Friday, April 29, 2011

In Reply: Hits, Coblogs, and Not Calling Folks Cobags Just Because You Disagree With 'em

In reply to various comments at Trying something new - Common Sense Political Thought

As far as blog hits, every blogger has to decide how important those hits are, and what s/he is and isn't willing to do to "earn" them. I'm sure CSPT (and American Power, for that matter) could easily double or triple their hits by appealing to the lowest common denominator with stories, photos, and keywords offering sex and violence, but that comes at the expense of integrity and quality writing. Meet The Press (or FoxNews Sunday) could greatly increase their "hits" by being more like American Idol or Glee, but to the extent that they do so, the cease to be quality news shows. (For those in the know, even RSM's "Million hits rules" seem kinda cynical to me... Rule 5 softcore T&A and keyword placement comes off as a bait & switch... Sure, folks give a hit to see the daily or weekly softcore "bikini babe," "naughty pics," or "nude video," (all recent top hitting page headers at AmPow) but that doesn't mean they're reading the political content or have the slightest bit of interest in it. Unless one is looking to do whatever it takes to earn money via ads, or hosting "whose got the biggest blogging penis?" ruler parties, I don't really see the point. But then, maybe I'm just jealous... I get about 5 hits/day...)

As far as having Left and Right authors on the same blog site, I've found it always sounds better in theory than it works in practice. When it works best, it's two bloggers who know each other well and respect each other as people, taking "point/counterpoint" on agreed upon issues. And even then it sometimes devolves...(Hell, even group blogs where the authors all purport to be on the same side have issues with finding a coherent identity, both from within and without. I'd daresay we're seeing a little bit of that right here in this thread and the "open letter" commentary, though it's mostly via criticism from without.)
Those in favor of trying the Left / Right thing certainly ought to do so... but on a new blog, that hasn't already established an identity and way of doing things. Good luck.

From what little I've seen, I like the way Dana runs this place, and support the changes he's trying to make to the tone of the commentary. (I'm not a big fan of editing other folks comments, though. I understand why, but I wish there was another way, and wonder whether a straight removal, with an opportunity to rephrase and repost by the comment author, might not be better...) As long as he's consistent and even-handed, I suspect folks will get the message and either adhere to the standards or give up and spew their bile somewhere else. Echo chambers, right and left, are boring places, in my humble opinion... How many times and ways can a person peck out the comment "I agree," (or the old AOL variant, "me, too.")? While I'm sure it's an ego boost for some bloggers to see those like-minded fans agreeing with 'em in comments and via personal e-mail, that illusion of conformity comes at too high a price.

It is possible to disagree without being disagreeable, and while no one's perfect at it all the time (least of all me--I've most definitely been disagreeable, and no doubt will be, again), I applaud those who try...

Posted 29 April 2011 at 14:24

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