Bleak surroundings = good blogging?

Chad The Elder at Fraters Libertas wonders if the climate, coupled with the local media’s blatant liberal bias and poor writing skills, might explain the bounty of good center-right bloggers in the Minneapolis/St Paul area. He also wonders if boredom might be involved. Now if Chad’s hypothesis is true, there must be several promising center-right bloggers in the Cleveland area.
Hmmmm …

ABC hunts for war dead on Inauguration Day

Courtesy of Captain’s Quarters, a bold attempt by ABC News to throw mud on President Bush’s Inauguration … discovered on their website by bloggers:

For a possible Inauguration Day story on ABC News, we are trying to find out if there any military funerals for Iraq war casualties scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 20.
If you know of a funeral and whether the family might be willing to talk to ABC News, please fill out the form below[.]

Disgusting. Any spin trying to downplay this is demolished by the fact that ABC deleted the web page once they’d been exposed. Captain’s Quarters cached a copy before ABC could destroy the evidence.

“In Good Company” trailer

Based on a blurb I heard on the Hugh Hewitt show, I decided to try out the whole blogging-as-more-than-a-hobby thing. Specifically, bloggers who mention a certain movie get goodies, and I checked it out. I sent an e-mail to the publicist and got this reply:

There�s been overwhelming response from bloggers responding to the offer for free tickets to an advance screening of IN GOOD COMPANY.
So Universal Pictures and Grace Hill Media wants to respond to that enthusiasm by upping the ante: any blogger who signs up for the free tickets and then posts this offer and a link to the IN GOOD COMPANY trailer on their site will be automatically entered in a contest to win their very own private screening of IN GOOD COMPANY in their town. The winner can either fill the screening with their friends and family, or see the film alone with that special someone � it�s entirely up to them. One lucky blogger here in the US will win. Sign up at info@gracehillmedia.com and send us your link. And of course, all the non-winners will still be eligible to attend an advance screening in their area.

Want to know what my biggest surprise was? Based on the trailer, this looks like an interesting movie that I might actually go see, even if I were paying for the ticket. I’ll let you know if it lives up to its billing.

Buckeye Bloggers

Buckeye BloggersHey, fellow conservative bloggers from Ohio! How about forming a blog alliance from the state that pushed President Bush across the finish line this year? Heaven knows we can’t just sit here and let The Northern Alliance keep hogging all the glory.
We could start by putting together a web site that aggregates our most recent posts, kind of like what RNCBloggers did. These blogs strike me as promising charter members:
Buckeye Bloggers
Brain Shavings
The Open End
The Conservative Revolution
Wizblog
Ohio for Bush
Buckeye Ex-pats
Hugh Hewitt
Belly of the Beast
Whaddaya think?

What’s next in the blogosphere?

Power Line’s Deacon ponders the results of the media brushfire they fanned into life:

Blogs like ours don’t compete with national newscasts. We don’t try to summarize the national and world news, and we attempt investigative journalism only intermittently. We’re more like opinion journals.

Blogs can only inflict significant damage on network news organizations to the extent that these organizations utter flagrant falsehoods or otherwise commit major inexcusable errors. When networks run slanted stories that always favor the liberal cause, we serve a worthwhile function by exposing the slant and the consistency of the bias. But this does no major harm to the networks.
Arguably, then, blogs pose no inherent danger to the networks. Networks merely need to avoid uttering flagrant falsehoods and committing major inexcusable errors. Then they can continue to slant things in the liberal direction without taking any deadly hits from bloggers.

Will we ever again see a major network that gains general trust as a non-partisan source of news? I’m pretty sure we won’t. It’s a daunting task, and the incentive for undertaking it is not obvious. The old “most trusted man in America model” model was an anomaly — the product of a breath-taking new technology with enormous “centralizing” tendencies, coupled with a post World War II political consensus. That consensus no longer exists, and we now have a breath-taking new technology with enormous decentralizing tendencies.

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: Instapundit chimes in.
Hugh Hewitt remarks on the power of the tail.
OpinionJournal recaps the trends in media power, which is news only to the most non-web-savvy readers of the WSJ … but at least they’re hearing it now.
Michelle Malkin delivers an Old Media eulogy.

Zoom out & check the forest

Lileks looks up from the trees and gets a broad view of the news media forest:

I think the number of people who regard the evening news as straight truth delivered by disinterested observers, can be numbered in the high dozens. Blogs haven�t toppled old media. The foundations of Old Media were rotten already. The new media came along at the right time. Put it this way: you�ve see films of old buildings detonated by precision demolitionists. First you see the puffs of smoke � then the building just hangs there for a second, even though every column that held it up has been severed. We�ve been living in that second for years, waiting for the next frame. Well, here it is. Roll tape. Down she goes. And when the dust settles we will be right back where we were 100 years ago, with dozens of fiercely competitive media outlets throwing elbows to earn your pennies.

Maybe it’s time for me to find a less-crowded niche.

UPDATE: More from The Belmont Club. I’m always impressed by Wretchard’s thinking, and by his ability to communicate it so clearly.

Was the RNC bloggers’ traffic “light”?

Investor’s Business Daily misses half the story:

GOP blog readership is light
The 16 bloggers accredited to cover the GOP’s convention generated little readership during the week.
The New York Daily News characterized them as “unfamiliar men … bent over laptops [who] tapped out their own takes on the Republican National Convention.”
Traffic to their blogs was barely noticeable. Hitwise, an online measurement company, said the interest was miniscule. “This is not to say they aren’t important or influential. We’re simply saying the masses aren’t visiting them,” a spokesman said.
During the first three days of the convention, RNC blogs received less than 0.22 percent of Web traffic. On average, Blog.johnkerry.com receives nine times more visits that Blogsforbush.com, Hitwise added.

“Little readership”? Compared to what? Give us the numbers, please.
And what about growth in visitors? What about projected audience size? A tree is bigger than a seedling, but it’s worth asking if the former is a dwarf spruce and the latter is an oak. How much did the traffic on each of these sites increase this week?

Answer those questions first, and then you can talk to me about whether interest in blogs is “miniscule.”

UPDATE: Maybe my eyes are playing tricks on me, but these sure look like spikes at RNC Bloggers (a new site, admittedly) and Slant Point. I’ll add more info as I dig it up.
UPDATE 2: I’ve discovered traffic spikes on Hugh Hewitt’s blog, as well as on Wizbang (boy is that a spike!) and Captain’s Quarters.
UPDATE 3: How about Red State? Yup … spike.