April 30 agenda discussion





The discussion prior to April 30 Tweeting got so voluminous that the initial summary spans a couple of pages. These are all important topics, and there's no way we can do them all justice during the tweeting, so these are also the basis for future conversations. When summarizing I've attempted to fairly excerpt everybody's positions while reducing duplication; in general I've preserved the order of the posts within each section although occasionally I've moved things around if I felt it didn't distort meaning and made it easier to follow. Apologies in advance for any mistakes or biases; please feel free to edit if I've emischaracterized your position. -- jon

Here's the overall index of discussions:

  • April 30 agenda discussion: summary so far, with ongoing discussion threads at the bottom of the page. Topics include "overall agenda issues", "making sure all voices are heard", "who decides", "the user perspective", "how the heck are people supposed to know what heach hashtag means", "about #rebelleft", "about #p2", "about #p4p", "hashtags and diversity -- and how many is too many?", and "the relationship between "#rebelleft, #topprog, #p2, and #p4p".
  • April 30 additional discussions: summary of . Topics include "trust issues", "life beyond Twitter", "transpartisanship on Twitter", "progressives vs. conservatives on Twitter", and "are all progressives left-wing?"
  • The wiki's discussion forum includes all the discussion threads on any of the pages



Overall agenda issues


ProfChandler: What are the long term goals?

Shoq: My concern is that an unaffiliated "bridging tag," is a new idea for many, and 5-10 minutes barely allows time to even discuss why a clear channel concept is important, let alone have meaningful debate about whether there should be one.

Jon: It certainly might be too much to fit into a single hour ... and in any case the goal is to come up with conventions "at least for the time being". So a follow-on chat may make sense. I don't know how we get to a reasonable discussion about organizing without bringing people up to speed on the various hashtags. And I don't see how people can come to agreement on conventions without having the discussion. And it's a draft agenda. Suggestions on how to revise it?

hwaisbren: Proposed Agenda Item: Engaging Student Activists : It has always been amazing to me that progressive organizations do not invest more resources into engaging student activists for their campaigns. Students have the absolute maximum amount of available time to participate and could be especially valuable for new media campaigns given our obsessive utilization of such media for our entire lives! ... I think it is particularly important to address this during the tweeting... It just boggles my mind that progressive organizations--for the most part--ignore young people and do not do more to help fill the leadership chasm that has developed on campuses across the country.

jon: Great topic, Harry ... in fact this might well be worth a follow-on chat in its own right!

Making sure all voices are heard


jon: One of the things I've noticed is that the loudest voices are often the sharpest, and tend to drown out the vast majority of people who are much more civil. This isn't a right/left thing, either.

karoli: I'm a believer in civil discourse and a strong opposition to hone and refine policies. Being progressive and being polite do not appear to be in conflict with one another.

kindlejunkie: We'll need cooler heads to prevail if there's any hope of uniting he loosely-affiliated progressives under one roof.

Spinelli666: Hear hear Kindlejunkie

ProfChandler: Hey! What is going on here??? I don't like to troll at all. If you are just trolling here, STOP.

myrnatheminx: We could be more civil in this forum--thanks to the very civil Karoli for repeatedly pointing that out.

ProfChandler: who are we leaving OUT of the conversations so far? What I would like to see more of is bring in NEW people who know nothing about the history of these discussions. I would like to see some tangible outreach attempts in this arena.

jon: many people who are interested have told me they have conflicts at the chat tomorrow night. we need to make sure to incorporate their views.... early in the discussion i commented that the loudest and sharpest voices tend to drown out the vast majority of people. the summarizing i've done highlights whose been loudest -- including me, so i am certainly not throwing any stones. roughly a zillion commuincation have shown that men, whites, and native english speakers are loudest in most online communications situations, and people with disabilities or without access to computers are generally excluded. as a general trend, intersectional groups are most likely to be quietest; for example, women of color, lesbians, under-26 and over-50 women and people of color, etc. are likely to be particularly underrepresented. we should be alert for the possibility that it's happening here.


Who decides?


jon (in email): if you *don't* open it to public comment, or put it to a vote, you have a small in-group running things ... kinda like the current "Progressive movement", although the specific people are different. I don't think this is a situation where jsut a couple of people need to confer in private and work things out. And I am strongly opposed to small-group discussions behind people's backs.

Shoq: In the end, it's the people who will be doing the work to maintain these communities that matter most right now. The rank and file will go where there has been consensus.

ryking: The consensus has been in favor of p2 at Twitter

karoli: Where this goes depends on the majority, because that's how we roll in this country.

Shoq
: where is your website in support of your position?

ryking: I'm here in support of my position. I don't need a website.

ryking: who comprises the P2 community. Have you spoken with all of them? Where's the membership list?

kindlejunkie: It's not about co-opting or hijacking an existing tag. Attempting to keep a tag true to the designer's vision is about as productive as telling college students that they can only walk on the sidewalks. These types of things change the second they're let loose into the wild with users.

jon: i see this as a decision for the #p2 community, which is not precisely defined but basically those who have built it: Tracy and me, the people who got involved hearly on, the people active on the hashtag, the people who showed up in the twitter chats, those who have responded when asked, folks active in the ask the president activism, the people we've gotten advice and feedback and support from from but haven't had a lot of time to be active. so that means while i have positions -- in some cases very strong ones -- i haven't heard all viewpoints and very well might change my mind.... and even if i don't change my mind, if the community as a whole sees things differently than me, that's okay too.

jon (in email): To some extent hashtags are going to be whatever people want.

myrnatheminx: We can't control how #p2 is used on Twitter. We can only define it, lead by example, and try, but Twitter users will decide how it's used.


The user perspective


buffalo_girl: I guess you could consider me a target user. I know VERY little about hashtag meta, have not used search and hashtags to find progressive or conversations on "PROGRESS" or PROGRESSIVES or anything of the sort. So I've seen these tags but usually I ignore them since on the occasions I've searched for them using twitter search I've been unable to determine the usage. I mean, I just tend to follow a lot of progressives, and I find others often by following those who progressives retweet, or #FF recs, or I raid their follow lists. So, you know, how the hell am I supposed to know what's a subcategory of a clearinghouse for the focus for the escape for the understanding of the informative whah??? All I see is p4p p2. I know nothing.....

karoli: I totally agree with you...most people don't use hashtags to find information, content, or users. But I'll bet you use Google. Let's say that a hashtag had an associated set of defining principles, and those definitions were indexed in search along with all tweets, post, pictures, videos, etc. that also had that hashtag. It would make search a lot easier, not just for the searcher but for the indexer as well.

mutantkat: As a relative newbie to this whole twitter thing, I can say it took me a bit of time to figure out the hashtags, but once I googled TCOT and figured that out it wasn't too bad. I think that people should remember that there are new people joining all the time and occasionally shout out what their major tags are and how to use them, partially as a PSA and partially as promotion, possibly on Saturday as a follow up to #FF.

karoli: My issue with hashtags stems from this: a) I have to remember to use them; b)one of my 140 characters is consumed with a useless #; c)It limits discovery to those aware of the tag. Most of the hate for them comes from a, though...I just forget to use them. it is not automatic for me, so to use them I have to split my thinking between what I am saying and remembering to add the dang tag. I want the stream to just know. :) Second is the limitation. Those aware of a tag will discover what i've written. what about those who aren't?

ryking: Only social networking "gurus" are concerned with "metadata" and "cross-channels." I can guarantee you that the average Twitter user doesn't give the slightest thought to those vague, buzz-wordy concepts.

karoli: I'm a long-time community denizen. I am not a 'social media guru'. I do, however, understand the value of tagging.

jon: i realize that social network theory, oppression theory, and intersectionality are not to everybody's tastes. i would generalize with ryking's point that the average person on twitter or anywhere else doesn't know or care about metadata issues to include all of these as well.

Shoq: Not everyone likes to add a dozen tags to every post.

ryking: That's right, that's why I adopted p2 as an umbrella term. I'm not the only one who is using it that way.

ProfChandler: People want REAL conversations.

How the heck are people supposed to know what each hashtag means?


adrielhampton: With the #gov20 tag, I created a TwitterFeed bot out of @govwiki that simply retweets the tag twice every half hour. This allows anyone interested in that tag to see what's going on without sitting on the search or using third-party apps. I would suggest using the tag handles in this fashion to organize. #govwiki has been growing steadily as people catch on, even if some still reply to it like it's a person.... I have contributed greatly to use of the #gov20 tag, and all that took was using it reliably and setting up a retweet bot for it. The same can be done for any tag and Twitter is a fast-evolving system. Also, until we talk about the power of trending tags, we really aren't going anywhere

jon: sites like hashtagdictionary, hashtags.org, and tagal.us are different ways of looking up what a hashtag stands for. we've got a list of progressive-related tags at http://p2pt0.wikifoundry.com/page/Hashtags


About #rebelleft


Note from Jon: #rebelleft was founded before either #topprog or #p2 and so i try to lead with it in discussions about progressive and left-leaning hashtags. virtually nobody discussed it in this conversation and i think that's very interesting in its own right. so i've included a couple of discussions from other conversations

Jon and Tracy (original proposal): #rebelleft is a great example of a hashtag-as-tribe; it's got an attitude, a vibrant feel, leaders, and members.

jon: #rebelleft ... includes greens and the more general left

matttbastard (on Twitter): #rebelleft is another must-use tag for any plugged in Marxistcommieredistributionist twitterer.

About #p2


Jon: p2 stands for "progressives 2.0". there's links to more about it on the home page of the wiki at http://p2pt0.wikifoundry.com/ (or just click "Home" at the top left of the page)

matttbastard (on twitter): Stands for 'Progressive 2.0'.

Jon and Tracy (original proposal): a collaborative effort between progressives, youth, feminists, women of color, LGBTQ activists -- across the US and internationally -- has a chance to make a big difference. One simple way to start is to set up a new shared hashtag for the different groups to collaborate. In Seth Godin's terminology, the users of each hashtag can be viewed as a tribe; we need a place for the tribes to get together to discuss how to work together effectively. We propose #p2 (for "Progressives 2.0") as a shared hashtag. The name is a hat-tip to the #fem2 hashtag as well as Web 2.0 social computing technologies.

Sarah Granger (on techPresident)
: Introduced by Jon Pincus and Tracy Viselli, #p2 aims bring together participants from all progressive groups on Twitter - #topprog, #rebelleft, #fem2, #woc and #lgbt as well as the Progressive Exchange community.... "I see #p2 as a unifying tag--an umbrella," says Viselli, who notes that this is not a competition but an effort to include everyone in the discussion. Regarding how to bring in people and grow the participation, Pincus says "more balanced and organic growth is preferable" and "we are pulling the thought leaders in." Viselli explains that those participants will "help make sure that it's absorbed through osmosis on Twitter itself which is really what will dictate the ultimate success of any progressive project using Twitter." Pincus adds that "the energy's more likely to come from people marginalized in the existing system -- and if we're successful, they'll reap the rewards of early participation." "Longer term, the key is to provide value."

Jon (in email): the #p2 vision isn't only mine. Tracy and I first proposed it jointly and it was based on discussions with a lot of other people. And of course it's certainly subject to change over time! Here's the current (draft) mission statement. http://p2pt0.wikifoundry.com/page/Mission+statement In our original article, we proposed #p2 as a way of engaging with communities currently marginalized by the "progressive blogosphere". @p2pt0's description generalizes it to is "a resource for progressives who prioritize diversity and empowerment", and that's what the wiki says as well. In the absence of a short progressive hashtag it's wound up filling the generic channel role, which has been a great opportunity to experiment with "bridging" strategies, but I've always expected that would likely be temporary. I have heard some people suggest that #p2 should continue in this role; my initial reaction is that it's better to move this elsewhere, but I think it's a great discussion to have.

Spinelli for liberals #p2 seems strongest, it's short, and doesn't ape #tcot like #tpot or #tlot ... These labels will always have different meanings for different circles and individuals, they are impossible to concretely define outside of academia; that's another reason for having fairly clear and direct tags, and fewer of them. Overall, I think #p2 for all progressives makes sense, with #bipart for those who have a need or desire to reach across the aisle; a #left tag for those to the left of libs and progs might make sense as well, but probably not relevant in the US till the proletariat final rises of out the ashes of crumbled capitalism :-)

ryking: I see #p2 as an "umbrella tag" to be used in lieu of all the other left-wing tags out there (see Tweetleft.com for roughly 30 of them), except when there's a short-term activist tag like #amazonfail, #fairpay or #EFCA to be used with it. #p2 is also ideal as an "umbrella tag" because of its three-character length.

MarcoPoloRedux: I think ryking has a strong point here

jon (in email): #p2 has been acting as the umbrella; I think of it as nature abhorring a vaccuum. To some extent hashtags are going to be whatever people want.

ryking: I have no interest in seeing the progressive brand on Twitter be co-opted into some alleged coalition of moderates and centrists who don't understand the label they're using and who wouldn't agree with most of the concepts covered by it -- if they knew what those were -- while siphoning off a few *real* progressives from p2 in the process. It's time for the left-wing community on Twitter to start cohering around one tag, and since p2 is the one that has already been established, that is the one that deserves the time and attention.

kindlejunkie: Consider this a big ditto to everything Spinelli666 posted above.

Shoq: The agenda of p2 is established (diversity), and the P2 community has no interest in changing it's charter.

ryking: Oh really? who comprises the P2 community. Have you spoken with all of them? Where's the membership list?

Shoq: No one on the right, whether calling themselves liberal, progressive, or any other label is going to risk their cred on the right by participating in a tag that is mostly about "diversity." They just won't.

Jon (in email): this is an issue with many "progressives" as well. it's our diversity that gives us strength. why shuold we undercut it? I'm wiling to work with people like this on other issues where we align; I've worked successfully with libertarians, states-righters', and biblical literalist evangelical Christians in the past on certain issues (while fighting them on others). however whether they're on the left or right, i'm not interested catering to people's sexist, racist, homophobic/transphobic, nativist, classist, anti-union, abelist (etc.) biases -- or those who won't risk their "cred".

ryking: I, and others, have been using p2 as an umbrella term for various left-wing issues, in an effort to make the tag a counterweight to tcot and because it's nice and short. That is what I thought Jon and Tracy Viselli, p2's creators, had envisaged for the tag. If I was wrong, the genie has been out of the bottle too long to stuff it back in.

Shoq: obviously, the path of least resistance is to do nothing. Sure, it would be great if P2 could be used on all other networks, if it didn't have an established agenda, or that some other larger tag already did this. But not of those things are true. And without a bridging tag, rather than simplify things, you will simply have a situation where people will go off and create another option anyway.

Shoq: Clinging to this idea that entrenched use of P2 is immaterial.... Do you really think I have spend days on this because 'p2 wasn't my idea?" Jon/P2 will tell you that I have tried repeatedly to get him to consider shifting the mission of p2 just enough to let it serve this purpose.

ryking: p2 has been used for more than just "diversity" issues. It has been added to tags about tea bagging, cop shootings, lies told by Fox News, and several issues to denote that the tag user and the tweet is left-wing. That has been a natural evolution of the tag.

jon (in email): the actual use of #p2 is determined by the #p2 community so i think it's very material. as kindlejunkie said It's important to be clear about descriptive usage in the wild before attempting to proscribe usage. Shoq has indeed tried to get me to consider shifting the mission, and I've consistently said that (a) personally i would not shift it away from prioritizing diversity and (b) it's not my decision.

kindlejunkie: Shoq asked for documents re: tag usage. Here is one: http://personaldemocracy.com/blog-entry/p2-takes-progressive-twitter-challenge

adrielhampton: Since Jon first introduced me to p2, I'm happy to branch out to a broader label tag if the p2 folks would rather keep that focused on diversity issues.

ProfChandler: I like #p2 because diversity is broad for me. Diversity could be anything from ethnicity, race, gender orientation, economics or class, to worldviews or philosophies....

jon
: my blog post "#p2 and prioritizing diversity" from this morning discusses why i think it's so important for progressives to prioritize diversity as we have on #p2. i think we've done a great job so far of doing that while not restricting ourselves to "diversity issues". as ProfChandler said we take an appropriately broad view of diversity, for example matttbastard and seasonothebitch's excellent work on EFCA includes (although isn't limited to) the diversity aspects. more at http://www.talesfromthe.net/jon/?p=725

jon (in blog post): the results are great. The quality of conversation is high (especially if you filter out cross-posts to #tcot) and the range of topics and people is very diverse. We've spawned technology like Chris Meserole's TweetLeft. Our Ask the President activism was very successful. People consistently tell me that our Twitter overview page is useful -- including its mention of Accessible Twitter. We appear to have the only list of progressive hashtags out there. And so on. Scott Page is right: diverse groups outperform.

myrnatheminx: We can't control how #p2 is used on Twitter. We can only define it, lead by example, and try, but Twitter users will decide how it's used. I would like to see #p2 retrain its identity as a tag that brings together diverse groups. I've waffled on this because I've seen how people use #p2 as an umbrella for all progressive issues, but I'm sticking with my co-creator JonP on this. Because he's awesome, because there is enough of a history for the tag, and because I'm a woman and I want my co-creation to be separate from a general big ten/netroots tag. What Jon said again: "Twitter can be used very effectively to overcome white, male, heteronormative, and geographical biases" That's what I'll keep using #p2 for.

jon: my concern is that using #p2 as an umbrella hashtag might overwhelm the diversity aspects and it will become yet another white-, male-, straight-, etc.-dominated "progressive" space. however if we're all conscious of the risk and think we can avoid falling prey to it, i'm not opposed to trying. There are lots of challenges to having a diverse #p2 as an umbrella tag, but if that's the direction we decide to go I don't see it as diluting or vaporizing Tracy's and my vision.

About #p4p


Shoq: #p4p shouldn't pretend to strive for equality, It should simply welcome people who agree with SOME progressive ideas, and need a place to stay current on them--or argue them--without feeling they are selling out their own side just by being there. All too often, good intel on issues stays only on one side, because the conduits are so partisan. I really see p4p as a completely open channel. Rules, that may exist, as tools to enforce them come online (if any), would only be about maintaining basic civility, and preventing spam.... I cannot stress enough this idea that p4p is a very unstructured hailing frequency; part chat, part wall, part FARK for progressives. Always informative, resource-rich, sometimes entertaining and disputatious, but always interesting. The fire hose, but just ONE fire hose, so that everyone knows where to drink from, with any and all filters they freely choose to place over the nozzle. Many like the full force of the stream. Even I do sometimes.

karoli: The p4p tag to me seemed a reasonable one to accomplish the goals of: a) designating content (tweets, blog posts, etc) as content relating to progress but where perspectives might differ on what that progress was; b) finding a shorter hashtag than the aforementioned or even #bipart, which takes more space than I'd like, while still enabling me to include more specific hashtags as pointers to either my perspective or the perspective of someone I'm quoting.

jon (in email): i like p4p's parallels with p2p and p3p ... i mean, really, it's *hard* to pick a good short hashtag..... if #p4p takes off, it'll be Shoq's and Karoli's tribe, at least initially.

Shoq: the p4p tag will always be difficult to describe, because it's entire purpose is "anything progressive." It's a big bucket into which many buckets fall, so that it's just not necessary to categorize something you want all progressives to see. You don't care how anyone else classifies it further. You just want to tag it, bag it, and forget it.

adrielhampton: I do like #p4p as a catch-all for things of progressive interest to people of any party.... I also like using a whole bunch of tags to expand possible readership and also to get in and OUT of the firehose with a single tweet.

ryking: The definitions of "progress" also vary between left-wingers and right-wingers. We could all agree that we want kids to succeed in school, but left-wingers would say that better funding of public schools is the answer while right-wingers would argue that vouchers for private schools -- paid for by decreasing public education funding -- are the way to go. Both arguments couldn't be more different, but both could be tagged with #p4p by left-wingers and @shoq's alleged center/center-right "progressives." As such, #p4p would confuse people from across both ends of the spectrum regarding its meaning and actually dilute the left-wing brand on Twitter, which already faces an uphill battle given #tcot's head start. #p4p is also redundant. For those interested in centrist discussion and links, and engaging in centrist activism, #bipart already exists. Belonging to a third party or no party at all doesn't preclude one from using #bipart for centrism. And unlike #p4p, #bipart doesn't siphon left-wingers away from #p2.

ryking: The p4p tag is advocated as one that should be used by left-wing members of Twitter at a time when we already have more than enough issue- and faction-specific tags.

Shoq: you need a Bridging tag with NO agenda. Imagine a "Gay Twitter, or a pre EFCA Facebook," or "pro labor phone network." The p4p tag is is simply a wire, a stream, a PIPE into which ANYTHING progressive flows so that you don't have to address each item to some particular interest. That pipe just cannot share an agenda with any one tribe. It's a common carrier for progressives. That IS the only identity it should have.

jon (in email): Kos and the OpenLeft guys are examples of people who identify as a progressive and engages in behavior that marginalizes women. The whole progressive blogosphere ignored Join the Impact as it was happening and haven't covered it since ... talk about marginalization. Based on what I saw at the Politics Online conference, the same dynamic's true for many progressive technologists. If they don't change their behavior, do you want to let it contaminate the community? If you don't include them, how can you meaingfully claim to have all the progressives?

kindlejunkie: If you're concerned about long-term longevity and cross-platform usability of an umbrella tag, then #p4p is a poor choice. It has an established meaning in business (Pay for Performance) and an established web-presence meaning (Pay for Placement). I don't know the likelihood of running into others using the tag for their established real-world meanings on sites other than Twitter, but it seems a silly risk to take.

ProfChandler: #p4p is a hashtag that I have never used and am just now learning about it.... IF we want to become more broad and inclusive in the #p4p what does that mean for the extremists, i.e. both the left wing and right wing?

myrnathminx
: I can't bring myself to use #p4p because it makes me think of up with people and I'm a chronic smart-ass.

jon (in email): I think there's potentially a lot of value in a progressive channel that's decoupled from #p2. i just don't think it can be neutral and detached.


Hashtags and diversity -- and how many is too many?


jon (in email): Diversity is a complex subject and means different things to different people. I use the word to include both cognitive diversity and demographic diversity, with explicit attention to intersectionality, and think it's important to consider non-standard dimensions of oppression (e.g., social network activists are in general marginalized by the blogsophere) as well as race, class, gender, age, orientation, geography, language, ableism, etc. in Cognitive evolution and revolution: #polc09 and a #diversityfail, I illustrated how Twitter hashtags can enable effective collaboration by marginalized groups. There's some background at http://p2pt0.wikifoundry.com/page/Diversity+online ... there's a stylistic thing going on as well as philosophical, a preference for one over many which (a) reinforces dominance and (b) ignores one of the main advantages of Twitter hashtags.

Spinelli666: Less is more: the fewer hashtags, the better.

jon: The progressive movement as a whole is better served with a strong #rebelleft (which includes greens and the more general left), a strong #topprog (with its ties to CAP), a strong #p2 (with a diversity focus), a strong #p4p (or whatever else fills the role of a general clearing house), a strong #lib (for those who see themselves as liberals, not progressives) and issue-specific hashtags like #EFCA. Compressing them into a smaller number of tribes means that some viewpoints aren't fully represented.

Spinelli666
: Couldn't agree more, definitely big on diversity; it's just clear that if there are several nuanced tags all meaning more or less the same (like is currently the case with progressives), then that overall group is weakened through dilution and confusion. Having #green, #fem, #gay tags is great though. It's classic federalist theory: to gain power, you have to share it. Splitting semantic and ideological hairs also turns people off; the reaction tends to be "why can't these people get their shit together?" and often leads to people just moving on to somewhere where there's substance and things aren't shaped by doscussions of self.

Jon and Tracy (in original proposal): conversations in #p2 will diffuse out more broadly. This is particularly valuable in intersectional issues. Consider Jon's tweet asking people to consider digging Amos Lim's Pam's House Blend story on "Re-Introducing of the Uniting American Families Act", which is relevant to progressives, feminists, women of color, lgbtq and migrant rights activists. Ideally, this information should have gone to #rebelleft, #topprog, #jti, #fem2, #woc, #lgbt, #lgbtq, and #Out4Immigration -- and no doubt elsewhere. But that far exceeds Twitter's 140 character maximum. A shared #p2 tag allows people from each of these other hashtags to following it and decide what information they should retweet elsewhere.

ryking: Those of us who want to grow the left-wing brand on Twitter see too many tags, and the potential for too many more being offered; the brand will be constantly diluted, as will its message, unless we can start coalescing around one tag for left-wing Twitter users.

bphoon: I can understand the concern regarding dilution of the 'brand'.... One of the hallmarks of the modern progressive movement is its diversity. We own the big tent. We're not a monolith so I don't think we should try to make ourselves into one as the right wing attempts to do. Believers in a particular issue will naturally gravitate towards one another. I'm new to this deal and since I came to understand what hashtags are, I've had no problem telling the progressive ones from the others. I don't think a proliferation of tags is a problem.

ProfChandler
: If we are talking about diversity #p2 and progressive thinking in general #p4p then who are we leaving OUT of the conversations so far?





The relationship between #rebelleft, #topprog, #p2, #p4p


Jon and Tracy (original proposal): To be clear: the #p2 hashtag is intended to complement, not replace, others. #rebelleft is a great example of a hashtag-as-tribe; it's got an attitude, a vibrant feel, leaders, and members. #topprog is still gelling, but it's easy to imagine this developing into "progressives' even-better version of #tcot", with a lot of focus on learning from -- and competing with -- conservatives. And each of #fem2, #woc, #jti, and so on have their own identity. That's a good thing.

Jon (in email): I think what @shoq is suggesting is complementary to what's happening on #p2 and the combined result will be a much stronger progressive movement AND much more effective allies from a diversity perspective. i see the platform as more networked rather than "unified" in the sense of a single tech base and/or hashtag. Basically I think Shoq should take #p4p in whatever direction he thinks makes most sense, and we should work on coordinating the various progressive hashtags.

jon: The use of a tag for bridging has come up at past #p2 chats, and nobody's had a hard time understanding it. People in general understand the challenges as well as the value of multiple hashtags -- and the importance of conventions for communicating between hashtags. I haven't heard anybody oppose the idea of a bridging tag. I have heard some people suggest that #p2 should continue in this role; my initial reaction is that it's better to move this elsewhere, but I think it's a great discussion to have. Even if we decide to move this off #p2, I've also heard people question whether #p4p is the right place. Again, that's a great discussion to have.

karoli: Being a Wordpress denizen, I tend to think in terms of categories and sub categories. To me, the #p4p (people for progress) tag is not immediately steered toward 'liberal/Progressive' thought, but is sort of a meta-category to which a subcategory called #p2 would belong, as well as some of the non-tcot conservative tags.

jon: i don't see #p2 as a subcategory of #p4p -- or vice versa. #p2 emphasizes diversity, and so it can't be a subcategory of something else that doesn't start by emphasizing diversity without losing that emphasis. by contrast p4p's site refers to diversity as a "special interest". for a lot of things, I'm more concerned with making sure the people I hang out with know than I am with throwing someting into a firehose. So unless I knew that everybody on #rebelleft was reading #p4p, I'd want to include them from the beginning, rather than hoping that somebody else retweets it.

mutantkat: As a registered Republican In Name Only (I hate Arizona politics), I would recommend keeping #p2 and #p4p separate and distinct... you'll really want to have a good place to keep the practical over partisan progressive discussions, but you also need a good place to have serious partisan debate, as in many areas the meat of the progressive movement's political activity will be within the Democratic party.

jon: The progressive movement as a whole is better served with a strong #rebelleft (which includes greens and the more general left), a strong #topprog (with its ties to CAP), a strong #p2 (with a diversity focus), a strong #p4p (or whatever else fills the role of a general clearing house), a strong #lib (for those who see themselves as liberals, not progressives) and issue-specific hashtags like #EFCA. Compressing them into a smaller number of tribes means that some viewpoints aren't fully represented.

karoli: I don't view p4p as being a 'versus p2' issue at all. I see them living quite well in harmony with one another. I prefer p4p to bipart for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that there may well be no second "part" to "bi" with if the GOP continues down the current slippery slope. We will then be left with a political universe of people who want to push forward; eg, progress, and those who want to remain entrenched and shrill

spinelli666: These labels will always have different meanings for different circles and individuals, they are impossible to concretely define outside of academia; that's another reason for having fairly clear and direct tags, and fewer of them

MarcoPoloRedux: content will define the space and part of that content will include those posts that the majority find both interesting and relevant. In this regard I've been comparing #p2 and #p4p for awhile now and though this is a most unscientific evaluation, I can say that #p2 beats #p4p for both the number and quality of posts related to progressive issues. (in and outside of a more strict "diversity" focus that may have been the original intent of #p2).... It might seem simplistic to just say 'let the content determine the tag' but I think that's how things are already shaking out.

ryking: The p4p tag ... can only siphon support from the p2 tag which many of us have been using as an umbrella tag in lieu of the many, many other left-wing tags and which is more established.

kindlejunkie: It's important to be clear about descriptive usage in the wild before attempting to proscribe usage.

Shoq: There IS no progressive tag. There is only a diversity tag being borrowed by progressives because there was no other tag.... No one on the right, whether calling themselves liberal, progressive, or any other label is going to risk their cred on the right by participating in a tag that is mostly about "diversity." They just won't. And many progressives simply don';t agree with every progressive issue or community. And having some kind of cross-community discussion, left to left, or right to left, is important.

jon (in email): #p2 is explicitly lgbtq-positive and #p4p isn't.

ryking: How long until someone else comes up with another "one progressive tag to rule them all" that they think is better, for some reason, than p2? Those of us who want to grow the left-wing brand on Twitter see too many tags, and the potential for too many more being offered; the brand will be constantly diluted, as will its message, unless we can start coalescing around one tag for left-wing Twitter users.

jon (in email)
: a lot of people want something under which all progressive-oriented people can find a home ... given today's population and power dynamics in the progressive community I'm skeptical it can be done without marginalization. And there are hard questions, like whether it extends to situations like what to do with people who identify as progressives and generally take progressive positions but consistently engage in or tolerate behavior that marginalizes women (or worse, engage in sexist speech). Are they in or out? Or any other dimension of oppression.

karoli: I don't want to replace one with the other.

Shoq: You say you want to "grow the left wing brand" That's a pretty tall order, since it's about 270 special interest groups. I think some of the people who brought Kos, Hamcher, Move on, huffpost, AAM, and others who had some say in that (including me).

ryking: You claim that the left-wing brand is "about 270 special interest groups." So how is p4p, which would add centrists and right-wingers of various stripes to that alleged group of interests, going to make your p4p coalition more workable than p2?

kindlejunkie: It's not about co-opting or hijacking an existing tag. Attempting to keep a tag true to the designer's vision is about as productive as telling college students that they can only walk on the sidewalks. These types of things change the second they're let loose into the wild with users.

bphoon: I can understand the concern regarding dilution of the 'brand'. However, are we in a competition with #tcot to see who gets the most followers or are we a community trying to find cohesion in order to better get our message out? If we're the latter, what is the function of hashtags in meeting that objective? I think that's the more central question. The substance of the competition between our progressive message and that of the right wing is how effectively we provide solutions for the ills that beset our country. In this forum, the extent to which a hashtag promotes that determines its usefulness. Number of posts under each tag should be only one standard by which each one is measured.

ProfChandler: With Twitter the number one problem is space, so if we are going to now use two hashtags #p2 and #p4p then that is just more space, which doesn't make a lot of sense.

ProfChandler: I agree that we want some kind of tag that will open doors, not close them. I believe the existing labels are really hurting the nation and planet as you suggest. Maybe something about peace, freedom or just the future, might work.


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