Leaving MyDD

I have accepted a campaign-style job that may or may not last beyond the midterms. This position, as is the norm for such things, does not permit blogging. I hope/plan to return to MyDD when I can but whether that’s as soon as November or not until I go back to grad school, I do not know.

Thanks to Jerome for allowing me this wonderful opportunity, first under the name “Transplanted Texan” as a Biden volunteer in 2007, then as a weekend blogger in 2008, and finally as a routine front-pager for the past 12 months. I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to engage in the political process this way, and to interact with the motivated Netroots and MyDD community.

I’ve spent the last four days driving across the continent, from Coeur d’Alene, ID to Washington, DC with stops in Montana, Minnesota, and Ohio. This really is a remarkable country we live in. The land formations, natural resources, and people – we are truly blessed. Let’s appreciate what we’ve been given, and let’s not screw it up. Not this November or ever.

I’ll miss MyDD. If you’ll miss me, or just want to express your appreciation for my posts on Glenn Beck, Katrina recovery, or clean energy, please say so with a donation to our ActBlue candidates. No, I’m not so arrogant as to think anyone cares that much about my posts – I just want to be sure to get in one last plug for competitive progressives like Alan Grayson, Matt Dunne, Jack Conway, and Bill White! (Matt, btw, just got his second newspaper endorsement in a competitive primary for an open governorship, and aired his first TV ad this week.)

Anyways, God bless, good luck, and I look forward to returning down the line.

MyDD on Facebook and Twitter

Just a reminder that MyDD social networks; you can find us on both Facebook and Twitter. On Facebook, it's a fan page. Become a fan and put us over 300! No, there's no reward, but you do get the satisfaction of being awesome.

And on Twitter, you can seperately follow most of the front-pagers:

  • Jerome Armstrong is @jeromearmstrong
  • Jonathan Singer is @jonathanhsinger (but Tweeting about the possibility of a new handle)
  • Josh Orton is @joshorton (and is able to Tweet more than blog these days)
  • Desmoinesdem and the Bleeding Heartland blog are @desmoinesdem
  • Nathan Empsall is @nathanempsall. I Tweet in spurts.
  • Charles Lemos is @charleslemos - Tweeting in English and re-Tweeting in Spanish!
  • Andre Walker and the George Politics Unfiltered Blog are @gaunfiltered
  • Jason Williams and The Side Track blog for Utah politics are @thesidetrack

Barack Obama has larger problems than blogs in selling cave

Bloggers may make for an effective bogeyman for the administration:  people misunderstood enough to be marginalized. But bloggers aren't the biggest problem for Rahm Emanuel's strategy of passing something...anything, in fact they aren't even the biggest problem online.

If anything, progressive blogs have been overly accommodating by creating a discussion-heavy atmosphere over the disagreements between Democrats. The administration should be relived that bloggers opposing the bill have largely taken such an approach. Because the bloggers opposing the bill have by and large shown far more of a willingness to get their hands dirty and fight with every tool available. From fundraising to message to organizing, I can't imagine anyone would rather go into a political fight with the bloggers supporting anything than the bloggers fighting to make the bill better. I mean, Fred Hiatt didn't bring on Ezra Klein because of all he'd done to elect Democrats.

But bloggers aren't the main problem, not even online.

If there is anything keeping up at night administration online folks like Macon Phillips and Jesse Lee, it is email...

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Five Years

Seeing that Feministing is celebrating its fifth year anniversary, it reminded me that I, too, began blogging around that time. Five years ago to the day, in fact.

Though I have (only) been here at MyDD as a front pager for the past three and a half years, for a year and a half before that I built my own site from the ground up with some insightful and a lot of not terribly insightful commentary about politics. My biggest contribution there, and perhaps here too, have been all of the interviews I have conducted with people involved in political life. Back then, it was mostly former politicians -- Gary Hart, Birch Bayh, Walter Mondale and the like -- while more recently it has included more current figures like Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, as well as candidates like Gavin Newsom. My conversation with John Kerry, in which he explained, much to the consternation of John McCain, that the Arizona Republican had approached him about running on the Democratic ticket in 2004, stands out as well.

In all, I have tried to say what I truly believe about politics and the world around us, and have strived advance the conversation, both at my blog of yore and MyDD, as well as now twittering @jonathanhsinger. Here's to hoping the next five years (and beyond) are as fun and enjoyable as the past five have been.

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Comment On & Rec The Good Diaries And Ignore The Bad

Earlier today I was disturbed to read three or four diaries that I deemed objectionable. A few I deleted and a couple diarists I banned but guess what the most annoying thing about the diaries was: they were the three or four diaries with the most comments on the whole site and a couple had even made it to the Rec list.

Now, this hardly comes as a surprise; controversy breeds conversation, a diary that evokes an emotion, especially if it's annoyance, is way more likely to inspire comments than one that is benign. So I'm asking you guys to try to resist the urge to engage with diarists more interested in righting past wrongs and picking fights than in eliciting constructive thought and inspiring a conversation. Help me reward good behavior and ignore bad by engaging with the well-written diaries even if it's just a quick rec or supportive or dissenting comment. As it is now, if a diary has a lot of comments, it's usually because the content of the post is objectionable. I'd like to reverse that.

I'm going to dive into the diaries more and hopefully as more readers join me, more engagement will translate to more and better diaries and we can marginalize diarists who are here in bad faith and attract more whose intentions are pure. Also, the more recs the good diaries have, the more people it will take for the bad diaries to get on the rec list. And as for what constitutes bad faith vs. good, let me just clear something up: diaries that are critical of the president and his administration are not disqualifiers; in fact they are welcome as long as they are productive and constructive.

Thanks for reading and thanks for helping me improve the site.

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