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Archive for August, 2004

The way they were…

by henrycopeland
Tuesday, August 31st, 2004

Google.com circa 1997. (Via NewYorkish.) Amazing how consistent and simple Google.com has been.

Check out how badly New Yorkers and GOP delegates misperceive NY’s demographics. New Yorkers think 35% of their fellow citizens are on welfare. GOPers think its 24%. The reality is 6%. Similarly, New Yorkers think 20% of their peers are millionaires. GOPers think that 13% of Gothamists are Seven-figured. The reality? Less than 1%.

In general, do survey respondents usually assume the curve’s tails are much fatter?

More blog triumphalism

by henrycopeland
Tuesday, August 31st, 2004

And a blog has apparently outed Ed Schrock, from the closet and Congress.

Update: The Hill credits investigative blogger Mike Rogers for the scoop.

Podhoretz credits bloggers for Swiftie assist?

by henrycopeland
Monday, August 30th, 2004

John Podhoretz of the NYPost appears to credit blogs for keeping the Swiftboat arguments alive. Is that accurate?

The last two years in particular have seen the explosion of a new medium ‘ the personal Internet newspaper, or blog ‘ that has already and will forever change the way people get their information.

This is a thrilling development ‘ unless you are a mainstream-media Big Fish.

The success of the Swift-boat vets’ ads is the tale of the triumph of the nation’s alternative media. The mainstreamers didn’t want to touch the story with a 10-foot pole, and they didn’t. But the alternative media did. Amateur reporters and fact-gatherers offered independent substantiation for some of the charges. It turned out the criticisms of the Swifties weren’t quite so easily dismissed.

Nearly two years ago, Podhoretz was one of the first print columnists to credit bloggers with toppling Trent Lott.

Speaking of media coverage of blogs, here is Donna Howell’s new blog-centric overview of overview of online politics in Investor’s Business Daily.

(Thank you Jeff for the insta-copy-editing… faster even than my Mom!)

Update: WSJ publishes Glenn Reynold’s commentary onthe blogosphere’s roll in disputing Kerry’s memories of fighting in Cambodia: “the new media were enough to neutralize the media advantage that Kerry’s strategy was built around. And that’s quite a feat: Unlike the blogosphere’s role in toppling Trent Lott, the Cambodia revelations happened not in the face of big media laziness, but in the face of active big-media opposition.”

Starbucks and change

by henrycopeland
Friday, August 27th, 2004

Jim Romenesko, one of the inventors of the blogging idiom with his www.obscurestore.com, recently started blogging about Starbucks. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and sit back and enjoy the opinion roller-coaster ride he launches with this post about tipping.

Republican convention advertising

by henrycopeland
Friday, August 27th, 2004

Buy ads from bloggers inside the R-convention here.

Buy ads from bloggers in the streets outside the R-convention here.

I know I’m missing people — drop me a line and let me know who.

BTW, having won my bet that bloggers would underperform orbital expectations in Boston, my bet is that we’re going to get some extraordinary, perhaps even fantastic, blogger reports from the trenches this time, particularly from the bloggers outside the convention. Bloggers do better outside the box, seeing angles and shadows those inside the glareful fishbowl can’t. Watch for Jerome Armstrong to get drunk with a Georgia delegate at the Old Towne Bar or for Karl Rove to trade barbs with Taegan Goddard and Jeralyn Merritt on the subway.

BTW, here’s Russell Shaw’s round up of D-convention blog advertising and R-convention blog adveritising.

Finally, note there’s a whole phalanx of blogads set to launch this weekend… ten, I think, spread across different packages of blogs. Although I see the prestige value to advertising during the convention, I’d be advertising next week — traffic post D-convention was higher than during, and September, given recent trends and the traditional post-August traffic bump, should be huuuuge.

Dog update

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, August 25th, 2004

Taco now sits on command and loves to have his stomach scratched, but is too rambunctious to heel.

Greensboro gabfest…

by henrycopeland
Monday, August 23rd, 2004

Mark your calendars for the North Carolina blogger gabfest Ed Cone has organized in Greensboro this Saturday.

Blogads Misc

by henrycopeland
Monday, August 23rd, 2004

Mike Madden of Gannett looked at politico Blogads and found another success story: “We made back our investment within the first hour of putting them up,” said Dan Pfeiffer, a strategist for Daschle’s campaign.

In Mediapost, Kate Kaye does a great excavation into the nitty-gritty of the Blogad campaign for Libertarian presidential candidate Michael Badnarik.

And as Dan Gillmor, technology columnist for the San Jose Mercury News and author of the visionary book on grassroots journalism called “We the Media,” writes a column about Google’s potential problems, he mentions Microsoft, Yahoo and, gulp, “a small company called Blogads” as examples of threats to Google’s share price (today $110.) Thank you Dan… or maybe not, since I sense the cruel gods of fate and finance frowning (and squinting) in our direction even now.

Checkpoint blogads

by henrycopeland
Friday, August 20th, 2004

This morning, Random House ordered a brace of blogads for Nicholson Baker’s controversial new assassination fictionette Checkpoint.


Putting aside the book’s literary or political implications for a second, I’ll highlight two things.

First, we’ve now seen just about every major publisher in America advertise on blogs… and more book blogads are on the way. Second, Checkpoint’s protagonist, Jay, is (like Baker himself apparently) a fanatical reader of DailyKos.com, Talkingpointsmemo, and the Agonist.

For those of you who like to keep your cultural chronometers synchronized, blogads for a blog-reading author’s book about a blog reader seems a nicely post-modern hypertextual circuit-closing. Symbolizing… something… big or small, I don’t know.

What about the book? Although Baker’s nonfiction Doublefold is one of my favorite books and I loved his Room Temperature, I don’t like Checkpoint. Parts of the book seem deliberately absurd and/or theoretically humerous — the aspiring assassin is vehemently pro-life/ he stashes some bullets near a Bush photo so they’ll better find their mark — but Checkpoint tasted bad.

Political blogs, now or forever?

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, August 18th, 2004

Have you submitted your nominees yet to the Washington Post’s political blog contest?

Although the contest isn’t clearly marked as non-editorial, it appears to be a ploy by the Post’s marketing department to piggyback the blog juggernaut and grab news junkie (aka blog reader) registrations.

The only lame category is the last, “most likely to outlive the election,” which gets things backwards. Better instead to survey “most likely to triple traffic by December 1, 2004” or something similarly blog-bullish.

The Post’s misread of blogging’s popularity trajectory suggests wishful thinking. Post business execs no doubt dream that bloggers will somehow crawl under a rock once the election is over.

You think bloggers are going to put away their soap boxes on November 3? Publishers had the same fantasy about Matt Drudge after Clinton left office… today Drudge is bigger than 99% of American publishers.

For historical perspective, here’s a post I wrote two years ago when Instapundit’s traffic surpassed, for the first time, 100,000 impressions in a single day. At that point, many pundit-watchers were calling a top in blog traffic, believing blog readers would go back to their CNN and local newspaper once the conflict in Afghanistan plateaued. Then came Iraq. Then came the primaries. Then the presidential campaigns.

Now Instapundit does 200,000+ impressions every weekday. Here’s a graph of his last twelve months traffic. (Note that August is a partial month.)


So will traffic on DailyKos, RealClearPolitics, Talkingpointsmemo, Instapundit, Atrios, Wonkette, LittleGreenFootballs, PoliticalAnimal PoliticalWire, or Rightwingnews collapse on November 3?

Sure we’ll have quite weeks, sometimes months. And sure, if Kerry wins, liberal blog traffic will go down 20%, but from levels twice today’s. And a Kerry win will double conservative bloggers’ traffic again by inauguration day. Likewise, if Bush wins, conservative blog traffic will slip 20% (from double today’s levels) and Dem blog traffic will grow 50% by January 20, 2005.

Bottom line: whatever the political season, people (formerly known as readers) love sharing news and opinion with intelligent no-BS real people (aka bloggers) rather than least-common-denominator, bias-muffling corporate news factories.

The umbrella has turned inside out, and the spoke tips are now the hub.

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