Netroots: Armstrong a liability?

From Martini Republic

In other words: fair or no, Jerome [Armstrong] is damaged goods. The sooner Kos owns up to that, the more quickly he stops hemorrhaging readers. And despite his bravado, his readers— mostly former Deaniacs —are just now beginning to lose the site’s built-in, obsessive-pandering stickiness and check out other options.

  • hemorrhaging readers

    Phrases like this raise a white flag. What is the evidence that Daily Kos is “hemorrhaging readers”? The linked article makes this claim without the slightest backing evidence. And what is “obsessive-pandering stickiness”? I know what “stickiness” is, but how those adjectives apply to it I haven’t a clue.

  • And what is “obsessive-pandering stickiness”? I know what “stickiness” is, but how those adjectives apply to it I haven’t a clue.

    One of the things that was discussed offline in 2004 about blogosphere politics was the way that the Kos site could take otherwise well-meaning, would-be potential activists and turn them into net-obsessives who never got off of their computers and thought that posting to a diary to birds of a feather was an expression of political activism. Netroots are of not much political worth without mobilizing boots on the ground. Facing some pressure, the site became more hortatory about getting boots onto the ground late in the campaign. But it still is set up for optimizing stickiness and page views, neither of which are optimal for mobilizing people to do the kind of work needed to win elections.

    As for evidence that the site might be losing readers, Kos and HuffPo are 6 and 8 on the Technorati rankings. Kos has been three forever, and HuffPo lower. It’s just technorati, which is highly errant, but it’s something to watch.

  • Technorati rankings measure links from other websites, not traffic.

    As for the stickiness business, I question if that is true. I personally have no truck for Democratic party activism of any kind, be it fundraising, doorknocking, or envelope licking, I believe, like Bob, in in-the-streets activism first and foremost. But, given the kind of activism that Kos and the bulk of the visitors on his site do believe in, I see plenty of evidence that they encourage that, and not just web-browsing. I just don’t think it’s a valid charge. As I said, the MAIN problem I have is that they are directing their activism in the wrong direction (and in the service of “electibility” and not, for the most part, substantive issues; witness the lack of discussion of the Gaza invasion for example).

  • Bob

    My view is the whole Kos thing is a bubble that’s about to pop. Their activism has gotten increasingly bland and mainstream. Are they antiwar? Sort of but not really. I don’t (and have never) seen them as offering any real change.

    The Ohio stuff seems stinky. And their response to it shows them to be amateurs who don’t really know what they’re doing. If they had a real base, had built actual on-the-ground organizations, then they’d probably have been more seasoned and wouldn’t have made those mistakes.

    Like, I see them as basically a fund-raising arm for Democrats.

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