Saturday, June 14, 2008

Conservative Bloggers Fight Back

The conservative movement has successfully dominated the radio air waves since the 1980s. While much of the country had written off the AM dial, talking heads like Rush Limbaugh were just about to fire those dying stations up during the Reagan years. The result is Right wing dominance of this media. Talk radio's success and value to conservatives was driven by the fact that the mainstream media had largely become elite and hostile to conservative values. Talk radio was listener driven (through callers) and changed the way people got their information.

Fast forward fifteen years ago and you have a new player on the media scene, which is blogging and it is starting to dominate its industry. For some reason, liberals embraced this vehicle as a tool for change and for quite some time they have been the leader. Conservatives have found themselves limping along. I'm sure that there are multiple more liberal bloggers for each Conservative.

The problem isn't merely in numbers, but infrastructure. The left has developed support mechanisms, liberal organizations recognized bloggers as media long before conservatives, and their web platforms are far more numerous and sophisticated.

Positive changes are on the way, however, and are seen on a micro level at the 2008 Texas Republican Convention. For one thing, the party itself made it easier to for bloggers to get media credentials than in any time in the past. Unfortunately those credentials may become devalued over time if "anyone" can get them. I am sure more vetting will need to take place over time as the number of bloggers grow, but erring on the side of generosity of credentials simply makes sense at this time.

More exciting than a friendly environment for bloggers is the efforts of the Texas office of Americans for Prosperity in developing RightOnline.com. This will be more than another blog, because its unique state focus will help bloggers fight their battles on several government levels. The site and project are early in their progress, but I hope that it breaks down categories in a way RedState.com does, but includes a section for states and even regions. In addition to that, the organization created a "media room" at the recent convention (actually a very elaborate booth) where boggers were provided wired work stations surrounding an attractive stage where elected officials and candidates could be interviewed by the bloggers. It included an excellent PA system, video cameras and the videos from the conferences will show up on YouTube.com. A large screen TV makes it for an even more "polished" event. I will have a slide show about it in the next few days.

The organization is planning an event for conservative bloggers that is designed to help them improve their craft in Austin, Texas on July 18th and 19th and its list of speakers is most impressive. The event seems to be designed to be both informational and inspirational and speakers include conservative writer Michelle Malkin, former Maryland Republican Governer Michael Steele, Erick Erickson of Redstate.com, and many others. You can get more information about it at RightOnline.com.

According to recent surveys on marketing, most advertising attracts sellers (others who want you to buy more ads) and not buyers. Do you want to know why? Email info@HoustonBusinessShow.com and put "marketing audio" in the subject line and we will get it to you.

Kevin Price is Host of the Houston Business Show (M-F at 11 AM on CNN 650) and Publisher of the Houston Business Review. Hear the show live and online at HoustonBusinessShow.com. Visit the archive of past shows here.

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