Stagnation On The Right Side Of The Blogosphere

Of late, there have been a few posts showing up that discuss how the traffic flowing into the blogosphere has cooled off a lot in the last couple of years. Here are a couple of them that touch on that topic,

Chris Bowers at MyDD says that, “Since late 2005, I have seen a mounting array of evidence to suggest that political blogosphere traffic has reached a plateau…”

Eugene Volokh from the The Volokh Conspiracy says, “On the other hand, I had expected there’d be more attention from various blogs and radio programs that often cover radical Islam and the law. I figured the case that my story had uncovered had it all: The First Amendment; jihadism; parental rights; child welfare. Yet I’ve had much less original posts yield much more interest among blogs and radio programs, especially conservative ones.”

I won’t speak for the left side of the blogosphere, but the right side of the blogosphere, in my estimation, has two problems on this front.

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#1) Nothing is bringing large numbers of new eyeballs into the blogosphere. You have to go all the way back to 2004, when you had Rathergate and Michelle Malkin & Wonkette’s stratospheric climb to heights of A-List blogdom, to find large numbers of new readers entering the blogosphere. Since then, the numbers go up as we get close to an election and down afterwards, but for the most part, the number of people reading the blogosphere seems to have leveled off a bit.

That’s not a big surprise if you think about it. Sure, there are enormous numbers of potential readers who’d be interested in the blogosphere out there, but how do they get here to begin with? The mainstream media seldom links conservative blogs. Drudge? He usually shuts down a blog with a link, so he doesn’t bother. The big conservative mags? They do very little to promote the blogosphere. The big talk radio guys and Fox? Other than Hugh Hewitt, they treat bloggers more like potential rivals than allies in the conservative movement.

So, there is this enormous, untapped pool of potential blog fans out there, but right now, there doesn’t seem to be a way for blogs, which generally don’t have the resources to advertise, to reach them.

#2) There are very few traffic hubs in the blogosphere. Although there are a number of small blogs that traffic in large numbers of outgoing links, other than Instapundit, there are no large blogs that are focusing on links. So, “yes,” traffic travels by permalink and the occasional outgoing link or hat tip, but the blogosphere would certainly benefit from having more readers exposed to a large number of blogs.

(PS: That’s why I think it would be very good for the blogosphere as a whole if a blog like, Conservative Grapevine, were to become popular).

So what’s the solution? To keep on keeping on and wait for an opportunity to present itself. One such opportunity could be, believe it or not, President Hillary. A Democratic controlled Congress will probably drive more frustrated conservative readers into the blogosphere, but a Democratic President? That’s a big part of what fueled the growth of talk radio in the nineties and there’s no reason it couldn’t happen again. Of course, if I had a choice between the blogosphere staying stagnant and say, an Obama/Bayh ticket wrecking the country from the White House, I’d choose the small blogosphere every time.

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