A Drupal-based DailyKos

Yesterday's post on the next steps forward, in light of Soapblox's near-meltdown, generated some very interesting suggestions and questions, and even a bit of a good old-fashioned programming language holy war, in the comment thread.  Alert reader Jon Pincus also pointed me to Pam Spaulding's very insightful thoughts about Soapblox.  Pam gets right to the heart of the matter in pointing out that the issue underlying this meltdown is money, or lack thereof.  Progressive bloggers aren't wealthy, and some of them failed to pay even Soapblox's reasonable monthly fees.

I do not think there will ever be a single, ideal blogging platform for all progressive bloggers, for the simple reason that each blogger will make her own decisions about where and when to post.  Soapblox may grow and thrive for a long time to come; I hope it does.  But I would also like to see the development of an alternative system that is every bit as easy to work with, and every bit as cheap, as Soapblox, but with a stronger technological foundation.  Ideally, I would like to see an alternative system that is more feature-rich, and capable of supporting the next wave of progressive organizing that is already beginning.

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SoapBlox meltdown and Drupal

This week Soapblox, the content management system and hosting platform of choice for many, many local progressive blogs, had a serious meltdown due to a massive hacker attack, and nearly collapsed. The attack on Soapblox immediately took down a huge chunk of the progressive blogosphere's infrastructure, and threatened catastrophe for the progressive movement, just as a new session of Congress and a new administration was getting started. The story was already covered ably at DailyKos, Open Left, and many other progressive blogs.  The consensus that appears to have emerged after a fairly short but very wide-ranging discussion is: it may make sense to transition to another system eventually; for now there is no readily available alternative; Soapblox is a shoestring operation run by a good progressive; so progressives should chip in to save Soapblox.

More on the meltdown, and how we can use this crisis as an opportunity, across the flip!

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Save Soapblox!

From the diaries - Todd

You know how some politicians are fond of saying "you can't solve a problem by just throwing money at it." Well, here is a problem you can solve by throwing money at it. Send in a contribution to save Soapblox now!.

Goal Thermometer

More in the extended entry.

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Getting (Really) Local

Local is where it's at. Promoted by Jerome

The evolution of netroots politics continues to fascinate. The big trend of the last 18 months has been the rise of the state-level blogosphere with community blogs like BlueJersey, AlbanyProject, RaisingKaine and MyLeftNutmeg, impacting state-level campaigns in much the same way as MyDD, Atrios and DailyKos made their presence felt in the Presidential primaries starting in 2003. (See Kid Oakland for some of the bestanalysis and reporting on this phenomenon.)

I've been waiting to see when the netroots would start hitting at the level of local races -- I've been watching Virginia because they've got odd year State Delegate and Senate Races. And sure enough the netroots IS impacting a local race, but it's way more local than I ever expected -- a Fairfax County supervisor's race. Local activists backing reform candidate Charlie Hall have managed to engage the statewide progressive blogosphere into coming in on their side via blogads, live blogging, posting a debate video, and have even set up a county-wide Soapblox site called ReformFairfax.com

The attention the bloggers have given the race has propelled it into the pages of the Washington Post. It's more than just a local race, it's the frontlines against suburban sprawl, out of control development and a cozy pay to play brand of politics that thrives out of public sight.

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Meet Phillip Anderson, the Albany Project

This is the second entry in what I hope to be a MyDD series I just named Hearing Progressive Voices, where I conduct interviews over instant messenger with people working at the heart of progressive politics. Last night, I typed with Phillip Anderson, a filmmaker, editor, and activist now with The Albany Project. If you were to design a political system from scratch with the goal of consolidating power in the hands of the very few, what you'd end up with might look at lot like New York's state legislature. Bills sail through both chambers unread. Empty seats are tallied as "yes" vote. Rank-and-file legislators have little agency and perhaps less accountability. In the words of one former state senator, "the system of governance in Albany is so broken that I don't believe it functions any longer as a representative democracy." The Albany Project's ambition is big -- to change the game and change the players. I spoke with Phillip about New York's "sad joke of a state government," how the roots of the problem reach back to FDR-era progressivism, and the Albany Project-plan for bringing change to the Empire State. Interview starts after the break.

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