Upcoming Changes to the Site

(Perpetually bumped for the time being. Get your comments in soon, we're going to let this thread go in a day or so.)

We are going to be making some pretty major changes to the site over the next few weeks/months in preparation for 2006. Suggestions? What is your favorite aspect of MyDD? What could really do with some changes? Please, commenters, speak up. As importantly, and perhaps more so since we don't hear from you as often, readers who do not comment are welcome to chime in as well. You can also email any of us with suggestions...

Also, as an aside, do any of you out there use Flickr or Del.icio.us?

Tags: Misc (all tags)

Comments

164 Comments

Changes
As a graphics guy who still uses Mac OS 9, that means I'll probably be outta luck with MyDD in '06.

Nevertheless, design-wise, one of the first changes you should consider is to your type-face. The use of bolding should be limited to your headers only. Non-bolded body copy will make your posts more readable, and overall, give your page a cleaner look.

by JohnS 2005-12-13 05:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Changes
I find the use of bolding for emphasis to be very helpful and would encourage its retention.

I have no suggestions for change - I like MyDD just the way it is. So long as the great content keep coming, I don't care what the site looks like.

I'm a Flickr user.

by edgeplot 2005-12-13 05:32AM | 0 recs
More Changes
Expand upon the comment ratings. The three to choose from (super, lame and troll) don't offer a middle ground, where most comments probably fall. And FYI, I don't utilize Flic or Deli.
by blogus 2005-12-13 05:34AM | 0 recs
why not flickr?
i have to move the photo gallery off my site and i was looking for a place to host a gallery. since i am not real familiar with the photo hosting services, i was thinking of checking out flickr.  what can you tell me about their service (or lack thereof)?
by annatopia 2005-12-13 06:21AM | 0 recs
Re: why not flickr?
Well, for starters, the free service is not as good as the premium.  I use the free service along with photobucket.
by kydem 2005-12-13 06:25AM | 0 recs
what's the difference?
is the free service unlimited storage by any chance?
by annatopia 2005-12-13 07:24AM | 0 recs
Re: what's the difference?
http://www.flickr.com/help/limits/#65

That should answer your question.

by kydem 2005-12-13 08:13AM | 0 recs
Re: why not flickr?
i found that the premium service was well worth the expense.  you get what you pay for.  the free service really limits how many pictures you effectively can see.  i bought an account when they were still in beta.  when they lowered the price after they were bought out by yahoo, they gave me two free acounts to give away and doubled the length of my pro-account.  made me one happy loyal customer.

the tags are a great feature and this place could really use them as well.  the slideshow works very well.  the traffic is amazing.  it cracks me up that my personal pictures have had 5,000 visitors in the past year.  you can store your pictures and download the files from anywhere.  they have friends, photo pools and now you can get your pictures printed.  i love having my picture badge on my personal blog.  it randomly picks a few from your flickr page to display.  uploading is a snap when you use the windows explorer hack.  seriously flickr is the best thing out there.  i could clearly go on and on about it.

by juls 2005-12-13 09:15AM | 0 recs
Re: why not flickr?
Flickr is owned by Yahoo, which is the target of a boycott for giving up the name of one of their email users, a Chinese dissident, to the Chinese authorities. As a result, that dissident is serving a 10-year sentence in one of China's lovely prisons.

I'd avoid flickr unless its advantages are simply overwhelming.

by Mathwiz 2005-12-14 10:07AM | 0 recs
ah shit
and i just signed up and bought a year's account over there.  i am kinda in a jam 'cause my web host is shutting down the server in two weeks.

UG.

ok, definitely not going to renew it when it expires.  can you recommend an alternative?

by annatopia 2005-12-14 12:02PM | 0 recs
Re: ah shit
if you want unlimited full-quality online photo storage, public and private galleries, and access to a high-quality photo lab, definitely check out http://www.smugmug.com .  they haven't drunk the web 2.0 flickr kool-aid, but they're very good at what they do.
by deberg 2005-12-15 09:13AM | 0 recs
Re: More Changes
I kinda like the three options. At dkos it breaks down into basically 3 options anyway - great (4), I hate it but I'm not a super-user (1), and troll (0). Here it seems like most comments are unrated, meaning average. It gets a 3 if somebody really likes it, and it gets a 1 if somebody really hates it. Not sure if people use the 2 much.

I also like that highly rated comments rise to the top, that makes it easier to read for sure. To me that's the point of using ratings.

by lpackard 2005-12-13 08:37AM | 0 recs
Re: More Changes
Theoretically, the 1 should only be used for material that is flat out offensive. The two should also be used sparingly, and for a reason bigger than simple disagreement. For instance, a two may be appropriate for comments that are in poor taste, or engage in personal attack on another commenter. That being said, I think MyDD should adopt the 1-5 scale used at TPMCafe. It makes for an even better way to read the comments thread in my opinion.
by rapid response 2005-12-13 08:50AM | 0 recs
Comment ratings...
Why would one want to rate a comment anything between "super" or "lame"?  Anything in between... save your finger muscles for more important things... for instance, masturbation if that's your fancy... Who cares whether or not "blogus" thinks a comment is "average".  

On the other hand... I hate the word "troll".  I would like the "1" rating to be changed to "fucking moron" or "stupid moron" instead (because really... that's what we all actually mean when we give that rating).  The word "troll" is over-used in the blogoshpere.  I would like for the likes of GaryBoatright to stalk "fucking morons", rather than trolls.

by NCDem 2005-12-13 10:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Comment ratings...
I don't know NCDem. Dr. Buddah and I have both invested considerable time and effort into understanding the sociology, psychology, mating habits and natural habitat of trolls. I'm not sure all of that useless knowledge would be transferrable to fucking morons.

I'll check with Dr. Buddah and get back to you.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-12-13 01:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Comment ratings...
Any feedback is good. Even rating a comment as "average" at least lets the writer know that somebody is reading his/her post. Of course, if you would rather masturbate it's certainly a hobby some might think worthwhile.
by blogus 2005-12-14 04:49AM | 0 recs
Tip Jars
Why would anyone troll rate a Tip Jar or a Mojo Jar? It's a matter of personal preference and gives folks a choice between a 3 and a 1.
by Gary Boatwright 2005-12-14 01:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Tip Jars
I agree.  I choose "1".
by NCDem 2005-12-15 03:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Comment ratings...
I agree with NCDem, at least in regard to having only a 2-tiered rating standard.  Either we need our attention focused on superior comment or we need to know something is offensive/trollish.

FWIW, whenever I've rec'd a low rating on a political blog, it's usually been because I didn't like somebody's candidate, not because I was acting like a troll.  

by danielj 2005-12-15 02:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Comment ratings...
you haven't been around Boatright enough, then.  If you make him mad, he "1's" your past 30 or so comments... whether you like his candidate or not.
by NCDem 2005-12-16 05:59AM | 0 recs
Ratings Changes
I don't see any advantage to increasing the number of ratings available. It just gives trolls more opportunity to hide their anal retentive nature.

I would like to suggest that newbies not be allowed to use the rating system until they have made 200 or 300 comments and written 10 or 15 diaries.

KTinTX is obviously insane. He has actually been hiding my comments in declared Flame War diaries and has some sort of problem with my humor.

A ratings abuser that I had overlooked apparently does not approve of flame wars:

2) Re: I am sick and tried of the Flame Wars [0.00 / 1] Replies: 0
posted by KTinTX on 12/13/2005 08:57:38 PM PST
attached to Upcoming Changes to the Site

Unfortunately, you will not be able to read what KTinTx said about Flame Wars, because KTinTx has abused his TU status by giving me zeroes in a Flame War diary.

Since KTinTX gave me approximately 10 zeroes, I have returned the favor with about 20 zeroes. If KTinTX does not like clearly declared Flame Wars he or she should avoid them.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-12-14 01:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Ratings Changes
Oh yeah. No TU status until you have made at least 1,000 comments and written at least 30 diaries.
by Gary Boatwright 2005-12-14 01:21PM | 0 recs
i do think...
...an argument could be made for denying TU status to people who have very little site activity, but i am pretty sure that the mojo score part of scoop would have to be recoded.
by annatopia 2005-12-15 07:22AM | 0 recs
Re: i do think...
A "THOUSAND" comments?
by NCDem 2005-12-16 06:00AM | 0 recs
Re: i do think...
At least 1,000.
by Gary Boatwright 2005-12-16 12:00PM | 0 recs
A THOUSAND?
Chris Bowers just broke a thousand, Gary... You're sounding obsessed.
by NCDem 2005-12-16 06:02AM | 0 recs
Something I'd like to see
I've never commented - just signed up today to comment in this post.  I'd like to see obvious links to the most recent national senate/house/governor's race analysis pieces.  I'd link to an example, but I can't find them.  

It's somewhat frustrating, since this is such a great source of information on how the party is doing across the country.

by crg 2005-12-13 05:37AM | 0 recs
Tracking
I like how on my page I can track comments and responses, but how about a hotlist like daily kos so I can track diaries I'm interested in after they get bumped down.
by epv72 2005-12-13 05:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Tracking
I agree...  hotlists make dkos easy to navigate, locate, and agree with people.

It helps out finding out how often your compatriots are posting... and how we need to step up our own game.  haha.

by macromayhem 2005-12-13 10:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Tracking
Along these lines, publishing rss feeds based on authors and/or categories would be a wonderful feature.
by Flynnieous 2005-12-13 12:29PM | 0 recs
KISS
Keep it simple stupid. And please don't put the ads down the middle like Kos did.
by michael in chicago 2005-12-13 05:47AM | 0 recs
i second that
please don't change the ad placement.
by annatopia 2005-12-13 06:20AM | 0 recs
Re: i second that
dissenting opinion here. I like the Daily Kos layout because I mostly use a laptop and its so much easier to navigate using the...what do you call them...the touch pad thingy that works like a mouse. I can move easily from the scroll bar to the navigation links just using my thumb.

yeah...I'm that lazy

by gina 2005-12-13 09:11AM | 0 recs
Speaking of ads...
...what is with the demon attacking the naked guy?  That's borderline NSFW, IMHO.  Get rid of it, please.
by Geotpf 2005-12-15 01:01PM | 0 recs
Improvements to MyDD
What I like best about MyDD is the continued forward focus and polling data.  I'm not endorsing polls as the most important factor in making policy decisions.  But as the party that better represents a variety of individual points of view, the Democrats would be wise to stay tuned to general public opinion.

As far as desired changes, I'd like to work on what Chris mentioned in a recent post: breaking into the MSM.  CNN interviews re: the war on Christmas are amusing for their inanity, but they fritter away valuable hours of news coverage.  This country is ripe for a leftward political shift.  The values of efficiency and self-sufficieny that conservative politicians endorse rhetorically, are being completely undercut by their corrupt leaders who defecit spend excessively and irresponsibly.

The adeptitude that MyDD has shown at gathering numbers for polling figures could benefit the progressive cause via other applications.  Comparing changes in the federal deficit or examining the cost of Democratic programs versus Republican causes would be useful.  I know the hatred and bile that Fox broadcasts obviously has an appeal to some voters.  But aren't the facts on our side?  Using policy realities would seem to be both the most effective and honest way to undermine the allegiance of Republican voters.  Put the data into snack size pieces and get Democratic leaders to force feed them to the masses.  

by cschmitt 2005-12-13 05:52AM | 0 recs
add a "write up a press release" feature
yes - i really enjoyed the discussion yesterday about breaking into the msm.

perhaps there could be a feature automatically attached to each blog post, something like, "Write a Press Release for this Post".  you would go to that link and it would bring up a wiki (or whatever) where you collaboratively write the press release; there would also be a mechanism for sending the press release to various news outlets.

so far as i know, this feature would be completely revolutionary in the blogging world, and would probably rapidly spread to other lefty blogs, like kos, booman and political cortex.

better yet, i doubt the conservatives would pick up on it - they hardly trust their readers to make comments or post diaries, can you imagine letting them write press releases?

by myddaholic 2005-12-13 07:08AM | 0 recs
Re: add a "write up a press release"
Yeah, this goes even further than what I was suggesting above (a form where you could paste stuff in and sent it to multiple media outlets). It would be cool if you could do that right as you're posting. However - if it becomes that easy to send, there might be a problem with folks spamming reporters with junk. Then the reporters would turn around and filter out everything coming from mydd, thus making it even harder for the good stuff to get through. Also how would you be able to pick where to send it to - would you get a pop-up menu with city/state choices or something? I really strongly doubt CNN is gonna want to be the recipient of every diary here..

Maybe there could be some mechanism for quality control - only a recommended diary can be sent to the media, and only by the owner of the diary (so 20 different people don't send the same diary out). Or back to my original thought of making a separate media page, and the process would take more effort - thus weeding out a lot of the diaries.

by lpackard 2005-12-13 08:32AM | 0 recs
Re: add a "write up a press release"
hmm.. you're right.  maybe we shouldn't have a "send" feature.  we could feed the press releases to  the Institute for Public Accuracy or some similar group and they could do the sending - serving as a sort of quality-control mechanism, too.

however i think a significant quality control mechanism would be the fact that most people wouldn't bother to turn it into a press release.  the press-released diaries would be those which got a lot of attention and excitement - sort of a de facto "superrecommended" list.  a diary with ~50-100 comments could probably get 2-3 press release writers, but the typical diary would get few or any writers.

by myddaholic 2005-12-13 10:32AM | 0 recs
Add all kinds of Action Tools
I think in general more "action" tools would be nice.  

I know that Civic Space lost the war to be the blog platform of choice, and I don't know if Scoop has those functionalities available, but tying in more letters to the editor tools, write your congressperson, etc would be cool.  

It be even cooler if every user could construct their own actions and share with the community.

And w/r/t Flickr and Del.icio.us, I use both, and the new FireFox and Flock browsers are getting functionalities involving both sites built into the browser.  There was a great article over at www.personaldemocracy.com about how MoveOn is using Flickr, and the group I work for is looking into employing both sites in our overall web strategy.

I say get on the bus.

by prank monkey 2005-12-13 09:21AM | 0 recs
Flickr
I use Flickr.
by kydem 2005-12-13 05:59AM | 0 recs
suggestion
you should add an "unrecommend" button to the diaries.  i've said this before in the past, but i would like to repeat it.  sometimes you folks promote recommended diaries to the front page, and i would like to see the "unrecommend" button so that the community could use that when something gets promoted.  that way, other diaries could have the chance to sit in the recommended spot when something is promoted to the front page.

i can't think of anything else off the top of my head that i'd suggest, but i'll grind my gears on it a bit.

i would leave the ratings "as is".  they are fine for a community this size.

by annatopia 2005-12-13 06:19AM | 0 recs
Re: suggestion
My concern about "unrecommend" is that that feature might escalate flame war hostilities to new levels. I can easily see some of our more, um, hotheaded participants using the feature in retaliatory fashion. That power is probably best left in the hands of the front-pagers, who should just move something off the recommend list if they bump it to the front page (if that option even exists, although I assume it could be built into any redesign).

Actually, an "unrecommend" button might be OK if it were used only to move diaries off the Recommend list but they stayed in place on the regular diary roll... but not OK if we were able to unrecommend a diary out of existence. It's one thing to get a drive-by 1 rating on a throwaway comment, but getting a diary that actually represented some effort trolled out of existence would be very discouraging. (At the same time, we need to do something about the growing tendency toward eliminating one-sentence diaries with misspelled titles. But those seem to originate with the same few people, usually.)

by Crazy Vaclav 2005-12-13 07:14AM | 0 recs
yep
the way the unrecommend button works at dkos is exactly what you describe. the diary would still retain it's place on the regular diary list, it just would not appear on the rec list.

i can see how that might lead to flame wars.  but the way i see it, the regulars around here would know why their stuff got unrecommended once it got on the front page.  

i dunno. i just look at it as a way to hilight even more good diaries.

by annatopia 2005-12-13 07:26AM | 0 recs
Re: suggestion
I think an unrecommend button is a bad idea and an unnecessary one at that.  It take what is a positive support structure that rewards quality and turns it into a race to jimmy results to get your own stuff up to the top (or get your enemies/people who have different opinions off the front page).

If you don't like a diary, don't vote for it.  Give your vote to something else.  What's great about Scoop's recommended Diary function is that it lets everyone voice their opinion nad the cream rises to the top.  

It be a shame to see a system evolve that might allow factions to fight/flame and censor their rivals on these sites.  Quality would decline pretty quickly, I think.

Imagine if such a feature had existed after the election when half of the dkos community was going nuts about voter supression/blackwell/diebold in Ohio, and the other half wanted to drop the subject (or at least the consipiracy theories).

by prank monkey 2005-12-13 09:16AM | 0 recs
not really
the unrecommend feature i'm asking for specifically has one purpose: to allow other great diaries to make the rec list when one of more of the already-rec diaries makes the front page.
by annatopia 2005-12-13 09:46AM | 0 recs
Re: not really
Dunno.  Maybe I'm not following some distinction you are making, but it seems to me if your purpose is to get more/new blogs up there because some good stuff isn't getting the attention it deserves, the better solution is to increase the number of Recommended Diaries to 5 or 6.

I just think that letting people "unrecommend" diaries fundamentally changes the dynamic of the process and could have some negative, unintended consequences.  Especially if the community dramatically scales larger in the run up to the election and lots of newbies come onboard.

by prank monkey 2005-12-13 10:42AM | 0 recs
gotcha
what you suggest would be a good compromise.  maybe bump up the recommended diaries to 5.
by annatopia 2005-12-13 12:09PM | 0 recs
and another thing...
...this ain't the big orange blog.  while i love dkos and it has it's merits, i personally think this community is more civilised.
by annatopia 2005-12-13 09:46AM | 0 recs
Re: and another thing...
True that.  Though I've seen some throw-downs here as well.
by prank monkey 2005-12-13 10:42AM | 0 recs
Re: and another thing...
It's all in the wrist.
by Michael Bersin 2005-12-13 12:19PM | 0 recs
tsk, tsk, tsk.
you would say that you damn primate. there always has to be one guy (or chimp) who poisons the vibe. is that your idea of a prank, mr. negativity?
by Alex Urevick 2005-12-13 12:52PM | 0 recs
Re: suggestion
Unrecommend can be configured to be strictly for the purpose of removing your own prior recommendation.  This allows users who have recommended a diary to decide it's been in the list too long, and help get it removed without intervention by a front pager.  And there's no way to abuse this in a flame war, if that's really a concern.
by arenwin 2005-12-13 07:09PM | 0 recs
That's perfect
n/t
by Crazy Vaclav 2005-12-14 08:11AM | 0 recs
MyDD thoughts.
It'd be nice to have the blogroll updated - some links don't work or aren't actually blogs or the blog died awhile back, many states aren't represented but they do have good local blogs, and so on.

If the idea of running a candidate in every congressional district is a good one and mydd wants to play a part in that, maybe a prominant link to Barry Welsh's 50 State Project on the mydd front page - his site seems to be the most complete list out there. In fact could be its own box or something to make it stand out - like the Democracy Directory.

Also maybe a link to districtblogs in order to help organize a blog for every congressional district.

Riffing on Jeffrey Feldman's thoughts the other day and the Daou Triangle, also would be good to set up a media resource page - a list of major outlets across the country, and a form to easily submit stories to them. The Kerry website had something like this, so did the DNC for awhile there, MoveOn has done it too I think.  

I know people have brought this up on dkos a lot and it's not so much a problem on mydd, but the ability to rate diaries in addition to rating comments would be good. Good diaries scroll off into oblivion too easily, especially with a limit of only 3 recommended diaries. It will become more of an issue here perhaps as traffic picks up into the '06 election season.

Also - I'd like to see ourcongress updated some more for the '06 election season, with a current list of targeted races (use superribbie's?). Some of the front page stuff there (polling and such) dates back to 04.

by lpackard 2005-12-13 06:25AM | 0 recs
Re: MyDD thoughts.
I agree.  It would be nice to get my blog back on the blogroll representing KY.  Either that or Bluegrass Report but I've been on top of things with regards to KY-3.
by kydem 2005-12-13 06:26AM | 0 recs
Re: MyDD thoughts.
I dig the state blogroll too.  It is a great service that you provide to the bloggers who visit here and the state-based progressive blogs to have them listed on your blogroll.  It would be great if we could get listings for more states; could even have more than one per state if warranted or appropriate.
by Steve Hill 2005-12-13 03:50PM | 0 recs
Re: MyDD thoughts.
I second this.  Anything that makes local (state,county) blogs more accessible would be an amazing addition.
by prank monkey 2005-12-14 04:46AM | 0 recs
Comment Tracking
I've got a few suggestions to help commenters and diarists.

It would be useful to have a page that would show me all new comments and ratings that my own diaries or comments have received. This would keep responses that may come a bit late from falling through the cracks.

You also need a 'jump to page' feature for commenters who have a longer track record. This could be by date range or by page number. For instance, I know I wrote something blasting George Bush back in November of 04' but getting to it can be a challenge.

An export feature would also be nice. I'd love to be able to export my comments and diaries to a file that I could save so I'd at least have a copy of the stuff I've written that's in my own control.

The general theme is to make it easier for people to access and save their own writings.

by Curt Matlock 2005-12-13 06:34AM | 0 recs
I second the motion
It would be useful to have a page that would show me all new comments and ratings that my own diaries or comments have received. This would keep responses that may come a bit late from falling through the cracks.

I think that this is a really great way to keep conversations going...

by Alex Urevick 2005-12-13 12:54PM | 0 recs
exactly
one thing I miss about Usenet (I stopped going there after it was Googable) is that threads took on a life of their own. Discussions would go on for weeks or even months. Here, a diary is here today, gone tomorrow. Your read, comment and move on.
by misscee 2005-12-14 02:23AM | 0 recs
iu.gripe
Way back when I spent alot of time on a usenet forum named iu.gripe. There sure were some slow-motion threads there but I can't recall what it was about the interface that lent itself to that. Was it that you could easily hide threads that didn't interest you?

I do think it would help the depth of conversation here at MyDD if the better diaries and posts were easier to manage and keep close to hand even if they did happen to be created more than 4 days ago.

MyDD and other scoop sites are miles ahead of the old usenet groups in attractive formatting but the conversation about a particular subject ends up very choppy because of the downward pressure of new posts and diaries.  I think thats a big problem that limits the effectiveness of scoop sites for political uses. Another commenter mentioned the TPM forums as a model. I've not spent much time in them but if they allow subjects such as "Democratic Stance on Withdrawal from Iraq" or "Hackett v. Brown" to be debated over weeks instead of a day or two then that would be an important way that the collective intelligence could be raised.

by Curt Matlock 2005-12-14 03:28AM | 0 recs
Tags
No real suggestions for changes. Keep the site clean and simple.

I'm a flickr user, too.

And, since you asked, was it because of tags? The tags in flickr are a great way to use the site. It allows much more intuitive (and fun) browsing of the photos there.

I like that dkos has added them, and that would be my one suggestion to add here.

by cscs 2005-12-13 06:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Tags
Tags are also of great help in navigating dailykos. I think it could be incorporated to mydd also.
by boshtang 2005-12-15 02:13PM | 0 recs
clean design
I like the relatively simple, clean design.  You could make it even cleaner.  I've mostly stopped reading dailykos except when someone sends me a link to a specific post - because the design is so ugly, busy, and hard to read, it doesn't make up for the great content.  MyDD, I still visit every day.  Be inspired by Google.  Be anti-inspired by dailykos.
by cos 2005-12-13 06:45AM | 0 recs
the poll
keep the poll on  the frontpage.  other than that, feel free to change.
by Max Friedman 2005-12-13 06:47AM | 0 recs
More recent diaries
Three suggestions, if you please:

1. I think it would be better to have more than ten recent dairies show before they roll off the front page. Restricting that forum to ten entries doesn't really allow most posts to be seen. Rush hour blog traffic can make for a short life for a post.

I try to post only when there's something not already under discussion, but when the diaries disapear so soon, the discussion may start all over from a different dairy.

Maybe I'm missing the point of how this is supposed to work? Do you want a short life for all but the rec'd dairies? The opposite situation, of course, would also be problematic, with hundreds of similar entries cluttering up the vision of the Site. Can the Site moderators perhaps take a more active roll in allowing some diaries to stay longer than others?

  1. I like the ads. I use the ads. Keep the ads! Tell people who buy pay for them that I use your ads. Do banners if you have to.

  2. However, for all links, whether for other addresses, documents, or ads, please have the browser open up a new window. The Web builder has the choice, and, unless you tell them, they will install the links to do the opposite, viz. open in the same browser window, forcing you to hit the back button rather than have different windows under your own control. Sometimes I lose my place at Sites like MyDD and have to go back to the home page manually.

Thanks, I like the Site, and I usually go here first for my news, then to Dem Underground, and then somewhere to the MSM to see if they have gotten around to telling the truth yet.
by JHGrimson 2005-12-13 06:53AM | 0 recs
Re: More recent diaries
Suggestions for you ...

Instead of left clicking on links ... right click on them to bring up a context menu (in IE and in Firefox) and then you can choose to open the link in a new window or a new tab (firefox only). But I do agree that it would be nice if the default was to open up in a new window. I almost always right-click anymore though so for me it is not gonna matter either way.

There is a "Show x diaries" setting right below the diary list. I've got mine set to show 20 at a time which works pretty well most of the time.

by Curt Matlock 2005-12-13 07:04AM | 0 recs
haha
great minds.
by annatopia 2005-12-13 07:07AM | 0 recs
Re: haha
or just proof that a couple of not so great minds can also think alike?  ;)
by Curt Matlock 2005-12-13 08:03AM | 0 recs
that's...
...the more likely explanation. LOL
by annatopia 2005-12-13 08:26AM | 0 recs
hints
you can change that diary setting.  if you look just under the diary list, you'll see "show 10 diaries SET".  change the "10" to however many diaries you want to display (up to 50) and click the SET button.
by annatopia 2005-12-13 07:05AM | 0 recs
suggestions
give us a way to UNsuggest diaries, so that crap-hole diaries go away quickly, and good ones stick around longer.
by NCDem 2005-12-13 06:56AM | 0 recs
good idea
either that or add some sort of tagging that will allow us to filter out stuff like that.
by annatopia 2005-12-13 07:05AM | 0 recs
Rec or Rate Front Page Posts
I usually just stick to the front page, and don't always read everything there.  I'd like to see a rec or rate button for front page posts with a most rec'd in the last [24h, 3d, or 1w] so that irregular readers can find the most important info in one place.

This could also attract more readers who can't keep up with the site daily (hourly?).

Thanks.

-Nat

by Natural 2005-12-13 07:08AM | 0 recs
Software
Seems like the relatively new "Portal Toolkit" from Internet Scout project @ Wisc. Edu might be worth a look.  The feature set looks good, but not being a programmer, I don't know level of difficulty/usefulness of the software.

I'm with those above on the K.I.S.S. principle.

by rba 2005-12-13 07:23AM | 0 recs
What I like most
about MyDD is that you folks stay more focused on elections and numbers, facts and figures and less (at least on the front page but often in the user contributed material as well) on opinion, news of the day, and issue outrage. The result is less conversation and more meat per square inch.

Conversation and the other stuff is good and I go looking for it too but there is always very good, fact filled reading material here.

Don't change that. The whistles and bells and blinking lights are of far less concern to me (though if you screw them up I'll be sure to let you - LOL).

by Andrew C White 2005-12-13 07:31AM | 0 recs
Redesign
A readily accessible archive of Congressional and Senate races would be good, or at least a list of links to polls on an ongoing basis.  Please don't center the ads.  I don't know what you have in mind but I do like the straight forward layout of MyDD.  It's easy to read and navigate.
by Retired Catholic 2005-12-13 07:47AM | 0 recs
Seconding "No Centered Ads"
Centered ads look awful.

Look at TPM.  

All centering does is remind us that you'd really like to open a revenue stream.  Centered ads are a big red letter way of telling us that we just don't click enough.

by jcjcjc 2005-12-14 06:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Seconding "No Centered Ads"
I agree. Centered ads are awful and distracting. When DailyKos switched to centered ads, I used Firefox to switch off all the ads. Currently I see all MyDD ads and often click through them. If they're in the way, though, they'll be gone.
by edgeplot 2005-12-14 08:54AM | 0 recs
I honestly have no complaints with the site.
I say if it is not broke, do not fix it.
But the ratings thing would be nice to have a "middle ground" rating I suppose.

-C.

by neutron 2005-12-13 07:49AM | 0 recs
Re: I honestly have no complaints with the site.
ditto. But, I could care less about ratings unless the comments collapse like on slashdot so I don't waste my time scrollling through lame comments.

I love the polls you guys come up with. I respect the opinions of people I don't agree with here. I can always find out what's really going on at the races. I like that you attract intelligient people who comment on a regular basis. I like that I don't have to go through a lot of fluff and waste my time looking for the news. The site has the look and feel of a real community with a shared purpose.

If you change anything, more action alerts.

Kindest regards,

by misscee 2005-12-13 08:23AM | 0 recs
MyDD as HQ for tracking Senate/House races

I think MyDD should make itself HQ for tracking Senate/House races, with frequent updates, maybe a running meter for an estimate of the composition of House/Senate if elections were held today (a tall order).  

I also see this as a place where the DCCC could interface with the blogosphere and put everyone a click away from helping with ANY campaign for any Dem in the country.

by jgkojak 2005-12-13 08:23AM | 0 recs
About changes
Over the last few weeks MyDD has been amazing when it comes to content and analysis. I don't care what the website looks like as long as the high quality entries keep coming.
by who threw da cat 2005-12-13 08:53AM | 0 recs
A "friends" page
The title isn't exactly right, but the idea is somewhat akin to one of the features on livejournal. I would like to see more user cusomizability in general, but I would really like to see a feature where I could select other users whose diaries and commments I really enjoy reading. After selecting these users, I would have a link on the frontpage that would take me to a page where all their most recent diaries are aggregated (just like a livejournal friends page).
by rapid response 2005-12-13 08:59AM | 0 recs
Act Blue integration
Might there be a good way to integrate Act Blue further into the site scheme?  Let user's display their own act blue accounts/pages in their diaries, etc?
by prank monkey 2005-12-13 09:22AM | 0 recs
To reiterate
Some of the ideas that have been mentioned that I second are:

Media Resource Page

Links to Important/Viable Races

Action Tools - I would like to see volunteer opportunities, call for phone bankers, canvassers, letter writers etc... for campaigns and such. Make it easier for us to transform energy and enthusiasm into concrete action.

Maybe a separate section for Candidates organized by region or state with daily features on the front page of races to watch - action alerts?

Any Initiatives we should be following?

That's my two-cents.

by brookeb 2005-12-13 09:35AM | 0 recs
my suggestion
Use SoapBlox, not Scoop.  I'm biased though.
by pacified 2005-12-13 09:42AM | 0 recs
Both
Flickr and del.icio.us are both major tools in my arsenal.
by ignatzmouse 2005-12-13 09:54AM | 0 recs
new feature
I think a third posting type of "Debates" would be useful.
To see how this might look visit eurotrib.com. This is in addition to "recommended" and "recent" diaries. Only two items are allowed (picked by the moderator, I think) that need to stay up for awhile so that a larger group of people have a chance to read and comment.

Adding tags as dkos and other sites have done might be useful, although I don't search on the feature myself.

by rdf 2005-12-13 09:54AM | 0 recs
Rare comment from consistent visitor
I have always used this site to get information on different election races, polls, candidates, house/senate forecasts, etc. Now if this is going to be the main focus during 2006, I think adding more specialized features for the upcoming elections would be interesting. Maybe have a continuously updated link for senate forecasts and house forecasts based on polling and other events. Have search functions for diaries for major House and Senate races, candidates, etc. Especially when the polling really picks up, instead of taking up space on the front page about the new poll, having a separate comprehensive link for polls, updated when as they roll in.
by Paranoid Humanoid 2005-12-13 10:13AM | 0 recs
Show that data visually
Remember the interactive, clickable electoral college map that the site had in the run up to 2004? That was what got me coming to this site on a day-to-day basis in the first place. So maybe we could have some sort of graphic display this year that's along the same lines showing the 2006 condition of senate and gubernatorial races in nice tidy red/blue map where you can click on a state and zoom in for most recent polling data. (Although I don't know what you'd do with a state where senate is projected to go blue and governor is projected to go red...) Anyway, that'd have definite appeal for map geeks like me.
by Crazy Vaclav 2005-12-14 08:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Show that data visually
Yes! More maps, more graphs, more visual displays. One for the Senate, one for the House, one for Governors. That would keep me on the site for hours.
by Paranoid Humanoid 2005-12-14 10:38AM | 0 recs
I would like
"tip jars" in diaries to be automatically rated "lame" so that I don't have to.

Focus not, on mojo, my friends... focus on me.

by NCDem 2005-12-13 10:14AM | 0 recs
Re: I would like
Gary really doesn't get your sense of humor... (a 1? was it really that bad?)
by Alex Urevick 2005-12-13 12:53PM | 0 recs
Nah
I was just obliging NCDem's request:

've never lost my tu status... though it might be fun to do so sometime... give me a goal to work for.

You know me. I always aim to please.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-12-13 01:22PM | 0 recs
Re: I would like
He's repenting... Though Boatwright might not admit it... I believe this is the first evidence of Gary losing a flame war.  To me.  I'm humbled and honored.  Notice my "troll" status has been bumped to "lame".  He's repenting.  He fears me.

http://www.mydd.com/story/2005/12/13/81432/685

by NCDem 2005-12-13 01:41PM | 0 recs
Bullshit!
I have never lost a flame war and never will. You made an offer of surrender and I accepted.
by Gary Boatwright 2005-12-14 05:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Bullshit!
http://liquidgraphyx.com/134%20-%20RD%20Surrender.jpg">
by KTinTX 2005-12-14 07:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Bullshit!
Nic3se try, but no cigar for you KTinTX. You haven't changed all of my ratings to 3s.

You got big time dksbook to rescue your comments, but who is going to rescue dksbook?

By the way. As a result of your deceptive surrender, you have earned a permanent 1 for every comment you make from here on out.  

by Gary Boatwright 2005-12-14 07:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Bullshit!
Dear Gary, the graphic was for you.  And you don't appreciate it? And to think I went to all that trouble.

I can't change all of your ratings, as the power is out of my hands now, oddly, thanks to you. Correct your ratings and maybe it can be fixed. I honestly don't care about ratings or status here, as I have my own platform for anything important that really needs to be said.  

And unlike some people around here, I continue to have a life outside of your flame threads.  I continue to run my own blog and network with the Texas Blogosphere, which will soon be launching its own BlogAds Network thanks to the leadership of annatopia.  And dksbook is doing more than I can say for you, as they have taken up the challenge of running for office down here, changing the equation on the ground, instead of whining about ratings and self-initiated flame wars in cyberspace.

by KTinTX 2005-12-14 08:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Bullshit!
Great! Then you won't have any problem leaving MyDD and minding your own business instead of coming over here and starting flame wars. You can take your asshole buddies with you.
by Gary Boatwright 2005-12-14 08:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Bullshit!
starting... giggle
by KTinTX 2005-12-14 08:55PM | 0 recs
I saw somewhat decent looking chicks
wearing t-shirts with right wing slogans on the Blogs for Bush. Which is cool considering the Right opposes equal rights, affirmative action, abortion rights, birth control, equal pay, blah bah blah

Can we get that too?  But Chris much hotter looking and bustier (the chick on the Blog for Bush looked like a B cup).   If that works maybe somnething for the gals too

I really like your political camapign fundraising.....please highlight more underfunded progressive candidates to build a network and $$$ for

by kmwray 2005-12-13 10:33AM | 0 recs
I am sick and tried of the Flame Wars
I think we should setup the Software at MYDD to allow only trusted users to rate a post an one.  That will end 99% of the Flame Wars.  

These Flame Wars make us look bad to people who  come MYDD to just read our posts.

by HCLiberal 2005-12-13 10:58AM | 0 recs
Re: I am sick and tried of the Flame Wars
If there is one thing that has gotten really annoying, it is these stupid flame wars of Gary's.  It's all very well and fine to leave it up to community moderation, but obviously that isn't working.  It's almost as if there is a lack of willingness in the leadership of the site to put an end to this really unproductive aspect of the site.  It's MyDD, not MyGary.
by KTinTX 2005-12-13 07:57PM | 0 recs
Re: I am sick and tried of the Flame Wars
Absolutely agree.  The sight is practically unreadable at times because of this crap.  And of course I have just involved myself for rating you a 3 to offset the troll rating.  And so it goes.
by Demo Dan in Dayton 2005-12-14 12:33PM | 0 recs
You read my mind Demo Dan
As punishment for your enabling behavior and encouraging KTinTX's troll rating, you have now received 24 hidden comments and one troll rating.

I left this comment visible and announced my retribution. Unlike KTinTx who is a cowardly troll stalker and an asshole.

Look up a meeting and get help. You can't solve a problem by fighting someone else's battle for them. KTinTX will face the music whenever he shows up, regardless of what you do to protect him or her from their vile behavior.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-12-14 03:27PM | 0 recs
And I just replaced the zeroes you bumped
Of course the cowardly ratfuck has only made 48 comments, so it is easy enough to play nursemaid again.

If you interfere again you're going to get 226 troll ratings. It's up to you.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-12-14 03:36PM | 0 recs
Explain this rating for KTinTX
If you think I am being even a little bit unreasonable Dayton Dan, take a look at some of the comments that ratfuck hid. Can you explain this?

Thankful for tryptophan overdose (0.00 / 1)

Legs getting heavy . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . air acquiring interital resistance of water   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .  . eyelids turning to lead . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . no more room for jello . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . .  onset of tryptophan coma imminent  .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
by Gary Boatwright on Thu Nov 24th, 2005 at 09:57:36 PM PST
[ Reply to This ]

Others have rated this comment as follows:
KTinTX     0

Thanksgiving Open Thread | Post A Comment

The son-of-a-bitch troll rated my comment on a Thanksgiving Gratitude diary! Who the fuck is KTinTX to hide that comment?

KTinTx also committed the unpardonable sin of hiding my comments in a couple of flame war diaries that the scurvy bastard didn't participate in.  

You have to be a total asshole to troll rate comments in a Flame War diary. If you don't like them, then don't participate.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-12-14 03:45PM | 0 recs
Re: I am sick and tried of the Flame Wars
I think our point has been made. Need I say more?
by KTinTX 2005-12-14 06:20PM | 0 recs
An apology would be in order
As a matter of fact an admission of error and an act of contrition would be entirely appropriate.
by Gary Boatwright 2005-12-14 07:04PM | 0 recs
Re: An apology would be in order
    Deus meus, ex toto corde poenitet
    me omnium meorum peccatorum,
    eaque detestor, quia peccando,
    non solum poenas a te iuste
    statutas promeritus sum,
    sed praesertim qui offendi te,
    summum bonum, ac dignum qui
    super omnia diligaris.
    Ideo firmiter propono,
    adiuvante gratia tua,
    de cetero me non peccaturum
    peccandique occasiones
    proximas fugiturum. Amen.
by KTinTX 2005-12-14 07:31PM | 0 recs
If you don't like Flame Wars
Don't start them. You are a total ass and an ignorant newbie.
by Gary Boatwright 2005-12-14 03:10PM | 0 recs
You've made 69 comments
Who the hell cares what you think about the difference between shit and shinola? If you are so concerned about the reputation of MyDD, then you should spend a little bit of time contributing, instead of being one of the peanut gallery pudding heads throwing brickbats at those of us who take the heat for expressing ourselves.
by Gary Boatwright 2005-12-14 05:21PM | 0 recs
Re: You've made 69 comments
When I made this post I was not thinking about you, but thanks for proving my point.
by HCLiberal 2005-12-14 05:32PM | 0 recs
Re: You've made 69 comments
Thanks for being a passive/aggressive asshole. No wonder you admire cowardly troll stalkers. If you have something to say stop talking out of the side of your neck and say it. Do you even know how to make a straight forward statement?

There's plenty of room left on my flame war diary if you've got something on your mind.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-12-14 07:11PM | 0 recs
Re: You've made 69 comments
Aw, now that just out of line Gary.
by KTinTX 2005-12-14 07:33PM | 0 recs
Re: You've made 69 comments
The three of you combined have written a whopping 32 diaries and made 338 comments. You have pretty high opinions of yourselves for newbies.
by Gary Boatwright 2005-12-14 07:36PM | 0 recs
I refuse
to call you names and I refuse to rate your posts with a troll rating. I did not start a flame war and I refuse to fight one. How you handle yourself well that is up to you.

I just think flame wars hurt our cause and hurt MYDD. If you think that my statement is personal attack on you gary, I sorry.  But I never attacked you.

I rather fight the Repugs than you.

by HCLiberal 2005-12-15 02:52AM | 0 recs
Re: You've made 69 comments
Gary for every 1 you give out I have made my mission to give a 3 and then some.  I do not care about my MoJo, so have fun.  Give up the flame wars.
by HCLiberal 2005-12-16 10:21PM | 0 recs
flickr's pretty great
I've been using flickr since last December and was gifted a pro account in April. It's a wonderful tool for people with cameras to share images and for people to search for images. It's great for pooling images of events like the March for Peace in DC this past September. Tagging images lets everyone see who's doing what. You can even grab RSS feeds of tags, groups or individual photogs. I'm also a del.icio.us user, but just a newbie. I like the design/look/usability of MyDD as it is right now. Maybe shrink the width of the right column a bit and expand the middle column further, I think it would look cleaner that way. And I think people should stop squaking about the blogroll.
by Albert 2005-12-13 11:12AM | 0 recs
"email this"
An "email this" link would be very handy for communicating with local papers about important issues.
by goplies 2005-12-13 11:50AM | 0 recs
bandwidth
I'd be doing a lot more posters, cartoons, etc. if I knew that your bandwidth could handle it and you alotted more room for files.

Perhaps a bandwidth co-operative among members.  Those that do not need to upload a lot of documents could gift their server space over to those that do need a lot of space.

by goplies 2005-12-13 11:53AM | 0 recs
have you tried imageshack?
i know that's kinda a standard response, but i am in the middle of converting all the images hosted on my own site over to imageshack, and so far it's been a great service.
by annatopia 2005-12-13 12:11PM | 0 recs
missions + education
Missions

These would be seperate from the diaries. A mission is assigned to members.

Ex: Write an opinion piece and submit it to a local paper based on Family Farming.

Members then post their letters in the mission area and discuss them back on their diaries.

Education

Guest lecturers on important nuances of the political process.

 

by goplies 2005-12-13 11:59AM | 0 recs
Merch
Make nice stickers that would be avaialable at an affordable rate so that we can all advertise for you to thousands of commuters.
by goplies 2005-12-13 12:01PM | 0 recs
100 sites
Set up a 10 x 10 grid of 50 x 100 pixel blocks.  Each diary gets one space on the grid and people can click and find new diaries that they may have missed otherwise.

Each member could upload there own 50x100 pixel image to be used.

The list would change when the page refreshes.  This could recive it's own domain or subdomain which would bring more traffic in and act as a portal to myDD.

by goplies 2005-12-13 12:05PM | 0 recs
Keep up the race summaries
I really like seeing the concise and current reports on different races without too much extra commentary.
by CoolAqua 2005-12-13 12:54PM | 0 recs
user rating?
One useful addition might be a symbol (1 to 5 stars or something) next to the poster's name that indicates nothing more or less than how active he or she is on the site.  I don't have any particular argument as for why I would find that to be useful, but I thought of it and now I've verbalized it.  Maybe I should have another white russian and come up with a devil's advocate argument against it, but instead I'll just take the path of least resistance.  
by alydar 2005-12-13 04:54PM | 0 recs
Re: user rating?
Posting volume is not a leading indicator of quality.
by Michael Bersin 2005-12-14 01:44AM | 0 recs
Re: user rating?
case in point, mr. boatwright. :)
by KTinTX 2005-12-14 04:24AM | 0 recs
The three things I would change
  1. Bring back Jerome Armstrong.

  2. Bring back Jerome Armstrong.

  3. Bring back Jerome Armstrong.
by turnerbroadcasting 2005-12-13 06:02PM | 0 recs
Ladies and Gentlemen.....
We need to add a Forum to allow for longer term projects and discussions to have room to develop. Since we are already a community of people with rather a obscene knowledge of election background information we will finally be able to fully communicate that knowledge to each other and in effect give everyone in the Community equal communications footing for the first time.  The things that we will be able to create/discover about how to see a nation of Progressive Liberatarianism emerge in the decades to come will make our electoral forcasting much better than it is today and allow us on the cheap to discover where and what no one is making much noise over per electoral trends and how to help the Democratic/Green/Libertarian/Reform coalition which will arise to help us win the nation and send it in forward direction.  

Here's a link to a list of webforum software free and those you have to pay for.  

Also, if this idea gets adopted let's institute a one entry and one comment a day rule like they have on Daily Kos.

http://www.thinkofit.com/webconf/forumsoft.htm#freeware

by strrbr 2005-12-13 06:26PM | 0 recs
Danger
Danger Will Robinson.

A forum needs serious active moderation twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. For a heavily used site you'd need a large number of moderators. It's a completely different environment. I had the lovely experience of working a campaign/PAC forum  as a moderator for 14 months. The true psychotics really come out of the woodwork. This community does not want to go there. Trust me.

...Also, if this idea gets adopted let's institute a one entry and one comment a day rule like they have on Daily Kos.

Are you referring to the forum format? If so, the limitation to one entry/one comment a day would make the use of forum software moot.

Uh, Daily Kos is a scoop site like this. They do not limit comments, unless you're a troll - then it's pretty much nothing.

by Michael Bersin 2005-12-14 01:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Ladies and Gentlemen.....
A wiki might be a good feature for longterm threads/projects
by Flynnieous 2005-12-14 06:01AM | 0 recs
Somthing that would be good
Is to have a map of the Senate and House race's i don't know i'm a map person. where you click on the state/District and get the latest news/polls from that state/district. Oh and Govenors races almost forgot that.
by Liberal 2005-12-13 06:55PM | 0 recs
coupla things
One, which is kind of technical but could make life easier for those of us who stop by and read a thread and want to comment but then have to go back to the top to sign in would be to have a sign in option at the bottom of a thread.
Another is...well...I've never read the diaries on this site...is it possible to give the most read and newest a little more prominence in some way? Nothing crazy just a little something to differentiate them from other topics or categories on the blog.
by carsick 2005-12-13 07:07PM | 0 recs
Re: coupla things
Agreed!

It is very annoying that when you log in you are kicked to the front page and have to navigate back to the thread again.

by ItsBeenCalmingForSomeTime 2005-12-14 02:52PM | 0 recs
political diaries vs. politicians' diaries
I love the fact that politicians - including officeholders and candidates - stop by to post diaries.  I don't want to discourage that.

However, now and again - more frequently, ever since Hackett vs. Schmidt made the blogosphere seem powerful - a bunch of politicians post official or semi-official communications as diaries at about the same time.  These tend to get recommended almost automatically, and jump up onto the rec list.  This can crowd out really first rate diaries from regular community members.  And my own admittedly non-scientific sense is that politicians' diaries don't seem to prompt as much discussion - there's more one-way communication, although there are notable exceptions.

I would love to see a means to distinguish between official communications by campaigns or political officeholders, and diaries in the more traditional sense.  Then, if it's technically feasible, I'd also love to see separate recommend lists - perhaps 3 and 3 - for each.

Or perhaps there is some other solution.  But at least for me, MyDD's recommend list becomes a much less useful way to sort through content when it's filled with messages from campaigns and representatives.

by arenwin 2005-12-13 07:23PM | 0 recs
Re: political diaries vs. politicians' diaries
I have thought exactly the same thing about the candidate promotion diaries on the recommended list. They get recommended by a block of supporters and/or operatives regardless of their quality. They then sit there with no one commenting and sometimes last for days taking up space. While there they provide nothing new beyond the original, now stale, few paragraphs of candidate promotion.

The rest of the community seems to only sporadically use the recommend button so diaries that aren't candidate promotion can't compete with those that are.

One way other than the technical changes you put forth to mitigate this effect would be for everyone to do more recommending so that more deserving non-candidate diaries have a realistic chance to get enough recommends to hit the list.

by Curt Matlock 2005-12-14 04:18AM | 0 recs
Re: political diaries vs. politicians' diaries
Agreed, it would be great to see expanded use of the recommend function!  Still, the reason I suggest a technical solution is because I fear this problem is likely to get worse over time - especially as we enter the election season and campaigns really gear up into war mode.  I could easily imagine a dramatic expansion in the number of politician posters.

I know this is very controversial, but another partial solution is to follow through on (Jerome's??? - can't remember) suggestion that he might ban political fundraising through MyDD diaries.  IMHO, let them go compete for $ over at the big pond.  If there's a real message for the community, that's another thing.  

But I don't really expect a consensus on this latter point.

by arenwin 2005-12-14 05:58AM | 0 recs
Something I would like...
I really like the "Your Comments" button at Booman Tribune.  

When I come back to MYDD, after a spell, I usually go straight to Dumbo's Page and then click Comments to see if anything I posted previously might have got a reply.  

I do the same thing at Dkos, as well.

At Booman, it's a one-step process to do the same thing.  Very handy.

I propose a direct link to the user's own comments.  

by Dumbo 2005-12-13 09:06PM | 0 recs
Some Suggestions
http://www.MyDD.com and http://www.DailyKos.com offer an invaluable service to the Progressive community -- and it's great that others have not emulated the these two sites largely pioneered.

That said, I think that both sites, http://www.MyDD.com and http://www.DailyKos.com -- yes, I know that we're dealing with http://www.MyDD.com exclusively here; however, my broad comments are applicable to both sites -- I feel that both sites must evolve into "activism" platforms.

I believe that http://www.MyDD.com (and, yes, http://www.DailyKos.com) is narrowly focused on being a media outlet to progressive causes and stops short of providing "tools" for grassroots participants to get involved.  I think that moving from being a media/press outlet, to being a grassroots mobilization site require different administrative mind sets.  Therefore, the site(s) may require to be divided into two distinct sections: an editorial/media outlet side and a grassroots/tactical mobilization side.  Of course, there'll be no clear demarcation, as users and the website administrators would flow from one to the other with no restrictions.  However, the focus of the sections would be distinct and specialized; and, if a plan similar to this were to be adopted, the grassroots/tactical facilitator would be someone whose primary focus would be to "direct and inspire" concrete action (am thinking of the various offline activities, for example, that MoveOn.org puts together; however, since this community, I believe, is more immersed in the nitty gritty of politics, perhaps we could come up with better activities than vigils, for example).

Take the conservative http://www.TownHall.com website -- they go beyond opinion by directing users to take concrete action; moreover, they serve as a gate way to reach conservative activists and pundits.

Of course, building a robust tool box that we could use to take concrete action would require more resources than are available.  However, if the resources were to be available I would like the following:

  • Require that users provide zip code, so that data (i.e., house races, local government, media, etc) could be personalized.
  • Break diaries into categories that include, for example, the following ("editorial" and "activism" diary entries should be separated into their respective sections):
  • Most Commented on Diaries
      - "Thumbs up" section!?  (Check out http://www.digg.com to see what I mean.  This could be distinct from the Recommended Diaries)
      - Recent Diaries
      - Recommended Diaries
  • Allow users to customize their "user's page" (mine, for example, is http://bedobe.mydd.com) so that if could function more like a portal to the MyDD.com if I so chose to use it: with feeds, subscriptions, a MyDD.com inbox, a buddies list (so we can network and build off-line communities) -- and any other goodie that a user may want to add to their portal/"user's page."

Minor website tweaks that I would like see:

  • Printer Friendly Link that reformats a dairy entry just like many newspaper sites do with their articles.
  • Customization capability so that users, for example, could choose their font size, whether to open links in new windows, etc. -- check out http://www.memeorandum.com/ to see what I mean (click on preferences).
  • Allow users to see who is online -- this, I think, promotes community cohesiveness and participation.

Am writing this off the cuff, so a lot may be jumbled and not all that clear.  But I do hope that this contributes in some way.  And, again, thanks for building this community.

by bedobe 2005-12-13 11:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Some Suggestions
First sentence is suppossed to read:

http://www.MyDD.com and http://www.DailyKos.com offer an invaluable service to the Progressive community -- and it's great that others have NOW emulated WHAT these two sites largely pioneered.

PS.  Lemme add this one: I'd like the ability to EDIT comments.  Damn!  I wish I had read this before posting... oh well.

by bedobe 2005-12-13 11:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Some Suggestions
I'm curious to know more about your views on this issue.

Why is it that presenting Progressive analysis and communications to a national audience--including many elected officials--is not 'cooncrete action'?  

This is a serious question, because I see these types of comments quite often--here and on my site--and I have a hard time understanding exactly what they mean?  To me, there is nothing more concrete than what happens here on MyDD.

But do you mean it's not 'concrete' if it involves working on a computer, as opposed to talking face-to-face with people?  

by Jeffrey Feldman 2005-12-14 04:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Some Suggestions
Thanks for the question -- I agree, the issue of "'concrete' action" vs. "commentary" is an important one for online participants.  

To begin with, I think that both are important and complementary functions.  Moreover, I understand that there are some websites/blogs by individuals that are meant to provide commentary/analysis, and that other sites (MoveOn.org, for example) focus on  suggesting "concrete action" around specific issues.  Additionally, the commentary/analysis function is important because the web is virtually the only place where progressive voices can be found, given our media landscape.  Now, while commentary/analysis is important, there are certain sites/blogs, I'm thinking of community blogs (i.e., MyDD.com and DailyKos.com) specifically, that users go to seeking "action items" that they, we, can take practical action on.  

I've seen a lot of comments on community sites (MyDD, DailyKos, HuffingtonPost and others) asking, What can I do on this or that issue?  A lot of us are often looking for some off-line organization or group to get plugged into, to feel a part of and grow the progressive movement (a lot more needs to be said about that, but I don't have the space here).  Accordingly, we come to the better known community sites in search of info on how we can tap into an off-line "movement" and, too, we come looking for "action items" that we can contribute towards.

I subscribe to the idea that on-line and off-line participation are complementary, and that one does not exclude the other.  Therefore, I don't subscribe to the idea the there exists something called the "netroots."  Instead, I belive that there only exists the "grassroots," and that we, the grassroots, go to the web to communicate with each other and in search of information.  Now, because I see on-line and off-line participation as complementary, and because grassroots participation exists in both forms, I belive that community sites/blogs need to offer specific tools and serve as a repository of "tactical" advise for the grassroots to take action with.

Too often, I think, community sites/blogs neglect "action items" and advise on "tactical lessons" learned on the ground; which are, I think, essential components to building a progressive movement.  Instead, most of us, the average community blog participant, focus on offering commentary on current events and on offering "strategic" advise to Democratic party leaders -- which, I fear, is too easily ignored.  Please keep in mind that I've not suggested that community blogs stop offering commentary/analysis; rather, I'm merely suggesting that community blogs spend more time and dedicate more of the site's resources on "action items" and on serving as a grassroots coordinating mechanism for off-line action.

I hope I've clarified my post above a bit more... and, yes, a lot more needs to said about defining and about building a progressive movement.

by bedobe 2005-12-14 11:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Some Suggestions

In my previous post above I wrote:

I've seen a lot of comments on community sites (MyDD, DailyKos, HuffingtonPost and others) asking, What can I do on this or that issue?  A lot of us are often looking for some off-line organization or group to get plugged into, to feel a part of and grow the progressive movement (a lot more needs to be said about that, but I don't have the space here).  Accordingly, we come to the better known community sites in search of info on how we can tap into an off-line "movement" and, too, we come looking for "action items" that we can contribute towards.

And, in this thread, judybrowni does a great job of illustrating my point:

I suspect there are other, even more gay-oriented, websites also fighting these battles at the same time.

However, John's is the site I read daily, compulsively, and I do any damn action he suggests. And maybe, it's because he not only explains why and how we should act, he does it in such an entertaining and specific way.

Too often, the political blogs I love, may, after a page an a half of analysis, much of which are over my head, blandly advise at the bottom, "Contact your representative."

When I first began reading political blogs, my thought was, "How the heck do I do that? And what would I say, in short?"

John provides the email address/phone number, mailing address, of the miscreant or politico in question, and wittily-worded ways to sum up the argument in question.

John is entertaining, and he front pages his actions, makes 'em both easy and fun to apply. If he has a secret, it's his ability to sum up a situation, and figure out a particular and pointed action his readers can easily act on.
by bedobe 2005-12-14 09:42PM | 0 recs
more interviews
i look forward to them now.

also, before you do an interview, let us submit questions.

by colorless green ideas 2005-12-14 12:31AM | 0 recs
Some Suggestions

First, I would suggest that the "ratings system" be revised in which a "3" equates to "Super", a "2" equates to "Excellent", and a "1" equals "Above Average".  Perhaps, a Zero can be included to express one's dissatisfaction with the commentary which includes the responses advocating a flame war or even for the trolls when they surface.

Secondly, I would like to see MDD add the feature of "Floor Speeches" from both the House and Senate.  In doing so, additional data can be reviewed, and which, ultimately, will enhance the quality of the history of the subject and the data posted here.

And thirdly, I would suggest that "Committee Hearings" be established, which would enable us here at MDD to track, prepare, and respond, at the appropriate timing (in real time) to the discussions that will be making the front pages of the Mainstream Media.  Thus, the benefit is that we would have the ability to be "ahead of the curve" in responding to our elected officials since we know in advance (by two to four weeks)and have the ability to prepare any commentary in hopes of "influencing" the decision-making.

My thanks in advance for any consideration.  Btw, keep up the good work.

by Jaango 2005-12-14 12:49AM | 0 recs
It's pretty good as is
Really, if something should be a feature in demand, isn't it the responsibility of the group to blog it into being?
by jcjcjc 2005-12-14 06:01AM | 0 recs
suggestion
make it more clear that this site only deals with elections.  Cause that is really all it deals with.
by IrnBru001 2005-12-14 09:00AM | 0 recs
huh???
???????
by NCDem 2005-12-14 09:15AM | 0 recs
bush countdown
the site needs a bush countdown clock

http://bushclock.lose.com/

by NCDem 2005-12-14 10:50AM | 0 recs
Mostly Satisfied With The Way It Is Now...
Except that I would like to see a feature, like on BFA or Kicking Ass, that makes back/archived posts easier to find.

Specifically, I would like the ability to jump directly to a region in time and look for a post, rather than having to hit "previous 12" forever to try to re-find a post that occurred a few days ago, or worse, having to attempt a web-search for posts that are older. The one drawback of this 'Scoop' software is that if you don't bookmark the entry or diary when you see it, by a couple days later it's pretty much unfindable.

Please, do NOT go to the narrow-text format Kos went to. I like the page presentation and layout that you have now just fine and would not like to see that drastically changed.

by ItsBeenCalmingForSomeTime 2005-12-14 02:50PM | 0 recs
No changes
This is a good site, it doesn't need change.
by AlphaHydroxy 2005-12-14 03:54PM | 0 recs
Re: rating system
Ya, but flame wars can be fun. j/k

25 YEARS!?! What were you on ARPAnet back in the command line days? That's impressive.

by michael in chicago 2005-12-14 04:53PM | 0 recs
Another comment from rare poster
The last few days I have been noticing a lot of bitching going on between members on this site (if I mention names I believe they will start 'attacking' my comment). If this keeps up I will no longer be drawn to reading MYDD comments, so maybe something can be done about all the name-calling and worthless comment strings. It really does take away from the diary's subject matter and provides no real benefit to any sort of 'progressive' movement.
by Paranoid Humanoid 2005-12-15 01:06AM | 0 recs
Labor!
As long as you're considering changes, any chance that we could figure out how to incorporate more labor news into MyDD?  

Maybe it isn't a perfect fit here, but the presence of labor and worker issues in the blogosphere is darn light.

Even for those of us who aren't union members, what happens to workers in one place happens to all of us.  I'd love it if more of the progressive bloggers made this connection.

by Steve Hill 2005-12-15 06:24AM | 0 recs
Trying (& Failing) to Read MYDD On My Treo
The current site format, with ads on the left side of the page, makes it too much trouble to look at the site on my Palm Treo because that device (I'm not sure if this is true of other handheld devices with internet capability) downloads webpages from the left to right columns.  In other words, I've got to wait for all of the graphics and ads on the left-hand column load before I have a prayer of seeing the meat of the site.  

By contrast, dailyKos is much more Treo-friendly because Markos puts his content in the left-most column.

Honestly, since I'm as much on my Treo than on my PC, it is that distinction that has made me a dailyKos fanatic but has tempered my use of MYDD.
It would be great if it changed.

by CADem 2005-12-15 09:02AM | 0 recs
As another tech geek...
I second this motion. Maybe you could look into an alternate format for handheld devices? (with a url like handheld.mydd.com)

You know a lot of us dorks read the site...

by Alex Urevick 2005-12-15 10:12AM | 0 recs
Where did Chris Bowers go?
1 post in the last week... Whats up? Is the beginning of a pattern, or just Chris taking some time off for a bit?
by rapid response 2005-12-15 10:52AM | 0 recs
it's an approachable site-- don't mess with that
the prospect of change worries me a bit vis-a-vis mydd. i guess i'm actually a conservative in this regard. :)

i have always preferred mydd to dailykos, but this has become a stronger preference recently, because mydd has a cleaner interface--it is more readable; its colors aren't jarring (the orange on kos screams: stay back--just as the orange of a road construction sign or biohazard sign is meant to); the diaries don't come so fast and furious, and as a general rule the site has a higher percentage of diaries that are substantive. my suspicion is that a lot of the topics and news on mydd are on dkos, too. but "over there," i miss them. they're buried in what has become genuine cacophony. here, they're more likely to be spotted, i think.

so, i'm not sure what the exact changes r that r coming, but, i hope they don't make the site less venerable and less approachable.

by IseFire 2005-12-16 06:02AM | 0 recs
Wiki for unfettered collaboration
I second the suggestion for adding a wiki. A couple people might chime in to develop a sort of vision statement for it, which of course would be collaboratively edited. Or many varied purposes for the wiki might be found. One suggestion might be to develop a parallel platform, improving on the democratic party's.

Whatever happens, it would be driven by the user community and mostly self-moderated, as I believe the Wikipedia is. If lots of people contribute, a collaborative system like this might find much better ways to organize all of its information than Scoop's linear diary page does.

As it is right now, information on MyDD (and most blogs) gets hopelessly lost after it moves off the front page (if you just want to browse it, rather than search it). I'm convinced there are better classification and categorization systems than what blogs have come up with so far.

Scott

by Scott Teresi 2005-12-20 06:24PM | 0 recs
Wiki (cont'd)
Wow. Take this page, for instance. If it weren't for my RSS feed that I look over a few times a week, I wouldn't have commented on this blog entry because the entry was so old. And notice how no one else had commented on this entry for five days until my comment.

In effect, this blog entry was lost to the internet within a day or two of its posting!

A wiki presents more options for accessing its information, by crosslinking from more generalized topics to more specific discussions. You could drill down into the specifics of policy, if enough people were working on it. Sure, parts of a wiki can also get lost in a deep, complex web, but it can't really do any worse than entries on a blog and can probably do much better.

A wiki has the potential to be MUCH more constructive to long-term political discussion, if collaboration is your goal.

Please consider this suggestion! I only wish others were still reading this entry and could respond to my comments!

Scott

by Scott Teresi 2005-12-20 06:33PM | 0 recs

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