Blogging In The Age Of Social Media

The blog has been far less active the last several months. This has largely been due to the effects of social media on the blogosphere. Social media has made blogs near obsolete, and has cut tremendously into traffic.  The days are long gone with a small blog like this can regularly draw in traffic exceeding 10,000 viewers, and will probably never return.

For a while social media and blogs could be used together, using Facebook to drive blog traffic to make up for some of the lost viewers. However, thanks to Russiagate-inspired censorship of social media, a Facebook post with a link to a blog post will receive far less viewership on Facebook, leading to a situation where I now get more readers by posting brief items on Facebook as opposed to longer material on the blog. Therefore, as a combination of these realities, and being busy on other matters, I have been using Facebook far more for politics the last several months.

The nature of many of the political disputes of the last few months have also had an impact. Blog posts opposing Trump receive very little attention simply because there is an abundance of anti-Trump material in the mainstream as well as other blogs. Blogs are of greatest value in discussing topics which receive too little attention from the mainstream media.

As we enter the primary battles, this could change. The mainstream media concentrates on the horse race as opposed to the issues, and there will be far more to discuss in comparing the candidates. Blog posts also provide greater ability to utilize longer posts and include multiple links.

I recently thought to try doing matters backwards–instead of posting blog posts on Facebook, primarily posting the links and short comments from Facebook here on the blog, using Facebook’s embed feature. This also enables readers to click through to see the discussions on Facebook. I tried this in the previous post, starting to use a quick blurb as a post, and then proceeded to add some brief additional material.

I am going proceed to add some links back to some other recent Facebook items which remain relevant, and in the future probably continue with a combination of such links as well as posts which are preferable originating on a blog.

Kamala Harris Backtracks On Medicare For All

Kamala Harris has already backtracked on her support for Medicare for All, making it hard to have confidence she will fight for such a plan should she be elected.

Wendell Potter recently warned why such tweaks short of Medicare for All will not work:

I spent 20 years as a health insurance executive before leaving my job as a vice president at Cigna. I can tell you firsthand that by focusing on a half-baked measure like a Medicare buy-in, Democrats would hand a huge gift to the private insurance industry while doing less than the bare minimum to help struggling businesses, workers, families and patients.

When the next Congress starts in January, House Democrats should use their new majority introduce, debate and vote on significant legislation that would assure universal coverage, protect taxpayers, and dramatically transform our health care system: Medicare for All.

The Higgins plan to let people aged 50-64 to buy Medicare coverage does nothing to restrict the ability of insurers to profit from our fragmented coverage system. It would allow insurance companies to continue to control prices for almost everyone under 50, while pushing many of their most expensive-to-insure patients out of their risk pool and into Medicare’s — which shifts the cost onto taxpayers…

It’s time for Democrats to stop proposing health care reform that relies on insurance companies to play fair. After two decades in the for-profit health insurance industry, I can assure you they never will. They have no interest in doing anything that might in any way jeopardize profits. Their only interest is delivering profits to their shareholders. From that perspective, the status quo is very profitable. For everyone else, not so much.

Harris should have been prepared for push back on Medicare for All–both from people concerned about such a major change, and from attacks from the insurance industry. She handled this quite poorly. That said, her flip flopping on Medicare for All is hardly my biggest objection to Harris.