I’d like to echo this point from Eric’s post about the Ohio blogosphere, with a real time lesson.

David is basically arguing that we need to go beyond the ?rhetoric? and start raising money. One problem with that. We don?t have the numbers of readers to effectively raise cash. We joke that nobody reads blogs and it?s half true. Great numbers of people don?t read blogs. The important few do, though. The thing is this demographic, while influential, isn?t the same demographic that will donate money based on their readership of blogs.

It is a rare race indeed, and an even rarer blog, that can raise money out of blog readership in any meaningful amount.? There are two or three blogs, period, that can start that ball rolling – DailyKos, Eschaton, and maybe Crooks and Liars.? I might be missing a few big boxes, but local blogs will never, repeat, NEVER raise any appreciable money unless a big national blog kick starts it. I doubt that will change.

This notion that blogs raise money as part of their mission and evidence of their effectiveness is simply false, on many levels, and counterproductive, as Dave Potts proves himself.? If a blog claims it CAN raise money, then doesn’t, that blog will lose credibility, and just hand that demographic a reason to dismiss the real power of your blog, which is the ability to reach and affect the demographic that Eric identifies.

To our helpful lesson!? First, Potts complains that no Ohio blogs are raising money for Jennifer Brunner, they’re just spouting “rhetoric”, which I guess includes me.

Think all the blogs are in the tank for Brunner? Show me one that?s even tried to raise a buck for her on ActBlue. And if the pro-Brunner rhetoric out there now is the best blogs can do, we might as well pack it in now.

Then, Potts declares with a flourish that he’s had great success!

I wrote the other day about how blogger support for Jennifer Brunner has been anemic at best, specifically mentioning the lack of fundraising efforts we?ve seen. At the time I claimed that no blog had raised money for Brunner, and was corrected by one blogger in the comments.

Well now let?s make that two.

Here’s the result, as of this post, of Potts’ crusade to combat the “anemic”, mere “rhetorical” support for Jennifer Brunner from blogs.


One of those donors is Potts himself, another is Potts’ friend.? The “rhetoric” Potts just produced is that his “anemic” blog, Buckeye State Blog, which claims to be the biggest blog in Ohio, (a) has few readers, (b) only one of whom donated to Brunner after being rather demonstratively asked to do so, and (c) relies on deception and non-transparency to prove his point.? In other words, Potts is sockpuppeting his own fundraising drive.? Wave goodbye to your blog’s credibility, Dave.

The lesson?? The chief power of blogs is precisely that of MSM, only stronger, especially in Ohio.? We reach the top decision makers in politics and media, every single day, with authentic voices.? The effect ranges from obsessive hitting of the refresh button by state chairmen, political reporters at every newspaper in the state, top donors & activists, candidates and elected officials themselves, national bloggers, and every political consultant who operates in Ohio. ? They all read our blogs, addictively.

That power can, in a heartbeat, as we’ve proven repeatedly, end a candidacy in its tracks, and even change the narrative of the most historic presidential campaign in American history.? The only way this power works is if it is applied consistently over time, with authenticity, and complete commitment to the transparency of your motives.

With one fell swoop, Potts rejects all of that.

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  • Tim, do you know that you've still missed my point?

    And BSB has actually raised $515 for Brunner so far.

  • and where's that number from, Dave?

  • I've used more than one ActBlue page during this campaign so far, here's the first: http://www.actblue.com/page/brunner5000

    But that's not even really important. The point is we need to find ways to increase the punch of our posts. If were making as much of a difference as has been claimed, why is the narrative for most of Ohio that Brunner should drop out?

    Blogs make great arguments, but they don't reach enough people to make a real difference 99% of the time. Raising money is one way blogs have made people sit up and take notice in the past. If you have alternatives, I'm all ears. I'm still looking for a few of my own.

    It's evolve or die Tim, and I think blogs are on course for the latter as it stands now.

  • are you also the “David” who is listed as also giving to Lee Fisher's ActBlue page? or is that some other David. just wonderin.

  • I didn't “give” anything to Lee Fisher. I set up a page for each candidate and asked people to “vote” for the candidate of their choice by making a donation ( http://www.buckeyestateblog.com/oh_sen_the_race… ).

    I didn't donate to either page that time around. I did make a $10 donation on the current page.

    You're going so far out of the way to bend the facts that it's amusing.

  • So we don't reach enough people to make a real difference 99% of the time, but we're going to raise money? Stop making poor arguments, for one.

    It's not evolve or die for blogs, it's just evolve. Individual blogs may come and go (die), but the medium of political blogging will never die as long as there are people willing to register a domain and toss their opinions into the mix.

    I think you've hit upon something worth exploring: how do we reach more people. That is a discussion worth having. Nobody will sit up and take notice of $500 raised by some bloggers. They charge this much by the plate for those whose dollars really matter.

    The real power in blogs is something I've learned through real world experience. It's this notion that we are out here holding people in check. It's development of narratives that can sometimes – not always – change races. We're canaries in the mine for those wanting an idea of what grassroots sentiment is.

    We increase the punch of our posts by having a punch in the first place. Then we punch again. Then again. Then you look to see if those punches are landing by monitoring what the campaigns are doing and what the media is now talking about.

    This notion that we'll have more power by imploring our readers to give to campaigns is just not going to work. Don't get me wrong. I love to give to campaigns when I can. I encourage everyone to do it. I was once a wide eyed, change the world blogging newbie. I've lost more than I've won. I've learned what we're good at and and what we're not. I try to stick to what we're good at. Raising money to get candidates elected is not one of them.

  • not bending anything, dave, just asking questions about your totally awesome fundraising efforts.

  • I'm not sure where this idea that blogs can't die came from, blogging is just a format. Once a format fails to innovate, something invariably rises up to take it's place. But hey, if a format can't die I'm going out and buying stock in every major newspaper publisher in the country.

  • can't wait for your next innovation, dave. breathless with anticipation.

  • I'm going to say this as politely as I possibly can. Bloody hell you are fucking thick. Blogging as a “format” is still pretty young. It's on the upswing while consuming news from the dead tree edition is in a tailspin.

    You were originally arguing that “we” as political blogs in Ohio were going to die for this reason or that reason. My argument remains that political blogs in Ohio are no where near dying – as a collective whole. Some individual blogs will, some have, some will begin to take their places. It's an evolving thing. To equate blogging to newspapers because they are both “formats” is just absurd.

    If, as I've argued above, there are precisely zero people in Ohio who desire to publish their views on politics then yes, blogs will die. I'm willing to wager that this will not happen anytime soon.

  • tom

    I wonder how much of Tim and Erics support for Jennifer Brunner comes from the fact that she pays for advertising on this site?

  • you could ask potts the same thing, moron.

    we've been supporting her long before her ad showed up, either at my old blog, or at this one. get a clue.

  • Yes, definitely a non-issue for either site. Brunner and Fisher have both advertised on BSB, it doesn't make any difference.

  • Indeed. Fisher is welcome here as well. Maybe they should look at balancing out some of the coverage with a nice big mugshot. 😉

    [call me]

  • mvirenicus

    i want to see more fisher skin.

  • bad visual. BAD. get out of my head now!

  • Yes, definitely a non-issue for either site. Brunner and Fisher have both advertised on BSB, it doesn't make any difference.

  • Indeed. Fisher is welcome here as well. Maybe they should look at balancing out some of the coverage with a nice big mugshot. 😉

    [call me]

  • mvirenicus

    i want to see more fisher skin.

  • bad visual. BAD. get out of my head now!

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