Thursday, April 09, 2009

The Hypocrisy of the National Blogs

John Avarosis has on numerous occasions blasted progressive organizations for not advertising on progressive blogs. Here's his latest. What's interesting is that he's finally not the only one. Kos, Jane Hamsher (of FDL) and John Amato (of Crooks and Liars) are finally speaking up about the subject too. Blogging full time means struggling to make ends meet, all the while progressive organizations spend hundreds of millions on often-ineffective ads and consultants (who are sometimes paid tens of thousands just to reach out to bloggers) -- instead of contributing pennies on the dollar to progressive blogs, who have been at the forefront of pushing for the progressive agenda.

John, John, Jane and Kos are all right. However, they're all thinking of themselves, too. If this is a conversation about "what have you done for me lately," I'd like to ask the national big boys the very same question. As a full time/small time blogger, I used to spend a huge, inordinate amount of time reaching out to the national blogosphere. I've had a few of my stories linked to on national blogs that get tons of hits -- such as Towleroad.

However, I stopped doing that, because more often than not I found that these blogs wanted my expertise in being able to find the story, but wouldn't link to or even provide a hat tip to Ryan's Take. This happened frequently on gay rights issues: I'd get the story, send it out, the bloggers would cover the story, but they'd either link to the media version of the story (usually printed later) or looked for some Cooler Kids to talk about it, such as the BMG version. I can't count the number of times this happened.

All of this is fine. Honestly. If national blogs don't want to promote smaller blogs, no big deal. If they'd rather print the MSM article instead of promoting a blogger they don't know well, whatevs. The blogosphere has become so big that it's a giant chorus -- our voices are inevitably drowned out at some point.

However, when they start to complain about similar, related things -- other people wanting all the results, all the spoils, but not sharing the work or helping by buying some ads -- then I'm going to scream "Hypocrite." John Avarosis may have trouble paying his mortgage as a full time blogger, but small bloggers who spend nearly as much time blogging have trouble paying for the gas to go to events they're begged to cover. One link by a site like Americablog or Towleroad, however, may pay for some of that gas to cover that event which they'll then cover on their blogs.

In the end, John Avarosis should be angry and complain about groups like Americans United for Change not spending tens of thousands on a single banner ad. However, I'll be criticizing the big gay blogs and national blogs for not spending the 10 seconds to bother linking to the small blogger who first uncovers a story that becomes nationally important, but happen at a local level. If they're so worried about fostering progressive talent -- and that's what Avarosis says this is all about -- then they could do a whole lot more themselves by just stepping a foot outside of the Blogger Status Quo.

1 comment:

Webster said...

Good point--and fair point. I hope, in this instance, some of the "big guys" take a moment to reflect on what you've said, and the fairness of it.

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