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Postby Bucky Goldstein » Sun May 18, 2008 2:33 pm

if 170,000 pairs of eyes read the isthmus every week i'll give shipley a foot massage. 170,000. nice try joyce.
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Postby Flowers » Sun May 18, 2008 4:12 pm

To return to the topic, Ben Manski may be a complete commie bastard, but he means well.
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Postby Shipley » Sun May 18, 2008 11:00 pm

I don't think he means to imply 170,000 people read it cover to cover.

But any time I go to the grocery store, I see someone taking a copy on their way out. And sure enough by the following monday or tuesday theres significantly less papers than there were on Thursday.
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Postby jjoyce » Mon May 19, 2008 9:20 am

Readership is a specific statistic and it's now comprised of newspaper readership plus online users. Isthmus' is 170,000.

I wonder how that compares to WYOU's viewership, since nevermore brought it up.
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Postby tibor » Mon May 19, 2008 9:33 am

Sideshow Bob wrote:Until one becomes incendiary, no voice should be silenced.


No, but I think it's valid to question the forum in which a voice is presented.

News is supposed to be unbiased. It's repulsive that Newsweek has brought on Karl Rove to write political pieces. Sure, most people know who Rove is. But considering he has repeatedly displayed a complete lack of morals in the pursuit of Neocon hegemony, it's appalling that a "news" magazine would hire him to write supposedly unbiased columns.
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Postby pulsewidth modulation » Mon May 19, 2008 10:26 am

tibor wrote:News is supposed to be unbiased.


"Supposed to be." Where is the guarantee? Only a fool would buy into "supposed to be."

What world do you inhabit? It surly isn't earth.

Every human is biased. That's a fact.

Even objectivity has bias. It's up to the consumer of tertiary information to decode the initiator's bias. It's only logical to be skeptical of what others claim (in their own self interest). It's the responsibility of readers to seek out the initial information and verify its authenticity; if it happens to be that important to them to begin with. If they can't, they deserve the misinformation that the "news" media feeds them. This is where "news" organizations such as "Isthmus" need to prove themselves as trustworthy reporters, or to admit their bias.

"Isthmus" has chosen the ladder because they know they would lose market share by claiming the prior because their competition would point it out. This is why diverse open information systems work, there is information competition, or checks and balances if you will. Everyone knows Bill Luders is a socialist and inserts socialist code words in all of his "reports." To his credit, at least he admits it and doesn't hide while playing the victim/aggressor game like the majority of Madison's far left does.
Last edited by pulsewidth modulation on Mon May 19, 2008 10:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby snoqueen » Mon May 19, 2008 10:27 am

With the near-universal availability of Internet space for anybody with an opinion to publish their opinions, I am coming to doubt the sense of reputable mainstream publications regularly giving screen space to the morally bankrupt. Rove is a case in point. Whatever he's got to say, he can surely say on his own dime. I don't see why I (as a subscriber, which I am not) would want to underwrite his column.

To be aware of and discuss the ideas of Rove and his like is essential. Columnists and bloggers do a great job of linking us to these dangerous loons. This is their job. Our job as readers is to click the links and stay informed. Interested people are capable of doing that -- we don't need everything collected on one site.

Where Isthmus fits in this isn't black-and-white. I have never been able to understand why you publish Sykes, but he's relatively harmless. Blaska is occasionally entertaining and does show us the ugly side of Madison, which is real enough. And if we don't have something to rant about, the forum devolves into an event-listing service.

But somewhere, I draw the line. Rove is on the other side of my line for the reasons I just stated. Would most of us agree giving a white supremacist weekly page space would simply be giving him free publicity? (Or not? -- I don't know.)

Once it made sense to argue "freedom of the press belongs to those who have one" (meaning those who could afford a press, that being the wealthy). Now, anybody with a library card can publish his thoughts to the whole world. Nobody can reasonably argue censorship is squelching their message when they have the entire Internet to write on. Now the job of being a bulletin board for the world belongs to Yahoo, not to any on-line publication with a viewpoint and reputation of its own to maintain.

I know publishing standards are still being worked out in this developing medium, but for now that's my opinion: mainstream publications should DISCUSS loons and idiots, not just give them a free soapbox without comment. I am interested in reading other views on this.
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Postby nevermore » Mon May 19, 2008 10:44 am

jjoyce wrote:Readership is a specific statistic and it's now comprised of newspaper readership plus online users. Isthmus' is 170,000.

I wonder how that compares to WYOU's viewership, since nevermore brought it up.

I brought it up because you claimed Isthmus was,
only strong, independent media voice in this town
,
and I thought to myself, "Geez, there are lots of strong, independent media voices in this town" and pointed out a couple that I thought were strong (which can be measured by more than viewership). But if you wish to move the goalpost to "at least 169,999 readers", then fine. Congratulations on "winning" this argument. Give your chest an extra thump for me.

And really, "Get in line"? "Knuckle under"? Dude, get a grip. Your Blaskaphilia is blinding you from seeing justifiable criticism for what you put up here. But what do I know? I've only provided well-regarded content on your site for over eight years, had posts printed and mentioned in the fishwrap version and invented a term Isthmus puts on its advertising for this site. Maybe my opinion just doesn't count...
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Postby jjoyce » Mon May 19, 2008 11:15 am

snoqueen wrote:I know publishing standards are still being worked out in this developing medium, but for now that's my opinion: mainstream publications should DISCUSS loons and idiots, not just give them a free soapbox without comment. I am interested in reading other views on this.


Of course everyone's view of what an idiot or loon is differs (except when we're talking about PM, of course). How do you view the commentary of Pat Buchanan? Ben Masel? Jim Carville? Blaska? Cockburn?

My point is that Blaska clearly meets a higher standard, at least to those who aren't personally invested in the local politics game around here (and who continue to ignore the lessons about personal investment). He's a commentator with credentials. Same goes for Manski. Both, incidentally, are far more open to comment than other commentators in our midst (or should that be mist?).

Why their detractors continue to argue that they're not qualified baffles me when they remain so unwilling to come up with the goods themselves. And as I said before, it's particularly troubling when these are people who seek political advantages.
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Postby TheBookPolice » Mon May 19, 2008 12:54 pm

jjoyce wrote:The web is full of blogs spewing the Democratic party line.

Which is what, exactly? Dean's message? Obama's message? Clinton's message? Edwards' message? I bet you've criticized the Democratic Party for being spread too thin and too weakly organized in the past. It's not untrue, but you couldn't think that anyone could have it both ways.


jjoyce wrote:And the one thing they never do is say anything like, "I think Blaska's dead wrong and I'd like you to post this response I wrote." With remarkably few exceptions (I can think of two), they offer nothing. They just want us to stop publishing Blaska because evidently we're supposed to fall in line as good soldiers in the march against Dane County conservatives or something.

But here's the thing: Blaska is everything the conservative trolls and radio blowhards are not: funny, self-deprecating, unpredictable, prepared, curious, creative. He kills Sykes in terms of quality. And he's fun to read.

Everyone has an opinion. Not everyone can write about it compellingly. Blaska is as much a proof of this as those who ask for his removal from this site. I'm sorry, but in my opinion Blaska is not a quality writer.


jjoyce wrote:Readership is a specific statistic and it's now comprised of newspaper readership plus online users. Isthmus' is 170,000.

This is the problem with measuring online value. In the same way that no one knows how many people use the Isthmus for crate liner, no one knows whether the people that click through on an online article are there because they find it valuable, or if they were told "hey, look at this jackass. his stuff is terrible." I may very well benefit from complaints against my stuff by way of more clicks, but I don't think I'm more popular because of it, or that I offer more value to TDP because of it.

I click on most of Blaska's posts because he says things that are often factually questionable or intentionally misleading. Those subversive efforts need to be countered; plus, he still occasionally calls me out by name in subsequent posts if I comment on his stuff. You really can't measure "worth" by click rate. Only targeted and specific commentary can really indicate "worth," and I'd say the jury has returned on Blaska's value to TDP's readership. You can say you're kowtowing to "the left," whatever that is, or you can say that you're respecting the desires of your readership.

The web is full of blogs spewing Blaska's brand of willful ignorance.


pulsewidth modulation wrote:It's up to the consumer of tertiary information to decode the initiator's bias. It's only logical to be skeptical of what others claim (in their own self interest). It's the responsibility of readers to seek out the initial information and verify its authenticity; if it happens to be that important to them to begin with. If they can't, they deserve the misinformation that the "news" media feeds them.

Are you fucking kidding? Should I be calling up the mayor's office or the White House or the fucking Russian Prime Minister's office to verify the information I read about in a newspaper or online? If someone assumes the task of offering a true-to-life account of the events in the world, they have assumed a responsibility to be accountable to the truth. Critical readership is essential; fundamental mistrust is for you libertarian assholes who think every man is a pot-smoking island.
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Postby Shipley » Mon May 19, 2008 7:25 pm

[quote="TheBookPolice]This is the problem with measuring online value. In the same way that no one knows how many people use the Isthmus for crate liner, no one knows whether the people that click through on an online article are there because they find it valuable, or if they were told "hey, look at this jackass. his stuff is terrible."[/quote]

It matters not for the paper or the site WHY someone reads or visits, only that they do. By your own admission, you click in to Blaska. Each time you do, it loads those ads on the side and those advertisers get the impression they paid for. Same deal with the paper, where I often catch ads before one of my pet rats defecates on it.

If readers played the "ignore" game online, they'd actually get their wish. They won't pay Blaska or anyone to write something no one reads, even if it was great.
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Postby TheBookPolice » Mon May 19, 2008 9:55 pm

Shipley wrote:
TheBookPolice wrote:This is the problem with measuring online value. In the same way that no one knows how many people use the Isthmus for crate liner, no one knows whether the people that click through on an online article are there because they find it valuable, or if they were told "hey, look at this jackass. his stuff is terrible."


It matters not for the paper or the site WHY someone reads or visits, only that they do. By your own admission, you click in to Blaska. Each time you do, it loads those ads on the side and those advertisers get the impression they paid for. Same deal with the paper, where I often catch ads before one of my pet rats defecates on it.

If readers played the "ignore" game online, they'd actually get their wish. They won't pay Blaska or anyone to write something no one reads, even if it was great.

I'm not talking about financial value, and I should have been more precise with my language. I'm talking about Jason's justification of Blaska's quality, and of the relative infallibility of editorial decisions by IPC, by way of the readership numbers.

It might pay the bills, but it ain't winning any awards, nor is it selling any T-shirts.
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Postby Dulouz » Tue May 20, 2008 1:30 pm

jjoyce wrote:Readership is a specific statistic and it's now comprised of newspaper readership plus online users. Isthmus' is 170,000.

I wonder how that compares to WYOU's viewership, since nevermore brought it up.


I think the correct term should be 170,000 skimmers. I doubt more than 10,000 read the Isthmus on a weekly basis. Still, its the skimmers that the advertisers pay for, not the readers.
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Postby Shipley » Tue May 20, 2008 10:53 pm

then by comparison, the 15,000 people who read my blog a week outnumber the handful who read the isthmus.

Shit, I need to figure out how to monetize this.
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Postby blunt » Wed May 21, 2008 5:24 pm

I am not rejjoyceing.
Manski is of that dumb herd of out-of-sync wishful leftie activists whose tactics are historically passe, like shouting down speakers they don't like and and spray painting slogans on stuff and marching up and down State Street accomplishing nothing.
I have yet to see a war stop because the demand was stencilled on a wall.
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