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Talk Radio host Hugh Hewitt, in his book If It's Not Close, They Can't Cheat lists his "starters kit of the most powerful blogs worth a visit every day: Lileks, Powerline, Kaus Files, Andrew Sullivan, Instapundit, Talking Points Memo, Evangelical Outpost, The Mudville Gazette".
Why Mudville? Here's Hugh in the Weekly Standard:
AS THE WAR enters a phase where most of the fighting is far removed from the networks' cameras, it gets harder and harder to find reliable news on the conflict's many fronts.
Unless you read the milblogs, that is. "Milblogs" is short for "military blogs"--online journals run by active duty military (some currently deplyed in a war zone) or reservists who have returned to civilian life for the time being...
The ability of the civilian world to access the news and views of the military directly is a sea-change in media. At the conclusion of his wonderful 1998 book, Making the Corps, Washington Post writer Thomas Ricks worried aloud about the increasing distance between the civilian and military worlds, and the divergence in the values of both. Part of that problem was that the world of the warrior was increasingly remote from ordinary Americans who don't have much contact with the military.
MILBLOGS ARE CHANGING THAT CONDITION, and having other far-reaching effects as well...
The mainstream media is noticing - Mudville has been mentioned on Fox News, USA Today, MSNBC, WaPo and CNN, as well as in a cover story in Army Times.
A recent Gallup Poll reports that over 40% of Americans age 18-49 read web blogs - and that number is growing rapidly. Based on surveys of readers most of that 40% are typical 'early adapters' - young, professional and influential individuals. According to the blog tracking site Technorati, there are nearly 8 million weblogs in the world today. The Truth Laid Bear's Blogospheric Ecosystem, the premier site for determining 'popularity' of blogs, lists 21,000. Mudville is in the top 100, and is the number one site in the world run by an active duty military member.
Greyhawk - pseudonym of the founder and main author - has over 20 years of service in the armed forces. (Note disclaimer in right side bar - this is a personal site and does not reflect official DoD policy, opinions, etc!) He has lived in several countries and many states throughout the US. Currently residing in Europe, His most recent deployment was to Baghdad in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In November 2003 Greyhawk founded the MilBlogs Ring - a group that has grown to over 1100 members (and is growing more rapidly than ever before) reporting from all around the world, including Iraq and Afghanistan. As the 'home' of the MilBlogs, The Mudvile Gazette is generally regarded as the place to go to see what's happening in the world of the military blogs.
Though fellow military members (from young people considering a military career to veterans of America's past wars) are probably more frequent visitors to Mudville than most other web logs, the site is (as Hugh Hewitt noted) more popular among civilians looking for insight into the military or reports from the frontlines of the war on terror. In fact, based on comments and emails received, Mudville's readership is representative of blogs as a whole. Run by a husband/wife team with three teenage kids, still another segment of readership 'tunes in' for commentary on books, movies and other aspects of American culture. Links from Mudville have sold thousands of dollars of merchandise at Amazon.com.
Global Reach, Global Power
The Mudville Gazette has experienced steady growth since it's founding in 2003. Well past the five-million visitor mark, the site has experienced over 1,466,013 page views in 07 alone, and we expect that number to increase significantly in the upcoming year. The vast majority of readers are from the US, but significant numbers are from other English-speaking countries around the world, and a growing number of readers visit from other nations as well. Over 150 countries have sent visitors to Mudville so far this year. (Other visitor statistics are available at the link.)
What others say:
Glenn Reynolds, MSNBC: "If you want a different perspective on these issues, you might look at some of the military bloggers, who often offer things that you won't get on the nightly news. Check out The Mudville Gazette for commentary and links to other military bloggers."
Michael Ledeen, National Review Online: "Greyhawk on the Iraqi elections. A masterpiece."
Jonah Goldberg in NRO on the Abu Ghraib prison scandal: "By the way, as far as I can tell the blog Mudville Gazette has done the best job following all of the timelines, developments, issues etc."
Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit.com: "IF YOU HAVEN'T BEEN READING THE MUDVILLE GAZETTE LATELY, well, you should be.
Roger L Simon, mystery novelist and screenwriter: "...But over in Iraq now, Greyhawk is doing some thinking for himself... Who owns Greyhawk, btw, has anybody asked him? Oh, he owns himself."
Charles Johnson, LGF: "Greyhawk?s essays and photographs from Iraq are highly recommended, as an antidote to mainstream media?s constant drumbeat of doom and gloom."
K. J. Lopez, NRO: "Thanks for your service--both on the frontlines and online (to Mrs. Greyhawk, too)."
The Mudville Gazette advertising rates (US dollars):
Premium (the 'top spots' on the page):
One week: 50
One month: 175
Three months: 350
(To place an add click here)
Bargain (just a little bit below):
One week: 35
Two weeks: 65
One month: 130
Three months: 255
(To place an add click here)
Or contact Greyhawk -at- mudvillegazette.com
I just find this information amazing. I mean did you ever think your blog would reach this many readers or attain notariety? What a difference a few years can make.Posted by Toni at March 14, 2005 01:25 AM
I really enjoy your site. And having a son in Iraq, I sure do appreciate the MilBlogs Ring.
Good for you, I hope the audience keeps growing. A clearing house and organizing center like this is what much of the blogosphere could use.Posted by Alan Kellogg at March 14, 2005 01:49 AM
It's about time! Thanks for being a much better source for news than most of the media that's out there.Posted by Elizabeth at March 14, 2005 03:00 AM
I'll definitely check out the ads, to encourage their support of your site, and Milblogs all around. Thanks for keeping us informed, Grayhawk and Mrs. Grayhawk!Posted by Barb at March 14, 2005 04:27 AM
Thanks again for all you do, sir. As soon as the VA gets around to mailing the check they've promised me I'll have to see how much traffic an add on Mudville brings my site.Posted by Bill Faith at March 14, 2005 08:35 AM
I am a daily reader and glad to help support you in anyway I can. Since our last tour was in Germany (Mannheim), I especially enjoy your photos from the area. . .Posted by Moultrie Creek at March 14, 2005 10:46 AM
Thank you for bringing your blog to life and getting the real side of the story out where it can be seen.
Also, congratulations on the retirement and thank you for your service. I retired in 1997 after 20 years and thought I wouldn't miss it. I was wrong. Sites like yours got the stories of my 'kids' out to an appreciative audience and counter-attacked the doom and gloom of the MSM.
Thanks again, to you and your family, for serving our country and the cause of freedom.
This member of the Cuban-American Banana Republican Miami Mafia is here and reporting for duty. Thanks for all the hard work, Greyhawk.Posted by Val Prieto at March 14, 2005 01:55 PM
What a fantastic site you have here! I'll be sure to tell everyone about it.Posted by Michael Smith at May 2, 2005 09:49 PM
Fantastic site. Please feel free to stop by mine and that of my affiliate. http://www.specsec.org and http://www.pownetwork.org We specialize in the expose of military frauds, posers and wannabes. We also assist veterans and their families in obtaining military records, medals etc.
Keep up the great work!Posted by FraudHunter at May 12, 2005 07:17 PM
To the Grayhawks; Very cool site! I read about you just yesterday in USA Today. Good on you! If any of your fans that are active duty and in the medical field, I invite you to check out my companies website: www.MilitaryMED.com and www.MilitaryMed.org That is the forums section. It's pretty cool to!
Best of Luck!
MSgt, USAF Ret.
I am humbled by all of the amazing men and women who serve and have served to protect this country.
I have an organization www.asoldiershope.org that helps all of our armed forces and their families. You can adopt a soldier, adopt a family, adopt a K-9, adopt a veteran, foster a pet while their owner is deployed.
We are in need of more veterans and active duty soldiers. Please stop by and sign up.
God Bless each and every one of you.Posted by Kim at May 24, 2005 02:13 AM
I love your site! Thanks for all the great information in one place. God Bless our Troops and keep them safe.Posted by Kim at July 16, 2005 08:38 PM
Great site you have here. Keep up the great work. Great to read about what fellow soldiers think.Posted by USMC - Josh at September 13, 2005 06:41 PM
Great site you have here. Keep up the great work. Great to read about what fellow soldiers think.Posted by USMC Josh at September 13, 2005 06:41 PM
20.1 Million blogs, according to Technorati.
Time for an update!
Citizen-soldiers --> Citizen-soldier-journalists.
Great concept, solid execution. I'm humbled by their sacrifice and hard work.Posted by Democrublican at October 26, 2005 04:03 PM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(17) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)