Stephen over at Stop the ACLU is conducting blogger interviews, asking a few questions about the blogosphere and me. It's a different kind of subject matter. I think you'll enjoy it.
Here's an excerpt (read the whole thing)
You are considered as a leader in the conservative blogosphere. How do you feel leadership qualities are essential in making a difference in the political blogosphere?
Does anyone set out with such a goal? I did not. But I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to be heard and I thought my clarity would help me be heard, and I thought that the nature of my thinking was seldom being articulated and not in a forceful, passionate way. I speak for the smallest minority in the world: the individual. My political party is capitalism. I think the Constitution is as close to a religious document as you can get. America is the most noble experiment in human history: noble, moral, benevolent and successful. My goal at the outset was preserving the America I grew up in – fighting for the free, protecting and defending the individual’s rights against majority tyranny and minority plotting. And that is still my goal.
I don’t know if leadership qualities are essential in making a difference in the political blogosphere, but integrity is. And so is an uncompromising work ethic. You have to say what you mean and mean what you say. Walking the walk, talking the talk — at least that’s the requisite on the right blogs. The left has no morals, no ethics, no values. What is required on the left is viciousness. The more vicious, the more successful the blog. The left and right blogs are as different as night and day.
Did you intend to become a leader, or did it come naturally? How much responsibility comes with this role, and how serious do you take the role?
I did not intend to become a leader. I don’t know that I am. I certainly don’t see myself that way. The responsibility is to the work. Always. And despite what difficulties you might encounter, you stay true to yourself and what you believe, no matter what the cost.
I take the role of online journalist and alternative media outlet very seriously.
How has the blogosphere changed for the better since you first began? Do you consider yourself a pioneer?
I think I was late to the party with Atlas Shrugs. I started in February 2005. The blogs on the right were well established – Malkin, Powerline, Little Green Footballs before he turned traitor and defected. But I thought I had something more to say and so I jumped in.
I wanted and still want to help build this medium. If I help to pioneer that effort, I will die a happy blogger.
How has it changed for the worse?
Little Green balls is the easy and obvious answer. That blog was a touchstone for so many of us. When he tried to destroy my reputation in November 2007 for not bending to his will and denouncing members of the trans-atlantic counter jihad movement, I knew it might be was blog suicide. He was wrong, but he was king. My daily visitors went from 10,000 a day to 2,000. I was never linked by any of the big blogs ever again – Malkin, Instapundit, et al. Even when I broke big stories, like Obama’s campaign contributions from a Hamas refugee camp in Gaza.
But it was a valuable lesson. I came back without being part of the link chain or the blog clique. I built it back one reader by one reader. It’s better, of course. That way you are not slave to the link master.
Turning to the overall picture of the right blogosphere…. what has changed for the worse is the abandonment of the issue of Islamic supremacism by the big blogs — the most dangerous threat facing the West, more dangerous than Nazism, more insidious than communism and they won’t touch it. Of course Jihad Watch covers it comprehensively, but that’s what Spencer does. Islamic jihad is not a tangential issue. It is the defining conflict of our time.
What changes for the better and worse do you see in the near future for blogs?
Nothing will change for the left, they are smear machines. It’s what they do. It’s the currency they traffic in.
For the right blogs, the future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades. More and more people are flocking to the net in pursuit of the real news. They see that the mainstream media has become a corrupt activist media for the left. Americans feel betrayed by a media that did not vet Obama. They saw grammy and pop labeled racists and nazis because they didn’t want socialized medicine. People are waking up. It’s a very good time for us.
Right vs. Left, who is faring better in the blogosphere and why?
Moneywise, the left. They are well funded by Soros, moveon, media matters. But they are void of credibility, short on accuracy, big on invective. They traffic in smear. Very boring.
The objective of left wing blogs is to smear and destroy. Those blogs have become very sophisticated search and destroy machines. Alinsky ridicule is the MBO.
The right has created a new news media outlet. Alternative media is becoming as influential as talk radio. The objective of right wing blogs is to investigate and report the news the media won’t touch. And the right has done such a good job because it’s all low hanging fruit; no one else is doing it. ACORN, Rifqa Bary, Obamacare, the stimulus, the socialists and radicals in the White House ………. exposed by the blood, sweat and tears of right blogs.
Its been said conservative blogs seem to fare better when a liberal is in power? Have you seen this since Obama got elected?
Of course! Obama is destroying the country. And the media is in the tank for him.
The county forgets how destructive leftist policies are. Clinton, Carter, Obama ….disasters all.
Americans have short memories, and they get seduced by a media that functions as the propaganda arm of the Democrat party. They go to bed with hope and change, they wake up to Obama.
If the media operated as an honest agent, the Democrats would have gone the way of the KKK decades ago.
There seems to be a split in the conservative and moderate side of the Republican party. What are your predictions on the direction this will ultimately go?
“Moderate” is a euphemism for directionless, void of principles. You can’t sit on the fence in matters of life and death and political philosophy. You must be vigorous, fierce in the protection of individual rights, limited government, Constitutionalism, low taxes. Rugged individualism.
In any compromise between good and evil, evil profits. Enough with the RINOs. They had their shot. They routed the party – they are done, finished, cooked. McCain was the final nail in the coffin. The DIABLOs ought to switch parties. Olympia Snowe is our worst nightmare.
In the conservative blogosphere, do you see cliques that have developed? If so, can you expound a bit?
Of course, it is very cliquey and it has swept some blogs with inferior content to undeserved rank/position because of regular big blog linkage. But so what? If you work hard, stay focused, love what you do, you can be successful. Atlas is not part of any clique. Check my referrals. No big linkage, but my numbers are big.
I think the blog cliques are tired and their content is tired too. They all sound alike. They don’t have to work as hard and it shows — their ranking reflects yesterday. Tomorrow will look awfully different in the blogosphere.
Are their any new blogs without money backing like Brietbart’s that you see potentially becoming a major influence in the future or growing to more success?
Tip of the old hat to Breitbart, alternative media’s William Randolph Hearst
There is a lot of new, smart, ass kicking blogs in America and Europe too. The most interesting blogs are the international blogs like New Zeal and anti-jihad blogs like the Finnish Tundra Tabloids that are doing incredible work exposing the scoundrels on the Hill. New blogs like Brave New Commie, Vigilant Squirrel Brigade, and summer patriot, winter soldier offer a refreshing new perspective. But guys like Vanderleun, who have been around awhile, are still fresh, original and delish. And Oleg at The People's Cube, outstanding.
Do you see twitter and facebook expanding influence amongst bloggers?
Twitter had little effect, for me, until the Iranian bloodbath. Then it was essential. I saw it make a huge crack in a walled off dictatorship erected in a oppressive, brutal, censored society. It was a Gutenberg moment. I worry still about Persian Kiwi. When he/she went dark on twitter, he/she was never heard from again. Marching for freedom and dying for tweeting. Devastating. And Obama’s callous dismissal of those marching and dying for freedom is a stain on American international policy that we will not long live down.
The only benefit for bloggers from facebook and twitter is to hook your blog feeds to these social networks. When you post to your blog, it updates your status and goes out to all of your friends and followers who repost it. It builds readership. I never actually tweet or post FB status updates, but my blog does. And Facebook made a difference – I am maxing out on friends now, which is wild. 5,000 FB friends and I have like two friends in real life.
Do you ever see blogs becoming something lucrative or is this only for the very talented and lucky bloggers?
It’s tricky. My blog is not a money maker. I don’t do advertorial stuff ever. I have some small maverick advertisers, but Atlas is mostly reader supported. Yet if not for the blog, I would never have gotten a big book deal from Simon and Schuster or a regular gig at Newsmax or a radio segment on Jaz Mckay or opportunities to speak. So Atlas is the heart of everything I do. Atlas Shrugs comes first.
Newspapers are history. The future belongs to the blogs. I don’t know what the business model will look like, I don’t know how the blog business will monetize, but it is the future. It will happen.
There'a a lot more.
And check out his interview with Gateway Pundit here.