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Over the past 10 years, we've raised millions and millions of dollars at Daily Kos for Democratic candidates. We plan to keep doing so, getting better Democrats into office across the country. But to make it happen, we now need to raise some money for the site itself. You can read Markos's post about why this is necessary here. One great thing about our Official War on Christmas Fundraiser, you can help the site at the same time you help yourself or someone you know by buying a subscription. Or, if you already have a subscription or wish to contribute more than a subscription costs, you can simply donate here.
That's what I've chosen to do: Make a $75 donation in honor of the people who bring us Top Comments.

One of the delights of Daily Kos is what are called, in the print media business, standing features. With a couple of exceptions, these have no official standing here. They've sprouted organically from the brains and hearts of a few site participants and have been kept going for years thanks to the hard and loving work of intrepid volunteer crews.

Ponderosa Pines in the Deschutes National Forest
In the case of Top Comments, volunteers have kept the feature going seven days a week for the past six and a half years. That whole time, they have clued me into some of the cleverest, funniest, most insightful or emotionally resonant of the thousands of daily comments at the site that I would otherwise have missed. In addition, Top Comment editors have wowed us with their own good writing—political analysis, personal stories, hot recipes, and tragic and comic stories from their lives and those of people they know. I try never to miss an edition.

Top Comments was the brainchild of a Kossack in West Virginia with the moniker Carnacki. Back in June 2006, just a couple of months before he co-founded the political blog West Virginia Blue, Carnacki wrote Commentary Central, which laid out his objective for a new series. An excerpt:

Highlight informative, funny, interesting comments that might not have been seen. Some of the best comments are posted at the end of a diary and readers might miss them because they've moved on to the next diary. Other comments might be  posted in little read diaries and hence overlooked. [...]

This might be the hardest part to implement, but I hope this diary becomes a nightly feature. And I don't want to post it every night. What I hope is that others volunteer to do it. In particular, I'm thinking the best volunteers will be those who aren't people well-known on DailyKos for diaries, but who comment often and read quite a few diaries. In other words, for those of you who have been lurking, but have been wanting to get more involved now that YearlyKos is over, this could be the perfect feature for you.

The very next day, Carnacki posted the first entry in the series that would forever after be called Top Comments.

His expressed hopes for the series quickly turned into reality. A steady stream of volunteers proceeded to give Top Comments its cachet. Eventually, a chart was added by mik that shows the most popular comments of the day based on the number of tips they receive.

As noted, I try never to miss Top Comments because of the work of those volunteers. Here is a list of volunteers since 2006.

Laura Clawson  
Ed Tracey
va dare
Dave in Northridge
Light Emitting Pickle
Progressive Witness
Irish Patti
va dare
Eddie C
You can honor someone or some group at Daily Kos by donating here and letting everyone know you've done so with a diary or comment. Or you can help our Official War on Christmas Fundraiser by subscribing or giving someone else a subscription.


If you buy a subscription, you can turn off site ads. If you buy a subscription for some other member here, they can turn off site ads. As Hunter says, "that might be even more soul-cleansing than doing it for yourself."

He also points out:

By giving money to an unabashedly liberal, progressive, Democratic outlet, you can piss Republicans off greatly, and there is nothing on this planet more soul-cleansing than that. The knowledge that progressive outlets exist, and will continue to exist no matter how often faux-civility-obsessed plutocratic gobs moan about it, seems to irritate certain quarters more than any other single thing in their otherwise well-tended lives. If sites like this one did not exist to cater to liberals and progressives, we would have to invent fake versions just for the entertainment value of seeing the other side complaining about it.
You also get e-books. Since so many people wrote to say they hoped the Chronicles of Mitt, an extended look into Mitt Romney's soul that very nearly cost Hunter his sanity, would eventually make it into book form, we decided to do exactly that.

So, once again:

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Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 04:04 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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