“If your life’s work can be accomplished in your lifetime, you’re not thinking big enough”

–Wes Jackson

Not just another WordPress blog–we can’t afford it, and neither can our nation. 

So…beyond sounding off on an increasingly regular basis, as more of you become more of we, we’ll be hatching everything from apps to games to databases to communities to many things we’re not even thinking of–yet, from our ideas, your ideas, plus the best, most creative collaborative work for the greater good we can collectively find, showcase, and contribute to, online, offline, or best of all, both!   All project names are provisional, in honor of the first people of our country–projects get to name themselves, and they don’t do it until they’re at least five years of age (in Internet time). Need more reasons to join us?

The Glossarium.  In politics, words have power, which is why politicians and pundits are coining new ones all the time.  We can do better–come join us, contribute, and help spread the words for 21st century political discourse.


VoteLock. Or Lock the Vote. Hackers from around the world know everything about the security of our election machinery–shouldn’t we know too?  So let’s get the right questions to ask election boards from white hat hackers, create a nationwide community of citizens who can get answers, and get those answers rated by top electoral security experts in the field, with content and services from the top voting rights and voting security organizations integrated throughout.  Interested?

Turntout.  You work hard for your money.  And every other second a politician is asking for more of it, or another group you belong to–a union, an environmental group, a trade association–is telling you they need to get more into the fray.  A lot of this money is wasted, frankly, on disorganization, dysfunction, and new suits for the condultants who keep pouring it into TV ads because they get a percentage of every buy.  What we need is a Consumer Reports, a Charity Navigator for electoral politics that tells us what groups deliver the most registrations, of different voter types, per dollar spent; which groups do the same when it comes to mobilizing volunteers, generating crowds for events, and, above all, getting our fellow Americans to the polls on Election Day (or earlier), especially per dollar spent.  Let’s develop a service together that will maximize the value of our donation dollars and get all groups to straighten up and fly righter.  Want to help?

Animystic  While developing the Faves section of the site, we were surprised, and dismayed, to find there aren’t any great sites dedicated to the two religious traditions that might best apply needed balm and perspective to our intolerant, divisive times: animism, which posits that all living things, not just humans, have a soul, and often that non-living entities such as rivers and mountains do too, and mysticism, spread across religions, but always emphasizing the essential mystery of existence before the tracks of all-too-certainty.  Want to rectify this truly cosmic void?

Dead Seas Scrolls  One of the most powerful artifacts in the U.S. Holocaust Museum is a simple television set with a seamingly endless scroll of laws the Nazis passed against the Jews in the 1930s.  Similarly there are issues–like the environment and immigration–where it seems like Trumpkins wake up every morning and ask themselves: what can we pass or enact to screw X more today?  The Holocaust Museum didn’t have YouTube–we do, allowing us to apply the power of what they did to reach much larger audiences, and not just to specific issue areas, and to the very specifics of what’s been done, e.g. not just “rolled back offshore oil regulations” but each of the ways–many sneaky, slipshod, gratuitous, and spiteful in true 30’s style–in which those regulations have been weakened to generate video scrolls that we hope will make people madder and more determined each time they read them, and never forget what happened here. Are you in?

Nothing here giving you that tingling feeling yet?  No problem.  There’s always tomorrow. And tomorrow and tomorrow.   When you’re in creative politics, thinking outside the ballot box, something’s always missing that needs to be built, and we’ll be adding projects as we think of them, as we all write. Or you can avoid the wait, if not the lines: send us a project you want to do!

Why should you throw down with us? Because we’ve been responsible over the years for dozens (and dozens) of new media firsts, from the first online museum exhibits to the first homework help service (which eventually grew into a community of 20,000 educators helping more than 1 millions students/week) to the first online political game.  Because we did the seminal research that defined online influencers (our term), why they’re so important, and what they want.  Because we literally wrote the book on online community-building for community pioneer AOL.  Because from the early days of multimedia to the present, services we’ve developed and launched have gone on to win every prestigious industry award, including fourteen Webbys–and counting.  And because we understand, all too well, the secret to success in new media–persistence–and what it really means.  The persistent get what they want in this medium, even if it doesn’t come in the form they were expecting…  

“You call yourself a community? Where are your cathedrals?” — Anonymous