Adam’s Blog

That’s my thing, keepin’ the faith, baby. –Joe Friday

Wither the Idaho Liberal Blogosphere?

Posted by Adam Graham on June 21, 2007

Bill from Free In Idaho posted in the comments, he raises the number of active conservative blogs in Idaho to seven:

Adam’s Blog

Marv Hagedorn
Right Mind
The Idahoan
Trish and Halli
Free in Idaho
Clayton Cramer
Magic Valley Mormon

Idaho Chooses Life

So, that brings the figure to 9. Not too impressive, but far better than it being three like it was all last year. Meanwhile, something interesting has appears to have happened on the left. Their blogs have gotten a lot less active.

Liberal Blogs with a post in the last month:

Idablue
Red State Rebels
The Unequivocal Notion
Rob’s Idaho Perspective

Mountain Goat Report
Fort Boise Weblog
The Political Game
My Idaho Rocks
Huckleberries Online
F Words
A Seattleite in Idaho
43rd State Blues
United Action for Idaho

Nil’s Ribi
Moriale Kofa

Rockefeller Republican blog against Being Blown up by Al Qaeda:

The Stupid Shall be Punished

Liberal leaning Political Analyst:

Ridenbaugh Press

Straight News Political Blog:

Eye on Boise

I’d also list Dennis Mansfield and Blog Idaho as conservatives with blogs, but as their blogs really aren’t about politics, let’s leave them out of the discussion, as well as those with blogs not about politics regardless of the owner’s pursuasion. In addition, New West should be considered more of a magazine than a blog.

Essentially at this moment, we have 24 blogs (and yes, I probably missed some, feel free to let me know in the comments.) that are actively talking about politics. Liberals enjoyed a huge edge in the Idaho blogosphere, the last year or so and now that total is down to a 6 blog advantage, with one of those bloggers headed to Nevada for the Summer and no certain plans after that. What does this suggest to me? There are several reasons for the drying up of the liberal blogosphere:

1) It’s Summer

Posts have been a little sparcer at Trish and Halli with mostly cross-posts. Lots is going on and some may not have the time. This may do as a partial answer. There’s a good chance that BYU-Idaho College Democrats will be back in the blogosphere in the Fall.

However, I don’t buy that as the full explanation. Once a week, you think folks would find the time. Instead, we have dead silence from most blogs. Some haven’t had posts since March or April.

The problem with cyclical blogging is that it kills you on traffic and search engines, Bryce over at Politics is Applesauce wrote after a month long hiatus:

Judging by the downward trend in visitors, it may take a few months to return to readership to its once held levels. I’m up for the challenge…

That was 2 months ago and since then, no posts. But his larger point is true. Nothing is harder than restarting blogging after quitting, because you have to regain audience that you’ve lost and starting all over again isn’t something most people will do.

2) Bored and Fatigued:

Fact: There are 200 million abandonned blogs in the world (probably 220 million.) Many people lose interest in blogging. I’ve done it a time or two in the past until I finally figured out the power of this medium.

Blogging isn’t always easy and the payoff can be small, with few readers in the grand scheme of Internet hits. Clayton Cramer’s blog is the most well-read in Idaho and its conversations on Idaho politics are few and far between. Those that focus solely on Idaho poitics will have a problem from the beginning. There’s the problem of getting recognized, getting links, and understanding how to get readers that is lost on many people.

3) Political Reasons

Perhaps, the lack of change in Idaho and/or American politics has turned people off. Some may have had unrealistic expectations of what a blog could do. The conservative victories in the last legislative session, coupled with the failure of National Democrats to accomplish key liberal goals may have turned off Idaho liberals to politics or at the very least online politics.

4) Conclusions

It’s a too early to make hard conclusions about how severe the change in Idaho blogging politics will be. We might see two or three, or five or six blogs come back which will change perhaps restore the libs to a 2:1 advantage, which is nowhere close to what they’ve held in years past.

There are, however, some conclusions I can draw:

1) The liberal love affair with the blogosphere is not as strong as it once was, while conservatives are beginning to discover it. The result will be an equilibrium shift that should make Idaho’s political blogosphere more reflective of its population.

2) Political blogging won’t be for all activists, which is good. IF everyone blogged, what would there be to cover?

3) Idaho political blogs will take less work. Given the post volume of active liberal and conservative blogs, a fairly active blog could be said to be one that has 2-3 posts a week. It’ll be easy to be Joe or Jane Blogger, with expectations not set so high by nearly daily blogs.

4) Blogs will come and go, so don’t get too attached. There’ll be allies and opponents leave, and new opponents and alies arriving. That’s the nature of the game.

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3 Responses to “Wither the Idaho Liberal Blogosphere?”

  1. Thanks for pointing out Bill’s blog. So speaking of blogging, what’s your position on permalinking blogs whose politics don’t agree with yours?

    Also, I’m surprised to see that you included HBO as a “liberal” blog (btw, that blog gets about 5x Clayton’s traffic and 8-10x what I get, so it’s actually the most read Idaho blog); I think DFO is actually more conservative.

  2. Adam Graham [Member] said

    Well, of course HBO is read well, tie my blog into a major news outfit and it would shoot through the roof, though HBO’s a good blog. And I don’t think HBO’s a Conservative, but the liberal label may not fit either. I’ll put you and him in “other” when I redo my blog.

  3. Adam, thanks for the mention, I appreciate it. And I’ll be interested to see your new WP blog.

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