Making Lemonade from Political Lemons


Over the past few months I've noticed something here at Threadwatch, the political debates seem to be becoming more and more frequent. While I reserve judgment as to whether I feel that's good or bad, the one thing I do see is opportunities to gain traffic.

While I'm sure some of it it has to do with the Government finally realizing that there are tax paying voters on the interweb tubes, I think there's more than that. It doesn't really matter if your for or against any of the new government initiatives, proposals or regulations. It doesn't matter if you're left wing hawk, a right wing pacifist, or a half baked conspiracy theorist junkie. What's key is realizing there is strife, divisiveness, and passion. Passion, anger, and jealousy are powerful emotions, they make people do crazy things and when they aren't thinking clearly it's easier to "get your money out of their wallets".

While political blogs aren't a new idea by stretch of the imagination, I don't think a lot of what's out there has any creative marketing touches. If I were running a political blog or forum what would I do? Well for starters I'd turn off comments. Why you ask, isn't having comments one of the hallmarks of a good blog? Well I don't want comments I don't want to be bothered moderating a pointless discussion, I just want your link love. So I'd go out and target people with trackback turned on or who look like they are monitoring Technorati (ie Ego searching). Then I'd go out and say something as diametrically opposed to what they were saying as I could dream up. If they said up I'd say down, if they said left I'd say right, if they said the sun rose in the East I'd say we were living in a Matrix like environment and the lights were artificial and being used to encode messages that were decoded in print we were reading from left to right throughout the day. If you were running a forum on thing you'd need is an antagonist, somebody to stir things up and agitate the group just a little bit. What would be even better would be a pair to act like fighter pilot and wing man, have one who sets people up while the other comes in for the direct strike. Now of course you don't want to be too combatitive but to quote the author of the great Calvin & Hobbes comic strip "A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day".

Want to know another great thing about politics and search it's mostly long tail. People are searching for all kinds of crazy phrases. Maybe I should rephrase that to people are actually searching for these terms, and if there's one thing everyone should be doing it's chasing the terms with traffic and not just the terms with dollar values. So who's got a political blog, forum or website and who's thinking about starting one?


I have been thinking of starting a blog

I stumbled across an expired blog that was political. After checking the backlinks and places it was listed from I concluded it's a hotspot for gathering links via debate. And yes I have been thinking about a project by my hands are fairly tied atm.


I have a news blog that is slanted one way. The best link I've got so far was from a top 20 technorati-ranked blog and that one was more or less agreeing with what I was saying. I do get links from sites that really loathe what I say but they tend to be lower down the ladder types, just got another one of them today ;)

Overall I'd say the best you can do is go and comment on like-minded blogs and they will link to you, better to look for links that way than try and do the oppositional link-baiting thing your'e suggesting.

Countercurrent Political Blogs

I have a couple political blogs, both of which I've only set up recently and in order to speak my peace on two topics where I think the majority has it all wrong - global warming and the Middle East.

If I only had the time, I would get so, so active on these and I agree with you - the potential for targeting the tail is endless. My feeling, though, is not to do it as a money-making venture but simply as a way to get my own viewpoints out there and modestly influence public debate.

Of equal interest to political blogging, political search marketing can be very effective. During the run-up to the 2004 U.S. presidential elections, I ran a campaign supporting my least unpreferred candidate and which was geo-targeted to the swing states. I got roughly 4M impressions, 250K click-throughs and who knows, maybe I changed at least a few dozen/hundred votes in the process.

What I think you don't

What I think you don't understand Michael is that opposition happens in politics naturally.


Threadwatch Antagonist

An old fashion point - counter - point blog

I have been trying to find someone to do the left side while I did the right.
I don't cry easily.

I would make...

minnapple cry, but ;)

I think the whole left right thing is just a polarization of people which tries to focus people on arbitrary labels and keep their minds off of the true sources of power, etc.

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