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State of Daily Kos

January 8th, 2010, 04:01 am admin Leave a comment Go to comments

Remember me? I used to run this joint. You may have noticed that I was relatively scarce in 2009. Part of that is that administrative duties are taking up an increasingly bigger chunk of my time. We’ve got some big changes planned for the site this year, and getting all the ducks in a row takes time and energy.

We are now about to start alpha testing on DK4, the next-generation platform for this site that will radically change the way we interact with each other. It’ll either propel the site to that metaphorical next level, or it will mark the site’s jumping of the shark/nuking of the fridge. Either way, I can’t wait to find out. Beta testing will commence hopefully in a month or two, after the first batch of bugs are stomped out. I’m hoping for a Q1 relaunch, but we’re not going to switch over to the new platform until it’s solid.

Also, economy-willing, we plan a major expansion of operations. I’m not going to announce anything until we’re closer to making those plans a reality. I’ve learned my lesson from DK4!

I’ve also been working on my third book, which I hope to wrap up by mid-February, for September publication. That obviously takes time, but it should be worth it. It’s my first polemic, and it should be a barn burner. Can’t wait to unveil it. I’ve also had to dedicate more time to making appearances outside Daily Kos. While I’ve long been asked to do more TV, I finally started doing more of it this past fall, and that should accelerate in 2010. Not that I particularly enjoy it — I’d rather write. I’ve never felt very comfortable in front of a camera. But we can only grow the movement by pushing the message outside of our little home here, and into new audiences on TV and other publications.

What else? Oh, we just ordered a block of 200 polls for 2010. In other words, we’re going to poll the shit out of these mid-term elections. That’s the weekly poll, plus an average of three more per week. Daily Kos ran more media-sponsored polls in 2008 than any other media organization in the country (about 100). We ran even MORE polls in 2009, an off-year. And we’re upping the ante in 2010. We’re going to be drowning in numbers, and it’s going to be glorious!

Finally, I’ve got some good news — we’re announcing three new Featured Writers at Daily Kos: Dante Atkins (formerly known as Hekebolos), Angry Mouse, and exmearden.

Our writing crew here at Daily Kos is getting quite big, as is the spotlight. This site is now among the highest profile soapboxes in progressive media, and it can be daunting to step into the withering fire that we get as a matter of course. I’ve gradually acclimated to the pressure–remember,  zero people read the site when I started writing it. When people like SusanG came aboard, the numbers were tens of thousands of readers. Now, we average between 1-3 million unique visitors every month, and are a top target of our friends on both the Right and the Left. This is certainly a different gig than even just a few years ago, and we long-timers need to be cognizant of that, especially since we remain committed to continuously adding new voices to the site’s front page.

Therefore, featured writers will get eased gently into this pressure cooker, writing on weekends when everyone is in a kinder, gentler mood and the stakes don’t seem as high, and it’ll be a nice way for both sides to gauge whether there’s a good ultimate fit. I’m thrilled with our three new featured writers, and expect big things from them. Give the new writers a welcome.

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