About

This blog is designed to be a place where ordinary people who also happen to be bloggers can post about issues that are important to them, and be heard by wider audiences.  If you write for your own blog or for a group blog, you are more than welcome to crosspost those essays here, but we ask that you use that opportunity to tell your readers “this entry is crossposted at the Independent Bloggers’ Alliance. You are also encouraged to post links to stories written by other contributors here. The fact is, the more we get in the practice of linking to each other, the better it is for all of us.

As far as ideology, I expect that we will be something of a mix of moderate to liberal viewpoints, not necessarily loyal to a particular party. Nobody is their best self all the time, but I expect us to make a genuine effort to treat each other with respect, even when we disagree.

I have written more about the purpose of this site in the Introduction, as well as  here and here.

11 Responses to About

  1. You are to be applauded for putting this effort together and in such a short time. I look forward to seeing this project move forward. Please let me know what I can do to help.

    One idea, I have been trying to get political blogs to agree to a code of ethics, sort of like (dare I mention them) the press has (and yes, they violate them sometimes). I am not sure what should be in it that would allow freedom of thought and expression, but maybe that should be the first principle. I am also thinking about things such as reciprocity (everyone on your list should be listing everyone else), more use of trackbacks and links to one another, what is a proper source, etc.

    Right now the Big Dogs only credibility with the press is that they are Big Dogs. That and the mainstream press’ general laziness about looking for other sources means that when they need someone to talk about what is going on in blogdom they turn to kos, etc.

    But there is a second way to credibility at that is by becoming known as a place/group that has a commitment to principles.

    In Strange Death I wrote about the potential for the Republican Radical Right to really harness the Net for all kinds of nastiness. The example I used was the doctored photo of John Kerry and Jane Fonda. I believe in the coming campaign, given the new technologies such as YouTube we will see even more of that. Media Matters and some of the sites that are part of this alliance have already done a good job exposing some of this BS, but we need to commit to continue to expose it and not use it ourselves.

    I would suggest at some point you might want to print up and issue and press release and paper the mainstream media with it announcing the formation of this alliance and the reasons for it.

    Also at some point what kind of alliance are we? By that I mean is this to be a real organization or a clearing house/home base for non-Big Dog bloggers? Hell, you could even put together a 501c3 if this thing ever got into money and make it a nonprofit.

    Along time ago I published an article that coined the term “infosection” (information intersection) to describe the emerging world promised by the web. The new power bases will be infosections. This could become such an infosection for those of us on the left.

    Keep up the good work.

  2. Blue Gal says:

    Code of ethics smacks of censorship to me.

    But linking sources, visiting each other’s blogs as often as possible, etc. sounds good. But that already happens and those who do not ususally find themselves marginalized without too much effort.

    At the risk of sounding all Milton Friedman, let the marketplace take care of all that. And seriously, forget 501c3 and any kind of business model. That exact attitude is what got Chris Bowers in so much trouble with so many of us.

    BG

  3. Kevin says:

    Found a link to here from Shadow of the Hegemon, and I’m trying to figure out what this project is about. Is the goal to form an open community free from any kind of group think? Is it about independent politics? I’m confused. Intrigued but confused.

  4. ohiorenee says:

    Sorry I don’t have an actual “About” page written up yet. Work keeps getting in the way. This blog grew out of the discussion here

    http://blogrollamnestyday.blogspot.com

    Avoiding groupthink is part of it. I’ve written about the purpose in the introduction here, and some more in the “Coming soon: complete sentences”. Will try to pull together a more streamlined statement soon, but again, this ain’t my day job, so I work on it when I can.

  5. A great idea. I just stumbled on to it Renee – as I have been so overwhelmed down here I have not been keeping up.

    But this is very needed as the parties and the system of politics (disfunctional) have done a very aggressive job of “capturing” the “famous” blogs in order to keep them on the “same page” as their party agenda.

    And that is exactly what has gone wrong in America from the start – and what the potential of the blogs provided a cure for – but cannot provide if they are controlled in that fashion.

    How do I make a contributing post – I would like to provide one (perhaps each week).

    Charlie

  6. One thought on a “code of ethics” – what I would suggest is two-fold:

    1) Establish a set of principles. Publish it and make it a key point of discussion when someone is criticizing the content or tone of another’s post.

    2) Establish the discourse (which should be central to the principles). When a post is considered “inappropriate” – TALK ABOUT it – and keep referring to the principles (and you may in time be able to get a consensus on how to better articulate those principles themselves). Perhaps add a rating system to the posts – I don’t know if this blog has that capacity – but it could be one NON-censoring way of getting a FEELING for the community’s view on the particular post.

    Its a learning process. And it is what is at the core of a functioning democracy (but what is missing in America). We don’t need censorship – we need discourse. Feel free to speak your mind; but learn you must be mindful of others if you want to be heard and understood. And don’t be afraid to criticize – not the other person, but the content of their post. Disagreement is healthy – it is productive – if we only learn HOW to do it.

    Our party system and political system has focused on disagreement as a way to divide. That is what has gone wrong.

    Democracy is about the coming together despite disagreements in order to talk about things so as to identify that set of things that we do and can AGREE upon.

    This should be the goal of the blogging community. To re-establish political (rather than partisan) discourse in America.

  7. What kind of blog/alliance is this?

    I had proposed blog reciprocity as one thing we could all do. I spent time putting every single member of the alliance on my blogroll. Some others have also added members. However, there are also “members” who not only do not practice reciprocity but do not even have the decency to respond to requests for being added to their blogrolls. That some of these sites are or were former kossacks does not surprise me.

    Since some of these sites have ads, adding them to your blogroll when they don’t add you makes them money and leaves you empty-handed.

    I wrote a widely-circulated post titled “Blogs as High School.” It appears high school is alive and well even at this site.

    It is too bad. It has the potential to be something really positive for blogdom, but if folks who are on the blogroll are only taking up space or helping their Technorati count it does not do much good.

    Sorry to be feisty, but this snobbery on the part of the “Big Dogs” needs to stop, at least here.

    As for the “free market” approach America tried that back in the 1890s. I would hope we have progressed a but since then.

    And groupthink… There is a difference between that and standing for something. A great example of how that works is at My Left Wing which has a manifesto and yet also a no censorship policy. I like a lot of what Charlie says in his post.

  8. ohiorenee says:

    Not sure who you’re referring to, but I’m striking a balance here. This is a work in progress, and, until today, I’ve been at work during the day and often mentally kind of drained at night. The only people who I see as “officially” part of the alliance are the ones who are listed as contributors. And I do see it as desirable that there be amicable relations between this blog and some of the larger blogs. Still working on how to make that case with the ones who might be receptive in a positive way.

    Sorry you’re disappointed, but I’ve been straightforward from the beginning that I’m making this us as I go along.

  9. In your blog amnesty site you quote the following:

    “Every incoming link, even to your own diary on a community blog, benefits the owner of the blog. Much the way people started rethinking whether they wanted to shop at WalMart, it’s worth considering where you want to “spend” your links.”

    You have links on this blog to people who do not honor reciprocity. Are you going to keep listing them or not? There seems to be a bit of a disconnect between this site and the other.

    BTW-all the blogs on the amnesty site DO reciprocate.

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