Sunday, April 01, 2007

Walberg Watch - First Quarter 2007 Report

It's April 1st, and the first three months of 2007 are over. This week, I'll be posting a "report card" of sorts for Congressman Walberg's performance in the first quarter of the year, but first, I'd like to take a brief look inward at Walberg Watch. This will probably be a pretty dull post, but I think it's important. If you want to skip over the traffic stuff, there's a fundraising appeal toward the end of the post.

First, there's the posts us Walberg Watchers are producing. From the first post on August 11, 2006, to December 31, 2006-- a four-and-a-half month period-- there were 65 blog entries. In the first three months of 2007, we've managed 68 entries. Without a doubt, this increase is because of the addition of other contributors... prior to the 2006 election, this was a one-man show.

Then there's site traffic. Here's the monthly data, from August to April 1st:
That sharp drop-off at the end isn't a sudden decline in interest, but just a reminder that it's only the first day of April.

So it isn't DailyKos, but I think this traffic is fairly impressive, especially for a local blog with a very narrow focus. There's been considerable growth, especially after Congressman Walberg does something to get himself noticed by the media-- winning the election, for example, or comparing Iraq to Detroit.

Part of the reason the traffic is growing is from the location of Walberg Watch when you do a Google search on "Tim Walberg". The blog has been alternating for a few months between fifth and sixth listed, after only Walberg's Wikipedia entry, his official House site, his campaign site, and a National Journal profile. There's an awful lot of traffic from people searching for more information about Walberg.

There has also been considerable traffic from the "" domain name, mostly during the week when the House of Representatives is in session. Any given day might see five to fifteen visits from that domain. That's a nice little ego boost for me.

... And another ego boost, of course, came with the first traditional media coverage of Walberg Watch. I had actually been contacted once during the 2006 campaign by a newspaper reporter, but that story was never published. To anyone in the print or broadcast media that's interested, we're certainly willing to talk. Not that I'm trolling for publicity or anything...

Looking Forward

So what's next for Walberg Watch? Well, the newest project is all about the money.
"There are two things that are important in politics. The first is money, and I can't remember what the second one is."
-- Mark Hanna
It's sad, but all too often, it's true. Money is what will make the difference in the 2008 election, and we've got to make sure Walberg's eventual opponent-- whomever that may be-- has the resources to compete. As part of that, I've created an ActBlue page for Walberg Watch readers to contribute to the ActBlue Democratic Nominee Fund for MI-07.

I've never done anything quite like this, and I'm not sure what to expect or what to ask for. So I'm going to start off with this goal:

Help me raise $100 for the Democratic nominee.

Yeah, just $100. Kind of small, I know. That could be as easy as $5 from 20 people, or $20 from five people, or any number of other combinations. I want to see how long it takes to reach $100 from the regular readers of Walberg Watch. Based on that, I'll be setting either quarterly or monthly fundraising goals, and posting regular updates. It could be fun!

In case you're wondering, I have not contributed through the ActBlue page... yet. It's not that I'm just tight with the (little) money I have. I'd also like to reach $100 without anything from me, so that I can see a clear picture of what I might be able to expect in the future.

So head on over and contribute a few dollars to a better future. Help make sure Tim Walberg won't be in Washington two years from now. Make a difference! Help me raise $100 for the Democratic nominee.

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your traffic is good for the amount of time that your blog has been up. what i think is more interesting is that current traffic has already increased over pre-election levels. most blogs that cover politics have yet to "bounce back" like that.

you've done phenomenal work and i find myself checking back here often for reference. things are going to get really fun here come election season.
Is there any analysis of the Jan. spike? I wonder if it had anything to do with Walberg using the official government seal on a fundraising invite? I have not heard anything about that complaint, has there been any update?
Is there any analysis of the Jan. spike? I wonder if it had anything to do with Walberg using the official government seal on a fundraising invite? I have not heard anything about that complaint, has there been any update?

I can't say for sure, but I'm guessing the January spike was more because of Walberg being sworn in (and the flurry of articles about that in local press) than because of that ethics complaint.

And I've been watching for updates on that, but I haven't seen anything. I suspect, however, that if there is merit to the complaint, it'll result in a private "Don't do it again, freshman!" type of thing, rather than a public condemnation.

Don't worry, though. With the Club for Growth on his side, I'm sure there'll be plenty more ethics complaints!
I wonder about the ethics committee process. It was practically non-existent during the past few years. I read one accout that Tom Delay basically shut it down after the Nick Smith/ Candice Miller/ Brad Smith incident earned him his third ethics violation. As I recall, even when the republicans ran the committee, the results were very public. So, I'd expect the democrats to play it up that a member of the GOP (in a targeted seat) got jiggy with the rule book.
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