September 22, 2010

Sorry, I deleted my blogroll last night. It's Mickey Kaus's fault.

I put his new, Newsweek blog on the roll, then, trying to remove his old, dead link, I clicked a button that said "remove." Apologies to all whose links I've deleted. I'll rebuild it over the next few days.

Meanwhile, while I'm on Mickey's case, let me say that I hate the format of his new blog. There's one post a day, and you have to click through a separate page to see that there are multiple topics. So, on the main page, yesterday's post — there's no more recent post (get on it, Mickey) — is headed "Andrew Breitbart 'Pissed' at Glenn Beck?" And you can see the first 10 lines or so before clicking.

Do you click? Maybe not. Maybe you don't care about AB and GB. But if you do click, you get to additional stuff that's got nothing to do with AB and GB:  "why I can't get too worked up about GOP Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell's alleged ethics violation"... "the DREAM Act... a familiar tradeoff—compassion in the short term vs. preventing large social problems in the long term..."

So why are those subjects stuck where you might never see them? It's Mickey's old style of collecting in one continuous post what most bloggers would put up as separate posts, combined with Newsweek's format of limiting what is on the front page. That format is, I believe, motivated by a desire to boost page views. This turns something that was fun about Mickey's old blog — the rambling, gossip-column style of going from item to item — into bondage to Newsweek's commercial interests. Blech!

And the truth is, I didn't click through on Mickey's first post until just now — because I didn't bite on the first-page teaser: "Get Me More Sarah Palin! Her secret weapon? She gets hit on." Ah, I realize now that he's making the point I just made. He's grasping after page views. Ha. Anyway, on the inner page, he says:
--kausfiles on Newsweek won't be quite the same as kausfiles on Slate. My early New Year's resolution is to be a lot more interactive (e.g. responding to comments), a bit less insidery, and a lot more Instapundit-y--emulating the wildly popular Tennessee blogger who posts lots of short links to worthy articles by others. Please let me know how I'm doing.
Of course, Instapundit doesn't have comments — except on a very rare occasion when a Madison, Wisconsin revolutionary storms the gates — and I think comments will be great. But this post-page business that I can't stand is something Instapundit doesn't do. One reason we love to click on Instapundit is that there will be so much stuff there right in view, on the main page. Yeah, there are a lot of links, but the vast majority of readers don't click on any given link. He sends a lot of traffic to the people — like me — whom he links, but that's because so many readers go to Instapundit, not because everyone clicks. Why does he start with so much? Because there is so much there to be seen at the first click — exactly what Mickey is not doing.

You can go back to Instapundit many times a day and get your instant reward of something new right there. By contrast, Mickey's blog, with all the fresh attention it's getting for the first 3 days, still only has 2 posts — 2 paragraphs on that front page. That's negative reinforcement for clicking. You can say you want to be Instapundit-y (and therefore wildly popular) but you've got to give and give. You can't withhold. And if you are withholding because big media is hungry for page views, the readers — me at least — are the ones who will withhold.

ADDED: Lots of links on one page is also the charm of the Drudge Report. Talk about wildly popular. It's harder to stay off it than to indulge your addiction and check it out one more time.

24 comments:

shoutingthomas said...

I am apparently not the only one waiting to discover the lofty contributions of The Beatles and Bob Dylan to feminism.

You've got to enlighten me.

Looks to me like The Beatles and Bob Dylan embody the adolescent male dream of (1) being revered as a Messiah figure and (2) having a harem of willing and adoring females.

How does this relate to feminism?

Robert Burnham said...

You can go back to Instapundit many times a day and get your instant reward of something new right there.

Bingo.

edutcher said...

Insta is the first blog I ever followed - which led me here.

In all probability, the origin of a good many Althousians.

shoutingthomas said...

By the way if feminism is now about being revered as a Messiah figure and having a harem of willing and adoring females...

Count me in.

That is, if I'm the Messiah figure and owner of the harem.

No Joan Baez types allowed to apply.

traditionalguy said...

ST...That is so wrong of you to use Joan Baez's name in vain. She was super sincere compared to Dylan's muse. And Baez never went electric. So have some respect.

Hector Owen said...

Mickey Kaus has kept kausfiles.com working as a way to get to him through several site moves.

BJM said...

I agree, the charm of Mickey's Slate blog was the stream-of-consciousness format.

Old media just doesn't get it. The dogs won't eat the dog food so they make it even more unappetizing. D'oh.

@shoutingthomas WTF? A thread hijack with the first comment?

Gees, what a pushy bastard. Did your mama raise you to be an asshole or is this your standard attention whoring shtick.

You're just the kind of over-bearing, loud-mouthed lout feminists love to squelch.

c3 said...

This thread is so.....

meta

shoutingthomas said...

Gees, what a pushy bastard. Did your mama raise you to be an asshole or is this your standard attention whoring shtick.

Asshole or whore? Hmmm. Tough question.

Actually, I want an answer. How are The Beatles and Bob Dylan beacons of feminism? Not much of a topic to hijack here anyway.

You're just the kind of over-bearing, loud-mouthed lout feminists love to squelch.

Yes, the "love to squelch" part is correct.

So far, they haven't been able to squelch. And I'm 60 years old!

Pretty good, huh?

SteveR said...

Insta is the first blog I ever followed - which led me here.

In all probability, the origin of a good many Althousians.


me too The attraction of Instapundit has been maintained, like Drudge, I can be in and out in seconds and see what's new.

Sigivald said...

Newsweek might eventually learn that "boosting page views" by making people click through tiny content bites...

1) Works less well with browsers/addins designed to sabotage it.

2) Fools nobody, especially at their level of notoreity. Anyone buying ads on Newsweek's page will notice that tactic and discount their "page view" count accordingly to reach a real number related to actual interest rather than cheesy inflation.

3) Makes them look stupid and grasping (see #2), and not confident in their site's value. If they were confident they wouldn't have to resort to such low-end trickery.

(Sometimes breaking a long thing up is the right idea; various tech review sites do that by breaking reviews up into useful sections and letting you skip to the one you want (typically the end summary) with a dropdown menu.

This is not infuriating because:

A) each page is typically quite large and content-filled, rather than a few paragraphs.

B) each section has a logical distinction between the others rather than just being a few paragraphs cut apart from a single narrative, in order to boost page count.)

The sooner site designers all realise that nobody's fooled by such trickery and that it makes readers go elsewhere, the better for everyone.

BJM said...

Not only does the format suck but the commenters are dreadful.

No thanks, I'll follow Mickey on BHTV.

bagoh20 said...

"Sorry, I deleted my blogroll last night."

This is why a woman should never get hold of the nuclear football.

BTW, is it still a "football"? Seems by now it should be a nuclear marble...with wifi and an app for world destruction: "Fuck It 2.0"

1jpb said...

"Insta is the first blog I ever followed - which led me here.

In all probability, the origin of a good many Althousians.

me too..."

Not me, I'm via Sully (yes I understand that he's a little nutty, save your breath). Who I'll go to daily, even though I don't always read his posts. I use his blog roll as my own so-called proxy blog roll.

Maybe Kaus could put together an even better blog roll, then he'd get clicks from me.

Who knows, maybe Althouse could out-roll Sully as she reassembles her list. Though, I doubt it. Even if she did decide to be less "folksy" (e.g. not linking to commenters) w/ her links, she seems to have a more limited format than Sully. It looks like she can only have a single column w/o any ability to separate the top tier links from the less favored ones.

John Stodder said...

I agree with you. Just as rock and roll at its purest is two guitars, bass and drums, a blog is a stream of posts, newest on top, each one below it, presented in full. It is a classic format that works whether the blogger is a 12-year-old blogging about her cat or a PhD. in astrophysics blogging about redshift.

I'll accept a "click here to read more" only if it's an extra-long post whose presence in the thread is effectively blocking access to the posts below it.

(Extra long posts are like drum solos -- time to hit the beer line or the head. It has to be really good, or I have to have lots of extra time, to click the "read more" link.)

Mickey's was one of the first six blogs I got into, along with LA Observed, DodgerThoughts, Instapundit, Althouse and Daily Dish (before Andrew went nuts.) Interestingly, only Althouse and DodgerThoughts allow comments. I think comments are a great aspect to a blog -- equivalent to a Hammond B3 organ -- but only if the blogger has a special magic that makes him or her a good host day in and day out. Ann and DodgerThoughts' Jon Weisman are the best online hosts.

veni vidi vici said...

Everything you have said is true and matches the way I feel about these matters. A wonderful post, and not just because it reinforces my self-image.

Carol said...

And Kaus was one of the first political bloggers! He may have been the first I ever read, circa 1999..he ought to get it by now.

Goddam news magazines are like dead-tree dailies or the GOP, always trying to throw in that extra marketing BS they think they need and making a hash of it.

deborah said...

ST, here, now quit yer bitchin'.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J070ZJIBX-o

Alex said...

After a lot of soul searching, I've decided to to go with the 87K estimate for the Beck rally instead of his inflated 300-500K figure. the 87K is based on aerial photography, and I go strictly by the most scientific method applied.

E.M. Davis said...

Do you need a 'new' blogroll?

Because, the The Heath Ledger would make a nice addition.

It's no Opus One Media, but maybe that's a good thing.

deborah said...

Alex:
"After a lot of soul searching, I've decided to to go with the 87K estimate for the Beck rally instead of his inflated 300-500K figure. the 87K is based on aerial photography, and I go strictly by the most scientific method applied."

Sir, you are a credit to your Party.

kk said...

Why are you surprised by outdated content on a Newsweek blog? Isn't outdated Newsweek's whole schtick at this point?

wv: imism - the firm belief in oneself

wally said...

kaus wtf? typical for a skeptical, pro-american democrat. wish he could have been elected, seems a lot like scoop jackson. Love your site ann. don't forget to re-roll: sorry...party, crackskull robert, and those two dudes. your blog roll was good hope you can recreate it. i have never commented b4 but enjoy your links, site, and b-roll.

deborah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.