epluribus media

Logo Design Contest - ePluribus Media

ePluribus Media is looking for a logo. Specifically, it's looking for a new logo, one that will be more functional as a logo than our traditional trademark graphic. Given the plethora of bright, talented individuals who populate the ePluribus Media and Daily Kos communities and their past participation in the Dick Cheney Halloween Photoshop contest (entries here, votes here), I thought it may be both useful and fun to offer a free ePluribus Media "Don't Clog My Tubes" coffee mug to the winner - whoever designs the best new logo for ePluribus Media. The winner would also be listed on the ePluribus Media "About" page for credit with the logo design and given the option to link to his or her site if they'd like (unless such a link would lead to a NSFW site - sorry).

The blogger's mug features a graphic designed by Roxy the ePM Webmistress and myself, and brought to life through Roxy's own mystickal Photoshop wizardry. Here's the graphic:

And here's what it looks like wrapped around a coffee mug:

What do you think - are you up for a challenge, in exchange for a stylin' mug? If so, read on...


Stacking The Deck Again (Still): The GOP's War On Voting Rights

In a piece posted to ThinkProgress by Kevin Donohoe titled REPORT: In 22 Statehouses Across the Country, Conservatives Move to Disenfranchise Voters, a disturbingly familiar bit of news:

In statehouses across the country, Republican lawmakers are raising the specter of “voter fraud” to push through legislation that would dramatically restrict the voting rights of college students, rural voters, senior citizens, the disabled and the homeless. As part of their larger effort to silence Main Street, conservatives are pushing through new photo identification laws that would exclude millions from voting, depress Hispanic voter turnout by as much as 10 percent, and cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

Excerpt from Kevin Donohoe's ThinkProgress pieceToday's GOP, coupled with the extreme insanity of their Tea Party brethren, has steadfastly pursued an accelerated agenda since they were able to reclaim some of their lost power through the last the election cycle. The previous decade of corruption and abuse, diminished civil rights and undermined social safety nets set the stage. Now, apparently panicking at the thought that they nearly saw all of their dismantling of the New Deal un-done with the transfer of power in the 2008 election cycle, they're scrambling to disable what elements they can and rig anThe ything else that could enhance their chances of keeping their claws on the levers of American power.

Saturday Afternoon Open Thread: ePluribus Meta, DK4 Formatting Tips and Thou Edition

Earlier today, ePluribus Media posted a diary over on Daily Kos containing a few formatting tips and tricks for the new DK4 format. The diary is called The Elements of Style: Tips, Tricks and Regrouping News. The first part of the title comes from the well-known The Elements of Style - perhaps a bit presumptuous, but at the time it seemed appropriate.

For those who are waiting and watching as ePluribus Media rebuilds and rejuvenates, we're interested in any feedback you've got regarding our past, present and future: what would you like to see, what would you like to see more of, and what didn't work for you?

We'll keep the community posted on developments as we move forward, and we'll be starting a group (as yet undefined) over on Daily Kos as part of reconstituting our core of citizen journalist researchers, writers and editors.

We hope to see you in the comments below, and over at our dK4 Group too. Most of all, we hope to hear from you.

For now, though, just remember: This is an Open Thread.

Overcome the Fear of Conducting an Interview

One of the most powerful ways for citizen journalists to get information for a story is through personal interviews with people who have the information they need.

But many acting and aspiring citizen journalists talk about the apprehension they have about conducting interviews. They wonder how they will muster up the courage to approach strangers or high profile individuals and begin asking questions.

So how do you overcome that fear?

I'll use myself as an example. Because I am basically a very shy person, I learned to deal with this in a couple of ways.

Just a reminder that...

While ePluribus Media has been here at this internet address for quite a while now, we still have a more extensive archive of useful information parked at our old internet address.

You cannot comment on them over there anymore but here is a sampling of articles and posts spanning both sites and assembled by roxy:

Dig in and enjoy. :)

Coming up...Reviews and New Opportunities

Hiya, folks. As you may have noticed, ePluribus Media is doing some updates. These updates are both internal and external -- some you'll see, others will happen behind the scenes.

As with all such efforts, your feedback and contributions are always appreciated; please feel free to sprinkle a few in the comments.

Upcoming on ePluribus Media in terms of content is a review of Public Journalism 2.0: The Promise and Reality of a Citizen-Engaged Press, edited by Jack Rosenberry and Burton St. John III. Our own Aaron Barlow contributed to it (he wrote Chapter 5), and I was fortunate enough to be quoted. The topic is both relevant and timely, coming shortly on the heels of news regarding how Susie Dow's Iraq, Contingency Contracting and the Defense Base Act started a series of events that culminated in the Department of Labor finally recognizing the benefits claim of the Kirk von Ackermann's family -- six long years after Kirk disappeared in Iraq, in what the Army CID determined was a clear-cut case of abduction and murder. Kudos again, Susie, and our thanks for your dogged pursuit of justice.

I'll be posting my review of Public Journalism 2.0 in the next day or two. Keep an eye out for it.

Other things are happening -- some still in the planning stages but moving forward. More on all this later. In the meantime, have a great weekend.

Brief Site Update: Saturday Maintenance Results

Yesterday, the community site was updated with an anti-SPAM filter to help counter an ongoing problem with SEO spamming.

You may notice the neat little "no spam" icon and link at the top of the content section -- kudos to Roxy our fantabulous rock-hopper penguin webmistress for her deft and responsive skills.

Other changes that went on were behind-the-scenes for the site editors. Quite a while ago, we added the ability to schedule posts so that as we build content or prepare content for publication on certain dates, we could set the date and time for the post to appear. One element we didn't add until recently was a way for site editors to see what was scheduled. Now, when a site editor wants to see whether there are any scheduled posts for his/her day of managing content and maintaining the front page, they can.

We added a link to a page that will show 'em scheduled posts that have not been published.

So, I just thought a little update would be in order. We want our readers and intrepid army of eclectic posters to know that in both obvious and subtle ways, we're constantly working to improve the site.

Now, please go check out Susie Dow's recent post entitled Why is Obama Administration Hiding Evidence of Torture? and follow it up with Hello Dolly Llama's The “grab yer guns and destroy Obama” meme is now an internet game!, then resume random perusal of the rest of the items that are percolating on the page.

Happy Sunday! You can tread this announcement as an additional Open Thread.

SPAM and SEO Black-Hats

Due to an influx of spam and SEO black-hat methods, I thought it would be prudent to post the following:

SPAM is not allowed.

  • Going back to very old posts and posting comments that contain hidden links or links only marginally related to the commentary itself are SPAM.
  • Creating new posts that contain hidden links is SPAMming and will not be tolerated.
  • Posting content taken from another location, verbatim, without permission and without due credit for the content creator and original publisher is illegal, regardless of whether the content actually contains SPAM.

This weekend, we will implement and test a new anti-spam module to help cut down the number of posts (whether comments or full-fledged posts) that are SPAM related.

Stay tuned, and let us know what you think.

Support ePluribus Media - Support Citizen Journalism

Bumped by susie dow. Rebumped - CM1

Copied shamelessly from the old scoop site We have tried different ad networks in an effort to be self supporting and not have to ask members for donations. Due to complaints about the way java script has been being served, our highest paying ad networks have been disabled in order to provide the community with a faster loading site. So ... We're hauling out the Lemonade Stand again...

We need to raise some dollars for fees for FOIA requests, reprint permissions, photos and graphics for our Journal stories.  In other words, we need cash to keep the servers humming, the backups running, and the lights on.

So if you can, donate ...

If you don't have funds, click on those blogad thingies and Google ads on the right.  Each click gives us a few pennies and they do add up.  Our operating costs are pretty low and currently every cent of donations goes to server rental, FOIA requests and other fees.  There is not one person involved in ePluribus Media who receives any money for services.

Whatever you do, thanks for all your support!

New Investigation -- Open Call For Information About "DenyObama.com"

Crossposted by GreyHawk to DailyKos.

In this increasingly worse economy, with our national infrastructure gutted and two wars raging away, the politics of obstruction and manipulation are continuing full-bore.  Recently, a site went up that appears to be a part of what one investigator (GreyHawk) calls "SWAT politics" -- where Special Weapons And Tactics aren't simply an elite team of police emergency response commandos, but instead a coordinated assault upon political groups, individuals and agendas.

Here's the site: www.denyobama.com

Basic blurb:

We are looking for skilled web designers, developers, content providers, and others to develop this site.

If you have a passion for pointing out the obvious and you can't believe America was duped into electing Obama please contact us. We are willing to share equity in a newly formed LLC with the right people. This site is going to be a well thought out and well managed source for all information pertaining to Obama and how he is going to systematically destroy this country.

The page is hosted by GoDaddy and ownership hidden by Proxy.com.

Anybody with any background information or pertinent data is asked to send an email to investigations@epluribusmedia.net and put "denyobama.com" in the subject line.

Thank you.

Tech Notes

Just Relax

Yikes! What happened?

Still working on the site.  If you find bugs or other varmits, please leave a comment or send an email.  If a previous problem has been resolved, please leave a reply to your comment reporting the bug to let me know that I have it fixed (and not just on my end).

Just Relax ... poke at the site and send me feedback on any problems you are having or features you see that are missing.  This was a huge upgrade and so far seems to have gone fairly smoothly.

Bear with us as we clean up the debris from the renovations.  You may still find some scaffolding and things lying around. 

Tech Notes: ePluribus Media 2.0

It has been almost a year since ePluribus Media started updating the software behind our web presence ... and as is the way in the world of software, we are in the process of updating again. :)

First a little recap of the services we provide for our members ...

We all have our own blog ... here is mine. Every time you post a new entry to your blog, it is displayed on the front page of your blog.

Review of Aaron Barlow's Blogging America -- Discussion

bumped - roxy - orginal posting info 2008-08-26 13:30:47 -1000

Cho reviews Blogging America, ePluribus Media founding member and director Aaron Barlow's latest book on the phenomenon of web logging and how it re-vitalizes America's public sphere and contributes to our democracy.

From the review:

This second book zeroes in on blogs themselves and how, at a very detailed and specific level, they are transforming our cultural landscape, creating, as his title suggests, a new public sphere. For those concerned about the future of democracy, the existence of such a civic space may be our last defense against neo-liberalism “disappearing” open discussion.

The rest of the review is on the Journal.

Connell, Rove, and the GOP Boys, Positioned for McCain? - Discussion

Originally posted 2008-08-08 13:09:45 -0600 in the midst of other breaking news and the opening of the 2008 Olympics. Bringing back to the top for those who may have missed the first post - standingup

In his Journal article, Luaptifer asks and answers the question: “Why is it important to rehash what Connell did in 2000 Florida and 2004 Ohio? Those very same key elements of potential vote theft election are firmly in place within the McCain campaign for 2008.”

Also check out the related commentary on community: Who Is Tidewater's Roy Cales -- and what does he have to do with Connell, Rove and Ohio?

And just now, John Spinelli's Bush Wackers now wacking for McCain