The place was crowded. Everyone was sitting, staring at their laptops, at bridge tables or completely sacked out on couches. Markos Moulitsas, who runs the blog Daily Kos, at dailykos.com, was slouched in the corner of one squashed-down couch in shorts and a T-shirt, his computer on his lap, one of the keys snapped off his keyboard. He's a small guy with short brown hair who could pass for 15. Duncan Black of the blog Eschaton, who goes by the name Atrios, sat at the other end of the couch, staring out the window. On the table set up behind them, Jerome Armstrong of MyDD worked sweatily. Jesse and Ezra, whose blog is called Pandagon, were lying with two cute women in tank tops -- Ezra's girlfriend Kate and Zoe of Gadflyer -- on futon beds that had been placed on the tiny stage of the performance space. Their computers and wireless mice and some carrots and radishes and paper plates with Chinese dumplings were scattered between them.
And that's how Matthew Klam's story, "Fear and Laptops on the Campaign Trail" begins in the NY Times Magazine this week.
The thrust of the article is that blogging has changed the way people view the political landscape. A lot of this comes from the speed of which bloggers work. As he describes to those who obviously don't know anything aboug blogging, "Moulitsas copied and pasted the story, wrote ''Novak blows another one'' at the top and clicked Submit. A couple of seconds later, the item appeared on Daily Kos, and his hundreds of thousands of readers began to take note, many of them posting their own fevered thoughts in response."
The article discusses the origin of political blogging: Kausfiles. Then goes on to bring up such heavyweights as Wonkette (who I've always found to be boring and fitting of the description Klam gives her: "a foulmouthed, hard-drinking, sex-obsessed politics junkie"), Joshua Micah Marshall, Glenn Reynolds (also quite boring), and Andrew Sullivan.
Then he points out an interesting statistic. It seems that left wing political blogs are exploding in traffic while news channels that cater more towards Republicans (ahem, Fox News) are doing better than their more left counterparts.
But just as Fox News has been creaming CNN, the traffic on Kaus's and Sullivan's sites has flat-lined recently, while Atrios's and Moulitsas's are booming. Left-wing politics are thriving on blogs the way Rush Limbaugh has dominated talk radio, and in the last six months, the angrier, nastier partisan blogs have been growing the fastest. Daily Kos has tripled in traffic since June. Josh Marshall's site has quadrupled in the last year. It's almost as though, in a time of great national discord, you don't want to know both sides of an issue.
Continuing with the article will present a more detailed look at this group of bloggers. Specifically Wonkette and Joshua Micah Marshall. It's a well written piece that tries to show what the motivation is for these bloggers. What is it they want to get out of blogging?