Come Beta Test the New OP!

After a considerable amount of work, we're pleased to announce that the next iteration of OrangePolitics is now entering a public beta. Please check it out and let us know what you think! Feel free to log in, mess around, look for old content, and try out posting and commenting! The site reflects a pull of our current database which I made about a week ago. Related, if you have recently changed your password, the change may not be reflected on the new site; if you're having trouble logging in, let me know and I'd be happy to help!

Introducing Blurts

We're experimenting with a new type of content on OP, and we're calling them "blurts." The idea is to be similar to a tweet. It's limited to 129 characters plus a link. I will be doing some work on the site to theme the blurts so that they don't just look like blog posts that lost their body, although that's pretty much how they will function.

A few selected bloggers will be piloting blurts as an experiment and then I expect to open them up to everyone. You can see them on the Latest content page, and they might even show up on the front page once in a while.

I have some other changes planned for OP, but I'm starting with this as it's the easiest to get done. Let me know what you think.  

Things for which I am grateful

So I am embarrassed to admit that before the festivities at home begin, here I am on OP writing a little something on Thanksgiving. We have a thread about things we should tax. Today I propose a thread about things we like, things we think are just fine the way they are, things not deserving of a special tax, and people do something nice. So I'll start the ball rolling....

I'm thankful for OP and Ruby, for this site doesn't run itself.

I'm thankful for the many misguided souls who don't agree with me on this site. You're fun.

I'm thankful for Fred Black because he challenged people with grace. I miss Fred. I wish he would post again.

I'm thankful that I live in Chapel Hill and it's next door to Carrboro.

I'm thankful for town officials and employees.

I'm thankful for the deer that graze with abandon in my yard.

Happy Thanksgiving, you guys. 


Happy Birthday to Us

Today marks six years since I flipped the switch on this blog and started this community of progressive local politics bloggers (and commenters). I looked back at the entries from September 2003, and found some nostalgia (red light cameras) and some the-more-things-change-the-more-they-stay-the-same (candidate forums and Carolina North). In recent years, the OP community has developed a tradition of raising money on the occasion of our birthday. However, last year's fund raising only generated $140 toward the $420 that I pay for our hosting annually. (This is high because I use a service that keeps Drupal up-to-date and running smoothly.) 

I hope we can do better this year, and I'm open to suggestions. For example, should I thank the donors more publicly, or should I be more discreet? Would folks like t-shirts or other gifts to acknowledge their support?

OP's 5th birthday

It's today!  Happy anniversary to all of you who make this community kick ass!

I've been too busy to organize a party, but you are are owed one. How does Wednesday, October 15th sound?

I'm also going to kick off another annual fund raising drive. This one is for 1 year's worth of hosting costs. Last fall you all raised $1,000 to help move the site from WordPress to Drupal. I think it was definitely worthwhile, as we are now reaping the benefits of a more powerful community platform. The new software uses a new host and that costs me $35 each month. 



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