John Doe — that most pseudonymous of all pseudonyms — is taking shots at the Virginia leftosphere, comments to which I added my own US$0.02:
It’s the echo chamber par excellence. What they are doing is simple psychology: create a bubble of “reality” that allows only for one version of events, repeat those events, and attack any opposition whatsoever.
And by opposition, they aren’t talking about strictly Dems vs. Republicans either… opposition includes those who they fundamentally disagree with their version of events, moderates in their own party, actual Republican candidates, or those who attempt to impose any form of ethical standard.
The problem for these sorts of bloggers is that they are the sound of one hand clapping. Compare their traffic to that of Bearing Drift, or any of the MSM sites. The only reason people head to the “splash and trash” sites is to make sure they aren’t being talked about that day.
Now Machiavelli might be proud. But you’re not seeing the rest of the blogosphere engaging the nuts anymore. The MSM doesn’t quote them for comment, the rightosphere blithely laughs at them, their own party sidelines them, and most of the old guard Democratic bloggers can’t stand what they’ve done to the conversation online.
I won’t even begin to talk about their effectiveness. They haven’t elected a single candidate. Ever. Sure they can win a primary or two, but the catch is that the rightosphere in Virginia has shown the ability to block tackle these guys. Poindexter-Ferguson? Leslie Byrne? Nye? Even Perriello got slammed early for the whole al-Jazzera stuff (and I happen to be really, really interested in his positions and candidacy).
The Virginia leftosphere has hit a wall. No one takes them seriously anymore; their credibility is shot to hell. On the right, you’ve got a lot of credible sources for information hammering away… what was mentioned at Sorenson in 2005 and 2006 is coming true.
Give it six months. The whole landscape will change. But the era of the “splash and trash” blogger is coming to a swift end as journalists and readers become much more aware of how bloggers inflate their importance, their stats, their comments (sock puppetry, anyone?), and hide who they are really working for.
Don’t think of them as rabid dogs. Think of them as wounded animals. There’s an SPCA for each and every one of them (a no-kill one, I hope).
Sure, I’ve been keeping tabs on the back-and-forth. The good news is that the dynamic on the left is dying, and there’s little the “splash and trash” set can do about it. They can’t even adapt, because virtually everyone despises them.
See? The conclusions of the Sorenson Blog Summits in 2005 and 2006 came true after all, didn’t they?
The last point is worth re-iterating: As readers, other bloggers, and journalists become more aware of how blogs inflate their importance, their stats, their comments through sock puppetry, and the fear of the blogosphere burns off, the MSM is going to quit referring to the Wild West and start homesteading themselves with reliable content that adheres to journalistic ethics.
When that happens… perhaps the egos will die off. Virginia can get back what we had before the 2006 election. To some degree, the camaraderie hasn’t gone away… the Democratic and Republican bloggers just aren’t as vocal about their communication as they once were. It’ll just be a bit more intellectually engaging than what we have today.
Of course, we’ll never get rid of those who look at the Democrats and Republicans as the political version of the Redskins and Cowboys game. Still, those folks have to be brought along in time… it’s easy for a lazy person to identify what they are against. It takes a more rigorous mind to assert what they are for, and while that’s tough for some folks, a dynamic blogosphere of interacting opinions would be a welcome replacement to the nonsense peddled by a few today.