Blogging the left

I have been working with Fred Fuentes on Bolivia Rising. The blog is a new resource but nonetheless it has generated a lot of interest for such a niche resource. At present it is running at over 60 hits per day and the email subscription option we've added is generating a reasonable number of sign ons. On top of that is Fred's own email list which he uses to send on the posts around the solidarity movement.

So this is a multi layered platform -- neither just one thing or another.

I think the example of Bolivia Rising tells us a lot about what blogs can do. In my experience on the left and in any number of solidarity campaigns, activists would usually think distributing, say, a hundred leaflets as being a good day out. But here we have a turnover that is many times that over a 7 day a week/24 hour period.

But people can't seem to understand these statistics so they don't register. Even a blog which harnesses a traffic or 15 hits per day averages out as over 100 visitors per week --usually separate visitors.

Of course many blogs are much busier than these figures. Ali Stephens' Left I on the News garners about 600 hits per day,and the Lenin's Tomb averages over 1,000. In comparison, I think a standard non featured article in Green Left Weekly probably picks up that readership in its first week of upload.

So you have to have a nuanced view of the web under these Web 2.0 protocols and it is a BIG mistake to ignore the message.