Around 9PM last night KP reached 500,000 unique page visits. That comes a little under two years after we started up (Jan 2009). Â It is not much in the grand scheme of things but as a niche soft-lefty intellectual type of forum based in a small country, it represents decent growth. We average over 500 visits per day and between 7-8000 visits per month, with the largest number of page views directed at posts on domestic topics. Â We get a fair bit of traffic from other NZ political blogs, but search engines, Facebook and twitter are starting to dominate our feeds. Most of our readers are from NZ but we are getting a steady flow of foreign readers as well. Not surprisingly, if the comments thread gets acerbic the number of page reads increases. Even so, and barring some notable transgressions (to which I unhappily have contributed), the overall tone of the discussions on the threads has conformed to the civility guidelines outlined in the comments policy. Of particular interest to me is the tendency of threads to go off-subject even when people are not trolling, and how some of these tangents then take on a life of their own that many times are informative and/or expands my comprehension of tangental subjects. In any case, I believe that KP has been largely been able to show that a political blog can be civil as well as provocative, with just three people banned for malicious trolling (and no, one of them is NOT Russell the anti-communist).
The blog saw readership drop while Anita and Lew were not posting regularly (our lowest total was in October 2011 when both were absent), but has been on the upswing in recent weeks now that both are back on-line, if only sporadically in Anita’s case (the more we see of her posts the better we are). Lew’s posts never fail to generate serious interest and seem to get the most referrals. Weekdays see the most reads (Mondays in particular), with a fair drop off during the weekends. This suggests to me that, although there is a fair bit of evening reading people tend to read KP at work and have better things to do on the weekends.
There is more to the KP demographics but this is just a brief recognition of our progress rather than a dissection of it. I am grateful to have Lew and Anita as partners in this venture and hope that we can continue to contribute to public debate in the months and years to come. In the meantime we shall think about revamping the site and perhaps look for another writing partner whose interests are a bit different than and complementary of ours.
Thank you, Pablo, for your kind words. You’ve omitted the value of your own IR and strategic perspectives, and the discussion of foreign affairs topics you bring here as well. And let me echo your sentiments about Anita’s return — much welcome it is.
And thanks also to the rest of you — the commenters and the arguers and the lurkers. Cheers!
Reckon a bigger milestone is seeing Lew and Mickeysavage in the Granny this am. Hearty congrats – a testament to your solid work over the last two years and (hopefully) a new more transparent and confident Left. The fruits of front-footing the media.
Now for unity: imagine the potential gains if all Leftish parties had forged MOUs two years ago and were now firmly supporting the MP in its negotiations….time for consideration of a Closing the Gaps for All alliance perhaps.
Yes well done all, to use one of Pabloâ€™s terms, KP engages in a somewhat asymmetrical way politically, and is a very worthy part of the whole NZ scene. It is difficult to come here without thinking, though the grinding discussion about why it is actually beneficial for all New Zealanders to understand and honour Te Tiriti possibly stretched my contention. Kia Kaha.
Ak: Compared to Ardern (too gushy) Lew was almost Socratic in his rationale. The whole piece shows one thing: some reporters read blogs and take their cues from there rather than actually investigate and report. So long as it serves to give greater exposure to otherwise hidden or obscure but otherwise worthwhile views, I guess that is OK.
TM: My recollection is that when KP was founded it was intended to be a voice for the non-partisan social democratic NZ Left, expressed from heterogeneous angles. As much as three people can do that it seems to be holding course.
“…some reporters read blogs and take their cues from there rather than actually investigate and report…”
I don’t think you have to be a Fox news acolyte to suspect the NZ blogsphere has a liberal bias, to which the prefix of “neo-” can often be attached. After all, no one has ever voted for NZ First on the internet, yet they can get 7% of the vote with consumate ease. I mentioned on the dimpost the other day the depth of anti-burqua feeling in this country based on a vox-pops of 12 people I work near, something I think has been totally missed in the blogsphere.
To that end, to my mind the fact that so many journalists feel that interviewing kiwiblog’s comments section or reading what Lew has to say as opinion shaping simply reinforces the totality of elite capture of political debate. Journalists who read blogs are taking part in the ultimate echo-chamber, and it bodes ill for the future because it opens the possibility of a truly populist and nationalistic party (something currently filled in absentia by the relatively benign NZ First) coming along and blindsiding the Bowen Triangle establishment with some truly nasty – but popular – policies.