The internet blog Daily Kos was created by Markos Moulitsas Zúniga on May 26, 2002. Its focus is on political analysis, helping the electoral fortunes of the Democratic Party, and activism for left-of-center causes.
Site Growth and Software
Traffic grew rapidly, and the blog had its millionth page served on February 18, 2003, its 1,000th post and 30,000th comment on February 21, 2003, and a month later was clearly starting to outgrow Movable Type, its original software platform.
Daily Kos became an early adopter of Scoop as its platform, opening its Scoop incarnation on October 13, 2003, and shutting down the original Movable Type site on October 15, 2003. The original site's contents have been archived at DailyKos.net.
In addition to the usual blog postings by Markos and his guests, the new Scoop site allowed every user who signed up for an account to effectively create their own mini-blog. They could also add comments to every post, whether created by Markos, one of his guest bloggers, or by normal users. This transformed Daily Kos into much more than an online political blog, but rather an online community, where visitors became contributors, and activists could exchange ideas and experiences in a very user-friendly format. Scoop also allowed community self-policing, where users could rate comments of other users. Trusted Users—users rated highly by other users, and who had been at the site for a while—could rate highly disruptive comments as "trollish".
The site continued to add useful functionality. Recommended Diaries were introduced on August 10, 2004, diary tagging debuted on October 10, 2005, and in March 2006 a set of new site-specific enhancements commissioned by Markos and layered atop Scoop allowed for much improved performance with fewer screen refreshes, more powerful searching of posts and comments, and a new, simplified system for rating user comments. This last set of enhancements were considered to be DKos 3.0, with Movable Type having been DKos 1.0, and the initial Scoop deployment DKos 2.0.
At the present time, plans are in the works for DKos 4.0, which would be independent of the Scoop platform, and contain far more community-building features and opportunities for individual members to take center stage. This is a huge design and development effort; the latest information from Markos is that DKos 4.0 should be ready for testing sometime in Fall 2009.
On March 9, 2007, Daily Kos formally became a group blog, with Markos as publisher, and fifteen contributing editors and two featured writers. SusanG became Executive Editor in late November of that year, BarbinMD became Associate Editor in early spring of 2009, and Meteor Blades became Director of Community on June 1, 2009.
Main Daily Kos Bloggers
Over the years, many other individuals have assisted Markos—who took the username kos under Scoop—in writing the front page blog posts, administering the site, and selecting diaries for promotion. See also the article on Daily Kos Front Pagers. Variously dubbed the "irregulars," "guest bloggers," "Contributing Editors," and "front pagers," here is a chronological list of these people with links to their dKosopedia pages (if one exists); those listed with an asterisk are still Contributing Editors today. There is a link in parentheses to their first article as a formal front-pager and the date of that article; also, if their username changed at any time after that first post, this is noted in the parentheses:
- Billmon (first post January 3, 2003)
- Steve Soto (first post January 4, 2003)
- Steve Gilliard (first post April 3, 2003)
- RonK, Seattle (first post April 11, 2003)
- Meteor Blades* (first post September 19, 2003; briefly changed username to "Meteor Blades (aka Timothy Lange)" on February 9, 2009)
- DHinMI (first post September 20, 2003; changed username to "Dana Houle aka DHinMI" on February 11, 2009; changed username to "Dana Houle" on March 31, 2009)
- Melanie (first post October 24, 2003)
- Trapper John* (first post January 15, 2004; changed username to "Jake McIntyre aka Trapper John" on February 9, 2009; changed username to "Jake McIntyre" on March 24, 2009)
- theoria (first post April 2, 2004)
- DemFromCT* (first post April 2, 2004)
- DavidNYC* (first post December 3, 2004; changed username to "David Nir" on February 16, 2010)
- kid oakland (first post December 3, 2004)
- Hunter* (first post December 4, 2004)
- Armando (first post December 4, 2004)
- a gilas girl (first post December 4, 2004)
- Plutonium Page (first post March 31, 2005; briefly changed username to "Page van der Linden aka Plutonium Page" on February 9, 2009; changed username to "Page van der Linden" on March 11, 2010)
- georgia10 (first post December 15, 2005; changed username to "Georgia Logothetis aka georgia10" in early January 2011)
- SusanG* (first post December 15, 2005; changed username to "Susan Gardner" on May 14, 2010)
- mcjoan* (first post December 15, 2005; changed username to "Joan McCarter" on May 14, 2010)
- DarkSyde* (first post December 16, 2005)
- BarbinMD* (first post December 1, 2006; changed username to "Barbara Morrill aka BarbinMD" on February 9, 2009; reverted to "BarbinMD" on March 23, 2009; changed username to "Barbara Morrill" on May 14, 2010)
- Kagro X* (first post December 1, 2006; changed username to "David Waldman aka Kagro X" on February 7, 2009; changed username to "David Waldman" on March 19, 2009)
- Devilstower* (first post December 1, 2006; changed username to "Mark Sumner aka Devilstower on May 18, 2010; changed username to "Mark Sumner" on August 16, 2010)
- MissLaura* (first post December 1, 2006; changed username to "Laura Clawson aka MissLaura" on February 9, 2009; changed username to "Laura Clawson" on March 19, 2009)
- brownsox (first post December 3, 2007; changed username to "Arjun Jaikumar aka brownsox" on February 9, 2009; changed username to "Arjun Jaikumar" on March 19, 2009)
- Scout Finch* (first post December 4, 2007)
- smintheus (first post December 5, 2007)
- Jed L* (first post October 16, 2008; changed username to "Jed Lewison" on February 13, 2009)
- LithiumCola (first post December 6, 2008)
- Steve Singiser* (first post May 14, 2009)
- Kaili Joy Gray aka Angry Mouse* (first post as Featured Writer on January 10, 2010 as "Angry Mouse"; changed username to as listed on May 18, 2010 when promoted to Contributing Editor; changed username to "Kaili Joy Gray" on August 16, 2010)
Daily Kos has had other writers who regularly posted to the front page. Now called Featured Writers, people who have contributed in this manner include Jerome Armstrong (2003), Stephen Yellin aka Mr Liberal (2003), Tom Schaller (2004), Bill in Portland Maine* (2005), and Adam B* (2005). LithiumCola initially started as a Contributing Editor in December 2008, and became a Featured Writer in March 2009 before leaving the front page that fall. January 7, 2010, saw the announcement of three new Featured Writers: Dante Atkins* (who changed from hekebolos), Angry Mouse (later promoted to Contributing Editor), and exmearden. On May 18, 2010, brooklynbadboy* and Laurence Lewis* (who changed from Turkana) became Featured Writers. It's unclear where Chris Bowers fits in; he started as manager of the Daily Kos email list and occasional front-pager on August 16, 2010.
As of August 23, 2009, Daily Kos has more than 220,000 registered member accounts, and remains one of the most heavily trafficked political blogs on the internet.