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Monday, August 15, 2005

Back to the grind

Posted by: Jambo / 12:44 PM

Well it looks like my vacation was good for my state of mind and good for my kids but not so good for my blogging as I only managed two short posts while on the road. But as I predicted in one of those not much has really changed in the last week--Bush is still dumb, Norm is still a weasel, and even tho I have not yet had the stomach to check in on Katherine Kersten I am sure she is still Minnesota's Worst Writer. I have also come home to a desk full of work so I am afraid it will take a couple late nights before I have much original material to post. In the mean time all I can do is pass along some of what has ended up in my Inbox while I was gone.

This excerpt is from an article sent to me by Yelrom and I apologize if it is something that has already been discussed in my absence.

VII. Blog Sprawl

What is concerning about the current distribution of traffic is that the smaller conservative blogs are much more numerous than the smaller progressive blogs. A MyDD analysis showed that while progressives have an edge in overall traffic, there are more conservative blogs in the top 250 political blogs.

Among the top forty blogs, progressives maintain a decided advantage – twenty-four to sixteen. However, among the next 210 blogs, conservatives hold a whopping 133 to 77 advantage.

This is significant since the smaller a blog is, the more locally focused it tends to be. An edge among small, local, political blogs also means an edge in small, local, political races. While progressives may have a marked advantage in overall blogosphere discourse, it could also be argued that conservatives are taking a decisive lead in the sort of targeted blogging that will provide them with real, tangible benefits in the 2005-2006 elections and beyond.

Pennsylvania offers a useful case study. Philadelphia is arguably the nation's progressive blogging capital. With at least fifteen of the one-hundred and three progressive blogs surveyed by MyDD, not to mention ten of the top fifty most trafficked left wing blogs, one might imagine that local Pennsylvania political blogs are dominated by progressives. Yet, the primary two sites dedicated to Pennsylvania statewide politics were Grassroots PA and Keystone politics, both of which are conservative. Even in a region steeped in popular left wing blogs, conservatives rule the local political blogosphere.

To a certain extent, this is likely the result of several large progressive blogs offering quick and easy ways to take part in large communities, a phenomenon that is not found nearly as often in the conservative online world. Whatever the cause, though, this is a serious problem that progressives must confront. If they do not invest time, energy and resources building a local blog infrastructure superior to that currently possessed by conservatives, the comparative advantage of progressives’ overall traffic lead will be significantly reduced.


Appendix II: Progressive and Conservative Netroots’ Advantages

Progressive Advantages: 1) Website investment. Progressive bloggers have been extremely innovative in developing and implementing website software that produces more flexible, interactive, attractive and powerful websites from which to run their blogs.

2) Intra-blog communities . Progressive blogs allow for greater interactivity with bloggers in their websites, including more comments, diaries, polls, requests for feedback, and chatting features that allow for the creation of communities within individual blogs.

3) Partisan. Progressive blogs are far more likely to identify with the Democratic Party than conservative bloggers are to identify with the Republican Party. This leads to greater contact between progressive bloggers and the Democratic Party than conservative bloggers have with the Republican Party. It also means more influence.

4) Activist. By every measure of political activism, progressive blog readers and bloggers are more politically active than their conservative counterparts. Progressive bloggers also engage in far more direct electoral activism than conservative bloggers, who engage in almost none.

5) Meritocracy . New progressive blogs are more likely to become “A-list” blogs than are new conservative blogs. Half of the highest trafficked progressive blogs were founded within the last sixteen months—eight of the ten most trafficked conservative blogs are over three years old. Also, the “recommended diary” feature on many progressive blogs allows the community to decide what posts receive more attention, rather than just the site managers.

Conservative Advantages:

1) Local focus. Conservative blogs are more likely to take a local focus than progressive blogs, and to create strong, local blog rings.

2) Integration with Republican message machine. Republican blogs are better able to influence stories in the mainstream media due to their near total integration with existing forms of conservative, alternative media and the Republican Noise Machine in general.

3) Inter-blog communities. Conservative blogs have a tendency to link to discussions on other blogs more often than progressive blogs.

4) Free media. Despite their smaller size, conservative blogs receive far more praise from established media outlets than their progressive counterparts. This includes more interviews and more airtime on “inside the blogs” segments. This is almost certainly related to their integration with the Republican Noise Machine.


I was a little confused by a certain phrase in your post. I would like you to clarify "desk full of work". It seemed to imply that this "desk full of work" was keeping you too busy from contributing on a regular basis. Certianly this "desk full of work" isn't at the place you call work, because you never seen to be working at work. So maybe you have a "desk full of work" at home, which in turn is keeping you too busy. However, most of your posts come during working hours, so I'm not sure why home commitments would keep you from posting. Please explain.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:01 AM  

Sorry, no time to reply. Work work work, you know.

By Blogger Jambo, at 1:02 PM  

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