Rich Blogger, Poor Blogger: Where The (Critical) Differences Are More Than (Blog)Skin Deep

A piece at Media Matters on MSNBC’s Chris Matthews reminds me of a subject often acknowledged too seldomly among bloggers themselves. Namely, those who believe the only key difference between Democrat vs. Republican-leaning bloggers is party affiliation are not only politically naïve; they also may not appreciate how skewed the additional differences can color (in more shades than red, blue, and purple) what gets posted.

Obviously, there are no hard and fast rules that apply here and that just about everywhere, you’ll find exceptions to any simplistic generalization I’ll post here or you read elsewhere. Still, understand that my information is mined from years of communications with fellow bloggers of all political stripes (or completely stripe-less) and professional experience with online media that dates back to before most of you ever knew the Internet exists. Data here also comes from general publishing and marketing studies, and from statistics and anecdotal evidence compiled by others I respect and/or have a good track record of accuracy including professional news services.

With this said typed – and my very vocal caveat that this information is not an exhaustive, scientific analysis and may be subject to error - here’s a short list of some of the most interesting of the red vs. blue blogger differences:

  • GOP-oriented bloggers are far more frequently subsidized, if not outright paid a full salary/hourly wage (which many are), by Republican candidates or Republican-centric organizations

  • Among politically-affiliated bloggers who are paid, the Republican types tend to make appreciably more money for their work (example: a “right” blogger is more apt to earn a living wage for his or her work rather than the more modest honorariums offered to a smaller percentage of “lefty” bloggers

  • ”Lefty” bloggers, by and large, tend to voice more criticism about so-called “left” candidates and policies than “righty” bloggers do with candidates, elected officials, and policies of their own party/affiliation

  • Democratic-linked bloggers seem far more inclined to than GOP-leaning ones to openly identify their party affiliation or political bent/philosophy (conservative vs. libertarian, for example), which candidates/policies they support (financially, philosophically, free advertising, etc.) or that they are funded, in part or in whole, by a political group

  • ”Red” bloggers often display far more consistency in “staying on message” (examples: repeating phrase-by-phrase, often ad infinitum, a particular party “talking point” such as that Barack Obama was trained as a Muslim fascist at a madrassah OR that there is actual conclusive proof that candidate John McCain sired a black child out of wedlock and/or deliberately left other American PoWs behind in a Vietnamese prison camp OR that a leading psychiatric expert insists Hillary is not just gay but a self-hating lesbian at that) even when that talking point conflicts with beliefs or reports those same bloggers earlier presented
  • Dem or independent bloggers appear more inclined to report a different point of view/pick apart a “talking point” even if it comes from their own party/preferred candidate/lawmaker

  • The same “right” bloggers often fail to provide a link directly to a news piece or another blogger’s post when, conveniently, the blogger’s “paraphrasing” of details from that report/post significantly differs from the context or content of the original source

  • By and large, “left” blogs are more apt to provide comment/feedback options, and with the blogger more likely to participate in such a discussion for their readers

  • Lefties more frequently write using all or part of their real names compared with righties who use only a first name, a fictitious full name, or an online “handle”

  • Small studies have noted that left-leaning bloggers who make an error in posting are as much as 5x more likely to post a correction or otherwise acknowledge such a mistake than counterparts on the right - or 5 million times more likely in the rightwing post-er is Bill O’Reilly ::choke::

  • There’s more, but I’m trying to share major points rather than summarize “War and Peace.” ::uh-hum::

    [Feel free to share your own observations/comments, etc. here (as a left-leaner, I'm not just statistically more likely to invite feedback, I actually encourage it).]