Unlike the residents of Garrison Keillor’s home town, all of whom are above average, we at “The Monkey Cage” turn out to be remarkably average. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Anyway, that’s the conclusion I draw from research by Laura McKenna and Antoinette Pole, as reported in their fact-filled article “What Do Bloggers Do: An Average Day on an Average Political Blog” (Public Choice, 134 (January 2008): 97-108).
The vast majority of political bloggers, McKenna and Pole report based on an online survey they recently completed, are white, well-educated, and male. We’re guilty as charged, except that David is Asian and John grew up in North Carolina and therefore was poorly educated. Most bloggers are young (between 26 and 41); admittedly, I’m a little older than that (yah, right). But on average, we’re about average.
What we do at “The Monkey Cage” also turns out to be about average. The core business of most political blogs consists of (1) providing readers with links to and comments about articles found elsewhere, including on other blogs, (2) discussing the issue positions or activities of political candidates, parties, and interest groups, and (3) speculating about upcoming votes. That’s pretty much what we do, too.
80% of political bloggers also try to serve as media watchdogs by keeping their readers informed about bias, misreporting, or omisisons in the media. We do a good deal of that, and it’s lots of fun.
One way in which we differ from most other political blogs is that the average political blogger tries to motivate his readers to become politically active in ways the blogger favors. We’re much more focused on political analysis than on political advocacy.
The key difference between us and the rest of the political blogosphere is that we (well, I) frequently post pictures of dogs and cats.
Naturally, we think the quality of our posts is way above average (but then we would, wouldn’t we?) and we’re delighted that many of our readers seem to think so, too.
All in all, I must admit that this is a pretty mundane post — but what would you expect when an average blogger on an average blog writes about average bloggers and their average posts on average blogs?