Uppity Wisconsin

Uppitywis will be moving at some point

Just a quick note.  It's my intention to, some time in the next few months, move Uppity Wisconsin over to be one of the communities in WIs.community .  My goal here is to have one less web site to maintain, and to help out with the growth of the Wis.community platform.  This isn't going to be quick, it's currently a fairly low-level activity for me.

Happy Birthday and Happy Sunshine Week

I'm here at UW Eau Claire at the Open Government Traveling Show, just about to watch the presentation from the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council and others. As I was sitting here I looked at my calendar and realized that it is the 10th anniversary of this blog today. Though that makes me feel a little ancient (almost as much as looking at the mirror) - it also is somewhat of an accomplishment to have managed to do this for so long. Join me in celebrating 10 years of progressive talk.

Daily Newsletter -- it's back!

Those of you who are subscribed to our daily newsletter have probably noticed that it has been incredibly silent as of late. It's the joys of trying to produce a news source with no funding, I'm afraid.

Anyway, I finally found the time to do at least a rough workaround to make the newsletter ship out again, so as of Monday those of you on the mailing list should start getting the email every weekday at 7 AM.  If you're not subscribed and would like to, there's a handy signup form on the front page of the site on the right.

I am also working on some performance and caching improvements which you will probably start seeing over the next few weeks.

Coming Up on Uppity Wisconsin

Stuff we're working on - some of which will be here sooner than others:

  • A directory of resources around the state - If there are organizatins you would like to see listed - poltical groups, web sites, news sources, etc. - please add them in here. 
  • More work on our progressive calendar - please feel free to stuff in your own events here.
  • (this will take longer) - a comprehensive list of Wisconsin legislators and bills thanks to the OpenStates project.
  • Nicer handling of our bloggers, including more information about them.
  • Some nice aggregation of video from other places.
  • Fancier home page and layout.
  • Performance tweaks and enhancements, including routing through a CDN.

Buckle up, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

Open Thread - How would you like to see Uppity Wisconsin change?

It's time for another Uppity Wisconsin re-design.  This is partly being prompted by the fact that it's been a while, and partly because it's time to upgrade the site to use a newer version of Drupal, the content management system it runs on.

Since we're going to be making some serious upgrades to almost everything, it's time to ask the question:

What changes would you like to see on Uppity Wisconsin?

New kinds of content?  Styling changes? Easier ways to contribute? Things you love? People you would like to see writing here? Things you hate?  Let us know!

Lend us a hand?

We have a lot of exciting plans for Uppity Wisconsin over the summer.  One thing I am trying to build is a way for all of our readers to help crowdsource progressive news about Wisconsin. You can help out with the first experimental phase of that.  I know a lot of our readers scour the web every day, and you all find interesting stuff about Wisconsin on the web.  So here's the deal.  If you have a Reddit account, I'd really appreciate it if you would put items into my Wisconsin Progressive Subreddit. If you don't have a Reddit account and want to help out, go get a Reddit account already. 

We take the feed of those articles and pop it up into the side block on the site called "Wisconsin Progressive" which appears throughout the site.  More importantly, this gives our writers a chance to see what you are finding interesting, and to blog about it. Help create our news and help to build a list of articles that you've found interesting and helpful (but please ---- only news from Wisconsin or related to Wisconsin).  For the time being this subreddit is wide open for submissions - we'll see how it goes. Let me know if you have any questions - just leave a comment.

Send Uppity Wisconsin to Netroots Nation!

My company Cruiskeen Consulting LLC is in the running to win a free exhibit booth at Netroots Nation 2013.   You can help us get there so we can spread some good old Uppity Wisconsin Progressive Goodness to the crowd at Netroots Nation, and also help us to maybe earn a little money while we're there.  We have some really cool progressive Internet projects in the works, and we'd like to go to the confrence to spread the word.

How can you help?  Go visit the voting page at http://www.netrootsnation.org/Hallcontestvoting2013/ You need to do a Facebook like for us there, and leave the post up on your Facebook page afterward.   Help us to build progressive infrastructure.  Send us to Netroots Nation.

Some changes coming!

A number of changes will be slowly rolling in to the site over the next month or so:

  1. If you subscribe to the site via email you'll notice that your nightly newsletter will be very different by the end of the week.  We're taking out the Feedburner email and changing over to delivering via Mailchimp. This should give you a much nicer email that will look better on cell phones and other mobile devices. == update ---- the switchover happened today, and you will be getting the new improved email starting on Friday morning.
  2. If you are subscribing to our main RSS feed through the Feedburner url, that will be disappearing within the next few weeks, and will be served directly off of our site.  If you're subscribed to http://www.uppitywis.org/rss.xml as your feed you'll be fine.
  3. We're working toward upgrading the entire site from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7 - though that'll take a while.  This will give us more flexibility in building the site, and a bunch of new features should come out of it.  We're hoping to include some more legislative information automatically by the end of the year, for example.

Open Thread -- What changes would you like to see at Uppity Wisconsin

The old year is petering out, and the new year is coming.  Along with the new year a lot of new challenges and issues are coming up for Wisconsin progressives.  We want to help out with those challenges -- so I ask an open question.  What could Uppity Wisconsin do to be more useful to the Wisconsin Progressive community?   Let us know, and don't be hampered by what you think is possible.  Comment below.

Where'd we go??

Some of you may be wondering where the heck we were this morning.  Personally, I was sitting in our data center saying a lot of bad words.  With the heavy batch of thunderstorms that ran through the area overnight, power went out in Eau Claire, so power went out in the data center.  Normally this isn't a problem, but at some point just before 8 PM the emergency power in the data center also failed, taking down all of my company's servers (along with a lot of other servers, and some of the Internet connections in Wisconsin. ) 

Recently Amazon had a similar power failure in their East Coast data center, which unfortunately also took down a few of our services, but those were all redundant to some of the services in Eau Claire, so mostly did not affect anything directly.  So altogether it's been a bad week for power. 

In any case, it's been an exciting day, and one of our servers completely died in the power surge, so we're still busily shuffling data around, but all of my clients have been back for quite a while now - Uppity Wisconsin was unfortunately the last of the servers to come back for various reasons.  We had to bring up the servers that pay the rent first. 

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