Open call

by Ted on March 31, 2005

Non Prophet notices that Focus on the Family is pushing Hugh Hewitt’s Blog, and apparently encouraging its members to start their own socially conservative blogs. The interview in the link is little more than Hewitt’s usual “righties rule, lefties drool” schtick. It’s interesting, however, that they think that it’s helpful to their movement to have a bunch of brand new right-wing blogs. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with encouraging people to start blogs, but it isn’t immediately obvious to me how this would help a movement.

I suspect that, to the extent that this is helpful, it’s more about creating a community of activists than it is about the blogs in and of themselves. I strongly suspect that a person who starts and maintains a political blog is likely to end up significantly more involved as an activist (volunteering, donating, making calls and emails to politicians and media) than the same person would be if he hadn’t started one. Someone who starts a blog sees current events differently, for better or worse; even a mildly partisan blogger can’t help looking for angles, comments, or points to score. Plus, blogging puts a person in contact with a bunch of like-minded people on their best, funniest, most intelligent behavior. (Present company excluded, of course.)

In any case, it can’t hurt, and new bloggers can use some encouragement. This is a rambling way of saying that newish bloggers should feel free to send me a link to a post that you’re proud of. I’ll post a link roundup of the ones that I like sometime next week.

For now, let me recommend Finnegan’s Wake. Although the authors have the boorish manners of Yalies, it would probably be a pillar of the left-wing blogs if it had been started in in 2002.



FMguru 03.31.05 at 6:00 pm

“but it isn’t immediately obvious to me how this would help a movement.”

1) A big boost in right-wing blogs gives the righties a nice set of talking points when discussing blogs with the greater media. If right-wing blogs increase by 300% in the next six months, while liberal ones only go up by 80%, look for a whole bunch of articles about the right-wingification of the blogosphere, how consrvatives are using blogs to get around the leftist MSM, and how the MSM needs to tilt even further right if it hopes to be relevant. Same old, same old, but with new ammunition.

2) Blogs are ad supported, so the more people blogging and linking to one another, the more money it generates for the upper-tier right-wing blogs, which lets them be more efficient.

3) The echo-chamber-feedback effect can, itself, be pretty strong, as anyone who watched the Schiavo case play out (or who watches the crazies hype each other up on places like FreeRepublic) can attest. Who cares if the new blogs are recycled RNC talking points and faux-outrages? It gets a bunch of wingers mobilized and repeating the same nonsense back and forth. Perfect, as far as movement leaders are concerned.


Mrs Tilton 03.31.05 at 6:34 pm

As Myles na gCopaleen wrote of Joyce and the title of his most obscure work: ‘That poor writer’s end was hastened by that same intrusive apostrophe’. Finnegan and Jeremy of the Wake, at least, are not beating the poor dead horse.


Seth Finkelstein 03.31.05 at 6:38 pm

In addition to the excellent points made by FMguru, don’t forget Google power. For a great current example of the issue, take a look at my post on:

Juan Cole and Google-NEWS-bombing


fyreflye 03.31.05 at 10:12 pm

As liberal bloggers proved last year, blogs can raise lots of money for selected candidates at election time.

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