Thursday, July 13, 2006

DailyKos "implosion"?

Noel Sheppard notices the impending collapse of Kosistan. Sheppard leaves out something important, that I keep repeating:
The estimated gross annual ad revenue
of DailyKos is $832,000

I've tried to explain to Dan Riehl why I think that number is one key to understanding the Ko$ola/JeromeGate scandal. There has been a noticeably reluctance on the part of some bloggers to "follow the money," and I think I know why:
  • Conservatives don't like the "class warfare" angle, and don't wish to appear to be criticizing Kos for making money from what is, after all, the #1 political site in the blogosphere.
  • Nearly all bloggers have ads, and so if the DailyKos ads are more lucrative ... well, so what?
OK, please let me explain. This will take a bit -- it's complex, almost nuanced -- but I think if you'll read for a minute or two here, I can describe why the revenue numbers point to the heart of this thing. Focus your mind on three areas of inquiry:
  • Who are the advertisers on Daily Kos, and why is that space so valuable? What are advertisers paying for?
  • What do the Kossacks think they're getting from Daily Kos? What is the demand that is being supplied?
  • What is the difference between blogs on the Left and blogs on the Right?
We shall take these questions in reverse order. But before we do, let me remind you how this whole thing started.

The 'pump and dump'

After YearlyKos, some Kossacks wondered why former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner (a DLC guy who is to the right of Joe Lieberman) got the big push at YK. Chris Suellentrop then (a) reminded us that the "Blogfather," Jerome Armstrong, was a consultant to Warner, and (b) mentioned that Armstrong had been accused by the SEC of unethically touting dot-com stocks.

Those who recall the late-'90s dot-com bubble used the term "pump and dump" to describe the BluePoint scam that Armstrong was accused of participating in. Armstrong (allegedly) presented himself on the Internet as an honest provider of securities information. Instead, Armstrong was (allegedly) in the pay of persons who stood to profit by hyping sales of certain securities, and his (alleged) failure to disclose this financial interest was therefore (allegedly) a species of fraud.

Now consider what happened with MyDD and DailyKos after 2002. In the beginning, Kos was a MyDD contributor. Then Kos started his DailyKos site, and in 2003, the partnership of Armstrong Zuniga LLC was formed, with a contract to provide Internet advice to the Dean campaign.

Ask yourself this: If Armstrong were to apply his (alleged) "pump and dump" knowledge to politics, what would the result look like? How would it work?

Blogs, Left and Right

What is the most noticeable non-political difference between liberal sites like DailyKos, MyDD, etc., and conservative sites like Instapundit, Malkin, HotAir, etc?

The conservative sites are all about news. Some of the news is strictly Dem/GOP politics, some of it's about the war, some of it is the sort of culture war "Outrage of the Day" stuff, e.g. ACLU vs. Boy Scouts, "teachers gone wild," liberal judge going easy on recidivist child molester, etc. And some of it's just fun stuff: World Cup, "American Idol," jokes, whatever.

The leftist "Big Box" political blogs are different in that they are quite narrowly focused on Democratic partisanship, liberal ideology, the anti-war movement, and attacking the Bush administration. You never expect to go on one of the big leftie sites and see, for example, an "Amber Alert" headline where some kidnapper is on the lam. They don't seem to be much interested in chitchatting about celebrities, sports or anything like that.

The Big Box lefties, then, provide very little non-political news and offer virtually no entertainment value beyond politics.

Furthermore, and this is key: Big Box lefties are all about picking Democratic candidates, promoting their campaigns, and especially fund-raising. Virtually every significant left-wing blog has those "click here to contribute" posts about giving campaign cash to Democrats. And lots of the "news" is the same kind of stuff: "Oh, here's a candidate in this Democratic primary" and "Democrats have a good chance to pick up a House seat in District 47."

It's been this way almost constantly with mega-Moonbat blogs since McCain-Feingold was passed in 2002. The action is very election-focused, very campaign-focused, very money-focused.

And yet they keep picking losers.

Think about that. More on Thursday.