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SourceWatch:YearlyKos resources

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Note: This page contains resources for YearlyKos attendees and any other bloggers or citizen journalists looking to hone their craft and get their work noticed.
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YearlyKos panels

The Agony and Ecstasy of Successful State-Local Blogging

  • Panel takes place: Thursday, Aug. 2, 11:00-12:30 PM, Room 10d
  • Participants: Bobby Clark, Progress Now; Julielyn Gibbons, Michigan Liberal; Justin Cole, Media Matters for America
  • Yearly Kos program link

Bobby's tricks, tips and resources

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Julielyn's tricks tips and resources

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Justin's tricks tips and resources

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General tricks, tips and resources

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Promotion, Publicity, Powncing and Partnerships

  • Panel takes place: Thursday, Aug. 2, 12:30-2:00 PM, Room 10d
  • Participants: Ruby Sinreich, Orange Politics; David Kravitz, Blue Mass Group; Bob Neer, Blue Mass Group; Raf Noboa, Square State; Conor Kenny, Congresspedia.org (Center for Media and Democracy and Sunlight Foundation)
  • YearlyKos program link

Ruby's tricks, tips and resources

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David's tricks tips and resources

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Bob's tricks tips and resources

These are our Rules of the Road: written after much discussion. They have served us well for the past year or so. Rules of the road by: The Editors

  • There has recently been a great deal of discussion here about how best to ensure civility and constructive debate on this site, while not interfering with the vigorous exchange of ideas that we all want. We have reviewed everyone's comments with care, and we have spent a lot of time discussing the matter amongst ourselves and reviewing practices at other sites. This is an evolving issue, and policies will no doubt change over time in response to conditions. However, this post is our first effort at an improved general policy.
  • Policy: The purpose of Blue Mass. Group is to develop ideas that will invigorate progressive leadership in Massachusetts and the nation. Robust debate is an important means to that end. We welcome bold, constructive observations. To us, this means commentary typical of thoughtful discussion between acquaintances who may hold differing views on important issues, but who debate those issues in a respectful manner. Insults, personal attacks, rudeness, and blanket unsupported statements reduce the level of discourse, interfere with our basic objective, and are not permitted.
  • Ratings: The comment rating system has thus far been underutilized on this site, by us as well as by everyone else. We would like to change that. We encourage all users to rate all comments using the convenient drop-down menus that appear on each comment. We have revised the ratings system so that The Editors, and certain Trusted Users we may designate from time to time based on their cumulative average comment ratings, can give comments significantly higher and lower ratings than those available for most users. Comments that receive enough very low ratings will automatically be hidden. By enabling the "hidden comments" feature, we hope that the community, rather than the three of us, will become the primary enforcer of this site's policies.
  • Penalties: Users who consistently violate our policies will receive a warning. Users who fail to heed our warning may be banned from the site.
  • Anonymity: We have found that commentators who disclose their real names are in general more likely to be constructive than those who are anonymous. We encourage users to add their real name, profession, age, the jurisdiction where they vote, and conflicts of interest to their profile. Anonymous commentators are allowed, but we encourage such users to provide as much of this information as they can manage. Impersonation of real people is not allowed and user accounts that do this will be deleted as soon as we become aware of any such practice.
-- Bob, Charley, and David

Raf's tricks tips and resources

  • Tips
  • Tricks
  • Web 2.0 Resources for Campaigns & Bloggers

8apps

Ning

Twitter

HighRise

Upcoming

Pownce

Cashboard

Tumblr

Conor's tricks tips and resources

  • Use Technorati.com
    • If your blog isn't already in Technorati's blog directory, make sure to add it.
    • If you haven't "claimed" your blog on Technorati, do so now. This all, including tagging your blog with subject keywords so it shows up high in related searches.
  • Post links to your blog on wikis: Wikis contain many articles that are probably related to subjects you have blogged about. The most simple thing to do is to add a link in an "external links" section that is at the bottom of many wiki articles. A better tactic is to take the nugget of information that is relevant, summarize it, and add it to the actual text of the wiki article, citing your blog as the source. Most MediaWiki wikis (the most common wiki platform) allow you to simply put a link between single brackets to create a reference link, like this: [http://www.myblog.com]. Adding a link to a wiki article allows readers looking for information on that topic to find your blog as well as increasing your "Google juice," which drives up the position of your blog in search engines.
    • There's Wikipedia, of course, which has articles on just about everything. Unfortunately Wikipedia recently installed a piece of code that prevents search engines from following external links, thus depriving you of that precious Google juice.
    • The Congresspedia wiki, which is part of the SourceWatch wiki, has articles on every member of Congress as well as just about every area of legislation and policy. Your friendly Congresspedia managing editor is also happy to respond to emails at Conoremail.png.
    • Dkosopedia has many articles on topics you probably blog about.
  • Use forums and blog comment threads to post relevant links to your blog: This archived blog post contains a number of good tips for creating links that generate Google juice and reader traffic. Remember the 2006 Google bomb project on MyDD? Same concept. Ideas include:
  • Blogwhore, blogwhore, blogwhore: As long as you're actually adding something to the conversation (this is an important point lost on some), people don't really mind if you post a link in comments. A suggestion - rather than just saying "here's my take on this" (which people probably don't care enough about to click the link), make sure to dig up or accumulate information that doesn't exist in that form elsewhere. Does that political appointee have a questionable past? Is this the exact same trick some pundit/politician tried to pull last year? Give enough of a teaser to let readers know why they should click through the link to read what you've got to say. You can also email other bloggers to alert them to your posts, but keep in mind that the really big bloggers get tons of email, so this tactic works best with folks outside of the top tier.
  • Use trackbacks: Many sites, including Congresspedia/SourceWatch and the Washington Post, will display which blogs are linking to them. If you see a blog post related to your area of focus, link to it with a response or your own take on the matter. Congresspedia displays trackbacks (using Technorati) on the page, which also contributes to your Google juice. It's one more way for readers of other and more-trafficked sites to find your blog. Keep in mind that different blogging platforms use trackbacks differently, so you might have to look around for instructions on how to use them on yours (for example, some sites require you to link to a special page). Because many sites use Technorati, it's important to make sure your blog is picked up by it.


  • General blogging tips: This 2005-but-still-relevant blog post has a number of good tips (plus a few from me):
    • Specialize - Pick one area of focus and cover it well. Unless you have the time to blog full-time it's best to cover one area well rather than cover a lot not very well.
    • Don't go it alone - Join a group-blog or form your own. Group blogs are the teh sexy these days. Their advantages include having frequent updates, multiple perspectives and simply being able to do more than one blogger can do by themselves.

General tricks, tips and resources

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DIY Watchdogging: Accountability Through Citizen Oversight

  • Panel takes place: Friday, Aug. 3, 10:30-11:30 PM, Room 106a
  • Participants: Conor Kenny, Congresspedia.org (moderator); Anu Narayanswamy, Real Time Investigations; John Wonderlich, Open House Project and several DailyKos community projects; Naomi Seligman Steiner of CREW's Document Review System; Andrew Golis, Associate Editor of TPM Media.
  • YearlyKos program link

Conor's tricks, tips and resources

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Anu's tricks tips and resources

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John's tricks tips and resources

Naomi's tricks tips and resources

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Andrew's tricks tips and resources

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General tricks, tips and resources

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Blogs and Journalism: The New News?

  • Panel takes place: Friday, Aug. 3, 4:00-5:15 PM
  • Participants: Cara DeGette, Colorado Confidential; Abdi Ayente, Minnesota Monitor; Sydney Blumenthal, Salon; Ezra Klein, American Prospect; Rob Levine, Cursor.
  • YearlyKos program link

Cara's tricks, tips and resources

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Abdi's tricks tips and resources

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Sidney's tricks tips and resources

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Ezra's tricks tips and resources

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Rob's tricks tips and resources

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General tricks, tips and resources

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General resources