May 19, 2003
The wheels of punditry grind slowly

Nearly two months ago, I wrote about receiving email at my only-published-on-the-old-Blogspot-site address about the Heritage Foundation's Big Ol' Blog Initiative, which is to send email to a bunch of bloggers and beg them to link to stuff they've written. I didn't understand that strategy then, and I don't understand it now, but never mind that. At long last, just when I'd given up hope that I'd ever hear from them again, I finally got a missive about their latest magnum opus, which is something to do with COPS data. (I tried, I really did, but I lost consciousness somewhere around the fourth paragraph, so you'll have to slog through it yourself to learn more.)

So how successful was Heritage's link-pimping strategy? Well, I got their email on Friday, and as of the time I wrote this post, there are three blogs (not counting me) linking to their screed. I admit, these are blogs with good readership, but this still strikes me as not a lot of bang for the buck. We'll see how long it takes before their next breathless update, and how many bloggers jump when asked.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 19, 2003 to Other punditry | TrackBack

It's in my To Do folder, but just not thrilling enough to merit a response.

I'm also annoyed that they said the reply address would be a certain address so I could pre-build my filter/rule, but it dropped into Inbox, not Heritage. Jerks.

Posted by: Laurence Simon on May 19, 2003 2:36 PM

Email is cheap. Very, very cheap. Any return is probably worth the effort.

Posted by: Morat on May 19, 2003 4:14 PM

Email is cheap. Very, very cheap. Any return is probably worth the effort.

Yes, but they've already got their own domain and their own dedicated server. Blogger is free, Blogger Pro is $35, Movable Type is donationware - money isn't an issue here, even if Heritage weren't a big fat-cat-supported pundit paradise.

What I'm saying is that in terms of the effort expended, the return they're getting in terms of eyeballs to the site is less than it could be. I mean, if they'd set up a blog like Tapped or The Corner or Tom Paine or whatever, they'd get a bunch of bloggers to blogroll them and read them on a regular basis. That in and of itself is worth way more than any press release campaign.

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on May 19, 2003 4:55 PM

True, but blogs, especially ones that are worth reading, are a lot of effort. It'd require a dedicated staffer, at minimum, to keep the thing running and up-to-date (as well as write content).

More importantly, I'm guessing the internet is moving faster than the Heritage is. Blogging is just now hitting the national conciousness, and if you're not a already a reader or writer of a blog, you're probably not really aware of them anyways.

Posted by: Morat on May 20, 2003 11:26 AM