I’m going to start with a disclaimer, that I really enjoy coming here. It lifts my spirits and gives me hope for an enlightened future. The amount of individual expertise here is unmatched anywhere else that I have seen. I look forward to each visit for the nuggets of wisdom scattered along the way, and for the courteous manner in which everyone is treated. It is almost like a liberal think tank for the web. So for that, I thank you all.
But, it is an island. A rather large one, as islands go, but is still just a small outpost in a sea of conservative hostility. It is self reinforcing, and at times, limiting by giving the false impression that everyone agrees on the same issues. Comments to the diaries become a case of preaching to the choir because everyone already agrees with the sermon. The point that comes to mind is when I see the refrain of “Mitt’s done”, “His campaign is over”, “might as well pack it in”, -but yet, there isn’t even a blip on the overall radar, and nothing has really changed. I know I’m not saying anything revolutionary, the statisticians out there could explain in depth about the dangers of skewed, small samplings, and state the issues much better than I could.
My real point is just over the county line...
I said that so I could say this: There are places on the internet that are grossly under represented by liberal comments to their published articles.
I know there are many here that fight the good fight on Drudge, Redstate, Politico, and others. I commend you for venturing into foreign territory, and want to assure you that it does make a difference to see you representing the righteous way. You will probably not change the minds of any of the commenters that you are arguing with, but there are many who read without posting, and we notice. I have no idea how many of the silent masses that you might sway, but I do know that reading your rebuttals strengthens my resolve, as well as providing ammunition for my later arguments.
But there is one site that I know of, where we are vastly out numbered, and that is Yahoo. (I heard those collective groans make it all the way back through to my computer speakers).
I’m sure there are other highly visited sites, but that is one I’m a little more familiar with.
Yes, I know it may seem to be an intellectual wasteland, but that is where the undecided voters read their articles. The political junkies are going to their respective sites, but the undecided, (dare I say) casual voters do not, and they will read the Yahoo comments instead.
I also believe that the Republicans see the advantage of a presence there, and pay people to post there (but that is just my speculation, and I will not go into depth about that here).
But I do believe that taking the fight to there is time well spent. The audience is huge. It is not uncommon for an article to have 5,000 –10,000 comments, and that could easily represent just 10% of the viewers. Posting there is not for the faint of heart however. The conservatives (actually, the Obama Haters, emphasis on Hate) are abundant and vocal, and can be quite intimidating. That is just more reason why it is the good fight. They get their strength in numbers, and often back down when confronted with the facts. I have to remind myself of this quote whenever I comment: “We do these things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard”. Also, as a strategy: “Never argue with a fool, …” which keeps me in perspective that I am commenting for the general audience, not in rebuttal to a particular person (who is only doing their job, being paid and all). I have also seen many a good person enraged by feedback, never to return again, which makes me feel sad, disappointed, and even more determined.
In closing, I come here today to enlist your efforts to fight the tide of vile, base hatred that exists on Yahoo, of which many of those readers feel represents the tone of the overall country. We can’t let them have that kind of exposure without putting up a fight. Do not abandon your efforts to GOTV and such, but if you have a few spare minutes, go to Yahoo and ‘thumbs down’ a hundred comments or so (it won’t take long, trust me), and maybe post a comment or two yourself. If you find 'cut and pasteable' arguments that you feel would be helpful for others who would post there, please add them to this diary (or better yet, start a diary where it could get good exposure), we can use all the ammunition we can get to their (obviously) canned posts.
I cannot guarantee any results, nor even speculate about any impact, of having a larger liberal presence on Yahoo, I just know that it is highly read, and vastly under represented by liberal comments. It is but another battleground, where the “liberal MSM” lie goes uncontested.
Thanks for listening.
p.s. a few hints that may be useful if you decide to join us there:
(these are for the non-facebook comments, those have more of a blogger/non-anonymous strategy).
-Do not waste your time responding to comments. It will only sap your energy and get very few views. That is part of their plan, to draw you in where few will see and drain your resolve. If you must respond to a comment posted to one of your own posts, wait a half hour or so. It then looks like they conceeded to your final argument, for they will very rarely come back, and they give up easily. They are looking for shock value.
-If you want to rebut a statement, include it in a new comment. But, do not lead with it. Actually, it is better to state the rebuttal as a fact without even mentioning the original statement you are refuting, that makes them spend their time and energy rebutting you.
-If your comment is longer than a few lines, be sure to have just a few key lines in a hard paragraph to begin the comment. Long comments without any hint of break will result in a comment that shows up only as “more…”, and few people will click on it to read what you said.
-Courtesy goes along way. Profane comments don’t seem to get much traction, and they sound just like the repubs. Facts always trump lies and slander. (obvious, I know). Kill them with kindness. Sarcasm is your ace in the hole. Remember, it is the silent reader that is the real audience. Convince –them-.
-A “thumbs down” does mean something. Others are more inclined to reinforce the disagreement when there is already a “thumbs down”. An unanimous/uncontested comment is the worst Same for “thumbs up” on comments you agree with, you would be surprised how that will encourage the poster against the hate.
The “thumbs” method of polling has a subconscious effect, part of the “herd” mentality, but it is real, and should be used to our advantage, or at minimum, to prevent them from gaining an advantage.
p.p.s this is my first diary, so please be kind .