The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Sunday, May 06, 2007


Sometime commenter on a few left blogs around the traps, zANavAShi has set up a great site called The Watermelon and is blogging there herself. It's designed to be a welcoming home for those who identify as green and left liberal.

Zana and another commenter are also in conversation about how to host a safe space for a s59 survivors forum there, so those interested may want to check out the site and contact her too.

Meanwhile Legal Eagle has shifted from Blogger to Wordpress, you can now catch her eloquent writings here. The View from my Window has shifted from LJ, also to Wordpress, and has a really stunning header pic!

Plus here's a few Kiwi blogs that are new to me: off-black, eggs benedict and two flat whites, Blair's Brain, and The Ex-Expat.

As usual, feel free to share any relevant blog news in comments, thanks!

Update, 7th May 8.45am: Plus I forgot to share that Frank Stupid is back blogging at Stupid Internet Name, which was most remiss of me. He has some astounding linkies in his most recent post.

Update, 7th May 7.56pm: Ok I did some really weird things to the links in this post, plus I forgot to add in one of the newish blogs, although I did manage to link to them from another blogname. Weird. And more importantly, all fixed now!


zANavAShi said...

Oh wow Span, thanks for the mention.

When I/S announced us over at No Right Turn there was a bit of a conspiracy theory that The Watermelon has "been set up to aid the Greens' 2008 election campaign", so before that rumour starts to gather momentum I want to make it very clear that we are a non-partisan community. To save repeating myself, here is my full response to that over at NRT:

I don't know about other green liberals, but I am fed up to the back teeth of seeing so much of our NZ political debate declining into a piss-fest of "left versus right". For those of us who are already quite clear that we are at the left polarity of the political spectrum this becomes a boring and repetitive drain on our energies - energies we would much rather be investing in conversation that explores solutions than to see it expended on justifying the reasons we believe there is a problem, and for the most part to those who are not even interested in alternative perspectives but just get a cheap thrill out of lefty-baiting.

So The Watermelon is a community for people who want to move beyond that. We are working towards building as many resources as we can to assist green liberals to take back the debate and work together co-operatively. We have an enormous web links archive, a political debate glossary, a business directory to promote ethical businesses and agencies that support green liberal lifestyle, a communal blog for any member who wants to contribute to it and the option to allow comments or not on a post-by-post basis, members have a personal gallery space to host images to share with other members, and we have what we hope will grow to be one of the biggest file libraries in Cybertearoa with resources for democracy and environmentalism and chock full of research papers and activists audio interviews etc etc - and any registered member can contribute to those.

We have a very firm code of conduct in place, not because we want to restrict the free flow of conversation, but because we want to encourage an atmosphere where we can all participate equally and free from the deliberate interference of right-wing trolls. We want to encourage robust lively debate and the expression of strong opinions - we don't care if you cuss as long as you don't cuss at each other - and the only contributions that are unwelcome are ones that promote bigotry, sexism, racism, violence, injustice, right-wing spin, unbridled capitalism or are otherwise contrary to our Watermelon Principles.

Check here for our "Watermelon Principles" (Am I A Watermelon?) and User Agreement:

Although we do not mind people lurking on the site, we would much rather that you registered so you can come and join in and there are some worthwhile perks to being a logged in member, such as access to contribute all of the above mentioned stuff and initiate your own topics for discussion (which you cannot do on another persons blog where you are only free to comment) and access to certain areas of the website which are for members only.

Although our choice of name for the site was a bit cheeky, I hope people will come to regard The Watermelon as a shared community resource where it is OK to have a bit of fun too and not just somebody's "personal space". If my co-administrator and I never have to step in and play the role of "playground supervisor" I can assure you we will be very very happy :)

So anybody who wants to jump on board and help us to transform it into that is very very welcome, as is anybody who has pages hosted on some ad-riddled free hosting space that would like a permanent ad-free home for their precious political ponderings.

Cheers m'dears,

Cathi said...

Thank you Span for the compliment on my photo, taken by my good self with my point-n-click camera out of my kitchen window. It really is the view from my window!

Span said...

Gosh Zana, I think I can honestly say that the Green campaign theory never crossed my mind. Thanks for clarifying here though.

Cathi, that is a fantastic view and a great snap! If I ever get to build a house I am definitely going to make sure that the kitchen window either looks east or west, currently ours looks south and we can't see sunsets at all from our house, sadly.