Democrat From Kentucky

Democrat from Kentucky
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Trouble on the National Liberal Blog Scene? Thursday, November 17, 2005

Progressive blogger Rogers Cadenhead and his Drudge Retort had a recent falling out with the Advertise Liberally advertising group put together by Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos and Chris Bowers and Jerome Armstrong of MyDD.

Cadenhead comments on his own blogm Work Bench about the situation. He commented on the seemingly abrasive tone taken by Moulitsas after Va. Governor-elect Tim Kaine pulled an ad. The reasoning was ad partner Steve Gilliard posted a depiction of an African-American politician in blackface. A decidedly unpolitically correct move.

Cadenhead said Moulisas threatened advertisers by saying:

... campaigns should advertise on blogs to reach readers, not to "endorse" the publication. We're bloggers. We'll say things that are "controversial". If campaigns don't think they can weather such storms, then by all means they should NOT advertise on blogs.

Because every time a campaign freaks out at a blogger and pulls their ads, we're going to raise a stink about it and inevitably make that campaign look bad. So they should think long and hard before putting money into a Blogad campaign.

It's an interesting exchange. I will eye it further but it shows bloggers are picking up power. Of course Kos get over a million hits a week and charges $1500 and ad for a week and has 8 ads on the blog.

posted by Stithmeister @ 1:52 PM

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At 11:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...
((Lindsay from Majikthise here. I forget my Blogger password.))

Can anyone figure out why Raw Story, Smirking Chimp, and Drudge Retort got kicked out of Advertising Liberally? The official rationale is that they aren't blogs and don't have enough original content. But these sites were founding members of the network. They're doing exactly what they've always done. I would think that it would be in Advertising Liberally's best interests to retain popular sites like these.

I'm assuming that Bowers, et al. made a strategic decision to kick these sites out of the network. But what's the logic behind their choice?

My guess is that they saw RS, SC, and DR as a dilution of the AL brand. All three were high traffic sites with ads that were quite expensive compared to other blogs in the network.

Advertising Liberally tries to encourage sponsors to advertise on the entire network at once. Together, these three expensive sites were adding at least a few hundred dollars a week to the cost of a network-wide ad. Maybe these blogs were a sticking point for some of the advertisers that AL is trying to attract. They do stand out compared to the other blogs in the network. Maybe the sponsors who want to advertise on bloggy-looking blogs tend to be less enthusiastic about the big aggregator-style sites.

My theory is that Bowers and colleagues kicked these blogs out because they thought their presence was discouraging some sponsors from doing whole-network buys.

Is this theory plausible? I'm not defending the decision. I'm just trying to figure out what the motives might have been.

There's been a lot of speculation, much of it rather dark, about why these blogs might have been kicked out. AL's lack of transparency probably contributed to suspicions. People have been using words like "payola" and making all kinds of insinuations. It seems more likely that this was a brutal, but basically above-board business decision.

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At 12:08 AM, Blogger Stithmeister said...
According to Cadenhead's blog, the rules were just changed unilaterally and they were the ones left out. The traffic levels for the blogs was pretty high and Cadenhead seemed to resent the changes. He also though Kos was being a little short-sighted in his statement toward advertisers.

I tend to agree with Cadenhead on the one hand. If you're in the business to make money AND make a difference, you can't necessarily take a shot at offending a major constituency of the party you represent. That's why Tim Kaine pulled his ads. His win was tight enough as it was, let alone something like that.

The network buy thing is a possibility but in my experience, pretty much everything is negotiable and I'd say a little discussion could've solved the problem without losing 3 high traffic blogs from the network. If human nature is involved, either someone got ticked off good or there was money involved. My bet would be on the bottom line.

When two partners make $2, they're happy and each says "We get a dollar." When the same partners make $2 million and they split it in half, they say "That sonuvabitch stole my damned money." Not saying that's what happened, but it would be the first time, especially since they guys were all charter members.

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Location: Harrodsburg, Kentucky, United States

I'm currently working in the telecomm industry but one of my passions is still politics.

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