Friday, August 25, 2006

Ouch - And Yet, Kinda True

Posted in a shiny blue box at the top of the CMR this morning:


This is the sort of atrocity when California's Democratic consultant insiders decide they want to "blog." - Daily Kos

Welcome to the California Majority Report.

We've now been "launched" for 48 hours. The good news: world-class commentary, an unexpectedly-high level of traffic to the site and reams of constructive feedback (one favorite: that we are the "Vanilla Ices of the California blog community"). The bad: our site has already crashed, our layout is confusing and many of the features we wanted simply aren't working.

When Kos is right (which is often), he's right. On the modern blog evolutionary chart, we're still dragging our knuckles.

So, over the next few days, we're switching server and software and building a better mousetrap. New features will include: a revamped layout, an easier-to-access archive, up-to-the-minute blogging and, of course, a blogroll to others in the California Democratic/progressive netroots community - all ready by September 1st.

In the meantime, we will continue to elicit lessons learned from our friends in the blogosphere and hope to hear from you about where we can improve. Feel free to email us directly at: kinney at calstrat dot com [Ed's note: it's a live link at the site, but for the benefit of not taxing his spam filter, I made it a bit more safe for him here]. Peace.
Yeah, they're not wrong. Kos is a bit more colorful in his judgments, but there is a lot technically wrong with the site. While you'd think it would have been more polished before it went live, in certain respects, the process of asking for and acting on feedback gives them a bit of street-cred in the long run.

So long as the flackery gets less flacky, of course.

There's already been at least one needed improvement: readers can now see if and how many comments have been posted to a particular article.

Still missing, though, (apart from our SF friend, of course) - bloggers. The tone is still decidedly op-ed, preachy and polished (or if you're cynical, downright denialist) with few exceptions (Maviglio is one: still op-ed-y, but much more real in feeling).

Part of this problem, of course, stems from trying to get candor out of Dario Frommer. Now, I have no beef with Mr. Frommer and you could sub in the name of any elected official for "Frommer" and you'd still have the same problem. The only people who want candid electeds more than voters are campaign consultants, but they're motives are, shall we say, a little less pure. A blog could be an oppo guy's playground. Were I managing a campaign, I'd hesitate to let my client get too ahead of himself. So we're left with few bloggers and with mostly writers and their team of groomers. It could still work, but it will take some time to get there.

So take that time boys, your public awaits patiently. But you'd better get on that blogroll, stat. We bloggers are a selfish, self-involved bunch and expect links, rightfully or not.

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