Dick Cheney is as much to blame as General Petraeus for the baffling decline in lefty internet traffic noted at the DKos and flagged by Jim Gerhaghty, Mickey Kaus.and the InstaPundit. No, seriously - my thought d'annee is that the Libby trial in February/March of 2007 created a disproportionate spike in lefty traffic, so that part of what looks like a decline is really a return to something like normalcy. [I also blame the Sulzbergers in a LIGHTBULB below.]
Some background: a diarist at DKos noted that the traffic there peaked in August 2007 [five years of Kos traffic here]. I did a quick survey of lefty traffic at Atrios, Firedoglake [which came to fame on the Plame caper in 2005], MY DD, and Crooks and Liars; for comparison, I glanced at the traffic at righty sites Powerline, InstaPundit, and Michelle Malkin. Obviously, specific sites may have gotten a boost from a redesign (IIRC, that would be Firedoglake and Ms. Malkin), but the general pattern is clear - the big lefty sites cited above peaked in April (Atrios, MY DD, C&L) or February (Firedoglake); the righty sites peaked in October (Instapundit, Ms. Malkin) or March (Powerline) but have been much less volatile. This will be a great chart if it comes out properly, but what are the odds? [Here's how real men do it. OK, or women, too.] [We aren't this good, but Cboldt is; that is his updated chart]:
Monthly Traffic in Millions
Peak June Dec
Atrios Apr 3.5 MM 2.6 MM 2.2 MM
Firedoglake Feb 2.9 MM 1.9 MM 1.9 MM
Crooks & Liars Apr 6.2 MM 4.6 MM 4.0 MM
MY DD Apr .9 MM .6 MM .6 MM
Powerline Mar 1.8 MM 1.6 MM 1.5 MM
InstaPundit Oct 6.5 MM 5.5 MM 6.2 MM
Ms. Malkin Oct 4.8 MM 3.6 MM 4.1 MM
JustOneMinute Feb 600 K 150 K 110 K
As a bonus, here is a righty site closely associated with the Plame case which has now lapsed back into well-deserved obscurity:
JustOneMinute Peak Feb 600 K; June 150 K; Dec 110 K
Now, no fair asking me what prompted the traffic surge on the right in October. The Petraeus report was in September, so I welcome suggestions for the October surge, particularly of the head-slappingly obvious sort.
And lest we forget - Happy New Year's Eve.
MORE: Kos has posted his monthly traffic over five years and here is one for the "Go Figure" file - he shows pretty much steady month by month growth to 2004. However - the 2004 peak is October (OK, we'll guess run-up to the Nov election); the 2005 peak is also October (Run-up to the off-season election? No way.); the 2006 peak is October, presumably due to the election; and the 2007 peak is also October.
Hmm - maybe it is not that October traffic is high in the off-years, it is that Thanksgiving and the year-end holidays depress November and December traffic. That would explain the Oct 2007 peak for the righty sites as well.