I am going to keep this pretty short because I don't want to get too maudlin.
When we started OpenLeft, it was an experiment: By combining the ideas, skills, creativity, and experience of three incredibly different partners, and bringing in all of those things from a wide cross-section of other interested folks, could we spark some new models of how to do organizing and new media? The answer was yes. I will always be proud of how OpenLeft became a home for experimentation, innovation, and cross-fertilization that was always interesting and sometimes genuinely groundbreaking.
For me, it has such a great learning experience. I was the crotchety old D.C. insider on the site, which led to some fun and spirited arguments with other parts of the OpenLeft community. But it was also great for someone like me to learn, up close and personal, the chemistry, rhythms, and pulse of the blogosphere, and to get a feel for what this part of the progressive community was feeling and thinking.
I have some thank yous to make. I'll start with Matt Stoller, who was the one who invited me to join him and Chris as they were leaving MyDD to set up a new blog. Stoller and I think very differently, and clashed quite a bit, but I always will value his passion for justice, and his flashes of incredible creativity and insight that so often went right to the heart of how to approach a political organizing challenge. I want to thank Chris, who has been the steady, solid, calm soul of OpenLeft since the very first day, and whose incredible analytical mind has been a joy to learn from every day. I want to thank Paul Rosenberg, whose writing has been deep and thoughtful, and who took over the day-to-day site editor duties from Chris when he left to go over to Daily Kos. All of the people who wrote regularly for us have been so great to read and so much fun to work with. I especially want to thank my own staff, without whom OpenLeft wouldn't have functioned well at all. Adam Bink was a driving force from the very beginning on strategy, on advertising, and then on writing - I have been especially proud to see him grow and develop and turn into such a rising star for this progressive movement. And the great unsung hero of OpenLeft - someone our readers never knew about because she never blogged - was Carla Engle, who managed all the behind-the-scenes accounting, legal and business operations of the site, and was always a key player on the overall strategy of the site.
I am sorry we felt like we had to make the decision to shut down. I always have felt that Chris was the day-to-day driver of OpenLeft - the heart and soul of making it such an interesting place - and when he got the wonderful opportunity that he did at Daily Kos, we just felt that it was better to phase things out rather than keep going. But I am very philosophical about these kinds of things: I have been a part of starting a great many organizations over the years, and I have always felt that there is a cycle to institutions, and that it is sometimes better to shut them down than to keep them alive too long.
Having gotten my start in the world of the blogosphere, I will stay involved in a variety of ways. I am doing some consulting with Daily Kos and with the Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC (which, while not a blog has the same spirit and values of the blogosphere); I am on the board of Netroots Nation; I will continue to post at Huffington Post sometimes, but will also be starting to write for Crooks and Liars in the coming days, which I am very excited about.
I have one final thank you: to all of you who have been a part of this beloved community. I have thoroughly enjoyed arguing with you, learning from you, and taking political action together. I look forward to working with many of you in the future on new endeavors to help strengthen the progressive movement in this country.