Monday, June 22, 2009

Blogger ennui?

I understand the feeling. Blogging is a lot of work, and relatively little pay-back, either in monetary or psychological terms.

Often you know "you done good" by the volume of the abuse hurled in your direction.

Sometimes the posts you've carefully researched draw no comment whatever, while the ones you dash off thoughtlessly garner praise and generate multiple conversations. No way to figure it.

Mike Matthews at Down With Absolutes is apparently giving it up for Twitter, while Dave Burris is shutting down Delaware Politics at the end of the legislative session. I'll miss them both.

Dana Garrett has told me several times that he blogs now primarily out of a sense of obligation rather than a sense of joy, and that he has been on the verge of quitting multiple times.

Part of the problem comes when a blog relies primarily on a single author: if you hit a tough patch or lose interest for awhile, then people start checking your site less frequently, and things just sort of cascade down from there.

One of the things I've noticed at Delawareliberal with the expansion of bloggers under the same masthead is that far more posts these days are being generated by what I would call the second or third generation (pandora, cassandra, Delawaredem. Unstable Isotope) than by the old guard (dv, liberalgeek, and jason). It's difficult to maintain the passion for a long time.

I also think that for a lot of political bloggers it is difficult to keep going, win or lose, during non-election years. I note, in a processual sense and not as a criticism, that even at Delawareliberal the unifying theme of most posts tends to be anti-Republican or anti-centrist Democrat rather than specifically pro-anything. Don't get me wrong: there are things they are for, both in a policy and in a political sense, but cheerleading for two new Democratic administrations at the State and National level that are--suddenly, abruptly, and much to everyone's surprise!?--not keeping most of their campaign promises ... is tough.

Being a Libertarian without any real prospect of electing anybody to anything, I suppose, makes it easier to deal with that particular problem: I tend to see the unfortunate continuities between Bush and Obama rather than the chimerical, spin-driven change. [Which is not to say that health care reform won't be a change--massive deficit spending certainly isn't--but I also retain a healthy skepticism that by this fall President Obama will be doing anything more than declaring victory over nominal minor changes in the system. I could well be wrong: that's part of the fun.

But it is not good news when the Delaware blogosphere grows less diverse in terms of ideology and opinion. Within a month we will be down to about half a dozen political blogs that publish regularly to any readership larger than a few dozen people per day. Put it another way: Delawareliberal (quoth jason: Republicans hate America. It really is that simple.) will become an increasingly bloated fish in a dessicating pond.

Delaware Libertarian will remain in the mix for the foreseeable future, if only to point out--like I did this morning--that the people who want to run all our lives love to employ massive double standards in their own analysis.

Besides: writing is an acceptable avocation if you remember to do it in private and wash your hands afterward.


Nancy Willing said...

I wish Burris would just turn his blog over to his 'crowd'. He seems to use blogging and radio-internet primarily for partisan gain, anyhoo. OTOH, there are a bunch of interesting souls who'd have no where to go but Copeland's blog.

UI asked if everyone would come over to DL....think again. DWA's readership has more than a few people who can't /won't post at DL.

I hope Mike doesn't shutter DWA but uses it to augment his twittering.

I have a very solid readership and when the pols tell me that they are reading DEWAY, it makes everything worth it. What we say does influence the bigger picture. We just shouldn't be consumed by wanting it to also bring anything but satisfaction in a job well done.

I also think that Mike would be a bit happier if DL comported itself more professionally (as in crediting and sourcing their info) and grew up a bit about what actually comprises 'community'. They are pretty shitty when discussing him over there...the little snotheads like DD, anyway.

Kilroy said...

Blogger ennui?
"I understand the feeling. Blogging is a lot of work, and relatively little pay-back, either in monetary or psychological terms."

I understand stand but do you kick another blogger in the balls on the way out?

"Matthews says to those willing to takeover his blog,
Compensation: None. Having to deal with Kilroy’s misspelled rantings and Mike Protack’s continual defense of the Republican Party is payment enough"

I am hurt!

Steve Newton says
"(all those bazillions aside–after all, you’ve got Kilroy, Protack, Anonone, and the memories)."

Dam, I am really hurt!

Waldo said...

Waldo finds the longer he blogs, the more fun it becomes. He feels like Grover Cleveland, whose presidential convention re-nomination featured the declaration, "We love him for the enemies he has made."

Slightly more seriously, in SC liberal blogs seems to be peeling away with alarming regularity. We have one "Progressiv" Borg, where the price of admission is paying the king's sovereign and knuckling under to their format and editing; after that, it's pretty much Waldo.

Bowly said...

I like MM but hate Twitter. My hatred of Twitter is larger, so I guess I don't get to read Mike anymore. Damn shame.

I keep hoping that Twitter hits an "OK, this is too f'n much" point with a lot of people, but it hasn't happened.

Nancy Willing said...

Bowly, I got a twitter account so I could 'follow' Matthews. And when he links to his twitter page, it is basically very blog-like.
Information and entertainment.

That's why I hope he keeps the blog to augment the twitter. An occasional link to his twitter page and the occasional leaked tid bit would keep us coming around.

He has some AWESOME connections!!

RSmitty said...

All this DP=Burris and Anderson is starting to make me feel like the bass player in the band. No, not John Entwistle or Chris Squire, but more a Tom Hamilton type. Required, talented, adds rythym, but barely noticed when sharing the stage with the bigger picture, aka, the band.

LiberalGeek said...

I have always said that the diversity of the local blogosphere enhances it. What is good for blogging is good for DelawareLiberal [and Delaware Libertarian and whomever]. So it is disheartening that both are going the way of the dodo bird.

I think that you are right that some of it is post-election letdown. Once the election was over, Mike lost a lot of his support (from his co-bloggers) and it isn't easy to go it alone. Dave has quit before, and may quit again. I'll offer him $50 for the domain name and we'll see if he takes it. That could be telling. :)

With regard to the somewhat diminished role of the first generation bloggers at DL, I'll have to expound upon that when I am in a more navel-gazing mood.