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This title was penned by Kos himself, in the commentary on an article about the new blogroll policy.

Yeah! (2+ / 0-)

People are so fucking moronic on this site that unless you hold their hand and personally guide them to the candidate blogs, they have no chance in hell in finding them!

No thanks. They're going to have to earn their support the old fashioned way -- by working for it.

by kos on Sat Feb 03, 2007 at 08:59:16 PM PST

I didn't say it.  I don't think it.  In fact, my opinion is to the contrary.  I think liberal blogs in general, and this site in particular, are a meeting ground for some very bright people.  But Kos' comment does provide me inspiration to lay out some meta-thoughts I've had for a while.

My own view of this site was fairly summed up by Numerian, in the same diary, where he commented:

Big Mistake Kos (0 / 0)

***

If you want to turn Daily Kos into a site that focuses exclusively on electoral politics, that's your business.  I'll come visit you a month or two before every election.  Right now I visit you before any other website every day  because I can read all about politics, science from Darksyde, the markets from Bondad, religion from Pastor Dan, humor from Bill of Maine, the Iraq situation from Juan Cole, non-Drudge news from Huffington Post, the arts from  James Wolcott, and so on.  Sure, some of these writers have their own blogs which I can visit too, and yeah I could bookmark them all.  But Daily Kos is my bookmark for all things progressive.  Your increasing attempts to restrict the content of Daily Kos, now to be extended to the blogroll, pulls the community apart and not together.

***

by Numerian on Sun Feb 04, 2007 at 04:22:07 AM PST

A question I have personally struggled with is this: Is DailyKos simply a tool for the election of Democrats?  Or is it part of a people-powered counter-revolution in communications on a par with what talk radio was to the right-wing extremists in this country?  I understand that many here will comment below and tell me something like this:

STFU (+144/0)

It is Kos' blog.  The mission statement says it is to elect Democrats.  Go start your own blog and STFU to boot.

By theaveragekossack on Tuesday Feb 6 at 2:30 PM EST

I don't know for certain if I disagree with those of you who will make those comments.  In fact, your persuasive arguments in this direction have largely led me to silence my own critical thinking on this issue.  However, my personal experience in using DailyKos tells me that the reality of this place is something a bit larger than Kos' mission statement – whether intentional or not.  This is a leftist clearing house for the exchange of ideas, in addition to the overt mission of electing politicians.  I mean, I've met other left-leaning people here.  Exchanged thoughts.  Met on blogs farther to the left to further develop ideas.  Engaged in activism.  Etc.  It is a reality.  Perhaps Kos doesn't like this.  But it is a reality.

I think of things like Mike Stark's diaries.  DailyKos was a loudspeaker for him.  To have an impact in the larger world.  Cracking the mainstream.  It is the power of many voices.  Undoubtedly, DailyKos has become something of an institution.  And a part of that institution's de facto mission happens to be left-wing activism.  And perhaps some of the voices here (mine, and others I've met here) are so left, that we are an embarrassment to an institution like DailyKos, in its efforts to solidify its place as a bankroll and power broker to the Washington elite.  I mean, I find it both exhilarating and frightening, that my own thoughts have, on occasion, been elevated, through the peer review system, to stand side-by-side the words written by (or for) John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, et al.  It speaks to the grass-roots power of this medium.

So in viewing this place as a growing institution with the power that it has, I come to a second issue.  If this place actually holds some notable power as a fund raising and electoral tool to the party currently representing the left, is it wise to have a governing model for such an institution that rests plenary power in the hands of a single man and his appointees?  I was led to this issue by the notable criticisms from others on this blog – e.g., STFU because this is Kos' blog and it is to elect Democrats.  Perhaps they have a valid point.  But it raises the above question in my mind.  If DailyKos is becoming a powerful broker in the political world, should it be run by one man.  Individuals are prone to make missteps and misstatements.  To say stupid things from time to time.  Not unlike Kos has said in the above title, or during the Pie Fights (IMHO).  And my limited education in political history recalls a time when parties were run locally by corruptible power brokers.  I make no accusation here against any blog proprietor.  I simply ask: If a single blog becomes very powerful, is it wise to have a system of governance in that institution that is, in essence, at the whim of an individual?

I guess I am suggesting that in a community of bloggers, where some power is owed to the number of bloggers that visit a site, ought not the community members have some say in the governance of that site?  I know this is a bit of a radical notion, for those who have difficulty looking in any way beyond the concept of private property rights.  But does not the power of DailyKos, to some extent, flow from the very people who visit it daily to read and write and think?  And if so, ought they not have some say?  I am not advocating a democracy here.  But suggesting that their might be democratic models of governance which might better serve a community.  An elected advisory board, perhaps.  A consultive body drawn from the membership.  Maybe ombudsman, with some power to consult on important decisions.

My comments here are, to some extent, dictated by Kos' statement.  I find it disrespectful, if not indicative of a pervasive attitude of the management.  As an anti-war hippie-esque supporter of feminist causes and espouser of an anarchist political philosophy, I have certainly been offended by Kos' statements and general attitude in the past.  And as a reader and writer at The Booman Tribune and MyLeftWing, I am certainly chagrined that these blogs have been shunned by the new look blogroll.  So hold these items against me if you will.  But I ask the above questions in earnest, because I think there are many liberals here with whom I share much in common.  And I doubt that I am the only blogger who has thought out these issues in this way.  I also view the blogroll issue as more important than Kos himself (if you bother to read the story and thread linked above), because I found those like minds at these other sites through Kos' blogroll.  Absent the inclusive blogroll, as it once existed, I would be a less rich person in terms of friends and thoughts.

The Big Orange, as your community is often referred to at these "lesser blogs," is certainly a powerful place in the blogosphere.  But I'd like to think that your lesser blog partners are important too – and that the blogging phenomenon, in general, is worthy of discussing the above issues.

I can honestly envision a country at war with Iran next month, with about a 90% approval rate of the U.S. population, at the merest hint of another Gulf of Tonkin incident as a spark.  I am not making a prediction.  But I would be less than shocked at such an eventuality.  I can also honestly view blogging as an important tool of the people to band together and oppose such misguided policies.  I think highly enough of the tool to offer these frank thoughts, in the hope that these matters might be discussed.

Originally posted to BostonJoe on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 11:25 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  I love all things Boston (4+ / 0-)

      so I gave you a tip.  Kos is a bit full of himself, but I do think he was being sarcastic, as was mentioned below.

      Fenway Park, the commons, Quincy Market, Newberry Street, Chowdah, the Freedom Trail, the duck boats, the museums and historic sites, great bars and colleges and book stores and libraries and it's the greatest city on earth!!

      Does the word justice mean anything to you? Are the features of a lie beginning to come through?-Jackson Browne

      by Sargent Pepper on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 11:40:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm sending the Moonites over to prove Boston (6+ / 0-)

      is also moronic.

      •  I don't even know (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ed in Montana, pinche tejano

        how to respond.

        So I'll just say thanks.

        •  You're standing on the third rail, dude. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BostonJoe, pinche tejano

          But kudos for articulating what I - and I'm sure many others - have thought from time to time.  Hey, were liberals!  We don't like being dictated at.  (I'm refering here to you're second point: should DKos be more democratic).  But here's the thing: it really is Kos's blog, although I've heard him on ocassion claim otherwise.  But from a purely functional standpoint, he owns the servers, he pays for the bandwidth, he keeps things running.  And while I agree with you that this site would be nothing without its members (obviously), until we either figure out how to stage a coup, or incorperate, appoint a board of directors and become shareholders, we're just going to have to live with it.

          Frankly, I think there's quite a bit of leeway given at this site.  I certainly don't feel limited in my expression.

          OTOH, I find Kos's limited focus of electing democrats to be somewhat mypoic and (potentially) dangerous - look where that kind of short-sightedness got the fundies (just sayin').  That said, I trust him to do what is in the general best interest of the progressive movement.  And let's face it, if he wants this endeavor to stay relevent, he's going to have to be somewhat responsive to those who breathe life into it each day.

          I've been chemically altered

          by Hang em High on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 12:56:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Points awarded to you! (0+ / 0-)

            ...for introducing me to the term "third rail"!  I looked it up on Wikipedia (which I would link, but for the fact that I interact on this site so seldom that linking is not my forte). The term has high potential for use in so many areas - thank you VERY much.

            Points also awarded for using the term "dude" in the same sentence, just because I like it and it accompanies the metaphor so well.  

            Alas, I stumbled across your comment too late to actually recommend it, so there are no actual points involved, but hopefully you feel my vibe.

            Umm... oh yeah, and the content of your comment actually made sense to me too.  ;-) Have a great day, and thanks for the new term.

    •  This is a thoughtful diary - could you try to (5+ / 0-)

      think of a better title? Yes, I know you are quoting Kos, and Kos is quoting a hypothetical opponent. But this title simply doesn't help figure out what is inside.

      How in mercy's name can McCain not know the true cost of war?

      by Wee Mama on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 12:12:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  As one of the newly banished... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wiretapthis

      I couldn't agree more.

      As I said in response to your MLW version of this post:

      (Markos Is So Fucking Moronic On That Site. There. I Said It. Jesus, What a Colossal Motherfucking PRICK.) -- promotion commentary)

      Comment in response to your opening comment, which opined that it wasn;t directly about MLW...:

      You know what?

      As far as I'm concerned, it fucking IS about MLW.
      I am HIGHLY fucking insulted to return from an illness to find my site summarily dismissed from Markos's blogroll because he doesn't READ me or my site, for one thing -- first of all, have the fucking decency to LIE, you fucking asshole, it's only POLITE. Second, after all the motherfucking traffic I generated for that site, the utter lack of goddamned gratitude is obscene.

      Consider this front paged.

      And I stand by it. At the very least, it's goddamned RUDE.

      And look who';s touting Gore as a heavy hitter, the selfsame Big Boy of Blogging who was laughing in my face when I was doing it A YEAR AGO.

      Yeah. But a year ago Gore wasn't hot shit. A year ago I was just some nonentity touting Gore because he had integrity and passion.

      You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows -- but apparently you do need Rolling Stone magazine.

      •  Well (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Maryscott OConnor, wiretapthis

        That you feel this way makes me feel a little less out on a limb MSOC.

        I mean, I didn't want to be hurt on your behalf, never having spoken to you.  But that was certainly a factor in me finally getting these thoughts down on paper.

        And I don't mean to be a jerk to the Big Orange people.  But I do worry about one dude at the helm of a place I'm sensing is becoming fairly important.

        Good to have you back.  Hope you are well.

        •  Yo baby (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BostonJoe

          I'm glad to be back, but I fear I am not long for this particular site. I sense a GBCFK diary in my very near future. I feel betrayed. In a very real way. And that's one hit too many in too short a time in this small, small world. I only have so many pearls and perhaps it's best I save them for my own readership instead of a place run by ungrateful swine.

          Sorry, but yeah, I'm feeling bitter.

          •  damn (0+ / 0-)

            I guess you are not as strong as I thought you were. I am not trying to disrespect you here, but you always came across as a fighter, and this silly shit doesn't seem worth losing sleep over, just keep doing what you do, and don't sweat this crap. I know you are going through your personal shit, and I hope you get that right, but don't lose sight of the fact that Daily kos, for better or worse, has the eyes of quite a few people, and when you want to get your writing noticed and you want action, this is the place to be.

            absolute freedom for one individual undoubtedly limits the freedom of another.

            by jbou on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 05:30:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  it's true (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DianeL

              but not true.

              I mean, on the one hand... you can't cry for days, in my case not at all.

              OTOH, the web is made of hypertext, and hypertext is how google ranks sites.

              Taking that link away has a lot of ramifications, it is a change in the network of links, so while it's kos' call, it's not as though it's not a real action with real results, some of which are a bit unpleasant.

              strong infrastructure, fair play and sober leadership

              by pyrrho on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 06:15:47 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  The good thing about having... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jbou, BostonJoe

              developed the ability and willingness to listen to the counself of friends and advisers is that I actually use it from time to time.

              So though I may bluster and huff in my huffy huffitudinousness about taking my bat and ball and going home, the fact is, Markos still has the biggest sandlot in the neighbourhood and I'm pronably going to continue posting here until I get banned. And, well, consider my odds as you gaze upon the bathetic sight of the veritable glee with which a couple of the most noxious Ninny-Nannies stride around, rap knuckles with pointers and bark out at the sight of aaaaany infractions -- ESPECIALLY AAAAAANY PROFANITY IN TITLES, which is "STRONGlY DISCOURAGED."

              SO Sayeth the Word and the Word is Markos and Markos is the Word, dontcha know.

              Excecpt, I took reading comprehension two oh frigging one, and "STRONGlY DISCOURAGED" does not mean "FORBIDDEN."

              I guess I am still naíve enough to take it to mean, in fact, that profanity in titles is strongly discouraged, but that there is still enoughj latitude and respect for a  writer's creative integrity and imagination (let's call it, oh, freedom of creative integrity and imagination), wherein, for example, if she feels that she simply MUST use profanity in a title, well, she must have a good reason...

              AND THAT YES, this will invariably lead 20 sophomoric, puerile assholes claiming their OWN profaniy is integral to their pieces about why Shakira should be Ambassador to the President's Special Council on Fitness...

              But it also leaves room for a heartbreaking work of staggering genius about, say, the drug war and what it's done to a few  profiled casualties -- casualties like Bryan Epis, who got a 10 year sentence for providing medical marijuana... Granted, that particular linked writer did NOT choose to use profanity in the title. But I can assure you, had I chosen to cover EWpis's infuriating,trgic tale, you can bet your fucking ASS there'd have been at least one choice epithet in that there title...

              Stories like that practicaly demand profanity in the title, so profane are their subjects. Which is why burtsing into a discussion and pouncing on the diarist for "breaking the rules" when she hasn't, for one thing (strongly discouraged -- NOT forbidden) is no tjust tacky and petty and prissy -- it's just plain wrong.

              Oh, my, I think my keyboard ran off at the Enter a bit, there...

              •  excellent (0+ / 0-)

                Nice rant, and just what I'd expect from you. Nice to see that your personal shit hasn't dulled your sharp edges.

                absolute freedom for one individual undoubtedly limits the freedom of another.

                by jbou on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 06:08:50 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  I AM a fighter. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jbou

              Please note -- I often SAY I feel like taking my bat and ball and going home...

              and yet here I remain.

              : )

      •  psst (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theboz, PaintyKat, BarbinMD

        Calm down. It's not all about you.


        -----------
        /* You are not expected to understand this. */

        by ct on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 01:34:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  As I said on cross-post MLW Joe (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Spit, Night Owl, BostonJoe, trashablanca

      I broached the blogroll thing last night, and was told by Armando that Kos said "Only blogs he reads himself" get in on his roll.  He also said if it was HIS site, MLW would be on it :)
      Glancing at the new roll, they all appear to be centrist Democrats at any cost sites. (and its not like there isn't ROOM on the page...its blank all the way down past his mini-roll)

      One has to wonder if the Big Boys of Politics (ie the politicos themselves) expressed to him, if he wanted to be taken seriously, he had to "cut and run" from the blogs positioned further left.

      You know, like MLW where many espouse not voting for a Dem if they won't vote like a Dem??

      I think by single-issuing himself, he may shoot himself in the foot.  Choir preaching to the choir gets old.  If you can't move the Overton Window by at least discussing true liberal and progressive platforms, then you have narrowed your base as firmly entrenched as the Republicans have.

      But it IS his blog, and his choice.  As for calling his users stupid?  Lets hope he was just a human having a bad day.  Because if he really thinks that, he will alienate a lot of brilliant people.

      Ah well.  

      I think, therefore I rant. Economic Left/Right: -8.63 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -9.03

      by wiretapthis on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 01:47:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I thought that it was pretty clear (20+ / 0-)

    that Kos' post was sarcastic.

    He was pointing out that the people here don't need his help to find the candidates' blogs.

    I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it. -- Thomas Jefferson [-4.25, -5.33]

    by GTPinNJ on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 11:30:20 AM PST

  •  It's my understanding (5+ / 0-)

    that the blogroll is slated to be more comprehensive with the introduction of the new version of the site. Maybe I got that wrong, but if it's true, then you might feel a bit better.

    Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

    by bumblebums on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 11:31:42 AM PST

    •  On the issue of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DianeL

      blogrolls, I would be happy to hear that this were the case.  I think there are a lot of Boo Tribbers and Wingers who use this site, who would be happy to hear that.

      As for the larger issues addressed, handling of the blogroll thing is just one example of the need for some community input -- IMHO.

  •  I believe (21+ / 0-)

    that was snark, from reading the previous posts:

    Another suggestion, perhaps? (2+ / 0-)

    Given that election season is upcoming, how about a dedicated section to the blogs of the presidential candidates? I know that John Edwards, for example, has a pretty sophisticated blog up and running.

    Progressive Wave
    "Inconvenient truths do not go away just because they are not seen." -Al Gore

    by PsiFighter37 on Sat Feb 03, 2007 at 07:46:02 PM EST

     No (3+ / 0-)

    by kos on Sat Feb 03, 2007 at 07:50:57 PM EST

    Fair 'nough (0 / 0)

    As I said, just a suggestion. :)

    Progressive Wave
    "Inconvenient truths do not go away just because they are not seen." -Al Gore

    by PsiFighter37 on Sat Feb 03, 2007 at 07:52:33 PM EST

    Once we have a nominee (4+ / 0-)

    it'll be different. Right now I'm taking no sides. And even the order of the links on such a blogroll would spark hyperventilating posts about how I love and/or hate various candidates.

    I mean, the crazy rumors are already out of control, like the one that I back Obama because Jerome Armstrong is working for him (which I don't and he isn't).

    by kos on Sat Feb 03, 2007 at 08:06:49 PM EST

    Oh yeah (0 / 0)

    "And even the order of the links on such a blogroll would spark hyperventilating posts about how I love and/or hate various candidates." - Kos

    Oh Yeah...

    The Standard "Listed In Alphabetical Order" is way too confusing for most Democratic voters. Besides why give casual passer bye's an easy way to find out info on our candidates. That would be way to helpful and might get us some additional votes from Independents.

    "You Have The Power!" - Howard Dean

    by talex on Sat Feb 03, 2007 at 10:16:51 PM EST

    Yeah! (2+ / 0-)

    People are so fucking moronic on this site that unless you hold their hand and personally guide them to the candidate blogs, they have no chance in hell in finding them!

    No thanks. They're going to have to earn their support the old fashioned way -- by working for it.

    by kos on Sat Feb 03, 2007 at 11:59:16 PM EST

    I belief the message getting accross is that kos doesn't need links to candidate's webpages in his blogroll because people can find them on their own

    •  Thanks for putting it in context (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PaintyKat, Elise, newhorizon

      I've been limited in the time I can spend here due to this work thing and have missed the latest dust-up! ;^D

      Based on that mini-thread I'd agree with Kos: yeah most readers here want their hands held to find politicians and issues related blogs.

      Is the purpose of DailyKos to elect Democrats? yes...
      Are there other issues?  yes...unless it interferes with the purpose of the site...

      Sanity will be restored as soon as I find the back up tapes!

      by SallyCat on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 11:37:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  As (0+ / 0-)

      I said above, it was not obvious to the poster Kos was commenting to.  Kos didn't bother to respond.  And it was not obvious to me.

      If that was Kos' intent, let him say so.  Cool.

      Also cool, to me, that it finally got me to write down the questions about this place that have been formulating in the old noggin.

    •  sounds like sarcasm to me n/t (0+ / 0-)

      The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love, instead, see all of us as one. -Bill Hicks

      by waitingforvizzini on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 12:03:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The answer is, as always: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NCrefugee, SallyCat

    Start your own blog.

    It costs nothing to do, and you have just as much potential distribution as Kos does.

    •  The operative word being (0+ / 0-)

      potential

      I've been chemically altered

      by Hang em High on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 01:02:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  you have the potential income of George Bush (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DianeL, BostonJoe, lil love

      stop bitching about him.

      strong infrastructure, fair play and sober leadership

      by pyrrho on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 03:43:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hahaha (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BostonJoe

        snarky as this is, yes, you cut right to the point. Distribution is a problem, on a practical level.

        What it really comes down to is whether, in this vast world of blogdom, having a power centralized in a few sites run by a few people will tend to diminish the breadth of the experience over time. I think it will do so less than traditional media, but it will tend to do so -- I note sadly that we're having this conversation here, rather than over at MLW or Booman or any of the other particular blogs that are also broadly leftwing.

        Do the big guys squelch out the traffic of the little guys, creating their own "top"? Certainly. Problem is, how do you get around that? This blog, to a large degree, gained its bulk because it was the first of its kind anywhere -- not because it's necessarily the most deserving of the attention. And now it's become a feedback loop -- more people here means more conversations here means more people drawn here, making it ever harder to get started on your own little blog elsewhere, that doesn't have the community traffic that this one does (and which has a hard time developing it, since conversation attracts more conversation).

  •  So are you saying ... (0+ / 0-)

    that Kos should consider having a Board of Directors and play the role of CEO?

    Just curious.

    Question authoritarianism

    by m00nchild on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 11:32:31 AM PST

    •  I am asking some questions (0+ / 0-)

      about the role of this place -- and the wisdom of it being governed by one man.

      I've suggested a couple of alternatives.

      Your suggestion -- corporate governance -- while not my favorite example of a democratic process, is, as I look at it, more democratic than the process governing this important node on the web.

      So I would not dis your suggestion.

      •  His site/his rules: or are you planning a coup? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ed in Montana

        Sanity will be restored as soon as I find the back up tapes!

        by SallyCat on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 11:43:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Is that a serious reply? (0+ / 0-)

          The history of dKos is clearly one of salutary neglect - Kos took a hands-off approach to defining what the rules here were and what could be discussed, preferring to allow people to use the site as they wished to discuss issues broadly relating to Democrats, liberals, the left. It has only been on VERY rare occasions that he's ever stepped in to say what can and cannot go on here - 9/11 conspiracy theory being one of the few such examples.

          Most rules here were evolved by the community.

          I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

          by eugene on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 12:15:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Kinda like (0+ / 0-)

            MLW?  buwahahaha...oh no, you want posters to ban.

            I think, therefore I rant. Economic Left/Right: -8.63 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -9.03

            by wiretapthis on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 01:40:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Whatever. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kdrivel

              Keep your petty issues to other sites. Don't go polluting others with them.

              I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

              by eugene on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 02:06:09 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  no its relevant (0+ / 0-)

                it is disingenuous of you to worry about "top down" or "bottom up" policies...when really all you care about is banning who you dont like and leaving who you do.  So you really have no room to advise kos on anything.

                You switch sides to suit your purposes, way too often.  Dude, you are hilarious.

                I think, therefore I rant. Economic Left/Right: -8.63 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -9.03

                by wiretapthis on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 02:15:30 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Well (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SallyCat, wiretapthis

          hmmm.  A coup?

          Okay.  Let's say 10:00 a.m. tomorrow.  And we're talking only an internet coup of a "left-wing" site -- just in case there are NSA/FBI types following words like "coup."

          Will you be bringing the tea and toast?  Or should I?

          •  I'd prefer a coop, please (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BostonJoe

            like the kind that house chickens. But I guess we can have tea and toast in one of those, as well.

          •  I'll bring Peet's French Roast coffee, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PaintyKat

            black of course, from here in the SF Bay Area...knock your socks off stuff...and danish from the local bakery - made with real butter and almond paste. Yummy

            But then again - we can recruit Bill in Portland Maine and do a Rum & Coke gathering after 5 est...

            Sanity will be restored as soon as I find the back up tapes!

            by SallyCat on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 04:23:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You throw a better coup (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SallyCat

              than I could even dream.  Very nice spread.

            •  That will be jogging at 10:30 AM (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SallyCat

              while I can still hope to touch my toes.  But those danish sound scrumptious.  I'll have to run further in anticipation of the Rum and Coke after 5:00.

              Count me in and what is the coverage charge?  Can we pay at the door?  Guess I better check reservations for my flight and can you make suggestions for a hotel close to you.

              Surely Bill is coming to the Bay Area, isn't he?  Would make a rather pricey mid-winter coop for me to fly both places, but what the heck.  

              Peace,
              PaintyKat

              WWYTR? "Love is the only force capable of transofrming an enemy into a friend" MLK

              by PaintyKat on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 06:58:10 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  The thing about nodes like this (5+ / 0-)

        is they're not stuck in one place. If kos loses sight of the fact that he needs the community more than the community needs him, he'll fuck something up badly and he'll lose big chunks of posters. Frankly, that's happened a few times on large scales already, sprouting other nodes. Frankly, I don't think very many people come here for kos anymore at all -- they come here for the diaries, or maybe for a few of the FPers. If kos makes it hard for those people to operate, then the conversation will move elsewhere.

        What I'm saying is that this isn't quite like any of the more traditional processes, and doesn't lend itself to the same kinds of governance, IMO.

    •  Personally (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ed in Montana, BostonJoe

      I think this place functions sort of as a constitutional monarchy already.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

      by eugene on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 12:37:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  In general I agree with you, BUT (8+ / 0-)

    I remember a comment kos made during Ykos last year that has always stuck with me: in essence, he'd rather more people starting up blogs to cover a variety of issues than dkos becoming the center of all the attention.  And that squares with your vision as well, although instead of a single community of owners for the blog, you have a community of networked blogs, all owned by different people.

    It's slowly happening, even though dkos is still far ahead of the curve.  More and more people are founding their own blogs with their own points of interest, and they're slowly finding their audiences.  Nowadays, if you aren't reading at least half a dozen different blogs, you're missing out on a lot of information.

    In my opinion, that was the biggest mistake re: the blogroll, and here you and I agree entirely.  If kos really does want all these progressive blogs to form a network rather than a dkos-centered universe, then retooling the blogroll the way he did was counterproductive.  Take a site like Orcinus, one of my daily must-reads.  Used to be users could simply link off dkos and read what Neiwert et al had to say, but now, unless someone writes a diary about it, only those people who already know about it will be going there.  Paradoxically, that may actually increase the number of diaries here that cover it, since the few who do read it will want to bring the info back here.

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 11:33:45 AM PST

    •  Yeah (0+ / 0-)

      But I really liked what Numerian wrote.  This place is a clearinghouse.  And if misused, the proprietor of a hegemonic clearinghouse on liberal thought, could certainly prove to be problematic.  Censorship.  Message shaping.  Etc.

      Not things I see as a reality just now, but certainly could see how such things could evolve to that.

      •  If you're reacting to the reworking of the (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ed in Montana, Mark H, BarbinMD, vcmvo2

        blogroll- stick to that.  I rarely, rarely see Kos step in to micromanage.  What you see is what you get.  You like that this place is a clearinghouse.  Has that changed?  As for censorship, that's all out there in the FAQ as to what kind of diaries are not allowed.  Has that changed?  The site is community moderated.  There are so, so relatively few troll rated comments in any given day that no serious person would say there's active, organized censorship (ok, I/P diaries, but what the hell are you going to do?) effort here.  You're catastrophizing.  Stop worrying.

        If individuals are trying to censor others in the comments on diaries, doesn't that usually get worked out in the wash?

        If we don't have fairness and social justice as part of our platform, there is no real reason to be a Democrat. inclusiveheart

        by station wagon on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 11:53:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  dKos is the center of attention (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ed in Montana

      And has been since 2004.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

      by eugene on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 11:57:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  that won't fly (7+ / 0-)

      for me that doesn't fly.

      there is important criticism here for kos to ignore... he chose "netroots" candidates... he called them that, he told the press these people have "netroots" support and tells what the netroots thinks all the time... and yet he chose those candidates as a non-democratic authority.

      I don't actually MIND that, but I see the bullshit inherent in it. The bullshit is wanting the power and money of leadership but not the responsibility.

      sure, he says, "get your own site" but he doesn't include those sites, or even his own, choosing "netroots" candidates.

      When called on it, he changes it to "bluemajority".

      that is the whole story of dkos there, besides a little tale about a useful dot.com self-publishing business, a bait and switch, sell netroots, substitute blueroots.

      strong infrastructure, fair play and sober leadership

      by pyrrho on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 03:47:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes, (10+ / 0-)
    I just re-read the thread in question and Kos was clearly being facetious/sarcastic.  I would suggest deleting the diary as its premise is based on an interpretation of a conversation that is clearly false.
  •  Well (7+ / 0-)

    I don't disagree with you that fundamentally the blog is much bigger than kos, or than kos's intentions for it. A huge reason that this blog has been so successful, IMO, is that kos historically stuck largely to keeping his hands off the breadth of opinion here. The diarists and many of the regular posters have built this blog every bit as much as kos has, really. The site itself may be private property, but the larger meaning of the site is absolutely not ownable.

    On the other hand, I'm not sure I see what you're arguing about "governance". This isn't a country; we're not citizens. We're free to come and go as we please, to start our own communities, and even to stay and complain in large numbers when we disagree with kos. The "advisory board" consists of all of us posting as we will, sometimes on meta issues, even. Why would a more formal "advisory board" or whatever would be more valuable than the current dialogues, etc?

    •  An example (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Spit

      Assume DailyKos has become a hegmonic power in the blogosphere.  You know.  What is written here is accepted at the liberal position.  Candidates endorsed here are the Democratic candidates -- the recipients of the most money.  DailyKos has become the new cigar smoking power broker (I'm not so sure how far this is from reality).

      Assume the same power structure exists as now.  And Kos decides he doesn't like a candidate or a blog or a writer.  The candidate or blog or writer is easily banned and sent packing.  They lose the hegemonic voice to the masses (which this place has become/is becoming).  There really isn't a fair argument left.  You've got Kos (the hegemon v. guy or girl who was just put into the hinterlands).

      It is a vision of the future.  Not accusing.  But I can see the day.  And the blogroll thing is an access thing.  In my view.

       

      •  I agree with you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ed in Montana

        on the blogroll thing, FWIW. I think kos has been... weird about the blogroll. For a long time, too.

        And I also think that we are becominig hegemonic in the blogosphere -- but I think that part of where you and I differ is in this: I think that power is fleeting in this format. In other words, there comes a point when Dkos the Upstart Grassroots Blog becomes Dkos the Place of Conventional Wisdom, and large numbers of posters leave and take the interesting conversations with them to some other blog -- which isn't necessarily the hinterlands, as it's just another URL and a different layout and the like. It's not like there's a locational problem.

        This is exactly what would happen, IMO, if kos tried to become much heavier handed -- in fact, in some ways, I think it has already happened with the small amount of meddling he has done.

        A blog cannot survive long as hegemon, IMO.

        •  That is certainly (0+ / 0-)

          a basic difference in digital and traditional media. The cost of starting a newspaper or a TV station is a barrier to entry for new voices. The only real asset that a blog controls is the habits of its users. Those can change with the click of a mouse. Delusions of empire are likely to be pretty ephemeral.

  •  consider me a moron.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Elise, trashablanca

    ...it took me months to figure out where the "Hotlist" was. Now that I see it, I was like "D'oh!".

  •  We've been through this before. (18+ / 0-)

    Which you doubtless know.

    Unless or until the comments and diaries get shut off, we've all pretty much got free rein to use the place as we please.

    Personally, I think that's a hell of a thing, and I'm not gonna get too wound up about not having personal control over the blogroll, too.

    And really, whatever it is that kos wants to use the place for, if people just don't do it and start doing other things instead, there's really not a great deal to be done about it. That's what keeps me from spending too much time worrying about stuff like this.

    •  Helluva Thing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Spit, dotdot

      I agree.  Blogs = Power.  To some extent or another.

      America's new town hall.

      But I guess I'm thinking about the rules for the town hall.  And who owns the town hall.  And sets the rules.  And how such things might effect what the town hall does, or is able to do.

      I'm naturally suspicious of power.  Dig the constitution as a document to try to limit it.  Wonder about non-constitutional entities like Kos.  Escpecially those with such power to affect the grass roots.

      •  Yeah, sure. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ed in Montana, Nightprowlkitty

        But the complaint is that they've turned off the drinking fountain.

        The hall's still the hall.

        •  Hey Man (or Woman) (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lil love

          If they can shut down the drinking fountain, how hard is it to turn out the lights?

          :)

          •  If you can talk in the dark... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pyrrho, Nightprowlkitty

            it doesn't matter.

            But if the concern is whether or not you're getting sufficient time in the spotlight, maybe we're getting closer to identifying the core issue.

            •  That's a good point (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Night Owl

              I'm forgetting what I've read and responded to where, but I discussed Noam and free speech somewhere -- and was reminded of what he said on that topic.  Something like -- we have great freedom of speech in the U.S., but the real question amounts to the ability to be heard -- comparing people's movements and the like with the power of the MSM to broadcast a mass message.

              I'd say that it is a good analogy to what I'm getting at here -- especially with the blogroll stuff and all.  That being, Kos is like the MSM with all the signal power and he has a kind of like faucet ability to exclude marginal voices -- and I think that's got the potential to be very un-democratic.

              Honestly, I've read a bunch of good thoughts on this and companion threads at the BoomanTribune and My Left Wing.  I think it has helped me clarify my thoughts on the issue, and I'm glad I raised it.

              •  Sure it has that potential. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                clonecone, BarbinMD

                And?

                It also has the potential to raise the profiles of some very good, very informative blogs that have been doing great work in the shadows.

                Considering that every user has the opportunity to plug his or her own blog in their sig line -- and therefore in every single post they ever make, on every single thread in which they ever participate, for ever and ever so long as both they and Daily Kos shall live, I don't know why the satisfaction of knowing that your blog is one of 17,000 in a collapsible list you have to click four times and scroll for half an hour to find is that big a deal.

                But some people like it, I guess.

                It reminds me a lot of the old complaint that still arises when something sits on the top of the recommended list but doesn't get front paged. A highly recommended diary stays on the front page two to three times as long as an actual front page story, but people don't feel like they're getting enough of the spotlight if it doesn't come with the "prestige" (if that's what it is) of being on the other side of the page.

                Markos gives every validated user the chance to plug his or her blog out the wazoo, but rather than list every blog he can think of in his blogroll (and thereby assume the enormous administrative headache of maintaining it, should any one of the 17,000 change their URL), he instead lists the blogs he actually reads and likes.

                You know, like a regular human would do.

                •  So (0+ / 0-)

                  is there a cost to listing someone on a blogroll?  I mean, there is a shitload of space there.  It is alphabetical, or used to be.  What is the cost?  And if there is none, than why dump sites that have been loyal sattelites to this place?

                  •  Is that you're only measure? (0+ / 0-)

                    Kos has to do something unless he can provide you with a satisfactory cost/benefit analysis?

                    What about the relative benefit to his selection of new blogs that haven't been getting any attention whatsoever, and are now the focus of his blogroll?

                    What does a blogroll even mean? That blogs exist? Or that they're blogs that are deemed to be of some particular importance to the person who maintains the roll?

            •  I had to uprate (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DianeL

              such a well played game all within the metaphor.

              that would be a more than decent sig "willing to fight in the dark"... although with a few unflattering interpretations... :)

              seriously though, good comeback.

              strong infrastructure, fair play and sober leadership

              by pyrrho on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 05:18:58 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Regardless of whether I agree or not . . . (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SallyCat, dmsilev, BarbinMD, Catte Nappe, Elise

    . . . the headline is inappropriate.  Wash your potty-keyboard and try again.

  •  purpose (6+ / 0-)

    while i don't disagree about the purpose of the blog or who has the final say, I would agree that this blog serves a much larger purpose for the community.  

    Last week someone woman posted that she needed help with an issue in Buffalo.  within moments BuffaloGirl had e-mailed her.

    a few months ago Devilstower started an online writing group.   I wrote my first short story ever as a result.  

    I understand the need to keep the infrastructure focused on the goal, but it accomplishes much more than that.

  •  While I may agree (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BostonJoe

    While I may agree that the change of the blogroll kinda struck me as odd(since I too use KOS as a jump point for many of the other lefty blogs) and I'll apparently now have to link directly to get my daily dose of the Rude Pundit, It is indeed KOS' place, and he can shut it all down tommorrow if he gets a hangnail and feels that is enough justification to pull the plug.

    "Eat flaming death fascist media pigs" - The Firesign Theatre

    by Perdurabo on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 11:37:32 AM PST

  •  Um... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Love, vcmvo2, Elise, Craig Burnham

    I am a little hesitant to give this diary any credence unless you provide the link to the exact comment so that I can determine the context in which it was given.  Seriously, I have made a lot of comments on this site, which taken out of context, could be used to show that I support almost anything.  Yes, Kos set up this site to elect Dems.  But if he was absolutely puritanical about that - would he post a front-page post bashing HRC?   I don't think so.  I don't always agree with Kos, but I think you are outta line.

    That [the right-wing is] always wrong is a feature, not a bug. - Kos

    by RichM on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 11:38:10 AM PST

  •  asdf (8+ / 0-)

    It was snark.  Too many people on this site have their snark button turned off all the time (or never had one in the first place).  I think they are the same people who don't "get" Colbert.

    * 3101 * http://icasualties.org/oif/

    by BDA in VA on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 11:42:07 AM PST

  •  I had a dream last night .... (7+ / 0-)

    that diaries relying on cut & paste quotes by other posters, and without the benefit of context, had magically disappeared from this site! In my dream, all discussion was limited to the original diary,  and I awoke smiling ;)

    'It is easier to stay out than get out' ... Mark Twain

    by PhillyGal on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 11:45:16 AM PST

  •  One thing about Kos (4+ / 0-)

    which I have a question about is:

    1.  His stated commitment to the purpose of this site as a place for helping to get Democrats elected, but then
    1.  Posting almost every day about the war in Iraq.

    To me, this only means that Kos has a particular issue which he finds compelling enough to follow and write about, in addition to the prospects of various Democratic candidates in the next election cycle.

    If Kos really was only about elections, we wouldn't see very much about Iraq under his by-line.

    But the larger question is this: how do you separate issues from elections?  Elections are supposed to be about issues.  Kos' issue is the war in Iraq, and some others as well, I'm sure.

    Other people have other issues which they wish to promote and advance through the election of Democrats.  If Kos can post on the war in Iraq, posts about other issues should garner the same respect.

  •  KosKremlinology (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BostonJoe, Elise, trashablanca, klondike

    is about my least favorite form of meta.  it's his house but do we have to be such idiots that we hang on and deconstruct his every word?

    however, a meta comment about its existence and my preference against it is just swell!

    I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him. - Booker T. Washington

    by jmonch on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 11:48:06 AM PST

  •  hey. Wait a min. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, Inland

    Isn't this diary based on the same premise the wingnut pundits roll out every time Markos is mentioned? A Commander Kos forcing his rabid lambs to spout liberal talking points?

    Somehow I seem to have missed seeing that side of him.

    I come here to get away from the worst of the single issue lefties and right wing trolls that infest many other sites and drive the signal to noise ratio above 50/50 in many of them.

    Kos seems to enforce the bare minimum and the TU's ride herd on the rest.

    There still seem to be rabid lambs of all stripes and patterns in the herd.

    The biggest threat to America is not communism, it's moving America toward a fascist theocracy... -- Frank Zappa

    by NCrefugee on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 11:50:34 AM PST

    •  What the fuck (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eugene, diplomatic

      is a single-issue lefty?  Do you know anyone in the world that shallow?

      Could I boil you down to a single-issue centrist concerned with electing politicians and be anywhere close to understanding you?

      That isn't much of a way to start any discussion.

      •  Single-issue lefties (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vcmvo2, Elise, sbdenmon

        Do you know anyone in the world that shallow?

        Um, yes.  Look around the "lefty" blogs and you'll see it.

        •  You know (0+ / 0-)

          if I ever wrote about a character that was as shallow as that, people would read it and call my character unrealistic.  No way.  People are complex.  Even simple people are complex -- christ, my dogs are complex.

          You don't think that people on "lefty" blogs are only about what you read of them, right?  You give people credit for being human beings behind the keyboard, right?  Not like we are bots or something, not actually knowing what we are typing?

          So I'm not engaging with someone who starts with the assumption my views are shallow.  Where's that going.  That's all.

        •  in your dreams (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DianeL, BostonJoe, wiretapthis

          they all have many issues.

          just because Dems can fail on a single issue so badly that that alone is enough to discredit them, does not mean those making the criticism have only one issue.

          I have never met someone with one issue only.

          NEVER.

          I have met people that give their time to one issue, to focus, because there is only so much time in the year, but they always have convictions on many issues.

          I am awaiting one counter example.

          strong infrastructure, fair play and sober leadership

          by pyrrho on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 03:54:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  btw (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DianeL, BostonJoe, wiretapthis, lil love

          not literally "waiting"... I don't expect much response.

          strong infrastructure, fair play and sober leadership

          by pyrrho on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 03:55:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  single issue lefty (0+ / 0-)

            You want me to create your straw man for ya? not gonna happen.

            People who only display their thoughts on single issues on blogs and op eds and comments can be described as single issue even if they occasionally think other thoughts and consider that maybe La Rouch might be fudging in the mars colony thing and that maybe the death of a lab rat might be worth a cure for cancer.

            Those who take offense at the discription of single issue lefty might be a bit sensitive from past pasting with that particular broad brush.

            That is not my problem.

            My problem is my spell checker ain't working. :)

             

            The biggest threat to America is not communism, it's moving America toward a fascist theocracy... -- Frank Zappa

            by NCrefugee on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 11:53:59 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not taking a position here, but... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vcmvo2, Nightprowlkitty

    But does not the power of DailyKos, to some extent, flow from the very people who visit it daily to read and write and think?  And if so, ought they not have some say?

    Isn't the fact that you can post these two questions back to back in a diary on Kos' site, without it getting deleted pretty much indicate that the questions answered themselves?

    •  An excellent point (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Spit, eugene, rustydude, dotdot

      Something I often think of, say for example, when I'm listening to Noam Chomsky lecture.  Isn't it proof that we have absolute free speech when critics of the American government like him are allowed to speak?

      I don't know.

      So do you think I have a right to ask these questions here -- beyond Kos' forebearance of my right to address you?  I'm just asking?

      For example.  I'm told that a significant percentage of the American public don't buy the official 9/11 explanation.  And I couldn't ask a question about that here, according to the site rules.  Why.  Because them's the rules.

      •  Proof of free speech (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Catte Nappe, dotdot

        re: the Chomsky example, as a legal right, or proof of free speech as something that actually happens much?

        Different questions.

        As to the 9/11 explanation, the problem is more of a practical one, IMO, than a philosophical one. Putting forth any particular theory about how 9/11 happened requires a good body of evidence -- but given that there's always a subset of folks in any community that like conspiracy theory and have read too many political thrillers, and they all can recommend each other, how do you keep that stuff from taking up more space than it particularly deserves?

        I disagreed with the banning of those folks, but they really were becoming a problem in some ways. I'm not sure how I would've handled it, had I been in kos's shoes.

        To a degree, it gets to the difference between what's popular and what's quality. The two are not always the same, sadly.

      •  Your counterpoint is good, as well (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BostonJoe, Nightprowlkitty

        I love Chomsky, but to a certain extent his case that we live in a society that is undemocratic and in some ways totalitarian is refuted by his own continued existence.  Millions of the intelligentsia quietly disappeared in the former Soviet Union.  But Chomsky is still plugging away here in the good ol' U.S. of A.  God bless him.

  •  A different idea (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BostonJoe

    On the other hand, one could look at this as an opportunity. Kos has redefined his mission more narrowly than many expected it was to be all about. While I don't fully understand why he'd limit this otherwise large and powerful resource, his described mission is certainly valid in and of itself. Now, there is room for other progressive blogs to take the lead with other missions. Some should be issue blogs, some local like mine, and others should be focused on matters I cannot even think of now. Congress spends more time debating recognition of college football teams than the Iraq war. There is a lot to do. Go to it!

    Using my free speech while I still have it.

    by ebgill on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 11:55:53 AM PST

  •  What's great about this site (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BostonJoe, Nightprowlkitty

    ... besides the many excellent participants, is the interface. It provides a  feature set and fluidity of communication that I have not encountered elsewhere.

    As to the blog roll, I believe I read that the code architecture is currently being revised to accommodate greater flexibility, so BostonJoe's favorite blogs may once again appear.

    Markos is doing a great job as site proprietor. It's working fine, so let's not fix it.

  •  Peak Kos? (5+ / 0-)

    I've often wondered about Kos's penchant for insulting his readership.  Never seemed like good marketing strategy to me.

    But hey, what do I know? It seems to have worked so far.

    But what about the future?

    Chris Bowers had a nice piece the other day about progressive blog traffic peaking.

    Since late 2005, I have seen a mounting array of evidence to suggest that political blogosphere traffic has reached a plateau, and that the nature of the political blogosphere is shifting away from a top-down content generation model toward a bottom-up audience generated model. While it is possible that the traffic evidence could be countermanded by a rising tide of traffic in during the long, slow build up toward the 2008 Presidential election, the sheer amount of evidence is becoming hard to ignore. A new era in the world of online politics is dawning.

    ....

    Take, for example, Dailykos. According to resident statistician jotter, while overall site traffic on Dailykos slightly declined in 2006 compared to 2005, user participation in the generation of new content on the site actually increased by 20%. This shifted the overall reader to content generator ratio within the Dailykos audience from about 25-1 in 2005, to just 15-1 in 2006.

    If Bowers is right and we are entering a new blogging era, what's worked in the past may not be what works down the road.

    Kos appears to be making his site more top-down at a time when the trends seem to suggest a move the other way.

    He also doesn't look like he plans on mellowing his attitude anytime soon, which may turn off non-poli-junkie crossovers who seem key to boosting traffic to the next level.

    Like I said, whatever Kos is doing, it's worked so far, and he definitely appears to have a strategy going forward.

    It will be interesting to see how it all shakes out.

    •  re-read, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nightprowlkitty
      wasn't insulting readership
      •  I'll re-read... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eugene

        when you read past the first line of my comment.

        •  i did, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nightprowlkitty
          what would make you think I didn't,

          I noted your top-down and bottom-up remarks and didn't feel like responding towards that portion as I had nothing to add to that,

          You then remarked again upon kos' attitude later in the comment which led me to believe that you bought into the misinterpration of his remark which was the basis of the diary.

          •  From your UID... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            HariSeldon, BostonJoe

            you have been around here long enough to know that this isn't the first time Kos has made a statement to which some have taken offense.

            So whatever the context of this particular statement, you surely are not trying to tell me that Kos has been all sweetnes and light with his readership over the years.

            Are you?

            •  Certainly not, (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Night Owl, Nightprowlkitty
              he can be quite abrasive often and wrong often.

              It is just in this instance, the title and 'lead' portion of the diary was drastically out-of-context and quite simply not a correct interpretation of the intent.  Intent is not art that has a subjective value that is up to all viewers to come up with their own 'correct' interpretation.  Most of the time, not always, intent has a boolean correct value.  Sure, sometimes there is some grayness and leeway depending on the situation, but in this instance there was a correct and an incorrect way of interpreting the remark.  In this case, the incorrect interpretation was used to cast very negative aspersions onto the site owner.

              It is not up to kos or any reader to have to stress themselves continuously over how every last user might interpret a sarcastic/facetious or potentially abrassive remark.  Sure, some care should be taken to how certain things can be misinterpreted or taken the wrong way at times or might be offensive, but it cannot be done all of the time, and really shouldn't be, both as a matter of saving time and in assuming your reader at least the majority of the time has the intelligence or common sense to detect humor/sarcasm/facetiousness.  Granted, those things don't travel well over the internet, and therein I guess lies the problem.  But knowing Kos or Kos' style over several years (not that such time was even necessary), the diarist or others shouldn't have assumed such an overdramatic malice coming from Kos.  Sure Kos can be beligerrent and hard-nosed often, but I don't believe that kos is filled with such a malice or has such negative views of his readers that the out-of-context remark would imply.  One needn't even have been a reader for years, the proper context is really quite obvious in the thread itself.

              Anyways, I have babbled on way, way, way, way too long.  I am no kos sycophant.  I disagree with him much of the time, especially during the whole fraudster time.  This diary just kind of stuck in my craw a bit for some reason.

    •  It's also a bad move politically (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Night Owl, caliberal, BostonJoe

      With the victories in 2006, the blogosphere and the netroots no longer become about electing Democrats, but about choosing sides in the intraparty struggles and working for the victory of - one hopes - the progressive elements in the party, so that we can get on with the work of advancing our agenda for America.

      Many will resist seeing our task as that, but that is precisely what it is. We cannot exist in a 2005 mindset forever.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

      by eugene on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 12:07:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I happen to agree with you (5+ / 0-)

    Folks are focusing on Kos' comment that you cite atop the diary, but what you're really pointing out is that Kos simply doesn't know what he is talking about when he wants to claim this site is merely about electing Democrats.

    This site grew because it became a home for people who wanted to build a progressive future but were disaffected with the Democrats' failure to fight back against Bush. Obviously the site focused on Democratic Party politics, but that was because we all realized that to stop Bush and give our ideas a chance at becoming realized, we had to elect some good Dems.

    Kos can make whatever statements he wants to about this site, but no individual, not even he, can define what this community is about. I had a comment about that on Kos' "Criticism" diary this weekend, and pyrrho and I tried to explain to people how a community works, how movements and ideas work, and that just because someone owns the servers does not actually mean they can shape the discourse or define what an independent community thinks.

    The sad thing is that we got a lot of responses showing people had internalized far-right neo-con thinking about ownership and communities. Nobody seemed to even understand what I or pyrrho were saying.

    A simple look at the rec list or recent diaries will show that this site is NOT, in practice, about merely electing Democrats. Even MyDD, which is cast as the more wonky and more election-focused version of dKos, takes a broader view.

    I don't know if Kos is more actively trying to make this site strictly about electing Democrats. If he is, it's a terribly idiotic mistake. He will be wrecking what he has helped create. I would hope he knows better than this.

    I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

    by eugene on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 12:05:46 PM PST

    •  I will (0+ / 0-)

      go back and read your original comments.  I don't blog enough to be all-knowing anymore (ah, when the Internets were young and I could read them all).

    •  I just have this to say, until I digest the rest (6+ / 0-)

      When people start calling a blog "a home for [insert sub-class of blogger here]...", that just sets [subclass] up for a huge disappointment, IMO, if something about their idealized "home" suddenly smacks them in the face, because it's reality.

      This could be that the owner of the home (or leader of the cult, if you want to take it further) has always had a few quirks, like they don't like it if someone leaves an empty carton of milk in the fridge, the toothpaste tube cap off, etc.;  suddenly, though, one day a few people in the household realize that's a pain in the ass, because the novelty and coolness of the house has worn off.

      Then, they're pissed off.  Or crushed, if the home is sort of cult-like.  They flame, they cry, they say "GBCW", and it's just one big clusterfuck of sycophants who suddenly had a rude awakening to the rules.

      kos can be obnoxious, we all know that.  He's opinionated, he's passionate... and, the most important part: he's devoted to politics on our side of the spectrum.  

      That's the key.

      Not to sound corny, but why can't we all work together?  eugene, I used this analogy earlier today, and since you know me, it might make you smile...

      I'm normally not an advocate of extreme gun control.  However, with the goddamn circular firing squads around here, there really should be a ban on meta-internet-blog-virtual firearms and ammunition.

      •  We do work together (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Spit, Plutonium Page, caliberal, BostonJoe

        I'm not arguing against that at all. I just think people sell themselves short when they define dKos as a site Kos built and see themselves as guests here at his sufferance. Kos is by all accounts a decent guy and has done the right thing in giving this place a lot of room to develop. So it annoys me when people just try to shut down discussion by saying "Kos said this! You all have to listen now!"

        I think you're absolutely right about working together, and that has been, and continues to be, one of this site's strengths. And I don't quite see meta as a circular firing squad, although as the primaries near, we might wish to consider making people check their ammo and flamethrowers at the door...

        I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

        by eugene on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 12:37:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The site has gotten HUGE (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          eugene, Andrea inOregon

          There must be about 117K people signed up now, and (as you commented elsewhere in this diary), comments fly fast and furious around here.  The signal-to-noise ratio is tiny, though, and I think we need to fix that.

          I am not looking forward to this year.

          However, we're all addicted to blogging because we're addicted to politics, so very few of us can stay away.

          As for being "guests", I suppose that's the way I've thought about it, from a sheer "politeness" point of view.  No, I have not been polite from time to time, but I always feel terrible when I've been an ass.

          Some people are here to be asses for the sake of being asses, and I don't see why that's acceptable.

        •  Could agree with this more (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          eugene, trashablanca

          One of the smartest things kos has done, IMO, is stay the hell out of telling people what they may or may not talk about here -- the only exceptions I can think of are conspiracy theories, and while I realize people treat that like a hard and fast rule, the rule is really much more "don't spew that kind of shit unless you can back it up with more than speculation".

          As far as I'm concerned, that's what made this site as big, and broad, and powerful a force as it is. And I agree, I get frustrated when people shrug off their power in that -- kos has historically tried as hard as he can, so far as I can tell, to not be an autocrat, a benevolent dictator, or an "owner" of the space -- I say that much to his credit, as someone who is not bashful about criticizing kos.

          I think most of what I see as unreasonable about this place comes from others enforcing "kos's rules" as though they're the Word of Dog, even when he didn't state any. Everyone reading and parsing and arguing about what kos said in some post six months ago and then calling each other out for "breaking the rules". Sometimes this place is like bizarro world on that level.

          •  Hah (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            eugene

            COULDN'T agree more. Damn contractions. Stupid language skills.

            •  I don't disagree (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Spit, eugene, deepintheheartoftx

              that the level of free speech is high.

              I've never really been bothered much, and I say some nutty stuff.

              But the potential for abuse is definitely there.  At least in my view.  And I'm questioning that.  This is the first time I've given it voice in writing, but I question the governance of a sole-proprietor blog if it is a huge force in party politics.

              Someone above or elsewhere compared Kos to Hearst, in a way.  Not a perfect comparison, I suppose.  But I can see that as a possible eventuality.  Why not have some formal input from the membership?  For a powerful institution?

              •  I see what you're saying (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Night Owl, BostonJoe

                and I think it's totally valid. I don't disagree with you on most levels, but I think that there's already a sort of informal check-and-balance in place, based on the fact that discussion can find or produce as many different fora as it needs in this internet format.

                The thing is, abuse of power would not just be going against some kind of noblesse oblige. If kos became a real autocrat, he'd see a huge chunk of his readership disappear -- not everyone, certainly, but the bulk of the people who really provide the quality content. Unlike in a government, we all choose to be here, as opposed to on any other blog writing prolifically (some of us are on other blogs as well as this one, in fact).

                I'm dubious about the "marketplace of ideas" thing in many cases, but on blogs, I think the power really lies much more toward reader/contributors than it does toward administrator/formal-site-owners. In a sense, I think that possibility toward abuse of power is limited by the fact that we could all go somewhere else just as easily, if we were pushed enough -- there's not a limit to the shelf space, say, or to the market for publishing, or whatever else happens in "meat world". And I think that the people at the front of the curve, who tend to be more free-thinking on average, would probably leave for greener pastures if they found this place too limiting.

                To a large degree, I think kos is aware of that, and I think the people running any blog that gains power are also the ones who don't use their administrative power overly much -- by definition. That's often how the blogs become powerful in the first place.

                Also, I think that as a hypothetical, this is a good and important discussion -- but I think that even dkos is far, far from being such a powerful institution that it's something we need to worry about as a practical matter. We have almost 120,000 registered users. A huge number of those are inactive -- many have in fact moved on to other blogs. On a national scale, we need 50 million or so votes. We're a growing force, but we're hardly so much of one that as a practical matter we're becoming a de facto political institution.

                I think we tend to overemphasize our importance as a community, even while I think that blogs overall are reshaping the political landscape.

      •  Nice comment. n/t (0+ / 0-)

        "Never argue with an idiot; they'll drag you down to their level and beat you with the experience." ~ anonymous

        by panicbean on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 12:37:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Metastasizing meta (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BostonJoe

    Sorry, I'm not feeling the constraints, limits or power restrictions you seem concerned about.

    So, the mission is electing Democrats? That's a good thing, and I'm behind that. It doesn't seem to be the sole activity here, either. I don't see Kos stopping diaries about the economy,health care, energy, science and all the other good stuff we come here for. I see live blogging from major hearings and trials, along with expert and/or legal analysis of same. I get viewpoints on the latest news; and reviews putting older news in clearer perspective. A few pooties and some snark for those so inclined. And much more.

    As to governance - the community already  has that. Ratings (good and bad). Recommends. Comments - for against, alternate views. All of those things contribute to our self-governance. Not least, we have been drowning in self governance for several days with all the meta.

    Revolutionary words start revolutions

    by Catte Nappe on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 12:06:19 PM PST

  •  About Elections unless it's sports (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pyrrho, deepintheheartoftx

    The powers that be always declare that the site is intended to only be about electing Democratic Candidates, but then they post about the recent football games and all that stuff.  Then we're told that those diaries are "helping foster a sense of community" and are acceptable.

    Kos can make the rules as he see's fit, this is his baby after all.  But I find it very ammusing when people complain about off-topic diaries that they disagree with, but then post in other off-topic diaries that they find interesting for their own personal enjoyment.

    Hypocrisy is all over the place, it isn't only on the right, but hey, it is kos' site, and I try to follow the rules, when I can figure them out.

    The thing about Equal Rights is that if they are not Equal they are not rights, they are privileges.

    by Burnsey on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 12:25:50 PM PST

  •  You did ONE thing right with this diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BostonJoe

    In the title, you prefaced it with "Meta".

    Meta, Meaning it is devoid of anything else.

    Thank you for that.

    /snark

    Happy little moron, lucky little man. I wish I was a moron, my God, perhaps I am! -- Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 12:25:59 PM PST

  •  Well, I'm with Numerian. (6+ / 0-)

    All electoral politics all the time makes DailyKos a very dull blog.  Besides, it's all the other stuff that informs the political agenda.

    The truth is, Markos needs the community more than the community needs Markos.  We can always start hanging out at MLW or Political Cortex or wherever.  But without us, Markos has a one-note blog and no ad revenue to pay his bills.

    So, he can express his preference that the focus be solely on electoral politics.  He can even enforce that, or try to, by banning various topics that he feels are irrelevant to his agenda.  He could ban the feminism stuff, and the bookchats, and C&J, and WYFP, and the science diaries and the economics diaries and the energy policy diaries -- I think you get my drift here -- but he'd be cutting off his nose to spite his face, and I suspect that on some level he knows that.  I hope so, anyway.  It'd be a real shame if he doesn't.

    Impeach the Cheerleader, save the world -- h/t deepfish

    by Mehitabel9 on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 12:42:34 PM PST

    •  You just said this (0+ / 0-)

      far, far better than I managed above. Kudos.

    •  Where do you get the idea ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      badger, Nightprowlkitty

      he even remotely wants to cut off feminism stuff and book chats and C & J and science diaries and energy policy diaries?

      Just because he doesn't feel interested or informed enough to write about those issues himself doesn't mean he doesn't see the value they bring to the site. Of course he does.

      Also, people seem to be getting two things mixed up: this blog -- which is privately owned, which one human being took ALL the financial risk for (and still does) and which the owner opened up for other progressives to use -- and the movement this blog is a part of, the people-powered movement.

      Markos doesn't own the movement. This blog doesn't own the movement. You guys do. And other people who don't even know of the existence of this blog. If Markos endorses a candidate or professes a view you disagree with, it's not like he is "dictating" to the rest of us anymore than it is when you do it. He's expressing an opinion. Feel free to do the opposite, voice the opposite, advocate for the opposite.

      If people keep insisting that this blog is a democracy or a commune when it's not, they should feel free to go found one that DOES operate in the way they idealize. I'm guessing Markos would be the first to wish them luck in that enterprise too. The more blogs, the better. The more experiments in voice and social interaction, the better.

      I just don't get this periodic insistence on basically taking over someone else's business that they built from scratch and are willing to share with others for free. And of course, the draw to the site is the variety of voices here. And it seems to me that is a naturally correcting phenomenon: If Markos turns into a dictatorial prick, people will leave, find another community and this one will fail. What's the problem with not trusting that people will be creative enough to either start a blog more to their liking or find one more to their liking?

      (And by the way, although this seems addressed to you, I'm basically using the opportunity to address the whole host of issues raised in the diary and in the comments. Don't mean to rail at you personally.)

      •  Good points all (0+ / 0-)

        I've seen them all a bunch.  And they make some sense to me.

        And then there is a part of me that thinks something like this:  Imagine that you really liked your phone service.  It let you communicate a lot better than yelling.  At first, there were a bunch of phone companies you could use.  But things being as they are, very soon, everyone was using one dominant phone company.  Now you've got one powerful company.  If you like phone service, you might not want to piss them off.

        I know the metaphor is not perfect.  But my suggestion is that DailyKos is/is becoming the MaBell of left politics.  Without all the constraints of corporate governance and federal regulation (snark I guess) that held MaBell in check.

        All very theoretical, as Kos has done no one thing to make me think he isn't a fairly benevolent holder of power over this blog.

        I'm just questioning the model.

        •  Your phone analogy makes no sense ... (0+ / 0-)

          because there are MORE blogs daily. More choices daily. And you can start your own phone company/blog (and thousands do every day) at virtually  no cost. Or switch to another one.

          What you seem to be arguing with is the fact that because A LOT of people choose to come here, it's created a monopoly. But a monopoly can only really exist if it's shutting off entry to its market. And that's the exactly the opposite of what's happening. Thousands of blogs are blooming all over the place. And if Markos turns into a dictatorial prick, people will leave, ads will get pulled, candidates will stop visiting and stop paying attention, no one will visit, and Daily Kos will fail. I think he's a smart enough business man -- and has a depth of commitment to the progressive cause in general -- to operate within those human interaction restrictions.

          It's the most self-correcting model I can imagine, and the furthest from the Ma Bell paradigm imaginable. It's popular because of choice and comfort level, not because it's strangled off competition.

          •  Well (0+ / 0-)

            I'll admit, it is not the mother-of-all-analogies.  :)

            But maybe someone will pour over it for more time than it deserves and find a nugget of wisdom in it.

            I don't know if the model of the Internets you describe.  The blogs.  I don't know if that is accurate.  My sense is that DailyKos is becoming something of a hegemon.  And that we little partners are virtually meaningless.

            I do think it is perhaps a quick-self-correcting thing that exists now.  More so than the old media.

      •  Whoa. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lil love

        Where do you get the idea that he even remotely wants to cut off feminism stuff and book chats and C & J and science diaries and energy policy diaries?

        Wait a sec.  Hold on.  Back up.  Hold yer horses.  Take a breath and count to ten.

        Forgive me, but I was talking more hypothetically than you think I was.  I don't think he wants to do those things, because if he did, he'd be doing it, now wouldn't he?  What I'm saying is that if he did want to do those things, he'd be committing an error in judgement.

        Impeach the Cheerleader, save the world -- h/t deepfish

        by Mehitabel9 on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 01:24:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I take it (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Night Owl, lil love

        from your comments that Kos's resent comments to the effect that people posting here have to be prepared to receive criticism don't apply to the management. Your telling people that if they don't like to go start their own blog seems to be a vivid example.

        •  I'm not telling people to find their own blog (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Elise, Nightprowlkitty

          I say it's a natural outgrowth if people don't like it here. People vote with their clicks. Why waste time at a site you loathe or despise? I just don't get that.

          If people have a different vision, a different desire of how a blog should be run, I think they should try it. A lot of users would check it out. I know I would. I love visiting the other liberal blogs and wish I had more time to explore.

          If anything, I'm encouraging enlarging beyond this site. I don't like what a behemoth this site is (and I said this on a panel at Yearly Kos). I would prefer having a lot of cross-pollinating blogs about different issues, viewpoints, visions, personalities.

          What I just don't get is people insisting this site be something different than it is, when there is so much opportunity to fill other niches.

          •  Oh really? (0+ / 0-)

            I just went back and reread your previous post. This one sounds like revisionism to me. Perhaps that's my ideological deficiency that operates in tandem with my snark deficiency.

            •  Look ... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Nightprowlkitty

              I said nothing about snark.

              I said people should feel free to explore or create other blogs. How is that revisionism? That's what is in my original comment.

              I notice you're criticizing management.

              I notice you're still here.

              I notice lots and lots and lots of people are criticizing management, hourly, daily ... hell, every few minutes ... and are still here. So how does this feed into the view you seem to hold that criticism of management is verboten?

              I guess I'm just trying to understand why people who don't like this blog keep coming back to this blog, when there is so much great stuff out there, and so much room to experiment.

              Criticize management (which by the way, isn't me) all you like. It's healthy. I just personally don't understand the energy investment, but if it works for you, that's terrific.

              Really, I'm not trying to pick a fight. Just trying to understand.

              •  The way I read (0+ / 0-)

                "I guess I'm just trying to understand why people who don't like this blog keep coming back to this blog, when there is so much great stuff out there, and so much room to experiment."

                this statement is that you are equating all criticism with "people who don't like us". Your attitude seems to be one of take it or leave it, but don't criticize. There is such a thing as constructive criticism and IMO most of what has been posted on this thread qualifies as such.

                The blog phenomenon is a significant development in communication and politics. At the moment, at least, this is one of the more active sites in that phenomenon. Examining and exploring its culture  strikes me as an interesting and potentially productive activity. With fame and high traffic you have to expect to be in the spotlight.

                My reference to snark was in relation to other posts expressing total disbelief  that anyone could have "misinterpreted" the statement that is the subject of this diary.

                •  Okay, that's fair (0+ / 0-)

                  You do like the blog and you just want to see it run in a different way? Is that a fair statement?

                  I guess I just wasn't getting that from your comments. I'll try and read more carefully in the future. Sorry.

                  •  I find it very interesting. (0+ / 0-)

                    It's too big and complex to simply like or dislike. I also follow smaller blogs on a variety of subjects. I like to think of myself as Margaret Meade peeking through the bushes of the jungle.

                    •  Now that in itself ... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Richard Lyon

                      would be a good blog right there. I'd love to read a Margaret Meade viewpoint of the blogosphere.

                      Or a diary series here, if you feel comfortable sticking around. I'm serious. I'd read a regular series or visit a regular blog about that. I find the whole interaction/activist/social interaction thing absolutely fascinating.

                      It's more than just people. It's more than just ideas. It's more than just words .... it's a culture that gets created, and I'd love to participate in and read about observations about that.

          •  Be careful what you wish for (0+ / 0-)

            Traffic here and elsewhere has plateaued for seventeen months now, so a move to smaller, targeted communities may very well be what is needed to attract new readership.

            Kos certainly appears headed in that direction, although if he turns the big orange battleship around too quickly he may end up running aground.

            One things's for sure, you can count on more than a few passengers falling overboard.

            •  If that's the natural course of things ... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Nightprowlkitty

              so be it.

              I would really like to see, as I said, more blogs, more voices, more experimentation, more risk-taking, more totally off-the-wall fun political clatter dispersed everywhere. And ideally, I'd like to see it emerge not from ill will with this site, but from genuine desire to try something else, something new, something fun.

              And if traffic falls off everywhere (which I think is more due to election cycle stuff than anything else), then the blogosphere will end up with a different paradigm emerging to succeed. If this site alone fails while others are flourishing, then that's the risk Markos is personally taking ... and he either adjusts and swims or sinks and learns a lesson.

              •  Everywhere... (0+ / 0-)

                more blogs, more voices, more experimentation, more risk-taking, more totally off-the-wall fun political clatter dispersed everywhere

                If everywhere were here, Kos would never have to worry about his traffic.

                •  But see, I don't think that's healthy (0+ / 0-)

                  I mean, I love the wide, wide variety of diaries and comments that appear on this site.

                  But (and I'm speaking for myself here, no one else), I think in ANY medium, it's better not to have so much riding on one outlet of communication. Even if Markos were absolutely perfect, and paid for and provided the platform to meet tens of thousands of user needs perfectly, I think it's unhealthy. For one thing, if it got to be too much of a nuisance, the powers-that-be could take down ONE massive site in a nanosecond.

                  For another thing, one site is NEVER going to meet everyone's needs, and it shouldn't. It's ironic that a lot of us deplore media consolidation in other mediums, but a lot of people want to see all views and interests held here -- right here -- all on the front page at one place.

                  I dunno. Maybe I'm just out of step or something. In fact, I'm pretty sure I am, given the comments in this diary. I'm thinking I'm not getting something everyone else is.

                  •  It's the eternal (0+ / 0-)

                    contradiction in all movements that attempt to bring about social change. To have impact you need large numbers of followers, resources and power. The very process of amassing those things stifles the individual creativity of the original movement.

                    •  I guess my own ideal ... (0+ / 0-)

                      is to have loosely affiliated strands holding people together. (God, I sound like such a fucking hippie.)

                      The other thing I don't understand is why the left can't seem to still have "specialists" or subcommunities but are able to come together in the critical numbers on an as-need basis. For example, I'm probably most interested in media criticism, framing, shaping of narrative. I don't have time to become an expert on the level of DarkSyde on global warming or bonddad and Jerome on economics. And I'm relieved that someone else is keeping up on that stuff that I don't have to fill my already overfull brain. Yet these subcommunities should in my idealized view, be able to be summoned and amass the numbers quickly and efficiently over ... say ... a gay marriage issue or the South Dakota abortion ban even though I don't consider those issues my strength.

                      I'd really like to work out a way that each individual of us doesn't have to keep track of every goddamned thing, but can count on others to do so -- and we'd be willing to drop our specialization for a few minutes or a few days to make phone calls, write letters, attend meetings, work for a candidate, do some creative networked thing.

                      But instead, I see people here getting pissed that my specialization isn't their specialization, and this puzzles me, since I am GLAD other people are keeping track of shit so I don't have to.

                      More than Markos' running of the site, more than governance boards and such, I think those kinds of coordinating issues, prioritizing in response to real-life threats to progressivism as they rear their head, is the problem to be solved.

                      (And by the way, call your diary series/blog Peaking  Through the Bushes. I loved that phrase.)

                      •  People had to (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        BostonJoe

                        confront these kind of issues long before the net and the blogsphere came along and nobody has yet come up with a perfect solution. No matter how much they may resist it, movements get defined and configured by contact with their opposition. When you are confronting Karl Rove and his war chest you have to reach some sort of critical mass. I'm not quite as old as Margaret Meade, but I was an activist in the 60's movement. I see a lot of history repeating itself.  

                        •  Agreed (0+ / 0-)

                          A lot of the same splits, a lot of the same resentments. And even in the 1960's, a lot of those splits were replays of the 1920's and 1930's.

                          So it goes.

                          I did a book review over the weekend on an oral history of the 1960's (fantastic book), and the comments that were generated in that thread were some of the best I've read here ... people really wrestling with analyzing why the splits keep happening, and offering solutions about it.

                      •  Great idea (0+ / 0-)

                        I've always felt that dKos could use more community-oriented features to help various subgroups better coordinate their efforts.

                        Sort of like dKOs meets myspace, or something. (perhaps there will be some of that in DK4?)

                        As far as people complaining about your post subjects, I don't think it really has much to do with your particular expertise or lack thereof in a field, but more with the fact that certain subjects seem to get FP'ed more than other seemingly important (at least to the complainer), topics.

                        I wouldn't pay that stuff too much mind though.  Most folks understand  the format well enough to know that the recced diaries are there in part to fill in any percived gaps.    

                        Just keep doing what your doing SusanG, and I'll keep reading ;-)  

                        •  A lot of that planned ... (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Night Owl

                          for DK4, is my understanding (sorry, my brain has trouble capturing tech talk), with a lot of opportunities for people to "personalize" their use of the site (gawd, I hate that word, "personalize," but I don't know how else to phrase it).

                          As to the complaining about post subjects, I wasn't really thinking of me. I'm pretty lucky, I guess; I really don't get that many complaints. And I guess I'm not even thinking of the front page as much as I am of the diaries, where people start screaming about "Why are you talking about THIS while THAT (my favorite issue!) is getting ignored!!!"

                          Or, I guess, why Issue X isn't being covered on the front page when there are already a gazillion diaries and a kazillion comments going on in the diaries on an issue. This over-reverence for what Markos says, or what the front pagers say, bugs me in a supposed people-powered movement.

                          I mean, I have direct experience of this ... the entire Gannon investigation unfolded in the diaries, NOT on the front page here, and it made the Boston Globe and the New York Times and tons of other places without Markos even being aware of it going on. And that all happened through cooperative community involvement and focus on ONE issue for several weeks. It wasn't one person. And it certainly wasn't Markos that made it happen. This community did. (And even then, now that I think of it, people started wandering into those investigative diaires asking why we were wasting time and not paying attention to global warming or something.)

                  •  This place isn't about media consolidation (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Richard Lyon

                    It's about idea dispersal.

                    Kos provides an amazing forum for people to get publicity for their view point based soley on their ability to write.

                    It also provides an improtant central meeting place for folks to exchange opinion and get validation.

                    Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it helps smaller blogs by providing a  means to promote them through comments and x-posted diaries.

                    A healthy and growing dKos is GOOD for the rest of the prog blogs.

                    By contrast a stagnant and stifled community here does nobody any good.

                    Least of all Kos himself.  

          •  You know (0+ / 0-)

            I struggle with just this thought often.

            Maybe I'm just not for Kos.  This entire thing I'm thinking here is just a manifestation of my ill-fit with the philosophy of this site.  But then, this site offers an amazing amount of comraderie with like-minded people.  And I see enough people validating my meta-thoughts expressed here to make me thing, I'm not all crazy about this issue.

            I honestly don't know.

  •  Great diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BostonJoe, lil love

    I had to unrec another diary just to rec this one. To me this place is much more than just a place to get democrats elected.

  •  Random thoughts (7+ / 0-)

    I'd like to see this site run by a committee - mostly because it would disappear in a few weeks and I'd quit spending so much time reading here.

    To my way of thinking (labeled 'neocon' above, I believe), kos manages the technical operation of this site, pays for bandwidth, assumes legal liability and makes a living from the ads. So it's his site.

    The interesting thing to me though, is that because of kos' tyranny over this site, no other individual or group gets to stage a coup and take over. Virtually every other activity I've been associated with ends up being taken over by one of two kinds of groups: the people who actually accomplish things or the people who whine the loudest. Unfortunately it's most often the latter.

    So in the absence of kos' dictatorship, when we devolve predictably into pie fights about who's the most pure philosophically or who's the most pragmatic electorally or whatever other stuff we fight over - on a democratic (small 'd') site, one side or the other would probably end up dominating and purge the side they disagree with. That;s the age old problem of tyranny of the majority.

    That never happens here, because there's no governance role to capture. Events that could remotely be described as 'purges' here are principally people leaving voluntarily and assuming victim status - the number of bannings and even the number of hidden comments are vainishingly small compared to over 100,000 users 15-20,000 comments per day. To become a 'leader' here and to maintain your leadership status, it's necessary that you actually perform some function (diarist, YKos organizer, troll, whatever) that people actually value. But it still doesn't get you any nearer to 'executive power'.

    When you combine that with the miniscule number of rules that exist on this site, most for the practical purpose of not allowing people to kill the site entirely, it seems to me that kos' benevolence provides the infrastructure that makes the site possible, and kos' despotism combined with his total neglect of extensive rigid rules makes this essentially a self-organizing anarchy.

    Actual governments should work so well or be so free.

    There is no more New Frontier - we have got to make it here - Henley/Frey

    by badger on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 01:22:47 PM PST

    •  You know (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      badger

      it is funny.  What you say makes 100% sense.

      But then, equally funny, it kind of sounds a bit like someone praising Mussolini's trains too.  Not that Kos is Mussolini by any stretch.

      Group governance is certainly ugly and pathetic to see.  But then, authoritarian government looks pretty bad too, depending on the guy at the helm (e.g., Bushie).

      •  Well (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        badger, BostonJoe

        Mussolini did make the trains run on time. By which I don't mean to defend Mussolini, exactly, but that I think badger is right that on a pragmatic level, having a strong centralized authority may help tamp down some other forms of tyranny -- mob justice, for example (though I wouldn't say that dkos has been a stunning example of keeping a lid on that particular problem).

        As to your larger point about a kind of hegemony going on, I can't say I disagree with you -- I just tend to think it is going to be significantly more self-correcting than the traditional media power structures we've had. That doesn't mean it's going to necessarily be perfect, in terms of giving a fair voice to all reasonable parties -- I would love to see blogs go in a less autocratic direction over time, but I think that even this imperfect scenario, where we've got the benevolent dictator who is kept somewhat in check by the threat of losing the masses, is better than we've had before. To some degree, I do think that kos is increasingly becoming a part of the pundit class that he used to chafe against (I'm sure he'd disagree), and I think part of our job as rabble is to make sure we don't follow blindly, and that we feel free to loudly voice our complaints, or found new spaces if this one becomes too constricted for whatever reason.

        •  Yeah (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Spit

          it's the ability to opt out that's a big feature in making it all work, I think, and that restores some of the democratic nature of blogosphere, even if it doesn't exist on a particular blog. Mussolini didn't allow for opting out too much.

          Places like the old TPM, which used to be only about Josh Marshall (as good as he could be sometimes), or most of the right-wing blogs that don't even allow comments are closer to the fascist or Stalinist model.

          They're a broadcast model, where dKos has always been closer to a mix of public access cable (Wayne's World, sometimes) and  conversation.

          There is no more New Frontier - we have got to make it here - Henley/Frey

          by badger on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 03:37:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Scary, isn't it? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BostonJoe

        The only phrase that comes to mind to describe it is Moynihan's "benign neglect" from the Nixon administration, and the meaning is quite different here.

        The difference is that Mussolini wanted to control everything down the last detail, and certainly anything like speech or political action. Markos, on the other hand, has a few things he (almost reluctanctly) sets limits on, and then lets everything else go on by itself.

        I think you might have to go to the 1970s management literature (people like Peter Drucker, Douglas MacGregor, and others, or later Tom Peters) to find an analagous model. Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) was run along similar lines for similar reasons, and originated a lot of what constitutes computing today.

        At any rate, I'm strongly in favor of democratic government - sometimes more than many liberals, I think - but it is an interesting way to run an organization, particularly when membership and compliance are purely voluntary and numerous alternatives exist or can pop up easily because of a lack of entry barriers. The last part of that doesn't exist with governments any more.

        There is no more New Frontier - we have got to make it here - Henley/Frey

        by badger on Tue Feb 06, 2007 at 03:30:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Too many people (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PaintyKat, Elise

    confuse membership with ownership.

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