Manifesto Meta Musings

First, let me start off by saying I dislike the word “Manifesto,” it sounds, oh I don’t know, just too grand and at the same time really ambiguous.

But that’s the word we have and the high zen dictator has spoken, so I’ll diss the term no further.

I have read some of pfiore8’s ramblings on how “might makes right” has to be turned on its head, that we have to begin realizing that we do have our own power, that we are not powerless even in the face of such strong oppression and “might” directed against us.

I have also rambled a lot myself speaking of thinking “outside the box.”

Well that’s all well and good, lots of rambling, and now I’m getting tired of that word, too!  Bleh.

Folks have said they’ll work on various issues of this marvelous Manifesto.  And here’s where my meta comes in.  If you are interested … there’s more!

Think for a moment about the “community” blogs, all of ’em, Daily Kos, My Left Wing, Docudharma, Political Fleshfeast, any others you may want to name.

You get a diary, or in our case an essay.  Then there are comments, the ol’ back and forth.

I find this restricting.  And I’ll list a few examples of different means of communicating to try and illustrate alternatives.

multi-user essays What if you had an essay with maybe two or more posters contributing?  This could come in many forms — could be a debate, where you see the actual discussion in the essay itself, John says this, Mary responds in opposition, Hortense supports a third point of view and George just makes fun of the other three.  The essay itself would have as the title the topic to be debated and discussed.

Instead of comments, folks would be encouraged to write essays supporting one side or the other, or promulgating a different point of view entirely.

Issue Coalitions  Several posters take on a single issue and link each other’s essays into their own.  As was mentioned in buhdy’s Manifesto essay, several folks volunteered to work on various aspects of researching, etc.  In my case, I have several areas of interest on social justice issues that I’ve noticed a few others are interested in as well, including meta issues on how to drop our own blogging prejudices and write in a new way.

So we could have essay “coalitions,” where folks on various teams who have decided to tackle specific issues write individual essays that link together to form a whole.  Again, there can be comments within those essays, but there would also be groups of essays that are interrelated.  This would be similar to what we saw yesterday with everyone blogging on the environment as much as they could — but more individual to Docudharma.

MULTIMEDIA!  We can audioblog and we can videoblog.  I think this would add a great dimension to Docudharma.  DianeW posted about MSOC starting an internet radio show — we could do this as well — we could also use Gabcast (as I did here with my tune, as a test), and we could also do videoblogging of our own on various issues.  Mix it up.

Okay, I’m done with these few examples.  And they don’t really speak of the real breakthrough I’m looking for, “thinking outside the box,” but they could help spark that kind of breakthrough.  We certainly have the tools to give a wider and deeper view of this Manifesto buhdy keeps jawing about.

Heck, I wish we could have a blog where there was animation, essays floating around the page, in circles, in star-shapes, audio, telepathy, magic!  Three-dee, like in Farenheit 451, where that daft woman spoke to the holographic walls.

But we don’t have that right now.  I do think, though, we can do better.


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  1. And really….anything we can do to increase numbers. I am coming to the conclusion (again) that it is really about the number of folks we ca get involved…..we need about a billion more and then we are all set.

    So my current thinking is how to reach the number of people we need for meaningful change.
    (obviouslly not just numbers of people on DD)

    So thinking about means to make the whole concept of change exciting is VERY important.

    Political Revolutainment?

    Whatever it takes.

    • pfiore8 on October 16, 2007 at 20:42

    and love the first one… an essay forum with they energy of a few posters (i would love to test that with a ladies night and get some gals (including pff gals) from other sites… do one here, do some there… start soft then build …

    the issue coalition is interesting if we could just tackle ONE… road test an approach to upending one thing… doable from your regular life and something that has measureable results… focus the effort and show it can work

    mutlimedia… how did you do that audioblog? would love to try one… i like the audioblog and keeping the visuals to a minimum… voice is strong thing… energy is strong and sometimes those things can be undermined by the visuals… maybe would could work towards strengthening perceptions other than sight

  2. My idea for Thunderdome was to have a split screen with the debaters and moderator on one side and the mob on the other.  Everyone could see and rate both sides, but only input to one.

    As far as a Manifesto goes–it will be hard to find one that includes everything that people what to say–but there are so many talented people here, I think it can be done.

  3. There is a long time kossack, rhfactor, who is making video blogs in his studio. I’d link to his userid, but dkos appears to be bogged down right now. He has written diaries about how to do it, technically. Perhaps he could be persuaded to come over, join in, help out etc… plus he has a very warped sense of humor and would fit right in with the rest of us bozos on this bus!

  4. …my metier, and I’ve got a bit of babble for the manifesto project to post, though since I’m bugging out but good for long awhile, it seems irresponsible to post and run.

    I liked this a lot.  There are in fact multimedia blog systems, where people can put up anything in flash they can think of, and various flash editors are provided to the user.  I don’t know if that’s a huge win — I love the text orientation, and watching my own writing improve, along with others.  I have a friend who does a lot of myspace, and their posts are a riot of color and media, everything falling into the interstices of IP law (and a bunch that hasn’t) put up to amuse, shock and charm.  It’s _fascinating_, but I don’t know if it works for me very well.

    The ideas that made me go *blink* are the idea of multiuser essays and having an editor.  Obviously one of the great wins on here is there is no editor — you can say any shit you want to, within the constraints of peer pressure and sanity.  But the result is often less than persuasive, and unable to make that next jump to a wider audience.  It’s also odd to read writers who are simply stone cold brilliant who could take a jump in quality and distribution with the aid of a skilled editorial presence.  I’m not that good, but I fancy that I’d get a lot better with editorial help.


    • ANKOSS on October 16, 2007 at 23:19

    The American Founders were lucky. If they had worked with Macromedia Presentations, streaming video, and Spam cams, we would still be celebrating the Queen’s birthday.

    A bit of mission focus would lead us to conclude that a clear and complete draft of a Progressive Policy Platform can be written in one month.

    Take me to your Wiki.

  5. Video blogging and audio blogging is very interesting

  6. that could make for some interesting reading.

    I always liked having comment conversations on a busy thread.  Most times I want to talk with other people about what I’ve read, but missed the main conversation. 

    Maybe a community calender that anyone who wants can pick a time and set a topic, and anyone interested can plan to be there.  It’s hard to physically meet each other, but virtual town hall meetings would be pretty easy.  You could promote the larger meetings for a week or so and give everyone a chance to be there.  I don’t know how that would be moderated for one overall discussion, but those are just pesky details!

    Plus you’d also have an automatic transcript of the meeting for later 🙂

  7. …(fucking progressives) so I have so little to say.

    But I will say this: you have about as much chance of eliminating “might makes right” as I do of having natural DD breasts.  Didn’t y’all read “The Once and Future King”?

    1. Actually, am working on one now.

      Other thing we need … drum roll … is an EDITOR!

      Ok, not the usual kind of editor.  But if we are indeed going to do group stuff, we need some kind of continuity, and if anyone has any editorial skills (a difficult skill indeed!), we need that as well.

    2. to say, “Thank You, buhdy,” for Not calling them diaries.  What are we 13 year olds writing in our diaries?

      Dear Diary,

      Today Johnny felt me up, That means he really likes me!

      Even Doogie Howser called his dairy a journal.

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