I’ve been slowly getting up to speed on all the blogosphere biz but still not quite there yet. By pure luck or coincidence I got to see DailyKos at its worst. I read many blogs and remember very few authors. Over at Kos I read all of Meteor Blade’s stuff and that’s about it (the Kos frontpage is a joke). Imagine my surprise when I read a diary about the banning of a very well known diarist who uses TocqueDeville as his/her handle.
I’ll let a part of TocqueDeville’s GBCW diary do the talking.
Lastly, a lot of people have been suggesting that I must have been warned. Let me be clear: I was never warned. I was just suddenly locked out.
If Markos had simply asked me I would have been more than happy to clarify my position on the record. I would have explained my true intent and the whole bit about gross negligence and put all this conspiracy business aside. But instead I was just locked out. That is a lot of power for one individual to have over another. And that’s one of the reasons I haven’t asked to be reinstated and would not accept it if it was offered. I will never allow someone to have that kind of power over me again.
This point offers a nice segue to something I’ve been wanting to say at Daily Kos for a long time though: Don’t call this a community.
Imagine if everyone were to have gotten together 6 years ago and said, we need a community website for progressive Democrats that we can use to organize, raise money for our candidates, and spread our message. How do we want to do it?
Now imagine someone stood up and said, “I have an idea. Why don’t we create this website. I will run it and provide the servers. For doing so, I will run ads and get all the ad revenue. Sound fair?”
“We’re still listening”, someone replies.
“I would also, of course, have complete and absolute authority over who can come, and who can stay. I will set the terms of the site, and I will set the rules. If someone breaks my rules, or even if I just get the sense that someone has broken the rules, I will banish them into the aether, never to be seen again. Still listening?”
“And most importantly, I will decide what gets printed on the home page. It will be my sole discretion who gets to speak and who does not. And to top it all off, since I will be the owner of the site, the site will be named after me – “Daily Me”.”
What do you think the response would have been? I’m pretty sure that people would reject that proposal and secondly, I’m pretty sure that this individual would be excluded from any future meetings of the steering committee.
That is what Daily Kos turned out to be. It is a disturbing model for a progressive community. I’ve always had a problem with it. But my abrupt banning draws it into focus for me again. At some point, progressives need to think about a truly open source model for online community organization. One that reflects the values and principles of democracy and fairness that all progressives share.