Having William Jacobson in class the other day was really informative and interesting. He, like many bloggers, began by pointing out the bias of the mainstream media in their coverage of the 2oo8 presidential election. Jacobson was discomforted by the lack of coverage on conservative candidates, and took it upon himself to fill in that gap. His webpage, Legal Insurrection, still strives to give the conservative perspective on issues.
Beginning a blog is only the first hurdle of handling a website. To get a larger audience, Jacobson would write for other webpages and link them back to his site. He would also contact other bloggers by email, and request recognition from larger pages. With this strategy LI gained one million viewers in 11 months.
Soon, Jacobson realized that in order to update his content enough, he would need the assistance of other writers. He recruited a student, and then hired some free-lance online contributors to make his site more active. Within a few months, with the revenue from ads, he and his staff were putting out a $5,000 dollar website.
The ads are provided by a supplier based on keywords in the stories. This can become interesting when positive liberal candidates and ideas pop up on the page, because they are mentioned negatively in a few articles. However, they don’t solely rely on ad revenue for their page. They also conduct fundraisers and provide a donate button so that their fans can fund the site.
This blog like others has more freedom with their content, which allows them to take the time to do investigative stories, and cover things that the mainstream cannot. Jacobson specifically mentioned their coverage of Elizabeth Warren, the Treyvon Martin case and elections that they could cover hour by hour instead of other topics. However, while they can cover these topics more thoroughly, they also have a more difficult time getting access and interviews. This is interesting, because even though they don’t have the ability to talk to primary sources they still put out information. I personally have issue with the accuracy and accountability that is lost when this happens.
I learned a lot chatting with Jacobson about his work, and it was an insightful look into how private blogs are set-up and run.