Thank you OpenLeft

by: Adam Bink

Fri Feb 04, 2011 at 10:30


Some of you may have noticed I haven't been writing for some time. The reason is because I recently accepted a position as Director of Online Programs at the Courage Campaign, where I will be running the online shop with a special emphasis on LGBT equality campaigns, but have been so engaged I haven't found time to write a farewell post.

Which brings me back to OpenLeft and the news, announced by Chris this morning, that we have agreed to close OpenLeft.

I have been working on OpenLeft since before the day we launched in July 2007- managing the advertising spaces, working out the bugs, working on the design with Chris and Matt. Many of you remember my open threads asking for improvements, and then we went out and did our best to fulfill your requests. Eventually I started writing, and many of you liked my work, so I started writing more. Eventually I started working on action campaigns like No On 1/Protect Maine Equality, buying the advertisements you funded around the public option in DC newspaper outlets, coordinating the work to promote Mike's book The Progressive Revolution, and more.

I really would not be where I am today, starting off in a new role with a strong and vibrant online community at Courage Campaign, if not for working on all of that with you all. You chipped in to defend equality in Maine, chipped in to fund ads supporting the public option, came to book events, sent a public comment to the HHS Committee considering a revision of the ban on blood donations from MSM, and more. You joined our e-mail list, now over 100,000 strong, all built from scratch.

What I mean to say with all of this is that you all helped me get my start in online organizing. And I'm truly grateful to have had the opportunity to work together. Grateful with all my heart.

The second thing I want to say is to ask you to glance to the right of this blog post, at the top under the user log-in/menu, at our list of OpenLeft campaigns. I am proud of the work we did here. Electing Donna Edwards. Helping Joe Sestak beat Arlen Specter. Generating remarkable ROI in the Searching for John McCain project. Nearly getting the public option to the finish line. Changing the conversation with the Responsible Plan to End the War. We did create some real change, and where we didn't push things over the top, we took great strides in moving people and lawmakers and the media. Some campaigns are years-long campaigns and much of the work we did is only the start.

The last thing I want to say is that although OpenLeft will no longer publish new content, we are continuing to fight the good fight elsewhere. I will be doing it at Courage Campaign and its blog, Prop8TrialTracker.com (where you can continue reading my writing), Chris at DailyKos, and the rest of us in various other places throughout our movement.  I write with a heavy heart because I've tried to make the site ever better, the writing interesting, and the actions strategic, and I hope you've found it to be so. But I take heart in what Chris wrote this morning, that this movement is bigger than just one blog, and we will continue working to build a better and society and planet.

Thank you for everything you have done.

Adam Bink :: Thank you OpenLeft

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Thank you OpenLeft | 21 comments
Thanks, Adam. (4.00 / 5)
I'm not good at good-byes.  And, I'm really struggling with this one for Open Left.  

Yours is a generous and gracious farewell.  But, I'm not confused.  Your talent is your own.  To the extent that - at least - I have offered any wind beneath your wings, I was happy to do so.  

Thanks for all of your hard work on the nuts and bolts of this place.  It's something all of you who built it can be proud of.

Just be well, okay?


Thanks bystander (4.00 / 1)
I struggled with it last night (and went through several drafts).

You be well, too. I hope to interact with you on other blogs.


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[ Parent ]
thanks for all your writing adam (4.00 / 3)
The last thing I want to say is that although OpenLeft will no longer publish new content, we are continuing to fight the good fight elsewhere. I will be doing it at Courage Campaign and its blog, Prop8TrialTracker.com (where you can continue reading my writing), Chris at DailyKos, and the rest of us in various other places throughout our movement.

that sounds excellent


Thanks very much (4.00 / 1)
And thanks for being here for all these years.


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[ Parent ]
Thank You... (4.00 / 3)
...for all your excellent pieces.  As a full-time civil rights lawyer, I always looked forward to any piece with your by-line.  Keep up the good work, and go get Kennedy's vote.  It is there for the getting.

Thanks very much (4.00 / 1)
That's very kind of you to say.


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[ Parent ]
The Courage Campaign -- cool (4.00 / 2)
best of luck.  

I noticed. (4.00 / 2)
Best of luck at the Courage campaign. OL will be missed.

If teaching is so easy, then by all means get your degree, pass your certification test(s), get your license, and see if you can last longer than the five years in the classroom 50% of those who enter the profession never make it to.

Just out of curiosity (4.00 / 3)
Does this site make enough money to keep up on autopilot?  I know Soapbox costs some money, as does whatever is hosting this site.  Is it reasonable for ad review to pay those basic bills as long as no is trying to make a living?

With a few volunteers, we might be able to add better tracking to quickhit comments and a way for individual blogs to be posted on the main page.

Perhaps it isn't worth it, but it seems like a bit of the community could survive.


That's what I wondered, too. (4.00 / 1)
Ok, OL can't sustain employed stuff. But the ads should be able to pay for the traffic and the software, or not? I really don't see why it shouldn't be possible 2 continue this as a community blog, with volunteers doing the work. Prolly some changes would have 2 be made, but thre should be a way. And I'm distturbed that nobody mentioned if this had been talken into account at all.

I see lots of "thank yous" by the bloggers to the community. And really, at least half of the attrectivity of OL were its discussion threads. But did the interests of the community play a role in tthe decision at all? I would like to know more about this!


[ Parent ]
Other options (4.00 / 1)
We talked about some of those other options, but they weren't feasible. There aren't many community blogs that function simply on that, e.g., generate revenue as well. A lot of what was core to the site would have had to be stripped away. Trust me, we explored lots of options because this was the least favorable one, but it all boiled down to what Chris wrote.


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[ Parent ]
thank you for the answer adam (0.00 / 0)
we loved this site so much and it's not easy to realize the situation. please forgive our anxiety to look for a way to keep it up!

any idea what does it cost to soapbox to host a blog like this?


[ Parent ]
Soapblox (0.00 / 0)
Soapblox hosting costs itself is very inexpensive.


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[ Parent ]
hmmm (0.00 / 0)
this begs the question, why would leaving OL on autopilot (no salaried bloggers, just 'user diaries' and QHs and a few volunteers to promote good user diaries) unrealistic. legal liability? possible damage to the OL brand?

[ Parent ]
Complicated (0.00 / 0)
It's complicated to answer, because it depends on traffic, which in large part determines ad revenue, and what you mean by "autopilot". If you mean the current state of things re writers and content, likely no.


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[ Parent ]
Ideas (0.00 / 0)
I had a few different ideas, all of them boil down to user diaries being queued up for the front page, so they appeared during peak reading periods.  The simplest form would to use individual ratings (that already exist from comments) to determine if your diaries could be published.  So any regular here would have the ability now, and others might get the ability over time.

[ Parent ]
HELLO! (0.00 / 0)
it is not acceptable that this 'club' dissolves - and IF it is only about 'money' - the problem is easy to resolve. I am willing to spent 30$ a month for 'the progressive company' of the people I met here.
So we only need another 150? people who are willing to spent the same amount. There are over a hundred posters here who want to stick together - and I realize some might not have the money - so let's find a way -(as anonymous once wrote) - to get the dough.
Let's organize it like a real company. The 30$ are 'shares' - an investment in a site which soon will show all the other lefty sites what's what. To start - we need a headliner - I vote for Paul. He draws a salery. We then need as strong as a particpation as the reaction to the closing of Open Left. That shouldn't be a problem because with having a 'share' - everybody will be much more involved (in creating a interesting site - finding more shareholders etc etc)

Blogging as usual will not be enough - So we also have to get more into problem solving and act more like a 'think tank' -(even if we hate the word) - Huff is pretty clever and -(for example)- by helping 'people' - to think through the dilemma with their 'underwater houses' they helped themselves for example creating lots of 'traffic'.
That doesn't mean we should be into 'traffic' - I always loved the idea of a small 'elitist thinking blog' - where (after a while) - people (hopefully) will beg to become a member -(and if they can afford it - pay much more than a 30$) -    

So it's very easy - and entirely up to y'all!
We just need about 150 'club members -(cancel the membership of your dogclub instead) - and then we will be able (again) to discuss all kind of things and I can bitch about it -(I need that!)
For example - I am very curious lately - if you can get rid of a dictator without doing so much damage to (ourselves) - 'the people' - and so I take the 'freedom' to post this suggestion on all these ByeBye posts -
Make it fly???      


Really Thanks (0.00 / 0)
It is really Thank full for me..!
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Thank you OpenLeft | 21 comments
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