An ethics lecture from the New Republic is like a lecture on honesty from Tom DeLay
Herding cats, dealing with bloggers
I know this is bullshit, but I want to address this, knowing you will go past this, and on to the World Cup threads
THE POWER OF THE PURSE STRINGS:
Following up on this, why did so many of the people on the "Townhouse" e-mail list follow Kos's orders to stay silent about the Armstrong story and the Kosola allegations? Part of it, I'm sure, has to do with their political allegiances to Kos. But let's not underestimate their financial allegiances.
Along with Armstrong and MyDD's Chris Bowers, Kos runs a BlogAds advertising network called Advertising Liberally, to which a number of "Townhouse" members belong. (If you want a fuller understanding of how BlogAds advertising networks operate, and how they allow lower-traffic blogs to gain more clout with advertisers by combining their traffic, read this piece.) Therefore, Kos (along with Armstrong and Bowers) gets to decide which blogs belong--and don't belong--to Advertising Liberally, which means a lot of these blogs' financial health hinges upon staying in Kos's good graces. Is it any wonder they're so obedient?
P.S. If you want a sense of how disastrous it can be for a liberal blogger to be kicked out of the Advertising Liberally network, the author of the DrudgeRetort penned a good lament when said fate befell him.
P.P.S. Alas, it looks like Kos is going to have to find another way to issue his marching orders. According to multiple sources, a couple hours ago he unsubscribed to the "Townhouse" list. Fortunately, multiple sources say that a "more exclusive" e-mail list is already in the works.
Hmmm, where to begin.
Pretty much everything he wrote is bullshit.
To begin with, I have never had any financial relationship with Kos. I consider Advertising Liberally a network, not part of his personal domain. I have written on his site, and was a board member of BlogPac, his and Armstrong's PAC. It was disbanded last year. But at no time was I paid for anything to do with him, his site, or BlogPac.
Let's start with Advertising Liberally.
First of all, while Kos, Jerome Armstrong and Chris Bowers formed the network, it is not the only network among liberals, and not the only network many AL sites belong to. Day to day maintenance is done by Henry Copeland and his staff. The first honest ad broker I've ever dealt with.
If Zengerle had done some reporting, he would have found out that Henry Copeland, owner of BlogAds, manages the network. If he had actually hit the Blogads site, he would find that one can pick and choose which ads and which sites run on the network. I don't remember more than one run of network ad recently. And I get a fraction of the ads of Jesus's General or TPM.
To imply that Kos has some financial hold over the network is wrong. It is also extremely lazy, sloppy and uniformed. Because it's just not true or accurate. They formed the network, but none of them had the right to remove any other site by fiat, which he could have found out by reporting. A simple phone call to Josh Marshall or Juan Cole might have sorted this out. Because they're network members and far removed from the activism of Yearly Kos. And hardly likely to be influenced by Kos's machinations, such as they are.
If Zengerle had actually read the article he linked to, he would find this:
This "conspiracy" was explained in the article
With the smaller, blogger-created networks, the bloggers get to decide for themselves, Copeland said, and allowing advertisers to select blogs by categories is much more appealing. "Talking about generic blogs is boring--it's much better if you can go to advertisers and say 'here are the premiere food blogs,'" he said.
So far, 17 networks have been created, including ones for evangelical blogs, law blogs, Philadelphia blogs, baseball, and gay issues blogs.
The theory behind the networks, Copeland said, is that the bloggers can group themselves together much better than a top-down organization could. And when the bloggers organize themselves, he said, advertisers get much easier access to the vaunted "long tail" of the blogosphere--the millions of readers who aren't reading the top bloggers, but are nonetheless very engaged in lower-traffic blogs.
The creators of the network invited people, based on Blogads numbers, and chose the top 50 blogs. I got ads before the network, btw. This was just more efficient. There was also a demand from smaller bloggers for help.
I remember one blog refused membership formed their own Blogads Network with other blogs.
Hmmm, DrudgeRetort? The reason there was a request, and I don't remember if it went through, was to dump some sites because of various use of non-BlogAds ads.
The idea that one must "stay in Kos's good graces" to remain in the network is a joke. Kos doesn't care, he has DK and a sports network to run, Armstong has a job, and Bowers has MyDD to keep up and running, and that's not easy.
But it's mostly an insult from a sloppy, lazy reporter who's drawing conclusions based on his imagination and not interviews or even decent research. If he had asked questions, he would find that Kos barely posts at length on his own site. His schedule, he'll be in NY tommorrow, is hectic. In fact, for the better part of a year, he's been working on and promoting a book
He would also find that Kos is only one voice among many. There's the FDL crew, Matt Stoller, John Amato, Ezra Klein, Taylor Marsh, a bunch of people who's blogs get read and are active in politics. Kos and Atrios may be the public face of liberal blogging, but there are a lot of other people who are involved.
Zengerle, who has a lack of imagination, thinks Kos is the be all and end all of liberal blogging. Which means he doesn't even read the site regularly. His regular posters are much more prominent voices on a regular basis.
Now, let's talk about the ethics here: he gets stuff wrong, or doesn't bother to check with anyone familiar with the details, and implies some kind of financial relationship between Kos and the bloggers in the network. Which doesn't make sense, since he doesn't funnel money down. In fact, Kos refused to run the first telco ad. His decision influenced no one else. Zengerle's using private e-mails for a story. His collegue Ryan Lizza uses an off the record conversation for a story. In the last fundraising drive, he sent me $60. I sent back $50 to help Gina Cooper, the organizer of Yearly Kos, and his IT guy Jeremy, who had a drunk, probably PTSD soldier, crash a car into his home.
Then there is the implication he "ordered" us to stay silent about Jerome Armstrong having a problem with the SEC, claiming he was touting stocks. Since the e-mail is public, wrongly, but what he asked us to do was wait until Jerome settled with the SEC and could defend himself. What I said to Kos was this: "he could be prosecuted if he spoke before a final settlement with the SEC. They're no one to fuck with. Ask Martha Stewart."
What is Zengerle, a child? When someone is in legal trouble with the SEC, they can't defend themselves in public until a settlement is reached.
I wasn't going to mention it, frankly, because the readers here don't care. They just don't give a shit. They care about the real world, their kids in Iraq, their jobs.
But given TNR's history of inaccurate reporting, even fictional and plagerized reporting, it's important to get some accuracy on the record.
They want to imply that Kos is on the pad and we're all his lackies. He isn't, and you can judge the rest on your own. But I will say this: when the Kaine campaign pulled an ad from this site last year, Kos and his readers were none too happy with my reaction. And I was a member of the AL network then as well as now.
posted by Steve @ 12:26:00 AM