Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Maybe I should denounce David Frum

It might help his traffic:
It's been seven months since Frum parted ways with National Review to launch his own website -- -- in an effort to rally new voices and cure the Republican Party of its "psychotic episode." It's a long-term project that's fighting against the tide. ...
On a practical level, the Internet is proving to be a little more complicated than Frum first thought it would be, he says. He admits to shortcomings in his Web acumen, and has already undergone a redesign since it went online.
The site has gotten about 800,000 unique visitors. By comparison, the conservative site receives 2 million unique visitors per month.
Via my favorite Canadian thought-criminal, Kathy Shaidle, who's just renamed her site The Blog That Gets More Visitors Than David Frum.

Despite some of his irritating errors, I still consider David Frum a friend. Whether he considers me a friend . . .

Anyway, Frum's definitely a better writer than Michael "Herewith, A Brief Primer" Gerson. And he's more conservative than David Brooks or Conor Friedersdorf. Of course, I suppose that such statements might be considered damning him with faint praise, but . . .

As the acclaimed blogospheric theorist who authored "How to Get a Million Hits on Your Blog in Less Than a Year" -- and having gotten the second million hits in less than six months -- I suppose that I should offer my friend David Frum some helpful advice:
  • Make fun of trashy celebrities.
At an event last night hosted by America's Future Foundation, I found myself talking to an official of the Heritage Foundation (he shall remain nameless) who told me how much he loved my David Copperfield rant.

Well, what does David Copperfield have to do with politics or policy? Nothing, except maybe as a pretty solid argument for tort reform when a show business superstar gets sued after inviting a beauty-pageant contestant to his own private tropical island.

However, my point is, people who don't normally read political news might be interested in what you have to say about "Jon and Kate Plus Eight," Donald Trump or Miley Cyrus. And even people who are interested in political news sometimes get bored with all-politics-all-the-time. So if you can find some pretext to criticize these tabloid-TV people -- "Will ObamaCare Cover Donald Trump's Hair?" -- go for it.
  • Game the algorithms.
This goes back to the "Carrie Prejean Nude" thing. A certain level of what I call "residual traffic" -- random Google hits produced by Web-surfers searching for some odd phrase and clicking onto your old posts -- will accumulate over time at any site.

However, the clever blogger can inject steroids into his residual traffic by employing certain words -- "nude" and "naked" and "sex" -- that will reliably draw a certain level of 3 a.m. traffic from perverts.

Some have criticized the ethics of getting traffic that way. Ethics, schmethics. If some pervert overly enthusiastic heterosexual wants to see Carrie Prejean nude -- and I'd say nearly 300,000 visitors here in May constitute reliable evidence that this isn't purely a hypothetical scenario -- why should TMZ and Perez Hilton monopolize that traffic?

Maybe some of those perverts overly enthusiastic heterosexuals actually agree with Carrie Prejean's stance in defense of traditional marriage. They may also approve of her silicon breast implants, which I don't, but it would be un-American to stifle dissent on such important issues.

Also, maybe the computer porn freaks will feel a twinge of conscience after their search for topless jailbait pictures of Carrie Prejean lead them to a conservative site. "Why am I wasting my life wanking to porn," the freak asks himself, "when I could become a right-wing blogger and actually make money from my sick obsessions?"

Whether or not this explains the phenomenon of TrogloPundit, I refuse to speculate. But I figure not all porn freaks are into high taxes and bad foreign policy, so maybe if some conservative bloggers are perverts overly enthusiastic heterosexuals 6-foot-7 Wisconsinians with Megan Fox obsessions . . . well, NTTAWWT. IYKWIMAITYD.

  • No blog is an island.
This is what the Rule 2 FMJRA is all about. Unless you're Glenn Reynolds (and maybe even if you are Glenn Reynolds) your blog traffic is dependent in great measure on getting other blogs to link you.

"But wait," you say, "people should be linking me because I'm a genius who is always right about everything."

Good luck with that strategy. It worked so well for David Kuo and Culture 11, after all.

If the only sites you ever link as source material are "legitimate" news sources like the New York Times, the Atlantic Monthly and the Wall Street Journal, where is the incentive for bloggers to link you? Other than the fact that you are a complete genius, I mean.

Install Site Meter, Technorati and E-Referrer, and pay attention to who's linking you. Try to analyze and develop strategic uses for that data. If I hadn't been checking my Site Meter today, I wouldn't have known I'd been linked by Kathy Shaidle, which inspired this whole freaking rant.
If you don't work to improve what Moe Lane calls blog-fu, your only source of traffic will be (a) the small universe of Republicans so obsessed with politics they'll read anything, and (b) the occasional "pity-lanche."

Everybody visit Because David's my friend.


  1. Thanks for helping the poor boy. BTW, when's Tucker Carlson's site going live? It's been almost 100 days since he announced he'd be blogging.

  2. The reason David Frum is so unpopular isn't that he's a bad writer, or even that he's too moderate for Republicans. (Last I heard, Ann Althouse and Mickey Kaus, both of whom were to the left of Frum, were both doing pretty well without appealing to the hard Left).

    It isn't even that he's obsessed with attacking conservatives.

    Rather, it's his continuing dishonesty in doing so. For instance, he claims that Rush Limbaugh called Nancy Pelosi a Nazi; in fact, Pelosi had hinted that town hall protesters were Nazis, and Limbaugh was simply pointing out that if she wanted to go there, she was closer to Naziism than they were. Frum was well aware of his own distortion, but still ran with it.

    I can accept less than pure conservatism. I can't accept dishonesty.

  3. Frum Effectively Concedes He Has Little Influence

    "Since January, Conservatives 4 Palin has had 1,770,673 visits, twice the number claimed by David Frum's New Majority. Keep in mind too that Joseph Russo started this blog with $10 while Frum soliticited professional advice and promoted the debut of New Majority heavily in the political and conservative blogosphere. Just sayin' (no, not the commentator)."

  4. "Anyway, Frum's definitely a better writer than Michael "Herewith, A Brief Primer" Gerson."

    Have you ever tried to bull-doze your way through "What's Right"? Did you ever read David's introduction of Mark Steyn to National Review? Sheesh... Gerson can be dry, but at least his work isn't the longest running autohagiographical opus in modern print.

    More, one can not - repeat, can not - be a conservative and buy into climate hysteria and the authoritarian nostrums proposed as solutions.

    At the core of every conservative should surge the heart of a libertarian, for if we are not conserving Liberty, then what is the point? Liberalism on a budget? I don't see much evidence of a passion for freedom in any of the Squishes. They are much better defined as a group by their attempted self-aggrandizement than by any robust, masculine defense of Liberty.

  5. Amnesty International? Troy Davis?

    When did you turn pussy, McCain?

  6. One small quibble. Technorati absolutely sucks. It hasn't updated my "recent posts" for nearly a month, and it's also not picking up recent links from bloggers that I know are also signed up.

  7. I'll give you another reason why his site is sucking so badly: it's being run by someone whose main credential is a U of Chicago Law Degree.

    Now, I'll grant that might make her one heck of a litigator, but it doesn't give any indication that she knows a thing about blogging or the conservative blogosphere.

    When are these doofuses on the right going to figure out that if you want a successful conservative blog, you need to hire conservative bloggers who know what they're doing?

  8. "Everybody visit Because David's my friend."


  9. What's wrong with loving Megan Fox?

    Everyone should love Megan Fox.

    Why do you have no love for the Fox?

  10. Boy, I sure would be more inclined to hang out on Frum's site if he spent more pixels on serious conservative criticism and analysis rather than taking half-assed pot shots at Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck.

    I've read his stuff -- I still can't figure out what he believes in. Other than winning elections, of course. But how is he going to do that? Is the "New Majority" supposed to be a party of RINOs? Some kind of Democrat-lite? Socialist but not *too* socialist? He doesn't like Sarah Palin -- yeah, I get that already. What's the message supposed to be?

    And, frankly.. Frum's site comes off as snooty. I mean.. we've already got the National Review.

  11. You have to come clean. What was the favor this chump Frum did for you a while back? CPR? Covered up a moral crime? Pay gambling debts? What?

    As far as I'm concerned, these neostatists (Frum, the "granola conservative" guy, the "Wallmart conservatives" guy, Friderdork, and Meghan Mccain, etc.) don't even deserve to be mentioned on this site. They get enough publicity when doing their best - criticizing conservatives.

    There are a lot of conservative bloggers writing their hearts out that could use the publicity you are giving these creeps. Fuck'em, fuck'em all.

  12. "If the only sites you ever link as source material are 'legitimate' news sources like the New York Times, the Atlantic Monthly and the Wall Street Journal, where is the incentive for bloggers to link you? Other than the fact that you are a complete genius, I mean."

    Very true -- but don't forget that the New York Times, at least, fits under the "game the algorithm" rule. They have a "stories that link to this one" gadget. One riff on one of their stories brought me a hundred visitors a day or so for a few days, a few tens of visitors a day for another week, and is still bringing in a few a day more than a month later.

    Not huge traffic, but there's a residual effect that builds up over time. Google's been sending me five or ten junkies a day jonesing for opiates without liver damage for more than four years now.