Bleak outlook for GOP blogging in Montana

Another Republican blog in Montana has failed.  Treasure State Politics has let its domain lapse, and its last entry had been in 2013.   Early this year, a newly arrived right-wing blog called Montana Pundit also petered out.  Others, such as the Havre Daily Corrector, What’s Right in Montana, MT Pundit and others which have faded into obscurity have tried and failed to provide meaningful content and attract readers and commenters.

I am not surprised that the GOP in Montana is having such difficulty.  I’ve written before about the Romney-Obama face-off, and how Romney would struggle to use technology. I believe it goes to the heart of this matter.

Some time after I wrote this post, the New York Times wrote an in depth piece, months before the 2012 election, describing the contrast between the two field efforts: Obama’s field offices employed tablets and phones that field workers carried with them; Romney’s still used clipboards and pencils.

This same phenomenon is handicapping Montana conservatives in their effort to launch a blog.  To blog successfully, one must have an audience that a) is at least marginally literate and b) can operate a computer c) have something to say worth reading.


43 Comments on "Bleak outlook for GOP blogging in Montana"

  1. There must be something Republicans can say on a blog that is interesting, engaging, connects with an online audience and is relevant today. Oops, no. Just kidding. The problem with Tea Party blogs vice Republican blogs, and they are not necessarily the same, is a disconnect from reality. Republicans are pretty bad these days but the Tea Party people are clearly living in their own Fantasy World and that is why when they try to govern all you get is crap, because they are operating in a Fantasy World and when that Fantasy World intersects with the real world things don’t work out that well. That’s my opinion. If they labeled their blogs as fictional fantasies and put it out as an attempt to get people to move towards establishing their utopia here on earth, they might get a better following.

  2. Agree- the tea party blogs are all conspiracy theories, racism, or repeats of the most ludicrous faux news nonsense

  3. Most political blogs in Montana are the efforts of individuals, not institutions. That’s true for all political persuasions. Institutions have more staying power. Individuals burn out or lose interest, or their lives change in ways deleterious to blogging. There are certainly conservative blogs in Montana, and I include several on Flathead Memo’s blogroll for the convenience of my readers.

    A lot of bloggers underestimate the amount of work and skill that’s required to produce an influential website. That’s especially true for blogs that do original reporting. So I’m not surprised that some bloggers put away their keyboards and pick up their fishing poles. That’s almost always a good idea when the sun is shining.

    • I would also point out that readership is no indication of the “quality” of the blog either. There was a conservative blog run by Eric (I can’t remember the name of it at this point) that would routinely get 100 or more comments on a post. Most of the comments were written by foamy mouth idiots and people that Darwin should have removed from the gene pool, but never doubt that his blog had a wide readership.

      Moreover, it is often those mis-informed, controversial blogs and websites that gain a wide readership if for no other reason than their nature of being controversial. Glenn Beck and Rush Limberger laugh all the way to bank every week.

      As James said, there are still right leaning blogs out there and they are far from dead. I would not consider any of them to be the equal of this blog or intelligent Disconnect, but they are not as extinct as this article makes them sound. I would also point out that many left and independent blogs have languished in the last couple of years too. Wulfgar has been effectively silent since January. I have only put one post up on my blog since January. Left in the West has once again gone silent. I could list more but the point is that James is right. A blog – run by an individual – is a lot of work and other things tend to get in the way. In my case, my wife and I have spent a lot of energy in the last year helping out daughter and her family get on their feet. With the other work I do, I haven’t really had the time or inclination to blog. My blog still exists because I know that this situation is temporary (as a matter of fact, my daughter and her family are moving into their own home this weekend) and I like blogging too much to think that I won’t return to it at some point.

      The Republicans in this state are not dead, as many seem to attest to on this blog. They are alive and well, and while they don’t seem to have the acumen to write blogs like this one, they still manage to communicate just fine.

  4. Oh, man, you kids give yourself too much credit.
    While the left seems to have an edge on technology thanks to the old maxim you can’t be old and wise without first being young and stupid (James the Great being excepted) — the fact remains that technology is limited by the concept of GIGO.
    Bad ideas well presented on the web are still bad ideas, and it might well be that the Republicans are conspiring to keep their good ideas a secret from the left.

  5. A noun, a verb and Tea Party routinely yields 100 comments here, not unlike Eric’s right-wing blog. This blog serves, as I see it, to keep Democrat followers focused on the other party and away from their own, diversion without insight. If Cowgirl were to focus on the Democrat Party and all of its corruption and deceit, this blog too would fold in a heartbeat. After all, this blog is run by paid staffers – paid, that is, to focus on the other party and avoid introspection and reflection. Ergo, bad writing, day in and out, and the gall to criticize other blogs.

  6. Blogging isn’t that hard. I’d think political blogs would be easier because you can get passionate about something and your fingers will fly.

    Keeping your momentum going to 25 or 50 or even 100 posts is something else, and doing so on a consistent basis. With political blogs, however, you can build an audience faster. There’s a lot of nuts out there that love to do nothing more than put in their two cents. That’s why I don’t understand the lack of political blogs here.

    I’ve got three books now that touch on blogging and content marketing. For some of you old school types that think blogging’s a little intimidating and just can’t get your mind around it, you’re in luck – SEO & 80s Movies is on sale today!

    • I’m absolutely certain that blogging isn’t that hard … if what you’re blogging about is actually part of your ‘day job’, a job that involves copious amounts of typing. For instance, I’ve every confidence that blogging about writing is easy for a writer, just as blogging about politics seems much easier for James Conner, him being a political consultant. For those of us who blog politics when that is not part of our day job, the difficulty is plain. Blogging isn’t just monkeys tapping a keyboard. One has to research links, draw conclusions, make an argument, read other blogs to find similar content and somehow find the damned time and patience to put those out there for a most unappreciative audience. Any damn fool can ‘blog’ about how much they think Obama sucks, or how the TEAbaggers are deviants and traitors. But it strikes me that’s what Twitter and Facebook are for.

      Long form blogging is a different beast all together and it is much harder than you suppose, Greg. For one, it takes time to write more than 140 characters, and the reward is far less. Bloggers don’t get to crow about ‘number of followers’ and how many ‘likes’ one got on any given post. Oh yes, it’s easy to attract readers, but the only metric that means anything in long form is response, and most respondents will be disagreeable, illogical, trolling twits, idiotic meta-critics, opportunistic idea leeches or self-important gas-bags more focused on looking good than on actually engaging the writer. To say that blogging is a game of diminishing returns is an understatement.

      Social sharing has become Short Attention Span Theater, and long form bloggers are at a distinct disadvantage. In a world of social media quick strikes, time is a blogger’s enemy. Any idiot can tweet or Facilebook a breaking headline to the gasps and amazement of the breathless, and that ‘breaking story’ will be shoved in the faces of the willing and unwilling within seconds, likely to be forgotten mere hours later. Obviously, blogging is not that. A blogger has to build a voluntary ‘readership’, and one doesn’t do that by slapping headlines on a site and calling it kismet.

      I’ve been doing this long enough now that I tend to have a deep respect for anyone who can maintain the will to blog for more than 3 years, especially if they blog politics, right, left, wacko, or partisan. Mostly because it sure as hell ain’t easy.

    • Why are you running for office?

  7. Blogging does take a lot of time. Even when readers of this blog send in such excellent tips, it still takes time to write them up, verify, link, etc. The point of this post is that it takes more than just a blogger to have blog a, it takes an informed, interested readership. Right now for example I have several great tips, so many I don’t know if I’ll have time to write them all even. If people like this blog, they have the tipsters to thank. The blog is looking for guest writers and regular bloggers! Email me if you are interested.

    • Hot Tip: Democrats are corrupt too, just like Republicans.

      It is going to take take time to write this up, verify, link, etc., I know, so I suggest you use non-paid weekend time to get moving. Suggested starting place: Any place you might want to look, except here.

      You go girl! Get on it! Journalistic chops! Have at it. You’ll find what all persecutors find – not a lack of evidence, but too much.

      • Mark, the “Green Monster” is eating you up! (But not fast enough)

      • It is my job to spot, expose and ridicule hypocrites. Cowgirl just happened to be an easy target today, so full of herself and completely clueless at once.

        • Start writing, naming names, providing evidence instead of just your vague charges.

          • Read carefully here Lynn: think for yourself. I don’t have to do anything. If you are not curious, you are not reachable.

            But really, if you want corruption, you need look no farther than Jon Tester. It was all laid out before you in the last election, and you buried your head in the sand. Now you want evidence. That is just rich. Just rich.

            • Mark, Most people here think for themselves, we choose between the lesser of 2 evils all the time. The point of most of your posts, for which your probably paid, is for people to give up and quit voting.

              • All politics involves compromise, but it is done after, and not before you fight for your goals. You Democrats give up before fighting, always settling for less, never expecting or demanding more. You do this because you are afraid. You are sad people.

                Lesser evil politics is a symptom of a larger problem, low expectations. Democrats are the party of low expectations, and accept “lesser” evil because of that.

                The larger problem is, and your Tester is a perfect example, that he can accomplish more of the right wing agenda than an open right winger can. In his cloaked state, he gets away with things that a true righty cannot.

                So your lesser evil is actually a greater evil.

                So Democrats lower our expectations, refuse to fight for our ideals, and end up electing the greater evil anyway. My advice: Stop before you cost us everything we value.

                • I gather you get paid by the word.

                  Produce the “Evidence” against Tester and let the chips fall.

                  Or move to Montana and run as the perfect candidate.

                  • Again, I produce nothing, as it has all been laid out before you and you choose not to see it. You and everyone here know that your leaders are corrupt and cynical, but your need for validation and moral superiority is so great that you overlook it all, and imbue them with high qualities they do not possess.

                    I can lead you to water, but you will not drink, so lead yourself there sometime, that is, if you possess an ounce of genuine curiosity and a shred of intellectual honesty.

        • No, Mark. It isn’t your “job”. That arrogance is what makes you a significant part of the problem under discussion.

          • Cowgirl writes an arrogant post attacking other blogs as she is paid staff and under supervision, unable to write about the very problem under her nose, and you call me arrogant? You got your detective nose sniffing the wrong hydrant Rob.

    • Amen to the importance of tips. That’s what distinguishes Montana Cowgirl from so many other blogs. And that’s why Montana Cowgirl gets so many readers.

    • Guest posts will be accepted only when they suit you. Seems this was a little too much for your refined sensibilities:

      • Dear Greg – I don’t believe I saw an email about your guest post. I get a lot of email, and as a volunteer blogger who blogs in her spare time, it sounds like I may have missed it. (Sometimes, I like to go outside, see my friends, sleep etc.) Dear Tipsters, this applies to you too, I may have missed your tip, or may have just gotten busy. Without seeing your post even, I’m sure I’d love to put it up unless it is defamatory or incoherent. When someone doesn’t get your email, send a follow-up : ) Look forward to reading, Cowgirl

        • Well, you won’t have to look much further than the mirror to find the hypocrite of the week. You sure can respond quickly when it suits you.

          • That is quite the hissy fit you appear to be having here and at BigSkyWords Mr. Strandberg. Might it be as simple as the Cowgirl missing the email, as she suggested?
            You make a number of assumptions and accusations in your screed without any apparent factual basis in regards to the Cowgirl. Is this how you would approach issues while legislating?

          • Note the time, Greg, 8:16. “She” punches in at 8 am. Keep digging. It only get more interesting. You are just scratching the surface of the Montana Democrat Party, corrupt beyond repair.

        • Interesting that for someone who blogs in her spare time, the posts happen during business hours m-f and there is usually a Friday offering designed to keep the readers busy over the weekend.

          Fess up, “Cowgirl.” You’re about as real as your party is honest.

          • How many hits a day do you get at your blog, Mark: 200? Maybe you should stick to what you know instead of what you think you know.

          • It is possible to know things without being told. All you need do is connect the dots. That’s all I do.

            The vast majority of people are dullards. Where do you fit in, LK? Are you capable of knowing anything the party does not tell you?

  8. Dude, it’s a blog- it’s not the NY Times and it’s not gonna make or break your campaign – and if you think otherwise that’s one more of many many reasons to vote Willis Curdy in your primary.

  9. Uzani, his army at Lashmir.

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