Video: Which blogs are the most influential?

posted at 5:45 pm on November 24, 2007 by Allahpundit

I don’t think of any of the sites here as blogs, actually. Drudge is a news aggregator, TMZ is a corporate creation of Warner Bros., and The Corner feels more like a bulletin board or usenet group for print-media pundits (which is basically what it is). HuffPo’s blog is more traditional in terms of format but obviously unorthodox in the celebrity of some of the contributors and the sheer volume involved. Gun to my head, I’d have said either dKos, for its (somewhat exaggerated) mystique within the party, or possibly TPM for the number of journalists who seem to read it. The influence of the righty blogosphere, such as it is, is as a sort of supplement to Drudge, aggregating obscure stories and trying to inject them into the national media’s bloodstream. That’s weak but it ain’t nothing.

Here’s a sobering comparison. It’s hard to argue with Sklar choosing HuffPo in light of that graph, but it also feels strange crediting a site known mainly to righty bloggers for the spectacular bursts of filth and nuttiness it occasionally emits for holding huge sway. Nor does it seem to be any kind of guiding light in the leftosphere from what I can tell, its amazing traffic notwithstanding. Maybe it’s the newsy side that people are reading, as a sort of left-wing alternative to Drudge?

Link: sevenload.com

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Well elitist media only go to elitism media sites.

We are the great unwashed of the Blogsphere

William Amos on November 24, 2007 at 5:56 PM

Well elitist media only go to elitism media sites.

There’s more of them than there are of us. Don’t kid yourself.

Allahpundit on November 24, 2007 at 5:56 PM

Are they really influential, though? Do they change people’s minds, or encourage them to do something they would not otherwise do?

Apeking on November 24, 2007 at 5:56 PM

There’s more of them than there are of us. Don’t kid yourself.

Allahpundit on November 24, 2007 at 5:56 PM

No they just have more money than us. Meaning they can remain elitist

William Amos on November 24, 2007 at 5:58 PM

Are they really influential, though? Do they change people’s minds, or encourage them to do something they would not otherwise do?

Does any blog do that? Nearly every last political blog, on both sides of the aisle, is an echo chamber. Why do you think I like the religion threads so much? It’s the one chance there is for genuine debate, however pointless and predictable it may be.

Allahpundit on November 24, 2007 at 5:59 PM

No they just have more money than us.

Look again at that graph I linked. I didn’t even include Think Progress, which also does substantially better than the biggest righty blogger (i.e. Glenn).

Allahpundit on November 24, 2007 at 6:00 PM

Nearly every last political blog, on both sides of the aisle, is an echo chamber.

I find that to be true. And I also find your religion threads, as you said, pointless and predictable. But to your credit, as I find you to be intellectually honest* and consequently you have influenced my opinion a few times.

*Though your comparison of RP to people that support him (of which I am not one), ie implied guilt by association, had not much distance from KP’s guilt by association argument re: the ‘unsavory’ members of the border security crowd.

Spirit of 1776 on November 24, 2007 at 6:05 PM

Ah misunderstood your question allah. You meant right vs left I was talking Media types recomending Blog sites.

Again to be honest The right is more into radio than Blogs. My brothers are both ex military and constantly send me stuff they get in emails. They both listen to talk radio. I have invited both to come on these blogs but neither is too interested in that Idea.

I think the left is appealing more to younger people who are more interested in blogs and the net. Its more of a age thing than a numbers thing

William Amos on November 24, 2007 at 6:06 PM

“as I find you to be intellectually honest” – which I should say is why I come here.

Spirit of 1776 on November 24, 2007 at 6:06 PM

Nearly every last political blog, on both sides of the aisle, is an echo chamber.

Oddly thats the reason Im here on this blog. Was on several others that had people of all political beliefs. Eventually the truthers and lefties banned to gether in whine campaigns to get right minded bloggers banned. After getting kicked off 2 seperate blogs (For mocking Truthers who kept spamming the sites with their nonsense) I found myself blogless.

People talk about the intolerant right but the left is far more abrasive and intolerant right now. I doubt either huff puff or Kos would allow any disent on their boards. At least here you have to be a total azz to get kicked off.

William Amos on November 24, 2007 at 6:13 PM

Does any blog do that? Nearly every last political blog, on both sides of the aisle, is an echo chamber.

I have always had as many leftys as rightys on my blog. Since I don’t allow cussing or insults there have been really good debates.

There has actually been a change of minds there. It was mostly left of center easing back into the the right of center, but it’s progress.

Rightwingsparkle on November 24, 2007 at 6:18 PM

That Alexa graph tool is interesting.

Especially when you look at page views. Lot of echoes in this chamber.

see-dubya on November 24, 2007 at 6:24 PM

I think as a result of reading blogs my preferences for GOP candidates have changed over time, though I couldn’t really say which ones did the most influencing. For example, I’m much more satisfied with Romney than I used to be.

see-dubya on November 24, 2007 at 6:26 PM

Even though he’s still not my first choice.

Sorry for three in a row.

see-dubya on November 24, 2007 at 6:26 PM

Look again at that graph I linked. I didn’t even include Think Progress, which also does substantially better than the biggest righty blogger (i.e. Glenn).

Allahpundit on November 24, 2007 at 6:00 PM

Is Instapundit a blog or another aggregator?

bnelson44 on November 24, 2007 at 6:28 PM

Especially when you look at page views. Lot of echoes in this chamber.

Actually, that points up the limits of Alexa. We did finish ahead of Instapundit in page views last month according to SiteMeter, but just barely. The disparity suggested by that graph is way off.

As for why we finished ahead of him, it’s quite simple. On our site you have to click through from the front page to read a post, on Instapundit you don’t. That means if you want to read 20 posts on IP you can do it with one page view; on our site you need 20. If Glenn followed our layout, and if he opened comments, his traffic would probably bounce to 350K hits a day and monthly page views would easily exceed 10 million.

Allahpundit on November 24, 2007 at 6:28 PM

Is Instapundit a blog or another aggregator?

A blog, certainly. There’s plenty of commentary there.

Allahpundit on November 24, 2007 at 6:29 PM

It’s 6:29 and the vid is not available. Me or something other?

mjkazee on November 24, 2007 at 6:30 PM

There’s plenty of commentary there.

Heh.

see-dubya on November 24, 2007 at 6:32 PM

Nearly every last political blog, on both sides of the aisle, is an echo chamber.
Allahpundit on November 24, 2007 at 5:59 PM

Refreshingly blunt.
Have you had a chance to look at Andrew Keen’s book “the cult of the amateur”? It has some interesting insight on where the web may be taking us in terms of mediocrity. He was not real impressed with blogs.
Interesting point of view at the very least.

Bradky on November 24, 2007 at 6:32 PM

of course not everyone is involved, so this list isn’t an “end all”, but I submit it in to evidence:

http://truthlaidbear.com/ecosystem.php

1.Michelle Malkin (5520) details
2.Daily Kos: State of the Nation (5385) details
3.Instapundit.com (5233) details
4.lgf: cannot just be sitted idly by by (4481) details
5.Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters (4290) details
6.Tricia’s Musings (4164) details
7.Captain’s Quarters (3721) details
8.Power Line (3696) details
9.TMZ.com (3656) details
10.Hot Air (3139) details

RightWinged on November 24, 2007 at 6:38 PM

of course not everyone is involved, so this list isn’t an “end all”, but I submit it in to evidence:

Yeah, that’s useful mostly as a gauge of whom newbie or lesser-traffic bloggers look to first when checking around for stuff to blog. If a terror attack happened and I put up a one-line post saying, “Breaking: terror attack in progress,” that post would get five trackbacks or so within minutes just because people would have seen it here first. In other words, it does measure influence but only among people with little influence themselves.

Allahpundit on November 24, 2007 at 6:41 PM

If you access this blog like I do from the RSS links in my Firefox toolbar I can go directly to the post without even seeing the front page at all.

CommentGuy on November 24, 2007 at 6:41 PM

“Which blogs are the most influential?” is really a MSM-ish sort of question isn’t it?
The influence of blogs is cummulative. Which blog for instance, broke the Reuters photoshop story?
Or brought down Dan Rather?
Or destroyed the credibility of TNR?
The real influence of the right side of the blogosphere is the polls that show how little trust most people have in the MSM.

billy on November 24, 2007 at 6:43 PM

If you access this blog like I do from the RSS links in my Firefox toolbar I can go directly to the post without even seeing the front page at all.

RSS users are the exception to the rule, but they’re a small exception.

Allahpundit on November 24, 2007 at 6:43 PM

“Most Influential” needs to be defined in some way. Are we talking about influencing the public, influencing the mass media, influencing government?

I believe blogs are doing a great job influencing the mass media and government, but I don’t believe blogs have done much to influence the public. Unless, of course, one can say that the public is influenced by blogs from how blogs influence what the mass media reports.

The obvious #1 influence by blogs was on Dan Rather. That arguably influenced the entire nation, as it affected a Presidential campaign. Blogs are arguably responsible for President Bush staying in power. That is pretty damn influential right there, as how many things have been influenced by President Bush staying in power? Quite a bit, obviously.

Then, I believe blogs were the ones who forced the issue with Eason Jordan, forcing him ultimately to step down from his position at CNN.

And I believe blogs who support the war effort and military blogs have helped try to keep the mass media honest in their war reporting. And where we have failed in that respect, those of us who have been introducing our family, friends, coworkers and other major blogs to the military blogs, have increased their influence that way.

How much influence is arguable. I know that I have been helped immensely in my knowledge on current events, politics and the war effort from my reading of blogs. And I take that knowledge with me to conversations that I have with coworkers, friends and family. And I drop the names of blogs that I read and turn some of them on to reading them as well.

Personally, without really doing an in-depth study, I would say that the lefty blogs have more influence on government as the Democrats are pretty much slaves to bloggers such as Daily Kos. Whereas I don’t think many republicans even have a clue about what is a blog. Though many milbloggers were able to sit down with the President weeks ago and have an hour chat with him about the efforts of milbloggers and embeds. So his administration is obviously taking notice.

Right now, I don’t think blogs are very influential when it comes to a high percentage of the American public reading them, compared to what percentage of the American public watches the evening news or Cable News and talk shows. However, I believe blogs are having a major impact now on certain politicians and on certain individuals and in the military community as well. The affect in the military community is huge, because they then talk to their friends, family and coworkers to spread the truth about the war effort that the media and politicians are not reporting.

Michael in MI on November 24, 2007 at 6:43 PM

I’d actually never visited Alexa, and seeing I’m ranked 375,550, I doubt I’ll return.

/

JammieWearingFool on November 24, 2007 at 6:45 PM

My personal opinion only but I think that when the next study or whatever is done about the blogosphere the generational demographics should be included.

Bradky on November 24, 2007 at 6:46 PM

There’s plenty of commentary there.

Heh.

see-dubya on November 24, 2007 at 6:32 PM

Indeed.

madne0 on November 24, 2007 at 6:47 PM

The influence of blogs is cummulative. Which blog for instance, broke the Reuters photoshop story?
Or brought down Dan Rather?
Or destroyed the credibility of TNR?
The real influence of the right side of the blogosphere is the polls that show how little trust most people have in the MSM.

billy on November 24, 2007 at 6:43 PM

This was exactly the point I was trying to make in my rambling.

Is there a comparative influence like the Dan Rather, TNR, Photoshop and Eason Jordan stories? I don’t think so.

In addition, I believe that Rush Limbaugh gets a lot of his material now from Conservative and military blogs. He has stated a few times on his show which sites he reads. So that is a major influence right there in getting stories out on the most influential radio show in the country. The left does not have anything close to that.

However, the Left can brag about the YearlyKos Convention which influenced the entire Democrat Party Presidential campaign. This would not have happened without starting out with the Daily Kos blog. So that influence has to be measured as well.

Michael in MI on November 24, 2007 at 6:50 PM

“Influence” is tough to measure, when you think about it. Do you mean how much a particular blog has influenced debate and opinions in the past, or how much it has the potential to influence in the future or if it were to tackle some hypothetical issue? I like to think that if I spent a lot of time on a particular issue and made my points very well even through my little blog, it might eventually filter up and reach some important people and maybe change some minds. (I like to think I helped shoot down the amnesty bill by a series of posts that highlighted the demagoguery of open-borders opponents, but that may just be a lie I tell myself to keep blogging.) But I don’t think any particular post I write is going to have any measurable or meaningful effect on the debate.

Then there’s how much you influence people. One blog might make a thousand people a little more favorably disposed toward a candidate or an issue, another might influence a hundred people to call their congressmen, another might influence ten to contribute a hundred dollars each to a campaign, and another might push one person to convert to Christianity or Islam or Atheism or the Green Party and become a zealous activist for his new cause. Which of those was most influential? Hard to say.

see-dubya on November 24, 2007 at 6:54 PM

My personal opinion only but I think that when the next study or whatever is done about the blogosphere the generational demographics should be included.

Bradky on November 24, 2007 at 6:46 PM

Good idea. Also, it might be interesting to find out where people get their news nowadays. For the past 5 years or so, whenever I hear of a news story, I go to the blogs to find out the details. I have absolutely no trust in the mass media anymore to tell all the details of a story. The last story that the mass media pretty much censored that really affected me was the story of the jihadist-wannabe-sniper in the Dearborn park, a few blocks from where I work. The local government and the local media completely censored that story and covered up the ties to Hezb’Allah. Were it not for me always coming to places such as HotAir, where I know AllahPundit is a master at digging to get all the details possible about a story, I wouldn’t have even known about the connection to Islam and Hezb’Allah.

Sadly though, I doubt many people here in the Detroit area even knew about that connection. The story has come and gone and people are none the wiser. Luckily, I passed the links to places such as HotAir around to my distribution list, as did some of my coworkers and friends, so others who only relied on the mass media for info were more aware. But sadly, this doesn’t even come close to influencing enough people as it needs to in order to have the same influence as the mass media.

Michael in MI on November 24, 2007 at 6:58 PM

Yeah, that’s useful mostly as a gauge of whom newbie or lesser-traffic bloggers look to first when checking around for stuff to blog. If a terror attack happened and I put up a one-line post saying, “Breaking: terror attack in progress,” that post would get five trackbacks or so within minutes just because people would have seen it here first. In other words, it does measure influence but only among people with little influence themselves.

Allahpundit on November 24, 2007 at 6:41 PM

True, but I see that as a sign of influence within people who are “involved”. Lot’s of people skim over the headlines about the latest contrived Bush “scandal” or Iraq fatality numbers… but bloggers, big and small, are much more “involved” in politics, whether it’s attending campaign events or photographing moonbat events in SF. It’s just like when you can tell CNN or Fox News have gone to Drudge to decide what stories they’ll be covering in the next hour. You bigger bloggers influence the smaller bloggers who have their own followings. It’s a trickle down. But anyway, I still think the larger point, “influence”, can be measured quite a bit from the TLB figures because this shows who’s the most popular with the “involved”/activist type crowds. Also consider that, until their falling out, Michelle rose to the point where she was subbing in for the highest rated cable news show. Is that not a sign of influence? I mean, Bill O didn’t just pluck some guy with a blogspot blog about rebuilding Iraq or immigration to sub in for him.

RightWinged on November 24, 2007 at 6:59 PM

Is there a comparative influence like the Dan Rather, TNR, Photoshop and Eason Jordan stories? I don’t think so.

Michael in MI on November 24, 2007 at 6:50 PM

That was supposed to be “Is there a comparative influence on the left like…”

Michael in MI on November 24, 2007 at 7:00 PM

Michael in MI, Rush does indeed read Hot Air, among other blogs.

JammieWearingFool on November 24, 2007 at 7:08 PM

You bigger bloggers influence the smaller bloggers who have their own followings. It’s a trickle down.

RightWinged on November 24, 2007 at 6:59 PM

Exactly. I think we can each take note of each our “followings” and how we peons (compared to Michelle Malkin, Hot Air, Blackfive, Instapundit, Mudville Gazette, etc) influence others. We can just look at our e-mail distribution lists and our blogs and see how many people we have on our lists and how many readers we have. And that is just I, the peon.

And then there is the crossover effect. Military bloggers reading political sites. Political bloggers reading military sites. Military bloggers turning their readers on to political things. Political bloggers turning their readers on to military analysis. That expands the influence as well.

As you said, it is a trickle-down. Right now, it is a slow trickle which is not having much effect flowing into a large pool. But when more and more people contribute to the trickle, that influence becomes more of a steady flow.

We have to remember that blogs are still a very, very young medium of information. I only started reading blogs myself in 2003-2004 timeframe. That’s only 3-4 years. And that influence in that 3-4 years on my life has been immense. Simply immense. I have learned and grown in my knowledge more in the past 3-4 years than I had in the previous 10-15. That will only continue in the next 5-10 years.

I have a feeling that this “how much influence do the blogs have” question being posed by the mass media is simply an exercise for them to assure themselves they still have the most influence and these little blogs are no threat.

Michael in MI on November 24, 2007 at 7:12 PM

Michael in MI on November 24, 2007 at 6:58 PM

My opinion is that whatever one uses to be informed it is important that they get their facts/news from a variety of sources. Blogs often link to other blogs which are very similar in outlook on the politics they share.

I’m not as cynical about the MSM as some are. The most important thing they have that blogs don’t and may never have are resources to put reporters and equipment on the ground.
While the blogosphere is undeniably a positive influence in bringing independent fact checking to the fray, in a strange kind of marriage it needs the MSM in order to get the raw news the MSM delivers.

Bradky on November 24, 2007 at 7:13 PM

Michael in MI, Rush does indeed read Hot Air, among other blogs.

JammieWearingFool on November 24, 2007 at 7:08 PM

Yep, I remember him giving that list a couple times on his show, probably on an Open-Line Friday when asked or something. I’m still trying to get him to read more military blogs. I have him on my distribution list and I continue to send him suggestions for stories to read from there through the subscription e-mail service on his site.

Also, he is the one that turned me on to the American Thinker site. And I’m very glad he did. It is now one of my favorites.

Michael in MI on November 24, 2007 at 7:15 PM

The most important thing they have that blogs don’t and may never have are resources to put reporters and equipment on the ground.

Bradky on November 24, 2007 at 7:13 PM

While that is true in general, that still doesn’t mean that they are doing good reporting from ‘on the ground’. That is why I still go to blogs to see their dissection of what the mass media is reporting.

Plus, after Michael Yon, Michael Totten, Bill Roggio and the Blackfive embed project and the military blog community posting links to many, many, many military members sending e-mail and letters and blog posting from the field, blogs have clearly passed the mass media by in that aspect.

Also, just look to zombie of zombietime for how s/he does the reporting that the mass media does not. Compare what is seen in the news reports of a rally to what zombie gets on camera and on video. There is no comparison. Zombie exposes the ways the media censors the Left’s activities. Or when Charles Johnson exposes the photoshopping of “on the ground” reporters in Lebanon. Or when pro-life blogs expose the fact that the media doesn’t report on the pro-life rallies that double the size of the anti-life rallies.

Yes, I am long past cynical on the mass media to the point that I believe they are deliberately lying and spreading propaganda in order to influence the American public and the world with their worldview. The last few years of their reporting on the war effort and every single political issue has proven that to me.

Sure, there are a few good reporters here and there who are not propagandists, but I believe the mass media industry as a whole is just a propaganda machine. And I no longer trust it. At all.

The only thing that I fear is that bloggers’ egos will get too big and they will start to let their “power” of influence get to them and start doing the same propaganda as the mass media. This is already happening with the Left with mediamatters.org and moveon.org and their trickle-down effect to their bloggers as well as to the mass media taking their marching orders from them. I certainly hope to not see this happen on the right or in the military blog community.

The reason I continue to read the blogs that I do is because they do a good job of presenting the facts in full context, even when that context does not put the best light on an issue from their perspective. I don’t see that at all on the Left. The Left, in my experience, is driven by hatred and being against things, and the will do everything and anything in order to see their worldview enacted. That is obvious to me in the tactics of places such as moveon.org and mediamatters.

Michael in MI on November 24, 2007 at 7:27 PM

If I remember right, about 2% of people read blogs. so,really this is a squabble about 2% of 0.5%, right?

lorien1973 on November 24, 2007 at 7:30 PM

Michael in MI on November 24, 2007 at 7:27 PM

The reporting of events is fine with me. It is the spin they add to it (such as Shephard Smith did about the anarchy going on in the Superdome and we know he is identified with a conservative network) that is a problem.
But without the MSM how do you suggest the blogosphere gets the news? It can’t and that is the trade off.

Books, newspapers, some television, blogs and neutral sites such as Realclearpolitics.com are the type of sources I use. I’m not loyal to any single one.

Bradky on November 24, 2007 at 7:33 PM

lorien1973 on November 24, 2007 at 7:30 PM

LOL I love it when people use stats like that. You beat me to it. Hats off and good job putting it in perspective.

Bradky on November 24, 2007 at 7:34 PM

Which blogs are the most influential?

Clearly conservative ones. Dem’s have the whole MSM echo chamber. We have talk radio and blogs. Besides that, where else to go for news/commentary/opinion?

JiangxiDad on November 24, 2007 at 7:35 PM

LOL I love it when people use stats like that. You beat me to it. Hats off and good job putting it in perspective.

Bradky on November 24, 2007 at 7:34 PM

Yeah, that’s fine to bring up those stats, but if we’re quibbling about nothing, then why did Dan Rather get caught in a lie and fired (and Eason Jordan and the Photoshop scandal, etc etc)? If only 2% of people even knew about the fake documents, the mass media had nothing to worry about.

There is much more influence than 2% of the nation, if the mass media is being affected like that. Especially when even less people were reading blogs in the summer of 2004.

Michael in MI on November 24, 2007 at 7:38 PM

There is much more influence than 2% of the nation, if the mass media is being affected like that. Especially when even less people were reading blogs in the summer of 2004.

Michael in MI on November 24, 2007 at 7:38 PM

If I were an ambitious news reporter I would be sure to add reviewing the hot blog sites to my daily routine. I believe AllahPundit had a little hand in the Dan Rather thing. But some reporter in the MSM picked up the story from the blogs and the rest was history.
Again, my opinion but the blogosphere and MSM complement one another in a strange kind of way.

Bradky on November 24, 2007 at 7:42 PM

But without the MSM how do you suggest the blogosphere gets the news? It can’t and that is the trade off.

As I already stated, I get my military news from the milblogs. Michael Yon, Michael Totten, Bill Roggio, the CounterTerrorism Blog, Blackfive embeds, all the connections the military community has and uses, GRIM’s (of Blackfive) blogger roundtables with top military leaders, etc. Yes, a lot of the military blogs rely on reporting of the mass media from areas where they are not, but I still don’t bother reading the mass media accounts and go to the military blogs to get their perspective and read how they cut through the BS accounts of the mass media.

If the military community can find a way to report from Iraq, then surely citizen journalists can find a way to report locally from their areas. Actually, we already have one famous one in zombie of zombietime.com. And there are many other less famous ones doing it as well. Evan Coyne Maloney is another who is getting out there to do his own reporting.

The fact is we can all do our own reporting if we wanted to. We are not slaves to the mass media telling us what happens in the world.

Michael in MI on November 24, 2007 at 7:43 PM

I believe AllahPundit had a little hand in the Dan Rather thing. But some reporter in the MSM picked up the story from the blogs and the rest was history.

Again, my opinion but the blogosphere and MSM complement one another in a strange kind of way.

Bradky on November 24, 2007 at 7:42 PM

Actually, no offense to AllahPundit, but I believe the bringing down of Rather started with a comment at Free Republic and then Charles Johnson at LGF and the gentlemen at Power Line Blog ran with it and exposed the TANG memos for the frauds that they were.

Granted, that was in 2004, prior to HotAir. Today, I believe, AllahPundit is where things like that would be taken down.

And I believe as you do how the mass media and blogs complement one another. However, when I want to find out what the news is, I read the mass media headlines. When I want to know the details behind the headlines, I go to the blogs reporting.

Again, the prime example is the jihadi-wannabe here in Dearborn. Would we have known about the incident without the mass media. Probably not unless those who were involved told someone who blogged about it and others found out about it. However, it was the bloggers who exposed all the details of that incident that the local government and local media tried to cover-up.

Michael in MI on November 24, 2007 at 7:48 PM

Does any blog do that? Nearly every last political blog, on both sides of the aisle, is an echo chamber. Why do you think I like the religion threads so much? It’s the one chance there is for genuine debate, however pointless and predictable it may be.

Allahpundit on November 24, 2007 at 5:59 PM

The eclectic reveals himself at last.

MB4 on November 24, 2007 at 8:06 PM

Who cares.

Blond is hot.

Jaibones on November 24, 2007 at 8:10 PM

Michael in MI on November 24, 2007 at 7:48 PM

And an example of where it doesn’t work so well was the recent non-story about the Oakland airport and one military chaplain sending an email saying that “it felt like being spit on”. As it turned out it was a snafu caused by the airline that the military chartered to move the troops. But before the facts came out even Rush Limbaugh alluded to it and several blogs started up the frenzy. Won’t be the first time or the last.

As for milbloggers they provide accounts that are hard to get. But the type of stories they can cover are limited by their resources. In other words they don’t necessarily have access to the big picture (or may not be allowed due to classifications be able to tell) in the region. This is not a criticism of the bloggers per se, simply a recognition of what limiting factors they work under.

And on the about link to hotair you will find this

“Allahpundit, Hot Air’s lead blogger, is a writer whose former website, Allah Is In The House, was among the most popular conservative blogs of 2004. He is cited in Mary Mapes’s book as one of the right-wing bloggers whose “wild and hateful claims” helped destroy CBS’s story about the Bush National Guard memos, which pleases him to no end.

Bradky on November 24, 2007 at 8:10 PM

Blond is hot.

Jaibones on November 24, 2007 at 8:10 PM

See! There is a redeeming quality about me that will endear you to me.

Bradky on November 24, 2007 at 8:22 PM

Bradky on November 24, 2007 at 8:10 PM

And an example of where it doesn’t work so well…”

Good point. I actually discussed this with a friend of mine at work. I told him that what I noticed, based on my own first-hand experience in doing it myself, is that when people tend to develop a trust in a source on one subject (say military matters), they then give that trust to that source in all matters. Even if the source is not really an expert in anything other than the military matters. So it becomes dangerous for a source to speak on things on which s/he is not an expert and end up spreading false or incomplete info which his/her supporters believe without question. This happens among the blogosphere as well, when bloggers develop a common bond and trust the other bloggers judgement and just run with a story based on that trust.

Now, while this is not a good thing at all, it’s not much different than the group-think that exists in the mass media. Actually, moreso than groupthink, I believe the mass media collaborates on how they will report on certain stories and how they will not report on certain stories. I believe this is worse than what happens here in the blogosphere, because even when a story is put out that is false, the bloggers are always working to get to the bottom of the story, get all the facts and all the context and eventually will come out and admit when wrong. The mass media does not do that. Especially in the cases where they are deliberately lying and spreading propaganda and hoping they are not caught.

The example you gave though is an example of something I worry about from blogs, as there is among bloggers a desire to be the one who breaks a story as their used to be among the mass media. This can be a bad thing when all the facts are not checked.

>But the type of stories they can cover are limited by their resources. In other words they don’t necessarily have access to the big picture (or may not be allowed due to classifications be able to tell) in the region. This is not a criticism of the bloggers per se, simply a recognition of what limiting factors they work under.

True, but I think it really depends on the milblogger. The miblogs that I read do a good job of taking an isolated account and putting into the context of not only our mission in Iraq, but also our overall mission in the ‘war on terror’ and putting it into historical context and context of all our missions around the world and how each is affected. They also put our military mission in context with our humanitarian mission and explain things like COIN, etc. I read blogs such as Blackfive, Mudville Gazette, Dadmanly, CDR Salamander, Counterterrorism Blog (Bill Roggio) and Michael Yon, among many others, to get this kind of perspective. Most of the bloggers on those sites were very critical of the soldiers who came out with the NYT op-ed which was just a list of all our failures and then concluded that all was lost, we had to give up. The bloggers, while pointing out where the 7 NYT soldiers were correct, also analyzed the big picture and put the complaints into context. I get better honest, no-BS analysis from Blackfive and Mudville Gazette than I get anywhere else. Especially on the big picture. I get nothing but small picture and political analysis of military matters from the mass media. And the fact that within just 4 years the military blog community is placing embeds such as Matt Sanchez, Michael Yon, Bill Roggio, Michael Fumento and now the Blackfive embed program into execution shows how much we are progressing. Not to mention GRIM’s Blogger Roundtables where he sits down with top military commanders and gets interviews and asks questions that the mass media simply cannot, because they have no military knowledge.

“And on the about link to hotair you will find this

I stand corrected. I knew nothing of AllahPundit back then. Granted, I had a very limited amount of blogs that I was reading back then too. The only blogs that I knew which were covering the Rather scandal were FR, LGF and Power Line, so I read them daily to keep up. My apologies for overlooking AllahPundit’s contributions.

Michael in MI on November 24, 2007 at 8:29 PM

Michael in MI on November 24, 2007 at 8:29 PM

Nothing to apologize for. Thought you would find it interesting that’s all.
Enjoyed the dialog on the subject – thanks.

Bradky on November 24, 2007 at 9:28 PM

Supposed experts who don’t know so much. Hurumph.

thegreatbeast on November 24, 2007 at 9:48 PM

There’s more of them than there are of us. Don’t kid yourself.

Allahpundit on November 24, 2007 at 5:56 PM

Online. A lot more of them online than us.

Doesn’t matter if they’re online or offline. The GOP has a bad case of Fiftysomething Whiteguy Syndrome. Those are not the people that get online to blog or participate in the increasingly important number of Web 2.0 activities. They use Windows XP/Office 2000 at their business and maybe have a Mac at home to check e-mail and their stocks on Yahoo Finance because they heard that’s what Rush uses.

That guy has no frickin’ idea what a blog or RSS feed is because that’s a childish waste of time and the last thing he wants to do when he gets home from his 2 hour commute (“Ah, some ‘me’ time to listen to Hannity on the ride home”) is get on the computer…

Meanwhile his wife is cheating on him with the plumber and the kids don’t care because they are constantly glued to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for their (temporary) Family Guy and Daily Show fix.

It’s not a big stretch for the kids to go from there to Kos. I know it’s a shocka for some of you, but there’s no big draw in GOP talk radio for the teen crowd.

ScottMcC on November 24, 2007 at 10:31 PM

Used to faithfully watch News Watch, until Jane’s and Neal’s predictable commentary became unbearably tedious.

Have they been replaced?

petefrt on November 24, 2007 at 10:59 PM

The most influential blogs are FreeRepublic and LGF. Those two blogs (loosely defined) have had more of a real world impact than the next 100 combined. Traffic (popularity) does not equal influence.

TheBigOldDog on November 24, 2007 at 11:23 PM

With Freil and Sklar on News Watch, it was like an episode of The Eye. If Eric and Cal would’ve done some ghey banter and had Jim do a Halftime Report…

ScottMcC on November 24, 2007 at 11:26 PM

Here’s a perfect example of why LGF is influential. Charles exposes the corruption of the media, even new media, and sooner or later they are forced to deal with it:

SF Chronicle’s Sneaky Comment Deletion Trick – Update: ThinkProgress is Doing It Too

TheBigOldDog on November 24, 2007 at 11:37 PM

AllahP is always a pessimist, whether that is his true nature or his crafted persona I have no idea.

We should not feel bad about our side of the blogosphere.
The right side has a long list of accomplishments: Rather, Fauxtogs, Beauchamp, Jesse Macbeth, Jason Blair, defeat of amnesty, etc

The left side’s greatest accomplishment lost to Joe Lieberman. They can’t even get their own party to defund the war, and that is their signature issue. One word comes to mind: impotent.

Further more.
Do we exist in an echo chamber? Of course we do.
But the question is: In which side’s chamber are the echoes louder?

liberrocky on November 24, 2007 at 11:45 PM

But the question is: In which side’s chamber are the echoes louder?

liberrocky on November 24, 2007 at 11:45 PM

I’d be more interested to know at what point in the future can the internet blogs/forums be used in a more two way exchange of ideas with a little more give and take.
Maybe that will be the next phase…

Bradky on November 24, 2007 at 11:52 PM

The whole idea of “echo chamber” implies the purpose of blogs is to debate – to disagree. In my book, the purpose is to disseminate information, expose corruption, call for action to influence events, etc.

TheBigOldDog on November 24, 2007 at 11:54 PM

To educate. To inform. to inspire to action. That’s real influence. That’s real power.

TheBigOldDog on November 24, 2007 at 11:59 PM

I’d be more interested to know at what point in the future can the internet blogs/forums be used in a more two way exchange of ideas with a little more give and take.
Maybe that will be the next phase…

Bradky on November 24, 2007 at 11:52 PM

Not bloody likely.

liberrocky on November 25, 2007 at 12:03 AM

Not bloody likely.

liberrocky on November 25, 2007 at 12:03 AM

LOL. Probably not – If it took twenty years or more I probably wouldn’t be allowed on the internet without supervision anyway. Old age and forgetfullness don’t go well with internet debate!

Bradky on November 25, 2007 at 12:08 AM

Bradky on November 25, 2007 at 12:08 AM

There’s plenty of that, just not in political or religious blogs. There are blogs on virtually every topic imaginable and most are formed to share ideas and help members work through problems, etc.

TheBigOldDog on November 25, 2007 at 12:11 AM

TheBigOldDog on November 25, 2007 at 12:11 AM

Good point

Bradky on November 25, 2007 at 12:15 AM

Say what you want about HuffPo but Rusty Shackleford sends people to Gitmo.

- The Cat

MirCat on November 25, 2007 at 12:28 AM

Say what you want about HuffPo but Rusty Shackleford sends people to Gitmo.

- The Cat

MirCat on November 25, 2007 at 12:28 AM

My point exactly.

What accomplishments can the lefty blogs claim? The results of the 2006 election? Please, that was mostly a self inflicted wound.

Some successes the lefties might claim are really MSM victories.

It is difficult to draw the line (as Allah sort of alludes to earlier) where the MSM ends and the lefty blogs begin.

liberrocky on November 25, 2007 at 12:45 AM

liberrocky on November 25, 2007 at 12:45 AM

As people like Tammy Bruce and Bill O’Reilly have proven, there is no line. They work together.

TheBigOldDog on November 25, 2007 at 12:50 AM

NRO. All the way.

Kevin M on November 25, 2007 at 1:28 AM

If Leftist blogs and “news” sites are getting the most traffic, doesn’t this suggest that the political potential of alternative media is, on balance, chimeric?

Halley on November 25, 2007 at 3:22 AM

Is that bimbo courtney looking for a job or a rich boyfreind? Someone should gust the back of her head for harvey levin’s fingerprints.

peacenprosperity on November 25, 2007 at 7:32 AM

No they just have more money than us. Meaning they can remain elitist

William Amos on November 24, 2007 at 5:58 PM

You can be an elitist without having the money to do so. Elitism is an attitude and a state of mind.

eanax on November 25, 2007 at 10:35 AM

NRO. All the way.

Kevin M on November 25, 2007 at 1:28 AM

Especially when they released bogus exit poll data in the middle of the day showing Kerry was running away with the election despite the fact the data was obviously bogus (and they were shown that conclusively minutes after their post).

TheBigOldDog on November 25, 2007 at 12:25 PM

Blogs are the most beneficial means of finding out what the public really thinks of world, national, regional, and local issues.

I consider blogs real reality. They are the means for Joe 6pack or Jane Minivan to air their view and receive feedback from persons outside their circle.

In a face to face conversation feedback is invaluable. But, a face to face exchange does not provide sufficient time for each party to formulate a reflective response or retort and often results in one party wishing they could take their words back.

A Blog allows the blogger to say what is on their mind and each party can enjoy the benefit of time in providing a creditable response that is insightful but does not incite.

MSGTAS on November 26, 2007 at 9:23 AM