Saturday Block Party: Help, I’m Being Held Hostage At the Watergate
It’s been a crazy week here at the Lake. I spent the past 24 hours traveling to and from Portland for the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies convention at the invitation of the fabulous Rox Populi, whose late lamented blog went dark not long ago due to her workplace demands. I was on a panel with Arianna Huffington and Matt Taibbi that was ostensibly about covering the 2008 elections but as Arianna pointed out, the blogosphere and the Alternative Weeklies across the country come from the same DNA and are facing many of the same challenges, and that’s where the conversation quickly shifted. I myself got my start at the Bay Guardian Newspaper in San Francisco when I was 18 and the lessons I learned there listening to David Johnston (now of the NYT) chain smoking as he muttered into the phone talking to Harvey Milk, or from Art Goldberg or Paul Krassner or any of the other remarkable characters who populated the Guardian during my time there never left.
Matt Taibbi has an interesting article about the state of modern “liberalism” which we discussed briefly, some of which I agree with and some I don’t but I think it opens up an interesting conversation and I’d love to hear your thoughts. He’s an incredibly gifted writer who comes from a complementary though often quite different perspective (much of it gained from a life spent in an alt weekly world) and there’s a lot in this article to chew upon.
Anyway, these weeklies are facing the challenge of attracting a local online audience and that dovetails nicely into our topic of bringing people together for local Roots networking, and I’d like to announce that the FDL facebook group has almost as many people now (417) as the MyDD facebook group (483), but since Matt and Chris have decided that they are leaving MyDD we no longer take a lot of satisfaction in beating them. So we will just have to beat Think Progress (628) instead.
In the past week I’ve accepted Facebook invitations to attend the Yearly Kos fundraiser tomorrow night, and Matt Browner-Hamlin and Tim Tagaris’s Chris Dodd event, both at Take Back America. Amanda Marcotte invited me to join iLike and that damn “name that tune” game can get addicting.
If you haven’t dipped your toe in the Facebook pool, please join us. And let us know in the comments what applications and virtual watercoolers around the internet you’ve been hanging out at this week.