s skippy the bush kangaroo: crashing the gates...and closing them behind you

skippy the bush kangaroo

Monday, February 05, 2007

crashing the gates...and closing them behind you

fresh on the injury of being dumped off of eschaton's blogroll, this humble site has now experienced the injury of being cut from the daily kos roll.

we are stunned. skippy has met kos a handful of times, and he always seemed genuinely happy to see the 'roo. we obviously mistook that personable charisma for respect for skippy's work.

we have written to kos, in the form of a diary on dkos, expressing our disappointment.

it's not that we need the traffic...this last week, even with no links on atrios or dkos (he was "rebuilding" his roll), we still managed a higher-than-average weekly traffic count, thanks in no small part to christy at fdl and steve at the blog report (formerly the daou report).

but it's the snub that hurts. we have been blogging consistently for 3 months short of as long as kos, and we have been mentioned by several big time hotshots in the media. plus, with our actual active involvement in news stories concerning the blogging media's relation with electronic media, we would have thought our place in the history of blogtopia (and yes, we coined that phrase) would have assured us of a spot on the most important blog in blogtopia (yada yada coined the phrase).

but we were wrong.

skippy wrote kos a letter, in the form of a diary on dkos, and here is what he said:

dear kos,

all snark aside, i am deeply disappointed that you would remove skippy from your blogroll.

especially considering that skippy has been around only 3 or 4 months less than dailykos, and i've been a dkos member since that time. with the exception of one sunday in 2003 when i just couldn't bring myself to turn on the computer, i have blogged consistently everyday for 5 years come july. i'm not a flash in the pan.

i wonder how many other dkos users with user id's under 2000 have their blogs dumped off the roll? maybe kid oakland, i don't see his blog there. but, really...you have actually hurt my feelings, kos.

it's not as if skippy hasn't had a role in the history of blogs becoming an important part of the political and media landscape, and no, i'm not being snarky here.

i'd be happy to see a correction, but i beleive skippy was the very first blog to engage cnn in a "dialogue," as much as it was, when we wrote to daryn kagan during the 2004 democratic convention to correct her about blogs reporting news inaccurately, when she herself was guilty of wrongly accusing david letterman of falsifying the video where the kid yawned behind bush as he spoke.

also, skippy was the blog repsonsible for getting judy woodruff, and later, abbi tatton and jacki schechner to stop over-loading cnn's "inside the blogs" segment with conservative blogs, and start giving liberal blogs more air time, with our research of conservative v. liberal sound bytes per segment and our constant letter-writing campaign to judy, and later abbi and jacki.

and we're not riding on our laurels. as recent as the ben domenech washpo fiasco, we were the first blog to point out the errors in domenech's first column (which happened to be the incorrect meme that you, and dailykos, was "0 for 20" in supporting winning candidates, a meme i have strongly fought against with other media types, with letter writing campaigns, including to wonkette as well, who wrote back and sort of admitted her cuplability).

(abbi has gone on the record with "i love skippy," and she writes us that she she reads our stuff daily.)

dude, i'm not just a snarky anti-capitalist. my blog holds an important place in blogtopia, and yes, i coined that phrase. even putting aside the fact our traffic meter comes no where close to yours, we happily link to dozens of other blogs with even less traffic...and thusly, when you cut skippy off your blogroll, you by extension cut the path off for the smaller blogs to get readers surfing their way thru blogtopia (y!ictp!).

sure, i wasn't surprised when duncan dumped me off echaton's roll. he was pretty snotty to me at ykos in person, and hasn't given me a link in his daily work for mor than a year.

but you were quite civil to me, and very personable. i guess i mistook that for respect of my work and my place in what is probably the biggest communications revolution since gutenberg.

no, i'm not a big blogger; tho, yes, skippy has been quoted and cited on several big media programs, papers and websites (let's not forget that we were mentioned twice on the daily show).

i would have thought that my place in blogging history, tho not at the forefront, would have been secured, at least in the corner in the back of the room somewhere. or in the little foray leading to the kitchen. or something.

do i need the traffic from your blog? well, it couldn't hurt, i suppose. and, yes, there are other blogs out there with much bigger numbers in terms of readers. but even without your (and atrios') link in the past few days, i've maintained my regular 1000-1500 hits, which i've maintained for the past 3 years. so somebody's reading my stuff, even if it ain't you and duncan.

and, luckily, other important blogs still think skippy is worth a looksee now and then, and have links to my blog on their rolls, including digy, jeralyn, glenn greenwald, steve gilliard, fdl, c&l, eric alterman (who kept me on his transfer from msnbc to media matters, and who graciously emailed me to let me know), tom tomorrow...the late great media horse put me as one of the four blogs on his/her roll. yes, the big guys (and gals, hi jane and christy!).

whining? i guess i am. but more than that, i'm confused and genuinely hurt. i had hoped my support for you throughout the last almost five years would have counted for something.

no, this is not a "goodbye cruel world" diary. but it is a "what the f kind of world is this, where when guys get big and crash the gates they shut those same gates on the little guy? what is this, republicanism?" diary.

all i can say is, unfortunately, skippy has a "reciprocal link only" policy, and i will now be forced to remove dkos from my roll. I don’t’ want to, but it’s editorial policy.

sorry dude. but you really did hurt skippy’s feelings.
and, as you all know, editorial policy at skippy demands a reciprocal link exchange to be on our blog roll.

ergo, dkos will no longer appear. that'll show 'em!!

[ed. note: in an even further pointless gesture of defiance against the blogs now too big to link to skippy, we will happily put these small but important supporters of our humble site on our roll: newscoma, rants from the rookery, and no fish, no nuts.]

addendum: jon swift writes about blogrolling bloodletting:

a couple of years ago new york magazine examined who linked to whom in the blogosphere and they discovered that a-list blogs tend to link mostly to other a-list blogs. this elitism strikes me as strangely un-liberal and un-democratic. ironically, major conservative bloggers are on average more inclusive of smaller blogs than major liberal bloggers. although i haven't made a scientific survey, i have noticed that for the most part the blogrolls on the top conservative blogs tend to be bigger than the blogrolls on top liberal blogs. glenn reynolds of instapundit has more than 250 links. michelle malkin has 137. captain's quarters has a whopping 374. compared with them, the blogrolls at the major liberal blogs look downright stingy. they also tend to link to a wider variety of blogs in their posts. that being said both liberals and conservatives tend to link mostly to their own ideological bedfellows.

i think that perhaps the liberal blogosphere could learn something from the conservative blogosphere. for example, there are a number of conservative communities that blogs can join which give their members numerous crosslinks. this tends to raise their profile in technorati rankings, truth laid bear rankings and in google page rank. in his recent post on blogrolling markos said, "a blogroll link isn't a major source of traffic," which may indeed be the case for his blog but not necessarily for those who get a few million fewer hits than he does. he also doesn't take into account the fact that the more links a blog has, the higher it appears in search engines. according to new york magazine, the number of links a blog has tends to correspond with how much traffic it gets.

limiting blogrolls to a few elite blogs, also reduces the diversity. apparently, affirmative action is good for universities, but doesn't apply to blogs. although i am opposed to quotas and am completely colorblind, i would not be surprised if my blogroll is in fact more diverse than those of many major liberal blogs. some bloggers of color have even learned at their peril not to rock the boat too much or risk getting delinked.
double addendum: what the f???? we've been cut from jesus' general and pharyngula! [ed. note: no, not pharyngula, who is still a fob - friend of skippy. see post above]

we're being slowly relegated to the kids' table at thansgiving! arrrrggghhh!!!

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posted by skippy at 4:35 PM |


I'm thinking it's past time for the small blogs to unite. No more links to the big boys. Let them fend for themselves!

That'll show 'em!
commented by Blogger Xanthippas, 6:34 PM PST  
No, no -- you haven't been cut. I show a randomized subset of the complete blogroll on my main page, because it's so darned long. However, you haven't been removed and are not under any threat of being removed -- you're still a daily read for me.
commented by Blogger PZ Myers, 6:44 PM PST  
i am sorry pz, i have corrected my post and my roll.

you are still skippy's fav science blog!
commented by Blogger skippy, 7:06 PM PST  
(third attempt -- can I remember what I said?)

Skippy! You are so much better than those other guys!! Seriously, I don't even read them anymore. And yeah, I realize I don't comment anymore, but I always read your blog.
commented by Blogger Angie, 7:53 PM PST  
It's ok - we have more fun at the kid's table anyway. The food fights are awesome....
commented by Blogger donna, 8:05 PM PST  
I found you through 3 other links. Not on Atrios or DailyKos. I found you on Mydd, Moderate voice and liberal Oasis. I always come here linking thru one of these. So, it's no real loss as there are plenty of others who link to you and I am glad they do. I like reading your blog.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 8:27 PM PST  
You'll note that I have no link to either dKos or Eschaton on my own blogroll. I took'em off close to a year ago when I realized that those places just weren't fun anymore. Too much Kool-aide flowing around in those parts...
commented by Blogger BadTux, 8:55 PM PST  
badtux, you will always be on my blogroll!
commented by Blogger skippy, 9:09 PM PST  
I still love ya Skippy. If TRUA were still active I would add you to the blogroll.

Maybe after the first show I will start it up again.

Blog on!
commented by Blogger The Ugly American, 9:19 PM PST  
Er, skippy? You're on my blogroll. And yet no reciprocal link. And we met at YKos and everything.

You have actually hurt my feelings, skip.

I would have thought that my place in blogging history, tho not at the forefront, actually more like in the way back, would have been secured. Or at least not totally forgotten.

(Actually, I'm just taking the piss)
commented by Blogger dday, 9:50 PM PST  
Thing is, right-wing blogrolling is more a part of the BS distribution network. It's about keeping the little soldiers loyal to Insta****wit and sending linkjuice to La Malkin and etc.

We still love you, though.

(my blogroll's in my head)
Kos? Who's that? And who is this Ay-tree-ohs of which you speak?

I've been blogging longer than many a-listers with very little recognition and I say, who needs em?
commented by Blogger Vanessa, 10:06 PM PST  
dday, of course i know you, but i didn't know till now i was on your roll, so you will be on mine!
commented by Blogger skippy, 11:09 PM PST  
Kos has always been a bit of a snob about blogrolling. Figuring that back when I started, which was also just a few months shy of him, that he'd give a fellow vet a "leg up" I asked for a link (politely).

His response was pure bullshit, about how he did not want to have an endless blogroll, blah blah blah, maintenance was too hard blah blah blah. Being a good soul, I helped him out by donating several times to his outreach for cash to upgrade his servers; I liked the blog and the community it was becoming.

All that's passed. I stop in there rarely ... it seems that many times it's reflections in a mirror holding conversations with themselves.

I don't regret contributing, but I've always wondered why Kos wouldn't help a fellow (and I was one of the few self-identified liberal vets blogging) vet with a link. Cheap, easy, and good for the soul.

Skippy rocks! One of my first inbound links, and an all-around good guy (and now community).
commented by Anonymous Jo Fish, 11:36 PM PST  
There there little fella.
We all know who the real brains of the outfit is.
So I'm wondering is everything in the right proportions?
Let's have a look then. Don't be shy now, Your giggle stick, your Johnny Thomas, your private and two kernals. Come on lets have a look.
My word, you're a tripod. What do you feed that thing? It's like a baby's arm holding an apple. The good news is, you ever get tired, you can use it as a kickstand.
commented by Anonymous papertiger, 12:44 AM PST  
Thanks for adding me to your blogroll. It's to the old blog, my new one is at newscoma.wordpress.com (FYI)
I think that small blogs like mine to get cut out of the process because larger blogs get settled into a way of doing things.
I'm pleased your still giving the little guy a shot.
(And, for God's sake, I'm not blogwhoring here.)
Just being a part of the dialogue.
commented by Blogger newscoma, 3:19 AM PST  
Me Darlin' SailMaster, for some, even a little bit of power corrupts. I've n'er linked t'anyone that has an inflated head (mine own be inflated enough as it is, thankee). Aye, I've read their blogs in th'long past, but n'er found anythin' that wasn't bein' spouted elsewhere an' with better effect.

Ye be a crewmember an' it be time t'bring out th'plank for over-inflated big blogs.

P.S. Besides, I love yer tail. ;)
commented by Anonymous Cap'n Dyke, 5:06 AM PST  
Okay, I'm in, because it's sticking it to the Man.
commented by Blogger Chap, 5:29 AM PST  
I'm thinking it's past time for the small blogs to unite. No more links to the big boys. Let them fend for themselves!

A-frigging-men! I've started doing an occasional 'notes from the Z-list' link roundup in order to highlight worthwhile (and overlooked) stuff from the small blogs (defined as roughly 100 hits/day or less, or Technorati rank >40,000 or so). I would love to see other small bloggers start doing something similar. Individually, we're insignificant; together, we're...still insignificant, but less so.
commented by Blogger Tom Hilton, 9:16 AM PST  
As a blogger "on the fringes" as C&L puts it, I have been calling for four things to reform blogdom: 1) reciprocity--if you list kos then he needs to list you, you also need
do the same thing with posts, don't carry kos posts if he won't carry yours, 2) yes, small bloggers DO need to unite and the first way they can do this is to list each other and that's it; 3) there needs to be a blog code of ethics; 4) we liberal/progressive blogs need to walk our talk and not engage in censorship.

Posters also need to realize that blogs like kos are running a nice Ponzi scheme. You put a diary on there and that ups his hit count which in turn helps raise his ratings and also has an impact on the ads he sells. All this in the vain hope that maybe you might make the front page some day. It's American Idol as blog. Some people apparently like to be used. This blogger prefers to stay on the fringes.

Curiously skippy, you are not on my blogroll? Why? I sent a note asking for reciprocity and never heard back. I will list you now, but you need to walk your own talk.

My blog is: http://thestrangedeathofliberalamerica.com/
commented by Blogger liberal american, 12:49 PM PST  
I purged a great many of the "a-list" bloggers during one of the "where are all the women bloggers" brouhaha's and never returned them to my roll. I have kept Duncan on the roll, simply becasue he's a fairly good news aggregator. But, I am rethinking that -- since there are better news aggregators.

While I may not link to any particular posts here, you have been on my roll for a while. I have also been remiss at urging readers to check the blogrolls of those on my roll for new bloggers to read. Just because one isn't an "a-lister" doesn't mean they don't have anything good to say.

To hell with Duncan and Markos and the whole blog amnesty thing. It was nothing more than a way for them to draw more attention to themselves, and that is about as useful to me as a splinter under my fingernail.
commented by Anonymous CE Petro, 1:25 PM PST  
Well, hon, I've been blogging longer than any of you, and I've never been on Kos' blogroll. I wrote once and asked him why, but he never responded. I suppose it could be because I'm one of those rabid the-election-was-stolen types, and he just doesn't seem to like that.

I don't worry about it much, although I must confess I was getting a bit twitchy waiting for The Sideshow to go back up on Atrios' blogroll.

I think what bothers me a lot more, though, is that a number of the mid-level and small blogs who used to cross-link with me have died, which is a bit sad. Some of them were really very good. :(
commented by Blogger Avedon, 5:40 PM PST  
i don't even HAVE a blog and this is annoying the daylights out of me. i have now taken the only step i can -- i have deleted atrios from my "favorites" list! (and though i had firedoglake as my homepage for the libby trial, i'm switching over to skippy for my home page)

when did this become junior high school?
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 7:00 PM PST  
it always has been junior high school.
commented by Blogger skippy, 12:18 AM PST  
Life has always been Junior High School. Unfortunately the Principal is now a lamebrain drunkard, the Vice principal a greed head, the Prefect of Discipline believes in torture, and the Hall Monitors want to put us in orange jumpers and black bag-hoods.
commented by Blogger Lurch, 12:52 AM PST  
I found your site a couple of years ago from talk left. I rarely comment, but I love your writing style, and the decor is quite smart. I've never been impressed with that orange blog, and don't understand all the hype.
commented by Anonymous angie, 4:46 AM PST  
Oh, skippy. I've been reading your site since 4 months after kos starting blogging, and have had a link to you since....a long time in blog years. Maybe no reciprocal link because my blog name is too dull?

And I like Tom Hilton's suggestion, I think I'll start doing it too. I've been in bit of a blog rut anyway, culling from the same sources too often.
commented by Blogger Seth Anderson, 2:03 PM PST  
wait...Avedon was never on Kos' roll?


What a doosh.
commented by Blogger Carl, 7:03 PM PST  
Yup, you were one of the Hoss's favorites. I first met blogs via MWO and the habit of following the same blogs (while adding a few new ones) has remained. Don't worry too much about Atrios. His blogroll was never alphabetized and was ergo essentially useless. Now TBogg is another matter. Very nicely done, and one of my prime portals to blogtopia (Yah, I know. Skippy coined this).
commented by Blogger Ronzoni Rigatoni, 7:32 PM PST  
As one commenter neatly summed it up, a blogroll is a nod between colleagues. If it's not that - if it is sterile of camaraderie - it's purely a reading list.

On both counts, Markos fails. That is one sparse fucking reading list.

Markos is a genius at one thing: promoting the organization of the virtual liberal community. Other than that, he's not as strong. As local bloggers often note, he is amazingly tone deaf to CA politics, despite the fact that he lives in Berkeley. For example, he was a real asshole for calling Bob Salladay a racist on the front page. It was as if he had never read the LAT's Sacto reporter. He probably hadn't!

There's not much to say, except Markos is no superman. He has both strengths and weaknesses. At least he did us the favor of reminding us.
commented by Blogger Pacific John, 6:50 PM PST  
wYou'll always be on my blogroll Skippy, some of us love you.

commented by Blogger Lisa Renee, 7:43 PM PST  

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