When people come together and feel a need to communicate is a time when new tools for communicating have a chance to bootstrap. For a simple reason, we have the users' attention. They're interested in doing new things. Normally they're doing something else, living their lives, being busy -- their attention is elsewhere. But when they are confronting a political problem, which is often mostly a communication problem, that's when bootrappers get their boots on! Cause we can do some good now.
I've had this feeling before. In 1996 Congress had passed and the President signed the Communication Decency Act, which gave the government broad powers to control what the Internet was used for. An outcry came on the Internet from people who loved the Internet enough to be broken-hearted at this turn.
So we started a moon mission. Our goal was to have free hosting for people's stories and pictures, what we called 24 Hours of Democracy. It really worked. It wasn't easy but it was huge fun (most of the time). Here's the key point -- this single exercise probably pushed up the adoption of blogging by a few years. Because we had to try a lot of ideas out in a fixed space in time, what came out at the end had to work.
It's time to create again what we created in 1995. A place for people's thoughts and pictures, but this time, with an eye toward permanence. Create something that's independent and as protected as possible from governments and corporations. As safe a harbor as we can create.