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Traffic chart of Daily Kos showing massive growth
Daily Kos traffic hitting records almost daily, the sign of a dying netroots?
Did you hear the one about how the dying Newsweek wrote about the supposedly dying netroots? It's pretty funny.

You can read it for yourself, if you care enough, but it's clear the author went into it with a preconceived storyline and ignored all the evidence to the contrary. How do I know he ignored that evidence? Because it's in the email interview I did with him.

I'm including that email below the fold, for everyone to see.

To add, I don't give a shit if someone thinks we're dying as a movement. But, I wanted to make sure that people were aware that in my opinion, rather than "struggling for survival", a consolidated netroots is stronger than ever.

From: Freedlander, David
To: Markos

Thanks for getting back. I would greatly prefer the phone, but if not possible perhaps we can just go back and forth over email.

I guess to begin, the netroots are now a decade old. How do you compare the involvement and role of the progressive blogosphere this year compared with 2008, 2006, 2004, etc?

My response:
In 2004, the blogosphere was a collection of amateur political junkies pushing and jostling their way into the national conversation. There were lots of us, our audience was small, but we had passion and a desire to provide what we considered to be superior analysis.

Now on the right, things were different. They had a network of partisan media outlets, from Fox to Rush Limbaugh to the entire AM radio dial. On the Left, we had nothing. Our so-called "liberals" like Joe Klein were urging war with Iraq because every reasonable person knew that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction! And as much as conservatives whine about the liberal media, fact is there was no partisan liberal media to counterbalance the partisan right-wing noise machine they had created.

So tiny little us blogosphere was it. And boy, did the traditional media gatekeepers hate us! Why, we were pajama-wearing buffoons living in our mother's basement, not very serious people like they were. So serious, in fact, that they cheerleaded George Bush's stealing of the 2000 election, and his two unnecessary and ruinous wars.

10 years later (more like 12), the world has changed. Many of the smaller bloggers have disappeared or have transitioned to Twitter and other social media. Many have been scooped up by traditional media outlets. There has been mass consolidation, as many find it better to combine resources or write out of larger-audience sites like Huffington Post, Daily Kos and Firedoglake. And the development of partisan liberal media like MSNBC, Current, HuffPo, and others have given the partisan left more options beyond a handful of small independent bloggers.

Daily Kos today crushing traffic records almost daily:

But Daily Kos is more than just the little blog that it was back in 2002. It's a full-fledged community with a large rosted of editors and thousands of community members providing content. We have an email activism component. We conduct extensive polling. We raise millions for candidates every cycle. So far this year, we've raised about $400,000 for Elizabeth Warren and $150,000 for Tammy Baldwin, among others, for a total of $2.7 million this cycle, and over $10 million since 2006 (on ActBlue).

We're very much an ingrained component of the progressive movement in ways we would have rejected 10 years ago. Back in the early 2000s, we didn't trust the traditional progressive movement -- labor, the issue orgs, the party -- because of a record of failure and futility. In turn, they didn't like us petulant upstarts. A popular sentiment was, "What are those bloggers going to do, hit George Bush in the head with a laptop?"

It's a different world today, with everyone playing their role -- online and off. And given our continued traffic growth, it's clear people crave a place like Daily Kos, gathering to fight for a common cause.

The downside to the growth of Daily Kos and the professionalization of our medium is that the small-time blogger is on the verge of extinction. That chaotic cacophony of amateur online voices was beautiful while it lasted, though.

Originally posted to kos on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 02:22 PM PDT.

Also republished by KosBusters!.

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