February 10, 2006

Blog post gets new life.

In the last day or so, I've gotten more traffic to this old post than to the front page of the blog. It started when RedState wrote this, calling attention to what I'd written over a year ago about how lefty and righty bloggers have treated me. RedState, who seems to have kept the old post in mind all this time as something to reflect upon periodically, writes an elaborate post. Excerpt:
With a Republican majority in both Houses of Congress, a majority of the electorate having voted for a Republican president, and a lot of libertarians and a fair number of centrists and even liberals supporting the war effort, we are working in a very big tent right now; the "RINO" population is booming. Of course, having people in our coalition who don't always support all of our goals - or who, in some cases, support only a few of our goals - can be intensely frustrating. Any one of us can tick off the names of elected officials who drive us up the wall - John McCain, Chuck Hagel, Lincoln Chaffee, Arlen Specter, etc. (And that's just the Senate). There are also plenty of pundits and bloggers who are on our side on the war, or the economy, or the culture, or the law, but not all of the above. In the blogosphere, there are centrists like Althouse and libertarians like Glenn Reynolds, Megan McArdle and Stephen Green. The pundit world even includes people like Christopher Hitchens and Nat Hentoff, arch-liberals on many issues who are nonetheless steadfast allies on some questions.

Anyway, from one issue controversy to the next, we may find ourselves on the opposite side from some of these folks. And therein lies the temptation to go the Kos path, and dissolve into spittle-spraying rage when people who are "supposed" to be on "our side" cross over and side against us. That's the situation where we need to think carefully about how harshly we go after people's motives, their intellectual integrity, etc. A ritual bridge-burning may be fun, but that's how you end up stranded on your own island.
Good point! Hardcore Democrats ought to do the same, and not just because I like people to be nice to me.

Anyway, yesterday, Best of the Web had a link to the old post (with no reference to Redstate), just a quote from me and some brief agreement. Then Instapundit linked to it.

Meanwhile, Sissy Willis and Steven Taylor were noticing all the action they are getting from the time I linked to them over a year ago, and both of them wrote to ask me what's going on. Here's Sissy's old post -- replete with photo of busted up Li'l Greenie. Here's Steven's. Now Sissy's got a new post about the revival of the "Right and left: my sad experience" conversation.

It's funny about blogging. You get so intent on putting the next post at the top, pushing all the old posts down. Blogging is a process of piling on and accepting the endless sinking of whatever isn't newest. But, watching the Site Meter page, you see where new visitors are arriving. Regular readers keep coming to the main page for that newest post. Extra readers tap in at individual new posts when other bloggers link to the posts you've put up recently: you see traffic at one of today's posts, maybe yesterday's. There are always a lot of visitors that come via search engines. Some of these arrive at posts that have had a steady, if low level popularity. (My classic post of this type is "The 'therefore' symbol.'" On any given day, somebody somewhere feels like reading about the therefore symbol and finds that post.) Others come to an old post that talked about a specific subject that has reappeared in the news. But it's quite unusual to experience a flood of interest to an old post like this one. This is just a case of one blogger remembering something we were talking about quite a while back and having something more to add to that old conversation. And then it seemed new again... and bloggable. That turns around the whole feeling of blogging, that sense that it is always the new that matters.

UPDATE: Vodkapundit joins the conversation ("Ann and I arrived at the same conclusion, even though we chew on different slices of the political pie.").


Nick said...

Along with the theretofor symbol... there is also a proposal for an Irony Mark, as well as an Iterrobang (which is a combination of ?!).

Anonymous said...

Uh okay, you, a self-proclaimed conservative blog diva moderate blogger; Insty, a self-proclaimed libertarian/republican Bush supporter; Redstate, a self-proclaimed conservative blog, Sissy Willis, Steven Taylor, conservative bloggers one and all (I am not quite sure about Taylor....) all say that liberals are dumb and mean and dumb. And mean!

Do you have any more evidence now than you did than? Or just your anecdotes?

Remember too that you consider yourself a moderate blogger interested in the argument as well as a conservative blog diva.

Is this post and your post below about what bitchin' ass critical thinkers we are some sort of Zen koan expressed in a blog?

Pete said...

quxxo wrote:

"Do you have any more evidence now than you did than? Or just your anecdotes?"

Er, all we have is anecdotal evidence. Isn't that enough for a blog that relates, uh, personal anecdotes? Or do you think there's some kind of formal study out there that Ann should be referencing? Jeepers.

And Ann, I don't know if this is the place for it or not but, where the heck is the American Idol blogging? Gotta know what you thought about the Hollywood round.

Anonymous said...

Dear Pete,

n the year that I've been blogging I've taken a lot of different positions, some left and some right. What I've noticed, over and over, is that the bloggers on the right link to you when they agree and ignore the disagreements, and the bloggers on the left link only for the things they disagree with, to denounce you with short posts saying you're evil/stupid/crazy, and don't even seem to notice all the times you've written posts that take their side. . .


I don't know if you've noticed, but I'm a political moderate.

Each statement seems to be a testable hypothesis to me. Is there any data?

Both seem to be treated not as hypothesis, but as fact or axiom by a group of conservative blog circle-j*rkers who then lay on top of that their own psychopathology about the state of liberals and the virtues of conservatives. And then the echo chambers chime in, echoing and echoing.

Seems like wankerdom to me and I am asking, in the interest of improving my critical thinking if there is any evidence to support these propositions.

As I know you are a critical thinker, I am more than a bit surprised that you do not see this.

I must have made a mistake somewhere. If so, my apologies.

knox said...

I thought it was really telling the other day when a number of your regular, more rightish commenters disagreed with some of your points in the "ridiculous fear of ridicule" thread. A lefty commenter jumped on, and was all crowing about how the pack was turning on you. Just because some of us disagreed!

These same commenters repeatedly seem to find it almost unbearable that you do not follow the liberal line on every. single. issue. I think it confirms that the left feels its positions are so inviolable they perceive ANY dissent as wild, slavering hate speech.

Similarly, I find that there is a pretty wide spectrum of opinions--a Big Tent, if you will-- among those of us who are often referred to quite often by these same lefties as your "echo chamber." But this, too, is totally ignored! They simply scan for any little thing they disagree with, and as you pointed out in that original post from a year ago, ignore any common ground. If I had a penny for every time a "righty" here at Althouse says "explain what you mean" and a lefty just makes a snotty comment.

Anyway, all of this is mostly just to say, I think it's sad too.

KCFleming said...

Re: "Each statement seems to be a testable hypothesis to me. Is there any data?

As I know you are a critical thinker..."

But is quxxo a critical thinker?
Is there any data to prove that assertion?
Because I would have guessed instead that quxxo is merely into internet performance art, where argument is eschewed for effect, and thus devoid of both content and purpose.
As such, there is no point responding to a non-argument provocation, or one merely becomes a part of the dada-ist performance.

Anonymous said...

....all say that liberals are dumb and mean and dumb. And mean!

Do you have any more evidence now than you did than?

I know Ann doesn't like sports metaphors, but if this isn't a hanging curve ball over the heart of the plate then I've never seen one.

reader_iam said...

Some of these arrive at posts that have had a steady, if low level popularity. (My classic post of this type is "The 'therefore' symbol.'" On any given day, somebody somewhere feels like reading about the therefore symbol and finds that post.)

I don't know that I'd use the word "popularity" in my case, because that implies a certain threshold, but I know exactly what you mean about the odd old post that keeps getting hits via searches or what have you.

And I mean "odd" in both senses! Because the one that first jumps to mind in my case has to do with, of all things(!), "cosmecuticals" and whether you know what's in your face cream. It was a complete toss-off post on a frivolous topic, right before Christmas, when I was really busy. Yet it keeps showing up in sitemeter every few to several days (in spurts, why? Got me.).

You just never know, never know ...

And, that original post of yours touches upon an ongoing issue, so in that sense it doesn't have an "expiration date" or sense of staleness.

reader_iam said...

Quxxo: Well, I'll give you this. You would know about wankers. In spades.

Anonymous said...

Hi Iams, I know you're crushin' on me, and while I am flattered, I am more than a bit creeped out that you talk about me on your blog.

Apologies my man, but you are really not my type.

reader_iam said...

Don't know that I TALK about you, per se, at least regularly, on my blog.

We just use your screen name, from time to time, in the comment section, as a sort of shorthand.

Is that crossing some sort of boundary? Strikes me you're the last person to have a problem with that ...

reader_iam said...

I'm flattered to have "creeped you out." And that'd be "my woman."

Gaius Arbo said...

I read the link from Instapundit, then noticed the date of the original post. It did seem odd.

The points you make in the original post are very valid. I'll have to read the new links you provide in this post.

verification: tinycei - a small cathedra!

Joan said...

quxxo: of course there's data. Pick a post of Ann's that tackles a political issue, and use Google or NZ Bear's site or Technorati to see who linked to it. Click on each link and assess the tone and content of the post which discusses Ann's post. Tally your findings. Repeat for some large number of Ann's post over the history of her blog. Sounds like a job for a grad student! The data is all out there, but seriously, who has the time or the motivation to make a study of this? I'm not kidding that this would make an excellent research topic for some up-and-coming grad student, because the data is all there. You can easily do the same for posts from other leading blogs (Malkin, Reynolds, LGF on the right, DailyKos, Atrios on the left, Andrew Sullivan and Mickey Kaus in the unclassifiable category). I say if you're really that interested, go for it! Sponsor the research and see what it tells you. I'm betting the conventional wisdom (what Ann, Sissy, et al have noted) is correct.

As for the persistance of old posts, I'm amused at how a few of my posts consistently rank highly on searches, and so provide a tiny stream of traffic: posts on how to pronounce tiramisu and what "al fresco" means get hits every day.

On the other hand, I'm happy to see my old posts on medical topics being discovered via search engines, too. Part of the reason I blog is to give other patients the kind of information they're not going to get from their endocrinologists. From time to time I get email from other patients who found my posts helpful, and sometimes my old posts are linked from health topic aggregrator sites, too.

There are many different reasons for blogging. Archives don't have to be just dead letters.

chuck b. said...

One way to get a ton of hits is to put an image of Harry Potter or Hermione Granger on your blog. Once google Images finds it, you are set for a good 50 hits a day. That's what happened to me. I found it extremely disconcerting to get that much traffic on my blog, so I deleted the picture. Google images doesn't seem to notice the deletion tho', and I am still getting all these people looking for pictures of Harry and Hermione.

Is it weird to blog, but hope people don't notice? I tend to blog for 6-8 months and then delete the blog and start over when the traffic picks up. I've done that three times now. I could just not get SiteMeter and I would never know. I must be nuts.

Also, I still get SiteMeter reports from blogs deleted and canceled long ago. There's no traffic, but the reports keep coming.

Mark Daniels said...

Your observations about new life for old posts is something I've personally seen highlighted just this week. The other day, Hugh Hewitt linked to a piece I wrote on the Avian Flu threat last November (http://markdaniels.blogspot.com/2005/11/what-are-implications-of-avian-flu.html). Because Site Meter almost never tells me where traffic is coming from, it took me a little while to determine why a few folks were flocking to an old post about bird flu. But it was cool to see an old piece engendering new discussion.

Many bloggers are thoughtful people and in spite of the immediacy of this medium will, as RedState did with your post, allow ideas to gestate for a time. Or, having discovered them more recently, will link them to their current thoughts or more recent events.

I think that all of this exemplifies a cool aspect of blogging: It's intrinsiclly dialogical.

Have a good week.

Mark Daniels

The Scrutinator said...


"Blogging is a process of piling on and accepting the endless sinking of whatever isn't newest."

That endless sinking is troubling. Huge plains in cyberspace created each day, forgotten the next.

We hope Technorati and Google Blogsearch are minding them, but what are the chances of finding that needle again in the cyber-haystack?

stoqboy said...

Quxxo - Please, since its your assertion that these are testable hypotheses, do the research. I would think you should be overjoyed at the opportunity to prove your point about conservative bloggers rather than just "treat it as a fact or axiom."

Here's my prediction: If you do the research, we'll never see it, because it will disprove your point or you'll never do the research because you're scared.

Sissy Willis said...

This is wicked fun. Not only am I enjoying wave after wave of Annalanches -- Thanks! -- but my year-old post has managed to rouse the righteous indignation of someone calling himself fasteddie, a card-carrying member of the community of abusive, misinformed readers from the left side of the aisle that is the subject of your original post:

You are not noble. You are greedy.

Some things never change.

Professor Booty said...

Whiny. Ass. Titty. Baby.

Jenney said...

Well, the funny thing is, that I read this blog pretty frequently, though not every day, and when I got there through a link from Instapundit I thought I must have missed it by not reading daily. haha. Joke's on me!

I must have missed it alrighty...Last January!

Crank said...

I definitely get big traffic on old posts. I have a couple posts that get regular yearly searches for baseball predictions, baseball box scores, baseball free agents, etc. I get perpetual traffic for something I wrote almost four years ago tying together steroids and gay baseball players. And I second the Harry Potter thing - a long post I did laying out predictions for Book 7 is still getting not just traffic but comments.

WhatsAPundit said...


"Both seem to be treated not as hypothesis, but as fact or axiom by a group of conservative blog circle-j*rkers who then lay on top of that their own psychopathology about the state of liberals and the virtues of conservatives."

Hmmm. This little snippet in a comment after a prior request for some evidence that liberal commenters are more prone to be obnoxious twits toward people with whom they do not agree.

Steven said...

I specifically put together a keyboard driver that lets me access all sorts of symbols. ∴ is, for me, just slightly harder to type than @; I have to hold down two shifting keys instead of one.

If you'd like the driver (if you're using Windows NT 4.0/2000/XP/2003) you can download it at http://keyboards.jargon-file.org/

Unicode Extended 1 and 2 are the ones with ∴ (at position AltGr-Shift-.); I highly recommend using menu.altgr.reg with either of them. Who uses that silly menu key anyway?

Mark Daniels said...

The first time I read about the interrobang was in an article appearing in 'Newsweek' back in the 1960s. You'd think that in that decade of urgent skepticism, it would have caught on. But no dice. I wonder why‽

Mark Daniels

Anonymous said...

Yeah yeah yeah, vodkapundit is just another youstabee blogger trying to claim his share of the youstabee niche. check out his blogroll, he's no moderate. Neither are you Ann!

EriktheRed said...

For those on here who like to dump on the DaillyKos (which I'm also a member of), here's an article responding to to the idea of "shrill" Leftists by one of its foremost contributors, Armando:


Ted said...


You seem to believe that, because of your moderation, the fact that conservatives and liberals treat you differently must be attributable to some deficiency with liberals.

And yet, you're a member of the Conservative Blog Advertising Network, along with PowerLine, RightWingNews, Hugh Hewitt, Expose The Left, Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler, and many more partisan conservative blogs.

Do you see any contradiction there? Isn't it likely that the pattern you're seeing is a result of the universal fact that partisans (of every stripe) tend to react more positively to arguments from like-minded people than their ideological opponents?