Rad Geek People's Daily

official state media for a secessionist republic of one

Posts tagged rabble

Anarchoblogs, rebooted

For the past few years, Rad Geek People’s Daily was syndicated (along with a few score other anarchist blogs) on a Planet-based aggregator called Anarchoblogs at http://anarchoblogs.protest.net/. Rabble, of Anarchogeek, created it To encourage blogging, raise awareness, and and promote cross linking among anarchist bloggers. Unfortunately, late last year, Anarchoblogs disappeared from the web (as a result of technical difficulties not worth going into here). Today, I am happy to kick off this new year by announcing the return of Anarchoblogs, which is back at a new domain name (http://anarchoblogs.org/) with a new engine under the hood and some important new features. From Anarchoblogs.org: About:

Anarchoblogs is a collection of blogs from self-identified anarchists, anarcho-syndicalists, anarcha-feminists, anarchists without adjectives, libertarian-socialists, autonomists and other assorted anti-statists. We use free software to syndicate our weblogs, in order to raise awareness, bring together anarchist voices, promote cross-linking and discussion between anarchist bloggers, and to archive and index anarchist materials on the Internet, while we’re at it.

Anarchoblogs began life in September 2004. It was founded by Evan Rabble Henshaw-Plath, and run with a Planet aggregator at anarchoblogs.protest.net. Technical difficulties caused anarchoblogs.protest.net to disappear from the web in late 2008, so Anarchoblogs contributor Charles Rad Geek Johnson contacted former contributors about establishing a new Anarchoblogs aggregator at anarchoblogs.org, with new software and some new features (including localized hubs, archiving and indexing of posts by date, tag, and author, and a updated, semantically-richer set of aggregated feeds). The new Anarchoblogs has been live since December 2008.

A few notes on the changes. The old Anarchoblogs was run on an old version of Planet, a simple aggregator and templating system which outputs static files. The new Anarchoblogs is run on an installation of WordPress MU with FeedWordPress running on top of it, which will allow for more flexible templating and the new features mentioned on the About page. Probably the three most important are that the new platform allows for painless setup and management of community hubs; for indexing the content of anarchist blogs; and, because each posts goes into the database of a WordPress MU blog, for archiving the content of anarchist blogs over time.

  • Comunity hubs — the new setup will make it easy to create and manage multiple community hubs, which aggregate blogs for specific communities, instead of simply dumping everything into one global aggregator. (But if you want everything dumped into one global aggregator, you can still get at that easily enough.) Communities can be defined geographically, ideologically, linguistically, organizationally, or along any other lines which become useful. Currently, there are three hubs up and running, for their own sake and as examples for the future — the language-specific hubs Anarchoblogs in English and Anarchoblogs auf Deutsch, and the ideology-specific hub Market Anarchist Blogs. Soon I hope to get some other ideological community hubs up (syndicalist blogs, green anarchist blogs, that sort of thing) and to roll out community hubs for geographical communities for various countries, cities, provinces, bioregions, etc.

    I think it’s important that we develop these community hubs, for a couple reason. First, because every reason that makes aggregating anarchist blogs a good idea in general (promoting conversations among anarchists, helping readers discover new anarchist blogs and anarchist bloggers discover new readers, etc.) is also a great reason to create more specific hubs for specific communities (helping people discover new anarchist bloggers in their own community, promoting conversations among anarchists who live near each other or are otherwise part of the same community, etc.). Second, because there are a lot of anarchist blogs out there, and I hope that Anarchoblogs will encourage people to start even more, and the closer Anarchoblogs comes to aggregating all those blogs, the more closely trying to read the global feed will come to resemble trying to drink from a firehose. This was already starting to become an issue with the old Anarchoblogs; on the new Anarchoblogs, community hubs should help readers figure out more specifically what they want to follow and to avoid being overwhelmed by too much reading material.

  • Indexing anarchist discussions — the new Anarchoblogs runs on top of a standard WordPress (MU) installation, and so takes advantage of WordPress’s features to index content by date, tag, and the full text of the posts, so that if you want (for example) to see what anarchist bloggers were talking about in January 2009, or to findposts tagged Feminism on anarchist blogs, or to search for posts where anarchist bloggers mention Greece, you can do all those things, and it’ll work about the same as it works on any individual blog, but will search across all the anarchist blogs we index.

  • Archiving anarchist discussions — Lots of anarchist writers write only one or two things and then disappear; lots of anarchist distros pass out small runs over a small area for a few years and then disappear; lots of anarchist works are cheaply printed, done on the fly, and get out to only a handful of people. Anarchist media has always been grassroots, usually seat-of-your-pants, and typically ephemeral: imeo sheets, xeroxed zines, tiny runs of amateur pamphlets or movement papers with microscopic circulations. When most of our materials were printed this was a problem but not a crisis: an author or a distro might disappear, but the physical pamphlet or the zine would still exist, and people who took a professional interest could find old copies and preserve them for others to find. But when blogs or websites disappear (as they often do), they disappear forever. Unless someone has archived the material elsewhere, there’s no physical copy left for some future Labadie Collection to dig out of someone’s attic. Just how important this is was really driven home for me when I went through the old Anarchoblogs contributor list to try to get in touch with folks about the new project. Out of over 100 former contributors, I was able to find a still-active blog for less than 30 blogs. The others blogs were no longer being actively updated, or had simply disappeared from the Internet. The old Anarchoblogs just aggregated the most recent content on contributing blogs, and discarded old posts; the new Anarchoblogs archives posts over time in a database where they can be indexed, searched, and re-read, even if the original blog disappears from the Internet. I think that as we spend more years working on building a grassroots, D.I.Y. culture, we are going to find that these kind of archiving efforts are going to be more and more important for our ability to preserve what we have built in media where people come and go quickly, constantly change addresses, drop out, get yanked off, or otherwise disappear from the web. I’m hoping that Anarchoblogs’s new archiving features will go a little way towards a better solution; in any case, if they help preserve a couple of these blogs against the accidents and uncertainties of the future in this world of ours, I’ll be happy.

Finally, I’d like to say something briefly about funding. I’m hoping that Anarchoblogs will be financially self-sustaining, and that it might also provide people a convenient way to support active anarchist bloggers. So I’m going to go out on a limb here and try to do some fundraising for the project. There is a small annual budget, and, once those bills are covered, any money that is raised above the budget will be distributed evenly amongst active Anarchoblogs contributors. If there is enough interest and support in the online community to meet the (very modest) budget on voluntary donations, then I’d like to stick with the voluntary donations. If a few months have passed and it doesn’t look like that’s likely to work out, the Plan B would be to look into unobtrusive sponsorships or advertisements to cover the costs of keeping the aggregator running. But if you think that Anarchoblogs sounds like a project you’d like to see continue, the easiest way to make sure that that happens is to support the Anarchoblogs project with a donation at http://anarchoblogs.org/donate/. Any contribution will make a significant difference (we just need to cover about $350 in bills; after that, any additional money goes directly to active Anarchoblogs contributors).

So, anyway. Give it a look; it’s at http://anarchoblogs.org/.

If you use a feed reader like Google Reader or Bloglines, you can subscribe to a feed of all the posts coming over the wire at http://anarchoblogs.org/feed/ (or, if you want to subscribe to a feed for one of the various community hubs, http://eng.anarchoblogs.org/feed/ or http://deu.anarchoblogs.org/feed/ or http://market.anarchoblogs.org/feed/).

If you have an anarchist blog yourself, check out the information on how to join the community.

If you can support the project with a monetary donation, check out the information on how to donate.

If you have friends who’d be interested, point them to http://anarchoblogs.org/ or to this post.

If you have any questions, comments, concerns, applause, brickbats, suggestions about blogs you’d like to see or features you’d like to see in the aggregator — well, fire away in the comments section here or drop me a line. And enjoy!

See also:

Fat Tuesday Lazy Linking

Around the web in the past couple weeks. Part of the news that’s fit to link…

  • In honor of Carnival, let’s start with a couple of Carnivals. The Ninth Carnival of Feminists is up at Mind the Gap! and Philosophers’ Carnival #26 is up at Hesperus/Phosphorus. I happen to have a submission featured in each; but if you’re here you’ve probably already read them. Fortunately, like all good Carnivals, they contain multitudes. Prepare to fill out exactly one zillion tabs with excellent reading material.

  • Roderick Long, Austro-Athenian Empire (2006-02-21): Spooner on Rent does his best to sort out just what Lysander Spooner’s views on land ownership and rent are. The evidence suggests that Spooner was more like Murray Rothbard and less like Benjamin Tucker on this one. Interesting mainly as a historical and exegetical question (Spooner didn’t dwell on the issue, so it’s not like a treasure trove is being discovered; and the fact that Spooner thought something hardly makes it so). But, Roderick adds, to the extent that there’s any polemical payoff I suppose it’s this: those anarcho-socialists who grant the title of anarchist to Tucker and Spooner but deny it to Rothbard and other so-called anarcho-capitalists on the grounds inter alia of the latter’s disagreement with Tucker about land will find their position at least somewhat harder to maintain to the extent that the distance between the saved Spooner and the damned anarcho-capitalists is narrowed. Read the whole thing.

  • ginmar, A View from A Broad (2006-01-30): It doesn’t matter what you think we said…: You ever dealt with somebody who uses the word pussy in front of you–I’m speaking as a woman, here–as a synonym for cowardly, disgusting, vile–and then gets up in your face when you call them on it? Well, uh, I didn’t mean it like that. I didn’t intend it like that.Not thinking is no longer proof of innocence. What it just means is that you don’t give enough of a fuck to think about it. (Boldface added.) Read the whole thing.

  • Media Matters (2006-02-14): If It’s Sunday, It’s Conservative: An analysis of the Sunday talk show guests on ABC, CBS, and NBC, 1997 – 2005: In fact, as this study reveals, conservative voices significantly outnumber progressive voices on the Sunday talk shows. Media Matters for America conducted a content analysis of ABC’s This Week, CBS’ Face the Nation, and NBC’s Meet the Press, classifying each one of the nearly 7,000 guest appearances during President Bill Clinton’s second term, President George W. Bush’s first term, and the year 2005 as either Democrat, Republican, conservative, progressive, or neutral. The conclusion is clear: Republicans and conservatives have been offered more opportunities to appear on the Sunday shows – in some cases, dramatically so. The Right had an especially pronounced advantage when you screened out government flunkies and just looked at journalists. Read the whole thing.

  • Natalie Bennett, Philobiblon (2006-02-19): The baby choice, not the baby gap: Well I wanted many things when I was 21 – although I didn’t want children – and I don’t now want many of the same things. I didn’t want many of the same things when I was 25 or 30. At 21 you are still chiefly the product of your conditioning and upbringing – you are only just starting to grow up and construct yourself as an independent individual. No doubt many of those women later changed their minds, or decided that while a baby might be nice, it wasn’t their top priority. Also, no doubt, when they asked those early twenties women the question, they were thinking of having a baby as something that would happen in the far distant future – it is not a serious practical prospect. With, as I’ve reported before, 30 per cent plus of women in Scotland chosing not to have babies, when are the researchers (and the newspaper editors) going to recognise that this is a valid, sensible, entirely normal choice? Sometimes the demographic hand-wringers try to coerce you; other times they just try to hector you and generally treat you like an idiot. In either case, they’re acting like a bunch of bullies and need to drop it already. Anyway, read the whole thing.

  • Andy the Slack Bastard (2006-02-18): Burn-A-Flag-For-Lenin Week!: Andy has sort of an ongoing hilarious documentary on the weird, wild world of Marxist-Leninist splinter sects. It’s kind of like a form of neo-surrealist theatre in which the actors don’t realize that they’re part of a show. The latest? Confronted with a recent and continuing downturn in membership, the youth wing of the neo-Trotskyist Democratic Socialist Perspective appears to have hit upon a brand new (sic) idea to try and reverse the trend (or at least make a few dollars): selling flag-burning kits to University students. Commodification of dissent in the name of Communist dictatorship? The power is yours Australia! Read the whole thing.

  • Lab Kat (2006-02-20): The barefoot and pregnant crowd, Part III takes notice of Ypsilanti’s finest, Tom Monaghan. Now he’s planning to build his own city. No, not on rock and roll; on the mercy of Our Lady. I’m all for this clown building his own city. Get all the religious right nutjobs in the country to move there, away from those of us who don’t buy their dogmatic horseshit. Let them go play in their La-La Land while the rest of us live in the real world. Read the whole thing.

  • Meghan Sapp, Women’s eNews (2006-02-20): Fight to End Mutilation Hits Gritty Juncture looks at the hard work to come in the struggle against female genital mutilation in Africa: moving from international sentiments and governmental resolutions to actual change on the ground. Amid the surge in activities and reports, campaigners against the practice find themselves at a critical juncture. For nearly three years, they have been focused on persuading African Union leaders to ratify the Maputo Protocol. But now that is done, application of the anti-FGM provision at the national and local levels becomes the gritty political challenge. Of the 28 countries where genital mutilation is practiced, 14 countries have passed anti-FGM laws. But only Burkina Faso, Ghana and Kenya actively uphold those laws, according to the London-based Foundation for Women’s Health, Research and Development. Countries faced international pressure to ratify the Maputo Protocol, but within their own societies they face the opposition of many traditional ruling classes to cultural change. Read the whole thing.

  • Kieran Healy, Crooked Timber (2006-02-11): The Papers Continue Fatuous looks on aghast as Andrew Sullivan happily reprints e-mails from his ever-present Anonymous Liberal Reader explicitly pondering genocide against Muslims in Europe. Here’s the word from Betty Bleedheart: I’m honestly starting to suspect that, before this is over, European nations are going to have exactly four choices in dealing with their entire Moslem populations–for elementary safety’s sake: (1) Capitulate totally to them and become a Moslem continent. (2) Intern all of them. (3) Deport all of them. (4) Throw all of them into the sea. Kieran adds: It’s a hollow joke that Sullivan’s blog is graced by a tag-line taken from Orwell–and one about not being able to see what’s in front of your face, at that. … I certainly hope European countries are not about to capitulate to demands from some radical muslims that civil society be brought to an end for the sake of the prophet’s honor. … Nor, I take it, are they about to round up and dump all of them (for any value of them) into the sea. And if some countries have started down one or other of those roads, it certainly isn’t because some clerical thugs are so awesomely powerful that they are in a position to destroy the institutions of western democracy. You’ll have to look elsewhere to find people with the leverage to do real damage there. Read the whole thing.

  • tiffany at BlackFeminism.org (2006-02-20): SXSW Collective Brainstorming: Are you a gay blogger or a blogger who is gay? and Tensions between being speaking for yourself or for a group looks at identity blogging and asks some hard questions for those who do (or don’t) care to do it. Read the whole thing.

  • Marjorie Rosen, Los Angeles Times (2006-02-19): The lady vanishes — yet again takes an all-too-uncritical but sometimes interesting look at the declining prospects for women in the Hollywood star system. One of the better moments: The studios are nothing if not practical, suggests Michael Seitzman, the screenwriter of North Country. Hollywood would give a role to my dog if it would bring in an audience. The real question is not Why isn’t Hollywood creating roles for women? It’s Why aren’t audiences going to see them? Men aren’t interested in seeing movies about women anymore, but from the response to movies like In Her Shoes, it appears that women aren’t, either. But there may be a perception problem here. Could it be that because Hollywood produces so few movies featuring women’s stories, each one is held up to cold, hard and — dare I say it? — unfair scrutiny? Read the whole thing.

  • moiv, media girl (2006-02-21): If You Can’t Get EC at St. Elsewhere, Call Boston Legal, meanwhile, catches us up on the wit and wisdom of Catholic League president William Donahue, who informs us that the real problem is that Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. It’s not a secret, okay? And I’m not afraid to say it. … Hollywood likes anal sex. They like to see the public square without nativity scenes. I like families. I like children. They like abortions. I believe in traditional values and restraint. They believe in libertinism. We have nothing in common. But you know what? The culture war has been ongoing for a long time. Their side has lost. Oh it gets better — Donahue’s keeping files, you see. Big fat ones. Read the whole thing.

  • The Guardian NewsBlog (2006-02-20) reports that the occupation may soon be over, troops drawn down, and genuine independence at hand after a tricky political process … in Kosovo. Black Looks (2006-02-19) reports on the violence leading up to putatively open elections in Uganda. (All in the name of counter-terrorism, of course.) Ryan W. McMacken, LewRockwell.com Blog (2006-02-21) finds that red-blooded Iranians aren’t above some good old Liberty Cabbage idiocy.

  • The Guardian NewsBlog (2006-02-21): Milton Keynes: Shia inspiration watches the End of History rising over the ruins of Najaf, with a bit of help from the military-industrial complex. Come watch as the mauling of a holy city by the Warfare State is followed up with the worst that coercive, centralized Urban Renewal has to offer. For those who want to return to the glory days of Soviet-era architecture in Warsaw, I suppose. Read the whole thing.

  • rabble at Anarchogeek (2006-02-22): On the futility of creative commons suggests that the increasingly ubiquitous Creative Commons stickers and tags are useless, because they cater too much to the whims of publishers and don’t take a principled stand in favor of freedom. Looking through the guide, i realize that it’s not possible simply to replace the CC with something else. The problem is not that there aren’t good licenses, rather that the cultural war over ideas is being lost. We need a concept like GPL compatible or maybe even the less radical OSI compliant. I think that this may miss the point of what CC’s out to do in the first place, but it’s an interesting debate. Read the whole thing.

  • Jill, feministe (2006-02-20): Categorizing Race in the Bookstore reflects on the assets and liabilities of the African-American Interest (Women’s Studies, GLBT) bookshelves at your friendly neighborhood bookstore. Ghettoization? Useful classification? Both? Neither? Read the whole thing.

  • Discourse.net (2006-02-25): Florida Cops Intimidate Would-be Complainants picks out an amazing transcript of an attempt to get an official complaint form from the pigs. Via Boing-boing, a link to this absolutely amazing piece of investigative reporting: Police Station Intimidation–Parts 1 and 2 in which CBS4 News found that, in police departments across Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, large and small, it was virtually impossible to walk in the door, and walk out with a complaint form. … The TV station that broke the story reports that Remarkably, of 38 different police stations tested around South Florida, all but three had no police complaint forms yet it nonetheless felt obligated to introduce its report by saying that Most police officers are a credit to the badge, serving the community and the people who pay their salary, getting criminals off the street, making the community safer for everyone. Guess none of those guys happen to work the front desk, eh? Read the whole thing.

  • Echidne of the Snakes (2006-02-18): Virgins Matter More reports on how a man in Italy got a reduction in his sentence for raping his 14 year old stepdaughter because she wasn’t a virgin at the time she was raped. Because, you see, being forced to have sex against your will isn’t so bad if you’ve had sex already. The supreme court, apparently quoting from an amicus brief filed by Humbert Humbert, mused that the victim’s personality, from a sexual point of view, is much more developed than what would be normally expected of a girl of her age. Read the whole thing. But only on an empty stomach.

  • Laurelin in the Rain (2006-02-21): The Patriarchy Phrasebook: Occasionally (actually make that all the damn time), we rad fems find ourselves visited by Ambassadors from Planet Patriarchia, who speak in a language that is hard to understand, mostly because it’s less of a language and more of a code consisting of standard statements and arrogant presumptions. But never fear, for I am here with my dictionary of Commonly Used Phrases of Patriarchal Lackeys. These phrases are found variously in patriarchal literature, common conversation, newspapers, TV programmes, blog comments and shouted slogans when you’re minding your own frickin’ business. Read the whole thing.

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