The Co-opting Of Daily Kos?
Posted on 12.31.07 by Danny Glover @ 12:55 pm

From June 2005 through January 2008, I wrote a column and blog focused on the impact of blogs in politics, policy and media, particularly inside the Washington Beltway. This entry is reprinted from Beltway Blogroll at NationalJournal.com.

News that the readership of Daily Kos is declining prompted this explanation from Instapundit Glenn Reynolds: “Kos has been pretty thoroughly co-opted and become part of the Democratic establishment himself, which no doubt makes the site seem less fresh and interesting.”

I don’t entirely agree. It’s hard to argue that Kingpin Kos is part of the establishment when he regularly ridicules the leaders of the Democratic Party for a lack of backbone in fighting President Bush and the Republican congressional minority. Instead, he has helped create a new establishment, one whose leaders fashion themselves as outsiders bucking the system but who have gained influence within the system.

That said, Daily Kos is less fresh and interesting than in the past. But that’s because Kos hasn’t been as active there. He has stretched himself thin by taking on columns for establishment media outlets like Newsweek and The Hill. He’s also the father of two children as of April.

My take on the declining numbers at Daily Kos: The Kos brand is languishing because the blogger is the brand and the blogger has more than his blog to feed these days.

UPDATE: Kos has responded to all of the chatter about declining readership by posting monthly page views from July 2002 through this December. Unique visitors usually are the more telling statistic about Web traffic, however.

“Let me be the first to declare — once again — that yes, this site has jumped the shark, and did so years ago,” Kos added snarkily. “In fact, Bill O’Reilly put the final nail in the coffin this past August. So move along, there’s nothing left to see but rubble.”


Filed under: Beltway Blogroll and Blogging and Business
Comments: None

Brad Paisley: ‘Ticks’
Posted on 12.31.07 by Danny Glover @ 11:15 am

I can picture this happening in the hills of West Virginia, home to both superstar musician Brad Paisley and this lowly enlightened redneck who shares a name with a famous actor. Paisley was reared just up the Ohio River about a half-hour from my hometown.


Filed under: Redneck Music and Redneck Musical Interlude and Video
Comments: None

Oil Industry Gives Freebies To Bloggers
Posted on 12.29.07 by Danny Glover @ 8:37 am

From June 2005 through January 2008, I wrote a column and blog focused on the impact of blogs in politics, policy and media, particularly inside the Washington Beltway. This entry is reprinted from Beltway Blogroll at NationalJournal.com.

Presidential candidates like Republicans Mike Huckabee and John McCain have scored lots of points in the political blogosphere by holding fairly regular conference calls with bloggers, but politicians aren’t the only ones who have embraced the new media format.

Bisnow on Business reports in its e-mail newsletter about trade associations that Red Cavaney, CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, has been having regular chats with energy bloggers since spring.

The Edelman public relations firm, which has blog innovator Mike Krempasky of RedState on its executive staff, arranged the first event in the spring. “It was such a hit,” Bisnow reports, “that Red has been holding bi-weekly conferences with bloggers ever since.”

“He finds the blog sessions a relief from ordinary press conferences, which he likens to a ‘tennis match of sound bites’ between reporters and their subjects,” according to Bisnow. “The bloggers, according to Red, tend to be more interested in facts than zingers.”

The institute has reached more than 100 blogs via sessions that typically include 10 to 12 bloggers. API even gave two groups of bloggers tours of Gulf Coast oil rigs. Reuters had a report on those industry-funded trips in November, which came as Congress was debating an energy bill.

The rules imposed on bloggers, including Bruce McQuain of QandO and Ed Morrissey of Captain’s Quarters, were similar to those for free blogger trips to cover presidential forums hosted by the MySpace online social network, which Edelman also arranged. The end result was the same, too.

“The postings about Chevron and its facility were largely favorable,” Reuters noted, “although some commenters took the bloggers to task for accepting airfare and hotel from API, a fact they were required to disclose.”


Filed under: Beltway Blogroll and Blogging and Business and Media and News & Politics
Comments: None

Folks Do More Than Grow Corn In Iowa
Posted on 12.29.07 by Danny Glover @ 8:19 am

From June 2005 through January 2008, I wrote a column and blog focused on the impact of blogs in politics, policy and media, particularly inside the Washington Beltway. This entry is reprinted from Beltway Blogroll at NationalJournal.com.

They also blog about politics — and they’re doing a lot more of it, and getting a lot more attention for the work, in the final days before next week’s Iowa caucuses.

Sarah Lai Stirland, a former reporter of ours at Technology Daily, reports that one blog in particular garnered national coverage for its Republican “power rankings” that predicted early this month that Mike Huckabee will win the GOP nod in Iowa. The blog in question, the Iowa Independent, is part of the emerging liberal blog nework I’ve mentioned here lately.

From Sarah’s piece:

The bulk of the political commentariat’s attention on local media still revolves around state newspapers like The Des Moines Register. But local blogs have now risen to play a pivotal role in the squeaky-close 2008 primary season — courted by the presidential campaigns, and taking the pole position as vehicles for new negative stories or previously unvoiced viewpoints that can quickly grow into controversial national discussions.They include sites like the group blog Bleeding Heartland and Political Forecast, the personal blog of college student Chris Woods, a Democrat. And even veteran old-guard journalists say local blogs are having a national impact.

Ari Melber of The Huffington Post sees such developments as essential to the growth of the netroots. “Top national bloggers are increasingly reaching that critical mass — like Kos appearing on Sunday talk shows and writing a column for Newsweek. But to advance meaningful, decentralized ‘people power’ across the country, local blogs written by regular activists are equally vital, so this is an encouraging development.”


Filed under: Beltway Blogroll and Blogging and News & Politics
Comments: None

Suing The Pants Off Rich Rodriguez
Posted on 12.28.07 by Danny Glover @ 9:53 pm

WVU has sued cowardly ex-football coach Rich Rodriguez for breach of contract over his abrupt departure for the University of Michigan. Good for my alma mater.

An anonymous source told the Charleston Daily Mail that the university won’t blink in this battle with Richy Gotta Get Richer, and I sure hope they don’t.


Filed under: News & Politics and Sports and West Virginia
Comments: None

Ten Years Of Blogs
Posted on 12.24.07 by Danny Glover @ 9:01 am

National Public Radio marks the occasion with a weeklong series that so far includes a timeline and an essay by Andy Carvin, who is with NPR’s digital team and writes the Waste Of Bandwidth blog. There’s also an introductory audio segment.


Filed under: Beltway Blogroll and Blogging and Media
Comments: None

Forget Goodwill For The Online ‘Kook-a-boos’
Posted on 12.23.07 by Danny Glover @ 12:56 pm

From June 2005 through January 2008, I wrote a column and blog focused on the impact of blogs in politics, policy and media, particularly inside the Washington Beltway. This entry is reprinted from Beltway Blogroll at NationalJournal.com.

Nothing gets the curmudgeons of old media stirring like the holiday spirit. Without fail at this time every year, someone in the green-eyeshade gang decides to attack the blogs — and expose himself as a hypocrite in the process.

Add Stephen Trosley, the publisher of The Journal-Standard in Freeport, Ill., to Santa’s naughty list this year. He just penned a diatribe about the lack of “peace on earth, good will to mankind and all of that” in the newspaper’s piece of the blogosphere, and in the next breath showed his lack of good will toward the online world by talking about the “lunatic fringe,” verbal “snipers” and “kook-a-boos.”

It’s always mildly amusing to hear journalists chastise bloggers for name-calling even as they engage in the practice themselves. Here are some excerpts:

The users of the blog … were said to be so empowered by the freedom and power of this communications tool that they would naturally be accountable and responsible. Yeah, right. …Unfortunately, blogs not only attract the legitimate, well-intentioned citizen with an opinion or atypical knowledge to share. They also attract the lunatic fringe, like bees to honey.

Funny thing, Mr. Trosley, that holds true for journalism, too. Every profession, just like the citizenry at large, has its lunatic fringe — but I’m sure you know that already.

If your newspaper’s blog isn’t working out exactly as you had hoped, if you think you can implement better tools to make the conversation more civil, by all means give it a try. But cut the kook-a-boo chatter. It puts you in the same camp as the very people you malign.


Filed under: Beltway Blogroll and Blogging and Media
Comments: None

Why We Home-School, Lesson #1
Posted on 12.21.07 by Danny Glover @ 8:02 pm

Because educators think the public schools are a place to teach children the ways of breaking the law — and their bosses think that qualifies as “learning incredible things.”


Filed under: Home Schooling and Why We Home-School
Comments: None

Those Boring Candidate Blogs
Posted on 12.20.07 by Danny Glover @ 12:15 pm

From June 2005 through January 2008, I wrote a column and blog focused on the impact of blogs in politics, policy and media, particularly inside the Washington Beltway. This entry is reprinted from Beltway Blogroll at NationalJournal.com.

I’m not sure why Josh Levy of techPresident felt compelled to do a technological study in order to state the obvious. But now we all know semi-scientifically what we’ve known in our hearts since politicians discovered blogs: Few people read candidate blogs because they are so boring!

“Overall, we’re struck by how few subscribers campaign blogs have registered,” Levy said. “It’s another sign of a problem we’ve already pointed out: In Campaign 2008, blogs are not where it’s at.”

That’s one reason why I long ago (early in 2006) abandoned my flirtation with tracking candidate blogs.


Filed under: Beltway Blogroll and Blogging and News & Politics
Comments: None

Dirty Political Tricks On The Web
Posted on 12.20.07 by Danny Glover @ 11:58 am

From June 2005 through January 2008, I wrote a column and blog focused on the impact of blogs in politics, policy and media, particularly inside the Washington Beltway. This entry is reprinted from Beltway Blogroll at NationalJournal.com.

Micah Sifry at techPresident calls attention to one that has garnered some attention this week, including from Andrew Sullivan at The Atlantic.

The tactic: Register an unflattering Internet address and point it to a Web site you don’t own in order to make a candidate you don’t like look bad. The specific episode currently being discussed involves domain names like BarackOsama2008.org being pointed to the same Internet protocol address that hosts HillaryClinton.com.

The take-away from the controversy is this, according to Sifry: “Thanks to the Internet, there are all kinds of new games campaigns can play on each other now, and given the pressure to be first with a story, all kinds of new dangers that a misunderstanding about how the Web works will turn into a serious political story.”

Political reporters (and bloggers) beware; don’t be fooled by stories that sound too sensational to be true.


Filed under: Beltway Blogroll and Blogging and News & Politics
Comments: None

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