The Best Progressive Media Rises to the Top

Written with Tracy Van Slyke, The Media Consortium

As we head into the final days of this presidential campaign, one thing has become abundantly clear and perhaps it might even be the one thing people of all political parties could agree to - the coverage of the campaign and of the issues that matter the most to Americans has changed both dramatically and for forever.

Just think - in 2004, the online community of bloggers, political strategists and elected officials was just being born on a few small websites which hadn't yet grown into the mammoths they are today. Watch the latest ad on YouTube? Don't think so, it wasn't around either way back in 2004 when we all had to walk uphill both ways for five miles to get to our favorite sites.

However, as progressive and independent journalism has prospered and grown, the explosion of sources has created a different challenge for everyone following the races and their favorite issues - how do you possibly stay on top of all the top stories?

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Journal of the Flame Wars: Now Online

Cross Posted on Motley Moose

It's out. On popular request I'm letting you all know that my a version of my 'Journal of the Flame Wars' has now been published in Prospect Magazine .

As with all such articles, they get cut for length, subbed and simplified, and this is even more true in a British publication where the Netroots has to be explained as Blogosphere 101. There are a lot of things - a history of snark, mentions of other bloggers that have been cut because of length and complexity.

Sorry guys. I tried to mention a lot of you. But the editors found it confusing. It really needs a longer piece to get the whole story. Maybe I should write a book

I hope you enjoy despite this. In the fierce urgency of defeating McCain Palin, I don't want to reignite any unnecessary and ancient flame wars, so the only two issues I want to comment on are these...

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Get Mad. Get Even. And Punch 'Em In The Nose

What do you feel when you see this (warning, sick and wrong attack on Obama follows - click through at your own peril): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVLQhRiEX Zs

Angry? Incensed? Stay with that emotion and watch this next one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w613nayrY wo

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National Platform Lead Talks People-Powered Politics on Call

From the diaries, jerome

As many of you know, a diverse group of your fellow netroots compatriots collaboratively drafted a progressive political platform in hopes of articulating their shared goals and influencing the national platform process.  We sent it to Michael Yaki, the head of the National Platform Committee, and scheduled a conference call to discuss it.  After an hour of freewheeling conversation on the phone, Yaki had to cut out to attend to a call for his "paying job," but he was interested and excited enough about the project that he suggested we reconvene afterward.  We then spent another hour brainstorming ideas about where we might take this kind of project in the future.  

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the process, we used a completely open (anyone could join), transparent (you can see exactly how it was collaboratively built), and democratic (you can vote different original and remixed versions up or down) system to craft the platform.  We think the final, 29-page platform is pretty good for a first try, though we definitely came out with some lessons learned for next time.  But even more exciting than discovering our collective policy writing skills was embarking on a bold experiment in "open-source democracy."

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Book Review: Taking on the System, by kos

Taking on the System is a book that I have been waiting on for a long time -- and not just because I have been hearing about it from it from its more nascent stages here in Berkeley from kos, who gets full billing as Markos Moulitsas ZĂșniga on the book's cover.

Ever since I began devoting several hours a day to blogging about politics more than four years ago, and especially since I started writing professionally for MyDD nearly three years ago, I have been looking for a clear and concise way to explain to my family and friends just what I have been devoting so much of my time and effort to. Whenever I have been asked by a reporter or a Democrat of another generation or even a professor interested in politics about my ideology, or if I am some kind of crazy blogger insistent on a far left political orthodoxy, I have kindly explained that, no, my focus is more on electoral outcomes and bringing effective change than allowing the perfect to be the enemy of the good, all the while hoping that someone would write the tome laying out this pragmatic vision of direct action within the age of the Internet.

This is just that book.

In the 288 highly readable and very engaging pages of Taking on the System, which is released tomorrow, Markos lays out his eight rules for achieving progressive change within today's digital world. Far from just being a book for a bloggers, about bloggers, by a blogger, this is a book that is relevant far beyond the Netroots, or even the expressly political realm. It is a book that folks who don't spend hours a day on sites like MyDD or Talking Points Memo or Daily Kos can read, understand and thoroughly enjoy. Markos goes to great lengths to relate developments within society -- for instance the new open source ways in which new albums are reaching consumers, overturning some of the notions of unchecked and uncheckable powers of the gatekeepers in the music industry -- to changes within the political system that likewise have the capacity to make the country more democratic.

I know that I will be ordering a few copies of the book to give away to assorted friends and family, and I will also personally recommend it to a handful of professors to incorporate into their coursework this fall. But even if you're not at the place where you're looking to purchase multiple copies of a book you have not yet read to give to friends, I would nevertheless highly recommend you get a copy for yourself to see what it's all about. Whether you're someone relatively new to the Netroots, becoming more involved during this year's primaries or even more recently than that, or you're someone who remembers the flame wars on Daily Kos during the last Democratic primaries (or even points further ago in the past than that) -- or even if you just stumbled on this site because you were looking for the latest poll or political news but are not an out and out political junkie -- Taking on the System is a book you should buy and delight in reading.

Diaries

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