Ok that sounds a little off but what it actually means is that a new and cool conservative outlet premieres Monday via the talents of two of the great bloggers, Miss Attila in the west and Dan Collins here in the east.
It is called the Conservatory and it will be a depository for conservative thought and action.
I talked to both Dan and Attila about their new Venture:
DaTechGuy: What exactly is The Conservatory?
Little Miss Attila: It’s a new concept: an online community (http://conservativecommune.com) that goes beyond news aggregation and opinion. This is a place for people who believe in free markets and energy development to get together on a social and business level.
Dan Collins: We’re hoping that it will help us find more gainful employment for the starving artists that we call bloggers, too. Almost all of us, I think, would rather be gainfully employed on a freelance basis than have to bleg, though readers and other bloggers such as Michelle Malkin, Glenn Reynolds, Patterico and Bingley at Coalition of the Swilling have been very generous to me. Don’t forget to hit Stacy McCain’s tip jar!
DTG: Why another right-leaning site? What makes you different from the other choices out there?
LMA: We complement the other sites. Let’s face it, Da TechGuy: no one gets his or her news from any single source any more. The online world is like Europe 20 years ago, wherein one has to be a more active reader, and scavenge news from several points of view in order to be informed.
Each citizen has to do his or her own active filtering, and account for the various biases of all the sources out there. But at the end of the day, you want to hang out with people who aren’t going to make you defend your own point of view. And part of the time, you want to do business with those folks, too, when it’s time to find a reliable vendor, employer, contractor, supplier–whatever. We are the last two stops on that train, and we’ll be providing a service that people will rely on more and more.
DC: I don’t know about readers not asking us to defend our point of view, but it’s nice to be able to send one’s money to people and businesses who share some of one’s values. We’ll have some big-name businesses and organizations that want to advertise, I hope, but the focus is really on family businesses, home businesses, mom and pop operations and the like. It’s not quite barter, but with the Great Recession, it’s cutting out a lot of the middle man. It’s about getting value from people who have a similar idea of what “fair” means, and as Joy asks people, wouldn’t you really rather rent your cabin to a conservative?
DTG: The two of you live 3000 miles apart; how did you find each other for this particular project? Why each other? What do you specifically bring to The Conservatory that others might not?
LMA: Well, we’ve known each other for years, though we hadn’t actually talked over the phone until a few weeks ago. Dan’s written for me, and for Jeff Goldstein of Protein Wisdom (http://proteinwisdom.com/), and now he’s proprieter of one of the biggest boutique blogs out there, Piece of Work in Progress (http://powip.com/). Yet on the side he has these serious brainstorms–and this was the one I really thought would take off. So with some help from his brother, we got the site up and running in a matter of weeks, and we already sport some heavy-hitting clients as advertisers (the “creatives” are still coming in from most of ’em, so you’ll see those roll out over the next week or two). We’ve got think tanks, D.C.-based ad firms, industry groups, motion pictures–people are pretty excited about this whole idea.
DC: She’s the only boss I’ve ever had who didn’t think I was crazy. It was such a novel experience that I thought I’d like to relive it.
DTG: Have you planned out a development path to survive and thrive where others have not?
LMA: The difference here is that we’re willing to make the case to clients about why they need a presence on our site, but we’re not out there seeking “venture capital” from corporate sugar daddies. We are willing to walk that balance beam wherein we stay monetized, deliver value to the reader and the client, and spend money where it counts–without getting beholden to any one source of funding.
I’ve been in publishing–both print and online–for 30 years, so I know where most of the pitfalls are–believe me!
DC: Well, the business model is mostly provide the space and maintenance and get out of the way, I think. Most conservatives reckon they’re intelligent enough to do for themselves, and I’m pretty sure they’re right.
DTG: To what degree will your existing blogs be affected?
LMA: I anticipate that the folks at Little Miss Attila (http://littlemissattila.com) will muddle along with a few one-liners a day; they mostly go there to socialize with each other and do battle with my trolls. There are always a few things that are just so wild, or so personal, that they aren’t appropriate for a corporate site, and that’s why we have personal blogs. I, for one, am unlikely to shut mine down. Though until we’re up and running, it’ll get neglected, I suspect.
DC: I don’t really know what the time commitment is, yet. But I can say that in most cases I think that other people in the right-blogging community have done a good job covering the stories I think are important. I’ll probably write about news and issues that I think are being neglected more, and reacting less to what other people are saying, though honestly that’s one of the really fun thing about this ongoing Rhinoceros dialogue that we call blogging.
I think that Joy and I will be greater service to the online community doing this than we would–or at least that I would–do carrying on. Also, I’m past 50 and my family thinks that it’s time that I earn some money, and I can’t argue with that. I’m tired of being poor, even though I’ve gotten rather good at it.
DTG: Do you have any specific plans for coverage of election 2012?
LMA: We’ll go where the stories are, and we’re pretty excited about the whole thing. It’s been a late-bloomer of a primary, but I feel pretty confident at this point that Barack Obama will be a one-term President.
DC: I’m glad that Joy’s excited about it, because election campaigns can never bloom too late for me. There’s been a lot of speculation and incipient panic online about the field, especially the early announcers. It’s going to be an interesting horse race, and I’m hoping we can get a candidate who’s actually conservative. I share Jeff Goldstein’s feelings about the Establishment Republicans. The TEA Party movement will only have been worthwhile if we continue to get rid of the deadwood, and there’s a lot of that.
DTG: What kind of advertising are you offering, and why should a prospective candidate or blogger consider the conservatory as an ad platform?
LMA: Because we’re the central clearinghouse for ideas, services, and media. We’ll be reaching the widest mix of conservative opinion-makers–most of the other online magazines serve a niche of some sort. We’re not restricted in the way that the other guys are, because we have no litmus test at all.
Plus, through June we are very cheap: I’m offering an ad that’s twice the size of a blog-sidebar ad, and through the last day in the month you can lock it in at $150 for three months–starting in July, that same ad is $225 for a quarter of a year. We’re having a ridiculous sale right now during the buildup phase, so it’s a great time to come in as a client.
DC: As I say, I think we’d rather spend the money with each other than patronize outfits that might turn around and give some to candidates whose views we find pernicious. Also, a lot of advertising through outfits like AdSense are scattershot, as much as they cookie up people’s browsers. Some of the juxtapositions at right-leaning sites, especially during campaign seasons, are hilarious, but I don’t think they reach the target audience.
DTG: Other than me, what writers have you lined up?
LMA: We’re in talks with Ace of Spades (http://ace.mu.nu/), who may make some contributions, and we’ve got Darleen from Protein Wisdom. Serr8ted might be coming aboard (http://serr8d.blogspot.com/), and I bagged Ling Carter, who does the parody news at Interesting News Items (http://interestingni.blogspot.com/). We’ve got Stacy McCain in the mix (http://theothermccain.com/), and Gerard Vanderleun from American Digest (http://americandigest.org/)–people like that. It’s going to be a really fun mix, and we’re still bringing people on board. There will definitely be some surprises!
DC: Trevor Loudon, formerly of New Zeal and now at http://trevorloudon.com, has done a lot of important research into the socialist and communist networks that Barack and a lot of his pals surfaced out of. He’s going to be cross-posting, and I think that’s great, because his work deserves a wider audience.
I’ve asked all of the people, past and present, who’ve posted at POWIP to come along for the ride, and others, too. I imagine that we’ll start out with more columns than we actually need, and see who really wants to stick with it.
I’m hoping that Joy and I are going to be too busy to babysit the site much, so we’ve added means for readers and commenters to share links or post for moderation, and some of the breaking-type material will be automated feeds, but then I’ve spent a lot more time compiling my RSS and Atom sources than most people do, so I think it will be a little different. Also, though we agree perfectly on a lot of issues, the things we find most compelling to blog about are somewhat different, and I think that goes for the other contributors as well.
I guess another way of saying that is that differences in our aesthetics matter a lot less than they usually do for liberals. We’re a lot more open that way, because we don’t mistake our “tastes” for reasoned positions.
I may be biased but the first ingredient for a quality site is quality people, and with Joy and Dan, you’ve got it.