Aristocratic Left Wing Blogosphere Imploding?
The left-wing blogosphere is beginning to decidedly pull away from the right wing blogosphere in terms of traffic. This is largely a result of the open embrace of community blogging on the left and the stagnant, anti-meritorious nature of the right-wing blogosphere that pushes new, emerging voices to the margins.
In many ways, that trend has continued, with many more lefty sites moving up the political blog rankings, especially in terms of traffic. Sites like John Aravosis’ AmericaBlog, which had similar traffic to OTB’s at the time, are now getting 100,000 daily uniques. And it’s still on BlogSpot, too!
In the past few days, though, the down side of the communitarian nature of the Left Blogosphere is becoming apparent. Jason Zengerle has an excellent piece at TNR detailing how much power Bowers, Jerome Armstrong, and Markos Moulitsas Zuniga have over their liberal brethren through their “control of the purse strings,” especially the Advertising Liberally BlogAds network. Drudge Retort’s Rogers Cadenhead laments getting thrown out. Then again, Max Sawicky notes that he has had many a spat with Kos and is still in and getting ads. Josh Trevino and Glenn Reynolds have more.
Overall, the boost to traffic numbers, and thus ad revenue, that the intermingled nature of the Left Blogosphere is undeniable. It does seem to come at a price.
Moreover, this would seem to undermine the idea that the Right Blogosphere is “top down” and the Left Blogosphere is “bottom up.” Indeed, the opposite would appear true. While running afoul of a Glenn Reynolds or Michelle Malkin could theoretically mean they won’t link you (although, often, the opposite is true) there is really no power structure on this side of the aisle. One can scarcely imagine John Hawkins, who administers the Conservative Blog Advertising Network, issuing dictats and expecting compliance. The independence of right-leaning blogs might mean less traffic synergy but it does confer substantial freedom of expression.