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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Saturday, February 10, 2007


My Barack Obama (.com)

posted by Aziz P. at Saturday, February 10, 2007 permalink View blog reactions
Obama's new website has launched, and it's a very slick and impressive system, including support for user diaries. I've registered an account and will be paying attention to see how they plan to interact with the blogsphere; without genuine cross-blog debate and active participation of the campaign, the new site will degrade into yet another echo chamber (YAEC). But overall, I am highly impressed with the design and functionality. I am particularly intrigued by the Groups, which let sub-communities form under the MBO umbrella. The groups come with built-in listserves and blog content form all members is grouped as well. Of course, there is also the personal fundraiser thermometer... I'd have preferred a baseball bat :)

It's worth noting that former Dean Nation alumnus Joe Rospars is the New Media Director for the Obama campaign. Congratulations, Joe!

BTW here is my first post at MBO, here's the link to the community diaries. Let's see how things develop, thouhg I am usually not optimistic about the quality of user-generated content on a campaign blog.

UPDATE: the blog functions permit user ratings on individual posts, that's cool. However given the high volume of posts there it should be possible to rate individual posts from the main aggregate page and not have to be viewing an individual post alone to do so.

Also, their o-blog really needs to integrate Technorati or Google trackback linking.

UPDATE: I sent Obama a personal message through the network. Text of my pm below the fold.  

Hello Senator Obama,

My name is Aziz Poonawalla. I am a native Chicagoan, presently in texas, and am a sincere admirer of yours. I am the founder of the original Dean Nation weblog which was a central organizing nexus for Dean's netroots support back then (and was recognized and praised by Trippi himself many times, not least for our feat of raising $40k for Dean online). Today, Dean Nation has been relaunched as "Nation Building" because the scope has grown to beyond a single campaign, but my overall theme of Purple Politics is one that resonates with your own political history and rhetoric, and so I feel a genuine kinship.

I have to make a confession that thus far I have been somewhat critical of your candidacy, not because I don't think you can or should win, but because I believe that your candidacy must be a transformational one regardless of outcomes, much like Dean's was. You can find a listing of blog posts I have made about your candidacy using my Obama tag on blogger.

Good luck to you, Senator. I hope that this new website is the seed for genuine interaction with the netroots community, and that through dialouge we strengthen our collective case for 2008.

Aziz Poonawalla

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Aziz -- thanks for everything you and others like Joe Rospars did to get the Dean campaign off the ground.

And here is to the hope of transformational politics in 2008.


Barack Obama's online presence is impressive. It shows he was not making his announcement by mere whimsy, but has been capably planning for a long time.

Hopefully, those developing and monitoring his blogs won't be saying nasty things about others on their personal websites, like John Edwards' staff was caught doing.

Hillary Clinton for President: A Free Speech Blog


Barack; Please give the American public a strong message (not a spiritual one) Come on strong- you will not defeat Hillary by being kind. ( are you seeking a VP jop -you could be more!!!) We are rooting for you. No more uniter divider stuff. Talk about the real issues. We need a new view. Dont let the p r guys package you as they have Hillery!!! all the best Maureen


Good Luck Obama


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.