Thursday, July 15, 2010
Some thoughts on blogging and bloggers
First, there are dedicated news hawks that feel they must contribute to our understanding of the very latest news events in as great a detail as they can dig up somehow. Not that they are at all biased or inaccurate, but they appear to fashion themselves after the great commentators of the past, and believe they are lending perspective and information to their public. Indeed they are, sometimes.
Second, there are message hawks that see an opportunity by way of the news to put their version of the truth before an audience and to sell themselves as a pillar of some political or social order, while also managing a putdown for the ideas behind other groups and factions.
Then there are blogger groups that post incessantly every day at the same site. Somehow these bloggers seem to combine the two themes of news reporting with their own commentary built around a political theme, and they achieve far wider coverage from collecting like-minded bloggers of good reputation from all over the nation. Some of these sites boast a cadre of 10 or 20 well known writers with a more or less harmonious view, which is an excellent drawing card for like minded readers. It is often like reading a continuous Op Ed page in the newspaper. Indeed, some of the very best bloggers are Op Ed contributors also.
The common trait with all of these types of sites is their demand to publish, daily in the case of a one or two blogger site, and at least weekly or more in the larger gang sites. The larger sites can maintain and grow their readership by virtue of their comprehensive coverage and their stable of excellent writers, yet giving individual writers more time to gather background information and form their pieces.
Oddly enough, some of these sites refuse to allow comments on their pieces at all. Others do allow comments, but the authors virtually never get involved in the commentary threads themselves, perhaps because it can be a major distraction from their other plans. It is well known that comment threads can be a disaster for useful exchanges on the subject at hand, and often degenerate into shouting matches, which help no one.
Then there are those sites that do allow comments and do participate in them to some degree. I have on my blog list and my favorites list a bunch of sites from each of the above categories, which forces me to consider commenting on their sites if allowed, or to form a post of my own on my site, which is far less well known and attended, and therefore draws less return comment—near zero in fact. Obviously, I prefer those popular sites that allow comments.
The best popular sites are becoming far more adept at composing, editing, illustrating, and presenting their posts attractively and compellingly, and it shows in the slick productions they create. They have become quite professional journalists over time, and their hits in the millions attest to that fact. Of course, having an editorial staff and a technical staff allows for a much more professional approach to journalism.
After five years of posting on my site, and of violating the” must publish daily” rule to build an audience, I have few visitors and fewer comments. Since I refuse to join the daily comment crowd, and the reporting-again crowd on the news events of the day, that loses me several classes of audiences. Since I have focused heavily on conservative theory and commentary from a conservative viewpoint, that loses me another swath of readers—ones that I don’t regret losing!
Then, too, my style and viewpoint probably drives even good conservatives away, never to return. My anti-PCMC attitudes, my anti-abortion stance, my anti-same-sex stance, my anti-liberal stance, and my anti-Islam stance, when combined with my anti-intellectual and pro-Christian stances appears to be rather unpopular with many potential readers, and makes for rather predictable commentary, I suppose, which is boring.
So be it! I-yam what I-yam, and have little ambition to become a lead blogger. The one aspect I regret is not having developed, somehow, a small set of commentators that would help to expand my outlook by critiquing my posts.