Back at the end of February, I wrote a post about people “fading away” from some of the more prominent “progressive” sites, principally Daily Kos. I’d noticed that it was happening because I was one of the people who’d done just that. As I said back then,
I remember diarists who were regulars on the Recommended List there when I started that I hadn’t seen in a long time. People who had commented regularly – even obsessively – were a somewhat distant memory. I couldn’t remember when I’d last seen a comment from them.
Those of us who disagree with the particular notion of purity being promulgated will fade away from there. We’ll appear somewhere else.
Since that time, others also left. Some I knew about, but most of them I didn’t. There weren’t any big “Goodbye Cruel World” postings there which would attract attention to it, with people sending links around Twitter and other sites going “hey, look at this!” It was like I said, a quiet exodus. People were deciding that it wasn’t for them, and picking up and going somewhere else, rather than make a fuss about it.
Which was how it went until Glenn Greenwald shot off a tweet, which had unintended consequences.
He called attention to one of the people who had departed DailyKos, Blackwaterdog, whose departure had been noticed by a number of people, but not as many as suddenly learned of it through his inept shot at Blackwaterdog.
If the purpose had been just to denigrate and minimize Blackwaterdog, it failed miserably. Instead of minimizing her, her blog became popular. Even more unintended consequences set in. You see, there were a number of other blogs which had been created by ex-members of Daily Kos, most of whom were “pragmatic progressives.” In the furor, they began to get noticed as well. Their traffic increased dramatically.
How dramatically? Very. I can look at the traffic stats for this blog, and I can tell you when he did it. The graph looks like it ran into a cliff – one day, I’m doing my “normal” traffic, which had been holding fairly steady for months, the next I’m seeing ten times that and it stayed that way.
I’ve talked to others, and they’re seeing big jumps as well. But even more than just getting viewers, something else is happening. People are popping up on these sites saying “Oh, good, I’ve been hoping to find a place like this!”
With those new commenters, even more links come in, and as I said back in February, the people who left are reappearing. They didn’t “disappear,” really, they just went elsewhere. Now they’re being rediscovered in their new places.
Thanks, Glenn, for calling attention to it! It might have taken a while for everyone to notice, if you hadn’t.
The “quiet exodus” is no longer quiet. It’s getting getting louder, and it’s coming back.