September 29, 2004

Links in high places, where readers don't seem to be the click-through type.

Even though I check Sitemeter a lot and see who's linking to this blog and sending traffic this way, I very well might not have noticed that the official Bush campaign blog linked to my "How Kerry lost me" post yesterday. It just didn't produce much traffic. Links yesterday from Volokh and Allahpundit brought more. The most recent link from Instapundit brought much more. Just being the top link on Vodkapundit's "top shelf" brings seems to bring more on a given day. So what's going on? Either few people read the official campaign blog, or the people who do just aren't the click-through type.

Let's assume the people who read the official Bush campaign blog just aren't the type who click through to read the original. My anti-Bush editor snipes: Of course they're not the click-through type! They like their big-picture, incurious George because they too want to be reassured in thinking what they already think and don't want to be troubled by disturbing details!

In fact, the Bush blog chose two paragraphs of my long post and set these out in full. The intro to the first paragraph quoted is:
For months, blogger Ann Althouse was an undecided Wisconsin voter. In this post carefully weighing her decision in November, she reaches the conclusion that John Kerry is simply the wrong choice. First, she remembers being impressed with the Republican National Convention, which offered substance and an agenda for winning the war on terror ...
So the Bush blog reader knows I'm a woman, previously undecided, and from Wisconsin. They don't know I'm a law professor. I just seem to be one of those women voters in a swing state everyone has been talking about. Maybe a soccer mom turned security mom. Later, the Bush blog refers to me as "Ann," not Ms. Althouse or, properly, Professor Althouse.

Was my post "carefully weighing [my] decision ... [and] reach[ing] the conclusion that John Kerry is simply the wrong choice"? No! My post was conceding I'd been expressing a lot of hostility to Kerry lately, then going back over old posts to trace the origin and history of my discontent. I wasn't weighing my decision like a generic voter, I was trying to understand myself and using the resource of my own old blog posts.

Was the first thing I wrote about the Republican National Convention? No, it was the twelfth thing I wrote about!

Did the convention impress me because it "offered substance and an agenda for winning the war on terror"? I never said that. I wrote about being impressed by the passion and conviction about national security as expressed by Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, and Ron Silver.

The Bush blog quotes only one other paragraph of my post, which was over 25 paragraphs long. I don't mind linkers picking out the paragraphs they like, but if people don't click through and read, they aren't going to see whether those quotes were taken out of context.

UPDATE: Thanks to all who emailed to say they didn't click through from the Bush blog because they had already seen the post as regular readers of this blog. Regularly returning readers are ideal, I think all bloggers would agree.

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