Building a Better Community (continued)

I am stealing a comment made by liza in a MyDD diary that explains what everyone on the left needs to do more of, and more often:
Repugs look at blogs, more so than static sites, as real estate. Linking to one another creates a tightly knit community and lowers the barrier for locking sites in with their message. It works brilliantly for framing attacks and going for the kill.

Look at how from Drudge and the Freeper site information is passed down at lighting speed into the red blogosphere. Once you have 10-15 sites hitting the same topic, Google does it's job. And if those 10-15 sites happen to be repugblogs, then they've won.

This is not rocket science. This is the law of links and Google ranking. That blue bloggers don't get it begs the question, why are they doing this in the first place. Do get a book deal and then bail? If this is really a movement, then we have to think tactically. How do you do so?

-- encourage building not just blogs but community blogs with platforms like Drupal, CivicSpace or Scoop. There is great potential in those MySQL databases.

-- Link and link generously. If possible, run an RSS aggregator on your site and invite people to add their feeds; making it easy for people to comment on other networked blogger's posts.

-- use the "nofollow" tag only sparingly; maybe for the sites you're fisking

-- METAs & FOAF still work. Use it.

-- Categories are a good thing. Use them widely. Tag, tag and tag some more. And if possible, ecourage the use of folksonomies in your blogs, diaries and comments. And allow live links on your comments as well.

-- Then link, quote and link some more.

It's not rocket science. It's just good blog networking.

I challenge every single one of you on the left to try and increase the visability of everyone else on the left by using the basic rule of LINKING. And I mean gratuitous links. Any reason you can find to link, in any post, to any site on "OUR SIDE" that you can find.

If everyone on the left works a little harder on this we can turn the tides on on the Google Wars and win. We have already made a lot of inroads since this 2004 picture:

The graphs represent the aggregate linkage going on leading up to the 2004 election. Reds (them) are the Republican bloggers, and Blues (us) are the Democratic bloggers. The full expanation of the graphs particulars are on page 9 of the PDF paper. Basically, the first graph connects dots (blogs) when there is strong linkage between them (+25 during the period), the second one where there is less stronger linkage (+5), and they've a 3rd map that includes all linkage that I've not included.

Between blogs then (not taking into consideration that diaries on #8DailyKos and #17MyDD serve to allow massive coordiantion and spreading of message), there's just a lot more coordination through linking among Republican than there has been with Democratic bloggers, at least on the surface of particular URL's. The other interesting thing I noted was that the blog by George Bush's campaign didn't even make the top 40-- now that's pitiful.

We were less coordinated in '04. But in '06 we did little things a little better. I am sure the more recent graphs would look a lot better. But you know that we can still keep on improving on this.

Remember that every time you link to any site you are, over time, creating a kind of GOOGLEBOMB effect on that site when it comes to site rankings, search results, etc.. Tagging and choice of words that are used to link are important in these cumulitive effects as well.

So link... Link often. To diaries on your own blog, diaries on your friends' blogs, diaries from everyone on the entire left side of the Blogosphere. And consider expanding your Blogroll when you come across any site that is covering similar issues that you want to see pushed up in search results.

As far as Tagging and the words you use to link: Try and chose many varieties of words over time and it will draw more, and different readers in. Also use certain key words repetitively to make sites "look" more authoritative to search engines. IE: This Joe Lieberman link just helped make MLN an authority on Joe lieberman. Or this Krayeske link just helped make ConnecticutBLOG an authority on all things Krayeske. Easy, eh? You might be surprised at just how many visits this fucking link might send to a site... Now multiply this effect by a dozen links and they become even more relevant in searches on those subjects.

The words you choose to link (and tag) with can be just as important as where those links end up on on the other end.

There are a lot of lessons and tips that can be shared, but linking and tags are the first, and easiest, for everyone to begin to use. And we all need to use these weapons if we are going to beat the right in the Google War.

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