Inside CT Politics, 1/17/05

Saturday, Kim and I attended the Caucus of Connecticut Democrats legislative and electoral committees meeting. You can get details here.

Kim is now planning to testify before the Government Administration and Elections committee public hearing on Wednesday about the importance of electoral and campaign finance reform.

We have also heard through the grapevine that Nancy DiNardo now has the votes to be elected State Chair. Many people feel that it is important to see a strong woman in this position since the leading spokesperson for the Republicans in Connecticut is also a woman. It is great to see more women in power.

Bias and Ethics

(Originally published in Greater Democracy)

The recent issues about Armstrong Williams’ dealing with the Department of Education has gotten many people to start talking a little more seriously about journalistic ethics, and this, I believe, is an unintended benefit. It seems as if too many journalists are far to distant from the ethics of their profession. Zephyr Teachout has extended this discussion to bloggers, and I feel that this is extremely important.

Success and Failure

Today was a weird day. The need to get some positive cash flow loomed high in my mind. I spent a bit of time speaking with a person who took a job in California that everyone said I would have been perfect for. However, moving to California for that job wouldn’t have been perfect for me. So, I am hoping my discussion was useful and the project goes well.

I also spent a lot of time talking with people around the country about the efforts to help elect Howard Dean DNC Chair. In one message I wrote to various state leaders, I said,

Exploding the Explosion

Today, I signed up for Blog Clicker. On first glance, it appears to be a cheap knockoff of Blog Explosion. People whave told me it is going to be much better than Blog Explosion. I will explore it a little bit and see what I think.

This does illustrate a little bit the whole idea of dealing with startups. The barriers to entry for new competitors is very low. If someone can come up with a slightly better way of doing Blog Explosion, BlogClicker, or whatever the next variant will be, they can draw away the traffic. However, there are a lot of people that will stay with Blog Explosion because they were first to market.

If any of you have looked at both Blog Clicker and Blog Explosion and would like to make comments about why you like one or the other better, I would love to hear it.

A new Drupal Filter

Today, I had a conference call with Aaron Kline from Progressive Punch. I started talking with Aaron though Zack at CivicSpace about coming up with a nice way to bring data from Progressive Punch into CivicSpace sites.

Based on these discussions, I worked on two Drupal filters, wmfilter and curlfilter. wmfilter allows users to connect create simple links to other sites using the Media Wiki syntax. curlfilter retrieves data from one site and embeds it in a CivicSpace site using CURL. Used together you can easily retrieve data from Progressive Punch's database of congress people to embed in your own CivicSpace website. You can see a sample of this at the Test SmartCampaigns site.

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