I’m in self-referential mode, so I thought I’d point you towards a very interesting report on the progressive blogosphere from two of its most influential members, Chris Bowers of MyDD and Matt Stoller of Blogging of the President. The report is titled “Emergence of the Progressive Blogosphere: A New Force in American Politics“, and it discusses the dramatic rise of the progressive blogosphere, the relative success of both progressive and conservative bloggers, and how elected officials can make much better use of this new medium.
If you don’t have time to read the full 24-page report, I strongly recommend the excellent summary posted by Lynn Allen over at Evergreen Politics. It’s a quick read, and well worth a few minutes of your time.
It is interesting to note that in overall national traffic, the progressive blogosphere has managed to quickly surpass the impressive lead conservatives had as recently as a year ago… 24 of the top 40 political blogs are now progressive. But on the local front, conservatives still hold an overwhelming advantage. Here in WA state, this is still true; while (un)Sound Politics has seen its traffic decline to less than a third of its January 2005 peak, it still holds the top spot by a decided margin over the number two blog covering state and local politics: HorsesAss.org.
Unlike (u)SP, HA continues to see its traffic rise, with August likely to establish a new monthly high. Because I had not published my Site Meter stats, HA was not included in the report’s rankings, but glancing at today’s stats, my 20,643 weekly page views would have ranked HA at #62 among the top 100 progressive blogs… making it one of the highest ranked regional progressive blogs in the nation. Not bad considering my ambitious one-year goal was to average 200 readers a day. (If you’re curious about my stats, click on the Site Meter icon. For a variety of reasons, I’ve decided to make them public.)
Of course, more work remains to be done. Both the NW Topic Hotlist and the Pacific NW Portal are turning out to be great tools for promoting and expanding the region’s progressive blogosphere, and I’m planning some exciting changes here at HA over the coming months in my ongoing efforts to claw my way to the top of the local molehill. Still, it’s not the raw traffic that matters, but what we do with it. Like it or not, blogs are here to stay, and we have to make damn sure that we continue to wield at least as much influence as the other guys.