We began Kmareka over four years ago as a quarterly, publishing articles, fiction, and interviews. Since changing to the blog format for our front page in January of this year, we have more than quadrupled our daily visitors, going from about 100 daily visitors to an average close to 500 for March. We have been noticed by PBSâ€™s blog Mediashift, and at a recent event, had the pleasure of introducing Sheldon Whitehouse, our leading Democratic candidate for US Senate in Rhode Island, whose successful candidacy could help return the Democrats to a majority in the US Senate.
About two weeks ago I was contacted by Newstex.com with a query about whether we would be interested in joining their network, allowing them to license and redistribute our content. We have decided to sign an agreement with Newstex. This will likely help increase our visibility online, and bring in some revenue.
In other news, we were recently interviewed by Brown Daily Herald reporter Ben Leubsdorf for a feature on blogs in Rhode Island. It’s often enlightening to see how others perceive and represent you in the interview process. This interview has helped me rediscover my core mission in creating and maintaining Kmareka:
“I guess for me it’s very important to balance the micro level of doing social work with a more macro level endeavor that raises consciousness and helps people think about things from a different perspective,” she said. “It’s a citizen journalism thing. I try to be a government watchdog and certainly do so locally.”
I â€¦ find that when I go to the ProJo every day, I miss a tremendous amount of what’s going on in the world,” Marek said. “I can cull information and offer it to, obviously, a small readership, but people can find out about things (on my blog) that they won’t if they just read the ProJo.”
Though she is a Democrat, Marek said she believes in the “competitiveness of ideas” and is “very open to the idea that Democrats can suffer from corruption, from nearsightedness and blind spots.”
Marek is different from most of her fellow bloggers in one important way – she is a woman, while she estimated that 90 percent of her comments come from men.
“I think as more women do this, we could have a better participatory, civic environment,” she said.
So there it is, in a nutshell. Kmareka is about providing information from a social work perspective. Itâ€™s about culling news that affects us locally, nationally and globally, news that is not readily available from mainstream media outlets, and providing a place for people to speak out and discuss this news. It’s about being a Democrat but also being open to ideas from other ideological perspectives. It’s about helping to reinvent the Democratic party so that it improves its ability to serve the common good. It’s about bringing more women online, increasing civic participation in this realm and hopefully creating a better overall civic environment in the process.
Thanks so much to David Jaffe for contributing his incredible talent to this endeavor. Thanks as well to our many commenters who have added valuable ideas and insights to our discussions. Thanks to our readers and to those who have offered supportive advice and constructive criticism.
And on a practical note: if you would like to receive a free daily email of our postings at Kmareka, you can sign up through the Feedblitz sign-up box in our sidebar.