This is in response to the diary We must recruit people to dKos
Boppy raises some good points about the benefits of this site for the progressive community -- as an interactive outlet, as a starting point for action, and as a warehouse of useful information. His position, then, is that we should actively recruit fellow progressives, liberals, activists, Democrats, etc. to DailyKos to help make this site flower and grow into something more powerful.
While I agree with Boppy on the good points of this community, I think that recruiting people to DKos is exactly the wrong approach. What's worse, it falls into the same trap as a lot of other progressive movements: it turns DKos into something unique and irreplaceable, instead of turning it into a lesson on how to create something great for your community. Details after the fold.
Beyond the positive things about DailyKos, we also hear other things that might be taken for praise, but which should give us pause:
Take what rolet says:
This website is addicting. Just get the people to it. They will discover how powerful it is.
What? Come again?
They will discover how powerful it is.
No. No, no, no. NO.
Folks, how many people here cheered like madmen when Howard Dean said, "you have the power?"
Did we forget this?
Martin Luther King didn't get where he was because he was a genius who caught a gust of luck; he got where he was with hard work and sacrifice. And as a result, when he was killed, we assumed he was irreplaceable. We still haven't lived down the tragedy of that mistake.
DailyKos got the way it is not because Kos is some kind of genius (maybe he is, but that certainly isn't the reason), or because his website design is uber (it is, but that isn't the reason either). It got the way it is because of us. Because we made it a clearing house for information, we use it to spawn ideas, and we use it to communicate with each other and with those in power.
We can make this idea more powerful, but the way to do it is not to recruit more people to this forum. The real power of the Internet is in exciting the grassroots. But the grassroots are local by nature.
So here's what I propose: instead of recruiting people to DKos, start your own version of DKos focusing on state or local issues. Get people involved on that level. Get the ideas flying and the conversation started on that level. Get movements going on that level.
Kos could start by releasing the source for this site (yeah I know it's the scoop engine, but I'm thinking you tweaked it.) Then we can start with our own Kos-sites in various places. Think IndyMedia with a shred of sanity.
DKos can still serve as a clearinghouse for things that deserve national attention, e.g., Congressional races, while these mini-Koses can highlight local races, e.g., school board or city council. Best of all, by giving local progressives a real place to organize, exchange ideas, etc., we help to move forward Dean's 50-state strategy.
Added bonus: Kos's bandwidth bills won't go way up. I'm sure he'd appreciate that much.