One of the few Republican bloggers left at the Orange Juice, Geoff Willis, quit the OJ blog on January 12. The last post he wrote at the OJ blog has since been taken down, but you can read it in Google Cache mode here. I am not sure why the OJ blog’s editor, Vern Nelson, took down the post. But according to comment’s left on Willis’ Facebook page, the comments got out of hand.
Willis wrote 106 posts and got 100,000 hits – and Nelson is going to have a heck of a time replacing him. Why did Willis quit? It all came down to Nelson’s newest blogger, DPOC hack Greg Diamond. Here is what Willis wrote on the way out, “When Greg Diamond joined the editorial board of the Juice I feel that things took a swan dive both in terms of quality of post as well as in quality of comment. His self promoting pieces on the occupy “movement” were his biggest contribution of the year and his poor writing resulted in NONE of his stories placing in the top 40 stories of the year. I find dealing with him simply tiring.”
Willis isn’t the only one who has noted the “Diamond” effect. The OC Weekly’s award-winning investigative reporter R. Scott Moxley wrote this about what has happened to the OJ blog since Nelson took over, “During TheLiberalOC mess, Pedroza handed his Orange Juice blog over to wine, uh, “connoisseur” Vern Nelson–a humorless, knee-jerk Democratic Party loyalist–who turned the once exciting website into a mind-numbingly boring, frothy fellatio party for liberal elected officials. ”
And Moxley addressed Diamond directly in a comment, “Gregory u have serious issues. You, sir, like your warped pal Vern, think it’s funny to make “bleeding butt” jokes bizarrely while posting against homophobia and posing as a liberal. I’ve never heard of you and don’t know of a single contribution you have made to the community, but I do know that you can introduce yourself to me in person–if you can ever muster the courage.”
Diamond has made it his mission at the OJ to write about me, incessantly, which is rather boring. I must agree with Willis and Moxley – Diamond is killing the Orange Juice.
Who sent Diamond to the OJ blog? That is a good question. Regardless, the blog is dying and that is too bad. I took a look at the OJ blog’s statistics, dating back to Sep. 1 of last year. The data showed that the OJ blog is indeed dying.
During the reviewed period, only 27.42% of their readers were return visitors. Let’s compare that to my New Santa Ana (NSA) blog, where in that same time period 38.85% of my readers were return visitors. The OC Politics Blog boasts an astounding 51.39% returning visitor rate!
Why does that matter? Well, for starters, this figure shows how loyal the OJ blog’s readers are. A very low return percentage indicates that many people stumble across the blog and then run away and never return.
Another troubling metric is the OJ blog’s readers’ average time spent on the blog – only 1 minute and 38 seconds. Even the hated Liberal OC blog has a better rating, at 1 minute and 54 seconds. Compare that to the NSA readers’ two minutes and fifteen seconds. And the OC Politics Blog already has an astounding 3 minutes and 38 seconds average time spent on the blog!
Next let’s look at their pages per visit – 1.64. The Liberal OC has a 1.7 rating. The NSA has a 1.8 rating. And the OC Politics Blog, has a 1.9 rating!
Finally, the OJ blog’s bounce rate in that time period was 69.56% – that means almost 70% of their readers came to the site and immediately got the hell out, from the landing page. The NSA’s bounce rate is 61.257%. The OC Politics Blog bounce rate is only 54%.
When I realized what a mess the OJ blog was I emailed Nelson and offered to cross post my OC Politics blog articles on his blog. He never responded. Well, good luck Nelson. The longer Diamond stays on the OJ blog the worse your numbers will be, guaranteed. Even worse, your blog has become unremittingly boring. That is a cardinal sin when it comes to blogging…
Ultimately it will be the search engines that decide the fate of all of Orange County’s political blogs. When average voters search for news about OC politics they won’t be searching for “Liberal OC” or “Red County” or “Orange Juice.” No, they’ll be searching for “OC Politics…”