This week I announced some cool meta news: Daily Kos traffic has been crazy high, our email list just broke 1 million subscribers, and we have a rocking social media operation. In fact, after guest speaking at a class at Cal on Wednesday, I had a student come up to me and say that he worked at Facebook and they were studying Daily Kos' Facebook presence as the model of what other media organizations could do. High praise for our social media team, indeed.
But as cool as our social media team is, fact is we have these great engagement numbers on social media and our email list because of you guys, the community. I'd be hard-pressed to come up with another outlet that has the kind of engaged community providing 24-7 focus-group testing on what memes and issues will resonate with a big audience.
Put another way, you guys are setting the agenda for a big chunk of the progressive movement. Sure, we put some of our staff material on our Facebook page, but over half of what we post over there is community content. And easily 75 percent of our Facebook engagement is in community-written stories.
Same with our email list. Several times a week we send out a "share" email to over half a million people on our list which includes the most popular stories on the site at that time. Invariable, half or more of the stories included in that email are community-written stories. Of course, blasting those stories out to that many people helps increase readership, many of which then share those stories in their social media venues, which further increases readership.
Now we still get people talking about how much they hate Facebook or Twitter or blah blah blah. And really, if you don't like that stuff, good for you! No one is forcing you to do it. But that vocal negativity is counterproductive to our efforts to grow as a movement. The more insular we become, the less effective we are. It was one of the big takeaways I took from the Dean implosion in 2004. I helped the campaign build all sorts of tools that allowed Dean supporters to speak to other Dean supporters, instead of focusing on tools allowing Dean supporters to speak to potential Dean supporters. See the distinction?
So for example, I have a phone phobia. Hate them with a passion. Will only answer when my wife calls, and she has a special ringtone otherwise I'll just ignore the phone when it rings. So, if someone says, "Here's a great virtual phone banking tool to GOTV for candidate X", I don't say, "Ugh, I hate the phone. I don't understand why anyone would actually enjoy spending time making calls to strangers." That would be rude and idiotic and counterproductive. Instead, I recognize phone banking as an integral part of getting our message to people outside of our community. And that's a good thing!
Well, that's what social media is. That's what the email list is. It's a way for us to broaden our reach beyond our wonderful community because we ain't gonna win shit if we just pat each other on our backs.
In the last week, 2.1 million unique people visited Daily Kos. In that same week. 3.8 million unique people saw Daily Kos content in their Facebook timelines. Our email list adds another million, and that is mostly a different audience than the regular Daily Kos addicts.
Point is, our own internal dailykos.com stats are no longer the be-all, end-all measure of our reach and success. Yes, we educate, motivate, and entertain each other here on this site, but we are evangelizing our politics, and that requires we all work hard to promote our work elsewhere. As you an see above, we reached 2.1 million people on Daily Kos this last week, but reached at least 5 million elsewhere. Those are some serious numbers.
I won't make calls, but I'll tweet. You won't use Facebook, but you'll knock on doors. We are all doing our part in different ways, so if you don't feel one evangelizing tool is for you, that's okay! Just try not to be negative and dismissive of what other people are doing to spread the word.
Now on to the main show: ask away! I'll stick around until 2 pm PT. In past episodes, I've carved out time in the weekend to do a second pass answering what I didn't get to the first time around.