Given I'd say most of us like this place, or we wouldn't be here. I know there are folks that have been here longer then myself, but I've been here awhile and watched the site evolve and I have to say I am pretty darn impressed.
When I am working with a client that thinks their customer support department isn't doing their job, cause they got say 250 emails/phone calls from people complaining each quarter, but only 10 saying job well done. I often have to explain that too often people much prefer to bitch and moan. If their support department makes a mistake, you're going to hear about it. Do something right, almost never.
With that thought in mind a few thoughts about the Front Page here at Daily Kos.
Staying True To Its "Roots"
First off, just a general observation. As Daily Kos has grown and added more and more writers I've found the front page to become more, not less readable. Now I will admit I read less posts from start to finish then I did four years ago, but that isn't the quality of the writing, it is the range of topics has expanded so much not every post is of interest to me. But that post I always skip over from Writer X, a whole bunch of other people may look forward to each and everyday. I can live with that.
I also like that Daily Kos has stayed true to their original intent and not really morphed into something else as it grew. This isn't the case for a few of my other favorite blogs. I still read them, but lets take Talking Points Memo (and I LOVE the site). IMHO as they've added staff the site has moved more from a "traditional" blog offering review and comment and analysis, to straight news reporting.
It wasn't that long ago Josh was the only person writing and he'd write nice (not too long, not too short) posts I just loved. Now he kind of writes a short comment and then links to a much more detailed news story within. Nothing wrong with that, but Josh is what I used to love and I don't get as much of him.
As Markos has gotten busy writing books, doing media appearances, and just managing what is getting to be a good sized staff, I still get him (even if less) in the exact same manner I used to. What I loved about his writing the first time I came here he still gives me today.
Quality Of Content Has Gone Up Not Down
I can't stress this enough. In the million of words that have been written on the Front Page I am hard pressed to think of a single time a major retraction has been written. I am sure there are some I missed, but that is ..... well staggering.
And although no matter how many times I proof what I read, I always have stupid typos. But if I read something written by somebody else, those same typos I'd miss seem to jump up off the page at me and slap me in the face. I see them on major "traditional" media outlets frequency, other liberal blogs I follow a lot, pretty darn rarely here.
That is just staggering on multiple different levels.
What I Really Love About The Front Page
Now those that have not been here for years might not realize this, but at least for me my four favorite "daily" Front Page posts didn't use to exist. Your Abbreviated Pundit Round-up. Today in Congress. Polling and Political Wrap-Up. Midday Open Thread.
Now before I comment on each of those let me say two things. If there was NOTHING else ever posted on the Front Page, those four pretty much daily posts would keep me coming back here several times a day. And two, I don't know if this was the intent, but I now almost never visit Yahoo! News, the New York Times, Washington Post, or the AP. Those posts condense and organize this information for me, saving me a ton of time. They are a god sent to a political junkie like myself.
Abbreviated Pundit Round-up
I mean what can I say. That I don't have to wade through Friedman, Brooks, or Dowd to figure out the "common wisdom" each day .... wait that is ALL I have to say.
Today in Congress
A few minutes with these posts each day make me feel like ten times smarter then I actually am. Heck I've often wonder how long they take to write. It gives me the who, what, where, and when of what our elected officials are doing each day. I feel like it is something that every American should almost be forced to read so they'd have a clue what is happening in Washington. I think most would be surprised it isn't really that much!
Polling and Political Wrap-Up
As an Illinois resident, that lives about 25 miles from downtown St. Louis I am interested in what is happening in my home state and the state over. But also lived for 15+ years in DC/Northern Virginia and deep ties to Louisiana. There just isn't enough time in the day to follow the polls and what is happening in each state. But I don't have to, it is done for me.
Midday Open Thread
Now for as long as I can recall there has been multiple "Open Threads" each day here at Daily Kos. But if my memory is correct, and it might be faulty cause I've passed 40, but they didn't always include links with a little review and comment to say 10-15 articles of interest. As a news, political junkie, and somebody that gets around 100 RSS feeds a day (most work related) I can't tell you how often I find something here (a "gem" in the rough) I would have otherwise missed.
So to sum up in I guess a sentence I am a "Raving Fan" of the Front Page of Daily Kos. As the site has exploded in growth and expanded its staff, it has given me more of what I initially found compelling about the site, while little of things I dislike. In the media world I find that is rare.
Now I will admit I am interested to see what the next version of the site brings. I've heard rumors and "hints" from Front Pagers and I don't often like what I think they might mean. Like news feeds and this or that. Stuff that has reduced the actual original content on a site like TPM to a few inches in the far left column, But I have faith.