Looking a little more into blog readership declines.

I’ll be honest: I’m not really all that into blogging about this Bloggasm article on relative losses in political blogs’ readership since October 2008, for a few reasons.  First off, I’m not particularly convinced that the sample is relevant: if you look at the list, yes, most of the major ones are on there – but are they really representative?  It’s been years since my last statistics class, but I can tell that there’s one heck of a selection bias going on in there.  Second: there is no universe where Andrew Sullivan is ‘right of center,’ sorry.  For that matter, Ann Althouse barely qualifies.

Third – and this is why I’m putting this up; some people that I privately showed the chart below the fold to insisted that I should – I think that it’s probably more significant to look at yearly trends anyway.

Blog Jun-08 Oct-08 May-09 Oct-May Jun-May
Daily Kos 32.19 82.89 25.29 -69% -21%
C&L 6.85 11.25 5.72 -49% -16%
FDL 2.24 4.52 2.52 -44% 13%
Eschaton 2.66 4.21 2.07 -51% -22%
America 1.98 4.95 1.61 -67% -19%
WM 1.02 3.19 1.71 -46% 68%
MyDD 3.32 2.61 0.52 -80% -84%
TalkLeft 2.11 1.4 0.68 -51% -68%
OpenLeft 0.82 1.56 0.49 -69% -40%
Andrew Sullivan 6.54 23.2 8.4 -64% 28%
Drudge Retort 1.79 2.82 1.8 -36% 1%
61.52 142.6 50.81 -64% -17%
Hot Air 9.84 23.71 19.59 -17% 99%
Instapundit 6.99 10.7 11 3% 57%
Michelle Malkin 7.08 14.75 7.45 -49% 5%
AoSHQ 1.43 4.1 2.59 -37% 81%
RS 1.68 3.72 2.16 -42% 29%
Gateway 0.62 2.13 1.12 -47% 81%
Althouse 0.68 1.28 0.95 -26% 40%
Hugh Hewitt 1.03 2.68 0.67 -75% -35%
Patterico 0.5 0.81 0.46 -43% -8%
29.85 63.88 45.99 -28% 54%

Once you look at last year’s numbers, the trends become a lot more clear, for these specific sitesPersonal preferences aside, electing a Democrat has turned out to be a traffic boost  for the Right-oriented sites featured and a traffic depressor for the Left-oriented sites featured.  I’d love to see the two-year numbers, so as to get rid of the distortion that even the beginning of the Presidential primary season was generating – but it looks like generally the Right-blogs featured here kept some of the traffic boost from the election, and generally the Left-blogs featured here did not.  They, in fact, have been declining.

How relevant is this?  Honestly, not very much – unless you’re an advertiser who’s trying to decide where your next ad buy is going to be, I suppose.  And then only then if the site in question has set ad rates that assume future growth, and not shrinkage…

Moe Lane

Crossposted to RedState.

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1 Comment

  • 1. RECENT ELECTION CYCLE: Change from a Republican to a Democrat in the White House shifts the enthusiasm and activism from one group to another, impacting the activity of their respective blog communities.

    2. THE EVOLUTION OF THE BLOG FORMAT: Blogs used to be the domain of political renegades. They became more mainstream and commercialized. For a short time, they experienced exponential growth. I believe we are on the downward side of the blog lifecycle curve.

    3. RISE OF ALTERNATIVES: Alternative new media publishing tools makes the blog format one of many choices for both the reader and the publisher. Micro-blogging, SMS, Twitter, Facebook, etc. all compete for much of the same audience.

    Over the next few years, I suspect political enthusiasts and news junkies will still crave the original content and instant analysis that the blog format is so well-suited. However, with so many alternatives, especially in the area of mobile media, I think we will continue to see an overall decline in blog traffic for all but the most robust blog communities.

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