No Click-Bait, Please!

logo-headerAccording to website analytics tracker Alexa, RedState.com is in the top 5,000 highly trafficked sites in America, albeit toward the bottom of that list.  The media kit shows 700,000 unique monthly visitors and 3.5 million views although that might be dated information.  By contrast, Salon is number 322, Slate is 178, and HuffPo is number 30.

By those statistics, you’d think that liberals own the blogosphere–and if you mean by word count, they do.  But even Breitbart.com finishes just above Salon at 299.  Yet RedState is listed as the third most influential conservative blog in America by Newsmax (right behind its sister site Hot Air which Alexa ranks at number 1486 in traffic). So there must be something special about RedState’s outsized influence for its hit count.

And that something is a decided lack of click trolling, along with a commitment to community.

In the two years that I’ve been an RS community member addict, I can truthfully say that I’ve not seen a single case of the editors allowing click-bait to make it to the front page (at least not intentionally).  Being an open contributor site, of course there’s plenty of trolling and click-baiting in the diaries, which is why many of the larger blogs don’t allow open contributions.  That’s their loss.

Some of the best writers on RedState have come up through the diaries, and whether they end up as front page contributors or not, I enjoy reading their insights and analysis (and sometimes breaking news).

On the liberal sites, and increasingly on conservative sites like Breitbart, I am finding a preponderance of click-bait such as this horrific piece on Salon titled “Dear White America: Your toxic masculinity is killing you.”  I linked to it out of a sense of journalistic accuracy but I implore you not to click and read this clearly trolling fragment of flotsam floating down the storm drain of Salon’s liberal sewer.

There’s no point to this open letter other than to present a racist view of America that would make David Duke blush with embarrassment, where “White America” is filled with brainwashed, testosterone-overdosed rednecks who blindly follow the GOP (which, from its author’s point of view, is the effluent of Hell). The only point is to induce people to click on the post to read it, and either cheerily agree with it or violently disagree. A post like that has no middle ground, and no call to action or thoughtfulness other than if you’re white, you must agree that you are trash.

Even Breitbart engaged in click-baiting with its defense of the patently racist and offensive term “cuckservative,” which Erick roundly condemned.  Why have such tripe on a website?  The only reason is to increase eyeballs staring at a monitor under your masthead, and that’s just empty hucksterism.

RedState doesn’t charge a fee for membership, doesn’t hide its best content behind a paywall, and consequently pays its top contributors in line with that policy (make your own conclusion).  That means the RedState front page contributors generally write for love, not money.  Although Erick is paid as the editor-in-chief, and a few other staff are necessary to keep the site humming, most of the writers (and all the diarists) are doing it because they care.

I hope RedState keeps its flavor and steely-eyed determination to promote conservative (and hopefully GOP–that’s up to the GOP) values, and not succumb to empty clicksterism.  I for one appreciate this site as one of the best on the Internet for that reason.

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