Looking For Good People

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Hi -

We're looking for a few people who are committed to Progressive Politics, and who care about Wisconsin. This site is more or less an experiment at this point, and you can help it to grow. I've started Uppity Wisconsin for several reasons:

  1. I just couldn't sit around and watch any more.
  2. I'm getting too old to take to the streets.
  3. I was sitting on a bunch of web tools, so I figured why not?
  4. I hope it will provide a central gathering place for Wisconsinites of a progressive political bent.
  5. It beats the hell out of watching American Idol.

So - What do I Want From You?

I'm looking for people willing to help out. I don't want this to be "Steve's whiny blog about things that bother him". I want this to become what the participants want to make out of it. I'm also willing to put in some technical work to make this site do more from that viewpoint, but I want other people to contribute content, edit, and generally help things to move forward. You can be part of this and I'm hoping that some of you are willing to be part of this. Things that I at the moment know would be useful include:

  • Generally uppity people who want to make things change
  • Bloggers - Everyone who registers for an account on the site is given a blog. For the time being I will be the editor (it's my ball, after all) and will decide what goes on the front page, make edits if they're necessary, etc. In the long run I'm hoping that someone else will be willing to do some of the editing. To some extent, blogs can be about anything you want - but postings that revolve around the main thrust of the site are a lot more likely to end up on the front page. If you really need to talk about your cat, well, go ahead, but if it's not likely to interest the general readers of the site, it's not going to get on the front page.
  • Calendar Editors - I'd really like the calendar on this site to be a central resource for Wisconsin. But I need people who will put events in to the calendar - so if you know any Progressive or otherwise interesting events going on in Wisconsin (or nearby) I'd like you to put them into the system. Click on Add An Event at the top of the page.
  • Article Writers - I see this as articles that are longer, more involved, and that involve research. I'd like us to have major articles from time to time. If you've got the urge to be published, here's your chance. I would like this to reflect a perspective of progressive politics, or at least some form of being interesting. As I said - this is an experiment and I'm not exactly sure what direction it's going to take. But I'll say that I have a generally leftist/progressive/liberal viewpoint so anything that is wildly conservative will probably not get past the editor. Unless it's interesting, that is .
  • Link editors - I'm trying to build a directory of all of the progressive/liberal/left-wing/etc. web sites and organizations in the state. You can help - just click on the "submit a link" dealy at the top of the page and fill in the form. It's really pretty simple - and if you're a registered user it'll just magically show up as part of the site.
  • I'm willing to consider most anything, however, so if you want to write about something, don't feel completely controlled by the above. If you want to write about national issues, that's okay. If you have big insights into the arts, etc. that's fine too. If you want to review books, that'd be great. You might want to talk to me about it first before you put in a whole lot of effort, though.
  • Cartoonists - I'd love to publish more cartoons, particularly if they are political in nature. If your talents run in that direction, that'd be great.
  • Graphic Artists. I'm a pretty good web guy, but I can't draw my way out of a paper bag. Okay, that doesn't even make sense, but you get the idea. If you would like to contribute any sort of graphics toward the site, photos, artwork of any type - let me know.
  • Video and Audio - we can do video and audio here - If you have the urge to produce a podcast, etc. and have a place to put it, here's a great opportunity.
  • Ideas - I'd love to hear any interesting ideas of where we might go with this. Send 'em in.
  • Promotion - If we're going to get anywhere with this we'll have to get the word out - both so that we have people to contribute things and so that we'll have some readers. i'm thinking, for example, of having a booth at Fighting Bob Fest. If you belong to an organization and you think you might know people who would be interested as readers or contributors, talk it up.
  • Technical stuff - The point may come when I'd like to have someone write a little code for the site. People with PHP and CSS skills would be great. If this gets going I'm probably going to have too many irons in the fire to keep up.

What Do I Get Out of This?

Well, to be honest - probably not a lot other than having a platform and having an opportunity to say something. Or to help others to have a platform. I am working on a few little perks for people who contribute a lot - but the operative word there is little. The site has a points system - if you contribute, you get points. At some point we'll make the points worth something - this will likely be something like an Uppity Wisconsin T-shirt, or a mug, or a bumper sticker or something like that. If you write an article and it wins the Pulitzer we can probably go as high as fifty bucks - You get the idea, you're not going to quit your day job.

How Do I Get Started?

First off, if you want to contribute content to the site, you'll need to register for blogger permissions.. Click on the Register to blog link at the top, and fill out the registration form. If you want to be a contributor, fill in the parts that involve that. Or drop me an email shansonatuppitywis [dot] org. I'm terrible about phone calls, so believe me, you don't want to call me a whole lot.

At some point I expect there are going to be occasional meetings - which I hope will also manage to occasionally be fun. Probably some online discussions, etc. This software has a lot of potential for creating a site of this kind - we'll be exploring some of the technical possiblities as time goes on.

Tell Me Some Boring Technical Stuff, Steve!

Okay - since you asked. Some people care about this stuff, so I will give you the brief technical description. This site runs the Drupal Content Management System. It has quite a few additional modules enabled on it, and some outside software for other purposes. It runs on my own servers (I run a small web consulting company that does this sort of thing). It has incoming and outgoing RSS feeds (yes, I see your eyes glazing over out there), forums, and a whole slug of other features, many of which are not yet in use. It's actually fairly easy to write articles in here - you don't really need anything besides a web browser. I'm also going to be supporting some blogging tools for those of you who are tech-crazy. We'll probalby end up with some of our own custom software too. This site is all running on Open Source tools in case you have strong feelings about that.

So - register, make a comment on this article - and welcome to the group.