Washblog

Blogging Isn't Enough

I originally posted this at Daily Kos and MyDD a couple of hours ago, but I think it's very relevant locally.

DailyKos founder Markos Moulitsas Zuniga was featured in an article in the San Francisco Chronicle today, discussing his new book Crashing the Gate and the state of political blogging.

The interview for me, summed up neatly what it is all about:

And eventually, he says, the online ranters have to get out of their jammies.

"I don't want my readers to be readers. I want them to be activists," Moulitsas said. "I want them to come to Daily Kos, learn about what's happening in the country. And then when all of that is done, I want them to turn off the computer, walk outside and talk to real people."

Markos is right. It isn't enough to rant, opine and let world know how you feel. It's a start, but it isn't enough. While I blog in my spare time, I help change the world by working as a legislative assistant to a state Senator. Not everyone can be a legislative assistant, but everyone can do something to help the progressive movement. And truth be told, I could probably be doing more than I am, and there are others who could be doing more too.

Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper about an issue or candidate that you're passionate about. Volunteer your time for a progressive cause or candidate. Donate money to those candidate who share your views. Meet with your legislators or Congressional staffers about an issue that is important to you. Go to Drinking Liberally and contribute. Go to a MeetUp. Talk to friends and neighbors about a candidate or an issue. It doesn't really matter what you do as long as you do something.

If all you do is blog, you're just talking the talk. It's time to walk the walk and get out in your community and do something positive for the progressive movement. If you're like me, and you're already doing things to advance our cause, then re-evaluate what you're doing. Is it effective? If not, then find something else that is productive and effective. Evaluate whether or not you're doing enough. Could you be doing more? And then go out there and do it.

Howard Dean said, "You have the power." Now go out there and use it.

< Movement as Network: Emergence: The Commons | Maria Cantwell; Now can you find the courage? Kerry's new Iraq exit plan >
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Blogging can be very time consuming.  If you don't do it enough you'll lose your audience.  Washblog serves a great purpose as a community blog because there is always something new from someone - an individual diarist doesn't have to write every day - and the audience is greater for most of us than we'd ever get on own blogs.

I agree that it is important to get out and be the activist, but if a blogger can engage with and inspire others to get out and about, that blogger is doing his or her fair share IMO toward creating an active society.

On The Road To 2008: Countdown to the next opportunity to change the direction of America

by Daniel K on Wed Apr 05, 2006 at 09:45:18 PM PST

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That Ken is saying that blogging isn't enough on a blog?

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

by Belltowner on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 05:07:33 PM PST

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political speech.  That's huge.    The hope is that it is a bridge to action more than it is a siphon from the pool of potential activists.

by noemie maxwell on Thu Apr 06, 2006 at 08:34:07 PM PST

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I'm glad to read Markos say those things.  Having heard him speak twice now, I'm a bit less harsh in my criticisms of his book.  I think he and Jerome are trying.  And that counts for a helluva lot.

At the Friday night Labor Temple event, the recurring theme was "What are we supposed to do?"  Like me, people feel disempowered and at a loss for how to get started, much less make a difference.  And people want to know how help build the progressive platform.  Including how to even start that conversation.

I used my moment at the microphone to ask the audience some questions (vs Markos and Jerome).  I asked for a show of hands for precinct committee officers past or present (about 15%), those who have recently attended a legislative district meeting (about 20%), and those who submitted resolutions at the caucus (about 5%).

I also stated that we form the platform by having the conversation.  I reiterated the example Markos gave of moving the 50 state strategy from this fringe cookoo bananas idea to conventional wisdom.  That happened because venues like dailyKos pounded it into everyone's heads.  That's how conventional wisdom is formed.

So I'll wrap this up, and go off to bed, by thanking you for posting and participating.  We all need to tell everyone we know that this is not the time to be sitting on the sidelines.  Stand up, walk out the door, and find your allies.  I don't care what someone's cause is.  I only care that they're out talking with their neighbors and pulling their weight.

by zappini on Tue Apr 11, 2006 at 12:15:30 AM PST

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Going with the "take it local" activist approach, he is creating a list of things you should bring to your local city council meetings and have them sign as petitions.  For example, here is one of the issues we should take to our local city halls:

http://www.conceptualguerilla.com/showthread.php?&id=280#post4599

by Pen on Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 10:32:08 PM PST

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