Our readers have seen me whining that I’m election-ed out, and you’ve seen it for a month.
Well, I’m really election-ed out now. And since this is the week of Thanksgiving I’m acting on that by disconnecting for a week and trying to recharge the batteries.
You guys already know everything I have to say on the elections this weekend, since I did seven different posts on them yesterday. We’re moving on from that. I am not sanguine about the prospects for Louisiana’s future, and frankly I’m going to be thinking about whether to include myself in it.
The Hayride isn’t going anywhere, mind you. This site could continue whether its publisher lives in Botswana or Nepal, much less Plano, Texas or Clearwater, Florida. The current writers all live here now, so whether I do or not really isn’t all that important. And this site will have a lot to discuss over the next four years, just like conservative media nationwide has profited greatly, at least in terms of having things to write about, from the seven years Obama has been in the White House.
I’m a bit concerned about the business model, though – and whether ad networks and traffic a state political blog will get in the normal course of activity can produce the revenue to maintain the activity we’ve carried on this year. This was a statewide election cycle, and we had seven different candidates advertising on the site, so having full-time contributors like Kevin Boyd and John Binder around was doable.
In a more normal year – this will be a federal cycle with a Senate race and at least two contested House races (plus a mayor’s race in Baton Rouge which looks hopeless) from the looks of it – I don’t know that we can count on much in the way of campaign ads. And next year there won’t be any elections at all of any note. How to maintain or grow this site from where we are is a question I don’t have a good answer for.
So I’m taking this week to think about that.
Plus, relatively soon I’ll have some details to announce about another project I’m starting up, which will be a website. Not about politics, which I am more and more convinced is an expensive and destructive, if unfortunately very consequential, waste of time. This one will be about culture, which as Andrew Breitbart taught us is upstream from politics. Right now the biggest problems in America are cultural, and they feed everything else. We need to push back against what’s happening there, and while there are people dabbling in that fight somebody ought to be working on an outlet to do that full-time. Some friends approached me a while ago about the idea and I said I’d jump in after the elections were over, so I’m doing it.
It’ll be a national site and an opportunity to put something together that could (1) fill a void (there really isn’t a good Americanist, if that’s a word, counterculture site out there) and (2) take advantage of the “sweet spot” that exists if you can grow a website big enough through using social media and Facebook ads to promote content that generates enough page views to fuel revenue through ad networks to turn a profit. There are a good number of sites out there doing that – you see their links shared over and over on your Facebook feed – and it’s a fairly healthy business model. Most of them offer a lot of screamy headlines and overblown outrage, though, and we’re thinking humor and ridicule might be a more fun and profitable way to go.
Anyway, more on that in due time. For now, enjoy your Thanksgiving, and I’ll see y’all on the other side.