Friday, May 20, 2011

Looking for an alternative lefty community blog?

Over the last few months I've been dusting off a once-thriving community blog, Everybody Comes From Somewhere. The idea behind it was simple enough - a relatively egalitarian, non-hierarchical approach to self-governance could be done even with a large group. The original crew to try this were part of a diaspora of sorts who found the "Gated Community Blogs" (or Big Box Blogs as others might call them) to be rather oppressive and far more interested in supporting the Democratic brand than in critical dialog. I've kept up with many of these cats since ECFS went silent in 2008. Some have left blogging and possibly writing altogether. Others are preoccupied with other matters and blog only sporadically. Still others may be a bit turned off by the lack of support for Team Obama that has been expressed by yours truly and a few other holdovers in the weeks and months since the revived ECFS came back. Here's what I said a few months ago:

For better or worse, I still appear to be this site’s primary caretaker. A few of my comrades from the early days have returned sporadically since reviving this site. Their efforts are deeply appreciated. I think back to the community that once existed, and wonder if it can be recreated. At its peak, there were posts on art, poetry, music, with a healthy dollop of human rights and activism. As I mentioned previously, we were all equals here. Everyone had administrative status. There was no hierarchy. There were no formal rules, and yet there was a striking civility throughout almost all of this blog’s existence. There was truly nowhere quite like this place anywhere in blogtopia. The last couple years have taught me much about the importance of being surrounded by those whom you enjoy and trust. Some health scares left me questioning my priorities and have led to me to seek out those who have a genuinely positive presence. In this winter in America, the only “currency” that truly matters is that of friendship, camaraderie, trust.

My intentions, I hope, are pretty straightforward. I’m thinking not so much a reliving of the “glory days” – whatever that might have meant. Rather, I’m still thinking of something that on the one hand is  familiar (to the extent that those of us who remain remember one another from back in the day, and know a bit about each others’ unique writing voices) but on the other hand would be a new experience (to the extent that any of us participating are a few years older and wiser). I think I’d like it to be a new experience in another way, insofar as maybe this place has the potential to attract and add new voices to our particular verbal jambalaya.

To whom might this site appeal? A key to the future might be found in this site’s past. The original crew was composed of leftist and left-leaning individuals who did not fit in within the confines of the Big Box Blogs or within the Democratic Party. Many of us were dubbed, in the words of one of the BBB proprietors, “serial blogwreckers.” Ah, but we were largely a good-natured bunch, so no worries.  I often thought the bulk of us as egalitarians who didn’t quite groove on hierarchies, who liked to write about things that might not easily fit within the framework of the other available community blogs, and who were looking for something a bit more substantial and uplifting than metablogging. Times may have changed, but the dynamics of the BBBs haven’t (or perhaps for the worse). There are surely individuals who would love to find or build a community, who would love to have their writing appear on the front page of a blog, who would love to be truly equals. Feel free to recommend this blog to others who might find this place a good fit. If you’re new and have the energy to contribute to something that is a work in progress, just click on the link “Request an account” (upper right-hand side), follow the instructions, and I’ll hook you up with an account with administrative privileges.

My intention is for this not to turn into Notes From Underground 2.o. Trust me: one is more than enough. If all goes well, in time, I’ll be merely a presence, but not the primary author. Given the constraints on my time, that will be crucial. It is often physically impossible for me to author new content on a daily basis. If I manage to post something twice a week, I’m pretty amazed. In short, the pace I’ve been on the last few days is not something I can sustain on my own, save in occasional short bursts. I suppose the main bullet point is that I would really appreciate some help in getting this place functional again. I can’t promise some sort of blogging paradise – after all, this is a human enterprise run by people who are all too human. I do think with a little effort, the original promise this blog held can be fulfilled. Willing to give it a go?
I know a few of you who come here regularly would be ideal for ECFS. Check it out and if you think it might be interesting, feel free to sign up for an account. If all goes well I'll be working with one of the founders to move it to a .com or .org site.


Don Durito said...

I'll check it out.


Don Durito said...

Thanks! :)

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