Going out for donuts, or how BlueOregon is kicking the activism up a notch

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Going out for donuts, or how BlueOregon is kicking the activism up a notch

Dear readers, it's time for another big change here at BlueOregon.

On the day we launched in July 2004, we declared that BlueOregon was going to be just a place for commentary - a water cooler around which to gather and chat.

At the time we wrote, "BlueOregon itself won't collectively endorse candidates, stage protests, or even go out for donuts.”

That's changing.

We still won't collectively endorse candidates, but we're now doing activism that goes beyond commentary. That activism is going to take the form of online petitions, letter-writing campaigns, social media campaigns, and the like. Stuff that goes hand-in-hand with the commentary we've been doing all along. And you can do it right here - whether it's on a desktop, a tablet, or a mobile device.

We're calling it BlueOregon Action.

Why? Because we've seen the power of online activism. Whether it's national stuff like the $5 debit card fee, or the Trayvon Martin case, or local issues like a local minimum wage fight, online activism makes a difference.

We first dipped our toe into these waters with the Save KPOJ petition last November. It didn't reverse Clear Channel's direction, but we helped pull together the KPOJ listener community - and then mobilized them to donate over $23,000 to help launch Carl Wolfson's online radio show.

This is an evolution that others have made. Sites like DailyKos.com and Democrats.com started out as commentary sites - and now give their communities the opportunity to engage in online activism.

In some cases, we'll be running our own online petitions and letter-writing campaigns. In other cases, we'll be partnering with advocacy organizations and political campaigns on their efforts. Those partnerships will, in some cases, include some funding - in order to defray our expenses and start us on a path toward a full-time and paid editorial staff. You can learn more about how sponsorships work here. But rest assured, advertising will always be labeled - and if there's content that's part of a paid sponsorship, it'll always be labeled accordingly.

How will we choose what causes to take up? Well, that's a work in progress. For now, I'll be working with our editors to determine what makes the cut. Our focus will be on campaigns that we expect will be widely supported by our community. We're certainly not interested in issues that divide the broader progressive community. But ultimately, it's up to you. If we pick wrong, and choose a cause that the BlueOregon community doesn't support, we know you'll tell us loud and clear - and the campaign will fall flat.

Soon, we'll be rolling out a redesign that gives these campaigns a permanent spot on the home page. So stay tuned.

If you want to make sure you get emailed about our online actions, sign up here. And if you've got an idea for a campaign we should take on, post a comment below, or drop a line to me or Carla Axtman.

Now, about those donuts...

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