Daily Kos is the largest liberal blog in the United States, with up to 3 million unique visitors a month. And it is beamed out to the world from right here in Berkeley, having been founded by Berkeley resident Markos Moulitsas, co-author of Crashing the Gate: Netroots, Grassroots and the Rise of People-Powered Politics. Daily Kos will celebrate its ninth birthday on Thursday.
Recently, Moulitsas decided Daily Kos needed a bricks-and-mortar office — having run until now as a virtual organization with contributors located across the country — and he rented a Berkeley space. Berkeleyside caught up with Moulitsas to quiz him about Daily Kos’s new home, as well as his thoughts on living and working in Berkeley.
Why an office now?
We’re growing like crazy. Started the year with 10 employees, across six states, just three here in the area. But we’re now at 15, likely to be around 20 employees by the end of the year, and it was getting unwieldy to manage that size of an organization virtually.
Where were you before?
Virtual, across six states.
What area of Berkeley is your new office in?
Near Ashby BART, a couple of blocks from my house. I made it clear, when we decided to get an office, that if I had a real commute, I would never come in. My current commute is 1) I wake up, 2) I reach over the side of the bed, 3) I pick up my laptop, 4) I flip open the screen, 5) Squint for about 15 seconds as my eyes get used to the light, and 6) Presto! I’m at work. It’s impossible to beat that commute. So anything more than a two-block walk was going to be problematic.
What’s it like?
It’ll be more orange after I’m done decorating.
How big is the team?
We’ll be about 12 in this office this year, plus we’ll be regularly hosting many of our remote employees. We’ll also have friends join us to help fill out the space. It’s bigger than what we need this year, but we plan to grow into it.
Is this an open office — can people drop by with comments, submissions… for coffee, to chat?
No. That’s what Netroots Nation is for.
Do you consider yourself a Berkeley business owner now? If so, what does it feel like?
Daily Kos is national in scope, and we have readers from every corner of this country. So the business is national, and that’s how I see it.
Now I happen to live and work in Berkeley, and wouldn’t want to live or work anywhere else. Partly because it’s a great place to raise my kids and I’m not going to commute far from my home, but also because it makes Bill O’Reilly cry.