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.
He's right about this. Run for an office and encourage good local conservatives to do the same. Every real candidate drains the "opposition," whether liberal Republicans or Dems, of resources to fight for that seat, whether you win or lose.
As a caveman I’m offended (but I agree).
Then there’s LGF (www.littlegreenfootballs.com) where 1,000 plus comment threads are relatively common.
(And no, it’s not a hate site, it’s an anti-terrorism pro-America pro-Israel site.)
I agree with your interpretation of “primitive” in the article. I also agree with your assessment of freerepublic’s architecture.
A noob recently started a thread suggesting that freepers be able to rate the posts of other freepers. Poor guy. He took it like a man.
I agree with his suggestion, though.
As Kristinn explained on the O’Reilly Factor, freerepublic doesn’t have the budget to moderate freepers like they may want to. A rating system might work to freerepublic’s advantage. Most freepers are governed by a sense of honor that would self replicate in a voluntary ranking system. On the DailyKos, it might have the opposite effect, the more outrageous and vitriolic, the higher your ranking.
Ranking criteria might consist of voting whether a freepers post is thoughtful, sarcastic, sophomoric, humorous, etc and then freepers could eliminate posts irrelevant to their criteria. That way, freepers could eliminate posts like this by setting their preference to eliminate ‘thoughtful’ posts. (c;
As freepers become more and more vitriolic toward certain candidates and their supporters, the negativity discourages discussion and that can’t help freerepublic as a forum to espouse Jim Robinson’s brand of conservatism.
This is good news. If he is BITCHING then we are HITCHING!
Picking “To 23” on this reply, just like my last, will get you to your reply.
In my opinion, this is what really bugs them about FR. This is not a Republican site. It is a conservative site and we (well, most of us) don't tolerate non-conservatives even when they dress themselves as Republicans and try to say the right things at the right time just to get our votes.
Ruffini is right about something. I’ve mentioned it before here. Daily Kuss takes its activism to the local level. FR doesn’t do that. I’m not talking about GOE. I’m referring to state activism - the 50 state plan of Howard Dean. This is not a criticism of FR. I have yet to see any conservative blog/forum that does what they do on the local level. However, when it comes to global issues, they have much less knowledge and understanding than FReepers.
“I agree with his suggestion, though.”
I don’t. The system we have is fine. If someone says something worthwhile, we can bump it or reply. Conversely, if a post is not notable, it is ignored. In my visits to dKos, I’ve seen threads devolve into nothing more than “why did you troll-rate me” whining. We don’t need that.
I can think of a couple of reasons:
Not many mentally ill people ascribe to conservative ideals.
Republican just don't know that many swear words!
We did some more local activism around 2000, but it kind of evaporated. I’m not sure how to get that going again.
Sorry, but I’m missing the bashing part?
(DU was, and is, a joke). That community may not be the healthiest one around, but its still a community.
I’m not sure either. The set up for the state forums isn’t really conducive to a lot of ongoing discussion. Do you use your state board?
FR may be primitive in its architecture,
I guess “primitive” is a synonym for “user friendly.”
Why SHOULD there be?
Blind allegiance only sets you up for ridicule later.
The “intellectuals” will decide what’s right for us, just give them manpower and $$$. It’s about power and not policy.
Go there anytime, watch them for a second and it's only "Three, two, one blast off" before one of the Kosmanuts goes ballistic.
That's cute but not intellectually stimulating.
“A rating system might work to freerepublics advantage.”
uh, the only FR “rating system” that matters is the option on the far right:
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yayhoo message boards allow posters to award stars, LOL
The author of the article would simply respond with "That's because you're a Neanderthal'!
Thanks for the post ... intereresting to have a look at FR from outside our ‘box’ ... even though that perspective drifted a little goofy, replete with snide put downs.
On my very first visit during the Whitewater days, I knew FR was the place to be.
I walk through the doors, sit and have a cup of coffee, read the news, listen to interesting conversation and sometimes join in the give and take.
Emphasis on “give” ... Freepers are hunter/gatherers ... roaming the wilds, bagging a critter and posting it on the wall for all to partake, or ignore, as we will.
Emphasis on “take” ... as I always come away from FR with a hat full of new information, sensible ways of looking at things that I might not have arrived at myself, and a feeling of friendship with people I’ll likely never meet except in cyberspace.
There’s more real news here on FR in a single day than all the networks and failing newspapers combined.
JimRob has done a wonderful thing for his friends, neighbors and Country ... may the Good Lord always bless him.