It’s a Small World After All

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.

An excerpt:

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.

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Comments

  1. SADIE says

    Somewhere in my challenged memory, I recall Book describing this site as a ‘salon’. Since I can’t remember her exact words …
     
     
    I immediately thought of a room filled with writers from the four corners, who have parked themselves in some comfy chair to share an idea or a plot line of a book yet to be written. Camaraderie would be bountiful an exchanges of ideas, humor, anecdotes – all of it stimulating. BW wants the reader to feel comfortable in their own shoes, which eliminates for me sometimes, the sheer joy of throwing them and the owner across the room. 
     
     
    If it’s a choice between quantity and quality, I choose the latter.
     
    I don’t like cheap talk any better than cheap shoes.
     
     

  2. says

    Charles Martel: 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.

    We have no illusions that most other regulars on this forum are open to changing their minds. Some things are reasonably open to debate, but others things are so well-established that it is perverse to deny provisional assent. For instance, there is no reasonable doubt that African Americans withdrew their support from Republicans in 1964 over the Civil Rights issues, yet it’s still a matter of contention on this blog. Indeed, it befuddles most of the commenters here that African Americans, even conservative African Americans, generally offer so little support to Republicans. Befuddlement should be a clue. 
     
    In any case, there are far more readers than participants on blogs, so we respond for the benefit of our audience. They can judge the relative merits of the arguments. 
      
    Charles MartelThere’s also the simple fact that most of us here, Zach{riel} 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.

    That’s closer to the mark. In larger forums, there are usually others who present valid arguments, so our participation is often redundant, or simply lost in the mix. Also, focus is quickly lost as the number of comments increases, in the limit, inexorably approaching Hitler (Godwin’s Law). 
     
    Our (not-so) patented DeSnark® desnarkification filter allows us to participate without having to plow through most of the spam, ad hominem, and other jibber jabber. And a smaller forum allows for a bit more concentration on a few specific points. 
     

  3. says

    Ymarsakar: Whether we are open to changing our mind and whether we want garbage from the Left to change our mind…

    Very excellent point! If someone doesn’t want to change their minds, then evidence is not going to be persuasive. Great point!

  4. Charles Martel says

    “Some things are reasonably open to debate, but others things are so well-established that it is perverse to deny provisional assent. For instance, there is no reasonable doubt that African Americans withdrew their support from Republicans in 1964 over the Civil Rights issues, yet it’s still a matter of contention on this blog.”

    Zach, this is the kind of clumsy misdirection that has created your inability to sway anybody here. The matter under contention is your insistence that only the events of 1964—along with an endlessly repeated Martin Luther King, Jr. quote—are sufficient explanations for reason why blacks defected to the Democrats.

    You might also consider that your studied indifference to the plight of black Americans creates doubt that you see them as anything other than a foil for your pedantry. Or that your refusal to address their documented plight in the light of Democratic Party policies indicates a failure of intellectual nerve.

    We are hardly befuddled, Zach. We are bemused.

  5. says

    Ymarsakar: Even for you, Z, calling garbage “evidence” is extreme.
     
    Excellent! Thanks for emphasizing the point. 
     
    Zachrielthere is no reasonable doubt that African Americans withdrew their support from Republicans in 1964 over the Civil Rights issues, yet it’s still a matter of contention on this blog.
     
    Charles Martel
    : The matter under contention is your insistence that only the events of 1964—along with an endlessly repeated Martin Luther King, Jr. quote—are sufficient explanations for reason why blacks defected to the Democrats. 
     
    Excellent! Thanks for emphasizing the point. 
     

  6. says

    Is something wrong with Z’s programming lines? It’s abnormal for humans to be so positive about being recognized for spewing out garbage.

    When Z spews out garbage and he becomes excited over it, does that mean this is the reason why Z gets excited about government corruption and Democrat perfidy?

     

  7. says

    Btw, Mart, don’t mention you know who’s name. A through Z, if you call upon them, will draw their attention. Don’t use the Forbidden Names. They are those who Cannot Be Named. Remember that!

  8. says

    ” That’s why people like Zach and abc repeat themselves endlessly.”

    At least one guy got tired of making the same argument over and over. Nigel Leck, a software developer, automated the process for his Twitter account. ”Tired of arguing with climate change deniers in 140 character quips, the programmer wrote a script to do it for him.”

    http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2010-11/twitter-chatbot-trolls-web-tweeting-science-climate-change-deniers

    Ingenious! Now all of can go out and do something really productive while our computers argue it out. The down side is that possibilty the computers will formulate a solution, conclude humans are the problem, and proceed to eliminate the probelm. 

  9. Charles Martel says

    “Ingenious! Now all of can go out and do something really productive while our computers argue it out. The down side is that possibilty the computers will formulate a solution, conclude humans are the problem, and proceed to eliminate the problem.”

    Indigo: LOLOL!

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