Skip to comments.Why No Righty Kos? (More Navel Gazing and Free Republic Bashing)
Posted on 09/08/2007 5:16:05 AM PDT by kristinn
Liberaltarian ex-Daily Kos diarist David Weigel and Newsbusters are engaged in a debate over why there is no right-wing Daily Kos.
My answer, as articulated here is that there is a conservative Daily Kos, thats its Free Republic, but that it doesnt really count since its not a blog, and more critically, it wont play nicely with the rest of the movement and it doesnt worship candidates like Kos does.
There are vast architectural differences between FR and Kos, as critics of this comparison are wont to point out. Most of them are points in Koss favor. But fundamentally they were founded to fill the same gap. At the end of the day, they are both vast communities for mid-level activists. Though Kos is more blog-based and tolerant of editorializing, Weigel is perceptive enough to distinguish it from a blog a la Power Line or HughHewitt.com, in which the voice of the blogger dominates and others comment (or dont, in the case of some big conservative bloggers). Daily Kos is simply a different beast than anything else in the liberal blogosphere, in much the same way that Free Republic is a different beast than anything else in the conservative blogosphere. But in terms of traffic and community, its still the biggest. The same item that will get a handful of comments at my personal blog and 30 to 40 on HughHewitt.com, will get upwards of 100 responses when posted to Free Republic. FR may be primitive in its architecture, but I dont think it can be ipso facto excluded from discussions about the size and extent of conservative community online, for the sheer fact of its size.
Part of the reason that there is no conservative Daily Kos is that the broader conservative movement isnt really lacking for a huge online community in the same way the left was in 2002 (DU was, and is, a joke). That community may not be the healthiest one around, but its still a community.
The second fact is that conservative blogs, excluding Free Republic/Lucianne/etc. for a moment, serve a fundamentally different audience than the netroots. Theyre more elite, focused on policy, and interested in the execution of the war. What was going on when conservative blogs first boomed? 9/11 and the American response to it. And discussions of the size of the conservative blogosphere (strictly defined) should take into account the fact that there are only so many people who can digest the kind of almost-scholarly analysis that happens in places like Power Line, Captains Quarters, and Red State. The conservative blogosphere today is what the liberal blogosphere would have been if elite bloggers like Kevin Drum and Matthew Yglesias had remained the dominant voices.
This is not meant to be self-congratulatory. In fact, I think its probably a serious limitation in the size of our blogosphere, to the extent thats a concern. If you want to be bigger, youre not necessarily going to like the people you have to let in to make it happen. If and when that were to happen, the elite flavor of many leading conservative blogs today would give way to more freewheeling Daily Kos and Free Republic-like sites and comment areas.
I think its probably worth paying that price if we can get people acting like true activists. Conservatives have paid a price for being inattentive to candidate recruitment and whats actually going on at the county committee level. In effect, we allowed the unchecked rise of machine operators like Duke Cunningham, Bob Ney, and John Doolittle who sacrificed conservative principle for back-scratching enrichment. One of the big reasons why Larry Craig wont be missed is that he was uninspiring career politician (and porker) with no discernible ideological moorings (beyond the political leanings of his state). Its those kinds of machine pols that always seem to the problem, and we let them flourish by being pundits on the sidelines.
I also think conservative blogosphere has misread the marketplace. To make a crass overgeneralization here, policy is boring and politics is interesting. By blogging about policy, you choose to be boring (and thats ok). There is probably a much bigger marketplace for people focused on elections, especially in even numbered years. (And this is Koss primary purpose.) Why is it that we start talking about Presidential elections two years ahead of time? Because it sells newspapers. The blogosphere overall is stagnating, but if you want to start a new blog that will get read, your best bet is 1) obsessively cover 2008 and be good at it, and 2) fill a niche, especially one covering local politics.
The 08 blogs like Race 4 2008 and Eye on 08 will probably be in five figures in daily traffic by early next year. To give you a sense of the insane community that is building around a focused group blog like Race, take a look at their 700 comment thread during the debate. There is a market there. And a lot of passion too.
So lets follow it.
Ruffini really has a **** ** for FR, doesn’t he?
I find this Patrick Ruffini boring, and hardly worth mention.
Isn’t Ruffini a Rudybot?
DC Chapter ping
I am not sure... but that would be a sound guess based on the content of this piece.
He can dis FR, but it still won’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear! That being Rooty, of course.
FR has the best format on the web!
Dan Rather wishes FR didn’t exist when his falsehoods were uncovered. I personally think that FR is frontline with news and commentary that means something.
“To give you a sense of the insane community that is building around a focused group blog like Race, take a look at their 700 comment thread during the debate.”
Written by a man who seems to be unaware our thread with a pantload more than 700 comments (2132 to be precise).
Wonder how many times Ruffini has been banned.
Oh, I very much agree!
And there’ no CLUTTER on the screen...ads, avatars, etc...just the occasional and necessary pictures posted by members. I love this place.
Plus, (not that I use mine much), but we each get our own home-page and there’s FReepmail. We can post with HTML code - or not. I don’t know, but do the other places offer that?
FReeRepublic’s got it going on.
It also loads and operates quickly, something that is immediately noticeable when used by those with a dial-up connection or mobile cellular device. There are some interesting sites out there political and otherwise, but the content is just sometimes shoot-yerself sloow, when all we’re really interested in is *text*. Pre-www, many sites were simple and quick to use, now they are memory-hogs that do little to add in the way of content or utility.
Google to their credit, haven’t messed up a good thing.
Absolutely! It's the best I've seen. On most of the boards you have no idea who is replying to whom. Here, there is not doubt. And to be able to link back the the original post or to all replies is great! Most of the other boards just aggravate me.
I didn’t take “primitive” as being a dis. I think he meant it as this site has a very basic architecture for hosting our format. Sometimes the simplest way is the best.
Alexa has freerepublic ranked at 7784, DailyKos ranked at 4720 and DU ranked at 11,109.