I think you're missing part of the picture here. DeanSpace (e.g. volunteer effort, community websites, blogs, etc) and the Deanster application (hosted and operated by the campaign directly) are logically separate. Deanster wouldn't include blogs for users, though it could include a guestbook ala Ryze.

Personally, I think there are lessons to be learned from both of these systems. Friendster has a vastly superior user interface to Ryze, but Ryze allows people to join groups of interest in addition to having a network of friends.

Your Deanster profile could of course include links back to your blog or personal website. What we're talking about in terms of "user content" is giving people quick, focused opportunities to offer their opinion or explain what interests them about Dean or what they're working on accomplishing.

We actually want to take this a step further in terms of adding xpertweb functionality so that people can use the Deanster network to get things done.

Hope that helps -josh

p.s. It won't be called Deanster, by the way, but it makes a good codename for now.

Well, I'm trying to catch up on everything that happened over the weekend
while I was off at the folk music festival.

So, I'm sorry if I'm covering things that have already been covered, but I
would like to throw in my two cents here.

Zephyr, I respectfully disagree with you on the importance of public
expression in whatever sort of space is created. The public expression is
crucial in establishing a sense of a cohesive community and in facilitating
different people in connecting.

Let me illustrate: On Friendster, I am connected to 157232 people in my
Personal Network, through 17 friends. However, friendster doesn't
facilitate communicating with others in a manner that develops community.
As such, I haven't made any useful new contacts.

On the other hand, communities like and do a
much better job of promoting community through things like blogging.

So, I strongly encourage facilities to promote blogging. Granted, there are
other venues, including posting comments on the official blog, having your
own blogs, etc., but I believe having blogs, forums, or similar tools as
part of Deanspace will make it much more effective.

Zephyr raises the issue of moderation. DFA doesn't have the staff to vet
who posts or what posts remain if we have a giant network of people posting.
However, following the paradigm of self organizing systems, and the example
of DMOZ, I don't believe that is important. Every site that gets set up
will have its administrators and/or moderators. This is no different than
the close to 400 mailing lists that have already been set up. These
moderators can be as controlling or free flowing as they feel comfortable
with and fits their particular community.

Part of the beauty of a truly distributed system like this, is that I can
(or should be able to), as moderator of one system decide what content I
pick up from other systems. This provides a natural feedback system. Those
sites that develop a good sense of community through an appropriate level of
moderation will end up producing more valuable content, which will get more
widely distributed.

So, that's my two cents on the role of blogs, content, moderation and
community building within DeanSpace.



-----Original Message-----
Behalf Of Zephyr Teachout
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2003 1:53 PM
To: 'Joshua Koenig'; [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Subject: RE: [hackers] Draft Deanster Design Doc

This is fantastic. Thanks Josh! I believe that if we get this up and running, over 500,000 people will use it. I do -- over 1,000,000 on friendster, and they aren't trying to change the world :)

The single biggest request we get from folks in the field is "how do I
find other Dean supporters." This provides that means. It's a top
priority for the campaign, and if we can provide other resources to help
make it happen, ask me and I'll do everything I can do provide them.

The one thing that I would change in Josh's model is just that we are
not thinking of this as a place for public expression ("why I support
Dean") not because we don't want that expression, but because
(1) there are other venues for it, and
(2) it drastically (or almost completely) eviscerates the
moderation/management needs if we don't provide that space--if there is
no "enter your own content here" but all pick and choose and links to
forum, we don't need to vet who enters at ALL which is ideal (this is
the big diff between us and friendster -- we don't have staff who can
routinely check every new person and we don't have people who want to
kill the campaign by posting obscene or harassing posts (that's the big
concern, not dissent).

I'm thinking that we'll just modify our extensive registration to
include all these elements (we're modifying anyway), and then feed the
Data to deanster. The tricks then, are

(1) how to display the information
(2) how to search

Right? The critical thing for the search is that people who are
currently online show up first, but if we start with a really clumsy
search (almost like an excel spreadsheet) we could at least get going.
We're a shoot first improve later campaign, in many ways, but esp. for
this one -- the basic functionality will be heaven for people.

It seems if we can do that and roll it out, we can then add other
features like uploading contacts and rating -- but I'm not the
programming guru.

What do you all think?

Zephyr Teachout
Internet Organizing & Outreach
Dean for America

Meetup at
Get local at
Contribute at

-----Original Message----- From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf Of Joshua Koenig Sent: Saturday, July 26, 2003 5:57 PM To: [EMAIL PROTECTED] Subject: [hackers] Draft Deanster Design Doc

Here's a draft of my design doc for Deanster (a.k.a. the talend database, the visible volunteers, the "front room"). Please excuse the parts that aren't quite filled in yet and feel free to correct me where I'm wrong:


Politics is the art of controlling your environment. Participate!
Elect Howard Dean President in 2004!

Politics is the art of controlling your environment. Participate!
Elect Howard Dean President in 2004!

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