The Emergence of the Progressive Blogosphere

It is not a secret that there is a lot of friction between the progressive netroots and many parts of the Democratic party establishment, much of which has been expressed most virulently in the days since Paul Hackett was narrowly defeated in the OH-02. In the interest of trying to foster better communication between our new, netroots constituency and our existing political class, along with the New Politics Institute, Matt Stoller and I have drafted a summary report about the political blogosphere. My hopes are that it will allow progressives who are currently not familiar with the netroots to begin to better understand what is taking place in the online political world. From that point, I hope we can begin to talk to one another in a far more productive fashion.

The report includes all of the following:

  • Background on the political impact of blogs
  • The role of right-wing blogs within the Republican Noise Machine
  • The emergence of new online progressive constituencies
  • A discussion of early conservative netroots dominance
  • A discussion on the rise of the progressive netroots
  • A look into conservative "blog sprawl"
  • A guide for Democratic campaigns to better connect with the netroots
  • A summary of the competitive advantages of the left and right-wing blogospheres
  • A comprehensive listing of the 100 most trafficked progressive blogs and netroots sites, sorted by traffic
  • A companion listing of the 129 conservative blogs and netroots sites with traffic equal to or greater than the 100th ranked liberal blog
The traffic rankings are, by the way, the most comprehensive rankings I, or I believe anyone else, have ever performed. It combines the Blogads and Site Meter rankings--very, very few blogs have been left out. I completed it yesterday, so it is fairly up to date. Of course, these rankings always change quickly, especially in the middle and lower tiers, but it should serve as a useful snapshot.

Check it out. Let me know what you think. We can't work together if we can't talk to each other. We can't talk to each other if we aren't speaking the same language. Hopefully this will help get the ball rolling.

Update: Just got an email from Democratic Underground. Turns out their weekly page views are actually around 7,000,000--bigger than Dailykos. Holy Crap. Much bigger than I thought. I wonder what Free Republic is.

Tags: Blogosphere (all tags)

Comments

69 Comments

ok
i read it (what can i say i am a fast read).  i thought it was succint and written in an inside the beltway tone that should help with readership.  with this one the number of readers is not nearly as imporant as who they are.  little ole me reading it does not mean nearly as much as a campaign manager out there who would actually make the decision to hire a netroots outreach director.

the greatest lesson i took out of it was that we need to do a better job encouraging the medium/smaller blogs.  our successes have come from the larger ones grabbing on to something and not letting go.  but we have yet to tap to even close to its potential the more local blogs.  even i am guilty of that on my own personal blog.  i only link to the big guys and rarely seek out the smaller ones to get my information from.

hey Chris, should there be traffic in the Appendix IV for traffic on the Dem Institution blogs?  looks like an empty column to me.

by juls 2005-08-10 10:27AM | 0 recs
Re: ok
We're working on the traffic numbers for the Dem instituions--problem is that right now there are not available. There are going to be some small errors like that that we will clear up as time goes on. I do know that Think Progress is at arond 315,000 page views per week. We'll fill in the small things like that.
by Chris Bowers 2005-08-10 10:30AM | 0 recs
Re: ok
cool was just wondering.  i figured they would keep those numbers closely held.  its the independent guys who have nothing to lose by showing their small or large numbers that leave their sitemeter stats accessible.
by juls 2005-08-10 10:40AM | 0 recs
Minamyer'd
One of the biggest victories of the Ohio 2nd from a blogging perspective was the one-two punch that the combination of local and national blogs dealt over the whole Shiftboating of Hackett move done by Eric Minamyer.

I'd been keeping a close eye on what Minamyer had been blogging since the primary even going to the point of encouraging him to blog more when he dropped off after the primary. (Promoting what in poker terms is called action.)

Eric Minamyer had been sliming Hackett for a few days when Crazy Cat Women came out swinging. (I had actually been working on a draft countering him when I saw her post and her words were so much more powerful that it made the whole thing much stronger.) Since I had been following  Minamyer since the primary I was able to tie his actions back to Schmidt.

This initial posts were all fine and dandy, but the real knockout punch was when Tim Tigaris wrote a diary of it over @ Kos. Soon Eric Minamyer was a national figure being followed by camera crews and the firestorm transferred over to his blog. Now to pull a Minamyer is to do an underhanded attack against someone that blows up in your face.

The funny thing was that this was all done without any coordination by anyone. You just hit on a right note and watch it echo. Soon it wasn't long before we had any blog or even radio station who wanted to carry on the theme backtracking. I never actually documented this on my site, because it was all getting to be too much, but after everyone started unleashing you could hear a marked changed in the way they talked about Hackett.

In the end we shut down one of Rove's most effective attack methods and raised a quarter of a million dollars to boot.

I don't think that it would have had the same impact if we hadn't done the leg work of following every candidate, including the Republicans, through the primary. I also don't think that it would have had the same impact if I just went and cross posted it everywhere as some kind of traffic whore. Reputation is everything online and so when a Tim Tagaris or an Atrios adds their weight to it the power is a sight to behold. On election day when the Rush thing hit it was so much that it forced my web host to shut down my site.

Right now I think that the political locals are still working on getting their sea legs. I think that this was a good example of what kind of impact they can have. Take the time. Know your opposition. Suck in as much information as you can even if you don't see what value it has. Don't try to compete with the nationals. Bring the on the ground kind of value to the table that they can't provide. Be patient before you fire and then sit back and enjoy when you hit your mark.

Editor
http://blog.oh02.com

by ignatzmouse 2005-08-10 11:20AM | 0 recs
Excellent work
I know for a fact that the people down at Hackett's office mentioned blog.oh02.com as a significant contribution to his campaign.
I wanted to mention as for your work on Minamyer, it reminds me of the internet colaborations of Linux, Apache, Mozilla, Wilki's and so much more.  When, as you mentioned, there is no coordinator, instead of everything going to hell.  The opposite happens, the important stuff gets trackbacked or reposted on new blogs, while the irrelevant stuff just stays put.  Thanks again for all your work down in OH.
by Pitin 2005-08-10 02:37PM | 0 recs
Excellent Report
Just read it quickly, but it seems spot on.  Will read it more carefully later.

Does it make sense to compare traffic at a Daily Kos and MyDD style site and other standalone blogs?  DK and MyDD have a lot of self generated traffic to individual diaries, which could be considered separate blogs.

by nathan 2005-08-10 10:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Excellent Report
Ah yes, but that is one of the reasons why Scoop is such a pwoerful blog tool. The Agonist about tripled in traffic when they switched to Scoop. Booman Tribune had a quick rise to promience beacuse of it. Scoop is almost like a Von Newman device.

Of course, most conservatives wouldn't be caught dead using it because we already do. This plays to our advantage.

by Chris Bowers 2005-08-10 10:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Excellent Report
Is there a way to determine the number of unique users/readers?  Part of why Kos's page visits are so high is because each user is reading multiple stories, posting comments on them and coming back to see who responded.  It's not like there are 3M unique people each week who come to visit.
by Adam B 2005-08-10 11:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Excellent Report
Its difficult, because Blogads only uses pageviews, not unique vists. A lot of the blogs on Blogads are not on Site Meter, so I can't use that for everything either.

It's tricky to determien traffic precisely, and there are a lot of competeting measurements out there. I wish there was a more accepted, standrad metric, taht measured every blog and was automated, but there isn't. I hope that changes soon, however, because buildign that list was backbreaking.

by Chris Bowers 2005-08-10 12:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Excellent Report
Yeah, I have been considering doing a Scoop site myself.  It is powerful.

But my question relates to the difference between a blog and a Scoop site.

Scoop creates a community of individual blogs as opposed to being one blog.  MyDD is not really one blog, but a parent blog and a lot of baby blogs (diaries).  So is Kos.

It's not the same because there is no thematic or political connection, but Blogger.com is also a collection of blogs but we don't lump Eschaton in with other liberal blogger blogs.

Now, Kos is a destination whenever anything happens and is obviously the biggest thing out there.  But as a percentage of hits (since we can't get to unique visitors) its importance is inflated because many hits come directly into a baby blog/diary and not to the parent blog.

So my question is if blog aggregation sites like Kos and MyDD -- and these sites are awesome and I love them -- should be considered in the same category as mono-blogs like Eschaton and The Carpetbagger Report.

by nathan 2005-08-10 01:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Excellent Report
Another quick thought on this, and I am not sure where I come out on it.

Daschle v. Thune had enormous impact on the country because it was very effective in spinning the anti-Daschle messages out there.  However, it probably got dramatically fewer hits than Kos or Atrios.

Is measuring importance in hits when talking about the ability to create and spread a message the best way to go?

I understand it's the best measure for now, but is there a way we can measure the effectiveness as well as the mass popularity?

For instance, how many stories in traditional print/web media are driven by a blog.  Or how many mentions it gets on cable news per how many viewers the cable news network has.

by nathan 2005-08-11 06:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Excellent Report
quick scan...there's a mistake in the HTML version in the bolded text in the third sentence. It should say "memo is" but it actually says "memois". Kind of silly, but it should be easy to fix.
by rwiedower 2005-08-10 12:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Excellent Report
Now that I've read the whole report, I think it's definitely well crafted. The disctinction between local and regional blogs is one that I haven't paid much attention to before.

One question that raises is this: is it more important to have official candidate blogs in local races or to have local people who cover local politics? I've found that many candidate blogs tend to be somewhat less community oriented, but if Democrats as a party demanded that everyone running for office setup a blog, perhaps that could change.

At the same time, encouraging bloggers to focus on local races seems like a great idea, but one that would be difficult to put into practice. How could any large thinktank/non-profit encourage local users to start political blogs?

So I'm back to where I started, namely, the efficacy of focusing on campaigns versus focusing on local activists. I'm not sure which would be better.

by rwiedower 2005-08-10 12:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Excellent Report
You need both campaigns and local activists.

With Blue 7th PAC in NJ7 we are trying to create the local activists and support the campaign at the same time.

None of us can do this alone.  To win we need people who vote and do nothing else, people who read the news, people who talk to neighbors, people who hand out literature, people who donate, people who make web sites, people to run, people to manage campaigns, people to manage legal and finance issues, people to do grassroots and netroots activism, people to obsess on minute policy issues, single issue activist, big picture activists, etc.

The only way we can win is to recognize that no one style or strategy is the right one.  It is only when each of these areas are combined that we can take down an incumbent in a tough district.

by nathan 2005-08-10 01:12PM | 0 recs
Q: Election Targeted States
Are election targeted states selected by GOP to cover why they are sending in funds, troops, and criminals into a selected targeted state for a specific election?

In question is how many targeted states have been selected by the GOP and in which elctions? What were the results?

Florida and Ohio were each targeted and each had massive fraud committed by the GOP criminals. Are there others?

Is the public announcements by GOP about a state being targeted just a cover for their criminal activities? Is it a signal for the dirty tricks and criminals to move into that state operations?

Can anybody look inot this in more detail?

by EasyRider 2005-08-10 10:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Q: Election Targeted States
What are you talking about? This seems completely off topic.
by Chris Bowers 2005-08-10 10:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Q: Election Targeted States
Yes, it is off topic. But bloggers may be able to to find the answers better than a News Reporter who has other priorities.

Maybe a new thread on this subject could be created. If I can create it then explain how I do it since I am new to site.

Thanks for commenting.

by EasyRider 2005-08-10 11:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Q: Election Targeted States
You start a diary. You might have noticed them on the right side of the page. Don't just jump into a place, ifnore all its rules and manners, and demand that your topic be heard without even paying attention to hwo you can make that happen.
by Chris Bowers 2005-08-10 11:19AM | 0 recs
The two big blogs
Daily Kos and the Free Republic

I think there are more "smaller" conservative blogs because FR has been around longer. Although it is the largest, the Free Republic does not share the views of most conservatives.  Redstate and Powerline are "inventions" to try to put on a more "diplomatic" face to the conservative online community.

Beacuse it has been aroung longer that has been more time to "splinter-off" of Free Republic. I am sure that many of the more established smaller conservative blogs creators were once members of free republic. The key here is that the freerepublic has created a momentum and a presence on the net that keeps the  hits "up".

I think it is a HUGE mistake to corrallate number of the hits with ideology. I think the most accurate you can get is one blog is conservative and the other is "progressive".

Why this is a mistake because as for DailyKos... I think Kos and Armando are absolute rubbish but there are still some very good diarist that I like to read and I still visit every day. It is like tolerating Brooks and Kristof in the New York Times just so you can read Thomas Friedman, Bob Herbert, Frank Rich and Paul Krugman.

Also, because of the large readership there is a "common" knowledgebase with others in the blogosphere... for example most people know about the "Pie Wars"... and everyone has read or heard of Kos's latest rant on NARAL... that does not mean that every shares his stupid ideology... just that the majority in the progressive blogoshpere has heard about it. I have read several smaller blogs that disagree completly.

Why is this important, because I think there is a corralation between discontent with dailyKos and the sprouting of smaller blogs on the progressive side because ...

Kos just doesn't "do it" for everyone anymore. There used to be a real communal feeling during the elections that you just had to camp out on Daily Kos to get "the news"... now that they fucked that up... people are much more willing to venture outside it's borders.

There was a time that I could get all my news from Kos... not anymore... and the range of blogs I am reading now are much more diverse than I read before. I see more and more blogs popping up and more importantly more and more people READING them. Before, if you weren't diarying on Kos no one would read you... at least I didn't.

One of the BIG MISTAKES I see happening is that the "forces that be" are mistaking Kos's larger readership as a corralation that people "agree" with Kos's ideology... I think that is a false assumption particularly in light of recent bannings and pummelings from the "help"... people are just not speaking up.

Forcing ideologies down the throats of the DKos readership will be it's downfall if he does not take care. The only thing he can be certain of at this time is that his readers are "progressive" Kos is swinging in the dark if he wants to push his readership into some narrowly defined ideology defined by a "think tank". He ain't that good.

Certainly DK hits spiked during that lastest NARAL rant but I am sure half of the people "tuned in" to see Kos make a fool of himself. So do not assume that hits equal agreement of ideology... I sometimes even look in at the Zoo on Free Republic. Like I said even the NYT has Kristof and Krugman in the same rag... it is only the wingnut noise machine that has "made" the NYTs "librul" newspaper...

However, this "tightening of controls and command" on Daily Kos has had a net positive effect of more blogs "splintering off".

by Parker 2005-08-10 10:52AM | 0 recs
Re: The two big blogs
So, you are the ultimate arbiter of what it means to be progressive? You seem to have just booted Kos and Armando from that category, and then gone on to complain that they are tightening the controls.

"Progressive" is a braod term, not the narrow one you ahve adopted. And BTW, Kos's share of progressive blog traffic has actually increased dramatically recently, not decreased.

by Chris Bowers 2005-08-10 11:04AM | 0 recs
Re: The two big blogs
"You seem to have just booted Kos and Armando from that category"

The only thing he can be certain of at this time is that his readers are "progressive"

"Progressive" is a braod term, not the narrow one you ahve adopted"

I think the most accurate you can get is one blog is conservative and the other is "progressive".

"And BTW, Kos's share of progressive blog traffic has actually increased dramatically recently, not decreased."

Certainly DK hits spiked during that lastest NARAL rant

I never said they decreased...

by Parker 2005-08-10 11:22AM | 0 recs
VIRTUAL PANTIES COMING AT Y'ALL!
I had no idea you guys were working on this. My bloomers are yours, verily.

I have to read the whole thing and will come back to it, but what I have scanned so far reads really well.

SMOOCHIEROOS,
liza

by liza 2005-08-10 11:16AM | 0 recs
Uh
"very, very few blogs have been left out"

Ahem!

by davej 2005-08-10 11:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Uh
Sorry man--Seeing the Forest came in at around 103rd in the liberal rankings. Just missed.
by Chris Bowers 2005-08-10 11:20AM | 0 recs
who's who
Um, this is just a random thought, but after I finished reading the PDF, I was thinking, perhaps it might be a good idea to have a kind of "who's who" list of blogs and other sites that would be of interest for newbies to the politics-on-the-net scene...  For example, is there a Democratic version of the Sludge- er Drudge Report?  I'm sure active bloggers would know, but newbies wouldn't...
by tive 2005-08-10 11:28AM | 0 recs
Re: who's who
I consider The Agonist to be my liberal equivilent to Drudge.  I've been reading them since the start of the Iraq War and I've only grown more and more impressed with their coverage.
by crimsonc 2005-08-10 12:06PM | 0 recs
Re: who's who
Raw Story is a pretty good alternative to the d-man. They seem to get a lot of good scoops.
by Ga6thDem 2005-08-10 03:16PM | 0 recs
local blogs linking to this report
is there any effort towards this?

Good stuff. How do we get the snowball rolling faster?

I'm not a blogger, just a visitor to blogs who is interested in seeing them become a more cooperative and powerful force. Did NPI pressrelease this out to the blogs?

by gina 2005-08-10 11:45AM | 0 recs
Re: local blogs linking to this report
They sent out an email to their list, held a press conference, and also gave it to a bunch of blogs. Hopefully it will generate some buzz on the local scenes too.
by Chris Bowers 2005-08-10 12:25PM | 0 recs
Re: local blogs linking to this report
I asked because I was chatting with a buddy and said, hey, I didn't know you were a top 100 progressive blog...

She didn't know either :)

So I posted a diary at DailyKos hoping some local-type bloggers would catch it.

Organizing the progressive blogosphere is important stuff.

by gina 2005-08-10 01:04PM | 0 recs
Re: local blogs linking to this report
ok...duh...its on the front page of dailykos...how did I miss that?

deleting diary

by gina 2005-08-10 01:06PM | 0 recs
Well put
Just finished a quick scan. This seems like a significant contribution, and I believe we all owe you a debt of gratitude on this. Some of what I read recalled some of the pack/hive discussion between PublicOrgTheory and All Spin Zone a few months back. Thank you for putting in so much work, doing such great research, and furthering the dialogue.
by JLo 2005-08-10 11:45AM | 0 recs
I don't even particularly like kos, but...
you guys going off on him with all the smug self-satisfied arrogance you can muster has finally convinced me to quit voting altogether.  

You will need to get someone else to recover my predictably progressive vote in a red state, so you are down one right now, guys.

Actually, I am amazed that I was finally able to be pushed over the edge by someone's arrogance.

But I've had it with you for good.

by Nash 2005-08-10 11:48AM | 0 recs
Re: I don't even particularly like kos, but...
If you can't stomach "smug, self-satisfied arrogance," maybe you should try my own brand of insecure, self-critical, but nonetheless maniacal arrogance.

I obsoletely despise kos, and think Markos should just come clean and merge with Red State. The bastard lets people get banned for opposing the cybervoting pogrom.

Are you really going to protest the smugness of some nameless blogger by not voting? (For my part, I plan to just start eating meat again.) (Maybe I will also start a blog for schmucks like me who've been renditioned from dailykos for things like opposition to cybervoting.)

by blues 2005-08-10 03:05PM | 0 recs
Re: I don't even particularly like kos, but...
I hope we will see you in Richmond on August 22 before the Commission on Voting Machines.
by Alice Marshall 2005-08-10 04:09PM | 0 recs
Re: I don't even particularly like kos, but...
I agree there is too much labeling going on. We need to take issues on, not eachother. the folks with the best plac to face the issues should be given the nod. It's simple.
by goplies 2005-08-10 04:13PM | 0 recs
Re: I don't even particularly like kos, but...
"Are you really going to protest the smugness of some nameless blogger by not voting?"

As a matter of fact, yes.  I've got to punish this type of condescending crap somehow and it's the only form of rejection left to me.  I've watched these guys do this for several years now and I'm finally over-the-top weary with it.  I'm going to make it cost them.  One vote, not much, but it's mine not to cast.

by Nash 2005-08-10 04:54PM | 0 recs
Re: I don't even particularly like kos, but...

If I was an outlaw biker, I would just start a blog for progressive outlaw bikers. As it is, I might start one for low-down, rat-pack progressives like me. So vote early and often. And kiss my scabrous butt, chumps!!!
by blues 2005-08-11 12:45AM | 0 recs
Playing to the middle
Excellent report

One thing that I'd like to see more discussion on is the tone of different blogs.

Most of the blogs have a very stark partisan tone to them that preaches to the choir at the same time as it turns off opponents. They end up creating this virtual war that has no relationship to how most people see things. While I think that there is nothing wrong with that, since it energizes the base, I do think that we need to acknowledge that it is what it is.

I think that there's a lot of room in the blogosphere for sites that work on reaching out to people including Republicans. That's been one of the goals of my site. Calling Bush a stupid, out of touch idiot may get you lots of hits but it doesn't help you in convincing Republicans to vote with you.

by ignatzmouse 2005-08-10 11:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Playing to the middle
I guess I really don't think of blogs as a means to change minds. Instead, I look at them as a way to make inactive people who agree with you more active, as well as changing the political discourse locally and nationally.

I mean, Limbaugh preaches to the choir too. Its not everyone's job to talk to the swing, but we can raise resources so that we have more to talk to the swing with.

by Chris Bowers 2005-08-10 12:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Playing to the middle
Blogs are collections of words combined to form ideas. Why should they be any less capable of changing minds than anything else?
by ignatzmouse 2005-08-10 12:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Playing to the middle
For what it's worth, when my tiny blog is political, the point is usually either to make a case that captures the interest of moderates or to provoke a dialogue that strengthens a liberal position. Them's the aims, anyway.
by JLo 2005-08-10 01:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Playing to the middle
thats because you're biased to an identity view that kos sells and you still haven't checked the price tag.

look more carefully.

by turnerbroadcasting 2005-08-10 01:27PM | 0 recs
The Middle Reads the NY Times
  I have to agree with Chris on this one.  The only people that I beleive would be interested in reading blogs on a semi-regular or daily bases would strong partisans (active or not) or political junkies.  I would assume that political junkies have at some point in the past already made a decision as to what party they like.

I consider blogs almost like a 21st century Party Convention.  No more real intra-party discussions happen at the conventions, but they sure do here.  Especially now that John Lapp is posting diaries and responding to comments.  He can scan MyDD for 20-30 minutes and get an idea of what the progressive side of the Party is thinking.

by Pitin 2005-08-10 03:00PM | 0 recs
Re: The Middle Reads the NY Times
That sounds like a self-fulfilling prophecy to me.

Only partisans read blogs, therefor only speak to partisans, therefor only partisans read blogs.

The fact that we are targetting our voice only to a small minority of people seems like a huge tactical mistake to me.

by ignatzmouse 2005-08-10 10:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Playing to the middle
We're using Dump Mike Ferguson to change minds and to encourage like-minded folks to get active.

By the way, thanks for including Dump Mike in the report!  We're flattered.

by nathan 2005-08-10 04:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Playing to the middle
I tend to agree with Chris on this, as well.  Our tiny, Blog for Democracy, in Georgia is meant to activate and inform the inactive and uniformed.  

After reading your incredible report, Chris, I see some areas where we might be wise to expand.  Thanks for the information.  I've linked to the report from Blog for Democracy.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we know - Georgia ain't turning blue anytime soon.  But we'll keep plugging away.

by CatherineAtlanta 2005-08-10 05:22PM | 0 recs
Page Views Aren't a Good Metric
Just got an email from Democratic Underground. Turns out their weekly page views are actually around 7,000,000--bigger than Dailykos. Holy Crap. Much bigger than I thought.

It's really not a reasonable comparison, though.  DU is primarily a discussion forum, whereas DK is primarily a blog.  Consequently, the average DU user generates a great many more page views than the average DK user.  That's because they're simply different types of websites.

Also, the user interface of DK leads it to have lower page views than DU.  DK has things like DHTML comment nesting, meaning that I can browse around several hundred posts and dozens of threads attached to a single story, all as one "page view."  Doing this on DU would require dozens of page views.

I'm not saying that one approach is better than the other, just that "page views" aren't a great metric.  In general, less page views makes for lower server load -- DK's work to reduce their server load via reducing page views has depressed their figures.  If DU has any such concerns, I'm not familiar with them.

by Waldo Jaquith 2005-08-10 11:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Page Views Aren't a Good Metric
Measuring site traffic is not an exact science. I did the best I could. I had to use page views because thats wahat Blogads uses, and it is something site meter offers. It really was my only choice if I wanted to offer a real comparison between sites.

It should be easier in the future when this stuff is done using better systems and, most importantly for someone like me, done automatically and updated regularly. Until then...

by Chris Bowers 2005-08-10 12:21PM | 0 recs
Understood
I don't mean to say that it's not adequate for your purposes.  As you say, it's the standard metric for traffic measurement.  (I prefer "unique visitors," but that's not much better.  Unique in what period?  How do you handle proxy users?  AOL users?)  Instead, what I mean is that vast apparent traffic differences between sites like DU and DK may not reflect an actual difference in the usage levels that each site receive.  While the use of page views is just fine for looking at broad trends, as you've done, it's a mistake to use them to compare just two sites and draw any conclusions.
by Waldo Jaquith 2005-08-10 12:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Understood
I'd agree. You can use them to compare broad trends, but on the specific level, its much trickier.
by Chris Bowers 2005-08-10 12:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Page Views Aren't a Good Metric
HTTP 1.1 uses session information. Check the log and time the sessions. Then you will remove the effect page views has against sessions. One session, several page views. One user, not 5.
by turnerbroadcasting 2005-08-10 01:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Page Views Aren't a Good Metric
This is true but this is what we have right now. Mary Hodder though is looking for volunteers and funding in order to create a new metrics; not just linked based but involving taxonomies and whole host of other variables that are not taken into account by companies like Technorati --and where she worked as a mathematician.

http://napsterization.org/stories/archives/000513.html

by liza 2005-08-10 12:24PM | 0 recs
Type of web site
I suppose it is too late to change common usage, but I think a useful distinction could be made between an interactive and a non-interactive web site.

Both may be blogs in the sense that they post frequent, short, essays by one or a limited group of authors. From a political action point of view, however, they can serve different functions.

If a site is just an online mechanism for the posting of essays it is more like a magazine than a truly web-based service. It can serve the purpose of re-energizing the readers and help get talking points across, but that is the limit.

A site that permits a dialog (like this one) should really be called an online forum. Not only can it perform the same functions as above, but it also allows for more participation and the generation of new ideas from the public at large.

There is nothing better than getting people involved in a continuing dialog to keep their interest up. That's why face-to-face canvassing at election time is so effective. Just the fact that someone is listening to the voter has a postitive effect on their choice of candidate.

Many of the conservative sites fall into the first category and it is my guess that they are less effective because of it. Some other measure might be needed besides page hits to gauge this, however.

I think lefty sites should continue with the forum model. See the transition from Talking Points Memo to TPMCafe as an example.

by rdf 2005-08-10 12:34PM | 0 recs
Congratulations, Chris.
Nicely done.

(BTW, if you wanted details about The Sideshow, all ya had to do is ask.)

by Avedon 2005-08-10 01:01PM | 0 recs
Comments on the report about comments
This is a blog post about a blog post
about blog posting.
by turnerbroadcasting 2005-08-10 01:18PM | 0 recs
Well done
and one quick note of shameless self-promotion, The Virginia Democratic Bloggers have shown how small local blogs can build online communities.
by Alice Marshall 2005-08-10 01:52PM | 0 recs
Nice work Chris
I'll be forwarding the PDF on to the campaigns I work on.

One thing I'd ask you to change. You use the term "blogosphere" without capitalizing it. I think we've arrived enough to have the right to be as capitalized as "Internet."

Once again, great work Chris and Matt. See what happens when a hard working guy gets a laptop?

by michael in chicago 2005-08-10 03:03PM | 0 recs
Forums have an advantage over blogs
Forums have an advantage over blogs when it comes to indexing on search engines. Forums that last are a rare thing. So ones that do end up taking over adn filling up the rankings rather easily. In one day out forum, http://politicalswitchboard went from having around 400 links to it on google to having over 6,750 links. Makes one wonder what will happen when we really get big!
by goplies 2005-08-10 03:49PM | 0 recs
our*
by goplies 2005-08-10 03:50PM | 0 recs
typing too fast or brain too slow?
sorry, URL should be http://politicalswitchboard.com/
by goplies 2005-08-10 03:57PM | 0 recs
Democratic Underground kicks ass.
Much more united and inclusive environment than you find typically at blogs. I don't consider DU a blog, but rather a discussion forum. I'm not surprised at all they have greater traffic than dkos.
by Vote Hillary 2008 2005-08-10 04:38PM | 0 recs
Sweet Report
On Monday I'm starting a new job as the "Outreach Director/Netroots guy" for a Virginia House race.  You can bet your sweet ass that all my staffers are gonna be reading this report.  Thanks again Chris.
by Pitin 2005-08-10 04:51PM | 0 recs
Intel-Dump
Why the hell is Intel-Dump on the conservative side? It most definitely is not...
by Alex Urevick 2005-08-10 06:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Intel-Dump
Just look at all the "conservative" feature articles on the left side of the blog at Intel-Dump:

"The Quiet Man"
The New York Times, July 6, 2005

"War by Video Conference"
The Washington Monthly, July/August 2005

"What is Torture?"
Slate, May 26, 2005

"Legal Combat"
Slate, Apr. 4, 2005

"The Case for the Draft"
The Washington Monthly, Mar. 2005

"How the Front Lines Came to the Rear"
The New York Times, Dec. 12, 2004

"The Crucible"
The Washington Monthly, July/Aug. 2004

That Phil Carter must  be the most rabid right wing writers at The Washington Monthly, The Road to Abu Ghraib:The biggest scandal of the Bush administration began at the top

by Gary Boatwright 2005-08-10 06:37PM | 0 recs
What Criteria?
What criteria could Chris and Stoller be using that would possibly put Phil Carter on the conservative side of things?

Also, take a look in the comments section- it certainly is not a very welcoming place for right-wingers...

by Alex Urevick 2005-08-11 04:42AM | 0 recs
Re: What Criteria?
Appears I made a mistake. I did most of this by looking at blogrolls. I saw that Intel Dump included around twenty or thirty blogs that I knew were right-wing, saw only a handful of blogs that I knew were left wing, so I included them in the conservativ side.
by Chris Bowers 2005-08-11 05:44AM | 0 recs
Re: What Criteria?
Cool. Phil is definitely well respected amongst a good amount of conservatives, I would guess mostly due to the fact that he's in the Army (was reserves and has just been called to active duty to go to Iraq). But he's almost certainly not conservative himself, although I've never read him write about domestic policy, outside of terrorism, all that much...
by Alex Urevick 2005-08-11 06:25AM | 0 recs
Progressive Blogosphere emergence
The Emergence of the Progressive Blogosphere," is definately a  groundbreaking study of this crucial type of Internet activism.
Our bloging conmunity is a prime example of what this study is all about. Any  willing to share their thoughts on the future of this important medium?
by Darker 2005-11-02 09:40AM | 0 recs

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