Thursday, July 12, 2007

Coming Sunday: LoadedOrygun.Net

It's been months of teasing. Before the elections we said "after the elections." After the elections we said "after the holidays." After the holidays we actually tried a switch to a new platform, but ultimately failed to achieve anything but shutting down a couple of host servers. And then we waited, mostly to see if we'd come up lucky on another round of BlogPac grant funding for state-based community blogs. And sure enough, we have. And so starting with Sunday's Spanning the State, we will have a new home, a new design, and a new format. Where do you go now?

And what is a community blog, anyway? The best two examples are probably DailyKos and MyDD, two of the largest political blogs in the world. The idea is that users can create their own account and very nearly become just as much a part of the site as the owner-authors. Sure, the drivel on the main column will continue for us, but down the sidebar other regular Oregonians and interested parties will (we hope) start their own blog posts, known as diaries, with topic and content of their choosing.

BlogPac is funding people like us in different states with a specific eye towards fostering these kinds of sites, which become hubs for activism and a place to check in and exchange with other like-minded folk. It's also--when it is well populated and active--a pretty major change in role for the owners. Not only does it create a built-in group of sycophants and detractors to hash over every one of your posts, but should whatever they say in their diaries make the news for its offensiveness or controversy, the world will look to YOU to explain what's happening on YOUR blog. Never mind that you were asleep at the time, watching Keith Olbermann, or perhaps refreshing the Mrs. It's your site, what are you going to do about it?

Well, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. It's been fun, Blogger--but it hasn't been real fun. So far, the new Soapblox interface seems much easier to work with; we'll be counting on you to tell us what does or doesn't work as we move forward. But we're warning you right now, we dig the new logo and banner, so if you hate it you may just have to lump it.

We hope you'll come join us starting Sunday at We'll be leaving this site up for reference purposes, and holding onto a backup of the archives. But come Sunday, the lights will go dim at sure to put a gleam in the eye of the radio hosts who had to trip over that name. easier. ( would be easier still, but someone is currently squatting on that address. We're on it.)

We'll see you there!