Building progressive infrastructure

From the diaries--Chris

Someday, we'll look back on 2004, 2005, and 2006 as the time when progressives built the infrastructure - both online and off - to take back America.  

From ActBlue, to Gatheroo, to the Progressive Legislative Action Network, to the BlogAds Advertising Liberally network, to the New Politics Institute, to great national blogs like MyDD, Kos, Swing State, and countless others, we're all putting together the building blocks of the next great progressive movement.

This week, we're launching another one:  Every 10 minutes, LeftyBlogs scans over 600 local progressive blogs and looks for new stuff.  Then, on the website, it indexes it all - state by state.

In short, it's a very easy and very fast way for you to find out what's happening in the progressive blogosphere all across America. Want the latest on the Ohio pay-to-play scandal? Go to the Ohio page.  Want the latest on the Maryland governor's race? Go to the Maryland page.  You get the idea.

Come on over and check it out:  You'll be amazed at how rapidly you can get up to speed on what's going on in a particular state.  With LeftyBlogs, we're hoping to grow the progressive blogosphere at the local level - by helping blogs find their audience, and helping the audience find them.

And if you have a blog that's focused on local progressive stuff, be sure to add it to the index.  We're growing fast, and we want you in the mix.


Kari Chisholm, Mandate Media

[Cross-posted over at my personal blog, Politics & Technology.]

Tags: (all tags)



LeftyBlogs has an odd definition of state blog
From what I can tell, LeftyBlogs seems to categorize blogs not by what they cover, but by where the blogger happens to be located.  There's a blog in the Massachusetts section, BlueBus, that I'd never heard of.  Great, I thought, a new MA political blog?  But not, it's a national political blog.  I went through the archives specifically looking for some of the most significant events in recent MA politics, and there's no coverage of them at all.  Which leads me to wonder - how would LeftyBlogs categorize a group blog (with 2, 3, 4 or more regulars posting at the top level, and no one "head blogger") where the bloggers live in different states?

Unfortunately I couldn't easily find a way to contact LeftyBlogs to ask them about it.

It's a great idea, but I think mixing up blogs that cover a particular state with blogs that happen to be based there but don't cover it, dilutes the effectiveness of the state feed idea a lot.

by cos 2005-08-15 10:21AM | 0 recs
Re: LeftyBlogs has an odd definition of state blog
I agree with cos, there needs to be some better filtering/categorization.  But what I missed most wasthat I didn't see an RSS or XML link for each state ...

Did I just miss it or is this functionality not yet on the site?  

by prank monkey 2005-08-15 10:31AM | 0 recs
Re: LeftyBlogs has an odd definition of state blog
I think that there are still some kinks like this that need to be worked out.  I have exactly the same concerns regarding blogs that focus on national politics exclusively vs blogs that focus on the state scene.  How do you make the distinction, though?  While I generally talk about Massachusetts, I threw in a post about the 2006 RI Senate Race a few days ago.  

Then, there's the opposite problem: blogs that are focused too locally.  A bevy of posts on town council races is not likely to be valuable to people looking for information about the gubernatorial candidates...

by sco 2005-08-15 10:33AM | 0 recs
Re: LeftyBlogs has an odd definition of state blog
In case I sounded too negative, though, I think that this is a great endeavor.  Local bloggers really need to band together if they're going to increase their influence at all.
by sco 2005-08-15 10:34AM | 0 recs
Re: LeftyBlogs has an odd definition of state blog
cos - You're EXACTLY right.

The goal is to have blogs categorized by their topic material.  Generally speaking, I put the other blogs in a "national" category that isn't yet public.  (Those blogs will show up when we start topic-based channels.)

There are a few, like BlueBus, that have slipped through.  I'm working on catching those.

You should note that the home page feed attempts to only show the local content from blogs.  The state pages highlight the local stuff separately from the rest.  (Of course, it's keyword-based and automated, so there are glitches.)

Thanks for the thoughts!

by karichisholm 2005-08-15 12:25PM | 0 recs
Who pays your salary?  What do you do with the information?  Do you sell it?  Do you process it?
by goplies 2005-08-15 10:22AM | 0 recs
Re: ummm
goplies... I'm a self-employed political consultant and internet strategist.  Our clients are progressives.  You can learn more about me and my company at

And no, I'm not selling the information.  Everything that's collected you can see on the site.  

by karichisholm 2005-08-15 12:26PM | 0 recs
Re: ummm
cool beans :)
by goplies 2005-08-15 02:10PM | 0 recs
Nice work, Kari!
It's a nice addition to the world of commentary management, which is increasingly important.  Keep up the good work!

by billfrick 2005-08-15 11:16AM | 0 recs
One More Suggestion
It'd be nice if a search feature was added. I'd like to search the CA blogs for information about the CA-48 special election, but sorting through all those posts just takes too long.
by dantheman 2005-08-15 11:47AM | 0 recs
Re: One More Suggestion
Dan, you're right.  Search is coming next.  Thanks!
by karichisholm 2005-08-15 12:27PM | 0 recs
Separation by date/day
The lack of any indication of date/day on the main page listing for each entry is not-helpful.

On the state blog pages, it appears that the day (Mon-Sun) was shown until recently, but now is gone.

If it is difficult to have separators dates (and lines as well) between each date for postings, then having the date and time always shown for each item would be a very good idea.  

If one were looking for a post by some date, or one wanted to just look at each days new posts, the current format would prevent it.

by JimPortlandOR 2005-08-15 12:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Separation by date/day
Hey Jim...  Like the headline says, the home page is just "24 Hours of Local Headlines".  It's all TODAY.

Yeah, I know - there's a lot going on out there.

by karichisholm 2005-08-15 01:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Separation by date/day
Oh, and the state feeds are all indexed with most recent stuff on top.  So, if you're looking for new stuff, just start at the top.

Note also that when you click a link, it turns gray.  So, you'll know when you've read something before.

by karichisholm 2005-08-15 01:19PM | 0 recs
Cool stuff, but man i am gonna have to think about buying more bandwidth, this thing has driven a bunch of traffic to me today.
by Pounder 2005-08-15 04:33PM | 0 recs
About the new blog feed
Do we have to be "local" to get onto the feed?  Do you use key words?  How do you tell if it is "local" or not?

Many of us bounce between local and national and international.  Thanks to the "flat earthers" that the NYT celebrates, all things are intertwined so actions here affect people on the opposite side of the planet.

Anyway, we need more information so we can fit into your scheme better, OK?  Please let us know here.

by ElaineSupkis 2005-08-15 06:07PM | 0 recs
How about having a dual use set up?
Since many of us are trying to reach out to other parts of the country, this being a country and all that, how about a second tier that is broken down by topic?

Like, antiwar or free trade or unions or health etc?  Like my blog is broken down in this way so people who want only science news can read it seperate from the political news.

by ElaineSupkis 2005-08-15 06:11PM | 0 recs
New Progressive Blogger in Northwestern Pa
Hey everyone, I am posting this because there is a new blog in Northwestern Pa snd it seems somewhat relevant to the topic. I will be an occasional contributor but the person who is running the blog- Jason Ilgenfritz- is a great guy with an eye on progressive politics. Check it out and please let me and Jason know what you think. Thanks!

by JDF 2005-08-16 12:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Building progressive infrastructure

Lefty Blogs sounds like one more excellent tool for democracy. I have started a work-in-progress at that is shaping up to be a non-partisan "National Town Hall" where people, regardless of their political persuasion, can learn, argue and VOTE on important issues in a visually powerful way that our elected officials, at every level, will be unable to ignore. And, if they do, it will be at their peril come the next election. Progressives can lead the way at the DayLightForum -- in fact I'm counting on it. There is an old saying, "You never get a second chance to make a great first impression." I hope you will set that thought aside and visit DayLight often as it unfolds in December and January. As humorist, Art Buchwald, once wrote: ""I'm not a Democrat or a Republican. I'm against whoever is in power."

by GregO73 2006-12-15 07:34PM | 0 recs


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