In case you folks hadn’t noticed there has been a bit of change in the world since Docudharma started a year and a half or so ago! Including here at DD itself of course.

The original model we tried to implement, the Contributing Editor plan under which we would have a schedule for contributors to post directly on the FP has not worked out. Instead what has evolved is a system of promotions by me, ek, and NL and NPK occasionally. Can we improve on that? Should we have, perhaps shifts of promoters? Do you want to volunteer for that, or suggest something different?

Like all of the blogs post election, our readership is down. Unlike many of the other small blogs though, we have a fairly large core group of excellent people who are deeply invested in the blog. Both as essayists and commenters. This time of transition is powerful and our voices here at DD are powerful. But DD itself, as it stands now, is not very powerful. Our view is powerful, our ideas are powerful, our voices are powerful, But our influence is not. Should we seek to increase that influence? Or remain a smaller, but VERY high quality oasis of thought and sanity and ideals in the midst of the chaos of change that is now occurring?

The election is over, the Bush era (except for the prosecutions) is over. A new era has literally begun so….now what? It is time to ask some questions. Should we try to build DD’s readership and power? If so……How?

Or should we concentrate our meta energy on continuing and raising the quality of DD and let the folks who ‘get it’ find us? Those are…sort of, and with many, many possible variations…the choices we have in the direction of DD.

What do we want DD to be? What changes should we make here? What can we do to make DD better?

This time of transition is YOUR chance to, if you wish, invest in DD and guide it into the future, and in concert with the other voices here, determine what it will become. So Yell Loud in the comments! Speak up, speak your mind, and let’s see what we come up with!


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  1. Photobucket

  2. … we could become a porn site — that would get our numbers up!

    I very much like promotions – the quality of essays here is high.  But I’d also like more FP content as well so I’d like to work at that more.  I’m lazy, so I have to have the pressure of making a commitment to post more than one FP essay a week.  Dunno about others.

    We have such short attention spans — it’s cool to see new stuff on the FP.

    I think we should keep it small and get rid of the long and mostly unused list of CE’s — I’m happy to work more on promotions, or have schedules where we commit to promote.

  3. for my part that I’ve been very impressed by the quality of writing I’ve been able to promote and continue to be willing to do so.

  4. I think the Holder petition has worked out.  That’s a lot of signatures.

    We’re never going to be OpenLeft or dK.  I’m not likely to go to work in the Obama transition team or for a congressman.

    What I do notice is that our regular contributors regularly end up on the Rec List at dK and that’s nothing to sneer at.

  5. I’d like to see a reworking of the site layout. I find it busy and very hard to read.

    If anyone is looking at what I think is better site design using SoapBlox, please see Green Mountain Daily as an example.

  6. …but my two cents would be that the site seems to lack a clear purpose.  It is not clear to me what exactly you, ek, NPK, On the Bus, and OPOL are trying to achieve with this site.  That probably works to my benefit, since my output here could hardly fit into any purpose.  But I think the site suffers because of it.

    I think the question is for you, and for the five of you, to ask yourselves, probably in private, what your goals are for this blog.  What do you want to achieve, and what do you think you can achieve with it?  Once you know those things, then the path for the blog to follow becomes clear: whatever is the path that will aid you in achieving your purpose, regardless of what the rest of us think.

    I know that is almost absurdly goal-oriented, but it is a lot of work for y’all.  You deserve to get what you want out of it.

    • OPOL on February 12, 2009 at 23:27

    Just thinking out loud.

    • on February 12, 2009 at 23:47

    Its a little more difficult for me to contribute as I’m either sleeping or at work during the sites busiest times.

  7. Blogging the Future is a great theme and concept, we just have to develop it more.  Featuring it as a central theme of DD would help set us apart from other progressive blogs and give us a distinctive voice.  It’s just basically been a logo so far, we should try and incorporate it as a unifying theme into as many essays as possible.

    One approach might be to use Blogging the Future, So We’ll Have One as a common tip jar comment to initiate a looking ahead focus in thread comments regarding how the topic of the essay connects with how bloggers and the Netroots in general can address that issue more effectively.  

    In the regular FP essay, there could be a focus on a specific issue each week, like global warming, and a discussion of how to effectively address the issue, so we’ll have a future.  

  8. If I don’t respond right away, rest assured I will….god willing and the broadband don;t crash!

  9. As for myself, I’m good with remaining a CE and doing Four at Four.

    When I was invited to post here, I wasn’t sure I’d fit in with the culture. But I feel welcome here and appreciated.

    So thank you.

  10. and should be fired. Sorry.

    Working nights/long shifts has been a factor as have competing demands on my time and I have committed this year to studying for an extra work related certification.

    But I have just not had focus here for many moons.

    Must find ideas….

    I am neutral about the idea of being bigger. It doesn’t always lead to better. I think the petition has been done quite brilliantly.

  11. One of the joys of posting and commenting here is that I don’t have a commitment to think about this kind of meta stuff.  Quality. Growth. Influence. Stuff I don’t usually think about.

    That’s a good thing: I’m responsible only for my own writing.  I appreciate the kindness and intelligence of those who post and comment here and I am truly thankful for those of you who do handle the meta and make dd possible.  Thanks for all you do.

    • robodd on February 13, 2009 at 00:35

    The site has excellent, if somewhat irregular, contributors.

    I think the site’s main emphasis should be germinating ideas for dissemination and rallying action.

    I also think some of the main contributors should commit to posting their stuff here first and only subsequently at DK.  Drive more folks to the site to get their work here first.  I’m thinking OPOL, Magnifico, Unitary M, Buhdy, etc.  Combine blogs where necessary.  Right now, people can get this blog’s content by going to DK.  Distinguish, while still using DK to drive people to the site.

    And then, don’t just have a top of the page, but display excellent essays equally for an extended period of time.

    Also, the site looks a little too much like DK.  I would rethink the format.

  12. is this: if you want to keep a CE model, instead of adding more of them, look at who isn’t contributing on a regular basis and replace them with people who are in order to keep readers hooked. I mentioned Valtin before and he is somebody who I think should be front and center. Rusty also falls into that category.

    At a certain point, being nice and accommodating can be an undermining force. Like ek said….. it isn’t personal.

  13. an anarchosocialist blog, with tinges of Hyde, Gackt, Brainiac 5, Miyavi, Patti Labelle and Vestel Goodman.

    Just sayin’.

  14. happy worker’s commune and a place with more structure. If the goal is to broaden readership then like it or not that means adopting some traditional structures and assumptions.

    Now. There can still be fun and edgy writing here but if the goal is to reach beyond then it can’t be based on a loose democratic model. There is a huge difference between getting feedback which you are doing now, and a broad based decision making model. I know what I am saying flies in the face of your philosophy boss, and perhaps several others but I am just trying to be pragmatic.

    Or not.

  15. for Docudharma.

    I liked Writing in the Raw too, that was a good regular FP feature, IMO.  

  16. to the party – but its been a helluva day in RL.

    I was initially attracted to DD because of the focus on the possibility for change outside of electoral politics. We seem to have lost that focus.

    Also, I think its quite clear to anyone who reads here regularly that since the election, I have been out of sink with how most people here view what is happening in electoral politics.

    All of this has led me to begin to question my own participation here. I think where others are going is being true to their own path. So I celebrate that. But its not my path.

    Due to all of this, I’m not in a position to be giving much advice about the future of this place. I’m going to give myself time to sort things out.  

  17. I’ve had personal trials and tribulations, which I have not shared yet, but think with the intimacy of this site, I could. Also, I have a lot more recipes, tips on gardening, and such, but won’t have a lot of time till after May 15, when I become unemployed.

    This site is too good to change, right now… it is a Siddhartha.

    Just my paltry idea…

    • Diane G on February 13, 2009 at 05:01

    go leftier.

    Now is the time for overton windows.

    We have a politician begging to be lead.


  18. …er…

    The power of this blog — at its best — was partly in the ability of widely disparate elements, held together by a shared interest in what’s next, to produce creative content that wasn’t the same as every other damn political site.  In the creativity, incisiveness, or insight of people who were different enough to spark each other.  This was in many ways a function of your ability cut to the chase, to lead, and to inspire people — in a friendly, nonthreatening, even fun way — on the satan.  “He’s pretty smart!  And a nice person!  Let’s try that!”  And so they came.

    I missed the cyclic blowups, for the most part.  Unfortunately, they’ve cost a lot of contributors, and may cost more, directly or otherwise (I see NLinSP expressing reservations, above, though for different reasons).  People leaving in waves isn’t necessarily fatal, but it definitely takes the wind out of the survivors…and they need a vision which moves them forward regardless, something kind and inclusive.

    The round robin promotion isn’t necessarily a good thing.  I suspect it has required great care and devotion from the promoters.  Unfortunately, when everything gets promoted, you’re left with six thoughtful things and a nutty Larouchian rant, all making the front page.  And, eh, the mix isn’t necessarily that good.  If I were god lol (not aspiring to same) I’d promote less, even if it stays static for awhile; be more willing to promote very slight peices which make folks think a little (like Jay’s quotes for discussion); and stop promoting anything which is entirely suitable for 2nd and Houston after a gallon of mad dog.  Seriously.  We are all crackpots, to various degrees, but if it doesn’t entertain in a creative way, screw it.

    Power comes from having readers, from being something people want to peruse, even as the world grinds them small, and a place where people want to share good and bad things.  Part of that comes from keeping the mix, the sometimes angry and incompatible mix, in a way which lets the participants engage.  And part of it comes from encouraging the unique, the interesting, the creative.

    I think this place has been unique, in its ability to combine quality and range.  Some of that is by design and some is pure accident.  I don’t know if it is still possible to seize the serendipitious parts and make them work better…but if it were, this place could do very well going forward…


    • sharon on February 14, 2009 at 01:46

    but have only have a vapid “i love dd” and if you don’t change it i will still come and if you do i will still come.  working to build the petition has been inspiring and like buhdy i would like to see more transnet collaboration.  

    however, that said, i particularly like the intimacy here and while the power and reach of gos is sexy, there is so much bs that comes with it.  how good is it to have both worlds and yet only have to take responsibility for one.  while dd is smaller, it is more concentrated in quality and that in itself is power.  

    i guess it comes down to – what do you want to do with this power (used again for lack of a better word)?  how does it serve the folks who come here and have worked so diligently and lovingly to make it work and then beyond that group the world beyond?

    i don’t say it often enough, thank you, buhdy, ek, magnifico, npk, nlinsp, opol, otb, and all of the folks here who come to give life to docudharma.

  19. is the level of creativity and the diversity of the writers. It has attracted a lot the voices I most liked at DK but here they seem to blossom and be more creative more open and philosophical. I love Jays quotes of the day, I liked writing in the raw, I even miss the wild ones who left. I love the issues and history viewed by the divergent writers from Cassandra to UM I learn a lot. It’s a good place and I think it will grow organically. I like the format find it much more user friendly then dkos.  

    After the election the whole left leaning world has taken a huge collective sigh. Dkos is a huge political beast, it’s fast and hot.  DD makes you think makes you think outside the confines of the political stances and grooves you find yourself in in on electoral political site like dk. As for changing the world, we are, all of us on and off the net. I think DD does more along that line then most. As the issues addressed here are not so partisan and are more humanistic. The writers may be recycling the news or discussing economic theory but the content over all is more creative.

    The most influential writers on the blogs are often not on the big ones. This blog contains a lot of elements that separate it from the usual political blogs, it is more intellectual and has more of an overveiw. Me I like the art here and there’s a lot. I also like the size and pace. I hope DD can grow and keep the dynamics going. I would like to see more of the creative end myself. I would like the community to be able to allow all of those who post the freedom to express their own take without censorship and pressure from insider politics. But politics are part of any group of people. Being Excellent does not always come in the same form.

    The numbers will come up again, there is a flux on the net. I feel it at dk as well as here. The FP could use some structure but I like that it’s not the same people everyday. I like the news writers, thank you for your hard work. I really miss RiaD and pf8. How to attract new readers would seem to be the biggest challenge but maybe now is a good time for a blog like this. Cross posting seems a good way to lure people.          

  20. Personally, even though I`ve been wrong before (once, in 1977), I would not change this place, as much as, polish minor surfaces, & keep adding little touches, as the rough surfaces get cleaned away.

    I`m only a pale stranger here, but try to add a little of the polishing, by distracting people, freeing them to do the heavy lifting, without the daily encumbrances of their respective routines.

    I do this through images, my little band-aid on the scab of life.

    Although I rarely comment, I read many of the diaries here, & do have favorites that I follow, some for the content of their submissions, & others for the soul of their content.

    Uncomfortable with change in a heretofore mellow hangout, some may choose to find another place to chill.

    Have a better tomorrow.

    • kj on February 15, 2009 at 17:43


    the first thing i do when opening the site is look to the right to see the Recommended Essays.  now, i see Bush/Cheney’s face!  and ADS!  

    it’s harshing the buzz considerably.   please, please, please reconsider this style change.

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