Thursday, July 24, 2008

Right and Left: The Online Gap

Everyone knows that the Right has a significant Internet disadvantage. It’s hardly worth pointing out the Huffington Post’s massive traffic levels, or the fact that the Daily Kos gets many more readers than any conservative blog. (The only conservative site that can even compare is National Review Online, which is as much online magazine as blog). Barack Obama has energized the Internet—he had gotten huge amounts of money from online donors, while McCain has struggled to keep anything like an even footing. On Facebook, John McCain has 177,422 supporters. Barack Obama has 1,192,922, nearly seven times McCain’s number, and the highest of any public figure in the world. (Although it should be noted that many, perhaps most, of Facebook’s users don’t vote, and people popular on Facebook aren’t necessarily particularly well loved in the real world. The Chris Moyles Show ranks third, and it isn’t exactly breaking records out here).

In an interesting Politico piece, Jonathan Martin points out that what online presence the Right does have focuses almost solely on commentary, while liberal sites (such as HuffPo) concentrate on reporting as well. This allows the liberal online media to drive stories, while the conservative media is forced to react. For example, HuffPo brought attention to some of John Hagee’s controversial remarks, which eventually forced McCain to renounce him. This sort of reporting doesn’t happen on conservative blogs—they almost always focus on stories already broken by other sources.

In addition to its superior reporting, the online Left also has a significant edge in political strategy. The Daily Kos holds an annual YearlyKos, where Democrat strategists and politicians meet. The Daily Kos also focuses on tight races, giving embattled Democrats financial and moral support. Conservative blogs have nothing like this—they organize a few rallies, but nothing with any real impact.

In fact, most conservative websites, with a few exceptions, seem a bit dated and behind-the-curve. (National Review Online and the Drudge Report are exceptions). The conservative blogosphere isn’t exactly an interactive place—many conservative blogs don’t allow comments, and there are very, very few with an active comment community. Visiting the Daily Kos or the Huffington Post are interactive experiences—one can both read commentary and exchange views. The conservative blogosphere is generally a one-way information street.

The Left has a massive, nigh insurmountable (at least for the foreseeable future) Internet advantage. So is the Right in serious trouble? Not really. The Internet is really not all that influential. The Huffington Post is by far the largest political blog—and according to Nielsen Online, it gets under four million unique view a month. Bill O’Reilly gets three million viewers a day. Network news gets around six million a night. Rush Limbaugh gets twenty million a week. The Internet has influence—but its influence is insignificant when compared to other media outlets.

The Left’s cyberdominance is nothing to worry about. Eventually, conservatives will start effectively utilizing the Internet, and the web gap will close quickly. The web is a fast changing place; things can change almost immediately. Eventually, the Right will regain a significant share of the Internet.

The reason the Right has not done so yet is because it hasn’t had to. From a media standpoint, conservatives are in good position—they can get news and analysis from talk radio, Fox News, Drudge, or conservative blogs (which, thought they lag behind liberals blogs in terms of traffic, are still influential). There is no pressing need to build an extensive online community—there are more than enough communities for conservatives to join. At some point in the future, the web may become important enough that conservatives will be forced to build an extensive online community—but for the present, domination of the Internet is not crucial.


At July 24, 2008 at 9:23 PM , Blogger Beth said...

Lately at blogs I visit (including this one) I have seen a recent increase in liberal comments that add nothing to the discussion other than acting like third graders on the playground with their name calling. (I guess they want to prove your recent blog about the maturity level is accurate.) But if these lberal Internet strongholds you mention here Daniel are anything like these commenters, then indeed we have nothing to fear from them.

At July 25, 2008 at 6:18 AM , Anonymous Napqueen said...

For your information BETH! A recent study of the left-wing brain, and the right-wing brain found that Liberals had more brain activity and made fewer mistakes than conservatives.

And in general the raving lunatic right-wingers whose paranoia is much greater than their willingness to reason all believe in their own version of fairy tales.
My favorite thing from the whole fiasco is hearing the wackaloons blatantly and obviously lie about it — i.e. Bush, only to get their asses spanked.
Have a good day.

At July 25, 2008 at 6:24 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are tired of people like, Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly, Rush and Sean and the whole cable of right-wing loudmouths esp. Michael Savage, who think that by yelling the loudest, being the most obnoxious and tossing out the most lying, incendiary charges, they can scare us off. More importantly, we are ready to respond in kind and to jump right back in the faces of people whose opinions are so profoundly anti-American and, yes, downright unpatriotic.
We're also the ones who truly "support the troops" as we are the only ones that want to bring them home.
So grow up Beth and grow a spine. You are going to need one in November.

At July 25, 2008 at 7:19 AM , Blogger Beth said...

Napqueen - right on cue, thanks for helping support my commentary.

At July 25, 2008 at 7:41 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow beth, you were able to say more than 3 words!
I didn't think that you knew more than 3 words, or how to put together a sentence.
I thought that all you knew how to do is to say I agree with the poster above you.
However everytime I write a post, you become very indignant. And then say that I am full of insults. How strange is that?
I'd bet you are the kind of person that would ask a Presidential Candidate "Boxers or Briefs"?
That's the sort of question that doesn't take much of a vocabulary...........

At July 25, 2008 at 10:37 AM , Blogger Name: Soapboxgod said...

"For your information BETH! A recent study of the left-wing brain, and the right-wing brain found that Liberals had more brain activity and made fewer mistakes than conservatives."

Brain activity is one thing. Intelligence, reason, or logic is quite another.

At July 25, 2008 at 10:57 AM , Blogger Daniel Ruwe said...

Napqueen, I really do think you're proving Beth's point. And as for brain activity, those sorts of studies don't mean anything. I saw a study a while ago proving liberals are more prone to mental illness.

At July 25, 2008 at 3:03 PM , Anonymous Napqueen said...

Daniel Ruwe said...
"Napqueen, I really do think you're proving Beth's point. And as for brain activity, those sorts of studies don't mean anything. I saw a study a while ago proving liberals are more prone to mental illness."

Yeah, right!,0,5982337.story?coll=la-home-

At July 25, 2008 at 3:19 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may think not or you may think it’s funny, but it HAS been proven time and time again. Daniel Ruwe instead of just going along with the consensus here, do a little research. As I have... What this means is that you'll see a vocabulary-versus-views table for strong Democrats, then a vocab-versus-views table for weak Democrats, and so on to the vocab-versus-views table for strong Republicans.
And what do we find?
Against Democrats,and third party people, conservatives are dumber.
But just among conservatives and republicans, republicans are smarter.
Among conservatives, moderates and independents, moderates are smarter.
So what do we make of this Daniel?

At July 25, 2008 at 4:21 PM , Blogger Beth said...

Nappy, the link you provided did not say anything about intelligence, all it said was that conservatives and liberals think differently.

I could have told you that!

At July 25, 2008 at 7:27 PM , Blogger Daniel Ruwe said...

Napqueen--Beth is quite right about your LA Times link--it only proves conservatives and liberals think differently. To be honest, mistakes like that don't help your credibility much. And your last post was so confusing I really don't have any idea what you're saying.

At July 26, 2008 at 3:36 PM , Anonymous Menmykoko said...

Liberals treat dogs like people; conservatives treat people like dogs. Personally, and I don't mean to be attacking the conservatives, but I truly believe that if studies were done on sociopathy there would be a far higher incidence in the conservative arena. President Bush and Cheney in particular have made recent statements indicating that they have no remorse or conscience for their actions which defines a sociopath. Cheney when told that approx 75% of the nation doesn't agree with his current policy stated, "SO!". And Bush romanticizing thw Iraq War for the soldiers stating it was a great experience.

I haven't read the study that NapQueep posted , but I glanced thru it and found it to be interesting and informative. Thanks for the post NapQueen.

At July 29, 2008 at 9:53 AM , Blogger Beth said...

Well except for napqueen pretending to be someone else and give herself kudos, she doesn't know how to come back when she has clearly been beaten.

At July 29, 2008 at 12:21 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beth said...
Well except for napqueen pretending to be someone else and give herself kudos, she doesn't know how to come back when she has clearly been beaten.

Beth, you are even a bigger DOPE than I first thought you were.

Do you REALLY think that I have nothing else to do but play these childish games with you?
And for what it's worth, that was not me on that other comment as you implied!
However my next blog will be in HONOR of YOU

At July 29, 2008 at 1:18 PM , Blogger Beth said...

btw, person who likes to nap, why don't you comment here as to how your link doesn't prove anything you said?

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