Mutual guest blogging update, next steps, poll

by: JonPincus

Sat Jun 21, 2008 at 12:07

Please make sure to vote in the poll!
For related threads, see the guestblogging tag
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Things have been going extremely well on the mutual guest blogging project.  Thus far we've got acceptances from Jill Tubman from Jack and Jill Politics, Pam Spaulding from Pam's House Blend, and Sara Robinson from Orcinus.  The idea's steadily improved, and response has been consistently positive.  It seems to me like we're on track for a major success.  (Additional details below; invitation list and discussion here.)

We'll be going live the week of June 30, with a sequence like the following:

JonPincus :: Mutual guest blogging update, next steps, poll
  • on Monday, June 30, an intro teaser post, restating the idea, and introducing the bloggers
  • also on Monday, kick off the additional nominations" voting/discussion.  sb, who's helping with this, observes this is likely to be somewhat incendiary -- some of the blogs, bloggers, and perspectives that have been nominated are very polarizing.  So it should be a great way of ramping up energy and interest.
  • on Wednesday, July 2, posts from the guests on OpenLeft; post from OpenLefties on the other blogs
  • also on Wednesday a "nexus" (aka "mothership") post with links.  Aviva, who's helping with this, suggested a great refinement to Paul Rosenberg's initial idea here: comments on this post will allow others not originally invited to include themselves.

After that, there are likely to be some followup posts from the guests and OpenLefties over the next ten days -- with the winners of the "additional nominee" voting potentially joining in for the week of July 7 (depending on how the initial guest bloggers feel about that).

As Pam suggested, we'll be using tagging to make it easy to find all the posts here on OpenLeft and elsewhere.  We're still looking for a clever tag name; suggestions, please!

After that, we have a lot of great suggestions for additional topics. If there's enough interest and energy to take this ahead, I recommend kicking off a nomination thread next week with a twist: people can only nominate a topic if they agree to drive the implementation if it's selected.  The underlying thinking here is that this self-selects for which topics are of sufficient interest that people will actually take action.

Assuming we want to continue the process, that is.  The planning so far has involved several front-page posts, and there will be a lot more going forward.  

Is this a good use of the valuable OpenLeft front-page "screen real estate"?  I've included a poll; please vote, and also add your opinions in the comments.

Should we continue the mutual guest-blogging experiment?
Only if we can reduce front-page posts


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Requests for help (and thanks) (0.00 / 0)
Paul, you said you've been in contact with Melissa McEwan; could you follow up with her and see if she and/or others from Shakesville are interested?

Anybody who knows Egalia, could you do the same for TGW? Feel free to copy me on the mail; Matt asked me to be the email point person.

Thanks to all who have helped so far (including nonpartisan for forwarding on the invite to brownfemipower).  We'll continue to need volunteers; if you've got the time and energy to help, please let us know!

Update on Talk2Action (0.00 / 0)
For those who didn't see this in the other thread, Talk2Action declined because the topic's out of scope for them, but are interested in working with OpenLeft in general -- and they very much like the collaborative approach.  

Why I voted "yes" (4.00 / 1)
Things are going extremely well.  The discussions so far have shown a consistent desire for more diverse viewpoints, and support for this project. The guest bloggers are excited. We've got a raft of great topics coming up. I've also run the mutual guest-blogging idea past some of my network theorist and social computing researcher friends, and they're all intrigued -- they agree it's likely to have the desired effect on information flow, diversity, and creating loose links.

We've got a chance at a real breakthrough here, if we can continue to refine the process and it starts to get emulated (and improved) elsewhere.

Why stop now?

In terms of front page real estate, my best estimate is that we're using less than 5% of the posts during the planning stage.  That seems to me a pretty small price to pay for bringing bloggers of this quality to OpenLeft.  Of course it would be better to cut down on unnecessary posts (and as an experiment, I'll see how much discussion we can get here without promoting it) but in any case, especially since this (as far as I know) the only OpenLeft initiative focused on improving diversity, I think it's well worth it.  

I want more posts on the frontpage not fewer... (4.00 / 2)
I dont understand, this is some of the most insightful, freewheeling, fact glutted, heart filled, committed writing anywhere, and it's constant, uninhibited, useful, encouraging, informative and involving.

I have a large number of unused descriptors that fit just as well too: inspiring, demanding and maddening for example.

Please more writing, more uplifted comments and lifted diaries, more involvement, more investigations, more progressive tactics, more progressive heroes.

Heres one story that hasn't been written yet:

The American people think Congress is doing as sh177y a job as the President. What do they want congress to do (I think its obvious) and why the hell do "cowardly" (or "hidden Republican" ) Democrats think veering right is making them happy?


The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


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