The liberal blogosphere to my knowledge first came into being around the year 2002, give or take a few years. Back then you had the upstarts like DailyKos, MyDD, Talking Points Memo, Oliver Willis, Smirking Chimp, AmericaBlog, Pandagon, Hullabaloo, Eschaton and many others; who began the top of what would become a long tail.
Many more blogs would be created and some would poke through into the A-list and the top of the tail in the years to come; blogs like The Huffington Post, Think Progress and Fire Dog Lake come to mind. During this time there was also a plethora of state based progressive blogs like My Left Nutmeg, The Daily Gotham, The Albany Project and Michigan Liberal to name a few.
The the era of the progressive blogosphere thankfully still continues. But throughout this era we’ve seen many blogs come and go. They cease publishing for a number of reasons, whether they be at the top of the tail or the bottom. Personally, I’m still here treading away somewhere at the upper-bottom of the tail I suppose. But I do this for the love of writing and the ink is cheap to buy. So onward I continue.
Yet what if I or thousands of others like me in the progressive blogosphere eventually decide to close up shop? What happens to all those posts and all those ideas? Is it all to be lost and forgotten? Some of the A-list blogs who have stopped publishing still pay their hosting fees to keep their sites up for posterity, but not everyone does that. I suppose if your blog was hosted with Google or WordPress you’re safe for now but they can always close down as other blog hosting sites have done in the past.
So what I’m proposing is that we start an archive of the progressive blogosphere. We archive every word of it–or as much as possible. I say this knowing that there is an Internet Archive in existence but their web crawlers only go so deep.
So we reach out to people and try to get their codebase and databases when we can and then we harvest the rest with software when we can’t. But that’s my idea. This way all that collective knowledge can be preserved and indexed.