I would like to make some changes to Political Irony, and I really need some feedback and suggestions.
When I started PI in early 2008, I only expected to run it until that election, but I had so much fun and learned so much that I kept doing it for a few years. Then there was the 2012 election, so I decided to keep running it until then. Thankfully, that turned out well. So now I’m deciding what to do.
I don’t have as much time to do this as I once did. I’m working full time again, and some of you know about the medical problems I’ve had (don’t worry, I’m fine, but it is ongoing). Because of that, I’ve cut back a bit — I used to try to have at least three posts a day, but now I’m happy if I just have one or two.
And just maintaining the site has become a lot of work. I recently rebuilt the site (again), and it is still running slow and has problems. If I’m going to keep running it, I need to either do a lot of work to get it running well, or find a new platform.
One possibility is to just stop doing it. But I hate to do that. I don’t think there is any other forum like this on the web (with rational, supportive, somewhat non-partisan discussions) and I love the discussions we have. If there was some other site where we could have these discussions, I’d be happy to move to that.
Another possibility is to move PI to some other platform. For example, I already have facebook, twitter, and google groups accounts for PI. I could just post links to interesting stories. But neither facebook nor (especially) twitter support the kinds of (often in-depth) discussions we have had in here. And I’m not sure if a discussion list would work either. I created the google group because people wanted to be able to post things there and discuss them, but that never happened. Maybe somebody knows of a different platform that would work.
Or I could go totally gonzo and try some strange new platform. How about my friend Ward (‘wiki’) Cunningham’s new federated wiki? I’ve also looked at node.js-based blogging platforms, but they are not really ready yet. Any other crazy ideas?
Currently, PI uses a popular blogging platform (WordPress), but that really only supports time-limited discussions (I post something, and people discuss it for a few days), not discussions that evolve over time. I’d like to post a story about some topic (say, copyrights), and add further posts in the future that show up on the front page but still retain the context of the original article (and original discussion, which could continue). But I haven’t seen anything like this.
A wiki is the opposite, it supports posts that evolve over time, but doesn’t really support discussions (with opposing viewpoints) well. There are threaded discussion lists (like Google Groups), but as I said I’m not sure that would work for PI either.
I’ve tried to get other people to submit articles, but haven’t received many of those. My friend Iron Filing took over for a month when I was traveling in late 2011, but seemed to be overwhelmed by the amount of work it took (it does take a lot more work than it seems!).
Anyway, I’m looking for ideas, suggestions, criticism, offers to help, offers to take over, sympathy, pity, whatever.