The Test: By Charles Robertson, Co-founder Broward Tea Party
By: Charles Robertson, Co-founder Broward Tea Party
This is a test, but relax it’s not graded and there’s no studying required. The purpose of this test is to measure our blogging effectiveness. I’m going to find out our readership number which is important for several reasons. First of all I want to be sure I’m reaching enough audience to make the effort worthwhile. I’m not a naturally gifted writer, as though I had to point that out, and these blog entries generally take me a few hours each. That’s time that might be better spent elsewhere. On the other hand, if our readership is reaching a sizable audience we can promote that number to attract more writers and expand our outreach.
So how do I conduct this test? The simplest way I know is to ask everyone who reads this to send me an email. Of course for a variety of reasons, not everyone will comply, so I’ll ask your help in coming up with a number. The number I’m asking you for is what percentage of readers will respond. I’ll average this out from all respondents and use a multiplier to estimate the readership. For example, if 35 people respond and the average of their numbers is 50 we’ll assume that to be correct, that we’re getting a 50% response rate. Applying that percentage to our number of respondents, we arrive at an estimated readership of 70. So at the end of this article, my request is this, send me a quick email (email provided below) with your number, I’ll publish the results.
Reaching a large audience is great but who are we reaching? Probably not the ones we’d like to reach. Our blogs and those who pick them up are read by fellow conservatives. So, how do we reach independents and liberals? I’m thinking – trade, we can approach a liberal or conservative blog site and offer an even exchange of blogs to be posted on each other’s sites. I recall Point Counterpoint or Hannity & Colmes; we could pick a topic and go at it. The big question is would we have any impact, would we change minds?
My theory on your political viewpoint is this: You are what you read. Tell me what you read and where you get your news and I’ll tell you your political inclinations. People gravitate to those news sources that support their perspective. We like affirmation and support for our point of view, which is why it is so hard to break through to people with a contrasting ideology. Any information that comes to us from a source outside of our trusted sources is suspect. Statistics can be spun and manipulated to support any position. Even if liberals are reading our words, are they accepting our facts and considering our points? So the challenge remains, would this approach get through, would we change minds?
“The pen is mightier than the sword,” so the saying goes, but this was written at a time before TV, Internet, and Twitter. Is it still relevant? When this adage was coined in 1839, and for a century thereafter, the print media was the primary source of news. Today we get our news wherever and whenever we want it. Unfortunately, to the detriment of society, we’re getting less news and more opinion. A new generation forms their political opinions from shows on political comedy; rather than quoting a TV Anchor, this generation is far more likely to refer to Bill Maher, Jon Stewart, or Stephen Colbert. Not only is print media suffering with newspaper subscriptions declining everywhere, but our traditional TV news sources are losing ground to pseudo sources. Political news is now packaged in funny sound-bites with an overwhelming liberal bias. Go ahead, Google: top 10 Political Comedy. If not for Dennis Miller it would be a 10-0 liberal sweep.
I included Twitter among the listed news sources as this growing trend is symbolic of our media and cultural decline. Let’s start with the superficial limited length of 140 characters. Blogs go slightly further but these are no editorial length pieces that scrutinize an issue in depth. This condensed news delivered in the new fun-size, is crafted for our dumbed down culture and their limited attention span. The other main problem is that with so many media options, political news has become something one must seek out. The problem is we used to get political news by default; it came with our limited choices. Now that you have to look for it, most people don’t. Ironically, there are now more sources for political news (which has become more opinion) and fewer options for unbiased, no spin, factual reporting.
Now that we’ve identified our media problems and limitations, the question comes full circle. Is it worth a few hours to compose a blog entry? Is this the best use of time and the best approach? The answer will come from you and maybe some suggestions, too. Perhaps we should start our own internet radio-talk show; maybe that would reach more people. The only thing I can promise is at least one more blog entry where I discuss the results, share your input, and deliver my future course of action. Please email your number (% who you think will respond to this) and ideas to: info@TheBrowardTeaParty.com