On the Rise of the Cincinnatus Blog

Lest it appear a little obsessive, I hesitate momentarily in admitting that over the past few days I have, on occasion, spent some time observing the flow of traffic in and out of the C4P site. However, I know I am not alone in this behaviour, since some C4P commenters have also indicated that they too have been watching the Sitemeter, and have noted that the number of people visiting here continues to expand:

Yes, I am watching the Live Feed and there are quite a few coming over from Kos; I’m seeing a few from overseas as well.
(Yogi41: 5 May: 9.51pm)

Had you accompanied me to the Sitemeter today (9 May) you would have learned, as I did, that in January of this year C4P had some 19,286 visitors, averaging approximately 622 visits per day, and that by the end of April the numbers visiting had grown to 151,929, a near 8 fold increase in the space of 3 months.

In the first 8 days of May alone, the Sitemeter shows that 61,515 visits occurred, an average of 7,689 per day – a potential 230,670 for the month of May as a whole, if the current rate of interest is sustained for its 30 days (ie. a more than 12 fold increase on January’s figure).

Aside from the United States itself, recent visitors by location have included those from: Israel, Canada, the UK, Denmark, Australia, Malaysia, Brunei, Nigeria, Azerbaijan, the Czech Republic, Singapore, Sweden, Poland, India, France, The Philippines, Ireland, Finland, Bahrain, Germany, New Zealand, The Netherlands and Norway.

That’s visitors from 24 different countries, and from multiple locations in some of the larger land masses, such as Australia and Europe.

Speaking as someone who began to visit this site in December, and regularly from early January, I’d like to offer a perspective on why it is that people from all over the United States and, indeed, the world are coming here in such increasing numbers, and why this site appears to have moved so far forward in such a relatively short space of time. Let’s look to the comment threads on this site:

By the way, since I haven’t taken the time to address you before now, let me take the opportunity to pour praise all over you and your colleagues here running and contributing to C4P.

This site is incredible!!….and over the past several months has become without question the place to come to for all the absolute latest on all things Palin.
(napsalot: May 8: 9.08 pm)

Fundamentally, for the majority of visitors there is an interest in Governor Palin, perhaps pursued initially, after the 2008 election campaign, via patronage of Team Sarah and other such pro-Palin sites.

Yet at this place in particular, a number of defining moments seem to have helped drive forward the site’s development, and the increasing attraction it holds, not least the rationalising of a philosophical basis for the support of Governor Palin, argued in formal essays such as R. A. Mansour’s “C4P Who We Are And What We Stand For” and in Mansour’s “Who Is Sarah Palin”, but also, more recently, for example, in presentations by other contributors with very different backgrounds, like Rob Harrison’s “On Gov Palin, Ordinary Barbarians and Blazing the Trail”, and in The Aged P’s “Blogging for England, Palin and St George”.

It seems to me that these types of definition statement are unusual and are helping to encourage a unique identity for C4P, a type of spirit with which many visitors associate themselves readily once here, and allowing visitors to feel that they can become active participants in a common purpose, a purpose they can share with those who operate the site – something which is acknowledged regularly in the “ownership” comments made by readers:

I have said this before and I will say it again: This site is conservatives4palin.com

NOT, I repeat NOT iamnotsurewhoiam4.com.

[…]

Anyway, we love to discuss Palin here. We love to support Palin here. We love to defend Palin here. We do not mislead people where we stand (refer back to the name of this website.)

[…]

…I am all about Palin. People who complain about our strong support of Palin on a site that is in your face about WHO we support just get old after a while. Go to another site, I do not think you will change anyone’s opinion here about Gov. Palin. That is why we hang out on a website named conservatives4palin. If you stay, go with the flow, don’t be critical that we are sold totally on Palin (refer to the website name again). Very simple.
(Lipstick: 8 May 3.19pm)

The site is fortunate, also, in having established a core of citizen contributors with differing skills, able to bring varied approaches and perspectives, and this seems one way in which the interests of a broad, overwhelmingly supportive audience are being met successfully.

It was, quite clearly, a significant moment in the site’s brief history that a satirical video recording, produced by one of its contributors last week, attracted the attention of two national cable news networks. However, this in itself could also be seen to be simply building constructively on the groundwork, of blogging, emailing, radio interviews, press interviews, shout-outs on a local radio station in Alaska and the appearance of some of Mansour’s articles at both The Alaska Standard and SarahPAC, which has been in progress throughout the last several months.

In my opinion, there can be little doubt that the Editors of the site are working daily with a clear sense of purpose, demonstrated on the occasions when, for example, Joseph Russo and Videmus Omnia have produced research-based articles serving to exemplify Governor Palin’s achievements, or point by point analyses which have exposed the tardiness of the reporting of others, or the hypocrisy of some of Goveror Palin’s critics. One interesting extension of this was the collaborative work done recently by the editorial team members about the ways in which liberal bloggers work together against Governor Palin.

In addition, the site is favoured in having a heartbeat of citizen commenters with specialised knowledge. It’s clear that amongst those commenting regularly there are people with knowledge of legal matters and data analysis, citizens of Alaska with an interest in their state’s political landscape, and a number of effective multi-media specialists able to provide audio and video recordings quickly and proficiently.

One very common approach being taken by such commenters is the provision of links to articles and other media, in proactive support of the main contributors, but also as a means to justify argument to fellow commenters, and for occasions where such argument is carried to other sites in the blogosphere. And this can be taken to validate further the perception that, on most occasions, it is the content of the argument which is a common concern for contributors and reader/commenters alike, at this site:

Here’s a write-up of the seafood event that TP attended in place for SP:
“Salmon Fishing in SoHo”
http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/08/salmon-fishing-in-soho/

This Investor Business Daily article talks about her testimony:
“Drill, Ivan, Drill”
http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=326589033617322
(Tommy Report: 8 May: 6.52pm)

Tellingly, the site’s managers deal swiftly and decisively with visitors whose intention it is merely to be disruptive, disrespectful and abusive, so that discussion amongst those visitors who are here to uphold the site’s values is protected, fostered and allowed to develop within the comment threads:

IT, you have been spamming our comment sections with the same off topic nonsense all day. This is your final warning. You do it one more time and you will be banned for life and all your comments will be automatically deleted.
(RAM: 8 May 2009: 1.43pm)

Equally telling, there is also a confidence of purpose demonstrated in the way in which challenge is being directed independently, openly, promptly and in a civilised manner by those associated with C4P, at those who misrepresent or detract from Governor Palin’s achievements, whoever or wherever they may be.

Long may that continue.



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