Meta-MyDD

Bumped one more time -- Jonathan

I am quite fond of Meta-Kos discourse. In fact, much of my writing on Dailykos these days is focused on Meta, which possibly explains why, at Yearly Kos, I was on the Meta-Kos panel. However, as much as I like Meta-Kos, for some reason, until very recently it never seemed odd to me that there is no such thing as "Meta-MyDD." Over the past couple of days, I spent some time trying to figure out why there was no such thing as Meta-MyDD. My conclusion is not pleasant, but I think it is accurate.

As far as I can tell, the reason there is no such thing as Meta-MyDD is because there is no MyDD community, as such. Sure, we have frequent commenters and diarists, but what really separates MyDD from sites like Dailykos, BooMan Tribune, Fire Dog Lake and My Left Wing is that while they build a family-like community, we instead act as though we are political professionals.

Without a family, without a community, there is no need to reflect back on our history. Simply (and sadly) put, there is no one to care. Every single person who has ever been a significant front pager for MyDD has also been a political professional at one time or another. As such, we tend to be much more focused on elections and political infrastructure than upon ourselves. When someone leaves MyDD, they do not post a GBCW diary. Instead, they simply announce that they are leaving to become a full-time staffer or consultant for some organization, official, or campaign. This also explains why we get both a disproportionate amount of traffic to our front-page, and why we get a disproportionate amount of establishment media and political attention relative to our traffic.

Within the progressive blogosphere, our relative influence far exceeds our relative traffic levels. For example, at Yearly Kos, the MyDD caucus was streaming out into the hallway, and apparently was impossible to get into after the thirst two or three minutes. Fire Dog Lake, a remarkable and extremely important blog that held a caucus at the same time, at least doubles MyDD in terms of traffic. Still, from what I understand, we actually had more people at our caucus. This was not because not because we had a large number of regular commenters there. Instead, it was because droves of reporters, candidates, and staffers had come to our caucus. Every political reporter came to that event. Candidates even came and asked how they got endorsed. We even asked the audience if they had ever worked on a campaign in a paid position, and over half of the audience raised their hands.

It's like when Hotline's Blogometer revealed that among all progressive blogs, MyDD was their second most cited in 2005 (look at all the right-wingers on their top-ten list), behind only Dailykos. That sort of blew my mind when I read that, considering that in terms of traffic, we rank only around 10th or 12th among progressive blogs. I have seen other significant other data, including citations from Google News, Nexis, and even private marketing surveys suggesting that establishment types read us at vastly disproportionate rates to our overall traffic. In overall terms of establishment readership, we always come in second, (well) behind Dailykos.

Rather than a community blog, MyDD tends to be a professional blog. This drives down our traffic down and means that fewer people will come visit us in the hospital when we are sick, but it does allow us influence well beyond what we should normally expect for our traffic level. Perhaps an analogy with television is that we are the C-SPAN of the blogosphere. Perhaps an analogy with magazines as that we are the National Journal of the progressive blogosphere. Neither C-SPAN nor National Journal have particularly large audiences relative to other news stations or news magazines, but their influence far outstrips the size of their audience.

Does this mean we are more "establishment" than other blogs? Maybe. I'm pretty darn far out on the left, but I freely admit that the political professionals who I take a liking to are by no means exclusively left-wing. What I like are people who recognize the full scope of the problem we face when matched up against the conservative movement, and who recognize our desparate need for innovation in response to that movement. At the same time that Russ Feingold is the sort of candidate I would work for, and while Chuck Pennacchio is the sort of candidate I will vote for in primaries, I also think Simon Rosenberg and David Brock are frigging brilliant, and I'd help them with almost whatever they needed help with. What I really can't stand are people on both the right and the left-wing of the Democratic Party and the progressive movement who see our solutions as simplistic, such as "moving to the center" or "fixing the voting machines." I have a strong, and very similar, physical reaction to both statements. My general attitude tends to be one of "understand the scope of the problems we face, or get out of my way."

Is there any way to fix this, and develop a real community while maintaining our professional stance? I don't know. If there is, I'm probably not the person to do it. Simply put, I am not, and have never been, very good with people. I think it has led to the premature end of most of my romantic relationships. Even in college, high school, and earlier, I was never the popular kid. In fact, I never even achieved the distinction of not being a total nerd. The most popular I have ever been in my entire life, easily, was when I was at Yearly Kos. Nothing else even comes close. Although it saddens me, the idea that I could be the leader of a big, happy family just doesn't seem reasonable. I'd probably have to hire someone else who could actually do that. Even then, that would be just one person among many front-page writers. Could they really make a difference? I have my doubts.

Or maybe things are better off they way they are. Over the past seven months, we have had a very stable traffic pattern of around 24,000 people per day. That really isn't bad at all. Combine that with lots of media citations, an influential readership, lots of access, and hey--we really aren't doing too bad here. Maybe our goal, instead, should be to become even more professional, and work that angle as much as possible. To be horribly establishment for a moment, as long as all the "right" people, both on the inside and the outside, are reading MyDD, does it really matter how large our audience is? Ugh. I feel sick even writing that. I feel sick even thinking that it might be true. The best of both worlds, really, would be to combine the two. I just don't know how to make that happen.

Anyway, those are some questions I have been mulling over. Before I end this post, here are some fun Meta-MyDD stats (all stats are post our March 31st, 2004, re-launch):
  • Jonathan has passed Scott to become the 4th most prolific poster on MyDD since our March 31st, 2004 re-launch. Jonathan has 446 posts all time (8% of MyDD's post-re-launch total) while Scott has 390 (7% of MyDD's post re-launch total).

  • Matt is soon to pass Jerome as the second most prolific post-relaunch MyDD writer. Matt has 879 posts all-time (16% of our total), while Jerome has 916 (17% of our total). And here is some trivia for you: did you know that Matt was always a front-page poster on MyDD, even before I was? Little known fact, that.

  • I am slacking. From May 2004 until October 2005, I wrote roughly 100 posts every month. During that time, I accounted for around 52% of MyDD's total content. However, since then, I have only written about 50 posts a month, and now I only account for 40% of MyDD's total post-relaunch, front-page content (2211 out of 5506 front page stories). Around the same time Jerome quit regular blogging, I was losing steam fast. It was time for a new generation. Matt and Jonathan became that generation, and now account for at least two-thirds of our front-page content. If you ask me, they are doing a damn good job. Our traffic logs and various citation metrics indicate just how good a job they are doing.

  • Roughly one out of every eight stories on the front page of MyDD does not come from a regular front-page writer. I bet that is a much higher ratio than found on other community blogs. So, for all of our lack of family-esque community, MyDD diaries have a much better chance of reaching the front-page than do diaries on any other site with diaries. Perhaps what we lack in community we make up for in democracy.

  • Combing the diaries and the stories that have appeared on the front page, there have been 19,816 blog posts on MyDD since March 31st, 2004. We should pass 20,000 within the next week.

  • I have a lower user ID on Dailykos (123) than I have on MyDD (217). And how many people really know their MyDD user ID's anyway?

  • While Dailykos is about to pass 100,000 users, we are at around 16,000. About one-third of our users signed up from September 2004 until November 2004.

  • Over 6% of our all-time traffic still comes from a single post: Jerome breaking the early exits polls on November 2nd, 2004. More than a million people read that post. It might remain the single best read blog post of all-time, on any blog. I remember that day all too well. Even I could barely log onto MyDD to read the "good news" back then.

  • Until January 2003, MyDD was actually the second most trafficked progressive blog, behind only Talking Points Memo. We slid all the way out of the top 100 when Jerome shut the site down. Our highest ranking since the re-launch was 2nd, from October 31st, 2004, until November 3rd, 2004. Outside of the election, our best result was 6th, in early August of 2005.

  • Matt and I are actually not a gay couple, as is often assumed (well, OK, as is never assumed, but I just wanted to make that clear).

  • About 10% of our traffic comes from the privileged link we have on Dailykos. Thus, if traffic goes up on Dailykos, it goes up here too.

  • Although some may think otherwise, MyDD is in fact a separate blog from Dailykos. In much the same way, Canada is in fact a separate country from the Unites States. Seriously.
So, there's some Meta-MyDD. I'll be spending the rest of the evening making food, talking to Liz, shooting darts, playing video games, drinking beer and reading about Star Trek. What's on your plate, and what Meta-MYDD thoughts do you have?

Tags: Blogosphere, Media, meta, MyDD (all tags)

Comments

126 Comments

Re: Meta-MyDD

Chris, I wouldn't sweat it.   Towns and villages have different flavors; on-line communities are no different.

Fwiw, MyDD feels more intimate to me.   You [plural][personally] also seem more tolerant of dissenting opinions, which in turn leads to fewer flame fests, which I account as a positive.

by InigoMontoya 2006-07-21 04:49PM | 0 recs
Amen to that!

I wonder whether it's just that community aspect of some of the sites Chris mentions that leads to the flame wars, troll patrols and other signs of online intolerance.

I like the way it's not high school clique-y round here - as Chris says, whoever thinks about his MyDD UID? - and the level of sycophancy to FP-ers is kept well in check, that I've noticed!

There's enough juice in the substance of the political arguments we have round here without adding animus or adoration.

My only fear is that a large breakaway faction of Kossacks one day decide to colonize us en masse...

by skeptic06 2006-07-21 06:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD
You killed my father.

Prepare to die.
by Chris Bowers 2006-07-21 06:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

LOL!!

by John Mills 2006-07-21 06:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

It's amazing how much that movie can be quoted in political discussions.

by michael in chicago 2006-07-21 06:30PM | 0 recs
NOW I get it!

I'm not the fastest kid on the block, but I catch on eventually! (grin)

by NvDem 2006-07-21 06:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

Stop Saying That!!!

by KainIIIC 2006-07-21 06:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

Chris, as I said in my diary on Wednesday, my view of MyDD is that it focuses on dispassionate analysis more often than not.  Practical electoral strategy and news.  Not always, but most often.  

This is not a bad thing, as you tend to avoid the more outrageous flame wars.  Which is a blessing.  

by Delaware Dem 2006-07-21 07:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

Take it as a tribute to the genius of the blog that I'm prepared to sacrifice all my accrued coolness factor (I know...) in order to say: what???!!!

(I suck at pop culture references generally...)

by skeptic06 2006-07-21 08:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

Princess Bride.. rent it

by Winston Smith 2006-07-21 10:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

Princess Bride is a great movie.  It is one of my favorite.  I am pretty sure if you rent you will like it.

by John Mills 2006-07-22 06:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

I do not think that word means what you think it does.

by InigoMontoya 2006-07-21 08:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

Inconceivable.

by John Mills 2006-07-21 08:39PM | 0 recs
Omigod!

This isn't juvenile Sex Ed humor, surely?

Heigh ho...

by skeptic06 2006-07-21 09:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Omigod!

skeptic06 - If you rent the movie, you will get it.  And no, it is not a juvenile sex reference although I am not above that!

by John Mills 2006-07-22 06:38AM | 0 recs
I always said...

...this place was nothing if not educational!

by skeptic06 2006-07-23 04:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Omigod!

To the Pain!

by Nezua Limon Xoloquinta Jonez 2006-07-23 05:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

fixing the voting machines

This is not simplistic. It is basic. The large traffic blogs have been egregiously negligent on this. Truly, mainstream media has done much better. It is as if this is just too hard, I can't deal with it. Well you need to learn to. You need to educate yourself.

Being concerned with the voting machines doesn't mean not working on campaigns, etc., it means dealing with the most crucial challenge to our electoral process.

by Alice Marshall 2006-07-21 05:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD
IF everyone who posted about voting machines on blogs was an activist, the entire electoral infrastruvture in this country could be taken over by people concerned with voting machine integrity.

Simply put, there is not nearly as much actiivsm surrounding voting machiens as their is whining. I complained about this in a post called Demand Election Reform, But Only If You Man It.

And I think voting machines should be fixed too. But the problem arises with the mindless commenters who simply respond to anything--anything at all--by saying that "nothing matters unless we fix those machines." I hold exactly the same opinion of those people as hold of the "we must move to the center." Both are useless.
by Chris Bowers 2006-07-21 05:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

I complained about this in a post called Demand Election Reform, But Only If You Man It.

I read that post, and it sounded like the post of a man who had not read the material on the voting machines or frequented the many sites devoted to it.

But I know what you mean, if you look back in my diaries you will find two devoted to promoted a hearing in Richmond on the voting machines. So far as I know, no one from MyDD acted on those diaries, although I know Virginians read this blog.

by Alice Marshall 2006-07-21 06:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

But the problem arises with the mindless commenters who simply respond to anything--anything at all--by saying that "nothing matters unless we fix those machines.

Arrgh.  We always go round and round this mulberry bush here.  The whiners bum you out. We get it.  So ignore them.  Why not look at the Coalition for Voting Integrity in Bucks County?  Interview Mary Ann Gould and see what you think about the work CVI is doing.  I can get you her contact info.  

CVI successfully stalled the purchase of Danaher machines in Bucks preserving the use of lever machines until this November.  We have a lawsuit pending against the commonwealth over certificaion standards.  It has national implications.  We'll be at the Middletown Grange Fair spreading the word about the dangers of unverifiable, unsecure voting systems.  We support candidates who support voter-verfied paper ballot legislation on the state and federal level.  We need some pro bono law help.  We need money to pursue the case.  We need publicity.  That's where big blogs could come in handy - especially ones that operate near Bucks County.  

 

by eRobin 2006-07-21 07:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

The DRM voting machines piss me off, too, so I'm designing & building a prototype voting machine around the software system developed by the Open Voting Consortium.  

Here's a brochure of their software design, just replace "PC" with "clearvote" (the name of the system, pics will be on clearvote.com next month sometime):

http://www.openvotingconsortium.org/file s/brochure032605.pdf

I'm not sure that this project will go anywhere (I started a few weeks after YearlyKos), but I'm self-funding this for a couple of months to see if it does.  I think this puts me in the top .001% of whiner activists. :)

I mention this to illustrate that I think the community here is actually doing things rather than just whining about them, and they don't have time to read or write endless "me too!" posts.  It also seems to me that mydd members tend not to say anything if they don't have something good to add to the conversation, which I really like.

by aip 2006-07-21 08:12PM | 0 recs
Bro

You will find only what you bring in.
   ~yoda

red herrings. noise.

There is an army of activists and computer scientists, but it can be frustrating when all we hear about is the whiners. I wrote my first diary on my experiences. I did this purposely because I simply wanted to say that many of us are people who have experienced an irregularity at the polls. Real People.

Personally I think the whiners are not whining. In Mexico they stormed the streets. We did too, but even our progressive elder family members told us to take off our tin hats. The election is over and the whiners have moved on to something else. I fear many of the ones you hear now and the whiners you heard before are trolls perpetuating the red herring and noise.

My next diary will be a timeline to establish industry standards for voting, voting machines, and electronic data exchange. There aren't any. Then I will try and explain why the machines are hackable and that fixing them is not as easy as hooking up a printer to the machines.  

As for MyDD, if it aint broken, don't fix it.  I am thrilled that we have the kind of respect that garnered so much media attention at that convention. I get a feeling of awe when I post, thinking about the people that are reading what little ol me has to say.  We are a community and I'm proud to be a member.

META is good, but a little metacognition might be in order (just kidding.)

by misscee 2006-07-22 06:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Bro

Try verifiedvoting.org.  Setting up timelines is more about passing legistlation on a state-by-state basis, which is what they're doing.

Also, electronic data exchange issues don't matter, as federal regulations require all voting systems vendors to provide end-to-end solutions (ie, voting machine, precinct counter, and central tabulator), so there's no use for data interchange.  This also means that a small vendor has a hard time breaking into the market, as not only do they have to make at least three systems, but also certification of the whole system costs $150k to $400k.

by aip 2006-07-22 10:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Bro

I hear you.  However I'm simply talking about industry standards like the ones to which most such technologies conform.  The project to develop industry standards was approved in 2001.  

http://grouper.ieee.org/groups/scc38/158 3/index.htm

The whole process leading up to where we are today is fascinating, at least to me.  There are now a set of standards and guidelines to use when passing legislation. will these standards prevent future voting problems?  (pdf file)

http://www.nist.gov/testimony/06index.ht ml

Just saying. What a relief to hear that electronic data exchange issues don't matter.

by misscee 2006-07-22 03:15PM | 0 recs
Take it for what you will

And this can mean nothing at all, but here goes:

When I go to DKos, and Markos writes something, I never expect him to participate in the discussion.  With hundreds of diaries, I don't expect him to participate in other diaries, either.  But, if someone else posts a diary, be it Meteor Blades, Joe Schmoe, or Wes Clark I don't expect them to run off-  there has to be some interacting.  While I give Markos a mental pass for some reason, he is about it amongst the community bloggers.  I strongly feel that if you want to have a good community, you have to be a part of it, including interacting with your readers.

At times, I don't think there is that type of interaction here.  It is not consistent, and it is not equal across everyone, but, sometimes there seems to me at least to be a little bit too much disconnect between the front pagers and everyone else.

My two cents...

by DanielUA 2006-07-21 05:57PM | 0 recs
You are demanding
Adn you are probably right. It don't comment here very often. I think I have only around 1,800 comments, while I have 2,220 stories.

But what you ask for is demanding. It is hard enough toe write 2,200 stories--and arond half of mine well exceed 1,000 words. If I stuck around to commetn in every thread, I wouldn't ahve any time for either a) a life, or b) what I consider to be my equally important infrastructure and campaign building work.

Maybe that is the difference betwene MyDD and the other sites I mentioned. Maybe it takes an even greater level of dedication than I am able to offer. I don't know.
by Chris Bowers 2006-07-21 06:11PM | 0 recs
Re: You are demanding

I don't know what the answer is, and I know each of you has a ton on your plate.  But below Jonathan says he reads every comment.  It doesn't neccesarily mean that he has to respond to everyone, but, it would be good to know you are listening, and that there is interaction, and it is 2 way.

Again, for whatever reason, and it is a chicken and egg thing, Markos prob gets a pass because of the fact that there is such an identifiable community, that mixes in former Presidents with dopes like me.  On sites where that doesn't happen (which would be every single other one there is), I want to interact with people who are posting.  So, it doesn't have any easy solution, except to say that if there is a change, it certainly does not need to mean you answer everything.  But, it is at least good to know that you are reading what people are saying, at least to your own posts.

by DanielUA 2006-07-21 06:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Kos Gets a Pass

I think it is a good choice that Markos is not more involved. As the site is so huge, and bears his name, he is always in danger of taking over the purpose of the site with personality. Were he to be completely involved, it would feel (more?) like a cult.

by Nezua Limon Xoloquinta Jonez 2006-07-22 04:36AM | 0 recs
Re: You are demanding

I think that a frequency-of-comments standard for evaluating bloggers is, well, idiotic.   Some people seem to place more premium on blogging as an action per se than in producing thoughtful content.    

I often don't even notice a by-line until an article or comment has impressed me in one direction or another.   Then when I check, it's often a "Him (her) again!" reaction.   Frequency of posting is no guarantee of quality of thought.

by InigoMontoya 2006-07-21 08:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Take it for what you will

Considering the fact that I read every comment on every one of my posts, there's no reason why I shouldn't comment on a more regular basis. I'll try to get in the habit of it, though, because you're right that the vitality of this community is requisite on the participation of all its members.

by Jonathan Singer 2006-07-21 06:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

Chris

I do not post here much because I am third rate blogger on my best day and most of the writers here are such political professionals. But, I read MYDD everyday because the writers here are great political professional writers.  MYDD front pagers educate me better than any other political blog on the WWW. Please do worry that MYDD is not like My Left Wing. Yes, they are more family like, but so what? I do not learn as much at My Left Wing as I do at MYDD, but again so what?

by HCLiberal 2006-07-21 06:03PM | 0 recs
I agree

I love DK but at times it can be overwhelming. The name calling and rants turn me off.  I read my DD for knowledge.  I also like TPM & Swords Crossed (still waiting for it to get off the ground) I still want to know my user ID number - It's my Kos roots coming out.

by Destiny 2006-07-21 06:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

I'm fairly certain that I do not comment on MyDD as often as I do on DailyKos, even though I read both with roughly the same frequency.

The reason I comment less frequently here is simply this: I have less to add.  DailyKos tends towards a wider discussion of the progressive movement, while MyDD tends to focus more narrowly on professional progressive politics.  I can comment on many aspects of the progressive movement, but because I am not a political professional, I can't often comment intelligently on poll results, methods of reaching voters, or other such topics.

I suspect that many others share my situation, and that would be why MyDD receives far fewer comments than DailyKos.  But I wouldn't worry much about it; each site has a different niche, and MyDD is unquestionably at the top of its niche.

by kenfair 2006-07-22 08:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

I agree with InigoMontoya (love that user name incidentally).  I see MyDD as a community as well but it is different from DailyKos and the others.  We may well have a disproportionate share of political professionals, former political professionals, activists, politicans, etc.  Not sure.

I like that we have fewer flame wars and that people, for the most part, have strong opinions but things rarely get personal.  We exchange a lot of good ideas and thoughts here which is one of the reasons I keep coming back day after day.  I can only take DailyKos in small doses because things get way too overheated there.  I like a good discussion/argument but you lose me when you start calling me an idiot because you don't agree with my comment.  That rarely happens here and it is one of the really good things about MyDD.

I also agree with you about simplistic answers about fixing voting machines and moving to the center, whatever the heck that means.  I read David Brock's book and we are up against a well organized and well financed machine with long tenticles.  It will take new ideas, innovative approaches to politics and building our own infrastructure to beat the Repubs over the long haul.  Bill Bradley had one of the best anologies of the problems we currently face.  The Repubs have built a political pyramid on which the President sits on top.  The Dems have an inverted pyramid with the President having to balance party interests and govern without a strong infrastructure.  

I will add one more thing - I would like to learn more about the people who post and comment here.  That, no doubt, would make it a tighter community.  

As for my Friday night, I am waiting for my wife to return from a business trip and watching my beloved NY Mets.

by John Mills 2006-07-21 06:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD
"I like that we have fewer flame wars and that people, for the most part, have strong opinions but things rarely get personal."

That could be a bonus to not having a tribal feel. Because we aren't personal, we don't get personal in our insults. That, and I ban people who start flame wars repeatedly.

"I like a good discussion/argument but you lose me when you start calling me an idiot because you don't agree with my comment."

I ban those people too.

"Bill Bradley had one of the best anologies of the problems we currently face. The Repubs have built a political pyramid on which the President sits on top. The Dems have an inverted pyramid with the President having to balance party interests and govern without a strong infrastructure."

Bill Bradley is a smart, smart man.

"my beloved NY Mets."

As a Phillies / Braves fan, all I can say is "aarrggh." I guess you finally got us this time. Congrats.
by Chris Bowers 2006-07-21 06:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

"As a Phillies / Braves fan, all I can say is "aarrggh." I guess you finally got us this time. Congrats."

Thanks.  Being a Mets fan is a lot like being a Democrat - periodic highs and lots of lows.  At least you aren't a Yankee fan - that is the one team I really hate although most of my friends root for them.

by John Mills 2006-07-21 06:29PM | 0 recs
The Braves

Actually, to be a Democrat in the 00's is to be like the Braves.  Always getting into the playoffs, but only to choke when it truly counts.

by Sam Loomis 2006-07-21 07:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

Cripes.  I've been a Cubs fan for 45 years.  You wanna tell me about it?

by InigoMontoya 2006-07-21 08:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

True enough.  But at least you play in a beautiful ballpark. Shea Stadium is a real dump!

by John Mills 2006-07-21 08:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

You clearly don't remember whenever Gary Boatwight used to post here... It'd pretty much be every day where he'd flame people and call others DLC... he even posted a diary calling Mark Warner a DLC stooge just to get people inflamed to post there... It was quite entertaining...

Or the Cegelis v. Duckworth... big flame wars there too...

And you can't forget the Hackett v. Brown diaries... quite a big thing there too, especially when one diary would be posted by Tim Tagaris, a Brown supporter, and the next one would be posted by Bob Brigham, a Hackett supporter, who coincidentally both posted together on swingstateproject. Whatever happened to those 2 anyhow?

One problem with some of the diaries is not that they're bad, but the fact that they too have little comments... More than anything, you always want your comment to be read, and whenever you post a comment that is not replied to, it sucks... Even worse is when you post the lone comment to a diary.

Perhaps we MyDDers need to become less comment-shy.

by KainIIIC 2006-07-21 06:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

Not sure about Bob Brigham, but Tim Tagaris did a stint blogging for the DNC, and then took over the official Lamont blog, where he's at now.

by Kalil 2006-07-21 07:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

Good point about Gary.  I definately got in his cross hairs a few times but I have found he was the exception.  Even when he was ranting about me and everyone else being a DLCer and sellout, I always chuckled.  Not sure why.  I think I knew he was doing it in part to get people riled up.

I have gotten into some very heated discussions with commenters here but it is rarely personal.  I don't want everyone to agree - that would be very boring - but you can have an intelligent, passionate discussion about a lot of issues without calling people names and getting personal.  That to me is the big difference between MyDD and DKos.  Also, the front pagers, especially Chris, do a lot of their own research rather than just post poll numbers.  It may be the political geek in me but I find that stuff fascinating.

by John Mills 2006-07-21 07:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

I don't have anything to add to the discussion.  I just want to see my user id number ( * _ * )

by Destiny 2006-07-21 06:10PM | 0 recs
That didn't work out

My id number does not show up at the bottom of the screen as it does on DK. Is there a way to find out?

by Destiny 2006-07-21 06:13PM | 0 recs
Re: That didn't work out
You are 5744. Maybe only us "superusers" can find that out.
by Chris Bowers 2006-07-21 06:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks

I didn't realize that I was so late to the MyDD party.

by Destiny 2006-07-21 06:24PM | 0 recs
Re: That didn't work out

We used to be able to see user IDs.  Do you still use scoop, I have a small scoop blog and it automatically pulls up user ID for everyone.

by Robert P 2006-07-21 06:28PM | 0 recs
p.s.

I lost my blog virginity with MyDD and it still has a special place in my heart and toolbar.  But...rarely do I post here anymore.  There just isn't a lot of commenting.  On the other hand, I read a lot of front page posts and love Breaking Blue.

by Robert P 2006-07-21 06:30PM | 0 recs
Re: That didn't work out

Yea, still scoop, I did something that messed with it, so its not there on rollover, will get around to fixing it, if we don't move onto Ruby before..

by Jerome Armstrong 2006-07-22 03:46PM | 0 recs
Re: That didn't work out

If a user has ranked a comment, you can see their user ID with a rollerover there.

by Bob Brigham 2006-07-22 04:49PM | 0 recs
I was actually going to put it on my badge

at yearlykos along with my dkos id, since it's important to me, but I couldn't figure it out and lost interest when a passing butterfly flew by.

-C.

by neutron 2006-07-21 06:58PM | 0 recs
aha 359!!

not bad.

-C.

by neutron 2006-07-22 12:20PM | 0 recs
What's my User ID?

I'm a trusted user, but can't seem to figure it out.

by Pitin 2006-07-21 07:25PM | 0 recs
Re: What's my User ID?
I can't believe I know this, but... on ratings pages for individual comments, the names of raters link to a page http://www.mydd.com/user/uid:# where # is the UID number. If a user has ever rated a post you can find their UID this way without being an administator, using a circuitous route leading through their user page.

Like I say, if you care. I rather like the fact that this information is harder to find now than it used to be (prior to the last major site upgrade). Reduces the temptation to judge comments by seniority instead of content.

by arenwin 2006-07-21 07:42PM | 0 recs
Thank you

Most excellent tip, found out I'm 8935, was hoping for a lower number, but hey, it happens.

by Pitin 2006-07-21 11:16PM | 0 recs
Re: What's my User ID?

UID 2853, not bad.

by Robert P 2006-07-22 05:23AM | 0 recs
I can't believe I forgot that.

# 359 incidentally.

which is hilarious since my kos user id is 5761

I didn't register for awhile, I wanted to see if this "internet" thing was going to last first :)
-C.

by neutron 2006-07-22 12:23PM | 0 recs
Re: What's my User ID?

I've already wasted an hour on this, and I can't for the life of me figure out MY user ID.  HELP!

by CarrieCann 2006-07-22 03:17PM | 0 recs
Re: What's my User ID?

6948

by Jerome Armstrong 2006-07-22 03:47PM | 0 recs
Re: What's my User ID?

THANKS!

by CarrieCann 2006-07-22 03:52PM | 0 recs
Holy Moly - I got up early that morning

I have an unbelievably low MyDD UID - but didn't become a TU until just recently, I just wasn't posting enough here to trigger the algorithm. Worrying about either UID or TU status gets you nowhere, the only real question for a blog commenter is "Can you hear me now" and even that is a mixed bag.

Are you better off posting a comment and having nobody reply but having a bunch of people throwing you a high rating? Gratifying to be sure but a little frustrating when you are trying to establish a dialog. On the other hand any comment of mine that has established a long string of replies generally means I have spawned a flame war or three.

As for the dKos 'community', well I have to confess that I am with famous restaurant reviewer Yogi Berra "Nobody goes there anymore, it is too crowded". (extended riff about the early days deleted). I think MyDD is striking about the right balance, if you have a point you can make it heard and that is true whether your UID is in two digits or five.

by Bruce Webb 2006-07-22 05:09AM | 0 recs
Re: That didn't work out

Too bad the rollover/ID thing isn't working, I'd be interested in knowing mine.  My dKos ID is #268, but IIRC I was reading Jerome some time before I found Kos.

by Ed Fitzgerald 2006-07-23 07:42PM | 0 recs
Re: That didn't work out

Your user id is 123.

by Jonathan Singer 2006-07-23 08:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

Chris, this is one time where I disagree with you.  I think there is definitely a real community, but that it is organized around what you might call "professional values."  I agree that our communications and our bonds seem less intimate than at other community sites, but I also get a level of "productive" satisfaction from MyDD that I never get from any other blog.  I think that what your average user gets from the experience is different than at other blogs, but it might just be because what we are looking for is different as well.

by Patton 2006-07-21 06:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

From a personal point of view, and not meaning to sound disrespectful or snarky. (I'm not trying to be but some of this is not totally complementary).  

If I want to get an emotional pick-me-up, I wander over to DailyKos and read some of the red meat articles and comments.  There is a lot of Rally Round the Flag there and a kind of mob mentality.  It has it's place in the political arena, and is skillfully used by Kos and the other front pagers to focus attention and direction.

If I want to understand an issue, I go to MyDD.  It takes time and patience to wade through some of those detailed posts that analyze from A to Z.  MyDD takes a critical look at things, and discusses how to fix it or make it better as needed.

To demonstrate the tone, take two titles from yesterday, both discuss the same subject. Can you guess without peeking which article came from which blog? (A) DSCC KILLS NRSC in June fundraising, GOoPers lied about numbers and (B) Q2 Fundraising Numbers
See what I mean?

The discussion on MyDD is reasoned and reasonably polite, as opposed to DailyKos where everyone is standing on their soap box yelling at the top of their lungs to be noticed.  

It flat out takes work to wade through some of the posts, but the smaller audience here understands that they need to do the work to win the campaign.

I guess if you wanted to put it in quasi military terms, DailyKos is like a political Boot Camp.  MyDD is the War College.  Perhaps that explains why MyDD has an inordinate amount of quoted material in the MSM as compared to the traffic the site gets.

Hopefully, I haven't offended anyone.  There is a large place for both disciplines in the blogsphere, and both are vital.

by NvDem 2006-07-21 06:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

 No offense....without knowing it, I agree with you almost to the word.

 There's something about Daily Kos that fuels the juices -- my postings over there seem to be more inspired, as the red-meat crowd feeds off each other. Then I step back and come here for a more dispassionate look at things.

 Kos is our id. MyDD is our ego.

by Master Jack 2006-07-21 06:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

I think this is why I'm partial to my DD:  I distrust the unbridled passion writ on the Kos site.    I have never forgiven the passionate "Clean for Gene [McCarthy]" supporters who sat on their hands in '68 and brought us Richard Nixon as a result.

And then, I suppose, there is the distinction between warriors and soldiers, transposed to the political arena.  100 soldiers will generally beat 1000 warriors through discipline, training, and team work.

As the final exhibit, Bush, may he rot in Hell, governs on the basis of how he feels, unmediated by reality-based intrusions.

by InigoMontoya 2006-07-21 08:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

We "Clean Gene" folks did NOT sit on our hands in '68.  What we did not know was the "Process" of politics.  We turned out in masses for Gene McCarthy only to be derailed by the Bobby Kennedy machine who said if Gene can do it, we can too.  After Kennedy was assasinated,(sp?) the Big Demo Machine really rolled into action for Humphrey. So, in effect, the DNC gave us Nixon.

All the blog sites urge action, participation, etc., but no where do I see any practical advice as to how the Process from the grassroots up the chain occurs.  The Process varies in each state and yes, it would behoove each of us to inquire how it works where we live, still a simple Primer might help.  The bottom line in politics is that if a candidate does not have enough delegates at the National Convention, he/she will not be nominated or even be able to be a challenger.

That said, I most like MyDD because it is quietly informing instead of shouting all the time.  This is my first and last stop.  And speaking of stop -my comments always seem to be the last one on any topic...  Gloomy Gus

by JFinNe 2006-07-22 03:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

 I love MyDD. It's my lead tab when I fire up Firefox -- Americablog is second, and Kos is third.

 Every progressive blog brings something different to the table. MyDD is where I come for procedural developments within the Democratic Party, for the best micro-analysis of local races, and for strategic and tactical discussion. It's also got the best net-neutrality coverage, thanks to Matt. Americablog is more for House and Senate happenings and the best anti-Bush and anti-Republican polemics, Kos is for issues and general discussion, Talking Points Memo for elegance, Digby for sheer analytical brilliance, Atrios for snark. Not that there isn't plenty of overlap among the big blogs (and several others just as important), but that's sort of how they shake for me.

 I enjoy MyDD's relative intimacy, too, and the main posters' willingness to comment along with us. And it's a tougher crowd when it comes to rating posts, which challenges me to put more thought into what I write.

 I'm no political professional, though I'm running for a spot on the Frederick County (MD) Central Committee this year.

  I post on Kos as "Buzzer". I took the name Master Jack, which I prefer and I use everywhere else, out of a creepy late-sixties pop song...

by Master Jack 2006-07-21 06:24PM | 0 recs
Atrios for snark

Eschaton was the first blog I read and remains my favorite for its superious snark, not just Atrios, but the commments too. Just all around fantabulous snark.

by Alice Marshall 2006-07-21 07:08PM | 0 recs
Net Neutrality

Good point on net neutrality.  Matt has done a tremendous job on that topic.  I knew nothing about its impact before he started posting on it.

by John Mills 2006-07-21 07:13PM | 0 recs
I knew there was a reason I liked you...

Simply put, I am not, and have never been, very good with people. I think it has led to the premature end of most of my romantic relationships. Even in college, high school, and earlier, I was never the popular kid. In fact, I never even achieved the distinction of not being a total nerd.

My goodness, that sounds familiar to me...

But to the subject, I don't know if MyDD needs to be a "community" site. You can't be all things to all people, and there are plenty of community sites out there. One of the things I like here is that, although less than in the past, there is a loose community of familiar diarists/commenters. But the information is the focus, not the interaction between community members. I don't think I've been called any names here, where as I have other places. That's a plus. People tend to agree/disagree with the ideas more than the author here, which I like.

Another aspect that I've appreciated, and been the greatful recipient of, is the front page. I think I've barely had 2 or 3 posts on the rec list at dKos, and here you or Matt have put me on the front page several times. That's really something I have admired about this place - the front page is something often shared with those in the community. I think in this respect, MyDD is more a "community" blog than many others.

Don't over think yourself and just keep doing what you're doing. And while you're at it, quit slacking and get back to the rediculous posting rate you used to have. Geez...

by michael in chicago 2006-07-21 06:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

I am relatively new to blogging, and have been reading Daily Kos, The Huff Post, and myDD fairly regularly.   I probably check Daily Kos once or twice a day.  Occasionally I post.  I never comment.

Here is my impression of your words.  You're right.  There is definately more of a community spirit at Kos - and others.  But I actually get a better "grip" on what progressives are struggling with here.  It is "more professional".  I am a lefty, but the knee-jerk extremism at Kos - again, only for example - gets me annoyed.  Look at it this way:  there's a lot to skip on these community - oriented blogs.  That is not so here:  I visit it less, but then I read ALL of it.  

Keep up the good work.  Try to be disproportionately influential even more.  That is an amazing accomplishment.  This is very important for you to understand:  I visit Kos twice (or more) everyday and skip a lot.  I visit you every other day or so, but read it all.

Numbers don't lie, but they rarely tell the truth, either.

by medicinehill 2006-07-21 06:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

I think there is a vastly better signal-to-noise ratio here than at Kos. This venue and Swing State Project are less diffuse and rambling, and I like both. The focus on electoral topics also suits my interests. If I want general commentary on social problems or economics or law there are places to go, for that.

I do sometimes feel as if there's a bit of a shortage here of feedback, but I don't necessarily mean by that that front-pagers should feel an obligation to do more of that.

The pace at Kos can be too frantic. I don't make any attempt to follow all the topics there. I read nearly all of MyDD.

by Christopher Walker 2006-07-21 06:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

I agree 100% with you, and NvDem. I occasionally check what's going on over at DK, but it's not really for me.  I like electoral issues, and political philosophy/strategy, and simply reasoned analysis that I only find here.  I want to participate more (posts and comments), but only if I really have something to add. I really want to be signal, and not noise.

I'm also a huge fan of Chris Bowers, because of the exact 3 things that draw me most to MyDD.  While I check out or skim every front page post here to make sure I don't miss anything, I never skim his articles.  I always read them carefully, because there's always a lot to get out of them.

Finally, I have always been a nerd, and always will be, but to my great surprise I am now happily married, and have been for almost 2 years.  I can't say I know you, Chris, but it sounds in this post that you are just being a little too hard on yourself. Things will work out. (With Matt, I'm sure, if no one else.)

by bruorton 2006-07-21 07:19PM | 0 recs
for what it is worth.

Since the very beginning, I have always felt more "at home" here, then in any other blog on the 'sphere. Including kos.

Since I am a lazy bones jones I have a tendency to cross post, but on the whole the reactions over here tend to be more well thought out and positive, albeit more sparse.

Mydd isn't for everybody, but the people that it is for really, really appreciate it.

-C.

by neutron 2006-07-21 06:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

Take this for what it's worth as I very rarely comment here, but I enjoy this blog even though I don't get off on the "inside baseball" aspect of politics.

Me, I'm bored by statistics, polling, district analysis, and all the rest.  That's the reason that I dissolved the political action committee I founded and acted as treasurer for in 2004.

From that experience I learned that I'm more interested in the meta, meta of politics - the big ideas.  I appreciate what people like you and others on this blog do (because it's folks like you who get people like me in positions where we can work on the big ideas), but it's not how I'm comfortable contributing to political discourse.

Having said all that, I come here about once a day to get a detailed analysis of particular topics of interest to me.  For example, I wholeheartedly agreed with your post on the "elections are rigged, it's time to give up" people.  As a matter of fact, I had just given a speech very similar to your diary to a co-worker of mine who's a fraudster.  I basically told him that if he wasn't willing to work to change things then he wasn't allowed to talk to me anymore and we haven't spoken since.  ;)

It would be nice, though, if you could find a bit of extra time to participate in comments.  I know it's a lot of work, but it really helps dispel the sense that one is receiving a message from on high.

My two cents.

by TX Expat 2006-07-21 07:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

Kos is the Comdex of lefty blogospher, MyDD is more like PARC.

by Alice Marshall 2006-07-21 07:11PM | 0 recs
Chill !

dkos is a mob, lemmings on its best days and its best days are in the past.  Not something to emulate.  

But I believe the dkos draw, like the movies, is not the insight or intellectual content but the emotional content, everyone having the heebie jeebies about TU status, ratings, flame wars etc.  I'm not really interested in that.  But some of the non-political stuff is also a draw....saturday garden Blogging, darksyde's science stuff (esp katrina), even the breathless,  "this just in, stop the presses, BREAKING" reports are kind of fun at times.  

WE are often here because we like politics, and for many of us that means it 's fun, it's our Yankees, our 49rs etc.

So if you are looking for volume builders, and I assume that is your point w/ reg to "community spirit" look to positive, constructive variety, at least to some extent. I really like Matt Stoller's stuff even when I don't agree with him or think he is a little overheated like with the Lieberman campaign meltdown story.

I think the community spirit here is nice, and because it's a bit more cerebral, safer.  To me MYDD is like grad school was atmosphere wise, and dkos more like high school.  Sophomoric, if you will.

Keep doing what you are doing.

by NorCalJim 2006-07-21 07:13PM | 0 recs
Chris wants more MyDD community?

Maybe he needs a big group hug!

-bolson, usually just a lurker reading the interesting posts

by bolson 2006-07-21 07:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-Hat

I really enjoyed the fireside feel of this post. It made for a nice foil to the regular fare...even though the regular fare is why I do read, still, foil is pretty cool. Especially the thick stuff, although it's annoying when that zippy teeth thing starts coming off of the box, and all your sheets end up ripped and ragged. So...yeah. Thanks.

by Nezua Limon Xoloquinta Jonez 2006-07-21 07:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

This is by far my favorite site. I stopped visiting Kos sometime last fall. It just got too bulky, and wasn't that interesting to me anymore. I have a family, I don't really need an online family. MyDD suits me much better as I am a huge politics nerd and actually love reading about nuts and bolts campaign issues. Not just because I like to read about that, but because I want to LEARN about that and put it to use in campaigns. Like the discussion about GCI that's been going on. There are professionals leading that discussion from the PIRGs and what-not that do know their shit. I know I can ask their opinion on how they would change the fundraising canvass model versus the GOTV model. Maybe they'd be at Kos too, but who's to say they wouldn't get lost in all the zillions of comments. Who's to say their discussion would ever see the light of day?

There is also a lot less of posting of newspaper blurbs and then responding with some short and pithy statement like, "unbelievable" (Armando was the king of those). That gets pretty old.

One more example of this, I think my favorite series of posts of all time on any blog ever was the series that Chris did chronicalling his successful runs for precinct leader and for a spot on the state central committee. The most exciting thing wasn't necessarily the fact that he won (of course that was awesome) but the process he took to get there. The on-the-ground campaign, the internal politics, the ORGANIZING.

And that's probably why I like MyDD the most. I want to organize this party from the ground up (not just create an online community) to establish a progressive governing majority to create a better life for all people.

MyDD helps me do that.

by adamterando 2006-07-21 07:32PM | 0 recs
Defensive comment alert!

Our room at the FDL caucus was packed to overflowing, standing room only.

Got to stand up for my family.

by Pachacutec 2006-07-21 07:33PM | 0 recs
Stoller is great.

I love it when he takes down John McCain.

by Sam Loomis 2006-07-21 07:53PM | 0 recs
the "right" people

If it helps, Chris, you might replace the word "professional" with "effective" . . . lots of "professional" people are hacks, and they're not the type this blog attracts so much. What makes this place different from more populous sites is, as I pointed out under your "threat" thread a while back, that MyDD has a mission.

This place is not defined by the audience as much as sites that are just sort of there. There's not as much of a presumption that the mob rules and whoever's loudest, wins. People don't feel as entitled to gang up on dissenters, because there's a discernible -- if vaguely defined -- goal which underlies the postings and discussions that dominate the debate here. It's not about ranting or venting or bitching or hating on Rove or yelling DLC . . . It's about winning elections.

Even as a devoted non-partisan, I have a lot of respect for the focus you guys keep on the necessary issues, and I'm sure that's the source of your "disproportionate" influence. You (collectively) are not particularly funny, or warm and fuzzy, or even right all the time . . . just disciplined. And that makes a huge difference.

So. Yeah. F@ck online communities. We already have communities. Think of this as a situation room. (A real one, not that video cell they lock Blitzy in.)

by catastrophile 2006-07-21 08:07PM | 0 recs
Re: the "right" people

Cat

I always like hearing your voice. HC

by HCLiberal 2006-07-21 08:28PM | 0 recs
damn right n/t

by arenwin 2006-07-21 08:34PM | 0 recs
Re: the "right" people

I don't mind being called a political professional... I prefer "operative", though. :)

I couldn't agree more with the rest of it, however. I am always appreciative of the higher level of rationality here. dKos can drive a person insane at times.

by steveolson 2006-07-22 06:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

Don't change a thing (at least don't sweat the community part) -- MyDD is a unique place in left Blogistan. I find it interesting how different blogs -- especially community blogs -- provide a different take on the same subjects. I find the take here to be wonkier than most, but not hard to follow for this non-political type (can I say that anymore?)

by musicsleuth 2006-07-21 08:11PM | 0 recs
MyDD is smaller

Commenting on dailykos seems like pissing in the ocean.  There are so many comments, only a few hard-core people with way too much time on their hands will ever read it.  Plus I got banned there for something other (could have been automatic, I have no idea) so whatever.

Not everything thing has to be a 'community', plus this site is so tied in with Kos.  I'm sure most people who post and read here at least read there.

by delmoi 2006-07-21 08:19PM | 0 recs
I got banned for supporting Lieberman

Can you believe it?   I find it highly out-wag-us.  A democrat banned for supporting a democrat.  .... And doing it in a reasoned, civil tone.   Thats says a TON about Kos, and his site, if you ask me.

by dpANDREWS 2006-07-22 08:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

FWIW, I don't know exactly how to define a community.  But what I see here includes -

- People coming together consistently over an extended period of a time for a broadly common purpose.

- Just enough long-term users to provide institutional memory; but a steady enough stream of new users to avoid this place becoming an echo chamber.

- A project that a lot of people invest a lot of energy in - not just front page posters.

- Someplace with enough stability of... let's call it "tone" that it still mostly feels like the same place now as it did when I posted my first comment.

by arenwin 2006-07-21 08:25PM | 0 recs
Meta/Macro/Micro-MyDD

Meta/Macro/Micro-MyDD --

There were 4 posts when I came up with this title, and the are 4 gazillion now . . .

MyDD is like a Graduate Seminar, compared to dKos -- which ranges from a Freshman Seminar to a Junior High food fight.

I like MyDD because it deals with politics on all three levels -- Meta, Macro, and Micro. It's late, I'm tired, and deconstructing the differences between the three is too much for now -- but MyDD does all three.

by ck 2006-07-21 08:44PM | 0 recs
Why I post here

As a DNC member, I want people to know what the DNC meetings are about, and I always post about them here, because it feels like the people who read myDD are interested. Many people don't understand how it functions (or doesn't), and one of my goals is to make it more transparent.

I also like myDD because of the lack of flame wars. (Although Matt and Jerome and I did get into quite a slugfest when they got asked to leave a DNC meeting in Orlando:-).

And, I agree, people on this blog seem to also be out doing something. It's easy to waste a lot of time reading "me too" comments when you could be canvassing, phoning, or taking over your local party. Politics is hard work, and I would love to see more people getting away from their keyboards and out into the streets.

Speaking of which, are you planning to take part in the Democratic Reunion?

by Jenny Greenleaf 2006-07-21 09:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Why I post here

Exactly! The underlying goal at MyDD is to establish a progressive governing majority. Not to bitch about Republicans or whatever else irks us. And we (or at least I) LIKE hearing about DNC meetings!

by adamterando 2006-07-22 04:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Why I post here

...people on this blog seem to also be out doing something. It's easy to waste a lot of time reading "me too" comments when you could be canvassing, phoning, or taking over your local party. Politics is hard work, and I would love to see more people getting away from their keyboards and out into the streets...

Bingo.

MyDD will have achieved perfection of purpose in the weeks leading up to the general election if site visits skyrocket and the number of lengthy comments and diaries plummet.

It's 108 days to the general election. If you haven't already done so, find a candidate you can support and volunteer to help their campaign. Do something, anything.

by Michael Bersin 2006-07-22 06:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

Maybe it's just because I'm a blogger myself, but I totally appreciated this post of yours and I think it's right on the mark. A comment I've made about Burnt Orange Report is that 'our readers are leaders' and that makes a world of difference.

by KTinTX 2006-07-21 09:46PM | 0 recs
Maybe because I'm tired and a li'l tipsy but...

The comments at DKos really read like a dialog, you can feel like you have a conversation with people. At MyDD, I feel like we all make speeches most of the time.

MyDD is like a lecture series (you whisper to the people around you, and you take your turn up at the mic for questions) DKos is like an open forum where you can stand up and shout something and then the speaker and you discuss, and maybe someone else stands up and chimes in with a different point.

I think they're both valuable. You said you're not a people person Chris, so the question is, do you want MyDD to be more... Meta?

by MNPundit 2006-07-21 09:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

I'm coming in at the tail end of this conversation, but I thought I'd throw in 2 cents.

I've noticed that the community loose.  Not that I read the comments every day, but I rarely notice the same names.  But who cares?

MyDD is the only blog I'm reading consistently these days.  I used to read TPM, and I'd check in on Ed Kilgore's blog, and a few other single bloggers.  I never got into DailyKos, but I occasionally check out DU for the Top Ten Conservative Idiots (which rarely disappoints).  

And for a while, I was reading and commenting regularly at tpmcafe, which is Josh Marshall's forum spin off.  Tpmcafe might be said to have a "community," but I sure as hell don't know what good it is.  The way you end up with a community is by having poorly researched and poorly thought out ideological posts.  That's the point of a lot of progressive blogs:  just to get more opinions out there.  And when you get the opinions going, people react to the smallest thing; trying to correct small errors in thought or logical or ideological inconsistency.  So, commenters vent their spleen, and it's satisfying so they come back the next day to do it again.

But what a lot of people don't notice is that even the opinion of the original poster doesn't get any play anywhere and even that original opinion doesn't change anything.  So, then you have hundreds of people screaming in the wind against a post that was itself screaming in the wind.  It's a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing.  

MyDD, however, is actually focussed on winning the battles that will bring about the change we need in this country.  That's what I like about it.  That's why I read it.  And I certainly don't need a community to make it better.

If you all want to do something to create a community, then go for it, but don't sacrifice what you already have.

And that's my 2 cents.

by Reece 2006-07-21 10:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

None of of "superblogs" stand for anything progressive or liberal - economic issues that allowed working Americans to raise their families in dignity used to be the foundation of liberal and progressive politics - even Kansas once had a progressive tradition.  Shouldn't surprise anyone - liberals and progressives used to talk about the issues that directly affected the quality of life of their families.

Not anymore - this dialog is banned or flamed at atrios, fdl, kos, americablog, digby, and the rest of the crowd.  I will give TPM some credit - at least he actually follows up on issues like SS and uses his site as a set of REAL RESOURCES to hold politicians accountable.

The rest is just snark and punditry - usually wrong.  Witness fdl - they blogged about fitzmas, wrong virtually all the time, and the circle of links created the illusion that they were experts!  Fools won a koulfax for a "series" that was based on fantasy!

LOL - nothing liberal to see there, keep moving, nothing to see, move along...

by redaxe2 2006-07-22 02:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

Back that up.

Name some FDL reporting that was wrong.  It wasn't perfect, but it was more right than anyone else out there, relying on Murray Waas.  It was more right than WaPo or NYT, or any of the cable talking heads.  
If you think FDL ever joined the Truthout bandwagon, then you only prove you've never been a reader of FDL.

by Pachacutec 2006-07-22 01:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

Just so you know, I read the comments.

by Matt Stoller 2006-07-21 11:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

Dont you people ever sleep?

by Winston Smith 2006-07-21 11:22PM | 0 recs
Your influence extends well beyond

your own daily counts.

Basically you are too big to be a community. DKos is not a community either for that reason. But there has to be a place where everyone goes and Kos got that job, God bless him. After that there are those whose work we respect and that's Mydd. Then after that if your members stay small enough you can have some kind of community, or maybe sets of overlapping communities.

by Jeff Wegerson 2006-07-21 11:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

You mean that faux advertise liberally circle jerk of links?  The "holiday inn express" experts at FDL and the 24/7 fitzmas coverage.

Nothing liberal, nothing progressive, just the same crew screaming "look at me, look at me!" and providing an endless set of links back and forth to create the illusion that they have something to say.

And then taking credit for the work that others do in actually getting something done - yeah right, meta kos...

by redaxe2 2006-07-22 02:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD Community?

Chris,
If you want to see MyDD become more like a community,  then you need to allow and encourage a broader scope of communications.

In the old Dragnet series, I think it was, a regular feature of the show was that one of the main characters would always say, apropos of nothing obvious, "Which reminds me Ed, how's your Mom?"

In other words, if we want to build community, there needs to be more "chit chat." But do you really want that? I think it helps when the front page bloggers allude to what's happening in their personal lives-- on a limited basis.

It may be that MyDD gets the traffic it does precisely because there's not so much chit chat.

I think that the chit chat is important at the local level, where people can meet face to face. I'm not sure its so important at the national level.

Bob in HI

by Bob Schacht 2006-07-22 08:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD Community?

exactly ... like some blogs chat about gardens. cats. science .... Our repartee is more subtle. You gotta love the star trek (or was it star wars or princess bride) theme. And what happened to the book club? We could actually read the copy of Storming the castle (oops) that we bought. Just kidding. Really.

by misscee 2006-07-22 03:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

Honestly, MyDD is my favorite political blog. I read DK, of course, but I find a lot of front page posts hyperbolic. I enjoy when kos does actual analysis, but I get a lot more of that here.

However, I am a political professional, and I currently read 10-15 blogs a day, plus various news sources... so I very rarely take the time to get involved in the community. I probably only even read the comments on less than 10% of the posts I read either here or DK. I almost never read comments on Eschaton. (which I realize leaves me at a disadvantage over there on the in-jokes.. it was months before I had a clue who Holden was, let alone why he kept getting ponies).

And I imagine that someone like me is more likely to be interested in the types of posts that usually are on the front page here. And, like me, a lot of us have it in our RSS reader, read it, enjoy it, and move on, without a lot of thought to a MyDD community.

In fact, I'm more likely to comment on non-political blogs (for instance, I read a few Unitarian Universalist blogs, as I attend a UU congregation, and find myself commenting on them from time to time). If MyDD has a higher percentage of political professionals reading than kos, perhaps there's a lot of us who talk politics all day at work, and just don't find a need to get involved in the conversations here.

Or maybe I'm just a narcissist who's trying to project my personality on the group. Who knows ;).

by Satori 2006-07-22 08:31AM | 0 recs
Not a clique or a group of like minded zombies

Thats what I like about this site.  Because it doesn't fall into the traps that many sites do, it stays on topic.  

It hasn't become an online circle of friends that dominate the site, or worse, go off topic, talking about football or golf.  Also, doesn't end up being some cult-like follow the leader noise machine.  

Because you have avoided the pitfalls that so many others fall into, the posts on your site are better.  I see less of the childish nonsense here, that you see on many other sites, right and left.

by dpANDREWS 2006-07-22 08:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

I don't know if I would like this site as much if it became DailyKosLite.  I like that the opinions expressed here have more of a "bite" to them, and we are not as likely to march in lockstep to the ideas or concepts of one individual diarist.

My very first ever diary, which was my very first ever entry on by blog, was front-paged on MyDD.  

I wouldn't mess with the formula.

by CarrieCann 2006-07-22 09:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

I feel like the ultimate lurker here at MyDD. I have a uid of 764 but I began reading much earlier than that. During the summer of 2002 I was googling for commentary on the Gerlach/Wofford race in PA-6 my home district and stumbled across MyDD's House rankings. Ever since then I was a regular reader except for the shutdown period.

MyDD opened me up to other blogs namely Dkos. I do agree that MyDD lacks a strong community feeling. On Dkos, you could post a diary about your lost cat and elicit an outpouring of sympathy and include a memorial of pictures and youtube clips of the cat. On MyDD, we can not wait for the next essay on the changing progressive infrastructure that is being built. I do not intend to criticize Dkos, as I visit everyday. Dkos and MyDD are just naturally different.

I rarely comment or post for a couple reasons. First, I spend about 4 or 5 hours awake at home during the day. So when I finally sit down at 8pm, I end up reading the last 18 hours worth of content. Usually, everything that could be said has been said by that time. When it comes to commenting, the sheer volume of Dkos means that a comment is less visible. If it is a worthy comment, it gets rated high and likewise for the reverse. Here on MyDD, some posts only receive 15 or 20 comments. I feel that my comment better be up to a certain intellectual level here and not waste readers' time.

I could be wrong, but I think the organization and leadership at MyDD breed richer content and discussion. Just my two cents...

by Matt42 2006-07-22 09:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

Just a couple of points:

1. MyDD is the best blog in the known universe.

2. I know Chris can see better stats than me, but:

About one-third of our users signed up from September 2004 until November 2004

Doesn't look quite right since user 5000 was started on Dec. 28, 2004

3. Speaking of that time frame, remember how many people started accounts to talk smack about the DNC chair's race and have since disappeared.

4. I think any meta-conversation about MyDD needs to pay tribute to Jerome scoring the 2004 exit poll results -- I remember immediately cutting and pasting into email because I knew the servers were about to be farked to death

5. Remember back when Stoller wouldn't even post a comment for weeks but would promote diaries to the front page?

6. I don't know for sure, but I think it might be my fault that users can no longer upload files

7. The easiest way I've found to check a user's ID # is if they have rated a comment

8. I wish Scott would come by and post some diaries on what is going on in New Jersey

9. What happened to Stoller's plot against College Democrat dorks?

10. Stoller and Bowers can't be gay lovers since neither exist and both user accounts are Jerome posting under different names.

by Bob Brigham 2006-07-22 09:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

So you know, mydd is my favorite poli blog, my mother's favorite p.b., and my father's favorite p.b. The netroots is at its most effective, I tend to think, if different sites play different roles.

by sb 2006-07-22 11:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

I think DailyKos is really a site for the grassroots -- people who are interested in politics, may have volunteered in the past, but have really never gotten in the game.  MyDD is a grasstops site, where those involved have at least some experience in politics at the professional level.  For that reason, I prefer MyDD over DailyKos.  But it also means this site will never reach the same level of people as DailyKos, nor have the same movement-like feel.  On the other hand, MyDD will probably be more influential, as many of us actually have some idea what we're talking about.

by Jim Treglio 2006-07-22 02:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD
It's much more of a community than you think.  Recently you discussed the level of the comments on mydd and someone said that overall there were a great many substantive and interesting contributions here, and I think that is true.
It's already a community -- it's just a matter of how you think about it yourself-- and how many of us readers think about it.  I think it feels more like a community than some of the blogs with a huge readership.  
by syolles 2006-07-22 05:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

Two comments:

1. Many people I know appreciate MyDD because it is a more data-driven, professional, button-down (Spock) site, compared to the irrational, emotional Kos, etc (Kirk) sites . I'd continue to push that aspect; it's a unique and much needed niche.

2. All this slagging off of the other sites (Kirk) in the comments to this post is not healthy for anyone. Can the pro-MyDD factions please acknowledge that Kirk has a valid role in the left blogosphere (though he'd die without Spock)?

And if that's not geeky enough for you, Chris, well, I tried. :)

by lightyearsfromhome 2006-07-22 08:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

The funny thing is that when asked I say the three most important sites on the progressive side are currently MyDD, Americablog ... and FDL, which got slagged a lot above.

FDL gets things done.  They get it done in part because they know how to use emotion.  Anyone who underestimates Christy, Jane, Pach and the rest can expect to get their ass handed to them on a platter.

MyDD is the right type of blog, and has the right type of community for what it does.

by Ian Welsh 2006-07-22 09:50PM | 0 recs
Ooh, it just struck me

that with all the analytical "blogosphere" posts that I've seen here, maybe MyDD's meta is more of a whole-blogosphere meta. . . rather than talking about the culture of this particular blog, you talk about the culture of the whole Dem-blog community. As if the site itself has a meta-blogosphere theme.

Yes? No?

In any event, I've used up my quota for uses of the "word" "meta" for a year or two. So that's something, anyway.

by catastrophile 2006-07-22 11:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

Terrific post! I'm one of those low ID numbered Kos readers (683) that everybody over at DailyKos thinks means something.  Personally, it just means I've had no life longer than most.

Fwiw, I've never fit in with the cool crowd, either.  I cringed painfully when Jane Hamsher was musing the other day about hanging out at the Mabuhay Gardens in San Francisco.  I was there when she was and couldn't ever figure out how to dress, walk or talk cool enough to even get in their doors.  Welcome to my world.

Everybody at YaerlyKos was a celebrity to me.  I gawked, drooled and stood in awe over everyone, including the maintenace crew, for 4 days.  I still wonder why we're not all still there thinking and speaking the great thoughts of the day, scarfing up monumentally expensive coffee, sitting on the floors with our laptops and just hugging each other all day.  

I'm a 51 year old smart, articulate and very left woman and that's enough.  I'll leave the social sparkling to others.  Keep up the good fight, Chris.  I'm listening.

by vachon 2006-07-23 07:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

I'm with you.  I've been a lurker for months, but have no idea what "meta" means.  Did you find out?  BTW, I read MyDD every day for the political info, having been a candidate, a paid staff member, and a volunteer for years.  

by ssm33 2006-07-23 06:45PM | 0 recs
Chris, Look on the Bright Side

This is a political professional's blog. It's not tea time, you don't have Rum and Coke Fridays (I love Rum and Coke Fridays, but they're not really for MyDD), and people don't spend their time sharing political cartoons (but if they wanted to, it'd be ok with me).

Everyone who is serious about making the progressive movement competitive and wants to become a better agent for that goal should read this site, and as long as they are, you are doing all you can hope to do. That you can bring even this much community to a group of people so unconcerned with non-business items is laudable.

This blog isn't supposed to serve the same purpose as kos is, and I'd say it's doing a damn good job at what it is meant to do.

by msnook 2006-07-23 07:11PM | 0 recs
Meta means...

Meta is a termed used to describe analysis or discussion about the blog itself, a sort of "internal review" if you will.

I might add, this is the greatest Meta thread I've read yet, on any blog.

Not sure where the term comes from though.

by Pitin 2006-07-23 07:29PM | 0 recs
Greek.

It's a common prefix, generally used to indicate a sort of elevation in state -- as in metaphysical, metamorphosis, or metastasis.

In blogging circles, however, it probably derived more directly from HTML meta-tags, which convey information about a document, as opposed to the content within a document.

</podium>

by catastrophile 2006-07-23 09:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

I think the reason that MyDD receives so many mentions in the news media must be at least in part due to the special relationship with Dailykos.  Ideas get developed here and once in a while get front-paged on DailyKos.  That is a huge megaphone effect.  You might say we are the brains and they are the braun, I guess, but I don't claim that I could out-simile the others above.  You know, Dailykos is like the battle scenes from Lord of the Rings, and MyDD is like the love scenes, etc.

Anyhow, I think it's pretty interesting, that MyDD and Dailykos are together reversing the slime-promoting tendencies of the rightist media machine.  Whereas in the conservative world slime gets bumped from Drudge to Fox News and so on, in the liberal world really high quality thoughts get bumped from MyDD or the DKos diaries to the front page/Diary Rescue.

I know, I know: we're better than the conservatives in so many ways, no need to boast about one more.  But I can't help it.

by Shai Sachs 2006-07-24 05:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Meta-MyDD

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by mananahoyt 2006-10-20 01:33AM | 0 recs

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