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March 23, 2006

No More Right-Wing Blogosphere

Chris Bowers has a great post on the demise of the right-wing blogosphere over at mydd.  He says:

In short, there is almost nothing in the way of an independent right-wing blogosphere operating outside of existing, established news media outlets. The days of the rise of Free Republic have long passed. The right-wing is not building new institutions online anymore.

Earlier, Bowers and Matt Stoller had contrasted the two sides of the blogosphere and he discusses why half of that has gone away:

The single most important difference between the blogospheres is this: the progressive blogosphere is introducing new actors into the political scene. The right-wing blogosphere is facilitating further organization of what was already a fairly coherent political world.
"The blogs," as they are known in many media outlets and circles and DC, are now almost exclusively the realm of progressives. The entire term "the blogs" implies a new institution operating independently of established centers of news distribution and political power. That no longer exists on the right. The right-wing blogosphere, as it is now constituted, is simply an extension of a larger message machine that developed long before the blogosphere ever existed. The right-wing blogosphere no longer holds any promise to produce new leaders within the conservative movement, or to alter the balance of power within the conservative movement in any way, shape or form.

As it stands now:

They are working with other emerging progressive institutions: MoveOn, Air America, Media Matters, etc. While conservative bloggers are looking to be absorbed within established institutions, progressive bloggers continue to build new ones.

The right-wing blogosphere is dead. Long live the progressive blogosphere.

Posted by Lynn Allen on March 23, 2006 at 01:09 PM in Media | Permalink


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Make sense to me. The very idea of blogging and online communities, that your voice and active involvement in the political process makes a difference, is in itself a progressive idea. I don't expect conservatives ever to flock to the internet or community (online or off), they just want to be left alone.

Posted by: Emmett O'Connell | Mar 23, 2006 2:04:40 PM

The unfortunate thing is that they don't have to. Since most of the top Liberal bloggers all run ads, they simply buy ads.

I noticed the decline people started bowing out about 1 month before Bush's 30% mark.

Many liberal bloggers spent time explaining how to blog and write and critique to other liberal bloggers. Right wingers don't believe in helping eachother, that's why we won this little battle.

But it's not the war, just one little battle.

Personally I'd like to see us focus more on the personal stories of people in our movement and communitites. We need to pull on heart strings to get to people's minds.

Inspsiring Artwork, videos, music, should all be pushed to the top for a while, let the artists do what they do best.

Posted by: politica | Mar 23, 2006 7:02:31 PM

Emmett has hit the nail on the head. Blogging is inherently radical because it is about changing the media tradition, questioning the traditional media authorities, breaking the traditional rules, and giving voice to anyone who wants it.

"Blogging" right-wing style seems more like just another way to supplement traditional outlets for the purpose of spreading a centralized message---not very radical. In the right-wing blogosphere, the potential of the technology proves vastly more flexible than the intellectual mindset of the users.

I am stereotyping somewhat, of course. There are some rightwing blogs that fully use the potential for challenging the tradition. But, my point is that the left-wingers are more intellectually prepared to accept and fully use a technology in ways that challenge the tradition.

BTW, Lynn, many thanks for your kind words in the previous post.

Posted by: darryl | Mar 23, 2006 9:15:34 PM

I think the interesting thing about blogs is the very basic democracy of them. Blogging is a reformation of the way that communication happens. It is not only taking on the right-wing de-democratization but taking on traditional media and the Democratic establishment as well. I shudder to think what would be going on in this country if this technology had not happened along at this time.

Posted by: Lynn | Mar 23, 2006 10:16:51 PM

"The right-wing blogosphere is dead."


If by the above opinion, Bowers means that the shear volume of bloggers is greater with progressives than conservatives, then he may have a point.

I wonder, however, at the assumption that volume constitutes success. Who cares how many bloggers you have if many of them are rarely visited.

The real future of blogging will be with those that can accumulate and condense valid news and information for readers to view and comment about.

There also is no value in blogs that are 99% opinions and rants. This will never create a springboard to mainstreaming blogs as most americans do not agree with this as having any real value.

I visit blogs to see a variety of news and opinions that I could never see by visiting any one news site.

Drudge would be one example of that along with Newsmax, Orbusmax and others. I personally do not spend much time at all at the purely opinion and rant sites for conservatives. I like to form my own opinions based on the facts.

Posted by: jaybo | Mar 25, 2006 10:13:41 AM

I disagree Jaybo, the point of blogs and this new medium in general isn't about accumulating and condensing "valid news and information for readers to view and comment about," but rather about creating community. In that sense, thousands of little visited sites (small pieces loosely joined, perhaps?) are more valuable that a dozen, well troddened sites.

Posted by: Emmett O'Connell | Mar 26, 2006 10:56:25 AM


I agree. The advantage of this loosely connected group is that we are individually thinking and strategizing and then building on each other's ideas and research. This is an self-educating, intelligence-building organism the likes of which we've never seen before. This trick is to get the mainstream Democrats and traditional media on board.

Posted by: Lynn | Mar 26, 2006 8:29:17 PM

This trick is to get the mainstream Democrats and traditional media on board.

The right-wing blogosphere has already accomplished this with mainstream Republicans and traditional media. Why are they considered a "failure"?

Posted by: teh grassroots | Mar 27, 2006 10:21:48 AM

At the risk of feeding a troll, I'll respond. The right-wing blogosphere is upside down from what we have. They are already a part of the Republican Noise Machine, a cog in the wheel, pretty much taking their talking points off the old fax machine. That is why they have lost so many readers vis a vis the progressive blogosphere, which is a range of folks who are as likely to try to hold Democrats accountable to rebuilding our democracy as they are at going after Republicans.

Posted by: Lynn | Mar 27, 2006 10:47:56 AM

Sounds like serious and self-serving BS.

Is there any data to back up these assertion?

Posted by: Raw Data | Mar 30, 2006 5:39:59 PM

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