The Dreaded Site Meta #2
In the past couple of weeks, a lot of folks have landed here at the site and we are very much scrambling to keep up. Many of the systems that we had in place that worked with a small site are less than optimal for the much larger site that we have become. We very much wish to keep the character and "feel" of the site as it was - which was created by a couple of basic premises, some general understandings and a trust between members that came from long associations and considerable interaction.
We've seen some postings in the last week or so that indicate that we have not adequately communicated all the understanding that folks need to reproduce the cool little site we had as a larger community. These meta postings are an attempt to gently bring everybody into a similar orientation on some basic things. If you see something that you wrote reflected in this, the intention isn't to call out or shame anyone, it is purely informational.
What is this site about?
This site is a non-partisan site. It does not endorse any candidate. This site is issues-oriented and is about the interests of the 99%.
There are people here who support a number of different candidates and there are even some who think that participation in the elections is a total waste of time and effort. Those views are all welcome here.
We have a diversity of opinion and we like it that way. What we are working toward is agreement and action on the 99%'s agenda - not which candidate wins the swimsuit competition. Whichever candidate sweeps the pageant, there will need to be considerable activism to compel them to act in the interests of the 99%. That is what we must prepare for even while we discuss the relative merits and disastrous horrors presented by the various candidates on parade.
A focus on the issues will allow us to walk and chew gum at the same time.
Meanwhile, informed, polite discussion of candidates and issues is welcome here.
Advocacy for candidates is fine, too, with a caveat.
The caveat is that advocacy of candidates cannot be couched so as to state or even appear that it is the site's policy or purpose.
There have been some suggestions, which frankly took some of us aback, that some people would like to use this site as a launching pad for twitter storm attacks on some candidates as a means to help do the dirty work of a particular campaign.
We hope to build the reputation of this site as a place to go for quality writing, discussion, news, analysis and a welcoming community of people who want to work positively for change.
We have no desire to become a purveyor of political sleaze. Frankly, there's plenty of that out there already and not much of what we're trying to build.
Who speaks for the site?
The caveat above begs the question of who does set the site's policy and purpose.
This site has two admins and a few moderators (see this housekeeping post for info) who discuss and decide matters of policy and site direction. This discussion and decision is obviously not done in isolation. The basic direction of the site and many of the decisions about its policies have been worked out over a long period of time with the input and general consensus of a small community of people.
I am one of the admins. The other admin, JtC is the originator and prime mover of the c99p site. I have two voices here, the one that I am using in this meta series is the editorial voice of the site, meaning that what I am writing here reflects the consensus of the admins and moderators.
Usually when I write something here, it only reflects my personal view, even if what I write appears on the front page of the site.
As an aside, the site currently has two major divisions, the Front Page and the Community Content page. Currently, the Community Content page has the Open Threads and posts by community members. The Front Page carries some of the regular series that appear here and posts that we feel are, or should be of interest to the general public. There are several Front Page writers - gjohnsit, Cassiodorus, JayRaye, OPOL, Robyn, and me, joe shikspack. We frequently promote the good work of other writers to the Front Page and will undoubtedly add to the numbers of Front Page writers over time.
If at some time the site wishes to take a position on an issue in a posting to the Front Page, we will clearly indicate that it is an editorial. Otherwise all work on the Front Page should be understood to reflect the views of the author, not necessarily the site.
This is your community, help it grow and prosper.
There are a number of ways of looking at a community website like C99.
At one level, it's just like any other website. A few people keep the machinery going and administer things. A few people have to be responsible for its content. There are people that have to answer inquiries or deal with (copyright) take-down notices from officialdom.
Because of this, the admins reserve the right to remove anything posted to the site that is in violation of copyright or any other law as well as what we view as community standards and material that could harm the reputation of the site.
As an aside, we will probably discuss fair use issues in another meta diary. Until then please use good judgement in quote length and providing proper links and citations and take special care with making sure that the images that you post are either your own, from a source that identifies them as a share alike license (and you adhere to the terms they set) or are in the public domain.
Ok, back to your regularly scheduled programming
This site consists of the platform (the technical backend) and platform processes (admin, moderation) and, most importantly, the reason that those things exist, the content and community.
This site contains content created by you and me and lots of other people who are interested in left/progressive politics and issues. As the message at the bottom of every page on the site says, all of your original work or opinions posted here are yours. The content and the interactions that occur through engaging in commenting and other connections as well, create a community.
The community is an intangible thing, but it is the most important thing about a site. Every community has a character, common experiences, a set of relations, a sense of purpose, a shared space (that transcends servers and fibers) and a reputation, among other things. That is the property of the people who create the community and breathe it into being every day.
Thanks for reading, thanks for participating and please enjoy the site and the community.
Previous posts in the The Dreaded Site Meta series: