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Commentary > Wastler's Wanderings
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Blogs and Bigfoot
Was this the Election of the Blog? The numbers don't seem to say that.
November 3, 2004: 5:37 PM EST

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NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Hi, welcome to my blog, where I'm going to leak my insights and comments about the election (i.e. drivel) onto the Web, diary style, for all to see. You see, I figured I'd join this fad which, for some inexplicable reason, has become all the Net rage. Sort of like chat rooms once were...

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Entry 2 (early Tuesday) -- Hey, I lied. I know why blogs are popular. Because you can field all sorts of unsubstantiated rumors, conspiracy theories, factual errors, and fictional but titillating details about various people and events. (My editor says I have to take that kind of stuff out of this blog, but what does HE know. It's a blog ... you know, freedom of speech, unencumbered by all that usual Big Media stuff like editing and journalistic balance.)

For instance, I know this guy who has a friend who works in one of the campaigns who knows one of the advisers to the candidate's inner circle. He says that they actually have Bigfoot prisoner in a secret room in the White House. And when the exit polls go south, they are going to bring him out and parade him around as proof of their candidate's effectiveness in battling enemies of the state.

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Entry 3 (mid-day Tuesday) -- I got a few emails confirming my news about Bigfoot. With the exit poll information, they'll be trotting out Bigfoot anytime now. And plenty of blogs have this information. Or at least some numbers floating around the Internet that they assume to be true. It's already deflating the market! Yep, this is the Election of the Blog!!! We are going to have SUCH influence!!!

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Entry 4 (Tuesday evening) -- Well, the results are coming in, but they aren't matching those exit poll numbers that were floating around. Maybe THAT's why we didn't see Bigfoot.

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Entry 5 (Wednesday morning) -- What a muddle this is! They are still counting Ohio.

But more disconcerting ... blogs didn't do the kind of traffic you'd expect from the latest Icon of the Internet. Just look at the traffic numbers from comScore Networks in the chart ... compared to the Big News sites (that's debatable for Drudge), we're nothing!

I asked comScore's spokesman, Graham Mudd, about that. He said on an individual basis that may be the case, but that if you added up all the blogs, it becomes a big chunk of traffic, maybe 15 million people.

I dunno. With these numbers, it still doesn't seem like we had a measurable influence ... just a venue for pre-poll closing rumors and misinformation. Fanatics talking to fanatics, if you will.

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Entry 6 (Wednesday afternoon) -- Okay, maybe this wasn't the Election of the Blog. I think it was probably just an example of over-hyping an Internet fad.

I think I might have been wrong about Bigfoot too.  Top of page


Allen Wastler is Managing Editor of CNN/Money and a commentator on CNNfn and CNN. He can be emailed at Wastlerswanderings@turner.com.




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