SSP to Daily Kos FAQ

As you know, the Swing State Project is becoming a part of Daily Kos and will become “Daily Kos Elections.” This move will happen on Tuesday, May 3. I wanted to fully detail the transition in one place, to help folks understand what’s happening and to ease the process. (I previously explained the move in this post and also responded to many comments.) I also want to offer everyone another chance to ask any questions. This is a long post, but I’d encourage you to read the entire thing before hitting the comment boards. Alright – let’s start!

1) SSP is becoming part of Daily Kos? What does that mean?

In the simplest terms, all you have to do is bookmark this link:

All the content you are accustomed to seeing here at SSP will now appear on its own sub-site at Daily Kos, called “Daily Kos Elections,” or “DKE” for short, starting May 3. So just visit DKE and you’ll be able to read the same great stuff you’ve always read at SSP, each and every day.

If you follow us on Twitter or Facebook, you don’t need to change a thing (though our account names will change, but that should be seamless for you). If you follow us via RSS, you’ll use this new link:

If you’ve signed up for our daily email summary, there may be a short interruption as we migrate to the DK system, but I expect any disruption will be minimal.

2) What’s going to happen to

The archives at will remain available. New user sign-ups, comment posting, and diary posting will be disabled. However, you’ll still be able to log in to your old account to find your old comments and diaries more easily. At some point, we’re likely to port our archives over to Daily Kos as well, but that’s something for further down the line.

3) Alright, you told me how I can read your stuff at DKE. But how can I comment? Will my SSP account still work?

Your SSP account will not work over at DKE. You’ll need to create a new account. I strongly urge you to do this right away if you haven’t yet already because there’s a one-day waiting period for new accounts at Daily Kos to post comments, and a one-week waiting period to post diaries. You can sign up for a new account by going here:

One suggestion I’ve seen in comments that I like: If you choose to use a different username at DKE (or your SSP name is taken by someone else and you need to pick something different), you can edit your sig line to tell people what your new name is. (Or, on DKE, what your old name was.) To do this on SSP, click on your username anywhere you see it (or on “[Username]’s Page” in the right-hand sidebar), then click on the “Profile” tab. You can then edit your Account Info page as you see fit.

On Daily Kos, log in, then click the prominent “My Page” link that’s just below the site’s logo in the top-left area of the screen, then click on “Edit Profile” in the “Welcome Back” box in the top-right corner. Scroll down to the middle of the page until you reach the “Comment Preferences” section. There you’ll see a box for your signature line. After you’re done, just make sure to scroll all the way to the bottom and hit the orange “Save” button.

4) Yipes! I was once banned at Daily Kos. What do I do?

Send me an email: davidnyc [at] dailykos [dot] com. It’s easiest if we work things out privately, on an individual basis.

5) Okay, how about diaries? How do I post those?

Alright, this part is important. The site software works somewhat differently at Daily Kos, and there’s also one big huge thing you have to remember if you want your diaries to appear at DKE. So here goes:

In the “Welcome Back” box (which I mentioned above in #3), click on the word “New” next to where you see “Diaries.” You’ll be brought to a page which is very similar to the new diary entry form at SSP. You’ve got your title, of course, and then your “Intro” box, which is where the main text of your diary goes. If you’re writing something particularly long and want to put part of it below the fold, that goes in the box labeled “Extended.”

Then scroll down past the Extended box. You’ll see an area called “Tags.” You have to enter at least one tag. This is different from SSP, which lets you post diaries without any tags.

Now here’s the really important part: If you want your diary to appear on the right-hand sidebar of DKE, YOU MUST INCLUDE THE TAG “DK Elections” IN YOUR POST. If you include this tag, that tells the system to post it in the “Related Diaries” box in the right-hand sidebar on DKE. Here’s a screenshot to show you exactly where it will appear:

As you can see, I posted a test diary (since deleted) titled “This is a test” in that box. (Can you hear me in the back?) That’s where your diaries will appear, very similar to how they appear on SSP.

But again, how they get there is different. The “DK Elections” tag is crucial. If you include it, your diary will appear in the right place. If you don’t, it will not appear there.

When you are ready to post your diary, click on the “Save & Preview” button. If you are content, then click the “Publication Manager” button. Here’s where things are a little different. You will see either two or three options pop up. The first is “Publish Now.” That’s equivalent to hitting “Save” on an SSP diary – it’ll go live right away. In addition to appearing in the DKE sidebar if you remember to use the right tag, it will also appear on your personal blog by clicking the “Diaries” link in the “Welcome Back” box. (You have your own personal Daily Kos blog now!) If you hit “Publish Later,” you can set your diary to appear at a particular time and day of your choosing. (If you see a third option, “Queue to a Group Blog,” that means you’re probably already a DK power-user, so I don’t think I need to explain that feature.)

So once more, just remember: Include the “DK Elections” tag in all your election-related diaries!

(One side-note: If you include the “DK Elections” tag at the time you first publish your diary, it should appear in the “Related Diaries” sidebar at DKE right away. If you forget the tag but go back and add it later, that will work, too – but be aware that there will be a delay in your diary appearing in the “Related Diaries” box.)

6) Let’s go back to comments for a minute. What’s the deal with these “Recommend” and “Hide” buttons?

“Recommend” means you like a comment and want to give it an attaboy. It’s a nice way of showing that you think a comment is particularly smart, useful, funny, etc. I sometimes like to give recommends even to comments I disagree with, if I think the person has made a thoughtful point (even if I don’t share their views). I also think they can be helpful defusers – if a discussion gets a little more heated than I’d like, I might give someone a recommend just to show, “Hey, we’re cool.” It’s sort of a technological way of indicating that we can all “leave it on the court” (as they say in the NBA).

“Hide” means you think a comment is so offensive that it should literally be hidden from view. It’s not to be used for mere disagreement, or even sharp displeasure – a “hide” rating is a very serious sanction, and if a comment gets enough of them, it will in fact disappear from view (though it won’t be deleted). Use these sparingly, only for spammers, true trolls, or genuinely offensive rhetoric.

(Note that you may not see the “hide” rating button if you have a very new account. Only “Trusted Users” have access to “hide” ratings, and you need to build up what the site calls “mojo” in order to become a TU. Don’t worry – you can and likely will become a TU before long, if you aren’t already. The traditional way to gain mojo is by having your comments get recommended, but there are many others. If you’re interested in learning more about how mojo works, you can check out this post and this post from Markos.)

7) Looks like there are a lot of other new features at Daily Kos as well. What’s up with all of those?

Indeed there are, but I don’t want to make this post any longer than it is. However, if you are interested in a good primer about the site, Joan McCarter (one of the site’s senior editors) has written a great series of introductory posts:

Getting started at Daily Kos 4.0

How to read, write, and comment in Daily Kos 4.0

What’s new and/or improved in Daily Kos 4.0

8) Why are you making this change?

There are several key reasons. First, I think our coverage last cycle was absolutely top-notch – but we were operating at and in fact past capacity. I had a day job as an attorney which meant I couldn’t blog at all while at work. So those morning edition digests you saw were written by me late at night, after I came home from work, and keeping it up was incredibly exhausting. The other writers here all felt the same way about their workloads. So for us to maintain our existing level of coverage and in fact continue to grow, we had to make a big change. I’m not sure SSP would otherwise have been sustainable in the long run.

The second reason ties into the first. I’ve been hired to work full-time for Daily Kos. This means we get to produce more great content for you on a daily basis. It’s also a dream job for me – I’m getting paid to do what I’ve otherwise done as a hobby for almost a decade. Markos has been trying to bring me aboard for years, and the stars finally aligned. It was an offer I couldn’t turn down, and I’m very glad I didn’t.

And a third important reason is server uptime and general technology issues. As you know, SoapBlox often struggles during high traffic loads and has even gone down more than once. Daily Kos is infinitely more robust – Markos has made uptime one of his most important priorities. To give you an example, on election night in 2008, Daily Kos had nine million pageviews but didn’t so much as hiccup. That’s as many pageviews as SSP gets in three years! (Indeed, this performance was so impressive that the site’s tech guru, Jeremy Bingham, was invited to do a presentation about it at the prestigious O’Reilly Velocity conference.) And more generally speaking, SoapBlox has certainly been showing its age, while DK just underwent a major upgrade and continues to be actively developed. It’s just a much more modern, robust system that will simply never go down on election nights.

There are some other nice benefits for the community as well. We get access to greater resources through Daily Kos, and in my role as Political Director, I’m responsible for all polling that we undertake. I plan on involving you guys in those decisions – expect to see some PPP-style “vote on where we poll next” posts as the campaign season gets further underway.

9) So who’s going to be writing at DKE?

The staff will be (in alphabetical order by first name):

Arjun Jaikumar

David Jarman (Crisitunity)

David Nir (DavidNYC)

James L.


Steve Singiser

And, of course, you’ll all still be writing diaries.

10) What’s going to happen to the community? To SSP’s policies?

DKE will remain an “elections-only” zone. Our focus will, as always, be on pure electoral horserace politics, not policy. There is no editorial direction from up on high at Daily Kos (and never has been) – DKE will retain complete editorial independence. I’m as free to disagree with Markos (or any other Daily Kos staffer) as you are – and I can (and do) exercise that freedom.

As far as community goes, we will do everything possible to maintain what we’ve built here. We will, as always, try to steer conversations in helpful ways and avoid derails and off-topic discussions. While I personally will not have the power to ban users, this is actually something we do quite seldom here at SSP – and if someone is truly disruptive, I can make it known to Meteor Blades, the Daily Kos Director of Community. If you also have concerns about a user, you can reach out to one of the staff members (see above).

Most importantly, though, is the role all of you will play. We are trying something new, by creating this site-within-a-site at Daily Kos, and some people who encounter us will simply not be familiar with our customs and our focus. I know it’s not always easy, but I ask that you be patient with people like that – try to explain to them, calmly and politely, what we’re all about. If someone says something that would be out of place at SSP, try not to get angry or frustrated but instead view it as a teaching opportunity. I’ve done this myself many times over at DK, and it’s proven surprisingly rewarding. Many people are genuinely grateful when you take the time to explain things. I know it may seem ridiculous when someone asks something like, “What’s the DSCC?” but if you tell them without condescension, they’ll appreciate it – and they’ll learn. (In fact, here’s a great example of me doing just that, and getting rewarded for it.) Remember, some folks simply don’t know a lot about the horserace and about how SSP/DKE works. Our mission is to spread the light!

One aspect of DKE that’s appropriate to explain here is how our work will be featured on the main page of Daily Kos – that is, if you go to All of our posts will originate at DKE (, so if you go there, you’ll never miss a thing. But some of our posts will also get published on front page (or “FP”) of Daily Kos itself. This mostly applies to our more general interest stuff: daily digests, stand-alone poll posts, and breaking news (like candidate announcements). Wonkier stuff (like the kind of data crunching that Jeff and Crisitunity are known for) will generally not get cross-posted to the FP.

So what this means is that some folks will “wander in off the street,” so to speak, and find DKE posts not because they first visited, but because they went to These sorts of people are apt to be less familiar with our customs, so they may require some more hand-holding. But I’ll tell you: We’ve cross-posted a bunch of content over the past couple of months, and in the horserace-specific posts, you tend to get a type of commenter who would fit in quite well at SSP. In fact, I’m quite eager to unite these folks with us under one banner. (Believe it or not, not every horserace geek has heard of SSP!)

Indeed, this might seem like a somewhat strange thing to say, but most of the stuff we’ve cross-posted to the DK FP has not gotten a lot of comments… and that’s a good thing! Part of that is because the flow of new posts on the FP is very high, usually one every 40 minutes or so. (The flow at DKE will be what you’re accustomed to here at SSP.) But another key reason is that horserace geeks like ourselves are generally a pretty self-selected bunch, and horserace geekery is only one of many reasons why people visit DK – whereas at SSP, it’s really the only reason. So a lot of the, shall we say, noisier folks that people have expressed concern about at DK aren’t really attracted to horserace diaries in the first place.

And there’s an additional point which is really worth making here: I know a lot of you have concerns about the integration of our two sites. There definitely are some commenters at DK who would not fit in well here (even if they mostly stay out of the horserace stuff) – I won’t disagree with that. But there’s no reason, absolutely no reason, why a few bad apples at Daily Kos should “take over” SSP culture and not the other way around.

You people are some of the smartest, most thoughtful election analysts around. Honestly, the combined brainpower of this place kicks the ass of any other election shop anywhere. (Are you telling me we couldn’t out-hustle the NRCC? Hell no you’re not. I would definitely take that Pepsi challenge.) But you’re also a really polite, friendly bunch who’ve shown how to make a great community work. Yeah, we step in to moderate sometimes, but really the vast majority of the time, this community knows what it’s doing.

So I think we have a lot of ability to make Daily Kos more like SSP rather than the reverse. We’ll have our own sub-site, of course, but even for the posts that also appear on the FP, we can make those comment boards our own, too. The current Daily Digest posts at DK seldom get more than a couple dozen comments. Here they get hundreds! How can a few irksome Kossacks change us, when we outnumber them by a huge margin? Indeed, SSP’s traffic is at record highs. To put it in terms we can all appreciate, our base is huge! Even though it’s a much bigger site overall, the DK horserace base is small, and mostly very much like us. Or put another way: When liberals from the northeast migrate southward for warmer climes, do they become more conservative? Of course not – quite the opposite: they make their new states bluer. There’s no reason why it won’t be the same for us.

I am sure it will be imperfect. I may occasionally post on a topic which unexpectedly brings out the crazy brigade in a way that even I can’t keep a lid on. It’ll happen, it’ll be annoying, and maybe I won’t be able to re-rail it… but you know what? These moments, I expect, will be few and far between, but if they happen, we’ll just move on to the next thread. SSP probably has to be about the least inflammatory progressive blog there is, so if a freak-out does occur, odds are the next post will be pretty chill, especially if it’s a Daily Digest.

And yeah, maybe there will be one or two people who keep wanting Alan Grayson to primary Bill Nelson, and maybe they won’t give up no matter how many times you patiently explain what a bad idea that would be. I don’t expect this see much of this, but if it ever winds up happening, just ignore `em. Or like I said, wait for the next thread. Or if you don’t feel like waiting, then post a new diary of your own.

Many of you have known me for a long time. You know I’ve always been honest with you, and you know I’ve worked hard almost every day for many years to make this site the best it can be. I don’t think anyone owes me anything, but I hope I’ve earned a measure of credibility with you – enough, at least, that you’ll give DKE a shot, that you’ll help export SSP’s brand of community to the new mothership, and that you’ll put up with occasional frustrations and growing pains so that we can continue to succeed in our new home.

I’m incredibly grateful for all the support you’ve shown me, my fellow writers, and this site over the years, and I’ll be even more grateful if you’ll join me in helping to make this transition work. Thank you.

100 thoughts on “SSP to Daily Kos FAQ”

  1. for all your hard work David! Once again, congratulations on getting hired full time by DKos. I can only speak for myself, but I would guess the rest of the SSP community would join me in embracing the merger, despite the reservations people might have.

    1. crazy and hate at DK now. Even the most benign diaries/front-page articles are riddled with disgusting comments and unlike SSP where there is actual moderation, DK has zero moderation and there is no consequences for posting off-topic, racist or deranged posts.  

    2. I had my political concerns about impeaching Bush (though in retrospect, he needs to be tried on Iraq, spying, and torture), I was shouted down. Then in the 2008 primary wars, I was shouted down again… First for being “Draft Gore”, then later for deciding for Hillary Clinton. And ironically, last year I was shouted down when I tried to explain how Obama and Reid were trying to handle HCR, FinReg, DADT, and taxes.

      I’m quite far to the left myself, but I’ve always been more pragmatic and focused on good policy than hard-line ideology. Hopefully, our SSP community will continue at DKos under the new system, and we will be respected. I know not everyone there is nuts. In fact, I’ve seen folks there take care of things when the usual flame throwers go too far. We’ll survive.  :-)

    3. So they can keep claiming to be the base of the Democratic party by pointing to their website numbers is one reason.  Moderates were ran off the site around the 2010 midterm and expecting MB to moderate civility is futile when the far left direction of that site comes from the very top.  

      I understand why the move is being made, but I just don’t believe it will work out all that well.  Trying to bring a pure horse race site under a far-left hyper-partisan site umbrella and that the horse race site will not be swallowed up and over run – well, I wish you all the luck in the world.


  2. Thanks for all the time and effort you put into SSP to make it so enjoyable to read. I’m really excited to see what the new site looks like, and I’m sure under y’alls leadership that it will be the same high quality blogging that all of us are used to. And congratulations on your new job!

    1. The frontpage is very progressive, sure, but I don’t really have a problem with any of them. I think brooklynbadboy tends to veer a bit too much to the left occasionally, but I can live with that.

      The problem is that the general proletariat of the site is a) to the left of much of the frontpage and b) much less cultivated than anyone on the frontpage.

      The firebreathers don’t write on the front page, because the front page is actually caring about the outside image of DailyKos.  

    2. has really become a slightly larger myDD filled with racists, conspiracy theories and 3rd party posters as the more reasonable posters have been running for the door since 2010. As all kos cares about is site hits, until the site hits fall dramatically, there won’t be any correction in the site’s mission or moderation.

      1. that those of us who are following SSP over to DK will defend our GOP visitors from DK natives who don’t appreciate your contributions.  Having Republicans comment on strategy from a GOP perspective is one of the most valuable aspects of SSP in my view.  I would encourage you and the others to stick it out with us, even though I predict some DK natives will give you some crap for it at first.  As an eight-year reader and commenter at DKos (from back before there was registration or user diaries!), I’ll not hesitate to pull rank on the newbies over there in defending respectful and helpful GOP commentary on DK Elections.

  3. I think you’re about as well prepared as possible.

    I do have one suggestion, though: find a way to put a diary button on DKE that allows you to write a diary with the DK Elections tag included by default.

    Anyway, I’m going to miss being 1337 😀

  4. Strange thing to say since it was announced so long ago.  But I guess the move just kinda escaped my mind since it wasn’t discussed for so long.  And now suddenly just a week away.  Will be a bit of an adjustment.  Hell.  I haven’t even yet adjusted to the switch from dkos 3.0 to 4.0.

    Thanks a lot for all this detailed information.  Hell with things like having to include an exact tag for ‘DK Elections’ I wouldn’t be shocked if it was “we” rather than “they” who do the most screwing up!

    Small question.  In this transition period I assume we should continue to post diaries “here” rather than “there” and that crossposting over there before the crossover would just make your lives more complicated?

  5. Congratulations, David!  

    As an occasional reader who obviously missed the memo that this was happening, I just wanted to say, congratulations on your new gig.  The fact that you can quit your day job and go do this full time is fantastic.

    There is a lot of polling at Daily Kos, and I hope you’ll bring to it the general spirit of clear-eyed objectivity about candidates that you’ve shown on this site.

    Good luck!

  6. Congrats on your new job. I was actually a quite active commenter at DK3 (my user profile says I had over 2,000 comments) , but the (in my opinion) terrible new design and the lingering dislike I had for the general non-pragmatism there drove me away.

  7. Solid move from a professional perspective and a personal one. I’m excited to see if we get a lot more attention in 2012 now and am relieved to hear we’ll still be focusing on electoral politics only.

    1. David, you write that DKE will maintain the emphasis on electoral considerations over straight policy discussion, which I’m absolutely in support of. With that said, though, I feel like the enforcement of that has loosened up some on SSP, especially since the original announcement of the transition to DKos. Back in the “day”, heck, I remember people getting banned for derails and such. Will DKE return to that?

      This hasn’t been my perception – but of course, I can’t be everywhere at once. We’ve tried to keep things pretty focused on politics, but there’s always going to be some bleed-over into policy. Part of it is, if people can avoid getting heated, we’re less likely to crack down… but there definitely has been no deliberate policy shift among the mods. Do you have some examples you can point to?

      Secondly, what the hell is the “Hidden comments” function on the SSP user menu for? Since the site’s not going to be active much longer, I figure I should finally ask that.

      Funny, in all these years, I never noticed that there. But since you mention it, Bob, it’s now time to render you hidden… forever! In all seriousness, it’s a link that would have a purpose if we had ever used comment ratings here. In other words, it pertains directly to the “hide” ratings I describe above. SoapBlox sites are capable of having comment & hide ratings (or really, any ratings you like) – this functionality was taken directly from Daily Kos (or more precisely, the Scoop software which Daily Kos is based on).

      However, back in 2006, when we moved to SB, I decided that I didn’t want to implement comment ratings (and recommended diaries) because the site was small enough not to need them. I preferred to moderate “by hand,” so to speak. If I had implemented comment ratings here, you’d probably see choices similar to “recommend” and “hide” for every comment, and if a comment got hidden (i.e., had enough hide ratings, based on some arbitrary threshold), you’d be able to see all of those hidden comments in one place at the link you mention. This is a useful tool for moderators and also, in theory, trusted users – if a comment got unfairly hidden, you’d be able to look it up at that link and “up-rate” it. I think people do that very rarely, though, so mostly it’s a chance to look through the rogues gallery.

      There’s an analogous link at Daily Kos, but you’ll only be able to see its contents if you are a trusted user. There’s nothing exciting to see there, though – it’s just boring, vile crap… the kind of stuff you’d be glad is hidden from general view.

  8. And for you, I’ll revive my DKos account. I’m honestly nervous about returning there, but I’m nonetheless happy and excited about your new opportunities.

  9. You definitely have more than simply a measure of credibility with this community. We practically worship you and the material that you and yours put out. Thank you so much for making this move as seamless as possible.

  10. When I’m not busy with school I occasionally post and comment on literature diaries/threads on Dkos. I avoid a lot of stuff, having learned over the years that the best and smartest thing is to simply avoid arguments/people you don’t want to have/meet. I’m glad to see this site get new and greater resources, though I also feel some sadness; having watched it for years without commenting and having seen the process of it transform and grow up and go from obscure, almost empty blog, (which I only needed to check everyday), to becoming my all-purpose daily fix for politics and staying on top of things. I’m looking forward to getting involved with the new site and the additional features and members we will get. Having a say in PPP polls is, by itself, worth it.  

  11. And when did DavidNYC get fired.  Oh DailyKos a pox on you.  I have to get back to cheerring for Ed Case and discussing the difference between the noises a cow and bull make.

    (For those of you not posting the last few weeks, this entire post was made in jest).

    Good luck on the move.

  12. Thank you for the effort you’re putting into managing the transition. I’m tempermentally conservative, so my (limited) reservations are only going to go away with experience under the new system. But I appreciate the numbers you offered to demonstrate that we’re not going to get drowned out by the existing DK user base.

    Congratulations again on the new job. I feel like we’ve already seen good fruit from it in terms of even more quality on the front page.

    Here’s to the continued success of our geeky little community!

  13. And this seems as good a place as any.

    David, you write that DKE will maintain the emphasis on electoral considerations over straight policy discussion, which I’m absolutely in support of. With that said, though, I feel like the enforcement of that has loosened up some on SSP, especially since the original announcement of the transition to DKos. Back in the “day”, heck, I remember people getting banned for derails and such. Will DKE return to that?

    Secondly, what the hell is the “Hidden comments” function on the SSP user menu for? Since the site’s not going to be active much longer, I figure I should finally ask that.

    I’m getting a weird feeling like I’ve asked both of these questions before. I hope I haven’t. That’d be pretty stupid.  

  14. WTFWTFWTF!!!!  Dude, I’m sorry, but I really am screaming (internally, as I am at work) . I really wanted to make the transition, but that fucking website makes me want to SCREAM. Seriously, all-caps. Scream. It is buggier than a mattress at a flophouse hotel. While I probably should be just writing this is an email to you guys, I wanted to post it publicly in case anyone else is having the same problems.

    For starters, yes, I’m a Mac. Which, apparently, from how it appears in the help sections, seems like it’s some sort of issue to begin with  … whatever. Anyway, no matter what browser I use (Safari, Firefox or Chrome…and I’m not downloading IE ever…even SSP is not worth that crap) it just doesn’t work. I even changed my settings to let every goddamn site ever put third-party ad-tracking crap all over my browser to try to get DK4 to track me and see me as logged in. It doesn’t help.

    The help pages, which I did read, btw, say to use Safari and also advised me to do that settings change. No luck. So I can’t follow people–I’m logged in but whenever I try to follow people it says I have to be logged in. It’s like…I can see on the damn page itself that I am logged in and it still gives me this error message.  

    And I can’t even FIND a comments box anywhere, which is either because I’m just so angry I can’t see straight or that it isn’t there. I basically can’t do a goddamn thing on DK4 except lurk. And I’ve been a registered user for a little while now, since February, it says.  “arealmlc” is my username there, too, btw, and I can see, and alter, my own profile.

    I am really rather upset right now that you’d destroy a perfectly operational site like SSP (that is rather lovely in its simplicity) for the huge steaming pile of dogcrap that is, in my view, the new DK4.

    …and yes, I’m sorry if I sound like a dick, I know websites are hard work. Like, personally, I know that because I build and maintain them as part of my job.  But dudes, seriously. Seriously. WTF? I am pretty fucking good at technology and I can’t figure this site out, and I even read the help pages, which I never do, but did, because I love SSP. And I still can’t get it. Feel free to email me, but not via DK4 because on my own arealmlc messages page, there’s an error that says I’m not authorized to view it.

  15. I understand why you are doing this.  I do hope it works out and I will be following you over, but I won’t pretend that I like it.  I remain to be convinced.  The DKos poster, many of them anyway, have a nasty edge to them that I just don’t see here.

    1. SSP is easy to read 99% of the time because their isn’t an absurdly small width on comments.

      Kos as currently structured will be simply unreadable on weekends, in major threads, and certainly on election nights.  It will be impossible to follow who is responding to who, in part because the comment width will be so small (with acres and acres of whitespace on both sides.

      The Kos design is simply outdated 20th Century technology.  It’s a simple matter to structure pages with left and right nav/ads for XXXX pixels, then expand to 100% when the nav/ad columns finish.

      People don’t just write one to three sentence comments, and the extra people will only make the problem worse.

  16. happy! I kinda wish we could of stayed here forever but its understandable. By the way, do the diaries take HTML because I’m working on a huge diary I’m going to post on Dkos?

  17. When in late February, I heard about the daily kos transition. I did not think about it for awhile but now that you mention it, I see it is coming soon. I will miss SSP alot but I think the change is for the better and I hope you blog successfully on DKOS Elections.  

    1. It’s certainly not acceptable to call other commenters names, but I doubt Sean Duffy is going to read SSP and get his feelings hurt (and if he does, sucks for him). SSP is a Democratic site and RRH is a Republican site, people need to dispel all illusions otherwise.

  18. And yeah, the thing which has won we over to the reluctantly hopeful side of things is the fact that there are more comments here than on the DKE posts.

  19. You’re an extremely helpful individual. And despite any personal reservations I may have, I look forward to moving on toward the future of SSP (or DKE). I’m sure this will only help you provide us with even better coverage. Again, thanks much!

  20. that was quite the read! Thanks for putting the time into making sure the transition goes well. I have a new account there under the name Dr.Hoosierdem, hoosierdem was already taken :(. I have sincerely enjoyed my two years here at SSP, it has been super great. I thought I was a horse race expert when I signed up on SSP, but I soon learned that I was not even close compared to the many intelligent commentators here. I have learned a ton since posting. SSP is like no other blog- I especially like the fact that every election gets attention here. In fact I would not have found this place had it not been for the live blog you did about a special state senate election in Kentucky. We lost the election but I found a new home in the blogosphere. What other national political blog would cover such a thing? None, just SSP. Also it is really like a family of sorts. We all know were we all live and personal interests and stuff like that. I have never seen anything like it. So many good memories here, remember the time we crashed the SoS website in Vermont? That was a classic SSP moment. All the babkas and trolls. Does anyone remember Anka? I wish I did not! How many times did you ban him/her Dave? So many memories. I don’t think I have ever mentioned this but I found this blog right around the time I was going through a messy divorce. I found this place a great relief for me, it really helped get through all of it. Also, James and Jeff, why are you not posting with you real names? Just me but I think you should post with your real names now that you are in the big leagues. I hope everyone gives this new blog a chance, we owe it to Dave and all. Good luck Dave and other front pagers!

  21. Have you guys tested the RSS feed? I had to delete the vast majority of my Dkos RSS feeds after the DK4 transition because they were constantly repopulating–out of order.  

  22. Will there be more diaries?  I recognize the time and effort you guys put into SSP, but sometimes there is quite a bit of time between diaries.  Will this help increase the amount of diaries especially on the weekends?

  23. Thank you for writing this. Now everyone here can find stupid comments I wrote on DK 5 years ago. I’ll live with it.

  24. Life has intervened pretty severely, so I haven’t posted in quite a while, though I do come by from time to time to check out the front page articles, mostly. But I did want to post here to thank you for posting that FAQ and wish you all the best of luck on DailyKos. I will follow you there, too, and will eventually post, when I have the time and psychic energy to do so.

  25. From the FAQ, which I note is linked very prominently at the top of the DK main page:

    The majority of people posting here fall on the liberal side of the US political spectrum, however people of conservative views are welcome to come and debate. If you are polite, you will be treated politely.

    The same rules apply there as here, though: No cheerleading or advocacy for non-Democrats, and talking about your personal preferences should be avoided, too. If you stick to bloodless horserace analysis, you’ll be fine.

    I would also suggest not choosing a username that has words like “conservative,” “GOP,” or “Republican” in it, since that will probably only serve as a distraction. (Nothing against folks like GOPVoter here, though I would have offered the same advice for SSP had the issue ever come up.)

  26. I do have one suggestion, though: find a way to put a diary button on DKE that allows you to write a diary with the DK Elections tag included by default.

    However, I’m not sure if the DK technological framework would allow for this. I’ll look into it, though.

    And hah! Did you score that user number by accident? Many years ago, I created an account at Daily Kos – go check out user # 24601. I don’t know why I did that – I don’t even like musicals – but it took some effort!

  27. about Kos wasn’t the ideology. I’m personally probably in the median of Kos commenters in terms of policy, and while I think they’re stupid politically, that alone wouldn’t get me riled up that much.

    What I hated even more was the constant navel-gazing and the endless meta fights, and the sniping at each other in the comments. Hundreds of comments filled with ad-homs between Obamabots and Firebaggers invading everything except for, maybe, the Pootie diaries and community diaries on Chess or Gardening. I don’t really see how DKE can escape that dynamic if it’s still going on, and I assume it is.

  28. for me leaving DK. I was sick of the increasing racism and conspiracy theories on the site. DK has really become another FDL/myDD. A site for lefts who are against the Democratic party.

    I am disappointed about the move. I don’t post here very often, but read the site every day. That won’t be happening now that this site is becoming part of the increasingly unstable DK.  

  29. I decided to put GOP in my user name here just so people never suspected me of being a concern troll, or simply assumed I were a Democrat (which is the natural thing to do) and then wondered why by posts sounded non-Democratic. I started here before the signature line craze began, so it seemed like the only way to let people know they were dealing with an out and proud Republican rather than a fellow Dem.

  30. And it seems to have worked out fine. But I’ve never really seen anyone do it at DK (and the only people who I think did it here were you and GOPV), so probably just easier to avoid in the future. If it ever comes up in a discussion, you can explain as needed.

    Also, one thing I didn’t mention in the post because it was already super-long as it was, but DK now has an internal email system. That means you can reach out to any other user on the site without having to know their email address. A great way to find out more about what someone’s thinking, especially if it wouldn’t be particularly appropriate for the public areas of the site. Also a good way to defuse tensions by taking things private if necessary.

  31. The kind of user who will be interested enough to engage on DKE is precisely the opposite of the kind of person you’re worried about, as David very clearly explained. Moreover, the only way that kind of commenter becomes dominant is if the existing userbase gives up on the site, and specifically on the comments section. The active attention of SSPers will frankly make the entire difference in whether this move is successful, and giving up at the outset is not what I would consider a helpful attitude. As a lurker and very occasional commenter, I know I’m going to try extra hard to be involved in comments on DKE, especially right after the move, and I hope my fellow lurkers (who, like me, love reading the comments) will do likewise.    

  32. Sure, there’s an occasional off putting comment out there, but you just scroll past it and not worry about it.  The vast majority of comments are just fine even by SSP standards.

  33. Its also alot harder to moderate a group of people that large. Moderation here is easier because there are only about 150-200 regular commenters. There you have at least 1000.

  34. I am not an active user on DK, nor have I been in quite some time. But taking a look at the comments on a post like

    today’s digest (which is on the DK front page), I think you’re exaggerating .

    I guess my overall point is that we as the users have to provide that ‘moderation’ that you think is lacking, most importantly by emphasizing over and over again the norms governing SSP-specific commenter culture.

  35. …I think you’re making a mistake and should reconsider.

    I think DK Elections won’t be much if any different from SSP.  That it’s a separate web page is key, it’s huge that “walk-up” traffic won’t deluge the site.

    There might be some awkwardness early on as we all get used to a very different visual layout, and we see some people who aren’t regulars here.

    But by and large I expect it won’t be much different from here.

    I bet a lot of the Republican regulars here will stop coming over, but I regard that a wash.  There are some judicious commenters from Team Red who come here, but there are some irritators, too, and we likely lose both at DK Elections.

    I bet a lot of people who say now they don’t want to make the move will end up making it, so that, too, will minimize any differences in atmosphere.  There’s simply no place else like this, and come May 3rd it’s going to be DK Elections or massive withdrawal.

  36. “Eye-Gouge Orange”

    … the SSP green is so soothing. Like a quiet meadow in the brutal world of politics.  

  37. Also, one thing I didn’t mention in the post because it was already super-long as it was, but DK now has an internal email system. That means you can reach out to any other user on the site without having to know their email address. A great way to find out more about what someone’s thinking, especially if it wouldn’t be particularly appropriate for the public areas of the site. Also a good way to defuse tensions by taking things private if necessary.

    This is probably the part of the transition I’m most looking forward to. I can’t tell you the numbers of times I’ve wanted to PM someone rather than talk publically. (Most often to offer support to someone dealing with one of our recently banned posters without extending the public conversation, but occasionally for other purposes.)

  38. Maybe that started after I left, but while I was there there wasn’t really overt racism. The larger problem in that regard is that the site is simply 95% white and pretty old in terms of demographics, while we are majority white, but young as hell.

    3rd party posters, yeah. I remember when advocating for a 3rd party got you shouted down immediately on DK, now it’s mainstream.  

  39. I do wish you had put this in an email instead, and I’d encourage you to do so. I’m using Firefox on a Mac and have zero problems. Since you haven’t publicly provided an email address, I would ask that you email me: davidnyc [at] gmail [dot] com. I think we can walk through this a little more calmly and get your issues resolved. Thanks.

  40. and overall I prefer the simpler layouts (i.e., I was annoyed when Wonkette and to a lesser extent Jezebel/Gawker switched), but the site works well for me, using Chrome on a Mac; maybe a bit slow, but that’s about it.

    Also, you couldn’t download IE for Mac if you wanted to (unless you either have a really old system or want to run WINE); the last version came out in 2003. When I was eleven. (I still remember using it, though!)

  41. I’m pretty sure posting the Pointer Sisters’ “I’m So Excited” video will surely stand as the gayest comment of the day. (which, obvs, is a good thing in my book)

    Personally, I was more thinking along the lines of….

  42. junkie and SSP was the best site for elections news. I am happy that at the new SSP we’d be able to talk about presidential elections, because I think the GOP presidential primary is going to be fascinating from an election (not policy) standpoint. However, the down side is that I’d be site hits to a site that has become pretty repugnant. And I think David is being pretty naive about the atmosphere at DK right now, if he thinks community moderation is going to work to push back on the nastiness at DK.  

  43. It’s more perception on my part than anything, I suppose. And some more looseness isn’t always a bad thing, either… I have to admit I often felt a little uncomfortable when anyone but the most obvious of trolls (or idiots) was banned. I must admit, though, that the simple concept of being a bit more tolerant if people aren’t getting overly aggressive about something that might be OT never came up for me, heh.

    I can be a bit of a rules lawyer at times, which probably doesn’t help when it comes to these kinds of things.

    I had two theories about the hidden comments:

    The first was that it was basically what you outlined, some sort of residual system that was never used for anything.

    The second, however, was that these “secret comments” were the method of communication for a shadowy group made up of SSP contributors, Democratic Party operatives, and representatives from Corwood Industries activist groups, coordinating a campaign of electoral fraud and generally being secretive conspiratorial masterminds. I was actually planning on infiltrating this organization and taking it down from the inside, and then getting a job with Andrew Breitbart. So I guess this is kind of a let down, actually.  

  44. You won’t be but a drop in the bucket.  it might be a bucket you hate, but the I’m sure there are govt programs you abhor but you wouldn’t move to Madagascar to avoid.

    I won’t be making the move, but mainly just because I don’t liek the size of the site (obviously the content is way off from my personal views).  

    But if you truly need elections fix, why not give it a try.  If nothing else, you don’t have to read comments and as another poster said, you can email via DKos so you can have one-on-ones with those posters on DKod you do like.

  45. But I think you are mixing up “DK in general” vs. “the horserace side of DK.” It’s understandble, but they really are two separate worlds. As phensley noted, take a look at today’s digest, which appeared on the DK FP. It got all of 30 comments – which is actually quite a lot for a DD! And half a dozen or so are from me alone.

    As for the rest, I think they’d pretty much all fit in at SSP. Indeed, several are from people I recognize as SSPers. So again I say, the DK horserace crowd is very similar to the SSP horserace crowd – and the kind of noisiness you describe doesn’t really show up very much in the horserace threads.

    What’s more, it’s now 4 in the afternoon east coast time. There are ten posts above that one on the DK FP at this hour. Almost no one is “wandering in off the street” to find that page via the FP. (Put another way, I had to hit Page Down twenty times before finding that post.) But at, that post could still be on top, or likely would only be one or two down. So it would still be attracting comments from people who principally visit instead of In other words, Swingnuts would represent the majority of comments in that post by a huge, huge margin.

  46. You can definitely use HTML in DK diaries. There are probably little quirks and differences, though, in terms of which tags are accepted, so you may need to play with stuff a bit to get it to look right.

    One thing I will caution everyone about is that DK will truncate images which are too large for the margins. The maximum reasonable size for a diary is 550 pixels wide. For comments, it’s less (particularly as they get nested further inside threads). About the biggest you can do in a first-level comment is 500 pixels.

    I know people like to post huge, margin-busting maps here, but the way to do it at DK will be to post nested image links. It’s very easy to do, and actually much preferable to posting enormous images in-line:

    [a href=”LARGE IMAGE URL”][img src=”SMALL IMAGE URL”][/a]

    Just replace the brackets with angle brackets. All you’re doing is turning the small image (which will be visible) into a clickable link, and if you do click, the link will take you to a bigger image. It’s the same as wrapping a link around ordinary text.

  47. About Corwood Industries, I’d just sell you the nice little story I did about trollish comments, right?

    So now I’m going to kill you.

    Anyhow, before I do you in, if you ever want to discuss this kind of moderation issue by email off-site (or using the new DK internal messaging system), feel free. I appreciate you not wanting to call anyone out – that’s very respectful of you.

  48. I’m a proud socialist myself, so I’m very comfortable with a left wing ideological bent. And I’m very happy to engage in vigourous debates with folks of all ideological persuasions – provided the debates are reality-based, rooted in some kind of thoughtful analysis, and reasonably respectful of different opinions.

    While I was a pretty regular poster and commenter on DKos for a while (plenty of time of the rec list and even a few times my diaries were bumped to the front page) I’ve stopped participating in DKos for a number of reasons. I certainly never really took to the newly introduced format, but to be honest, I don’t think that was the reason – if I was committed, I would have worked that through.

    Far more off-putting to me has been the culture of name-calling, intolerance, and holier-than-thou-ism that characterizes so much of the site. Too many posters seem to be obsessed with only wanting to rack up TU status by scattering as many lightening rod comments as possible throughout as many diaries and stories as possible – without offering much in the way of insight or useful information – people just seem to love the sound of their own voice, with loud and belligerent behaviour getting most rewarded.  

    Wander into a few too many flame wars, get surrounded by a mob mentality, or watch posters you respect being typecast as being either an “Obama apologist” or a “pony purist” because of one comment on one issue, and the site becomes a place that drains energy rather than being a place to go for information, ideas and community. Sadly, that was much of my experience there in the last few months of last year, and I really haven’t spent any time there since the election.

    So with this change at SSP, I’m reluctantly committed to giving it another try. I’m extremely worried that the current culture of DKos won’t be well-suited to the kind of sane horserace analysis that happened here – one that acknowledges that sometimes a progressive Democrat won’t be the strongest candidate to win an particular election, that complete ideological purity isn’t always the path to electoral victory, and that sometimes Republicans and conservatives win elections for reasons other that the complete and abject failure of the Democrat to motivate the left wing base — but I’m willing to be surprised.

    I fear that the tenor of the site will become the left wing equivalent of RRH, where – despite claims to want to be a Republican mirror of SSP – the editors and some of the commenters can’t seem to keep themselves from engaging in petty name calling and ideologically based axe-grinding  instead of more factually-based (but still partisan) political analysis.

    It will certainly require an effort from everyone to retain the culture and quality of conversation that I’ve enjoyed here in place. Who knows, maybe thoughtful analysis and good info from the ground being posted at DKE will serve as a kind of a model for the rest of the site. (Hey, a guy can dream, right?).

  49. DK is a fixed-width site that’s about 960 pixels wide. For a long time, 1024×768 was the most popular resolution (though it’s finally been eclipsed), so that makes sense. SSP is weird (and frankly unattractive) in that it has no fixed width, so the site becomes unreadable if you stretch your browser too far. It also makes reading comments in threads where people have posted gigundo maps pretty maddening.

  50. I’d be very surprised to see anything top spiderdem’s “Lee Fisher as Rebel pilot who crashed into the Star Destroyer at Endor” post from last year.  

  51. As for RRH, their development makes me very happy and much calmer about the SSP move to DailyKos. If you read Daily Digests on SSP with a neutral eye, you’ll notice lots of sniping and name-calling there too, just that we like those ones because they’re aimed at Republicans. Just on the first page, I see a ‘jerkface’, an ‘idiot’ and a ‘maniac’, plus a couple generic ‘teabagger’ references and snarky swipes at how evil Republicans are. On the first RRH page? Nothing combative whatsoever.

  52. opposing party not just as people they have a basic disagreement with but as bitter enemies as very dangerous.

    I don’t think that Republicans- at least not the Republican intelligentsia- are less decent people in general, and I’m sure I could have great conversations with most Republican office holders.

    That’s why I greatly prefer the Kennedy-Hatch or Wellstone-Helms approach (disagree on the Senate floor, be friends in the evenings) to villifying the “enemy” and making everything as personal as DailyKos and RedState have always done and as SSP is increasingly doing- RRH is doing a pretty good job at staying away from it so far, mostly because of BostonPatriot and Ryan in SEPA, as far as I can tell.

    Nate Silver was also great at the style of writing I like, even before he had to adhere to the NYT style manual. Writing from a Democratic, openly liberal perspective, but always being objective and courteous to the other side. That’s how politics should be done.

  53. Added to the pantheon of crackpot right-wing conspiracy theories.

    This actually is all starting to sound like a bad novel.


    Glancing around the luxurious study, undoubtedly furnished with Soros money, the Hoosier investigator paid little attention as the Administrator searched his liquor cabinet for his “finest Scotch”.

    “Would you like some babka?” the Administrator asked. “It’s not often I offer that.”

    “Thanks, but no.” The investigator took a long drag from his cigarette. “I’d prefer answers. I understand you offer them even less.”

    The Administrator stopped his work at the cabinet, but didn’t turn his attention back to the other man. “Obviously, if you were right about Corwood, and the rest… I’d just tell you that nice story about trolls and Soapblox, then send you on your way, right?”

    The investigator tensed, the reality of the situation becoming apparent to him. I’ve got them now, this is it

    The Administrator turned to him, walking back towards his chair, with the pistol in his hand trained on the interloper. Behind him, within the “liquor cabinet”, an open laptop sat alone on the cabinet’s sole shelf. The green and white colors of the screen made the laptop’s purpose obvious, even if the text was unreadable from such a distance. The investigator’s mind rapidly shifted, from triumph to terror, as he glanced between the Administrator and the laptop.

    “So now I’m going to kill you.” The Administrator stated. “But first, I banned you.”


    I just wrote SSP fanfic. I don’t know what I’m doing with my life sometimes.  

  54. I am busting up here! That’s just fucking awesome! The punch line is the greatest!

    As is, of course, the topper – your admission that you just wrote SSP fanfic. Here’s mine: I just read and enjoyed SSP fanfic.

  55. But haven’t spent a lot of time with it. Can you send me an email explaining the problems you’ve been experiencing in detail (incl. browsers, version, OS and whatever feed reader you use) so that I can forward it to the appropriate personnel?

  56. Thanks – I appreciate that.  I actually do have an account at DKos, but it’s under a different username and I really only use it when I want to debate Israel/Palestine issues which don’t break along Dem/GOP lines in the US.  I’ll have to open a different one as Zornorph.  I don’t mind putting up with a bit of crap; I have a very thick skin and I do have high hopes that the atmosphere here will continue over there and not get taken over by the ruder DK crowd.

  57. Something that DK needs to learn is that Republicans are not evil and that only a small group of them should be treated as mortal enemies (for me that list begins with someone like Sue Myrick and ends with someone like Steve King).

    My step-father is the most Republican person that I know. He and I have heated (but friendly) policy debates every single time I go over there. Everyone else in the room inevitably gets uncomfortable with the heat and leaves. Michael and I then start laughing at how they all think we’re actually arguing when from our point of view it is just banter. We enjoy each others’ opinions and actually agree on alot of things; we especially agree on electoral politics. I think the only actual disagreement we’ve had in the past year about the 2012 Pres. Election is that he believes that Newt Gingrich can beat Obama… I finally convinced him otherwise when Gingrich called Obama an anti-colonial Kenyan socialist.

    The point is that if my step-father and I can have lively conversations, and if we can have them here, then I will defend your right to speak.  

  58. I wouldn’t even bother posting here/there if there weren’t a variety of points-of-view on elections. I’d go bonkers in a forum where every member celebrates the notion of an Alan Grayson primary challenge or automatically shoots down the idea of a GOP takeover of the U.S. Senate. Likewise, I wouldn’t partake in a Sharron Angle lovefest or pro-birther discussion.  

  59. Keep in mind, though, that maintaining two accounts at DK simultaneously is grounds for immediate banning.  You’ll need to stop using the old account for any reason.

  60. Hmm, spending Friday night writing fanfic about an elections website in April of a non-election year? Total geek nirvana. Sign me up.

  61. As much as I’d probably enjoy reading a good session of collaborative SSP fan fiction, I don’t think I can allow this site to touch that third rail!

  62. Markos taught them to be ninja teens (He’s a radical rat!)

    David Nir leads, jeffmd does machines (That’s a fact, Jack!)

    Arjun is cool but crude (Gimme a break!)

    James L. is a party dude (Party!)  

  63. It was a problem that appeared in Google Reader, and only for legacy feeds that drew from tags. The FP feed seems fine.  

  64. but without getting too deep into this, we certainly have the right to talk smack about public figures. And given the disgusting things that many Republican politicians do and say nowadays, it’s certainly cathartic to make a well-placed quip every now and then. As much as I appreciate the Republican posters on here, it’s also nice to come to SSP after a bruising election loss or other setback and have people who are on my team.

  65. Is more dictated by what news comes out (esp. polls), but yes, we do expect to be able to hit things faster with this being my full-time job.

  66. and didn’t investigate any further. If the DKE feed presents a similar problem, I’ll be sure to let you know!

    BTW, have you investigated whether it’s possible to seamlessly transition the existing SSP RSS feed? My guess is that everyone who wants to keep the feed will find the new one, but I also suspect that you might lose some amount of traffic if you can’t.  

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