Danny Cardwell's picture

    Can We Grow Dagblog?

    My first post on Dagblog was December 27, 2014; I was a butcher at a grocery store and received a small salary from the church I serve. Dagblog has opened several doors for me: I've had some paid speaking engagements, I've appeared on three talk radio shows- none more frequently than The Hal Ginsberg Morning Show, and I now hold the title of station coordinator for WCHG Allegheny Mountain Radio. This isn't a Horatio Alger story. I won't need an offshore account for the money I'm making, but my life has improved since I started blogging here. I'm easily the least accomplished of the bloggers in the masthead: a fact that has been pointed out to me by my wife, mother, and mother-in-law. The next two months (much like the last calendar year) will be awash with amateur and professional analysis of the election. With all of that said, what can we do to grow this platform and capitalize on all of the attention this election cycle is receiving?

    Is this an appropriate question?



    Please post your most recent tax returns to prove you're not making a mint off of your dagblog posts. It certainly looks suspicious with you now trying to increase readers. wink

    This is an appropriate question. I think many of us who like this site for it's long form discussion would like to see it grow. I just don't think many of us have any idea how to do that. We're a tough crowd here. Make a mistake and some one here will see it and call it out. Make a bad argument and people will tear it apart. It's not easy to play in this pond.

    Ocean-Kat I think you are 100% correct. Dagblog has its share of trolls, but It's been my experience that people usually go after your arguments. It's a tough room for sure. I hope we always have room for long form discussions In the age of Twitter and Snapchat.

    You're doing it wrong, Danny - usually we destroy people and leave them a shell of their former selves. And you didn't even call anyone a Witzenputzel* which is obligatory not just from Dag's by-laws (ok, Maiello would do it anyway), but also international treaties and accepted diplomatic rules. As for the criticism of your Masthead, well, it's only women that appear to be doing that, and I'd suggest they just have Masthead envy. Show them your fingers - they'll be humbled in no time. (Stretch them first and soak in old oak and Worcestershire sauce if you need to - they won't notice, old parlor trick.)

    As for capitalizing on the election, I'm afraid you'll have to stand in line. So many people are hitting paydirt from this election, from Justin Bieber to Pope Francis II to Cher to All-Star Wrestling that if Wolraich can just stop fidgeting so much that someone's gonna drop a bag o' money in his lap so big we'll have gold leaf comment buttons rather than these kinda tacky font ones now that keep disappearing links. And then you can write your masterpiece, the diary that started WWIII - and we'll all say we knew you way back when, when you were the Blue Ridge Butcher and a fierce mofo to boot - our own Marshall Tito with an uncanny knack for catching possum . Get that Bio polished up - you're gonna need it.

    *technically "Wutzerputzen" but some German linguist didn't have much of a sense of humor

    If I ever get into professional wrestling my name will be "The Blue Ridge Butcher". I like Masthead envy; It's an appropriate spin for the level of "hate" I'm getting from the women in my life!smiley

    Look, whatever Peracles might tell you, this shouldn't be all about me and I can't even get Google translate to tell me what that German word is.  But lemme tell you this, Danny Cardwell, I'm a 16 time world heavyweight champion and if you want to be bigger than me in the blog game, well, baby, you're going to have to WALK THAT AISLE and go toe to toe with the jet flyin', limo ridin', kissin stealin', wheelin' dealin', offshore account usin', tax dodgin', SON OF A GUN!  WOOOOOOOOO!

    We love that this is working out for you.  So far as embiggening Dag, I promise you we have no answers or it would be bigger.  Feel free to promote it yourself.  Your writing persuades people, as does your character.  Enjoy yourself, write what you believe, promote as you see fit and maybe you'll find the answer for us.

    Believe me, nobody here will object if you succeed. Well, they might, but we'll TOS them into oblivion.



    Michael Maiello These are my two favorite tributes to Ric Flair.



    Wait, your wife, mother and mother-in-law said what??  You can write circles around us.  Or is it rings? But way to make your guy feel awful, "ladies".  Try getting on that masthead yourself, whydon'tcha?  Ha!

    I wish I knew how to get more readers over here.  Not that I don't appreciate those who are here now.  I do, but the whole point of a political website is to see and be seen. We'll have to work on it.


    Hey Ramona, They do a great job of keeping me humble!

    Pshaw, your talent opened up those doors, but I'm delighted that dag has been able to provide you a platform for expressing yourself. It sounds like you've got a posse of guardians to protect you from getting a swelled head. Good.

    Fwiw, I certainly wasn't "accomplished" when I started dagblog with a couple friends in 2008. It's still the home I return to when I want to discuss the world with smart people. I publish other places, but I never comment anywhere else.

    Alas, I've never figured out how to grow the audience. We've done google optimizing and facebook posts, and we occasionally get a pile of drive-by readers from the web, but not many stick around for the discussion. We've also had some attrition over the years, though when you think about how long we've been at it, the loyalty of the dagbloggers is pretty incredible. Many of the regulars have been coming here for eight years!

    Ultimately, I don't think dag would be the same if it had huge traffic, but I agree that it's nice to get fresh perspectives in here, so I'm all for any outreach suggestions.

    Dag has been a blessing. I hope it can help others the way it has helped me. I've mentioned the blog a time or two on air, and will continue to promote it in the future. 8 years is a long time to keep anyone's attention. 

    Good for you Mr. Cardwell. Good to hear about good things happening. And pass on a high to Hal if you would. 

    As a practical suggestion, if someone wants to grow the site, manage it harder - get rid of the too crazy and too repetitive in both diaries and comments. Bring on guest bloggers for shorter trial periods - if they work out, hold on to them. If not, dismiss or lower their input to say once a month. Try to figure out a mood for the blog. Who will spend more time contributing actual content, rather than hobbyists showing up on weekends? Do they an evolving mood of the blog? (Are we angry, mature and contemplative, playful, wonkish, historical, topical, ....?)

    How's the "In the News" - a combination of unnoticed and heavy breaking items? Does it inspire debate and useful controversy, or is it just repeating CNN? Should the news rolls be longer? Can we better thread the comments so that we don't have 14 comments on 1 news issue and 0 on any other topic? Can we improve the Culture/Haiku section sustainably? Where do we find interesting habitual writers?

    What about the youth market ( where are the millennials???), how come our fashion sense is so dated? What's with the hair?

    I've noticed that huff post drives a lot a traffic to their site with side boobs and nip slip pics. Maiello is doing his part but what about the rest of the masthead bloggers? An occasional Ramona side boob or  Wolraich nip slip pic would surely increase clicks on dagblog.

    Last tome I called Wolraich a boob I got a ToS, and his little nip's only a few months old. Not sure if Mona's volunteering for anything risque, especially w Arianna out of the picture...

    Anything risque from me these days would send patrons fleeing for the exits.  Sorry.  My dream of being seen half-naked on the HuffPo sidebar has been sidelined. We'll see what happens next year.  ;>)

    Sorry about the hair. I was cryogenetically preserved in the 70s. Never quite readjusted to the modern era.

    We tried looking for guest posters some years ago. We didn't have too much success, but I think Wolfrum might have come in that way. And Larry Jankens, if you remember him. I'm open to inviting other people to post here if you have suggestions. Generally, it works best for people with independent blogs that would like a larger audience.

    What are you suggestions regarding news/creative corner?

    More Ric Flair related news?

    I thought ArtAppraiser did a nice job of picking news items, but you know the site stats and what items draw a cloud.

    What I think hurts most is we'll get a thread going and that will dominate all conversation - maybe simply too few people at this point, but if there were a better way to show top few comments on several threads it might support more diverse activity. Have to run around town, will think whether I have more practical useful input.

    It would be cool if the comments could be threaded like gmail, but I don't see any drupal modules that do that.

    AA was the best news publisher.

    Yeah, what suggestions regarding the Creative Corner?  

    P.S. I am not doing any more side boob selfies ... without monetary compensation. 

    Now that's a challenge - a Mr Smith raffle? They had naked weatherlady for a while - maybe naked Haiku dude? Or the stripdown Vanna White wheel of fortune thing - one piece of clothing per tetrain? Maybe everyone in the Masthead could do their part - with power comes responsibility...

    Hey Danny, you make my day. Hell you make my week.

    I still think that the powers that be might consider some ads?

    I told Mike W a long time ago that a few 'green' ads or whole foods ads or ....whatever.

    Facebook appears to be the thing.

    I tried and failed but in '14 and '15 I was getting thousands of hits per blog. It has slowed down since.

    Anyway, I am happy for you Danny.

    Please keep on keepin on and stay in touch!

    I love your posts.

    Thanks for your kind words. This has been an amazing experience for me. 

    We had ads, remember? They never made much money, not enough to justify their clutter. Plus the existence of a revenue stream, however small, opens us up to liability.


    Oh Mike, you know more than I do.

    I accept your explanation.


    Hell, you are doing something right. Hell, I have been here almost 8 years.

    And we get a lot of traffic.

    I am just happy being able to blog here.

    I think more porn search terms in opening paragraphs would be a big help.

    Prick Roll?

    High quality news articles like this one from Huff post will get us the numbers we're looking for. The journalists there are not only linking it on the front news page and the politics section but pushing it at the bottom of  many of the articles.

    Pasties on parade? A potential Dag specialty.

    So annoyed by this year's go topless day.  I'm supposed to see boobies IRL. right?

    No wonder we can't get an audience with such retro thinking - we need Pokemon Go boobies in 3D augmented reality. Walking along and boom, 6 ft tall attacks. How we lead back to news Idunno...

    1. Hire a Dagblog Hasbarista: (I suggest Natasha G-M, she is already in the public relations sphere, has an obvious interest in the site, and will probably work for a percentage of the ad revenue--wait, what??)  Job duties, whenever a foolish opinion is expressed on Facebook, instead of tediously rebutting the same, merely link to the apposite Dagblog post


    Some of us (me?) do this already with our own posts, but I don't think anyone is systematically disseminating the accumulated wit and wisdom of the entire cohort of posters.   


    I recently had occasion to repost a few items on Mona's FB page, in a discussion of HRC's virtues/vices (the latter always a favorite of mine...)

    . (This may be why the posts in question are still ticking along after maybe a year, pushing 30k hits....see, eg, today's list which includes one of them...)

    2. Make readership sticky--in this endeavor, restore the RSS button that we lost when the servers were changed


    3. Search Engine Optimization--this is Genghis' purview, I think.  At present, I notice that when I want to dredge up some post from years ago , I have trouble getting the Google to perform.

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