In case you have not heard by now, Open Left's service provider, Soapblox, is currently in serious trouble. Given that Open Left is the largest website on Soapblox, and that BlogPac has given more money to Soapblox than any other organization (for the past two years, we have paid the hosting fees for almost all of the fifty-state blogs, and also invested money to improve server security), this had me in a near state of panic for a while. Fortunately, the crisis seems to be temporarily receding--for now.
This is a reminder of how much progressive infrastructure is operated on a shoestring. Soapblox was run by a single person as a part-time job even though, collectively, Soapblox websites--including most local blogs, Open Left, Pam's House Blend, Swing State Project, My Left Wing--had more than 100,000 readers a day. As Matt Glazer writes at Burnt Orange Report, another Soapblox dependant site:
Our site, along with nearly 100 others, are run on the SoapBlox platform. That is hundreds of thousands of eyes across the nation who use SoapBlox and never knew it.(...)
Again, Burnt Orange Report and our data seem to be in working order and intact. But if SoapBlox is down and fails to return, nearly 90% of the statewide blog infrastructure must reorganize. Nationally that means state and local sites are no longer able to cover their state legislative sessions or city, state, or statewide races.
In the long run, this outage (temporary or permanent) directly hurts all of us.
Paul developed and maintained SoapBlox for little money and no fame. In fact, SoapBlox is just a part time job for Paul, and like many of us that do this, we are required to have paid full time jobs in order to maintain and run our online projects. Today highlight why this systemic problem must be fixed long term.
While everything is in flux right now, later today BlogPac will start a "Save Soapblox" campaign to make sure that this never happens again, and to generally improving progressive blogosphere infrastructure. I will have more details when they are available, but for right now, BlogPac is on the new Better Democrats 2010 page. I know we are in a recession, but any contribution you can give in this time of crisis will be used to help keep Soapblox operational.