The Least Mysterious Question in the Universe


It's this one, asked by Dean Barnett.

Why is there no conservative Kos?

This is a surreal debate, a particularly sad extension of the general Republican malaise. Three years ago you couldn't click your mouse three times without hitting some mockery of the silly liberal "Netroots" and their inability to win elections. And now the right is panicking and wondering why they don't have a mighty network of winning blogs. But the answer is obvious. Here's the current description of how Daily Kos works.

Daily Kos is run by a staff of two—Moulitsas and a programmer. In 2007, parent company Kos Media, LLC began a fellowship program to help fund a new generation of progressive activists. About a dozen contributing editors contribute content for the site, with 3-4 new editors being chosen from the Daily Kos community every year.

Two people to run the biggest blog on the planet. And neither of those people actually "ran" Yearly Kos, which was planned by volunteers. Now, here's the organizational structure of the newer, smaller, ambitious Victory Caucus.

Board of Governors

Dean Barnett

Austin Bay

Matthew Currier Burden

Frank Gaffney

Hugh Hewitt

Ed Morrissey

An established radio host (who was an early adopter of blogs)/former Reaganite and Nixonite, another former Reaganite, a military author-cum-blogger, and three established bloggers, one of whom is wondering why the right has no Kos. Well, there's your reason. The "netroots" grew because a bunch of people with day jobs built sites with extremely democratic bulletin boards (not that much different from what did half a decade earlier) and left-liberals found them to be fun places to hang out. The "rightroots" are, so far, a bunch of top-down blogs with moderators and old-fashioned, FreeRepublic-style "threads."

Is it really so hard to grok why one of these models is popular and one isn't? How big would YouTube have become if Chad Hurley and Steve Chen decided that they needed to bring in a bunch of established web stars to "run the place" and strict guidelines for posting videos? OK… so, why would the world of political blogging work any differently? The web rewards randomness and openness, not big names and five year plans.

UPDATE: Cesar asks if RedState is like Daily Kos. It is, although it was founded by a board of established conservo-blogger/activists in response to dKos. And it's got that sort of discussion system. But its owners have acted like, well, owners and haven't allowed the site to mutate out of their control like Kos did.