.  It became more about winning than appreciating and understanding the game.

            Without dKos, many of us would have followed this election with the same level of interest as we had in the past.  Mostly shaking our heads at how out of the mainstream our personal thoughts on political matters are.  By election day we would have once again filed into a voting booth and cast a ballot for the lesser of two evils.  Those old enough to have lived through Vietnam, Watergate, the Cold War etc would not have been able to share with others our sense of deja vu except today we are at a lower place in the spiral.  But even those comments were not particularly valued here as Americans tend not to value history and the genesis of the roots of current problems.

            I remain hopeful that internet facilitated communications amongst citizens in this country will pull us back from the abyss we are now poised to fall into.  I remain impatient with the speed with which such a potential power isn't faster. I remain concerned that it will end up being as co-opted and ultimately toothless as almost every other citizen initiated movement has been in the history of this country.  The ease with which self-censorship of content is embraced here while being fully tolerant and even rewarding comments devoid of content but full of profanity, rudeness and egocentrism suggests that dKos is only a microcosm of this country today instead of a movement and that whatever potential power we could have had will not be realized.

          •  I miss many of the old posters (none)
            I find that my time is spent in many ways but it is nice to see old faces from the prescoop days. I still lurk but find that a thread is so long that, I miss the discussion or that the topic of the day has changed. Looking forward to post election year posting and hope to see both you and maria around in the months ahead.. Best wishes to both of you ...

            P.S. I agree on missing paper Tigress... Her posts were so much fun... I had almost forgotten her name...

            Lots of people see the world in Black and White. It is mostly just shades of grey.

            by Davinci on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:26:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Is there an election coming up? (4.00)
    I just like this site because it looks like a Creamsicle. Orange rocks! It bipartisan Yellow and Red.

    Today's lesson: don't rape, don't torture, don't kill... - Riverbend

    by joejoejoe on Sun Oct 03, 2004 at 11:59:23 PM PDT

    •  I love orange :-D) (none)
      it's my favorite color. My sweetie, who is a blue/green sort of guy, does not understand my need for the warmth and energy of orange. He claims there's cure for orange- to which I always yell "Orange needs no cure!" which makes people turn and stare ;-)

      I knew I'd found the right place when I found this blog and saw the orangeness of it. It's HOME.

      "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce." -Karl Marx

      by Lainie on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 02:37:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Honestly, (none)
    I thought Kos would take the "open debate" side, not the "SYFPH" side.  Kos gave a good, reasoned response, but I'm still really disappointed.  Groupthink is always democratic, but never liberal.  Ah well.
    •  kos (4.00)
      said write what you want, and then fight your own fights.

      In essence, don't be a Bush-like whiny baby. Good advice.  The wars during the primaries were something to behold - and we all lived to tell the tale and eat our crow - since WE ALL said Kerry was toast.

      "We're not criticizing Bush for going after terrorists, we're criticizing him for NOT going after terrorists." - Paraphrase of J. Kerry, tip to Gen. Clark

      by Armando on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:02:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  True enough. (none)
        And after the election, none of this may matter.  But this site is more coarse and less intelligent the past few months.  Do you not see it, Armando?  You can't debate here anymore.  Do you see what they zero rank these days?  Ah well, I don't mean any disrespect to the site.
        •  Actually (4.00)
          I'm famous for  elephant skin, so I really don't notice the fights much to be honest with you.

          I have notmuch interest in people telling us we made a mistake with Kerry, or Kerry this or Kerry that - that's my choice.

          But I made diffeernet choices during the primaries - and was involved in WARS!!! You have not been in a war until you have had Marie kicking your ass for 3 hours, with Marisacat and 5 others helping her out.

          so, no offense, but until people have gone through that, I have very little sympathy.

          And to this day, and I love Marie, she still pats my head and treats my like I am a poor naive fool.  It's very bracing, I assure you.

          "We're not criticizing Bush for going after terrorists, we're criticizing him for NOT going after terrorists." - Paraphrase of J. Kerry, tip to Gen. Clark

          by Armando on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:26:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The rest (none)
            of us are more subtle than Marie. We don't pat you on the head but chuckle to ourselves instead.
            •  Thank you for that (none)
              I prefer being called an idiot. But it's Marie, who you just have to love and respect, so I have to take it politely.

              "We're not criticizing Bush for going after terrorists, we're criticizing him for NOT going after terrorists." - Paraphrase of J. Kerry, tip to Gen. Clark

              by Armando on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:35:26 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I will not say it...I will not say it... (none)
            You have not been in a war until you have had Marie kicking your ass for 3 hours, with Marisacat and 5 others helping her out. ... And to this day, and I love Marie, she still pats my head ...

            Didn't know you liked it like that, Armando.

            OMG, I said it.  Whoops -- time for bed...

            I like Paul Babbitt. After you read this, so will you.

            by Nonpartisan on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:34:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Someday Armando (3.50)
            I'm going to finally find the words that make you see the light.

            But in fairness we should also disclose that I always had a few others pounding on me that I had to fight off (not much change from now) while still saving my best for you because you were potentially redeemable, and you have not disappointed though there's much work left to be done.

            (btw - would never have guessed from your words here that you are so attractive.)  

            •  It's my brains right? (none)
              The attractive I mean.  Though, your words say you're surprised by my ruggedly handsome features (heh) based on what I wrote - so mebbe not.

              "We're not criticizing Bush for going after terrorists, we're criticizing him for NOT going after terrorists." - Paraphrase of J. Kerry, tip to Gen. Clark

              by Armando on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 10:46:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Ruggedly handsome? (none)
                Not the description I would use.  On a scale of one to ten (with Antonio Banderas a ten and Ross Perot a one), allowing for taste, a solid seven or eight.
                •  Heh (none)
                  Thanks Marie.  My sense of humor is worth 2 though right - so a solid 6.

                  "We're not criticizing Bush for going after terrorists, we're criticizing him for NOT going after terrorists." - Paraphrase of J. Kerry, tip to Gen. Clark

                  by Armando on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:08:53 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Coarse and less intelligent (none)
          Well I see it some. But over the last few weeks I have come to believe that there are three populations of Kossacks. One that self-identifies themselves as such and spend much of their time battling things out in the Diaries. Another that visits regularly but rarely even dips into main page comments. And then a middle ground who spend a lot of time here, fully engaged with the Comment threads, but who when bored leave for other lefty boards or news sites rather than the diaries.

          And it is the first group that is drawing most of the zeros. A trip to Hidden Comments reveals that it is Diaries that routinely spin out of control.

          As for coarse, well Kos has been very clear in his outside interviews that if you don't want to see the 'fuck' in 'clusterfuck' this may not be the site for you. And as Armando can attest, during the runup to the war and throughout 2003 this was no place for the thin-skinned, it wasn't all thoughtful posts on the real meaning of MOE by any means.

          But there are names we just aren't seeing anymore. And that is something to be regretted. But it is out of your hands and mine, all I can do is try to post something that someone will read and not dismiss out of hand.

  •  Kos and Online Communities. (4.00)
    I've run several popular online communities--at least, back when popular meant several thousand people rather than 22,000 people.  Anyway, I've done it for almost a decade now and it's clear to me that you understand how internet communities work.

    Recurring purges and realignments are normal, probably healthy, and happen and fairly predictable intervals.  I think that your view is beneficial both for the community and for your own sanity.

    There are always people who are going to think they can do it better--but they don't go off and do it better, they want you to do it their way on your site.  There are also always people who have a sense of entitlement.

    You've given your readers the tools to do most of their own administrative work so that you can focus on keeping the site up and working on the election.

    I applaud your generosity and your fine sense of priority.

    •  New Growth is good (none)
      I belong to an industrial forum that started out
      when we were students, excited by the digital
      revolution.  

      It has aged to a clique of insiders. Far less interesting.  

      The middle agers are comfortable
      with themselves and have established many rules for forum participation.  They throw people off the list who dare break their little rules.

      •  wrong conclusion from the data (3.00)
        You seem to draw the conclusion that what happened to your community is an inevitable process that happens in all communities. That is a faulty inference.

        There are small, stable communities that are healthy and interesting, and there are large, growing communities that are oppressive and stagnant.

        Community norms are as much a function of design as size. In particular, the larger a community scales, the more critical conscious design becomes.

        "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

        by galiel on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 06:24:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I guess coming from a small town (none)
          makes me feel claustrophobic around cliques.
          Which is why I live in NYC, and prefer a big hairy
          blog.
          But realize that others feel cozy in
          a village with a small circle of friends.

          With this kind of election, I'm sure that you understand
          the importance opening the forum up to a larger
          number of people than you might like.

          But look at it this way:  there are no doubt Repugs trolling around who are becoming highly impressed with Kos and the level of intelligence his forum attracts.

          Very healthy.

          Because of my work, I've been in web culture since the beginning, and can tell you that "proprietary" always dies off, and "open" always rejuvinates.

          Don't resent inevitable change.  Embrace it, enjoy the ride. And take advantage of the good that it brings.

          •  clarification (none)
            checkers, you posted your comment as a reply to mine. I'm not sure I understand the point you were trying to make.

            You say,

            I guess coming from a small town makes me feel claustrophobic around cliques.
            Which is why I live in NYC, and prefer a big hairy
            blog.
            But realize that others feel cozy in
            a village with a small circle of friends.

            With this kind of election, I'm sure that you understand
            the importance opening the forum up to a larger
            number of people than you might like.

            1. Dailykos is a big city. It is what it is. Therefore, it makes sense to look at how to manage it most effectively, as a big city, not a small village.

            2. I don't understand the second statement. Who has advocated not opening up which forum to a larger number of people than who might like?

            "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

            by galiel on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 05:20:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Please don't perpetuate kos' mischaracterization (3.00)
      There are always people who are going to think they can do it better--but they don't go off and do it better, they want you to do it their way on your site.  There are also always people who have a sense of entitlement.

      That is a gross mischaracterization of people who care about this community and want to help, and it leads to a tragic waste of resources.

      There have been calls, not, as kos asserts, to wrest control by a cabal, but to open up a community design discussion to ALL members of the community, with the goal of helping to develop self-management tools that will serve ALL members of the community. It is Kos who has control issues, and they are getting in the way of efficiently and sustainable managing this community. This is an irrational, emotional and uninformed course of action, NOT one based on reason and research.

      Also, there is a qualitative, not just quantitative, difference between a community of a few thousand and a community of a few tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands. Community management is different.

      First of all, manual moderation and admin is not scaleable to the 10k-100k level, it simply doesn't work on the dailykos scale as it does on the scale of a smaller community.

      Second, community norms tend to break down at this level and accumulated institutional knowledge is lost, particularly when there is no design to encourage and support retention.

      Third, the community itself fragments when there is no human-scaled design. There are inherent size limits in terms of individuals ability to relate to their peers and have the kind of sense of community that encourages responsible, constructive behavior. Smart community design takes this into account and creates a fractal architecture, where small, self-sustaining sub-groups form part of a greater whole. To give an extreme example, that is how AOL is able to support tens of millions of people in sub-communities as large as several hundred thousand. Feel free to mock AOL according to the stereotype of chat rooms and trivia, but they have sustained strong sub-communities larger than dailykos that have an institutional memory, healthy constructive community interactions, and are completely self-managed. There are many other examples of large-scale communities that do NOT have the kind of problems dailykos is facing and will increasingly face, simply because of their design.

      What I am worried about is that, because kos refuses to change the course, he will simply get burned out and kill the community altogether. It is what has happened time and time again when people who are control freaks and can't open up take on community management tasks that are beyond the ability of a single human or group of humans to manage. Customer relation issues to not scale linearly; they are far more a function of design and administration than they are of purely community size.

      The other alternative is that he will simply continue his policy of benign neglect, and the community will implode and eat itself from the inside out, which has happened just as often as the previously described form of community death. It happens when a community reaches a certain critical mass and has no social design to support that growth.

      The ironic thing is that neither of these outcomes are inevitable, no more than the community "wave" dynamics that occur here are inevitable, as kos falsely asserts. The community dynamics here occur as a result of the way this design forces people to interact and cluster and moderate in certain ways, and frustrates many of their best intents. A different design would produce very different behavior.

      You've given your readers the tools to do most of their own administrative work so that you can focus on keeping the site up and working on the election.

      With all due respect, that final comment suggests that you don't know nearly as much as you claim about how communities work. At the very least, your experience and knowledge seems limited to a group of homogenous communities-of-interest of a similar nature, and you make the same mistake kos is making, of assuming that your experience is indicative of all communities. Your choice of the term "readers" is quite revealing, and reflects a top-down, broadcast communications attitude similar to kos's. An online community is not made up of passive "readers", it is made of active participants engaged in a many-to-many conversation.

      Provide those participants with empowering tools, and you can utilize their energy and contribution. This site has few self-managing tools, and the ones it has are poorly implemented.

      It is sad that there is no room for a discussion about how to harness the wisdom embedded in this large, diverse community to make this place better, without people arbitrarily and artificially turning this into a pro-kos and anti-kos popularity contest.

      This is not about criticizing or praising kos. This is about doing something good, where something good can be done, and where harm is unnecessarily being committed by well-meaning people simply because of ego or control issues or fear and most of all simply not knowing any better.

      No one is blaming kos for the way things are, he has done an incredible job doing what he could with what he knew. But, now that people have tried to provide new information, it is his responsibility to either respond rationally and thoughtfully to those trying to help, or dismiss them and make prejudicial comments about "cabals".

      Actions do speak louder than words, and kos has chosen to do nothing to provide even a forum for community participation in community design & management.

      That is unfortunate, and we will all, kos included, feel the effects of that irrational choice.

      "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

      by galiel on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 06:19:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In case you hadn't noticed (3.60)
        IT'S HIS FUCKING BLOG!

        That means he gets the keys to the place, and he gets to run it any damn way he wants. The overwhelming majority of users here seem quite happy with the way things are done on this site. You, on the other hand, act as if Markos was trying to shove an ice cube wrapped in sandpaper up your bum, because he won't listen to your obviously "superior" notions about how his community should be managed.

        •  It may be his (3.50)
          But that doesn't mean we don't have good ideas. You often see businesses with this problem: they get locked into practices which worked well in their youth, but which simply didn't scale when they have large numbers of employees and customers. Internal politics then prevents them from making needed change, leaving a highly inefficent structure in place. If Kos is smart, he'll listen, think, and cull the best of our ideas.

          Change of the sort Galiel is talking about takes time and effort, so the fruits probably won't be visible for three months or more. Kos has already taken the first step: hiring somebody to write software for him. I anticipate that we will one day see more.

          •  I never suggested (4.00)
            that this community doesn't have good ideas. It does. It offers daily proof of that.

            But what I don't believe is that galiel, specifically, has all that good an idea of what to do with this blog. If he had such great community building skills, he wouldn't be wasting his time bitching and moaning about how Markos is doing absolutely everything under the sun wrong: he'd be out there building a better community. He isn't doing that. Ergo, I question his motives for the constant carping.

            However, I also don't feel that it is Kos' responsibility to throw open the doors here and abdicate his ownership of the site simply because there are people with good ideas. It's his place. He started it, he's paying for its upkeep, and that gives him the power to set the rules.

            My experience, in the nine months or so that I've been a denizen here, is that Kos is not a dictator. He listens to what people here have to say, and if it's good, he uses it. He may not do so at the time, or in the way that it was originally suggested, but that's his prerogative. His is the name on the door, after all.

            •  Assumptions and unwarranted hostility (none)
              he'd be out there building a better community. He isn't doing that.

              In fact, you don't know that at all. You know nothing, and yet you pass personal judgements all the time.

              Rather than discussing the actual merits of substance, you launch personal attacks to discredit the messenger.

              If you actually paid attention to what I am suggesting, which you have not judging from your response, you would see that I have not made an argument from authority, proposing that I know better than kos how to build a community. I have not proposed taking over anything. I have simply proposed a persistent open forum, hosted on dailykos, to discussion issues of how to improve the community design.

              What is the problem with that suggestion, and why do you have this obsessive need to attack the person and artificially polarize the discussion?

              Intead of deciding to view this all as an attack on kos, and appointing yourself his defender, why not actually read the substance, which is all about creating the means for the community to help kos, not attacking him.

              Better community design will mean a healthier community, which, in turn, will mean less administrative and customer support headaches for kos, allowing him to focus on the things he does best.

              The problems with this community have to do with its sheer size, and the fact that, like many similar organically growing communities, it is not contained within a deliberately designed architecure, and it is not well-structured to maintain itself and sustain a healthy, constructive environment.

              It is not a matter of anyone's fault, but it is the way it is.

              This is not the first community to grow, nor the first community to face these challenges. Does it not make sense to learn from history so as not to repeat it? Especially when the chief lesson I am trying to share is NOT to hand things over to "experts", but to simply open a dialogue with the entire community, and let those who care participate in making things better.

              Your continued personal assaults on me do not shed light one way or another on the actual merits of the proposal. Nor have you explained how it would harm you to such a degree that you feel the need to be so vicious about it.

              "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

              by galiel on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 09:41:52 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm frankly amazed it took you this long (4.00)
                to come out with this highly formulaic complaint.

                You're right. I haven't checked to see if you're out building a shinier, brighter dKos. But that's frankly because I couldn't possibly care less if you are--I wouldn't go there.

                Your entire argument is premised on your alleged authority as a builder of online community. I can't even count the number of times I've seen you pop off a comment about how experienced you are in that field, and that your opinions are therefore supposed to be limned in some kind of hallowed light.

                And unlike yourself, I have read the substance of this thread. And because I have done so, I note that Kos has not asked the community for its help in running his blog. Had he done so, you might have a point. But you have insisted on giving your unsolicited advice at every possible turn, and you get downright pissy when people don't fall all over themselves to embrace your opinions.

                As Felix pointed out to you upthread, you have mechanisms by which you could actually do something to get a conversation started on the things you babble about. But you have not done so. You continue to address snarky notes to Kos in diary comment threads and open threads, always bitching and criticizing, but never actually doing anything to build up.

                That's all the information I need to have about you. You talk a good game, but can't or won't follow through when it's required. It's put up or shut up time, galiel--and I know which option I prefer.

                •  What is the downside? (none)
                  I haven't checked to see if you're out building a shinier, brighter dKos.

                  That is not what I asserted. If I was, I would hardly waste my energy in this discussion. Think a little before you mindlessly spew.

                  Your entire argument is premised on your alleged authority as a builder of online community. I can't even count the number of times I've seen you pop off a comment about how experienced you are in that field, and that your opinions are therefore supposed to be limned in some kind of hallowed light.

                  That is simply an untrue ad hominem and a fallacy of implied authority. My entire argument stands independent of who is offering it. I have shared my experience in seeing similar growing communities falter because of too much top-down control and not enough self-moderating tools. That is not an argument from authority, it is sharing relevant, first-hand knowledge for the benefit of all.

                  Even if you reject that experience, you have made no argument that explains why kos setting up a persistent, open community forum would be a bad thing. You have made no argument with the merit of the suggestion, only attacks on the suggestor.

                  It's put up or shut up time, galiel--and I know which option I prefer.

                  Unlike you, I choose not to try to bully others into silence. And silencing me, or chasing me away, will neither solve the problem nor eliminate the other voices expressing similar concerns. In

                  You still have not explained what your problem is. You still have not explained what a community design forum would detract from your dailykos experience.

                  In fact, you have not responded directly to a single substantial comment I have made. Not a single one. It is all just attacking the messenger.

                  "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

                  by galiel on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 09:55:28 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You really ought to start numbering (3.25)
                    your responses. It would save you time typing. I think you hit all the major numbers on the galiel hit parade in this one, but I don't really care enough to go look up any that you might have missed.
                    •  Perfect example of a weakness in this design (none)
                      Many, if not most, constructive discussions are derailed by trollish comments such as the above. Destructive people and bullies have an inordinate power to disrupt community online, disproportionate to their power offline, which is why the proper architecture needs to be implemented to help the community keep things constructive, productive and on track.

                      "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

                      by galiel on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 10:12:01 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  setting priorities (none)
              Amen, musings85.

              In this and other (reallife) groups I've been in, there are always those who are often suggesting how to do things differently ("even better"), but who aren't the ones doing the work.   This gets rather stressful for the ones who are actually implementing changes and improvements or being asked (demanded) to do so.  It can take a couple seconds to type out a fabulous (or not) suggestion/desire/want/complaint.   Just think, ok, how many freakin' hours each of those suggestions would take to implement.  That's what the doers have to deal with.

              Being able to prioritize what's desireable or even doable (given the parameters of ones spare time) is crucial to those actually doing the work.  Kos is absolutely within his perogative to lay out those boundaries now.  I respect that.      

              The fact that Kos has opened this blog up for such intricate discussions is way beyond the call of duty of the usual blogdom, and I am grateful.   Kos, do what you've gotta do and keep the blog alive!

              "There's nothing like waking up... getting a cup of coffee and getting in the pickup truck and driving around looking at the cows." --GW Bush

              by JOyODurham on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 05:04:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  OT (none)
                damn  

                I must be channeling Ester Carp.  But it feels good. (She underlines heavily with feelin'.)

                "There's nothing like waking up... getting a cup of coffee and getting in the pickup truck and driving around looking at the cows." --GW Bush

                by JOyODurham on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 05:14:39 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  non sequitur (none)
          IT'S HIS FUCKING BLOG!

          What does that have to do with anything. You keep screaming that as some kind of mantra to fend off evil spirits.

          No one is trying to take his blog away from him, and no one is challenging his right to run it any damn way he wants. On the contrary, I have repeatedly stated that his approval and support for a community forum is vital, because without it our discussion would be meaningless.

          I have not asked him to "listen" to my obviously superior notions about how his community should be managed". That is both a red herring and an offensive personal attack.

          I have simply proposed an open community discussion about the issue. I have proposed that the most effective way to do that is in a persistent forum that won't go away or drop beneath the fold, because the goal is to actually accomplish things and build in prior discussions.

          What is the problem with that, and what about you personally prevents you from understanding that not everyone cares about power or control or credit or domination? Some of us just want to help, and some of us actually believe in democracy enough to want to apply it to an area where it makes sense - while keeping everything about this blog and its implementation firmly in kos's hands.

          What is your real issue? Why the insults and the demeaning scatological metaphors? Do you think that makes your argument stronger?

          What would a forum such as I proposed take away from your experience here - other than to remove these flamefests from the blog threads to allow us  to focus here on political activism?

          "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

          by galiel on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 09:48:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Here's my real issue (4.00)
            You pop up like a penny-ante jack-in-the-box at every possible opportunity and whine about how Kos is doing everything wrong, and how much nicer it would be if he would start a community discussion (prominently featuring your ideas, natch) about how best to run his blog. It's your one note, and frankly, I'm tired of hearing it played everywhere I turn up.

            Nothing in the world preventing you from doing as many diaries on this issue as you want, assuming, of course, you could get anyone to read them. Yet you never do that. You just bitch.

            I don't call that productive or constructive discussion. I call it noise. The signal-to-noise ratio here has dropped enough, we don't need your "help" in driving it ever closer to zero.

            •  Please explain (none)
              Nothing in the world preventing you from doing as many diaries on this issue as you want, assuming, of course, you could get anyone to read them.

              I have explained, repeatedly in the many comments you claim to have read, that an ongoing development discussion cannot occur effectively in a diary. They are not designed that way, and become rapidly near-invisible to the community. If you acknowledge the value of such a discussion, then you should not object to doing it in such a way as to maximize its changes of success. Otherwise, it is a waste of time.

              If you are truly concerned about the drop in the "signal-to-noise" ratio, perhaps you should wonder why that drop has occured. Perhaps the idea of trying to fix the problem is not a bad one. Also, perhaps if there were a real forum to discussion such things, there would be less of this particular kind of "noise" in the blog threads.

              Incidentally, this comment,

              a community discussion (prominently featuring your ideas, natch)

              Is a false ad hominem, another attempt to discredit the messenger while not addressing the substance of the message. I have not in any way shape or form suggested that my ideas have prominence.

              If I did have that intent, I would hardly be lobbying for an open forum, would I? I would be privately emailing kos and selling him on how he should listen to me and no one else. Instead I have encouraged an open discussion where the community as a whole could talk about the things that effect it as a whole.

              Why do you persist in ignoring the substance and attacking the person? What do you hope to accomplish?

              And why do you keep trying to impose your personal preferences on everyone else?

              "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

              by galiel on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 10:25:46 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  OK conceptual planning (none)
            What is your overall idea or best of many to fix the smog of the site threading helps some.The problem that I see is that if you take a topic pick one. There is know long term discussion that stays above the radar. I think Kos will address many issues and ideas post election. Now not being a techi could you explain what your idea is to keep the good and expand or build out to make it less smoggy but not fragmented.I will check my comments and see if you are checking yours. Nice topic for future discussion.  

            Lots of people see the world in Black and White. It is mostly just shades of grey.

            by Davinci on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 12:36:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Simple (none)
              Kos would offer or at least support the creation of a persistent forum (that is, a forum that continues to be active) that could be, for example, permanently linked in the right hand sidebar.

              That forum, alone of all the discussions that take place on dailykos, would be devoted not to discussion electoral politics, etc., but instead would be a place to discuss ideas about how to make the dailykos community work better.

              Not the blog itself, not kos himself, not life itself, simply the community of dailykos members.

              The forum would be open to all, and would be more like a discussion board than a blog with comments, because the purpose is not to comment on news items, but to have an open discussion.

              This would provide one single place where:

              a) people who care to, can contribute ideas about ways to make the community more constructive and sustainable;

              b) these kind of endless, repetitive discussions that occur in various, disconnected open threads and diaries would be collected, and people would be able to look at past discussions and not reinvent the wheel;

              c) kos and his developers would have one place where they could see issues/bug reports/suggestions/ideas that the community posts, and choose to act on them or not, participate in the discussion or not.

              It is not a particularly radical idea, virtually every community and every project and every software product and every service offered online that has any pretense of public service has a forum for "meta" discussions (that is discussions about the place rather than the political discussions themselves).

              Simple.

              Nothing to do with me fixing anything, or imposing my will or view or ideas or design.

              Just an open community forum for community design discussions.

              "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

              by galiel on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 03:06:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  right. simple. (none)
                Methinks that Kos is trying to concentrating on keeping the blog up and alive through election day.

                See above:  setting priorities.

                "There's nothing like waking up... getting a cup of coffee and getting in the pickup truck and driving around looking at the cows." --GW Bush

                by JOyODurham on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 05:23:09 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  And the relevance is...? (none)
                  Then adding to his customer service load and filling up these threads and countless diaries with discussions about what is wrong rather than discussions about electoral politics helps his efforts how, exactly?

                  When all it would take would be a short statement from him and an agreement to link to a suggestion forum on the front page, to defuse all this, channel both the constructive suggestions and the frustrated complaints to where they can actually make a difference, clear up the blog to focus on political discussions and alleviate the management burden on kos?

                  I fail to see what your problem is. I certainly have not suggested burdening kos with any kind of major project.

                  My actual argument, as opposed to the straw men people keep erecting, is about things designed to help make kos's job easier, not harder.

                  "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

                  by galiel on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 05:39:56 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  hey is this your thread.... (none)
                   If your disagree with the post fine, I don't care. We can talk about what ever we please. Since you have nothing to say that is not a waste of time then feel free to post on another sub thread and leave your brilance about the topic to someone who has some passion.  

                  Lots of people see the world in Black and White. It is mostly just shades of grey.

                  by Davinci on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 05:44:11 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Lord, child, apparently not (none)
                    just a lowly poster trying to support Kos.  forgive me for intruding on your fight.

                    "There's nothing like waking up... getting a cup of coffee and getting in the pickup truck and driving around looking at the cows." --GW Bush

                    by JOyODurham on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 06:37:28 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  "supporting kos" is besides the point (none)
                      This is not about attacking or supporting kos. That has absolutely no relevance to this discussion, as determined as people are to pretend that that is what it is about.

                      "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

                      by galiel on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 06:54:47 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

          •  The clue phone is ringing (3.25)
            and it's just for you, dude.

            Tattoo this on the inside of your eyeballs: Kos owns this place. It's his. That's a fact. That isn't musing85's opinion, that isn't my opinion. It's the way things are.

            Obviously you're not too happy with the way things are around these parts. You sure seem to go on and on about it, and if other commenters are to be believed, you're the classic example of All Talk, No Action.

            Give it a rest already, would'ja?

      •  Sounds like the Democratic party as a whole (none)
        You're making a case for a community which mirrors the Democratic party as a whole — an aggregation of many different small constituencies, each of which can be self-policing.

        What strikes me as the key decisions about such a layered community are these:

        1. How do ideas get shared from one subcommunity to another?
        2. How do we make sure that universally useful ideas get seen widely?
        3. How we prevent intercommunity hostility?
        For question 1, we might be able to get away with having shared membership in groups, but I worry that it might not be enough to assure the rapid rise of new ideas.

        For question 2, some sort of culling of internal moderation systems might do it, but it might mean that good ideas which aren't well recieved in their home subcommunity don't get seen elsewhere.

        For question 3, I don't have good answers. I'd love to think that there is some good way to automatically prevent freeper type subcommunities from forming, but don't see how to do this.

        •  Post as example of discussion (none)
          Silence's post is an example of the kind of constructive discussion that can occur if a persistent, prominent, open community design forum is allowed to happen.

          Whether or not each individual suggestion is great or terrible, brilliant or awful, is besides the point. It is through the collaborative filter of many committed participants that a good outcome will emerge.

          Unfortunately, the series of suggestions in the comment will be lost in this Open Thread, pass out of currency, is not easily visible to most people who don't know it's here, and will not be available to build on in future discussions.

          It is precisely an example of how productive a design discussion can be, and why we need a persistent, prominent, open forum to support it.

          "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

          by galiel on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 10:41:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  My comments are a very limited springboard (4.00)
        What I said was:

        There are always people who are going to think they can do it better--but they don't go off and do it better, they want you to do it their way on your site. There are also always people who have a sense of entitlement.

        These are both true and independent statements. Whether or not they both apply to you or people who agree with you, I don't know. Markos has a better handle on who is emailing him what or making what demands. So I don't think it is a gross mischaracterization of anyone.

        Consequently, I think my post was probably a poor springboard for your argument, but I'll do my best to address your statements with my opinions. I don't and can't speak for Markos.

        What I am worried about is that, because kos refuses to change the course, he will simply get burned out and kill the community altogether.

        That is certainly a legitimate worry. It would be a loss for us and for the country. We might consider the possibility, however, that the tone some people take with him, such as below when you imply that he is a control freak, might contribute to just such burn out.

        Markos has shown extraordinary commitment and has also said that he'd be more willing to entertain suggestions in a few months. That seems like a fair compromise, no?

        With all due respect, that final comment suggests that you don't know nearly as much as you claim about how communities work. At the very least, your experience and knowledge seems limited to a group of homogenous communities-of-interest of a similar nature, and you make the same mistake kos is making, of assuming that your experience is indicative of all communities.

        I don't assume all my experiences all translate universally. For example, due both to the size of this community, its political nature and goals, and the fact that unlike Markos, I am unwilling to give my members any tools of self-policing at all--he is operating under different pressures and his members have different expectations.

        My experiences that do translate universally are the cyclical purges and the fact that people feel a sense of public entitlement to private enterprises. These things have happened in virtual communities since the advent of the internet.

        At least people on AOL chatrooms are paying for the privilege to be there, so they actually do have some entitlement.

        Your choice of the term "readers" is quite revealing, and reflects a top-down, broadcast communications attitude similar to kos's. An online community is not made up of passive "readers", it is made of active participants engaged in a many-to-many conversation.

        My choice of term is absolutely intentional and revealing. This blog is made up of many conversations because he allows it. This is where he broadcasts and allows us to use his resources to participate in the discussion. We are either his readers or his guests, take your pick.

        It is sad that there is no room for a discussion about how to harness the wisdom embedded in this large, diverse community to make this place better, without people arbitrarily and artificially turning this into a pro-kos and anti-kos popularity contest.

        Why do you draw the conclusion that there's no room for such a discussion? In my opinion, he made it clear that he was willing to entertain new ideas after the election, but that he is also frustrated at the methodology with which people are trying to affect change.

        Do you think it would seem less like a pro-kos and anti-kos popularity contest if those who disagreed worked on communicating their ideas in such a way as to minimize his frustration?

        For example, you say:

        Actions do speak louder than words, and kos has chosen to do nothing to provide even a forum for community participation in community design & management. That is unfortunate, and we will all, kos included, feel the effects of that irrational choice.

        Do you think calling his choices irrational helps create an atmosphere where the owner of this blog would want to listen to you, or do you think that he would read a lot of superiority and sese of entitlement into that phrase? Thanks for the chat!

  •  I've been reading here for... (4.00)
    what? Six, eight months? Think I signed in in May or June. Spent some time over on Billmon and Atrios, but I loathe Haloscan, so there ya go.

    I've been involved in a variety of online communities, and it is my observation that the more inconsequential the issue, the bloodier the fight. The ugliest, dirtiest I've seen have been on the various Harry Potter boards. Now how stupid is that? And what we have here is SOOOO important!

    I do feel that Kos has something of a point about circling the wagons. We're in the home stretch- and I don't know about the rest of you, but when my roommate comes home all down in the mouth and doing the "oh, Kerry just can't win" and complaining that she doesn't like his policy on Iraq, etc (mind you, she works for the 6th Battalion Army Recruiting station- she an SFA- so she gets their view all day long) and I want to strangle her! It's bad enough that people pick at him all the time, but why should we carry water for the opposition? We're not doing ourselves any favors! And I find it profoundly discouraging- part of the reason reading the Daily Kos is important to me is that it really does give me hope. If a bunch of thick-headed, stubborn geeks like us see hope for Election Day, then our chances are really pretty good!

    Now- being as how I'm a mom and I tend to mother everyone around me, I'd like you all to promise me this:

    You will try to get enough sleep, eat well, take your vitamins, etc. We need all of you to be in top form for this last 4 weeks. I will admit I sort of ran myself ragged the past couple of months and I've been really sick. My doctor yelled at me- as I will yell at you if you don't take care of yourselves!

    </nagging>

    "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce." -Karl Marx

    by Lainie on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 02:55:58 AM PDT

  •  Parvenu (none)
    If it's any consolation to the old guard, I shall probably be gone come November 3rd or so, whichever way it goes. Life is too short for politics 24/7/365/4.
    •  I bet you won't be the only one (none)
      There will probably be a sharp drop in traffic once the election is over.  It's the nature of the beast.  A lot of people only go to church at Christmas and Easter, and a lot of people are only interested in politics when there's an election looming.

      "Why do they call it the World Series if it's always played in the Bronx?"

      by randym77 on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 04:33:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Democrat disease (3.33)
    I am dismayed to see an outbreak of Democratic disease.  To paraphrase Apocalypse Now:

    Every day we spend arguing among ourselves, we get weaker and weaker.  And every day Charlie spends in the bush, he gets stronger and stronger.

    There are things you talk about, and there are things you do something about.  If we divert our energies into talking about things, we will never do anything.

    January, 2005 is the time for talking.  You can talk to representatives of Democratic administration, you can talk to Democratic senators and representatives who will have a majority in both houses of Congress.

    Or we can chatter to ourselves while the election swirls down the toilet.  I plan on being in Washington DC on January 20, no matter what happens on November 2.  The only question is whether the tears on my cheeks will be tears of happiness or tears of rage.

    Speaking only for myself, I'd prefer to be happy.

    My preznit went to Iraq and all I got was this crummy economy!

    by roxtar on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 03:37:30 AM PDT

    •  The thing is... (none)
      ...time spent on Daily Kos is time spent talking about stuff, so as compelling as that argument might be when it's a question of how to spend your time, it doesn't really have anything to do with what we should be comfortable talking about hereabouts.
      •  of course, you're right..... (none)
        ....i've just seen too many left/progressive groups collapse into paralysis while debating whether volunteers should be allowed to wear leather shoes, or whether we're hypocrites if we drive a car to an event, ot threatening not to attend a cookout if gluten free buns arent provided for the veggieburgers, etc.

        (sigh)

        My preznit went to Iraq and all I got was this crummy economy!

        by roxtar on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 04:21:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Boomtime - newbie pov (4.00)
    Us newbies are fortunate that this forum in place.
    We would be lost without it.
    I've sensed that the regulars feel overwhelmed, and
    feel badly about it.

    They should feel proud that they've pulled together
    something that is helping John Kerry become president.

    More people are reading their posts.
    They are having more influence.  And no doubt are
    winning over undecideds (if they're not a myth).

    If Kerry wins, pre-election anxiety will cool and the forum should go back to village mode.

    If not, God forbid, the Kos forum will become even more
    critically important.  I can even see the Rethugs trying
    to have it shut down.  If they are not already.

  •  winning (none)
    that is what its all about. When we forget that it cost us every time .Divide and conquer does work. Everyone ought to think like a republician now.win forst then hash out the differences later.hey if not ,well 4 more years of their crap is what we get.
  •  Good Post (none)
    I agree whole heartedly with what you say Kos...

    I've been coming to this site, off an on for about six or eight months and have seen what you describe. My feeling is who cares who is in control or if there is this group or that group who think they run the place. This is what happens to all human endeavors - people lose sight of why they started doing something and it degenerates into power struggles or quests for dominance. From condo boards, to the Russian revolution, power can become the ultimate goal.

    This site has avoided much of that by your good leadership, and by the fact so much new blood does constantly get infused, which dilutes that impulse. Not that the old communities are bad, but if something starts to feel "exclusive", look out, it's losing its way.

    To be honest, the community aspect of this site is great, but it was never why I was here anyway. I'm here for the great posts... the community was always just a bonus.

    So keep it up - this site does good work and is needed.

    CS

  •  Excellent (none)
    Excellent post in all respects, kos.

    As for a spin-off community, I'd say more power to them; we on this side of the political spectrum need MORE places to congregate, discuss, and mobilize. The more the better. I hope that the energy and activisim that I see now, pre-election, carries over into the post-election period. There's a LOT of work to be done to dig our country out of the various messes we're in now.

    Many hands make light work.


    A hundred people calling the press & government on their BS are more effective than a single voice.

  •  Kudos (despite disagreements) (none)
    Can't say I totally agree with kos's much anticipated post on these meta-issues, but the bottom line is that he's put together and maintained an incredibly large, vital, and resilient on-line community. That's no mean feat.  Congrats on your continued success, kos.  I can't tell you how many additional hours I'd have in my day if it weren't for this site!

    In a "safe" state? Consider a vote for David Cobb, the Green Party's candidate for President.

    by GreenSooner on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 05:32:57 AM PDT

  •  Please read this (2.80)
    As the old guard fades away, the hanger-ons complain how the old-timers are being "chased off". But there's nothing I can do. Online communities are not static. People come and go. And those "old-timers" once upon a time chased off the established community that preceeded them. And those guys chased off the original community. Like I said, four waves.

    This is simply incorrect. Kos assumes that the way things are here is the way they are inevitably in an online community. Not only is he empirically correct, but the loss of "old-timers" and lack of continuity is a bad thing for online community. Community norms of behavior are not maintained and the "institutional knowledge" of the community is lost.

    This is happening NOT because of some natural dynamic of online communities, but of the poor community design of this site, which has grown far beyond kos's ability to manage it from the top down.

    Finally, there's a small cabal that has decided that they can run a community better than I can. And perhaps they can, though actions usually speak louder than words. In any case, I'm not too worried about adding this feature or that feature because I'm too busy keeping the fucking site up through election day.

    That, too, is a falsehood. There are people, like me, who propose that kos open up the design discussion, not to a "small cabal", but to the entire community. We are not asking to "run the community" in kos's place.

    As Kos becomes busier and busier with the thinges he does best--writing blogs, launching PACs, being a pundit--he has less and less time to manage the community. As the community grows, it becomes less and less manageable by manual means. And, since this community is poorly designed and managed without any real understanding of online community dynamics, the community is losing more and more of the behavioral anchors who instilled a constructive culture.

    With all due respect, Kos, you don't know what you are talking about, and your insistence on interpreting every suggestion in terms of either a control struggle or a personal whine is doing a disservice to everyone, not least to yourself. If you would be less controlling and suspicious, you might actually have more time to focus on the elections, and have less customer relations issues that take up your time.

    As for the current strife, it was much worse during the Democratic primaries, and we came out just fine.  

    We were a hell of a lot smaller then, and you were a hell of a lot less busy.

    Why you continue to ignore those who tell you from experience that there are alligators in the water, and why you insist on leading everyone in up to their necks when there is a convenient bridge nearby, is puzzling, and certainly not rational.

    "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

    by galiel on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 05:37:39 AM PDT

    •  Empirically correct s/b empirically incorrect n/t (none)

      "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

      by galiel on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 05:40:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Start your own site, then. (4.00)
      "There are people, like me, who propose that kos open up the design discussion, not to a "small cabal", but to the entire community. We are not asking to "run the community" in kos's place....With all due respect, Kos, you don't know what you are talking about, and your insistence on interpreting every suggestion in terms of either a control struggle or a personal whine is doing a disservice to everyone, not least to yourself."

      This is HIS site.  If you think you have better ideas, start your own.  Constructive criticism is fine, but to insult the party's host is simply rude.

      November 2, 2004 is just around the corner. And we WILL win!

      by Passing Shot on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 06:26:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Counterproductive suggestion (3.00)
        This is not about competing sites. This is not about individual egos. This is about members of this community having an opportunity to help---collectively! not as competing individuals---to improve the community aspect of this site for everyone's benefit, including kos's.

        Who benefits if everyone who has a constructive idea is pushed out? Do you really think a single person, who has no experience in online community design, can know everything and do everything right? What is the harm in opening up a discussion and tapping into the collective wisdom of thousands of people with a stake in making this work?

        You say constructive criticism is fine with one breath, but say, if you don't like the way things are, leave, with the other.

        Isn't a more constructive alternative to say, let's all work together and find ways to make things better? Isn't that the purpose of this site?

        If you simply apply the political and moral and ethical and pragmatic principles that are preached here with regard to the political process, this community can benefit as much as the political process if progressive ideas are considered.

        Why don't you say to kos, "if you don't like the way the Democratic party leadership does things, start your own party?"

        Because we care about making the party better.

        We care about making this community better, too, and are not trying to wrest control from anyone or compete with anyone. This is not about that, this is about applying common sense and reason rather than emotion and ego.

        "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

        by galiel on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 06:38:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So permit me to inquire (3.50)
          who died and made you Queen of the Blogoverse? Don't like the way Kos is running this site? Then go start your own to compete with him, you know so bleepin' much about building online communities.

          Although, given the way you always show up and piss and whine and moan about how bad things are here and how badly your noble ideas get treated, I rather wonder whether you're not talking out of your ass about that, too. You don't build a community by constantly telling its members how much they suck.

          •  We need to allow for diverse opinions (3.75)
            I am disturbed by the vigorousness with which people are attacking Galiel and his suggestions to examine and collectively improve this community.  Kos has created one of the best community discussion sights available on the web and deserves kudos for his herculean efforts.  

            But, if we as a community do not allow self-examination and suggestions for improvement, the quality will decline rapidly as the user numbers grow.  

            Design can play a huge role in helping a community scale in a productive manner.  But I do not see it as mutually exclusive to self-policing and enforcing a proper etiquette among users.

            I am disturbed that Theoria has decided to leave and hope after the election he will begin posting again.  I signed up after reading a series of moving posts from Kos, Theoria, Meteor Blades, and others and excellent discussions that followed.  I've now observed that I haven't posted any comments in the past few weeks, because I too have felt the level and depth of discussion to have deteriorated.  

            I expect that after celebrating on November 3rd, we will have extensive discussions on community and scaling and other issues that are deferred until after the election.

            •  Stick around awhile (4.00)
              After six months of reading the same crap from galiel, day in and day out, I'll wager you'll change your mind.

              Nor did I ever suggest that galiel should be muzzled, and if he were actually making a suggestion for improving this blog instead of tooting his own horn and puffing up his importance, (a) I'd welcome the input, and (b) he'd probably have gotten Kos to take a look at his idea by now.

              But that isn't what he's chosen to do. Click on galiel's user name and then go look through his comment and diary history. He snipes from behind the bushes. He makes wild accusations that are almost never backed up with facts. Whenever anyone questions even so much as the placement of a comma in one of his sentences, galiel puffs up with righteous indignation and accuses them of trying to pull him down with ad hominem arguments, failling to understand the substance of the matter, and then usually ties it up with a big fancy bow of "I only want to help. Why won't you let me?"

              It gets very old, very fast.

        •  Yeah, I kinda think it is about egos (4.00)
          ...and one of them is yours. Seriously, it's kos's site. You can and should start your own if it's not managed to your liking. It's not about fragmentation, it's about colonization. The more of us out there, the better as far as I'm concerned. Sure, it makes your reading list longer, but more voices is better, not worse.

          I've been managing online communities for 10+ years. More than once, people in them have thought they can do it better than me, or don't like my rules (usually the latter since my main site is a rarity, a secular site for homemakers; I have a firm rule against proselytizing, which drives my evangelical readers crazy). I always have the same answer: "I will HELP YOU set up your own site. Seriously. This one is mine. To come here you play by my rules. Thank you." No one has ever taken up my offer. I've had a few readers leave, but most came back when they saw what else was out there in the category.

          Having said that, on my sites I'm always open to suggestions. I just might not take them. I would bet here it's close to the same. Because your suggestions are not implemented does not make kos unresponsive or irresponsible. It makes this HIS SITE.

          •  Do your sites have tens of thousands of users? (none)
            If not, your experience is misleading. Manual moderation does not scale beyond a few hundred active members, a few thousand subscribers at most.

            At a certain point, large-scale group dynamics start to overwhelm community norms, and admins reach a point of diminishing returns.

            Which is the point where community management systems with self-moderating community tools take over.

            This does not make you (or kos) wrong; it simply points out that you are talking about a different scale, and different rules apply.

            Its like the difference between kibbutz communism and State Communism. The former works well, but communism simply doesn't scale well, and the latter does not. Capitalism scales, so, for all its numerous flaws, it ultimately works better at the national scale.

            "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

            by galiel on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 02:56:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thousands, not tens of thousands (none)
              But what makes you think I use manual moderation? Only part of what I use. I rely on user moderation tools as well as myself and most of my communities run themselves. Not even my point though.

              My point is, you can make all the suggestions you like and kos is free to use them or ignore them. It's his site. You can't get all het up about it.

              •  And you point is ? (none)
                My point is, you can make all the suggestions you like and kos is free to use them or ignore them. It's his site. You can't get all het up about it.

                This is not about "my" suggestions, nor is it about "his" site or geting "all het up" about anything.

                These attacks have absolutely nothing with any of my arguments, they are merely knee-jerk put-downs that substitute for thoughtful consideration. Don't you have anything constructive to contribute?

                If not, why do you bother to respond?

                "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

                by galiel on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 05:34:52 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  still no specifics? (4.00)
      No? Thought so.

      Until you begin to use the available tools on this site (dkosopedia) to start the "design concepts" (whatever that means) discussion and manage come up with anything resembling a specific implementable suggestion, I'll assume you're just blowing smoke.

      I've been involved in discussions regarding "community management" regarding USENET groups.

      But guess what, whatever consensus was reached regarding moderating style, group creation/deletion and whatnot, it was the admins of the actual newsservers (who would implement it) that had the last say, and this fact had to be factored in from the beginning. And that's a good thing.

      •  USENET groups? (none)
        LOL.

        Usenet is the very definition of anarchy. There are no, zero, community management tools available on Usenet, which is why it is such a hostile, pathological environment. The only exceptions are communities that are obscure and small-scale enough that everyone knows everyone and can identify trolls easily--and even then, there is no user-friendly tool to manage that.

        dkosopedia is not the appropriate place to have a community discussion about community design. How many members of the community even read dkosopedia?

        The appropriate place to have a discussion that will engage the whole community and that will not be seen as being a competitive effort by an "anti-kos" individual is a persistent forum, linked on the home page, dedicated to community design. All kos has to do is tell his Scoop guy to set it up - it will take very little time to implement, and then all kos has to do is make a supportive post and express a commitment to allow the community to participate in the discussion--not committing to implement anything just because I or anyone else says so.

        Without that, a dkosopedia entry is worse than a diary on the subject. dkosopedia is not set up to support open debate on issues for which there is no "right" or "wrong" answer.

        You are proposing the wrong tool for the wrong purpose.

        "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

        by galiel on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 07:41:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  you are clueless (4.00)
          You really don't know what you're talking about.

          Usenet is the very definition of anarchy. There are no, zero, community management tools available on Usenet, which is why it is such a hostile, pathological environment.

          Check out the news.ALL for the Big8 or the de.admin.ALL (for the de.ALL hierarchy).

          Everyone can send control messages, but nobody is required to honor them.
          Yet, there are "official" group lists, because they are decided upon by a self-organized group of volunteers, whose cryptographically signed control messages are honored by most news admins, because they are interested in a working system.

          The only exceptions are communities that are obscure and small-scale enough that everyone knows everyone and can identify trolls easily--and even then, there is no user-friendly tool to manage that.

          A well-maintained killfile will take care of that.

          There is even something called "Grouplens", a kind of collaborative killfile.

          The appropriate place to have a discussion that will engage the whole community and that will not be seen as being a competitive effort by an "anti-kos" individual is a persistent forum, linked on the home page, dedicated to community design.

          Why? There is no evidence that even a small number of people is even interested in doing that. The only way to find out is to start DOING SOMETHING YOURSELF (as I proposed), advertizing it through signatures and diaries with a common title prefix by the people participating  and then point to it as evidence. If you build it, they will come.
          If they don't come, it probably wasn't such a good idea from the beginning. Which is what I suspect, since you can't name any specifics of "community management" just general handwaving and the kind of pompous talk people who like to grandstand about BIG IDEAS but can't even tie their own shoes are known for.

          And a Wiki like dkosopedia with linked diaries IS a persistent forum.

          And doing WHAT, exactly? Discussing stylesheets? Backend functionality? WHAT?

          All kos has to do is tell his Scoop guy to set it up - it will take very little time to implement, and then all kos has to do is make a supportive post and express a commitment to allow the community to participate in the discussion--not committing to implement anything just because I or anyone else says so.

          I hope he'll tell you to pound sand, if only to encourage you to something besides complaining.

          Talk is cheap.

          •  Why obstruct so viciously? What is the big deal? (none)
            If talk, as you say, is cheap, why do you expend so much of it obstructing an effort that would not take anything away from your experience here, that you are not interested in participating in, and that you don't even understand the nature of in the first place?

            Why are so many, like you, determined to attack any effort by members of the community to make a difference? If you don't think it matters, what is the big deal? Why obstruct a simple forum?

            If you are right, and no one cares, then it will die on the vine. In the meantime, it will defuse these flamefests and move all these discussions off the blog threads.

            If you are wrong, then there will be positive effect and everyone, yourself included, will benefit?

            Where is the downside? Why don't you apply the same logic and tell progressives to go form his own party rather than trying to influence the direction of the Democratic party? Your response is all emotion and no rational thought.

            You have a pattern of responding to substantial comments that contain content you don't agree with by posting personal attacks and attempting to discredit the messenger.

            The merits of an argument are independent of the merits of the presenter of the argument. Even if everything you say about me is true, which it isn't and I don't know you from a hole in the head, that has absolutely no bearing on the substance.

            The fact is that you don't think there is a problem.

            The solution is for you to choose not to get involved in design discussions.

            Choosing instead to sabotage every effort to have a rational conversation about it is a form of bullying that attempts to prevent other opinions to prevail.

            Proposing to have a community design discussion on a marginal Wiki simply shows how little you understand about community design and what a self-management tool is and what modern conceptions about large-scale online community management is all about. That is not a personal attack, it is a reasonable conclusion based upon your comments.

            I have no beef with the fact that you are not interested in such things, nor that you know little about them. In an open community discussion, the vast majority of people will have little specific expertise about a given subject.

            The difference is that, instead of you (or kos) imposing the tyranny of your own personal ignorance and/or apathy about the subject, in an open community discussion, provided some basic variables are present and basic discussion mechanics are in place, the aggregate judgement of the community tends to outperform the judgement of a single person--even an "expert" in the field.

            I find it telling that, in the middle of your rant, you ask what the discussion is all about "stylesheets? Backend functionality? what?"

            Despite having no understanding of what we would be talking about (and, worse, a dramatic misconception about the nature of the discussion), you dismiss it out of hand.

            There is so much unreasonable heat on the simple matter of supporting a constructive discussion here. Clearly I am not the only, single person on dailykos that thinks this is an issue. I hardly think kos would post a front-page response if everyone was happy with the way things were and only I was causing trouble.

            What is your real problem? Why do you insist on personalizing this discussion and throwing out insult after insult? What is gained?

            "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

            by galiel on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 09:30:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I simply hate people (3.42)

              Really, that's it. I thought you had this figured out by now.
            •  If you really have knowledge to impart... (4.00)
              I've been intrigued about your talk of better community design, galiel, because I'd value it for dKos and other communities I'm involved in.  (Though I'm quite grateful for the level of community we've built here so far.)

              In other threads you've said you know a lot about this from past experience.  But I haven't yet seen you suggest any concrete positive examples, or provide any historical references.  Nothing that I'm capable of understanding, anyway.  I'd asked you to give some examples in a thread a week or two ago, but you didn't respond.  Is there anything you could direct us to?  Links to your own writings, or to worthwhile external sources?

              Honestly, if you have some concrete suggestions -- and it needn't be limited to stylesheets -- make them.  Float them.  I think Felix's suggestion is a good one.  Make a diary (or Kossopedia entry), and feature the link in your sig.  Whether you offer elaborated theory, numerous specific suggestions to discuss, or a full-on fact-based historical analysis of community-enhancing design -- I'd read it thoughtfully.  I'd also contribute if I could think of anything useful to say.

              I'm old enough to remember when nearly all info was on mainframes, and how a "priesthood" of I.T. guys always seemed to avoid giving people in their companies a clear picture of the data available, or friendly tools to access it.  Their refusal to divulge details helped maintain their power and keep them off the hook.  You portray yourself as possessing great insight and historical experience on how to ensure an online community avoids destruction.  OK.  What are your top ten recommendations?  What are the five most instructive historical examples of how it can work right?

              Kos won't be implementing anything new till after the election, for sound reasons.  But after that, why don't you give your ideas a try?  Maybe it won't garner interest, or maybe you'll spur something to vitally enhance and preserve our community.  Won't know unless you try.  You've already spent enough time talking around the issue and debating it to have prepared a very detailed proposal, history, or discussion rubric.

              Also, it's defeatist to argue that it's worthless to discuss the details unless Kos puts his stamp of approval or creates a special place for such a discussion in advance.  Take courage to float your specific ideas and historical experience.  Sure it's a risk, but many of us have risked here at dKos -- and Kos has risked more than any of us -- and occasionally gotten whacked or ignored by us for it.

              If you feel you can't move forward with your ideas and passion about this by utilizing our existing tools, then I'd consider reading your postings on this theme to be a waste of time, since nothing will come of it.  So... For the next few months I'll look for a reference in your sig to a discussion of concrete substance about your community design experience and suggestions.  I'll also check to see if you answer this posting with some helpful links, or an indication that you'll scrappily attempt to entrepreneur (or at least explain the useful details) on this issue.

              Barring that, I'm going to stop reading any posting you make on community design (other than your sig line) until you establish and reference specific details or a venue that we can try to work with.  A simple diary is all it'd take for you to attempt a start.  If you can't do that much, it's not real.  

              I hope you'll take the plunge.

              Immune system recovery! American body politic rallies to reject the NeoCon-tagion.

              by Civil Sibyl on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 10:49:31 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I have made this very simple and specific (none)
                Numerous times, including in this very thread. But because there is no persistent forum for this kind of thing, there is no community memory, no continuity, and no possibility of getting a discussion going.

                I have made one, simply proposal, that does not involve taking anything over from anyone, does not involve me, or anyone else, imposing their ideas on anyone, and would, in fact, both defuse and eliminate 80% of the complaints and would also clear up these threads to talk about politics and the things dailykos was set up for.

                My proposal was to creat a persistent discussion forum, with ideally a permanent link on the right sidebar. This discussion forum would be open to the entire community. This discussion forum would have one purpose, to talk about the "meta" issues about the dailykos community, i.e., things like how to deal with trolls, how to improve the rating systems, how to provide more self-moderating tools, and whatever else members of the community feel they need in order to have a more satisfying and constructive experience.

                It would also be the logical place to have a bug-report thread, a desired features thread (which is different than a community design discussion; the latter is about interactions between members of the community, the former is about individual's experience with the user interface of dailykos), a suggestion thread, and all the other convenient features that most mature sites support.

                This would reduce the amount of email kos gets, would provide a way for the designers to tap into the collective wisdom of thousands of people who are not otherwise given an outlet to contribute, and would also, ideally, result in new community tools that would reduce the moderation and administration overhead that kos has - NOT in terms of the servers or the blog threads or the colors on the home page, simply in terms of managing the community.

                Final benefit: the mere creation of such a place, with a clear statement by kos that he is behind it and looks forward to community contributions, would defuse much of the frustration.

                I fail to see why this is so radical, why those proposing it are personally attacked with such venom, and why no one has yet expressed a single downside to the proposal.

                "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

                by galiel on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 03:23:12 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  response (none)
                  I think your overall suggestion, as presented in the above comment, is a good one.  I think the major downside is that it would take work and thought to figure out what to structure on the other side of that link.  There could be power issues with that too, like how Bush and Kerry had to negotiatiate their debate rules.  What if you and somebody else disagreed on how the online forum areas ought to be structured?  Kos doesn't want to spend time with any of this.  His 95+% focus now is rightfully the election.

                  Anyway, it's moot.  Kos has already decided against adding a separate forum, and he's pleased there's already movement to take it to the Kossopedia.  (Please see my reply to another of your comments for more details on this.)

                  We can still create a forum, using the Kossopedia, linked diaries, and links from the FAQ and even sig lines.  It'll have to do, and I believe it'll be perfectly adequate even if a bit klugey.

                  If you really want to understand why you've met with resistance...  Hmmm, first, realize what I have to say is something I have to remember to apply to myself as well -- 'cuz often I slip up.

                  OK: Read your posts as if they were somebody else talking to you.  Consider your tone, good cheer, incitement, humility, level of abstraction vs. concrete details, positive vs. negative phrasing, attacking vs. conciliatory language, the pre-conditions you require for cooperation, as well as questions and requests you ignore in your replies.  Consider that you are interesting or angering not just individuals, but also established (tho perhaps invisible) networks of mutual friends and supporters here.

                  FWIW, Here's some communications principles I aspire to.  You might reasonably hold the opinion that I do not always fulfill them.  :-)

                  None of us are going to get our way the way we'd best like.  In the end one can play, stand and watch, or seek another playground. (Some pretty worthwhile folk have done that here recently.)

                  Hope this is helpful.

                  Immune system recovery! American body politic rallies to reject the NeoCon-tagion.

                  by Civil Sibyl on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 12:25:04 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  style vs substance (none)
                    "Power issues" are only a problem if you adopt kos's frame in which this is all about a "cabal" trying to wrest some kind of control from him.

                    "Power issues" have no meaning in the context of a community forum to support open discussion.

                    Why would kos have to spend any time getting involved with how the forum would be structured? A simple bulletin-board app off the shelf would be fine, we're not designing rocket science here, it's just a medium for open discussion.

                    You keep addressing your comments as if I am the only person here advocating this, as if I am the only person complaining about lack of response, and as if I am involved in some kind of power struggle. That is the way kos and some knee-jerk folks have decided to interpret this, but it has nothing to do with me or the substance of my simple proposal. Even if everything you say is true about my style, that does not explain why kos has been so resistent to everyone else.

                    And, though he will never admit it, if I and others were not such a gadfly on this issue, we would not have even gotten this far. I've been here for a long time. You will have to take my word for it that I have tried gentler means to get a discussion going with kos and with the rest of the community about community issues. Sometimes being a squeaky wheel does get results. If one is not concerned with personal popularity or building political powerbases, then that is not a problem. Politicians care more about being liked than getting things done, which is why I am not a politician.

                    What would be most helpful would be a focus on process and results, not style. Leave style to politicians and TV magazines.

                    Your support in shifting the conversation to a discussion about what the problems are that we wish to solve would be a productive, tangible move in the right direction--or, you can choose to continue to have discussions about style, and to defend every step taken in this process as inevitable and reject any efforts to make sure we do it right, since we have only one shot to do it at all.

                    "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

                    by galiel on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 12:52:47 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I call. (none)
                      Resilience.  Multiple paths to grow.  
                      Ecologies, even information ones, support multiple adaptation strategies.

                      Who are the others championing your point of view?

                      Name a couple.

                      Immune system recovery! American body politic rallies to reject the NeoCon-tagion.

                      by Civil Sibyl on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 01:51:45 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  A proposal (none)
                        Civil Sibyl,

                        I really don't care about these games. What I do care about is this community. So, in the interest of  putting everyone's interest above mine or yours, here is a proposal. Take it or leave it.

                        Let's assume you are right. dkosopedia is the way to go. I will cease all agitating for other solutions. For the next couple of weeks, let's see what happens.

                        If vigorous community discussion ensues, knowledge is accumulated, entries are added, actual proposals are submitted, and an indication from kos that he is favorably inclined to at least putting the suggestions before the community, if not to implement them outright, then I will happily and most publicly state that I was wrong, and will join that effort with great enthusiasm.

                        If, on the other hand, you are wrong, and there is little or no activity on dkosopedia, no constructive suggestions, little participation by very few, and kos makes no indication that he has any intention of taking the discussion seriously, then you will join me in advocating for a permanent suggestion forum, sanctioned by kos, linked on the home page.

                        Fair enough? I don't even care who is right, and you don't have to make any admission of error, because that is honestly besides the point.

                        The point is to help the community.

                        One more thing: Since I have advocated for an open, inclusive, community discussion, please stop putting the onus on me to set up "rubrics" and "assume leadership" and all the rest of it. I have not argued for, and I am not interested in, ANY position of authority in this process. I merely advocate for a permanent suggestion forum link on the home page, open to all dailykos members. That is all.

                        I will copy this to pyrrho on his thread as well.

                        "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

                        by galiel on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 03:49:17 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  qualified yes (none)
                          I admire the intent and spirit of your offer.

                          The mechanics of it seem mostly reasonable and it's something I'd want to do anyway.  However the timing of it isn't right, imho.  Two reasons for this.  First, I'm not even going to give much thought to this until after the election.  I may post a couple items, or add to someone else's, but my Democratic priority has to be on beating Bush until Nov 8.  Secondly, I think that even once engaged the process will take a month or two to start building elaborated discussions and some semblence of consensus.  I might be wrong about this.  PastorDan's diary on community norms unleashed an instant blizzard, and began heading towards lines of consensus within a day.

                          On the other side of the timing issue, I honestly don't feel community development is a highly urgent or emergency requirement now.  I don't sense things falling apart here.  Still, something pyrrho wrote increased my felt urgency about this: the idea that many new people have come on board, and that many of them could be eased into more active participation sooner if they could learn a better sense of communinty norms and processes.  Improved processes and website structures could help the same goal too.  Still, new processes (and their implied values) usually take time for communities to sort out.

                          I will promise you this, unilaterally.  If by say Feb 8 we don't have real hubub or results with the Kossopedia/diary approach, I will contact Kos to discuss creating a special forum and some promotion of it on his part.  The communication to Kos could involve others too.  (To his credit, I've always known Kos to respond with real attention and consideration to emails on "meta" topics.) I might also add public messages to advocate creating a community enhancement forum too.

                          No need for admiting fault etc, regardless of the "Kossopedia" outcome.  This is an unpredictible enterprise at best.

                          I hope you can take this next part with some humor.  If the Kossopedia approach fails I'll advocate something similar to what you'd advocate, but I don't want to "join you" per se in a joint appeal.  You piss too many people off!  To each his own style and communications approach.

                          Thanks for outlining your template.  And onus deleted.

                          Immune system recovery! American body politic rallies to reject the NeoCon-tagion.

                          by Civil Sibyl on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 06:08:52 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  You lost me (none)
                            at "tiresome". Or was it "rhetorical tricks"?

                            Sorry, insincerity kind of pops out when you say one thing in one post and another in the other.

                            Bye.

                            "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

                            by galiel on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 09:11:16 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  not a flip-flop really (none)
                            You changed tone substantially in your "offer" post above, and I was sincere in showing appreciation for the tone of that one.

                            My "tiresome" and "rhetorical tricks" statements were general references to the tone and techniques of the bulk of your posts in our recent exchanges.  I wrote it mainly for pyrrho in commiseration for him after seeing the stream of invective you'd unleashed on him in that thread.

                            I assumed you'd probably see both the above post and my copy of it in the other thread.  You are better than most at keeping tabs on a thread.  I wasn't trying to hide how I felt about the tone of your earlier posts.  It would surprise me if you were surprised at how I or others tend to feel about such tone.  I've assumed that you consciously seek to irritate (tweak) people in those kinds of posts.

                            I remain open to converse with you as long as the tone is other than assaultive.  Signal to noise ratio and all.  Your signal is still apt to contain worthwhile knowledge and insights.  But if you'd prefer not to converse with me, that's cool too.

                            Either way, I wish you peace.

                            Immune system recovery! American body politic rallies to reject the NeoCon-tagion.

                            by Civil Sibyl on Wed Oct 06, 2004 at 02:07:55 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You should not assume (none)
                            nor attempt to read hidden signals "between the lines".

                            Simply read the content of each post and respond substantially.

                            That alone, if practiced widely, would eliminate, not only the majority of the ill-will and ad hominems an flame-wars here, but also eliminate 80% of the comments, period, dramatically reducing the server load.

                            Every discussion about other people's style is a waste of energy and personalizes intellectual exploration. In online text media, where all the other evolutionary cues are absent, it is not only rather silly to try to interpret meaning behind the scenes, it most often leads to errors in judgement.

                            When you respond to my substance by talking about my style, or when you excuse kos's ad hominems and lack of responsiveness as being a response to style, you are encouraging an unproductive process.

                            If you wish to have a productive conversation with me about my specific proposals about empowering this community to help kos's administrative overhead, understand that I honestly am posting about that substance. I don't post about that in order to make friends, chitchat, gain your political alliance or any of the BS that passes for productivity in corporate America or academia.

                            So, if you insist on touchy-feely stuff, we will not get anywhere. If you insist that everyone adhere to your style-guide, we will not get anywhere.

                            If you can respect the diversity online, and focus on the merits of the content of a post, without reading into it imaginations that can only come from your own personal prejudices (using "you" here generically and not personally, ANYONE who attempts to intuite emotion and intent behind text online will inevitably fall into the trap of projecting their own values), then we can make progress.

                            I treat everyone the same. I read post content before I even look at who posted it. If I think you are right, I will say so. If I think you are wrong, I will say so. I do this whether you are kos or joe shmo, whether you have supported my comments in the past or rejected them.

                            I am not interested in playing politics. If you can respect that, and participate in this text medium purely as an intellectual process, and benefit from the wonderful way it strips away prejudices like age, sex, color, accent, and all the other filters that prevent us from hearing what people actually say, then I am interested in talking with you.

                            If you insist on telling me how you think I should talk, I'm not.

                            "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

                            by galiel on Wed Oct 06, 2004 at 06:32:42 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  suffusion (none)
                            There's much good in what you say here.  Strict intellectualism can be highly illuminating.  Still, we (and as several have observed here, you as well) -- show ourselves to be emotional beings with emotional undertones and often unconscious power agendas in our discourse.  The Apollonian ideal you champion is half of life, but Dionysius will always have his say too -- whether we notice his seductive whispers and crazed screeches or not.  (Such whispers and rantings can be found in both your and my sentences here in the last three days.  ?But is Kossian philosopher pyrrho perhaps immune?)

                            In some communities I'm a part of, we've found more clarity, honesty, amity, and effectiveness by working to discern the all-too-easily obscured emotional and power-urge components of our discourse.  Not necessarily to reject it, but to acknowledge it and see what it illuminates.  It often illuminates wonderful passions and contorted assumptions, or twisted passions and knowing assumptions.  I and most others find these aspects of discourse and community life scary to regard in the beginning, but it's part of who we are -- always present and always making impacts.

                            Immune system recovery! American body politic rallies to reject the NeoCon-tagion.

                            by Civil Sibyl on Thu Oct 07, 2004 at 12:39:33 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  let's agree to disagree (none)
                            unconscious power agendas

                            Sorry, we're speaking different languages, and you continue to talk exclusively about style, not substance, and to use a corporatist frame that is all about political tactics and battles of domination.

                            I respectfully suggest that we end this dialogue.

                            Your input would probably be most valuable in a discussion about voluntary community norms and rules for top-down manual moderation.

                            Mine would probably be most valuable in a discussion about community architecture and a design approach to community management.

                            Rather than trying to reform me and tell me how you think I should be and describe the world according to You, please devote your energy and your "power agenda" rhetoric elsewhere.

                            Thanks :-)

                            "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

                            by galiel on Thu Oct 07, 2004 at 08:46:59 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  offer accepted (none)
                            There's much we disagree about, and your characterization of my points about power and emotions lead me to believe that I've failed to communicate clearly in some ways.  No matter.  I respectfully accept your offer to agree to disagree.  

                            Also, though I grant it may not appear this way, I'm not Jonesin' to change you.  People don't change others per se, imo.  People change themselves, and sometimes two or more people co-evolve.  Our interchange has helped me to see some new things.  This I appreciate.

                            Immune system recovery! American body politic rallies to reject the NeoCon-tagion.

                            by Civil Sibyl on Thu Oct 07, 2004 at 03:01:37 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  the payloads of rhetoric (none)
                            (I write the following more as an essay offered to the community, rather than as a response to galiel.)

                            I think it's valuable to the community's processes and joint-wisdom that we elevate our abilities to detect rhetorical devices.  I explain some of my reasons for this here. In that posting, I deconstructed a use of rhetoric that galiel made in this comment.

                            I've decided to deconstruct another example of rhetorical technique, drawing from galiel's above posting in this thread.  I'm not expert at deconstructing rhetoric, and I can't remember all the formal names of the standard devices, but I think even informal analysis can illuminate how a rhetorical construct can contain emotional payloads and/or community power impacts.

                            Here's the statement that I'll analyze:  
                            "If you insist that everyone adhere to your style-guide, we will not get anywhere."

                            This statement contains an ambiguity, and therein lies its potential rhetorical power.  The statement can mean, "I have no idea whether you would insist that everyone adhere to your style-guide, but if you do we will not get anywhere."  Note that this statement makes no presumptions of the other party's intent, and therefore requires no burden of proof.  It carries neither rhetoric nor any possible payload of censure.

                            On the other hand, the sentence could also be interpreted as assuming or implying that the opponent does indeed insist that everyone adhere to his/her style-guide.  Which interpretation is correct would depend upon the intonation and emphasis of the speaker.  Try hearing this sentence voiced with a tone of angry or exasperated accusation, and you should readily be able to hear this second meaning emerge. "If you insist that everyone adhere to your style-guide, we will not get anywhere."  

                            This second interpretation carries a feeling of censure or criticism of the other party.  Censuring somebody in public entails an exercise (or attempted use) of power or influence in a community.  Public censure in effect urges other community members to lower their regard of the accused, and to treat their ideas or words more lightly.  Successful censure lowers the opponent's status, and lowered status correlates to reduced social power.

                            Reading in, or not.
                            galiel's incisive point in Paragraph 4 of his post above about "reading behind the scenes" suggests that in reading online text we can't know for sure what tone or intonation a writer intends.  That's spot-on.  But galiel offers a conclusion that I believe is unwarranted.  He says we should not "attempt to read hidden signals 'between the lines.'"  But what if the author intended a tone that carried a signal with a different meaning from what a monotone reading carries?  In that case it would be a mistake to not read in additional meaning.  Unfortunately, either approach can generate an error of interpretation.  I contend that rather than a-priori foreswearing reading-in, it's wiser to note what alternative interpretations are supported by the text, while suspending judgment.

                            But this is hard.  People naturally create or hear a tone as they read a written text statement, but they can't know if the writer actually intended that particular tone.  (Caveat: it's possible that readers who don't sub-vocalize never manufacture such a tone.) Also, some writers purposely (or unconsciously) write sentences with two or more possible tones and meanings.  I've done that at dKos while lampooning something, and I've also done that in my poetry writings.

                            How about the case at hand?
                            So...  was galiel expressing a feeling of criticism or implication of censure of dear Civil Sibyl?  Was there an implied attempt to lower CS's status in the community?  The answer must remain ambiguous.  galiel's motive is inscrutable because his tone is unknowable.  We don't know whether to read in monotone or "accuse-a-tone."  Might some readers hear the sentence with a censorious tone -- perhaps even unconsciously?  Of course, and that means the sentence could have influence or power effects among the community.  Even if they were unintended by galiel.

                            The big lesson for me in all this is that our words may kindle emotions and exercise power through unproven rhetoric whether or not we intend it.  It seems to me the only way to prevent this (assuming a writer wishes to avoid it) is to review one's writings for possible ambiguities of tone that cross the line to rhetoric.  Then adjust or explain them as needed.

                            + + + + + + + +
                            If you've heroically scrabbled your way through all this discussion, I guess I owe you an answer to galiel's "If" question.  As most who know me here would guess, the answer is no.  I don't insist or even expect others to adhere to my "style-guide."  It's something I myself only aspire to follow.  I believe some components of my personal norms guide can promote more light and less heat in our discussions.  But then again dKos is a community full of fractious-fuck-shut-pie-hole, noble-canny-caring patriots.  I love you guys, and love learning and promoting progressive politics with you.  That's the dKos payload for me.

                            Immune system recovery! American body politic rallies to reject the NeoCon-tagion.

                            by Civil Sibyl on Thu Oct 07, 2004 at 04:36:30 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Follow your own rule #1 (none)
                            When I disagree with someone, especially if I'm getting steamed, attack their argument.  Not them.

                            I tried to find the last reply you made on the substance of my comments, on the substantance of anyone else's comments, or on matters of substance in general.

                            All I could find were these endless self-absorbed discussions about other people's style.

                            Practice what you preach - and stop preaching.

                            "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

                            by galiel on Thu Oct 07, 2004 at 09:02:37 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  OK resolution - agree to disagree (none)
                            In my last post I never attacked you personally.  If any of my sentences seemed like a personal attack to you, please point them out to me.  I'll clarify or concede error as appropriate.  I did attack one of your contentions -- the one about not "reading in" meanings.  You raised this (presumably as a matter of importance or substance) in your prior comment, and I articulated a critique of it.

                            Observe that I don't knock the importance of the points you raise, by calling it preaching or stating that it lacks legitimate substance.

                            Most of my posting wasn't a debate per se.  Rather, I was using one of your sentences as an example to illustrate some generalized principles that I believe have substance about how online community discourse works.  As I'd mentioned at the outset, it was intended more as an essay for a general readership than as a personal response to your post.

                            In the interests of mutual clarification: I believe we disagree in our views and recommendations about "reading in" when interpreting text during online discussions.  It appears we may also fundamentally disagree on whether community discourse can contain unobvious emotional and power aspects, and how rhetorical devices function with these -- if at all.  Additionally, I sense disagreement on whether such things constitute a topic of substance that's worth discussing under the thread entitled "On Community."

                            I fully accept your resolution that it's fine that we agree to disagree on these particular points, and leave it like that.  

                            Also, fwiw, despite our disagreements I thank you for offering numerous pieces of knowledge, insight, opinion, and some very helpful URL links on community moderation during your many posts.

                            Immune system recovery! American body politic rallies to reject the NeoCon-tagion.

                            by Civil Sibyl on Thu Oct 07, 2004 at 02:43:47 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You should not assume (none)
                            nor attempt to read hidden signals "between the lines".

                            Simply read the content of each post and respond substantially.

                            That alone, if practiced widely, would eliminate, not only the majority of the ill-will and ad hominems an flame-wars here, but also eliminate 80% of the comments, period, dramatically reducing the server load.

                            Every discussion about other people's style is a waste of energy and personalizes intellectual exploration. In online text media, where all the other evolutionary cues are absent, it is not only rather silly to try to interpret meaning behind the scenes, it most often leads to errors in judgement.

                            When you respond to my substance by talking about my style, or when you excuse kos's ad hominems and lack of responsiveness as being a response to style, you are encouraging an unproductive process.

                            Please reread your own comment above, and not that the entire comment is about style. There is not a single reference to the substance of my proposal. Then reread all your replies to all my comments, and see how many words are devoted to style issues vs. substance issues.

                            If you wish to have a productive conversation with me about my specific proposals about empowering this community to help kos's administrative overhead, understand that I honestly am posting about that substance. I don't post about that in order to make friends, chitchat, gain your political alliance or any of the BS that passes for productivity in corporate America or academia.

                            So, if you insist on touchy-feely stuff, we will not get anywhere. If you insist that everyone adhere to your style-guide, we will not get anywhere.

                            If you can respect the diversity online, and focus on the merits of the content of a post, without reading into it imaginations that can only come from your own personal prejudices (using "you" here generically and not personally, ANYONE who attempts to intuite emotion and intent behind text online will inevitably fall into the trap of projecting their own values), then we can make progress.

                            I treat everyone the same. I read post content before I even look at who posted it. If I think you are right, I will say so. If I think you are wrong, I will say so. I do this whether you are kos or joe shmo, whether you have supported my comments in the past or rejected them.

                            I am not interested in playing politics. If you can respect that, and participate in this text medium purely as an intellectual process, and benefit from the wonderful way it strips away prejudices like age, sex, color, accent, and all the other filters that prevent us from hearing what people actually say, then I am interested in talking with you.

                            If you insist on telling me how you think I should talk, I'm not.

                            "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

                            by galiel on Wed Oct 06, 2004 at 06:39:24 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks (4.00)
            I can't figure out why the dKosopedia isn't good enough for this, either.
            •  dkosopedia is inappropriate (none)
              because wiki-type mechanisms are best-suited for two types of group activities, neither of which fits this kind of discussion:

              1. they are good for storing institutional knowledge, where the outcome of various contributions is a specific, tangible thing like a definition or an encyclopedia entry,  

              2. they are good for projects where a small group of people are working toward a defined, tangible goal such as a software application or a marketing campaign.

              It is not the right platform for an open community discussion about how to use a design approach to facilitate and encourage constructive, sustainable community.

              This is the first time you have asked, so this is the first time I am explaining this, according to my own understanding. If others think dkosopedia is a place where this kind of discussion can take place, and you think that is a good idea, then others should implement that.

              Given that, thus far, you have dismissed the merit of any such discussion, where it takes place is rather irrelevent, since this is your blog and any discussion is only useful if you support it and state that it can make a meaningful commitment.

              "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

              by galiel on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 10:32:34 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Also because of empirical evidence (none)
                Such as Wikipedia. The system works best on matters of least controversy, such as an entry on Pythagoras's Theorem. It works least productively on matters of greatest controversy, such as the pages about George Bush, which end up being endless editing and reverting wars.

                Community design can be a contentious issue and it has no "right" or "wrong" answers.

                As well, many people feel inhibited about contributing to something that seems authoritative and "encyclopedic", as opposed to a free, open discussion forum which is familiar to all.

                "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

                by galiel on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 10:36:44 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  In other words... (3.00)
                This is the first time you have asked, so this is the first time I am explaining this, according to my own understanding. If others think dkosopedia is a place where this kind of discussion can take place, and you think that is a good idea, then others should implement that.

                Shorter galiel: No! Do it MY way! My way or the highway.

                Typical.

              •  almost perfect (3.00)
                It is not the right platform for an open community discussion about how to use a design approach to facilitate and encourage constructive, sustainable community.

                Nicely buzzword-laden, pompous, yet devoid of any meaningful substance.

                If you succeed to craft a real "Mission Statement" out of that, I'll happily crown you PHB  (incidently, this link leads to a collaborative discussion forum in the form of the much maligned Wiki).

                •  Actually, it is quite clear and concise. (none)
                  "Right platform" = different software is designed to support different kinds of interactions and communications between people. "Platform" in this context merely refers to the software environment within which a discussion occurs.

                  "Open community discussion" means a discussion about the community that is open to everyone in the community

                  "design approach" refers to a conscious focus on the rules, tools and capabilities that support various community interactions, and to designing them consciously to encourage the kind of interactions you want to encourage, and discourage the kinds of interactions you want to discourage--as opposed to letting community grow without conscious plan to manage that growth.

                  It's sort of like planning for the peace before you fight a war, or, at least, once you are in the middle of one, planning to manage the aftermath.

                  "Facilitate and encourage" because you can't mandate behavior, but you can design an environment that tends to produce certain kinds of behavior, in this case constructive behavior.

                  "Constructive, sustainable community" means community where, on balance, the overall interactions between members are constructive, and sustainable means that both the community and the constructive nature persist over time and scale with the community.

                  So, you see, no buzzwords, no pomposity, laden with substance.

                  If you don't understand something, you have two choices: you can mock it, or you can learn about it.

                  In every case,  you choose the former.

                  What is more, you fail to recognize how, on balance, the bulk of your comments are destructive, do not contribute to the community and are rendered in a spirit of hostility and reluctance to share and collaborate.

                  In contrast, I continually seek to make constructive contributions, despite the personal attacks, the neglect from management, and people like you, who attack anything they don't understand.

                  I am really not interested in either your approval nor your attacks. I would much rather see you work with me to help make a meaningful contribution to this community.

                  "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

                  by galiel on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 02:45:59 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  we have a forum, if we can keep it (none)
                    The first six paragraphs of your above comment are very helpful.  

                    As of a few hours ago, thanks to pyrrho, initiative is already underway to start a discussion process on meta-community issue thru the Kossopedia and linked diaries.  I think those six paragraphs of yours could make the core of a great diary or a linked Kossopedia article that contributes to the discussion of communtity norms, processes, design, etc.

                    references:
                    pyrrho diary
                    Kossopedia article

                    I hope you'll join in, galiel, as this (hopefully) gets going in earnest once the election's finished.  I have no doubt Kos will pay attention and support our efforts if we spend the energy to discuss and evolve good ideas together.  I've known him to be that kind of leader both in personal and community interactions.

                    Immune system recovery! American body politic rallies to reject the NeoCon-tagion.

                    by Civil Sibyl on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 07:23:30 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  from what we've got, to making more (4.00)
              Right, Kos.  And if such a discussion and its dynamic should outgrow any salient limitations of the Kossopedia, a whole bunch of people involved in such an effort could ask you to tweak the site to overcome any experientially identified problems.

              Perhaps galiel doesn't understand (or trust) a big part of your leadership style...  That is, in addition to the things you do on your own initiative, that you also respond with decisions or capabilities once some kernal of the community has used its initiative to get something started.

              galiel's detail-starved "follow my proposal or later you'll die" is something not even a POTUS should get away with. ;-)

              But taking a kernal from his idea, I can see long-term value in a meta-discussion of community enhancement -- starting in the Kossopedia or a set of linked diaries, once the election is over.  Any of a number of us are already empowered to get that started, if we care to do so.

              Immune system recovery! American body politic rallies to reject the NeoCon-tagion.

              by Civil Sibyl on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:20:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  community design forum (4.00)
          The appropriate place to have a discussion that will engage the whole community and that will not be seen as being a competitive effort by an "anti-kos" individual is a persistent forum, linked on the home page, dedicated to community design.

          Based on what I've seen in other groups, here's what I think will be the likeliest result of this approach:

          1. Most participants would be those who are unhappy with the existing site. Those who are the unhappiest will have the most interest and energy to devote to such a forum.
          2. Those who are just interested in online communities and community design may try to participate, but will probably be swamped by the discontented.
          3. The forum will come up with recommendations to fix whatever parts of the site most bother the discontented.
          4. Regardless of what Kos has said in advance about not committing to implement the suggestions, the forum participants will demand that he implement the suggestions (because, for example, all the forum participants came to a consensus that those suggestions were the best).
          5. If the suggestions aren't implemented, or Kos doesn't present a lengthy justification for not implementing them, the forum participants will complain endlessly about it in comments and diaries all over the site.

          I can't imagine that this will be helpful in any way.

          The truth against the world

          •  Your mileage may vary (none)
            I have seen exactly the opposite of what you claim in many instances.

            On the contrary, provided the basic favorable conditions are present (i'll explain them in a moment), those who participate most actively tend to be those who feel the most connection with the community, not "people who just complain about everything". There  is nothing keeping people here except a shared interest and a sense of community.

            When a constructive discussion is allowed to take place, people who are interested in building tend to dominate and people who are just interested in tearing down tend to leave. That is because building involves achieving tangible progress and using those achievements as stepping stones to further progress.

            The people who get most involved tend to be self-identified stakeholders, that is people who feel that they are truly members of a community, not disgruntled outsiders.

            Your conclusions contradict my experience. This suggests that results vary in different communities.

            Logically, the next step is to examine what it was that made it work in certain communities, and fail in others?

            I would suggest that two things make the difference:

            First, to use a business term, "Buy-in" from "management". If there is a sense that this discussion is sincerely supported by kos, and that he hopes to derive benefit from it, then the discussion tends to focus on constructive things.

            Second, the discussion itself needs to take place in a forum that is accessible and prominent to all, rather than something obscure and opaque that only the most zealous will bother to find and/or figure out.

            Since everyone here knows how to participate in an online forum, and since online forums, unlike blog comments, are designed for many-to-many open discussion, it makes sense to use that format rather than a Wiki or a diary. And the persistence part is crucial as well. Finally, the buy-in from kos--which, incidentally, doesn't mean a commitment to implement anything in particular--is critical as well.

            Incidentally, people are already "complaining endlessly about it in comments and diaries all over the site". This suggests that it is not likely the outcome of an experiment such as I have suggested, but the outcome of a lack of a forum where constructive dialoge can occur.

            "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

            by galiel on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 10:09:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  buy-in (none)

              I think it's precisely the "buy-in" part that's problematic. You may be correct that having a sense that Kos "supports" the project will make the discussion more constructive (I have my doubts here, as well, but I don't think it's profitable to discuss them). I will agree that it's likely that this kind of support would help move the discussion from other parts of the site (which would be a benefit).

              However, when the community design forum comes up with recommendations, unless Kos implements the recommendations or explains (in detail) why he thinks they shouldn't be implemented, I'd expect there to be some feeling that he never really "supported" the community design discussion in the first place. And I'd expect to see that accusation all over the site.

              It seems to me that we'd then be worse off than now--not only would the people who want changes not be getting them, but they'd believe that Kos had misled them into thinking that they could contribute their ideas, and had then ignored them. Chances are, some of them would get very angry, and we'd all hear about it.

              I can't imagine any kind of disclaimer about not implementing suggestions that would be strong enough to prevent this kind of scenario without completely undercutting any idea that Kos was "supporting" the community design discussion.

              -- The truth against the world

              •  Virtually every public service site (none)
                that offers a product, a service, or a community, has a forum where users provid ebug reports, discuss  implementation, suggest features, etc.

                In fact, many commercial, profit-driven sites have them as well.

                Generally, they are considered a great asset.

                Generally, the kind of problems you suggest don't happen.

                In fact, the mere sense that someone is listening tends to defuse 80% of the customer service complaints.

                "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

                by galiel on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 03:09:53 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  buying in to dKos dynamism (none)
              Grunt.  Groan.  OK.  Guess I better pull out my crusty credentials on this one.  Instructor of Change Management in an MBA program, and a some-time organizational change consultant...  

              Grunt.  Groan.  OK.  Now the gratuitous wisdom:
              Org buy-in can also be built from below initially, if top management is responsive.  And ours is.

              (After the election.)

              Immune system recovery! American body politic rallies to reject the NeoCon-tagion.

              by Civil Sibyl on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 11:32:35 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  amazing discussion. (none)
                never seen a power struggle so well illustrated. i can't believe i read the whole thing.
                •  many words, and bam -- action (none)
                  Yeah, maybe it was a bit too bloated, no?  Including my earlier post above.

                  But guess what's happened since:  Pyrrho, one of our best-respected early Kossites, took some initiative and placed Pastor Dan's diary about Community Norms onto the dKossopedia.

                  Pyrrho has invited others to start editing it, and to incorporate some of the community-enhancement comments from that diary's hundreds of comments into the Kossopedia article.  Kos already said he's going to link to the Pastor Dan diary in the dKos FAQ, and I expect Kos will be happy to link to the related Kossopedia article too once it's in better (community constructed) shape. (Click here for pyrrho's diary announcing this.)   Pyrrho, I, and probably others will start to link "meta-community" diaries into that new Kossopedia section as they occur.  Not good to spend too much time on this 'till after the election, but we've now got a stable "Kossopedia seed" to serve as a gathering place for these kinds of linked discussions.

                  My hat's off to pyrrho, even though he wasn't part of this "power-struggling" thread.  A community-based design intitiative? Maybe just better to start it, than to argue it.

                  BTW your nic is very clever.

                  Immune system recovery! American body politic rallies to reject the NeoCon-tagion.

                  by Civil Sibyl on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 07:06:46 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Great stuff (none)
                    This I like. No bitching and moaning, just doing. Clearly, we have the tools to make this happen, and I'm glad many of you took the initiative.  

                    But remember -- the election first :)

    •  Two things... (none)
      1. How do you know there's not a cabal?  Maybe it's someone besides you.

      2. I fail to see how getting hostile with Kos will make him more amenable to your ideas.  Unless I read his post wrong, he sounds perfectly willing to entertain any ideas after the election.

      "He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man." -Dr. Johnson

      by O mykiss on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 03:48:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Keep up the good work, Kos! (none)
    Good morning, from Maine -

    Of all the political sites which I check, on my laptop - at the start/end of the working day - it's Buzzflash.com and The DailyKos.

    Other political blogs are fine, and I read them, from time to time, but the DailyKos is nicely laid out, and I like the interactivity of the postings.

    The DailyKos has also introduced me to other Websites, through links ... and I discovered this wonderful blogging resource through Air America Radio, when Markos first appeared, there.

    Don't know if that makes me a "new" or "old" blogger, but I intend to 'stay' with this series.

    The player roll field, which I've been in for 52 years, has the same "coming/going" syndrome. Tastes change and some collectors burn out. This is typical for a fluid group, be it politics or mechanical music (in my case).

    I'm more than satisfied with The DailyKos, just as it is, so thought I'd register my delight with this Internet service.

    Regards,
    Douglas Henderson
    E-Mail: artcraft@wiscasset.net

    -- ARTCRAFT Music Rolls L. Douglas Henderson Wiscasset, Maine 04578 USA Home Page - http://wiscasset.nnei.net/artcraft/

    by artcraft on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 05:38:55 AM PDT

  •  Empirically correct s/b empirically incorrect n/t (none)

    "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

    by galiel on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 05:40:06 AM PDT

  •  What a great site. (none)
    Seriously.  I've been reading here for more than a year, and in my opinion this site has no equal in the blogging world.  The information is clean, concise and accurate -- I stay days ahead of other "informed" people I know because of this site.  I don't care about the bells and whistles, I just want the information.  Kos, you deserve a HUGE thank-you -- you provide an invaluable service and I can't understand why anyone (any D, at least) would bitch about it.

    Keep up the great work!

    •  exactly (none)
      While I'm too warped/lazy to offer many serious posts of my own, I LOVE reading serious discussions on this site. What color Kos wants to make the diary links doesn't really matter. Thanks to all who have contributed to making this site what it is--indispensable.
    •  Agree (none)
      That's it.  Kos overwhelmed me for a really long time until I discovered that it made me the go-to girl for friends and family and kept me way ahead of the news.
  •  Another newbie here, user id 15908 (4.00)
    And I feel like a member of this community. So I'll quote George Lakoff, don't think of an elephant, page 16, who I found because of a Kos post a few weeks ago:
    Conservatives, through their think tanks, figured out the importance of framing, and they figured out how to frame every issue. They figured out how to get those frames out there, how to get their people in the media all the time. Every Wednesday, Grover Norquist has a group meeting -- around eighty people -- among leaders from the full range of the right. They are invited, and they debate. They work out their differences, agree to disagree, and when they disagree, they trade off. The idea is, This week he'll win on his isssue. Next week, I'll win on mine Each one may not get everything he wants, but over the long haul, he gets a lot of what he wants.

    Nothing like this happens in the progressive world, because there are so many people thinking that what each does is the right thing. It is not smart. It is self-defeating.

    I think of dailyKos as a progressive version of a think tank. We have opportunity to frame this election, to frame the politics of progress for people. Agreeing to disagree on the small stuff while we keep our eye on the greater goal is important now.

    Thank you, Markos, for the remarkable leadership you give.

  •  I suppose all worthy causes... (none)
    create strange bedfellows. What I'm curious to see is when Kerry wins if some of us who are usually rated 4 are suddenly going to turn into trolls.

    "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended." George W. Bush, May 1, 2003

    by Jim Riggs on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 06:33:15 AM PDT

  •  thought I did change it (none)
    will try again!
  •  Now I'll give myself a few troll ratings (none)
    mea culpa
  •  This is the best site on the internet (none)

    This is by far the best web site - ever.

    I've been here a while (since before the scoop change) and I for one never understood what the complaints were about from old-timers.  Its wonderful to see the site grow and to add new people to the fold.  

    Keep up the good work.  I, for one, get my news from DKos first.  

    PS  And Amen to your piece on unity- shame on all those people who are lambasting Carson for supposedly being too conservative.  Its a freebie Senate seat, so get with the program.

    Memo to Republican Presidential debaters: stop talking about Poland.

    by jgkojak on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 07:07:30 AM PDT

  •  Kos' ball, Kos' rules (4.00)

    [shrug]

    Establishing and maintaining RL communities is a challenge, especially when they grow rapidly.  There's an extensive literature on this subject. Personally, I've been there, done that, so I understand the disruption and pain that can occur. (You can look at the Sierra Club's contentious history for one example) OTOH, no one knows that much about online communities.  What would be the mechanism for maintaining them?   IMHO: that's impossible without "controls".  Kos chose to keep the community open; new members allowed; permitted to post without approval; a system of "rating" (which is, also IMO, a major source of contention, whose function I'm not convinced about).

    This is a newcomer perspective.  I think the opportunity Kos provides to discuss, and learn about issues is fabulous. (As are the opportunities provided by other blogs).  

  •  Open minds, open hearts... (none)
    As a newcomer, I find DKos is a great site for free-thinking people interested in ideas, who are not afraid to road-test their ideas with other thinking people.  This sharpens us all up and is a very precious thing!

    It's good for Kos to expand and widen the influence of so many intelligent people!  Think of the good it does, especially for members who live in socially un-progressive environments!

    It requires some discipline to keep the mind open, but I've found the heart usually follows.  The hardest part, as in a church facing similar growth, is losing the old friends...

  •  I read the entire thread. so far. (4.00)
    And I stand by my original idea that there is too much empty talk, but hey, that's life.  People should talk less or say more.  Can't change that.

    Galiel is a voice crying out loudly and frequently for some kind of community rule that I still, after reading miles of posts, don't understand the specifics of, but it sounds like hella work for someone, and this is the wrong time for changes.  And I am starting to get seriously irritated by the personal criticism of Kos.  This is the DAILY KOS web site.  Can that sink in somehow?

    So many people will drop off after this is all resolved (please let that be on Nov 3, after a Kerry landslide) that it's only prudent to wait until then to see what's what.

    This is a fan-fucking-tastic community and a well-run web site, and it remains my favorite place on the web.  Thanks to Kos-  who I completely agree with.  If you have time to bitch, then you aren't working hard enough.  We have less than one month to save the world.

    http://www.katemckinnon.com

    by kate mckinnon on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 07:48:13 AM PDT

    •  What galiel wants (none)
      I think that galiel is expecting us to discuss possibilities and seek some sort of rough consensus, one which Kos can then adjust based on his intuitions and engineering constraints. Its a good idea, and one which has the potential to enable this community to grow by another order of magnitude.
      •  it's a fine idea, later. (none)
        if in fact it is still needed after the shrinkage of this community.  The idea that it is could "grow by another order of magnitude" after the election is kind of optimistic.   You just can't know today what the total size of the community will be in January, so why waste precious minutes now?

        http://www.katemckinnon.com

        by kate mckinnon on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 08:27:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The precious minutes (none)
          Are wasted by all these discussions, and many other frustrated voices in the diaries and open threads and, I am sure, in emails to kos.

          All of which could be avoided by the simple measure, which is ALL I have proposed, of kos creating a persistent, prominent and open forum where the community can discuss ideas about how to make the community (not the blog, not kos's baby, not his politics) better.

          This is neither an attack on kos nor an attempt to wrest any kind of control from him. He can't control a community of several tens of thousands of people, anyway.

          All this is about is moving this discussion, which goes around in circles and, because of the nature of blog posts, fades down the page in hours (and the same problem happens with diaries, which aren't visible to people as soon as they drop off the sidebar), moving this discussion to a persistent forum that could be a single link in the right-hand sidebar.

          That is all. A discussion. What is the big deal, and why is it worth all this angry verbiage about verbiage?

          "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

          by galiel on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 02:52:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Interesting (none)
            What is the big deal, and why is it worth all this angry verbiage about verbiage?

            Did you ask yourself the same question before you started spouting all your "angry verbiage"? I thought not.

            •  Non responsive (none)
              I have made a specific proposal. The angry verbiage has been in the responses, substituting for a discussion about the merits or lack thereof of the specific proposal.

              "The problems of today will not be solved by the same thinking that produced the problems in the first place" - Albert Einstein

              by galiel on Tue Oct 05, 2004 at 05:21:44 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  But as a Georgian (none)
    can I still hate Zell Miller here? :)
  •  Vote (none)
    That's fine, now let's concentrate on getting the vote out on election day, because right now that's all that matters.
    •  Amen brother -- VOTE (none)
      The only persuading we should be doing is to new and non-voters. Watching contraltos debating tenors is a waste of the precious spare time none of us should have.

      This site is a wonderful free gift, imho, and I visit to learn. But I don't have time to post much or the balls to offer advice. So thank you Markos, for building a great place to stop by after a long GOTV workday.

  •  CONSERVATIVES AMONG US!!! (none)
    Fear of change is one of those base emotions that leads one into the conservative mindset...  Just listen to this conservative nutjob:

    "In my community we never had 'gay marriage'.  AAARRGGH! LET ME MODERATE THE COMMUNITY SO MY HETEROSEXUAL MARRIAGE STILL HAS MEANING!!!"

    Sound familiar?  

    Everyone needs to just relax... It's when communities don't change that we need to start worrying.

    Kos, keep up the great work...

  •  Complete agreement with KOS (none)
    When I initially signed up a couple of months ago, I posted a diary and was immediately attacked for breaking a rule of etiquette that I was totaly unaware of.  The rule was sensible and had a legitimate purpose but now, I don't post diaries anymore because...

    I can't be 100% certain that nobody has previously posted on the subject...

    All must be written in perfect spelled English with perfect punctuation...

    Breaching any of these conditions results in emphatic censure...

    In a community the size of KOS, these rules are important for quality assurance purposes.  I find it more enlightening to read well thought out and properly composed postings than I do to slap off a thought and spend the rest of the afternoon arguing about spelling, punctuation and etiquette.

    So I am a lurker these days.  I read, learn and on rare occasion post and I am certain that statistically, I am a member of the vast  majority here on KOS.

    Reminder- Weare all part of a control group.

    by CK Dexter Haven on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 08:31:52 AM PDT

  •  2002 (none)
    I feel old - I guess I came in with the first upheaval wave in Nov. 2002. But I can't say I recall too many people complaining about the newcomers at that time. Most of us were busy flagellating ourselves and the Democratic Party for being so spineless during the mid-term elections.

    Anyhow, consider me an old-timer who is very happy at how DKos has grown, and has every intention of sticking around forever. And, as always, thanks, Markos.

    Swing State Project - Analyzing the 2004 battleground states.

    by David Nir on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 08:35:45 AM PDT

  •  I wish we had you before 2000 (none)
    Kos, my hat is off to you for this AWESOME site.

    I am an new member. I've been reading Kos for past 2 years and signed-up only recently.

    Much to my regret, I started as a Reagan Republican. It only took one trip on behalf of that administration to sober me up. That old SOB, was the biggest liar that I've ever known. His tenure was the biggest screw up, which we are still paying for.

    So, I've tried to redeem myself. I've been a political consultant for Democratic causes for past 10 years.

    Lose is always regrettable, but look at what you have brought together. You have tapped into a national vein so wide a "country" runs through it.

    1 Million a day?!? Wow!

    KOS: Keep up your awesome work. Don't focus too much on the veins of the leaves. Keep your eye on the forest.

    KOSSACKS: Keep your eyes on the prize.

    May you all prosper.

  •  Thank you KOS (none)
    Kos, thank you for all you do. I've been hooked since October 2002...
  •  Which looks worse to the visitor or newbie? (none)
    1. People disagreeing among themselves and with their candidates a month before an election; or
    2. Diaries and posts for days on end (including at least one on the main page) about how we should try to avoid said disagreements?

    The first might seem fractious, but it's just individual people disagreeing, quite often in entirely reasonable terms.  The second is a giant billboard that not only says "for the time-being disagreement is not encouraged" but might as well say
    All questions unambiguously answered here, as provided by DNC.  In fact, there is no point to this entire website.  You should just go to democrats.org.  Thank you.

    I don't personally feel that way.  I've been reading dKos for about six months and only registered in the past couple weeks or so.  I think it's a great community.  It's a bit troubling that it is such that, after having written the above, I feel the need to write this paragraph to point out that I do, in fact, think this is a great blog.  Not that it matters, I'll probably get troll-rated anyway.

    •  To be fair, it seems to me that (none)
      Kos wasn't really telling people not to trash Democratic candidates, he was acknowledging the reality that if they do, some group within DK is probably going to attack them for it.

      Funny. I remember a time (and I haven't been posting here that long, though I was reading for some time before that) when I'd get attacked for not being "liberal" enough. Now, the community seems to want people to fall in line, not be too damning in their criticism that Kerry's not far enough to the left, etc. It's interesting.

      Anyway, I think Kos was just trying to acknowledge what's happening, but that was just my reaction.

      I still think (and hope) that this forum continues to hold differing ideas --- though perhaps we can debate and disagree without being too hurtful or divisive in the process. Why not? People of good faith can disagree and all... that's even part of what the Democratic ticket we support stands for, as the line was in the platform.

      Ally

      "I know there's a saying about not changing horses midstream, but look, this horse has no legs, and it has no friends." -- Vanessa Kerry

      by ally on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 02:40:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  restated (none)
        My point, which may not have been very well stated, is probably best given in this analogy.

        If you decide to clean up the place for expected visits by the neighbors, would you hang your dirty laundry in the front yard, so that everyone knows that you've just been cleaning and that normally the place is a mess?

        •  I didn't realize it was all about perception. (none)
          You may be right in the perception area. I thought you also felt smothered or wanted to point out that possibility, with the second part of your statement.

          Ally

          "I know there's a saying about not changing horses midstream, but look, this horse has no legs, and it has no friends." -- Vanessa Kerry

          by ally on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 04:35:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I'll probably be back after the election. (none)
    The closing ranks part is what chased me away.  Our guy is the (much) lesser of two evils - that's as far as I can honestly go.

    It is far better if the deliberations of a free state are known to its enemies, than if the secrets of a tyranny are concealed from its citizens. -- Spinoza

    by Gary Sugar on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 10:05:27 AM PDT

  •  If Bush wins (none)
    then I just see this community growing bigger and bigger because we have a place to come to vent.

    But if Kerry wins, the danger is that kos and other blog sites could fracture and membership take a nose dive as we Dems do what we do best:  argue amongst ourselves.

  •  Just another agreement post (none)
    As a former regular of the once-legendary Doonesbury.com Soundbytes chat site, I can attest that if a site doesn't constantly it will quickly atrophy and die.  I think Kos is right on.
  •  What Kind of Democrat? (none)

    Once the election is over, we can get back to fighting over policy, whether to tackle the DLC, hating Greens or welcoming them to the fold, being a "Wellstone democrat" versus "Dean Democrat" versus who knows what else, etc.

    I'm a "Bullworth Democrat!!!"

  •  Well, I've got to ask- hey Kos! (4.00)
    Nobody seems to have mentioned the part in your original post about putting $15,000 into the site over the last month. Given the paltry state of my own finances after giving too much this election cycle, that seems a little odd.  

    So, Kos, do you need a couple of bucks?

    With 20k regulars and a gazillion lurkers, would you like to reconsider what must have been some very valid reasons for NOT asking for a little turkee?

    •  Advertising (none)
      It pays the bills and more. And if the advertising falls off after the election, well, I'll still have a kick-ass infrastructure to power the site for the next couple of years.

      Ongoing advertising should cover my burn rate. And most importantly, the big-ticket expenditures seem to be out of the way.

      •  My god, there's $ in this internet thing? (none)
        Never imagined this stuff would actually work, back when dinosaurs walked the earth and slipping somebody an unpublished IP actually meant something.

        Thanks for what you're doing to keep us hooked up. If your site goes down between now and November 2, look for wire reports of a crazed liberal running through the streets of Columbus reading papers off other people's doorsteps.

  •  Is this a Democrats Site or an American Site? (none)
    Although this site is for Democrats, I see this site as being more for Americans: For people who understand that the present adminstration is anti American, for those who see the Constitution being trampled by neocons and big business, for those that "want their country back again".
    •  At various times (none)
      Although this site is for Democrats, I see this site as being more for Americans

       it's been quite international. We've had regular posters from Germany, Australia, Belgium, France, India, many Canadian and British posters and so on. This is a trend I would love to encourage although the current necessary focus on the upcoming election has changed that dynamic somewhat i greatly look foward to a time when we can once again have international discussions here again.

      "...the definition of a gaffe in Washington is somebody who tells the truth but shouldn't have." Howard Dean

      by colleen on Mon Oct 04, 2004 at 05:20:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  OK (none)
    Kos et al,

    I'm just a few weeks new. This is my favorite site, and I don't mean 'favorite' in a superficial/trivial sense.

    There's lots of meat on these bones, lots of issues and ideas and interesting folks (per their writing).

    I plan on hanging around, and even contributing when it makes sense (and some times when it doesn't).

    Thanks to Kos, and to the rest o' ya.

    Love and kisses,
    RubDMC

    "I don't want to just see Kerry kick FratBoy's ass, I want to watch him tear Bush a whole new a**hole." Moi

  •  this is a great site. (none)
    thank you, kos.

    p.s. after election day, please consider a feature i found on another site: the ignore function. enables whoever is logged on to automatically skip over posts by anyone on his/her ignore list. cheers.

  •  If anyone's still on this thread (none)
    Can someone give me a brief synopsis of caused kos to write this?

    I missed it.

  •  Kudos, Kos! (none)
    Kudos to you, Kos, on the site and the community built around it.  You're so right - the focus needs to be on winning the prize: getting GWB out of the White House and changing the House and Senate.  That is, getting everyone to get out and vote GWB out of the White House - which takes more than just blogging away on the finer points of policy at this time.

    Kudos!!

  •  Love this site (none)
    This is the best site.  I am so glad it is here and to be a part.

    Kos -- thank you!

  •  Kos... (none)
    You've done an awesome job with this blog.  Daily Kos has become my primary source of news and offers an online community that I visit almost every day.  I never cease to be blown away by the talent I see here.

    I feel bad that this conflict has occured, but you can bet that my eye will be on the prize til Nov 4.  I do occassionally miss those Dean/Clark online debates  ;  )).  Keep up the fantastic work.

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