Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

motley moose

An Insider's Guide to Motley Moose DRAFT

Artist: fogiv

Greetings fellow Moose (and lurkers!). Welcome to our Insider’s Guide. While most of what one needs to know of the Moose can be found in our Posting Guidelines, FAQ, and About pages, there are lots of quirks of the Moose that are unwritten. Longtime moose are in tune with the spirit of the blog, and they’re familiar with the ins and outs of “getting around” in these parts. For new people, Moose formatting, settings, and culture may be quite foreign.

Not to worry. Motley Moose strives to be a highly inclusive, comfortable, open environment. As such, the last thing we want is for any of our newcomers to feel left out or confused. Hopefully this diary will provide adequate answers to any lingering questions you might have, and perhaps it will answer questions you haven’t even had time to think of! We hope the following tips help you get your bearings and find your stride. If any of your questions remain unanswered… you must be one creative moose! And you are always welcome to email us via the Contact Moose link at the bottom of each page.

PhotobucketHere at the Moose, there really is no such thing as threadjacking. Just about any thread on the Moose is a potential Open Thread, and no one is going to get fired up over a left field comment.

PhotobucketThere is no such thing as Jumping the Tip Jar because we don’t traditionally use Tip Jars. Our diarists may not even leave a top comment (though, if a diary has JUST been posted, it is courteous to wait a few minutes before commenting in case one is being written).


PhotobucketRatings on the Moose are more for fun and support than anything else, especially since we have such a courteous, well-behaved group of regular commenters. We do not tend to take ratings as seriously as other sites might. In the most general of terms, our ratings can be defined as:

Fierce = Anything from “Ayup” to “Oh hell yeah!!!”

Meh = “Meh.”

Fail = “Oh hell no!!!”

We really are pretty laid back as a rule. As such, Fail ratings are rare, rare, rare. If someone has Failed a comment of yours, odds are it was in error (easy to do on a laptop when rating multiple comments).

PhotobucketThink of our comment threads as dinner table conversations. We start with the assumption that all come to the conversation with good intentions and go from there. If you get upset or angry, get up from the table and step outside for a bit. Things can still get heated here at times, but we do tend to make peace quickly and continue working towards finding common ground.

PhotobucketThe Moose does not allow retaliatory HR’ing. Do not exchange Fail ratings back and forth with anyone during an argument, and do not fail a “bystander’s” nearby comments because they HR’d one of yours. If Fail ratings are being passed around in earnest, something is wrong, and it’s time for those receiving them to take a little break from the computer.

PhotobucketThe Moose moves at a slower pace than some other sites. Rather than lasting a few hours, a conversation may last for days (and/or be carried over into multiple diaries). Don’t be shy about commenting in a diary that is more than a day or so old. Chances are, moose are still watching it.


PhotobucketThe Moose is an Anti-Flame Zone. Our interactions are more like casual discussions with family and friends. That said, everyone has a bad day now and again, and we just try to cut each other some slack when it happens.

Avoid this!


PhotobucketTry not to drag drama and/or altercations from other sites over to the Moose. Odds are, the moose it would interest are already aware of it, and those that aren’t probably don’t want to be aware of it in the first place.


Users on the Moose are to be judged and rated based on the content and quality of their diaries and comments HERE only. Do not pick fights with people based on their behavior on other sites. The Moose also does not allow Hide On Sight (HOS) rating. Do NOT hide a comment that is not hide-worthy just because you do not like a user or his/her message.


PhotobucketAvoid excessively criticizing other blogs’ moderation, membership, or site content. We try to avoid bashing other sites in general (the obvious exceptions to this rule would be Rightwing and/or Hate sites). We see no need to build a divide amongst those fighting for the same causes. In fact, most Moose are active across the blogosphere. For example, many Moose diary and comment regularly on Daily Kos.


PhotobucketTo follow what we are up to on DKos, join and f
ollow the Group Moose Tracks: Moose on the Loose. By looking at the profile for the Moose Group, you can click on individual Moose and follow them as well.

PhotobucketMoose have pretty thick hides, and many (if not most) comments have a healthy dose of snark in them. Almost universally, we tease each other out of affection. If you find snark aimed in your direction, just laugh and roll with it. Even if you’re new and not accustomed to this sort of banter, chances are it was well-intentioned and good-natured.

PhotobucketThis is YOUR blog. Write about whatever you want. While our primary emphasis is politics, we also love food diaries, horse/pootie/woozle diaries, poetry diaries, science diaries, biographical diaries, photo diaries, funny clip diaries, and any number of other things you can think up! Music, books, travel, personal stories, and the occasional unicorn porn fansite are welcome. Whatever you feel led to blog about is fair game on the Moose, so long as it abides by our Posting Guidelines. Not only do we want you to join in on the conversation, we want you to start new ones!


PhotobucketWhile the Moose is indeed now YOUR blog, we understand that many people keep personal blogs as well. Moose with Blogs is a blog roll found in the right column that links to… you guessed it: blogs that belong to other Moose. If you have a personal blog that you would like added to the Moose Blog Roll, you can ask in any active thread or use the Contact the Moose link.


PhotobucketIf you are plugged into social media, Motley Moose has Twitter, Facebook, and Networked Blogs accounts. You can find links to all three in the far right column beneath the Moose with Blogs section. Add us, Friend us, and Follow us!


PhotobucketIt is highly recommended that you download the browser add-on Lazarus. It is available for both Firefox and Chrome, and it can be an absolute sanity-saver. It prevents the loss of a diary draft or comment (on any site) in the case of an errant click, power outage, or balky computer (and it also prevents the loss of forms and emails). Do yourself a favor and take the very brief time needed to add it.

Lazarus for Firefox

Lazarus for Chrome

PhotobucketPut quite simply: Our Search sucks. Try using the Advanced Options beneath the search box at the top righthand corner of the page, then hit teh Googles in case of colossal Search FAILure.


PhotobucketYou will occasionally see a diary labeled The Lounge. The Lounge was an early forum for all things silly during the building of the Moose. Our resident snarkmeisters reigned supreme and kept us all from getting too serious. We carried The Lounge over to Motley Moose in the form of snarky and/or free form diaries. A couple of examples:  

The Lounge: Flashback-Gate and part deux

Zee Lounge: Evolution Edition

Feel free to use the “The Lounge” as a subject header when you want to get your snark on. It is NOT necessary to begin a diary with that heading simply because it is apolitical or whimsical. The designation is really only meant to be used in cases of [how to word?].

PhotobucketOur comment threads tend to become “unmanageable” at about the 200 comment mark. Things get boggy and can really frustrate those with slower machines. So when a comment thread is hopping and has reached that point, just start a “Part Deux” diary to continue the conversation.

PhotobucketYou may find that using Preview while writing a diary is a frustrating experience. The font, spacing, and general “look” do not accurately depict the way the diary will appear once published. In order to see it properly, select Draft, then Preview, then SAVE (as draft). Viewing the saved Draft allows you to see the diary as it will appear once posted. This process adds a couple steps, but in the long run, it can save time in editing.

PhotobucketTo post YouTube clips, please select “use old embed” code when embedding. Soapblox does not accept iframes as valid tags. Also, when posting video OR images, please avoid using those which exceed 500px in width because it distorts the formatting of the site. Be aware of how far to the right margin you are in a comment thread — if it is a long thread, the images should be even smaller.

PhotobucketThe front page of the blog has a Recent Comments section which displays the full subject lines of our most recent comments. Because of this, a subject line which is just a long string of characters with no break (e.g., “Heyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!”) can actually throw off the formatting of the entire main page. Needless to say, this should be avoided.

Nobody is perfect — not even the great Motley Moose — so I am sure there are many quirks of the Moose that I am missing.

I hope you all stick around to figure them out (and perhaps contribute quirks of your own!).

Origins of the Moose

Partly as a welcome to new members, and partly because the article is now behind a paywall and I’ve never posted it here, I’ll post below a piece I wrote about the collective origins of the Moose during the 2008 primaries.

It was written for a non-blogging UK audience, so most of it will be quite obvious to a lot of Meese. But worth a bit of reflection three years on.

Flaming for Obama

This year’s Democratic primaries weren’t just fought on the hustings and in the television studios. Some of the fiercest battles took place in the blogosphere

Lord of the Flies: the Techno-Libertarian Experiment on DK4

Welcome to the Wild West, a personal Lord in the Flies Experiment in Flame Baiting and Anarchy

(PSST. Is this snark?)

This diary is a combination of several things, partly a response to Kos’ recent update on both the software developments on Daily Kos, and his comment on moderation. But it’s also a wider reflection on what’s happened to the principles of online activism, fundraising, citizen journalism and advocacy.

First off, this isn’t a gripe about the software redesign of DK4, or all the hard work put in by Kossacks and the IT team.  On the purely visual level, it’s a stunning overhaul and most of us would feel a real downgrade to to back to DK3. This is about something deeper than active tags or group functionality. It’s about the principles of civility and online citizenship.

Neither is it an attack on the site’s founder. I have no personal gripes against Kos. Hell, I spend a lot of time on his blog for free (hope he gets some ad revenues). DailyKos is certainly the best looking, most active and advanced blogging platform I’ve come across. No other site on Left Blogistan compares with it, and UK equivalents look lumbering and antediluvian in comparison.

Though I’ve heard Kos is some kind of left libertarian, this is mainly directed to a wider set of  ‘Technolibertarians’ who somehow believe that online networking will solve many of the political problems of our future.

So, no mon hypocrite lecteur,  my opening line isn’t entirely snark. This has felt like the Wild West since the launch of DK4,  like being a character in Lord of the Flies. What happened? Are there any lessons to be drawn from it? Will I get gift subscriptions? And is there any end to pie?

The Greening of the Moose: Open Thread

Ladies and gentlemoose,

You may have noticed that our lovely purple banner is turning green! And unless you’ve been living in a cave (and likely even if you have), you’ve probably guessed that it has something to do with the current protests in Iran. The Moose has gone green to show solidarity and support for the Iranian protesters and for free and open elections. The protesters’ determination to see their votes counted, and their dedication to fair elections, is inspiring. It is indicative of real progress, and The Moose supports Progressives the world over.


Crashing the Sweetiegate: Participate in UK Conference

This is partly a diary to celebrate the survival of the Moose over the dangerous last few months while Sarah Palin was circling in a helicopter with her telescopic rifle, and also a summary of a talk I will be doing on Thursday November 20th, at a plenary session that will start at about 10 a.m EST and last for an hour and a half.

The Conference is called No Frontiers? Free Speech and the Internet and is hosted by English PEN, the 21st Century Trust, and is being covered by The Guardian in its Comment is Free section. My specific talk is: Crashing The Sweetiegate – how online forums and political advocacy could transform the political sphere

For my fellow Moosers, the title (suggested by the organisers) is self explanatory, and some of you will be familiar with basic argument from my Flaming for Obama piece in Prospect Magazine last month, which drew an unexpectedly benign response from the proprietor of MYDD.

But here I’m inviting you all to show how the liberal blogosphere works, and respond in real time, or whatever time you choose, to the basic points with critiques, thoughts, flames or fail cartoons.  

Don’t Bite Your Hoofs – An Invitation to all Mooses

Moose are calm herbivorous creatures. Except in rutting season we don’t fret. Despite what the would-be Republican Vice President thinks of us, we usually remain aloof and majestic.

But the next few days will be a challenge to us. There are so many things to do…

Monday Morning Open Thread

It’s Monday.  The Wall Street Times is in Full Panic Mode, the markets open in ten minutes and Lehman Brothers is filing Chapter 11.

Who said Monday’s weren’t exciting?

What’s on your open minds?

Sunday Open Thread

Happy Sunday, folks!

It’s the Quiet Day, The Gulf of Mexico is slowly draining back into it’s normal confines, and SNL would like someone to ask Palin about Dinosaurs.

What, if anything, is on your minds today?

Saturday Evening Open Thread

It’s Saturday Evening, Hurricane Ike is raining on Texas and damage is being assessed across the state and the Gulf.

Folks are suggesting we should put more oil rigs in Hurricane-prone waters.  Maybe that is some part of a mid-term energy solution, maybe it’s barking mad.


(Note – not a picture from Hurricane Ike)

What’s on your fertile minds?

About Us

Motley Moose is a community blog focused primarily on American Politics. The site was a joint effort by twenty-five active political bloggers (a healthy mix of long-time Obama supporters, ‘Clintonistas’, centrists, libertarians, and non-partisan moderates) who had become tired of the trolling and flame wars found on many political sites. The idea was to build a post-partisan site that could move forward instead of looking back. The Motley Moose springs from the rich history of Progressive Blogs including MyDD (aka “The Blogfather”) and  DailyKos.

The Moose has grown far beyond those original 25 bloggers by becoming a ‘home base’ for many long-time as well as new political bloggers.  In separating ourselves from the political blog herd, we set out to build a new place to gather that had clear lines of moderation, fostered a strong community, promoted reasoned discourse and well-researched diaries, and included a healthy dose of snark and dry wit.  While we trend to the Left, we are focused on political pragmatism because we believe that without a dialogue from across the political spectrum, we’ll never be able to move forward, beyond partisanship and rhetoric, and make progress on the challenges we face.  We have built a strong community on which the success of the blog rests, and we believe that one blog and one blogger can make a difference in the world.

We wholeheartedly believe that there can be progress through politics.  We invite you to join the discussion!

Motley: Having elements of great variety or incongruity.

Moose: A reference to the Bull Moose Party (the first Progressive Party) and a nod to our Progressive beliefs.

The Moose was born on Wednesday, September 10, 2008.