What do You Want to See at HA?

It’s been a couple months without Goldy, and I’m curious what you guys who’ve stuck around are interested in. I’m curious about what were your expectations of the blog when he left, and have those of us who post on the front page lived up to them? Do you want a stricter comment policy? More posts? Longer posts? Shorter posts? More writers? If so, who? I don’t pretend that we’ll necessarily be responsive to anything here (it’s not a full time gig for any of us, and I’m going to write about bikes, Lee is going to write about the drug war, and Darryl is going to write about airplanes no matter how much whining there is in the comments), but I am curious about what people come here expecting.

I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but my goal is to keep the place lively and worthwhile to come back to. I try to make sure that there are 2 posts every weekday. So if Darryl and Lee are on fire, I’ll put something in my pocket until the next day, but if nobody else is writing, I’ll try to post something. I try to make sure we’re somewhat regularly supplied with open threads and that the rest of the content I write about is at least things I find interesting. I don’t have the time to write that Goldy did but I think it’s important that politics not be incredibly dry, so I do try to write fun things and on topics I find interesting. I also often write on my commute and hit the Publish button pretty soon before I get to work, so I may not read the comments until lunch. So there’s only so much policing I can do, and as bus time becomes bike time in the spring and summer, there may be less writing from me.

I’ve been doing open threads with links, but could just as easily do videos, etc. There was a time when local political blogging was more of a community affair, and I’m hoping that using this platform to link to interesting writers (and I try to make at least one of the links in the open threads local) will help keep what community we have and perhaps expand it.

But again, I’m curious what you think should happen here. Where should HA go?

Comments

  1. 2

    spews:

    @1

    Every once in a while, I think about editing the trolls (usually more maliciously making their arguments make a lick of fucking sense). But I’d rather use my time here having a conversation with the non-trolls or writing, so it’s either delete or ignore, and I tend toward the later.

  2. 3

    Faceless Bureaucrat spews:

    I work in state government. My biggest beef with the state’s news media is that it does such a weak job of covering the capital.

    There’s a huge void that left-leaning blogs could at least partially fill. Yeah, that’s hard to do when you rely on volunteers, but there are a lot of smart people (e.g., retired capital insiders) who could potentially help out.

    Sometimes the key to getting what you need is simply asking the right people. HA might have an additional hurdle to jump over because of the tone Goldy cultivated. I get what he was trying to do, but the fact that he wasn’t able to make this blog pay after all that time and effort suggests that Goldy targeted too small of a market.

    Might you consider ways to make HA a bit more inclusive, in terms of issue areas, political ideology, tone and invited participants? That might not always square with the “regulars,” but if you seek to build the readership something needs to change, no?

  3. 4

    I Got Nuthin' spews:

    I think you guys have done a wonderful job keeping HA interesting and relevant–thank you! My only request would be more posts on Washington state politics. Of course that was Goldy’s bailiwick, and he’s doing a great job maintaining the momentum over at Slog, but I’d still love to see some coverage her as well. As an example, I really enjoyed Jon’s coverage of WA-03 and miss his voice. Thanks!

  4. 5

    YellowPup spews:

    In the end you have to do what makes sense, make it your own, and not worry about what the old guard think. Let bikes be bikes.

    Me I like the Friday video extravaganzer and stuff about local politics and activism. The occasional fisking of Tea Potty lunacy or Republican skulduggery never hurts.

  5. 6

    spews:

    I’m in for the Capitol coverage…and I like Jon as well. I hope he resumes posting here.

    How about Roger as another voice? I enjoy his wise (and wise-ass) comments.

    Other than that…I like the job that y’all are doing. The Friday Nite mash-up is great…the posts have been well done.

    Thanks for the effort.

  6. 8

    Michael spews:

    I think you all have done a great job on HA.

    I’m glad that Goldy provided a space for people to engage in back-room brawls, but I think it’s time to move on from that. Maybe you could post the occasional “back-room brawl” thread. The troll thing is getting old.

    As for what like to see. Hmm… More Washington state stuff, more in-depth looks at issues. Maybe get a bloggers from all over the state to post on here. There are plenty of liberals in Spokane and seeing how it’s the second largest city in the state it would be nice to have a voice from there on here. Maybe hit up RR Anderson for a voice from Tacoma and editorial cartoons.

  7. 9

    John spews:

    I would like to see more specific suggestions of what we can do to inact change on the issues you raise beyond simply contacting my represenatives/donating.

    Next up, I would like to request that you do better branding. Stop calling them Bush Tax Cuts, and start calling for the repeal of the “Paris Hilton/Charlie Sheen tax cuts”. No one on the right could really support tax cuts for those two, could they?

  8. 10

    Michael spews:

    I’m sure Mariah Mckay of spovangelist.com could help you track down a contributor from Spokane. You might want to contact John Speare of cyclingspokane.blogspot.com about bike stuff.

  9. 11

    Michael spews:

    @9

    I would like to see more specific suggestions of what we can do to inact change on the issues you raise beyond simply contacting my represenatives/donating.

    Molotov Cocktail building classes!!!

    Actually, I think John’s got a great idea and I’ll second that one.

  10. 12

    spews:

    News and creative commentary.

    Darryl’s analysis is great when he has time to go deep, but there is none of the news Goldy brought here.

    Carl is more of a raconteur and columnist than a reporter. I like the diversity and the personal essays but miss Goldy’s bite. (Sad to say that also seems muffled at the SLOG)

    Lee is pretty boring unless you share his obsession. He is really only interesting when he is writing on something other than his favorite three letter word.

    If you can not replace Goldy as an investigative reporter, maybe get someone to at least act as a provocateur?

  11. 13

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Goldy’s forte was covering issues ignored by the local media, and I don’t expect anyone to step into his shoes — that kind of reporting requires a lot of time and work. But this blog’s brand is its focus on local issues (city, county, and state) and you should try to maintain this coverage as much as your resources allow. The suggestion @3 of tapping Olympia insiders for contributions strikes me as an inspired one, if it can be made to work.

    Not to be overlooked is the ability of commenters to expand the scope of the blog in the comments. For example, I peruse the daily national and world news and put up comments designed to open new areas of discussion, for example, by referring to something Congress did today or some news event. I also throw up topics like economics, tax policy, etc., to get discussions going. Encouraging commenters to raise their own topics, link to news events, etc., expands the scope and coverage of the blog.

    Ideally, you’d post a minimum of one new topic per day, plus a daily open thread. Frequent open threads are important because nobody wants to post in threads that are already buried. HA is like a newspaper; yesterday’s newspaper is just fish wrapper, and so are yesterday’s threads and comments — nobody reads them. I prefer to post my comments in the top thread so they’ll be read, and I’m rarely willing to post more than two or three threads down from the top.

    The Friday Night Extravaganza idea is good (and its timing is good, because it gives us something to talk about on slow-news weekends), but in its current format it’s a bit too cluttered and might benefit from more focus with fewer links. In its current incarnation there’s too much to feast on it all. Maybe an eight-course meal instead of a sixteen-course meal.

  12. 14

    Andy Wangstad spews:

    I like what you’re doing – exposing Conservatives for what they are and providing links to news elsewhere.
    Keep it up.

  13. 16

    Tom Fitzpatrick spews:

    Agree with the comments made so far, esp. about cleaning up the comments sewer. I’d also pay attention to the links: I grew up in Portland and am profoundly greatful for this site leading me to Blue Oregon and Loaded Orygun, etc. Lots of the PNW links no longer lead to active sites, so that needs to be looked at. One of my faves is Ridenbaugh Press which covers OR, WA and ID. http://www.ridenbaugh.com/

    Thank you for what you do, keep it up.

  14. 17

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Income Inequality

    Economist Joseph Stiglitz says the top 1% control 40% of America’s wealth and get 25% of the nation’s income. (In which case, why shouldn’t they pay 25% of the taxes?) This is due, in part, to the rise of a new financial-governmental complex on top of the military-industrial complex. Which leads some people to blame rising income inequality on … progressives. That’s bullshit. For an interesting, and enlightening, discussion of the topic see this article:

    http://www.economist.com/blogs.....inequality

  15. 18

    Mark Centz spews:

    There are two foundational aspects that ought to remain working parts of HA without Goldy.
    1. Tim Eyman is a horse’s ass. His anti-progressive framing of tax issues have done great damage to our state, shackling a growing state to a regressive tax base suitable for a Salish Mississippi. The spotlight shouldn’t wander far from him and he deserves to be mocked on a regular basis.
    2. The misnamed Seattle Times deserves similar respect and treatment, at least as long as the Blethens continue as the publishers. They’ve earned that and much more.
    And, a plea- Don’t entirely lose the fuck. Goldy always laid out a peppery spread.
    Finally, a question. The whole war on cars meme is teabaggery for a liberal city. The invisible amendment, that the right to drive and park shall not be infringed, gets even liberal drivers riled up. (hello Joel!). Can we look forward to some militant bikeshevik posts from time to time?
    Thanks for keeping the soapbox busy,by the way. You guys are doing fine.

  16. 19

    Kyle spews:

    Since you’ve asked, I’ve found many of the posts to be way, way too long. The way I read the internet is to figure out a post’s central premise and tone from the title and first paragraph. But when I read certain articles here, I get one paragraph through and both can’t tell what the person is writing about and find the tone too presumptuous and academic. I scroll to the bottom to discover that the article is 15 paragraphs long, and I don’t spy any sentences that look intriguing, so I move on.

  17. 20

    spews:

    @19 I second this.

    This is pretty elementary writing 101 and actually built into the WordPress editor. Good practice is to start with a para that states what you are going to write about.

    As a good example, you might look at this resent post at The Ave.

    http://handbill.us/?p=5330

    I wrote it to express my irritation with Lee’s tedious peaens pot pitches.

    WP has a “break” tool that allows you to put this text above a “read more marker.”

    The practice of writing this way also helps. On my own site, The-Ave, I have found I often end up reducing pages of blather to a few sentences.

  18. 21

    Zotz sez: Teahadists are Koch suckers! spews:

    I’ve commented before that I like what you’re up to. I do miss Goldy’s zzzzz! and having an editor to deal with at slog is apparently “constraining” him.

    On the troll issue: ignore is fine but after a while pieces of shit like NPR and douche demonstrate beyond doubt that they are just plain shitty human beings, have no redeeming social value whatever and should be banned.

    I endorse engaging others on state politics and bashing Timmeh at every opportunity.

    Roger, rhp, and deathfrogg and others should definitely be offered space here. Less formally, I suggest that you solicit and provide a space for submittals that you can pick from to post here.

    And fuck is a good word! Keep up the righteous fucking rants!

  19. 22

    Zotz sez: Teahadists are Koch suckers! spews:

    Oh, and Bible Study should be a regular Sunday feature even if Goldy isn’t the poster.

  20. 23

    manoftruth spews:

    Better trolls. Like the rabbit said, the ones we’ve got are bottom of the barrel.

    well i for one vote for less jews

  21. 24

    chris spews:

    investigative stuff is very important. don’t let this be a response to fox, republican lies. let this be about the “left” perspective and not based on opposition but on freedom and freedom riders. without investigation this will just be responders. bible study-yes!

  22. 26

    Rabbit says the western states dont produce much food and that Florida is the NUMBER ONE beef producer!!! spews:

    I would like to see more posts about the dominant Florida Beef Market – I think magoo rabbit has the inside track on this – he would be a great resource.

    He could even fill us in on how the western US doesnt produce much food.

    Thoughts?

  23. 27

    slingshot spews:

    Travel and leisure posts have been few and far between.

    And gratutious female exploitation content is sorely lacking.

  24. 30

    Puddybud, identifying Zitz and FartAss as De Fools Dey Are spews:

    I’d like to see oil price postings. A comparison between 2007 when Pelosi took over and now in 2011 since Obama’s oceans czar has blocked all ocean exploration.

  25. 32

    Puddybud, identifying Zitz and FartAss as De Fools Dey Are spews:

    I’d like to see leftist pinheads banned for a week when they are SO WRONG in their useless ANALysis. Blaming is always wrong.

    Were progressive Democrats in charge of this, the bill would be compassionate and precise in determining fair and decent regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries.

    came from Chris Hurst, who is a Democrat.

    Must be his cologne.

    – This winner was David Aquarius.

    When someone who thinks right is wrong with their analysis they are banned 12 hours. Hey we are the opposition.

  26. 34

    rhp6033 spews:

    Puddy @ 30: Sure, then maybe somebody can explain to you (again) that:

    (a) current oil prices have more to do with rampant speculation regarding political uncertainty in the Middle East, including Libya and the potential for rebellion to spread to Saudia Arabia; and

    (b) oil drilling/exploration offshore takes quite a few years before the oil comes to market, so the current slowdown/moratorium wouldn’t have any effect;

    (c) even if the moratorium on new offshore oil leases DID have an impact on recet price increases, the marginal cost is probably justified by the obvious need to go back and review and update oil spill prevention and remediation strategies;

    (d) If we had kept oil at the $4.00 + range after the last time (early summer 2008?), we would be using quite a bit less oil now. People would have had an incentive to buy more fuel-efficient automobiles, solar energy would have been more competative, etc. But in our usual fashion we immediately try to get gas prices down, which discouraged the alternatives. Solar industries, electric cars, etc. depend on price stability to expand their infrastructure and bring down prices of those technologies, but the rollar-coaster ride of high/low gas prices discourages long-term planning of alternatives.

    (e) Sometime, by the middle of this century (which is approaching fast), we are going to run out of oil. Drilling more and pumping faster, and encouraging low gas prices, is only going to make that date come sooner. We aren’t making dinosaurs and having them decompose faster. And we are going to need petroleum to manufacture some products other than to burn for energy-production.

  27. 35

    spews:

    32. Puddybud, identifying Zitz and FartAss as De Fools Dey Are spews:

    I’d like to see leftist pinheads banned for a week when they are SO WRONG in their useless ANALysis. Blaming is always wrong.

    Were progressive Democrats in charge of this, the bill would be compassionate and precise in determining fair and decent regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries.

    came from Chris Hurst, who is a Democrat.

    Must be his cologne.

    – This winner was David Aquarius.

    When someone who thinks right is wrong with their analysis they are banned 12 hours. Hey we are the opposition.

    04/17/2011 at 9:04 pm

    I’d like the puddybitch to get a fucking BRAIN TRANSPLANT.

  28. 36

    EAO spews:

    Don’t touch the comment section. The fights between the trolls and righteous regulars are good entertainment, and even insightful at times.

    I echo the sentiments of others who call for some investigating a la Goldy. He was the reason I read HA daily, and I’m finding the blog far less interesting in his absence. More local politics, less rants on special interests of bikes and pot legalization.

  29. 37

    Bob spews:

    @ 34

    (b) Had Clinton decided differently on ANWR, we’d have that oil by now. The dire straits our nation will face in the next 5-10 years are due to decisions we are making, or not making, today.

    (d) Solar industries and electric cars depend on INCENTIVES. Without incentives these industries simply do not exist. I’m looking at putting solar on my commercial building. It’s ridiculously expensive and would be a total waste of money if not for incentives. With incentives, and assuming they do not go away, it pays off in 9 years. But it pays off because the federal government pays 30% of the costs up-front and because ratepayers to the utility are hit with an extra cost to fund a pool of money for the difference. Solar makes little more sense with gas prices at $4 per gallon than it does at $2 per gallon. It makes no sense at all without the incentives.

    I’m somewhat embarrassed to take advantage of what is laid out to cause me to do this. It’s a horrible expenditure for very little environmental return. Instead of the $30K that I will save, overall, in 10 years by going solar, that money could be put into six $5K grants to Prius buyers, who will burn less oil and save far more energy than I will save/create with the silly panels.

    But I’ll probably do it. Ridiculous. Your tax dollars going to save very little energy by keeping a few solar installers in business by enticing property owners to do the installs. I have looked at it for two years now, and it makes no more sense now than it did before.

  30. 39

    Bob spews:

    @ 38

    Gee, thanks for adding to the depth of the discussion. Maybe you can fill us in on why ANWR drilling in the late 90s wouldn’t have ‘done shit’.

  31. 42

    Bob spews:

    @ 40

    Out of ammo after only one question?

    Last time I looked it up you ended coming out of it with quite the facial.

  32. 43

    Blue John spews:

    I’d more open Threads, at least one every couple of days, to capture the topics that are not being discussed, so we don’t have to threadjack.

  33. 44

    John425 spews:

    “But again, I’m curious what you think should happen here. Where should HA go?”

    Back under the friggin’ rock.

  34. 45

    NPR keeps getting PWN3D spews:

    I think rujax is used to the facials….

    quite funny…Bob lays out a well thought out opinion/argument, and all rujax has to offer is “your stupid!”.

    much self ownage from rujaxian, week in and week out.

  35. 46

    Bob spews:

    Today’s hybrid-vehicle genius from your government-owned car company:

    Electric Car Catches Fire, Again
    Chevy Volt Is Believed To Have Set A Garage On Fire In Barkhamsted

    http://www.wfsb.com/news/27586692/detail.html

    That’s two fires caused by one vehicle in a less-than-one-week period of time.

    Yes, let’s pour more subsidy into an ‘electric’ vehicle no one wanted in the first place. Quickly.

  36. 47

    BigSid spews:

    Trolls. I more or less stayed out of the comments but Goldy thinks they’re the best part of the site, so I’m sick of reading just LUDICROUS, WRONG statements. If someone wants to rant because being cooped-up at home all day collecting disability gets boring, by all means, but some folks obviously have an agenda (read: obvious astroturf). It makes for either tangential conversation at best or completely batshit, pointless keyboard-mashing at worst. There’s WorldNetDaily and TheBlaze for you folks, Glenn Beck or S.E. Cupp would LOVE for you to congratulate them on whatever bigoted or misogynistic lie they posted that day. When you actually have something to say, I’d love to read it.

  37. 49

    Blue John spews:

    @46. Why do you hate American companies? Why don’t you want them to succeed? Why do you hate America? Why are you aligning with the terrorists? Why are you a terrorist?

  38. 50

    Blue John spews:

    I wished there was a HIDE function. If you logged in, you could auto hide the troll’s comments.
    So many of them post over and over that they hate America and want it to fail. Why should I read that?

  39. 51

    Blue John spews:

    @46.
    Why do you support subsidies to oil companies that don’t need it any more, but not to electric cars that do?

  40. 52

    Bob spews:

    @ 49-51:

    Why do you put words into my mouth or otherwise assume things I did not say?

    I said nothing about subsidies to oil companies. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

    I don’t hate American companies. I thought Chrysler should have been allowed to fail and liquidated, because there is no business reason for its continued existence, but that is off-point. I thought Ford was spot-on by foreseeing the problems and rearranging finances to deal with it. Ford didn’t need to borrow from the government, BTW. And it has a competitive disadvantage vs. GM and Chrysler in its UAW contracts right now. Also off-point.

    I find the Volt to be pointless. It exists because people did not have the balls to kill the idea even after an awful lot of money was poured into the concept.

    Perhaps you should ask Obama why he once said of the American auto companies in trouble, “Why can’t they just make a Corolla?”.

    http://content.usatoday.com/co.....-corolla/1

    But then your meme about troll company-haters would not work so well, would it?

    Obama is right, BTW. I drive a Prius and it’s amazing. It’s about a $5K premium to the same quality of vehicle without the hybrid technology. Spending any more than that is a waste. The Volt has been/is/will continue to be a tremendous waste.

    Look at the TDI, look at the Honda Fit. Quality engineering without hybrid technology. Great gas mileage. Low cost. No subsidies required.

    If that perspective makes me a hater then so be it. I don’t know what makes me a troll unless you only like sycophants.

  41. 53

    spews:

    One of my best friends lives in Austin and is constantly laying the Texas Crazy Republican news on me and daring me to match them. I’m sure there are some teabaggers on the Eastern slope that would give me some more ammunition, but I don’t read about them on the wet side. That said, HA is my go to source on Washington political news.