Make Sure You Check Out the Diaries

For a while I did not feel much pressure to promote diaries. In fact, just two months ago there were so few diaries that I sometimes felt guilty for promoting a diary, as it would leave the front page faster than if I had just left it the diary section. However, our traffic level has picked up tremendously, and we now have around two-thirds of the level of daily traffic that Dailykos had during the first two months it switched to Scoop. As our traffic has risen, so has our diary production. In fact, over the last twenty-four hours alone, thirty diaries have been posted on MyDD.

I started my blogging career as a diarist at dailykos, and for a few months there was nothing that made my day more than having a diary promoted to the front page. Considering this, I always love it when I promote a diary here at MyDD, because I know exactly how good that feels. However, I can no longer promote a very high percentage of our diaries, just because there are so many of them. So, be sure to visit the diaries section regularly, because you will find some great news, analysis and thought provoking pieces. Don't be afraid to comment on some of the diaries either.

I still love the diaries section at dailykos because it functions as the best progressive news, analysis and direct action wire in the entire country (my apologies to Taegen Goddard's excellent Political Wire, Political Wire's extremely useful Southpaw blogwire, and Liberal Oasis's first-rate blogwire). I would love it if we could create another one here. For now, in addition to the traditional rules about no one line diaries, using the extended copy box for more than three paragraph diaries, and no more than two diaries a day per person, my only request is that you never post a diary title in all caps. That has always really annoyed me. :-)

The Power of Many

Christian Crumlish, or rather, xian (which is his internet identity), has written a book that I've been expecting. It a historical explanation of what's happened with politics through blogs and the internet, but goes beyond that, to a multitopical way of explaining the transformation.

We use technology to enhance the things we care about. What's happened online didn't really invent something new, it's merely revitalized the local community that's dissipated in this nation over the past century. That's really a concise explanation of why Dean for America's netroots during 2002-2003 happened, and why we continue here today beyond that moment. Xian has interviewed many of those that took part in the effort, showing what it meant to get politically involved locally through the internet, and becoming a decentralized movement that emerged into a collective power with Dean as a spokesperson. The book provides the reader an indepth look into the thoughts of those that shaped the technology that was used by the decentralized movement called Dean for America. But xian reaches beyond the political participation, and the tech-speak side of the blogosphere, into the greater community phenomenon that's happening online, and therein presents a much fuller grasp of what it all means and where it's all going. The political blogs reside within a greater sphere, if you will, and what we experience through political participation on Daily Kos, MyDD, and others, is happening with all sorts of issues and life topics on different parts of the internet. Issues such as group support, transactions, and identity. The book is rich with actual experiential description.

For us, blogging is the epicenter of all this that's happening toward a renewed democratic expression.  It is community, it is about action, it is about transforming the political system. It's through the real work of many that this will happen. In this book, xian does the historical work of putting the pieces together through interviewing many of those bloggers, techies, leading thinkers, and by sharing his own ordinary online experiences.

The Power of Many is a snapshot of this time, just as it's happened, describing the moment that the web reached critical mass and started to have a signficant impact on the real world.

Man, They Really Don't Get It

Journalists still think that bloggers want their jobs:Blogs Abuzz with Gossip in Caustic U.S. Campaign, By Mark Egan

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. presidential campaign between George W. Bush and John Kerry has prompted a frenzy of gossip and conspiracy theories among Internet bloggers, hybrid online sites that blend news, gossip and opinion.

That's partly true. Blogs do indeed blend news, gossip and opinion. However, he left out analysis, community and, most importantly, action. In fact, the action part is so hard for them to grasp that when they do mention it, it is simply seen as a sign of partisanship: Many bloggers have been so partisan that they have even raised money for the candidate of their choice -- something that has led most media watchers to take much of what appears on the sites with more than a grain of salt. I'll write this yet again: we make no pretensions of "objectivity," and we are not trying to replace traditional media. The left-wing political blogosphere has been, for quite some time now, an independent, collaborative, freeform news and analysis project that is geared primarily toward agitation and action. We are not trying to do the same thing that Reuters, CNN and the Washington Post claim to be doing. We are not just trying to present information and let those who consume it decide for themselves. Our content is actively geared toward political organizing.

Speaking of which, here is a list of polls to stuff tonight, and here is a list of emails for people and institutions you can contact. Here is a group fact-checking project for rapid response, and here is another collective, fact-checking, rapid response project.. You should bookmark them all. Three hours and counting.

BlogPac.org update with second ad sneak peak

The current BlogPac.org ad in Dallas DMA is going to run through election day there, on network channels like CNN and AOL online, targeting the 32nd CD. We've gotten back the first week's report, and the ad has a 1.81% interaction rate, which is about 8x's the industry average. We have a second ad now cut and slated to run in the Oklahoma media market beginning next week, with the final creative surrounding the video ad, and the placement to be finalized in the coming days. It's a rather large file currently, before it gets rendered for service, but if you've the means, here's a sneak peak (Quicktime).  I know, another hard-hitting ad, lol. We'll try and go positive on a Democratic candidates behalf for the next one (maybe).

Update: We are going to put the Ryan video from the House floor into Ohio for an online ad that's geo and demo targeted. Anything you can contribute will go toward telling Ohio voters the truth about Bush's lies in Iraq, and the truth about the draft; so, to BlogPac people.

Dems' Online Coup D'état

I really like the title of this CBS article: In an effort to manage the message, Democrats bombarded media websites with post-debate spin immediately following Thursday's Bush-Kerry face-off in Florida - and it apppears to have paid off.

In a survey of non-scientific online polls done by ten major media sites, Sen. John Kerry was running about 20 points better than in traditional, scientific polls. Though Kerry was solidly ahead in three traditional polls as well, in the online polls he was a landslide winner.

In an email prior to the debate, Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe urged the party faithful to "vote in online polls" as soon as the debate ended.

The email also urged Democrats to write to local newspapers and call radio talk shows. Major media website addresses were given. Democrats were implored to forward the message to "at least" ten other people.

Republicans, the McAuliffe email read, "stole the post-debate spin" in 2000, and "we are not going to let that happen again."

Post-debate, you guys raised the bar for online activism. By helping to develop talking points, bombarding polls and call-in shows, sending tens of thousands of letters and emails, busting up Republican conference calls, fact-checking and raising gobs of money for the DNC, you helped turn good post-debate spin into thunderous post-debate spin. Further, there can be little doubt that the way you impacted the spin contributed to Kerry's subsequent rise in the national polls. The rise in national polls has changed the media narrative on the campaign. Headlines about the Bush "lead" have been wiped away by stories of a Kerry surge and a campaign that is once again even. We are writing the narrative now.

Of course, while the Bush lead is now yesterday's news, starting on Tuesday Kerry's debate victory will also be yesterday's news. With two debates this week, we could either fall back to our pre-debate struggles or continue to surge ahead. With only thirty days left in the election, and with voting in most swing states starting in just two weeks, if we fall back this week we might not have a chance to recover.

So, let's get some good sleep tonight, but let's also start formulating our plan for Tuesday. What does Edwards need to do to win the debate against Cheney? I'd like to think that all Edwards really needs to do is stand next to Cheney, and the visual and audio will take care of itself. How could someone with the charm and eloquence of Edwards possibly lose to the cantankerous, gnarled Cheney?

To think that way would be to fall into the same trap Bush laid for himself on Thursday. Be warned: Edwards could very well lose this debate to Cheney. Cheney is working from a deeper grasp of the issues than Bush could ever dream of, and he brings a perceived gravitas to the table that the public still believes Edwards lacks. We can't let that be the narrative on Tuesday night or Wednesday. What does Edwards need to do win? Just as importantly, what do we need to do?

Diaries

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