About In Brief

In Brief is the Northwest Progressive Institute’s microblog.

What’s a microblog?

Microblogging is an online broadcast medium that exists as a specific form of blogging. A microblog differs from a traditional blog in that its content is typically smaller in both actual and aggregated file size. Microblogs “allow users to exchange small elements of content such as short sentences, individual images, or video links”, which may be the major reason for their popularity. These small messages are sometimes called microposts.


The purpose of Brief is to help us share what we’re reading, bookmarking, and thinking about on a regular basis. If a blog is comparable to a regularly published newspaper column, microblogs (also known as linksblogs or sideblogs) are comparable to the What’s News summary on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, or comparable features in other newspapers.

In Brief makes use of WordPress’ post formats feature, which was inspired by microblogging pioneer Tumblr’s post types architecture. There are several types of posts on In Brief:

  • Aside: A short post with original content written by NPI staff, board, and contributors.
  • Recommended Link: A link to an article or column we feel deserves a wider audience.
  • Quotation: Striking or thought provoking statements from articles and columns.
  • Image: A still image, usually an original photograph taken by an NPI staff member.
  • Audio: Clips from podcasts, songs, or shows on talk radio.
  • Video: Film trailers, sketches from television shows, and anything else worth watching.
  • Chat Transcript: A snippet of noteworthy dialogue between two or more people.

In Brief was launched on March 15th, 2009, just two weeks shy of the five year blogoversary of NPI’s Cascadia Advocate, In Brief’s older sibling, which was founded March 29th, 2004. 

In Brief celebrated its tenth anniversary in March of 2019.

What’s NPI?

The Northwest Progressive Institute was founded on August 22nd, 2003 to raise America’s quality of life through insightful research and imaginative advocacy. We believe in an America that is strong, free, and inclusive… an America governed by laws based on the values of empathy and mutual responsibility.

Headquartered in Redmond, Washington, the Northwest Progressive Institute (NPI) is organized under the laws of the Evergreen State as a nonprofit corporation and federally recognized as a tax-exempt 501(c)(4) social welfare organization by the Internal Revenue Service.

The two words that perhaps describe NPI best are strategy center, because identifying and implementing strategies for transforming worthy ideas into laws is the most important purpose for which we are organized. Behind every legislative accomplishment is a story and a strategy. Bills and ballot measures that raise everyone’s quality of life don’t pass by accident. Worthy ideas need sound strategies if they are to become a reality. At NPI, we believe research is the key to identifying winning strategies, while advocacy is the key to implementing them. That’s why we’re engaged in both.

Learn more about NPI and meet our team.