Emphasis FOR, as in doing something FOR the right side.
I have, from time to time, talked about what will be next for the Right side of the blogosphere, especially after the election. The Left is well organized, motivated, and well monied by well heeled patrons (via grants, gifts, "employment", subsidies, ads, et al).
The Right? Not as much, not by a long shot. Should I be optimistic or not for what happens in a few day? Could the RightNets be doing something different that could have helped? Helped more? Or do we start in for the future.
There are many on the ‘Net that are thinking about the same things. Our friend, John from RightWingNews, has quite a long post about it here taking a riff from one of our other friends, Jon from The Next Right:
Does the Rightosphere not organize as well because of the nature of the online Republicans? Or do the online Republicans not organize as well because of problems with the Republican Party? I think it’s mostly the latter – something that can be fixed – but it will not be changed until a number of other changes happen within the Right and the Republican Party.
One thing that John points out is that the Right sided bloggers are often ignored or misused (on the idea of not knowing how to work with bloggers as opposed to abusing them [although the latter can happen as well - I know from personal experience]) by those that could really be helped in a symbiotic relationship.
…most of the Republican Party doesn’t really understand the blogosphere or know how to communicate with bloggers.
That’s a real shame because had they listened to bloggers, most of the big political snafus of the last four years could have been avoided. However, they pay zero attention to things they’re told by bloggers, even on the rare occasions when they ask what we think.
Just to give you an example of what I’m talking about, here’s a generic conversation, some variation of which I’ve had with different congressional aides at least half-a-dozen times over the last four years.
Anonymous Aide: Hawkins, I want to ask your advice.
John Hawkins: Shoot.
Anonymous Aide: We’re thinking about doing idea x.
John Hawkins: Are you out of your mind? That’s going to be a disaster!
Anonymous Aide: Well, they’ve already decided to do it. How do we sell it to the bloggers?
John Hawkins: You’re asking me whether you should put mayonnaise or mustard on a sh*t sandwich. I can give you some advice, but it’s not going to go over well no matter how you spin it.
The Lefty politicians "get it" and often link to Lefty bloggers. We do pretty well here in NH as a conservative blogsite (traffic is way up over the last couple of months – thank you readers!!!!) – but not one Republican candidate has linked us on the front page. Nor linked to any other NH based bloggers either. Yeah, we sometimes "take on" Republicans who act badly here (and frankly, Alaska’s Ted Stevens should resign, or at the very least, be shunned in the Senate and stripped of any chairmanships), so we sometimes get "stuff" back at us for trying to hold Republicans accountable to Republican ideals (go figure).
That said, there are some folks that ARE getting it. Two really quick are people like our friend Liz Mair at the RNC (having been a blogger knows how a blogger thinks and what they are looking for) and our friend and co-host Pat Hynes of AnkleBitingPundits (who also is the Blogger Outreach dude for the McCain campaign).
Another thing that John wrote drew my attention was this on the idea of supporting these bloggers:
There’s a perception in some quarters that bloggers get a lot of support from the conservative establishment, but nothing could be further from the truth….
…Well, let me give you one example: hundreds of millions of dollars will be spent during this election season to help Republican candidates get elected and most of it won’t make one iota of difference.
On the other hand, you could have one conservative donor with deep pockets who could hand out, let’s say, twenty $25,000 grants, for two years in a row, and they could double the size the blogosphere.
Well, there are a number of bloggers who could go full time if they could add $25,000 a year to the money they’re making off of advertising. There are other bloggers who could use that money to advertise their blogs. Some other people could use the money to recruit talent and do reporting. Given that the traffic in the blogosphere tends to be heavily concentrated in the top blogs, of which there are a relatively small number, you could see the size of those blogs dramatically increase with these grants.
So, what would you rather have: 500k worth of ads running in states John McCain will probably lose anyway when it’s all said or done, or say another 200k-300k people reading conservative blogs all year round? Which would do more for the conservative movement? Which would ultimately be of greater value?
There are a small number of groups on the Right that are recognizing that bloggers could use, and appreciate, some incentives to make it easier to keep the keys tapping. More are needed. While many of us do this for the sheer act of seeing our words in pixels and once in a while getting a virtual pat on the back, many would jump at the chance to do it full time. Yes, at first, it would be fun and liberating – and then the seriousness would cut in fairly quickly.
Would I want to go full time doing this if offered something? Any blogger who thinks that they are worth their salt would say yes. But as with anything, knowing your principles, having a style, and having the discipline would be central – and things are not as simple as just saying yes.
In the meantime – bleg – like what we do? Try advertising with us or hitting the Make A Donation button might help….
If not, think about doing either at another conservative blog….help us all out.