Saturday, July 8

blogblogblogblogblog....

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Just wanna comment on Drifty's defense of Kos:

You could kiss Kos's ass all day long and that doesn't mean the community will rally behind you. Kos is not some kind of kingmaker, he basically serves as a community center for a lot of other people's ideas. His power is more like Steve Rubell's at the height of Studio 54 than some kind of powerbroker.

You go to Kos because that is the happening place to be seen, that's it. It's not because we are barons and he is our feudal lord.

When someone makes a better site, that's where people will go.

I have friends who dislike Kos and his site, but like me and mine. So, does that mean I am insufficiently loyal to him and his "cause".

Why do reporters persist in being lazy? Why?


I think we need to take a step back from how MSM reporters see Kos, the blogosphere, and us as individual bloggers (which, in the last case, they don't). I'm also disturbed, Drifty, about your comparison to Studio 54. If the blogosphere is 2006's answer to the hottest discotheque in New York, what does that make me, Donna Summer?

Love to love ya, bay-bee.

The blogosphere is very new, still, and there is always a danger that we will go the way of the Bee Gees, or a better analogy, the CB radio. And it's always changing, sometimes not for the better. I would never have predicted, when I started blogging in November of 2004, that weeks would go by without a post on Fafblog.

Even today, a steel cage match between Markos and Fafnir? Huh. My money's on the pie blogger.

Isn't it interesting that the blogosphere is dividing into groups similar to those found in the non-virtual political world?

There are activists and fundraisers, the so-called netroots, where Markos thrives.

There are journalists and pundits. Some beginners simply link to a wapo article, make a snarky comment about Bush, and they're done. You can tell when a "linker" becomes a "blogger" when they actually start writing. It's a beautiful thing to behold.

There are comedians. Boy, are there comedians. Some of them are so funny they hurt my stomach muscles, and I have to beg them to stop.

There are also some pundit comedians and I would argue this is where the blogosphere really shines.

It seems to me that Markos is doing two things in the blogosphere. First, he is attempting to rally a widespread group of left of center, young activists to participate in the political process. Those who say Yearly Kos smacked of a Democratic fundraising picnic, that we bloggers were being treated by the Dems just like the AFL-CIO, just a place to pick up the campaign check, are I think making a really good and scary point. As the blogosphere as represented by Kos becomes just another interest group, more and more young activists will become disillusioned again and drop out. The outsider status is part of the appeal. "Crashing the Gate" sounds really hip, but what happens once you're inside? You're an insider, that's what. Bush does not get away with "what's going on in Washington" as if he has nothing to do with that. We won't get away with that either, particularly if we are seen to be any kind of kingmaker within the Democratic Party.

Secondly, Markos is attempting to speak for the blogosphere, in order to sell his book and pimp his site. I would do EXACTLY the same thing in his position. I'm not too worried about that, though. The blogosphere is too widespread and disorganized to be herded by any pol, and yup, that's exactly what Markos is. Imagine the din to hear on network news that so-and-so is the chosen candidate of the blogosphere. The screams of "NOT FOR ME" would be louder than any "me too" given over to Maureen Dowd, ever.

Daily Kos, the website, is an amazing thing to behold. I'm with Drifty on this, Markos is not the king of Daily Kos, but he is its center, and hell, he and his team did all the work to get it going. He deserves his success. I guess I see Daily Kos posters as either too time-crunched to have their own blog or else pimping their own blog, as I do myself there from time to time. As we individual bloggers continue to shine with creativity, images, (something a lot of Kossacks don't bother with), open-mindedness, and maturity panties, the blogosphere will sort itself out.

The MSM can get the real story of the blogosphere or not. We will endure. Good writing gets readers, whether on Kos or some other blog. If Kossacks write well, Daily Kos will thrive. Those of us blogging on our own have that same exact standard. I'm not worried about a level playing field with Markos. I'm here, and someone can link to me just as easily as they link to a Kos diary.

But some of us are not interested in crashing the gate. Some of the best bloggers are not political activists, but are simply journalists, pundits, writers on the internet. To me, "blogger" is shorthand for "I write. I'm a writer. I write about politics, primarily, and I self-publish on the internet." I give the longhand version whenever someone will listen.

I will not endorse a Presidential candidate on this blog until he/she wins the Democratic nomination, and maybe not even then.

For the MSM, I fear, "blogger" is coming to mean "foul-mouthed Bush hating frat-boy who Googles for titties with one window and types the f-bomb emails to Fox News pundits on the other." Some bloggers do little to contradict this definition. The blogosphere, I fear, gives far too much attention to the television wingnuts. Look how many times Chris Matthews anticipates that the bloggers will be screaming at him. I would argue that without the blogosphere, jerks like Glenn Beck wouldn't have a career.

I'm not too worried about what the MSM thinks at this point. Remember, blogging is a new phenomenon, and it's only a 24 hour news cycle. Checking my watch, we're probably due for a new blogosphere kingpin right about now. (Not. Me.) The race will go to those who keep blogging and keep writing well. And it can go to both Kossacks and those outside the Daily Kos gates. (Markos. There is a Daily Kos gate. Did you ever imagine?)

12 comments:

  1. Slightly off-topic:BlueGal are you and Bobby Brown going to blog at the Tweeter Center this summer? Better slip him some 'ludes so he can calm down enough to type....
    David

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  2. "...intelligence is an aphrodisiac..."

    What a remarkable post, BG! Let's just say that, as your phrase quoted above is true, your brain is frickin' gorgeous!

    I. AM. IN. AWE.

    Ye described th'whole bloggin' atmosphere just as it be. Have ye been payin' attention when I wasn't looking? ;)

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  3. There was some discussion at Yearly Kos about the hierarchical status of the popular blogers, and if they would make it harder for new bolgs to find an audience.

    At my table we took a quick survey

    1. How many newspapers do you read on line each day: Low 3 High 8

    2. How many political blogs do you read each day: Low 5 High 11

    3. How many other blogs do you read each day: Low 3 High 8

    4. What would you do if Kos disappeared tomorrow:

    Consensus answer: Move to TPM, FDL etc.

    If the first rule of the internet is that there is no there; then how can one entity be the center.

    The traditional media does not get it and will not for some time to come.

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  4. yes David. Bad girl sad girl she such a bloggy bad girl beep beep.

    thanks Cap'n.

    And a really appreciate the input, and welcome to the party, organicgeorge. It's interesting that the alternative to Kos is to join another forum, rather than start your own blog. Do you think that's the power of community, or something else?

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  5. All good points Bluest of Gals..and I have said most of them too on one blog or another. The part about being a checkbook for the Dem's is my biggest bitch, we aren't their constituency..we are their "K" Street boyz and girls.

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  6. 1/4 of the people attending Kos were, like myself, lurkers. So I'm just taking the first step by commenting at blogs I regularly read.

    My own blog..........?

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  7. I think it's the power of community, BG. Especially if you like fast-paced, real-time commenting, which is pretty much only available on the really big blogs.

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  8. Great post, as usual.

    George, if I had been at your table, I would have responded:

    1) Zero

    2) let's see... 6 to 10

    3) 2 sometimes

    4) Nothing different. I rarely ever visit Kos. (although I'm here every day)

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  9. Chris,

    There was quite a contingent from Seattle in Vegas.

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  10. Great post BGal! And well said.

    I another context I had written this in an email about the Daily Kos flap:

    "Look at the Vipertudious Coulter...she says the most despicable, vile, anti-American crap - and when she is rebuked - she immediately gets air time on all her FAV networks and from hosts to peddle her points of view. And she never backs down, never apologies, continues with her same lines and expands on them when ever possible. The Right-wing media have an entire *support-network* for this kind of shit and prop each other up and rarely break form even under the most egregious circumstances.

    But the left wing media is not a mirror image of this...they have no such interlinking circuits for this message control and repetition of talking points. That's why it's a bit harder to counter various points of view...because everyone on the left has thieir own independent views and messaging. Nor will they reflexively come to anyone's aid... its a much more free flowing set of readers and writers and bloggers. It is a different dynamic and realize that to some degree it UP to YOU as to what you put out there but not always Up to YOU as to how it's received!"

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  11. George,
    I'm not at all surprised that a lot of Seattlites would make it to Vegas. Seattle/King county is pretty much what makes Washington a blue state. The Repugs have been on one of their Ohio/Florida witch hunts for illegal voters for the last 2 years and who knows, we may be a Diebold target for '08.

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  12. Absolutely wonderful commentary. I feel, at times, that Kos and the media have hijacked what blogs are about -- and it ain't getting politicians elected, that is for sure.

    And I am down for being the next kingpin. I promise peace between the blogs. (Please elect me, I am netroots endorsed.)

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