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May 25, 2011

Media Matters... But Does It?: Soros' Personal $15 Mil Per Year Vanity Site Gets 600K Uniques Per Month?

Can that be right? Can that possibly be right?

Pat Dollard highlights this Mediaite report.

“What began in 2004 as a ten- person shop with a $3 million annual budget now has around 90 employees and plans to spend $15 million this year.” That is striking and demonstrates the enormous fundraising operation that they have created. But that is not translating into readers. With that budget and staff, they should be about the size of a site like Politico, but the numbers tell a far different story. According to web traffic evaluator, Quantcast, Politico averages 5.6 million monthly unique visitors, Media Matters a mere 646,200. Even if you give Media Matters the benefit of the doubt and double that number, they are still doing a fraction of the traffic of sites its size (at 1.3 million, it would still be far smaller than little Mediaite, with ten times the staff). That’s something that clearly should have been pointed out in the story.

For comparison: this site gets 2.5 million uniques per month (or 3 million in good months).

That's not to brag, because this site does not get a huge amount of traffic. So-so, and some people have heard of it, but it's not a lot. For comparison, the celebrity site Perez Hilton has sometimes gotten 14 million views... in a day.

It's not to brag, then, but rather to note that Soros' vanity website is getting traffic on the level of a 2nd tier political blogger.

Or 3rd tier, if tiers are defined more narrowly. Or 4th tier.

Actually, 4th tier is about right. If a Hot Air or Michelle Malkin is 1st tier, and this site is 2nd tier, the Mmmmmfah is 3rd tier at best and really 4th tier.

For $15 mil a year. Must be nice to be an unaccountable liberal.

This isn't quite true, but it's nearly so: Media Matters' only actual readers are the "reporters" at the networks (and especially MSNBC) that immediately type up their drivel and mainstream it into "news."

Not to push my own meme, but seriously, any time a conservative hears a liberal cite "Media Matters" he should just immediately say "But does it?" Let them figure it out.

On Attracting and Keeping Readers: Very often I get criticized for running funny or trivial stories, or going off-message. There is a contingent of folks who want their political sites doing nothing but relentlessly messaging.

First of all, I couldn't do that. Neither could the cobloggers. What you see on this site is a mix of 1, stories that are both important and which we are interested in, 2, stories which are important and must be posted even if we have nothing to add to them, and 3, stories which are not important but which we either have something to add about, or which we find interesting.

Those who demand "stay relentlessly on message" don't realize that that category 3 is often more interesting than category 2. Sure, we do category 2, because we have to. But we don't actually have anything new to add. It's just a link and quote. You can get that anywhere, and in fact, you do get that anywhere.

But more importantly, those who demand this are making a mistake. I think in their heads they just want to know that there exists sites out there constantly hammering The Message.

They want to know that's going on... in background.

They want to know other people are being indoctrinated by such a site.

But would they read it themselves? Or do they just want to know it exists for other people, those in need of indoctrination, to read?

I think the latter. They seem to make the error of not realizing that for a message to be effective, first, it must be read in the first place.

And being a little idiosyncratic and random and funny and goofy helps with that. Whether the Seriousness Brigade realizes that or not.

Now, case in point: MMFA, or Mmmmmfah, is in fact relentlessly on message.

They are without character or identity. And without wit or warmth or anything recognizable as human.

All they are are a 24 hour a day propaganda manufacture and distribution machine.

They are dreary, stupid, bombastic, witless, stupid, and boring.

They are, in fact, Stalinist in their single-minded adherence to a never-resting Party Line.

And it shows in their traffic. By God it shows.

Now, you can write that shit if you like. All it takes is $15 million per year and you now have a website that faithfully concocts and propagates spin and stupidity 24 hours per day.

But will people read it?

Well... 624,000 uniques per month will read it. (Which works out to as few as 10,000 or 20,000 actual readers, because a "unique" is not a unique at all.)

So, to the Always Be Serious brigade: No thanks. The model doesn't work. It is in fact the idiosyncracies, the characters, the oddnesses, the obsessions, the weirdnesses of a site that differentiates it from the seventeen bazillion other sites doing approximately the exact same thing.

And I might be a little annoyed that Russ is deviating from the party line on ethanol, but I actually like that there is a deviation from the party line. Oh, mostly I'm annoyed. But partly... I like that.

A Generic Right Wing Political Propaganda Blog would have just as many readers as that title would suggest.



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posted by Ace at 06:38 PM

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