Saturday, 3 October 2009

The rightwing blogosphere - why?

There is a burning need for more honesty about why 'new media' are to some extent right-wing-dominated.
A significant part of the answer is: money (and time). Blogs are of course miles miles cheaper than newspapers to launch and run. But to have a top notch blog and to have it really widely promoted, a lot of money, time and/or expertise comes in very handy indeed. Most greens and lefties can't afford to pay people to help them run / design etc. their blogs etc., and have to earn money rather than rely on unearned etc income. Right-wing people are in this respect (literally) better off, by and large.
The Yanks are just lucky to have an Ariana Huffington prepared to bankroll progressive blogging / internet journalism. It is a rare rich person who is prepared to risk their own money backing politics that will work against their crude short term financial interests.
This is the truth that dare not speak its name: ConservativeHome and other famous right-wing blogs rely on huge warchests for their prominence.
It is time this fact got out there more.

8 Comments:

Blogger Dorothea said...

Know your enemy Rupert. Spend some time actually reading these blogs, getting to know their commenters, and you may understand why they are far and away more popular and trafficked than other political blogs.

From what I and others have observed, these blogs often don't have a coherent political philosophy. They're certainly not conservative. The most that can be said is that they are libertarian, in the sense of demanding my-freedom-to-do-exactly-what-I-want-and-screw-everything-else. The basic drive behind them seems to be nothing more or less than self interest writ large. A great childish howl of protest at cruel reality, which is stopping them from carrying on consuming and wasting in the manner to which they have become accustomed.

It's all a direct consequence of the 60s era of overthrowing any authority or morality in favour of "doing your own thing" and "letting it all hang out man". We are reaping as we have sown.

A lot of these people are also great technophiles and neophiles, which kind of fits the personality profile.

Many spend a ferocious amount of time online, and constantly visit each other's blogs to make plenty of comments, which creates a positive cycle of traffic and makes them look even bigger and better than they are. There's probably some of the old trick of putting cut-outs or stuffed sacks on the battlements too.

Oh, and most important of all, they have a sense of humour, and basically have a laugh mocking their enemies.

That's us!

3 October 2009 at 14:49  
Blogger Casper ter Kuile said...

Not sure that's the principle reason though Rupert. Ian D, Guido et al are entertaining to read - as opposed to most of the earnest writing from the left. They provide what any good story should - conflict, characters and colour!

Add to this the fact that 'the Right' has been out of power, which makes attacking those in power even sweeter.

Finally, maybe there's an interesting gender story in here somewhere too?

Having said all that, if the British Arianna is reading, I'm sure we'd have some ideas... : )

3 October 2009 at 17:47  
OpenID matt said...

>ConservativeHome and other famous right-wing blogs rely on huge warchests for their prominence.

Do you have some data on that. I'd be interested, but I don't believe it except for ConHome - who may now have a few hundred k to play with.

What would you call a huge warchest?

£5k? £50k? £500k? £5m? £50m?

(Huffington is beyond any of these, except perhaps the last one, of course).

Rgds

3 October 2009 at 18:56  
Blogger Dorothea said...

"Ian D, Guido et al are entertaining to read - as opposed to most of the earnest writing from the left"

That's exactly the point I was making in my penultimate sentence, Casper, when I said "Oh, and most important of all, they have a sense of humour, and basically have a laugh ..."

These libertarian blogs are a lot better organised as well as funnier, and they communicate a lot more with each other, with lots of comments in public as well as with private e-mails. Just look how many comments most of them have on every post compared to most green blogs. Guido often get 500 - 1000 comments per post since the expenses scandal.

What's this "gender story" you suggest?

You're surely correct that they have a lot more money behind them - just look at how many adverts want to run on them for a start. How many green blogs have adverts? How many green blogs want adverts anyway?

There's a lot of astroturfers out there too. The big corporations have got internet strategies after all.

4 October 2009 at 14:04  
Blogger Rupert said...

Thanks, folks!
Good thoughts.

I don't have hard evidence on money. And I don't mean to be implying what would count as 'huge warchests' from an old media perspective - only from a new media perspective. I think that £100k or so is a huge warchest, when it comes to new media.
One straw in the wind is the sheer amount of money that Iain Dale evidently has, judging from the scale of enterprises such as 18 Doughty Street (sorely-missed) and Total Politics.

4 October 2009 at 15:54  
Anonymous Arnold said...

Rupert you don't have any evidence on the money involved because there is no evidence.

Reading this blog one is left with the impression that your life involves living in fantasy land. That would be fine except for some reason you feel that your views have some kind of credence they simply do not have.

With a lot of scientific opinion and not a single scrap of evidence you claim (without any education in the matter it seems) that man made CO2 causes global warming.

You then hector and bully anyone else who either questions the science, especially since the world keeps getting colder or just disagrees with your narrow view of the world.

That's fine but as a blogger it is no wonder Iain Dale and Guido do so well in cyberspace compared to you Rupert.

Unlike you they offer open comments and do not remove the content as you do when it doesn't fit their agenda. I notice without surprise that your "Handy guide to global warming" doesn't allow comment.

That is not a blog Rupert - it's a diatribe, typical behavior from a control freak like yourself and I feel that the cause of the Green Party cannot be helped with the Stalinist attitudes you display.

I don't expect this to be printed either because it is a factually accurate comment unlike your whole blog it seems.

19 November 2009 at 08:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Told you they were fiddling the data.

Forget the emails. Anyone who writes computer programs in a high level language, such as C, puts in comments to remind themselves of what the code is dong and to allow future programmers to make changes to the code.

There are two files normally generated, a "Source Code" file (where the comments are) and the compiled file or "Object" (.obj) file or .asm file.

(I'm a 1980's Z80 man so this may be dated but you get the point)

The file, after compiling, has the comments and other stuff removed and it is basically (no pun there) the "computer code" for the machine to run on.

So the climate change programmer has left his comments here:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/22/cru-emails-may-be-open-to-interpretation-but-commented-code-by-the-programmer-tells-the-real-story/

Personally since they don't include the effects of the sun I can't take the data seriously but I'm surprised that this terrific blog, being progressive as it claims, hasn't picked up on this.

24 November 2009 at 09:21  
Anonymous Arnold said...

Dorothea - you call people that don't agree with your views "technophiles".

I am I suppose one of these people - the difference between Rupert and I presume yourself is that I am an engineer and as such I can tell you that the data you rely on is false.

For some reason you do not want to address the issues of bogus software being used to substantiate your claims. Monbiot has done it in the Guardian why won't you?

By shutting down and censoring dissenting debate Dorothea does not help your case. I do not agree with censorship, it is just wrong.

I design energy saving technology and have personally done more to reduce CO2 output than Rupert Read could do in ten lifetimes but I still see NO evidence (forget opinion, it's just that - opinion) of man made global warming.

The difference between us is I welcome open honest debate and you obviously don't. Shame.

25 November 2009 at 23:24  

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25. 26. The rightwing blogosphere - why? 27. 28.

29.
There is a burning need for more honesty about why 'new media' are to some extent right-wing-dominated.
A significant part of the answer is: money (and time). Blogs are of course miles miles cheaper than newspapers to launch and run. But to have a top notch blog and to have it really widely promoted, a lot of money, time and/or expertise comes in very handy indeed. Most greens and lefties can't afford to pay people to help them run / design etc. their blogs etc., and have to earn money rather than rely on unearned etc income. Right-wing people are in this respect (literally) better off, by and large.
The Yanks are just lucky to have an Ariana Huffington prepared to bankroll progressive blogging / internet journalism. It is a rare rich person who is prepared to risk their own money backing politics that will work against their crude short term financial interests.
This is the truth that dare not speak its name: ConservativeHome and other famous right-wing blogs rely on huge warchests for their prominence.
It is time this fact got out there more.
30. 31. 32.