If "we" ignore each other, can we expect others to pay attention?


10 comments posted
Excellent post

I would add to "funding" that ownership of media is vital. Ownership is the difference between being included or excluded.

Obviously women need to move into ownership positions, as well as progressives. This takes focus and a huge amount of time and energy. Traditional (read: old-fashioned) gender roles hinder women here (e.g., the caretaking role women are expected to fulfill).

Don't know if above is very helpful as your piece is about impacting the political discourse in mainstream America.

(P.S. - Why aren't *you* on some conference panel, MG? :))

- Sour Duck

Sour Duck's picture
Posted by Sour Duck on 13 December 2005 - 12:20pm
A Meta-DKos movement

The Pajama's media idea could have been a good one, properly put into practice. Of course, they're right-wing wankers and so far Pantload Media is too bad to even make fun of.

The Daou Report is another good example of spreading the links to the mid-sized blogs.

I try to do my part, much of it thanks to the magic of RSS and Atom. My first site, LoopyNews, contains hundreds of sources, many of them blogs. (The politics page is dominated by them)

I added the ProgBlog Research Center early this year, and grafted on a resyndication and article recommendation system. A number of the active IndyWeblogs folks act as editors and carry the recommendations feeds. (That's how I came across this post, it was a recommended article).

Most recently, I converted my blog into an email newsletter, drawn from, largely, blogs. And many of those blogs are also IndyWeblogs, which feeds back into the article recommendation system.

The cost of running this is minimal, the work involved in building it was pretty high. It would be nice if other communities of blogs would pick up such ideas and build similar tools to create cross-blog communities. Sort of a meta-DailyKos movement.

DrLaniac's picture
Posted by DrLaniac (not verified) on 13 December 2005 - 10:17pm
You do great stuff

And not just your coding, but your blogging. I agree -- we could benefit from more cross-blog development. I wonder how much, at this point, more "web 2.0" (or web 3.0?) development ends up being disruptive to existing hierarchies. I don't know.

But I do feel that the kind of people who populate large community sites are less likely to follow links to other sites than people who visit blogs here and there. Yet it's the inter-networking of different blogs and sites that helps improve visibility. And your work on that score, such as for the Indy 500, has done great things on a micro scale.

Have you thought about licensing your coding with GPL and offering it up with a public API? If such features of voting for networked sites were ported as a module to Drupal, Wordpress, MT, etc., that would be a wonderful thing for the blogging world, imho. (Of course, that means potential money out of your pocket, so who am I to demand any such thing?)

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 13 December 2005 - 11:47pm

Thanks for the kind words.

I hesitated to make what could seem like a shameless promotion (that's why I'm not in marketing), but it does go to the heart of what I'm trying to do with my online work. While it's cool to have other people read your work, I'm constantly impressed by the quality and variety that others out there are producing. The reward for my efforts is in having easier access to all that linky goodness.

DrLaniac's picture
Posted by DrLaniac (not verified) on 14 December 2005 - 10:43am

for this very relevant post. I've certainly noticed that there are precious few rewards for linking to the big blogs. Funny, cuz I thought the left was generally critical of the inherent injustice of hierarchal systems, but maybe that's only us women.

egalia's picture
Posted by egalia (not verified) on 14 December 2005 - 9:50am
If we're so busy ignoring each other...

Mg, I know you are onto something, and that you are suggesting an approach to solving it, but I am having trouble following your argument. You wrote,

... there seems to be a mindset on the part of many big bloggers that dissenting opinions should be ignored rather than engaged... If we cannot embrace the dissent within our vaguely-defined "ranks", then how can we expect more progressive influence? If we're so busy ignoring each other, then how can we expect others to pay attention?

Could you provide an example of what you are referring to here? Maybe I am being dopey or literal minded, but I am just not sure I understand.


Sites like Daily Kos are so insular, even a FP mention will generate only a few curiosity hits, while a casual oh-by-the-way link in a modestly trafficked site could generate hundreds of hits.

Again I am confused. What is an "FP mention"? Oh, I see: front page. Okay, but what do you mean by "a casual link in a modestly trafficked site"? Is your point that readers of Daily Kos and other big sites don't follow links, while readers of smaller blogs do follow links? If that is the idea, you might be perfectly right... I'm just trying to make sure I get your point.

And your proposed solution? Please explain. Thank you.

Ralph's picture
Posted by Ralph (not verified) on 14 December 2005 - 10:38am
To answer your questions

To the second question, yes. For example, mediagirl.org has been linked to from front-page posts on Daily Kos and Booman Tribune, both of which scarcely registered in the site stats here. However, a link from a site I've never heard of might generate an extra hundred hits, and a link from a larger site like Pandagon or Digby can bring lots of people in to read. It's ironic that, for all its size, Daily Kos seems to have absolutely no "Slashdot" effect of bringing overwhelming traffic to a site. I have a hunch, though I am by all means not at all certain, that this is largely because people who go to Daily Kos hang out there, going over page after page in the long and often rich comments discussion, rather than coming to Daily Kos to find stuff elsewhere to see.

As to the first question, I will not name names because the point is not to cry j'accuse! but to merely point out that there are many instances where unwelcome or dissenting political opinions within the so-called "liberal blogosphere" are ignored, rather than engaged -- which is behavior I find unproductive to the progressive cause, as well as destructive to potential page-rank benefits all progressive and liberal sites would glean from more robust and active inter-linking in cross-site debates and discussions.

Among feminist sites, we have a lot of this interlinked discussion. We link, debate, disagree, praise, ridicule in lively debates -- and as a result we all have benefitted. This comes not from any conspiracy or coherent strategy, but just naturally, out of an interest in engaging in discussion, in connecting with others.

And yet feminist sites are almost universally ignored by popular "progressive" sites, maybe out of preconceptions that we're all part of the "women's studies set." The same could be said for African American bloggers, bloggers writing about disabilities, and so on.

I strongly feel that the progressive movement loses out when dialogue between actual progressive constituents is not only ignored, but even actively discouraged.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 14 December 2005 - 11:57am
Feminist sites interlink?

That's very interesting. Can you point to an example of an "interlinked" discussion among feminist sites? I certainly agree that it would be good to have much more discussion taking place among the lefty blogs, but I don't know how to encourage that or make it easier.

How does that work on the feminist blogs? Does one follow a thread from blog to blog, or somehow trail through the various comment sections?

I once read somewhere that women are more likely to engage in cooperative behavior in order to get things done than men. That could be related to the difference you are pointing out. But it might be possible to get men into the spirit of doing that, too, by facilitating dialog with some sort of helpful links and cross-comment facilities.

As Laniac mentioned, a sort of "meta-DailyKos" is what we've been trying to create within the Indy group. Clearly, shared comment spaces would help accomplish that. I wonder if we might be able to create a Haloscan-compatible "intercomment" facility, offering a shared user interface and a single login for commenting across all subscribing weblogs. That seems to be especially helpful in building a community if comments can be nested, so the reply to a comment appears just below the parent comment.

Ralph's picture
Posted by Ralph (not verified) on 15 December 2005 - 12:00am
Not sure if it's a matter of technology

...so much as a matter of culture. I just noticed that we tend to do it a lot. It helps to have a site like feminist blogs to pull many of us together.

But you'll see many major feminist bloggers linking out to other posts elsewhere, to agree or disagree. Choose almost any feminist topic here and you'll see something I've linked to, where that person has linked to others, who've linked to others. Buzz buzz buzz....

Then of course there's the Carnival of Feminists, which is all about linky goodness, but with meaning.

It's just more fun that way, don't you think?

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 15 December 2005 - 12:57am
spot on

and I plan on following your advice myself going forward. The best thing the blogs have to offer is as incubators of new ideas, new perspectives and new snark. Too much of that energy is being misdirected in the service of propping up establishment parties and office holders and manufacturing consent for the status quo.

Excellent, as always.

Madman in the Marketplace's picture
Posted by Madman in the M... on 15 December 2005 - 7:49pm