Over on Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds links to John Hawkins’ (at Right Wing News) contention that conservative blogs are having a tough go, especially in light of the left’s increasing dominance of the blogosphere. However, Reynolds think one commentor’s response to the post is worth noting: Smaller blogs don’t need to be high-readership affairs to have a profound effect on what people think and discuss.
JOHN HAWKINS ON THE END OF THE INDEPENDENT CONSERVATIVE BLOGOSPHERE. But I think the comment by Perry De Havilland is spot-on:
“Don’t look at The Big Players as all that matters as it just does not work that way any more… that is ‘Old Think’, i.e. newspaper era think. The heterarchical nature of the Internet changes things fundamentally.
“100,000 small blogs with 100 readers per day move ideas around in ways that are vastly harder to track but they are just as important as 100 blogs with 100,000 readers each. . . . I no longer get my information from a newspaper whilst drinking my morning coffee… I spend about the same time quickly scanning a selection of blogs and then mine deeper based upon what I find, and many, indeed most of those blogs are not high readership… so what? It matters much less than you think.”
The item got me to thinking why a small-potatoes blog like this attracts the likes of self-styled polymaths like Zach or the now-gone abc. I think it’s because they instinctively know that places like Bookworm Room are ones where, if they can make their arguments stick (so far, no luck) with educated, intelligent conservatives, they can make them stick on bigger sites that have much more traffic but less-discerning readers.
(There’s also the simple fact that most of us here, Zach included, don’t mind taking the time to write long-form comments and responses because we have some assurance they’ll actually get read. That’s not always the case in forums where hundreds of responses can show up in only a few hours.)
We’re like New York in that line from the Frank Sinatra song, “If I can make it there, I can make it anywhere.” So, we’re a kind of testing ground for leftist and statist memes. That’s why people like Zach and abc repeat themselves endlessly. It’s probably far less from the misbegotten belief that saying the same things over and over will produce converts, and far more like exposing armor plating to repeated artillery hits—all the better to see which part of it, if any, can withstand the opposition.
As backhanded as the compliment is, it’s still a compliment. And it certainly squares with De Havilland’s observation above.