Moonbats vs. Wingnuts, Part 1

Political blogs are serving an increasingly more influential role in our democracy. They act as both barometer and incubator of political thought, disseminating information about the mood of the electorate while simultaneously initiating ideas and calls-to-action that influence that mood. And while a discussion of this ascendant political force probably deserves some level of gravitas, we instead choose sensationalism. We give you then, our analysis of:

Moonbats vs. Wingnuts:

What do those words even mean? There’s some debate over the origins and original meanings of the terms, both of which are pretty much used in the derogatory. “Moonbat” is used by conservative bloggers to describe those on the “far-left” while “Wingnut” is what progressive bloggers use to describe those on the “extreme-right”. Often times, however, the wingnuttiest wingnuts call anyone who disagrees with them a “moonbat", and the moonbattiest moonbats do the same with “wingnut”. Get it? (By the way, we aren’t passing any judgments when we use "wingnut", "moonbat", "far-left" or "extreme-right", we’re just here to inform).

To learn more about these folks, we took a look at 2 representative sites for each side.

MOONBATS WINGNUTS — Run by former Republican Markos Moulitsas, aka "Kos" (rhymes with "dose"), a nickname he earned in the Army — Run by Michelle Malkin, a nationally-syndicated conservative columnist and author. — Run by Ariana Huffington, a well-known formerly conservative pundit who has become a progressive. — Run by web designer Charles Johnson, who focuses largely on the War on Terror and the conflict in the Middle East.

A quick look at the trends of unique monthly visitors shows the benefits of star power. The Huffington Post routinely features posts by celebrities (recent authors include Deepak Chopra, Ted Turner, and Harry Shearer). The result? Lots of traffic. Huffington easily out-draws the other bloggers in our sample group.

But what level of engagement to these visitors have with each site? A look at the average time spent on each site per session shows that dailykos and littlegreenfootball readers are more engaged than visitors to the other sites. Perhaps their content has more of an impact, so people are sticking around longer.

Well it’s easy enough to look at these metrics to find out what people are doing at these sites. You can do it yourself by checking out Compete’s Snapshot feature:

ProfileGet SnapShot’s of sites mentioned in this post:


But wouldn’t it be cool if we could find out more about what visitors to these sites are actually thinking? Wouldn’t it be neat if we could reach out to them and ask them about the upcoming election? It would be neat, wouldn’t it? That’s why we did it, and the results were pretty interesting. More on that on Election Day"¦

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