Final Reply from LNC: Design by Committee?

[This is a continuation of the LNC email saga, read part one and part two if you aren’t aware of what’s going on.]

After more emails and a phone call from Stephen Gordon, Getz finally tells us the quasi-decision. It sounds a lot like design by committee to me:

Thanks again for the suggestions and offers of help. I’ve forwarded all your correspondence to Joe [Seehusen], so he’s in the loop as well.

But I think we all might be getting a bit ahead of ourselves and I don’t want either of you to waste any effort. As I mentioned to Steve Gordon last night, we’ve been taking a hard look at reworking the entire site, so some of this duplicates what we’re already doing, others are things we may want to do in the future.

And throughout the process we’ll be consulting a lot of individuals, both inside and outside the party. Obviously you two have unique insights by virtue of your longtime activism, and in particular your work w/the presidential campaign.

As for me, right now I’m on a tight deadline with a couple of projects (and need to spend Friday at CPAC) so I may not be able to scrutinize all of these details for awhile.

Thanks for putting me on your discussion list for this project, and of course you’ll be on my list as well as the project progresses.

Here’s a prediction for everyone at home:

  1. There will be a panel discussion with lots of people talking about what should be done with the site where everyone will agree… yes, something has to be done.
  2. They will then ask Gordon and myself what should be done, which we will tell them (for the second time).
  3. They will then discuss this in another panel at which point they will determine that someone should do these things.
  4. A design firm will be hired that will promptly get to work on a proposal that disregards any kind of specification the panel gives them.
  5. The panel will discuss the design proposal and realize it is not what is needed (or maybe they won’t!), and ask Gordon and myself to talk to the panel and design firm, where we will then tell them what must be done (a third time).
  6. The design firm will go off an do some work, show it to the panel, who will be enthusiastic that there is a new site and not realize it is not nearly what we told them was needed.
  7. They will ask Gordon and myself what our thoughts are (maybe) and we will tell them that this is close, but not nearly the size or scope of what we initially proposed.
  8. We will then tell them a fourth time exactly what needed to be done.
  9. The panel will collectively shrug and decide what has been done is good enough.
  10. The whole idea of a community-based will be so watered down that it will no longer be there. This will equal failure when the DNC strolls past us with their web strategy miles ahead of ours.

I’m tempted to not post this at all and instead just put that prediction in an envelope and mail it to myself so that I can have a big “I fucking told you so” when this is over. But then again… fuck it, I’ll do both.

UPDATE: Actually, I could see myself working with a committee, but there’s one catch:

I have one stipulation on being part of any design by committee. Everyone involved is required to read Joe Trippi’s book — The Revolution will not be Televised — before they can be a part of it. If we are going to devise a web strategy as a group, I want everyone to know exactly what we are going to be facing and why from the DNC. Right now they are having the same conversations, and I’m betting the older-generation democrats are balking just as much as the older-generation libertarians here. The GOP is probably somewhere in the conversation as well.

I will not be flexible on this, and it is my only ultimatum.

Stephen VanDyke

I've published HoT along with about 300+ friends since 2002. We're all Americans who are snarky and love our country. I'm a libertarian that registered Republican because I like to win elections. That's pretty much it.

  1. I’m not sure if you are a fan of U.S.News but I found a few articles related to you discussion. Under their “Washington Whispers section the following appears:

    Capital Blogs
    Convinced that Internet weblogs, or blogs, helped defeat Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle and out Dan Rather’s bad reporting on President Bush’s National Guard Duty, House and Senate Republicans are scrambling to put them on their government Web pages. “Senators want them even though they don’t know what they are,” says a strategist helping several GOP senators develop the chat and new pages.

    Then there is this article,Blogosphere politics, that discusses the influence of political blogs and how they were used to elect a President and discredit mass media.

  2. Ok, Stephen,

    I say that you give them about 2 weeks to a month…… if they don’t see how this will help the party extremely and they water everything down (or not do anything at all) then I say “free market.”

    I think that everyone with these good ideas for the party (more better, the libertarian cause as a whole) should get together and do it themselves (or in small teams)…. without the OK from up higher.

    Make a new site yourself (along with your ‘pushliberty’ site or just combine the two into one big awesome mega-site)…. it wont be “official”, but it will be a whole hell of alot better than what they are pushing. Give it a similar name and say that it is for the libertarians that actually want to win elections and change the direction that America is going. You will get more hits and make more ads/commercials…. there will be more activism and action…. more and more people will welcome the libertarian way…. AND the LNC will be shitting their pants wondering how all of this happened…. THAT will be a huge fucking ‘I told you so’……

    NOBODY should wait around for the LNC anymore…. try to get them to see the light, but do this stuff on your own. Waiting for them to do something positive is like waiting for the government to get smaller.

    *Blogs are getting bigger and bigger too…. the news media is getting their news from blogs…. isnt that funny?

    Keep us updated and stay strong!

  3. The badnarik blog spurred more libertarian interest than the lp site has in years. The incentive to be a big ‘L’ libertarian, is to contribute money and see no support…. perhaps I am being cynical….

    Keep pushing Stephen…