Bump, the ‘Bilbo Baggins’ factor, and Mr Sullivan.
Bump pegged it years ago; when a blogger leaves the system, there’s a certain amount of drama. He expressed that we bloggers have a tendency to act like Bilbo at his Birthday dinner ... “I’m leaving ... NOW!!” Bang-swoosh. All in order to get some attention. We so want everyone to care, to not go gently into that good night unappreciated. We want to have had some effect on the metacosm.
When Mr Sullivan put up his final post, I thought to myself, “Well, not bad, but chewing through all the past events, that rates about a 5 on the Baggins scale.” But the follow-up posts ... “A Blogger Breaks Free” ... over multiple days, reposting comments from readers ... takes the Baggins factor to 11. It’s like someone’s zombie posting eulogies as they arrive in the cemetery’s mailbox. “I was great. See? Everyone loved me. [Mostly.]” The independent media eulogies are not enough, one must be properly appreciated by posting selected eulogia as a final blogging act?
I suppose I just find it undignified. The sign-off was enough, to me. Better to just step back and let your record stand, than personally post dozens of laymen opinions on one’s worth. Makes one’s history look more like cult of personality than actual influential blog.
[Then, of course, after a few months, as Bump also noticed, the departed weblogger often has a change of heart ... returning in glorious angelic trumpet-calls, tossing blessings to their peons, reposting encomiums, hoping the sign-off attention will increase audience share ... and when it doesn’t, prompting another Baggins event ...]
Later: Really, CJR? The title of your piece should be: “7 ways Andrew Sullivan changed blogging for this writer.” An example: “... he was one of the first to understand that ‘merely’ pointing to something interesting written by someone else was a service to readers, not an admission of inadequacy. And he was among the first to follow (or create) proper ‘netiquette’ of giving attribution.” OK, that makes my cranium explode. “Admission of inadequacy.” I ask you; complete tripe. On January 9, 2000, I attributed a Jakob Nielsen article to Dave Winer ... not with a mere hat-tip, but a whole sentence. [It was late July of 2000 when I started attributing sources in the source:title manner you see today. In December of 2000, you see “via’s” start popping up. I was not the originator, just modifying what others were doing for my own style of concision. I just point out if I was doing it, it was becoming common practice. My earliest reference to Mr Sullivan, according to my in-blog search, is 2005. He was not an archetype.] Weblogging matured amazingly between January and December of 2000. A great deal of the procedures we take for granted were a product of that fertile period. I’ll reemphasize, we who participated in the early metacosm need to write that history of weblogging, sooner than later.
Even later: Some say ‘single-handedly created the political blogosphere’. Jeez, talk about a big grab. I got deeply involved in discussing the Clinton impeachment proceedings (and why they would fail) in the Userland forums in ‘98/‘99 (can’t remember exactly, but it was before I purchased Frontier). In fact, to discuss politics may be what actually put Dave, Userland and ‘content management’ in my radar. Political discussion just moved from forums to blog discussion groups after individual blogs hit the big time. Noone ‘single handedly’ created the genre. The ‘warbloggers’ expanded it hugely, in a conservative vein, after 9/11 and in the leadup to the Iraq War. That’s when the political ‘one-note Charlies’ showed up, beating dead horses to paste on a minute-by-minute basis. Sullivan was, again, not a leader in that warblog movement.
Enough. I remember the old country | They call the emerald land | And I remember my home town | Before the wars began ... I hope we live to see those days again.
The Dish: A Note To My Readers. [Andrew Sullivan hangs up the blog.]
My gracious. Andrew, you’ve been a semi-weekly stop for me. Thank you for your participation. Best of luck in your next endeavours.
ConsumerismCommentary: How Your Positive Posse is Destroying You.
If you’ve read here long, you’ll know I disdain empty ‘support’ statements. I want to be better, not artificially fulfilled. Take off the kid gloves, rip it up. I like it better that way.
Hit the ground running with work this morning.
If I see a link fly by, I’ll snatch it out of the air and plaster it here ...
paradox1x.org: Blogging is far from dead.
Mashable: The beloved Modern Farmer magazine is shutting down.
“The magazine parted ways in December with its founder and editor in chief Ann Marie Gardner, who reportedly had disagreements with the magazine’s lead investor Frank Giustra, a Canadian mining mogul.” Alas. Seems every time I find a good, new RSS feed ... someone shuts down the operation. I miss The Airship, too.
Like a chicken with my head cut off today.
Just plain old busy. More links eventually.
rc3: Let’s make link blogging a trend.
Hmmm. I’ll have to think about it (wink).
Links later. Snowing, not hard yet, but forecasts are for a decent amount (3-8”). NWS isn’t being definite about our immediate area, being on the edge between E/W and mountains.
This is why weblogging was great.
I noticed Cast Away was streaming on Netflix. I’ve been facing some interesting choices in my life, so I figured I’d watch it again. Hit me just as hard as it did the first time. And I remembered a piece Dave Rogers had posted when the film came out ... 13 years ago now. I couldn’t find his post online - as all us ‘originals’ have, he’s changed CMSs and personas a couple of times - but after dropping him a Twitter message, he dug around and reposted his great review, and associated correspondence with a fellow blogger. I link his pieces here (scroll down to the piece titled Cast Away, and then scroll up to read Greatest Hurts and Greatest Hurts 2).
If you want to know why the ‘old’ web was so great, you need look no further. There’s gold in our archives, I tell ya.
Dave sums it up well: “This is an aspect of the current blogosphere that I find sadly lacking. We had a great deal more thoughtful discussion back then. I may simply be looking at the past through rose-colored bifocals, but little like this takes place today.”
And thanks again, Dave. I may not have commented then, but your post stuck with me all this time. I think that’s about the best praise any weblogger can give another.
Later: And now, scroll further up to Addendum, same link as above.
The Fully Intended: Photoshop your personality.
Mollie ponders Photoshop. I fear that auto-retouching will become a default, rather than a backlash against retouching. Even photojournalists have the habit of photographing really hideous places and making them look aesthetically gorgeous, often totally obviating the need for aid. I argue with myself about this ... what do we say when we beautifully render something tragic? I lean towards a more ‘real’ interpretation, when facing the challenge. Everyone loves a pretty Santa Fe photo, but Santa Fe is also grit and dirt, heat and prickly cactus, crumbling adobe, unstuccoed cinder block walls, dying cottonwoods ...
Ghost in the Machine: I’m Bona Fide.
Vox: Refreshing the evergreen.
“What was interesting — though not completely unexpected — was that no one even seemed to notice that we were flooding the site with previously published content. A lot of the articles were enthusiastically shared by people who had shared them the first time around, too. No one seemed gripped by a sense of deja vu, or, if they were, they didn’t mention it.” So, we don’t need to create new content. Just regurgitate the same stuff over and over, changing the title and wordsmithing a bit. I’ve gone through and checked my Vox posts - no repeats, thank goodness. I couldn’t face myself if I had fallen for this.
Iwantmyname/blog: SEO penalties of moving our blog to a subdomain.
It’s not supposed to matter, but they took a hit. Marked for reference.
WaPo: Mystery of the 132-year-old Winchester rifle found propped against a national park tree.
Later: Beaten to the punch. All excited, I go tell my wife — she smiles tolerantly and says, “Hal posted this on Facebook yesterday.” And then she wonders if, given the reliance on guns, there isn’t a skeleton nearby someplace.
WaPo: Why women don’t leave comments online.
Medium: Why I Broke Up With Mommy Blogging.
If you don’t plan to become a brand (with associated business model + staff), you wear out as a solo. Important to see what her daughter’s opinion is about the whole shebang.
The Register: Paris terror attacks: ISPs face pressure to share MORE data with governments.
“The take-away from politicians on both sides of the pond today, once you set aside the posturing about freedom of expression: demands for greater surveillance of citizens’ movements online are back on the agenda in a big way.” Hmmm. Blogging via postcard?
Sorry about three from Archaeology News in a row, but ...
... they were really interesting.
WebDesignerDepot: 10 web design trends you’ll actually see in 2015 (and how to survive them).
Of note. I should create a retro-framework, I’m taking so long to update this blog ...
Medium: A Teenager’s View on Social Media.
Paris Review: Notes on Becoming a Crank.
“While a crank’s crankiness may manifest in an adherence to social issues (and it often does), a true crank is equally committed to petty concerns, and, indeed, does not distinguish between the two.” And look at the kerning on that font they use ... oops ...
Bit of a meeting, then links.
Appreciate your patience.
Busy bit this morning, then linkage.
Post-holiday surge. Be with y’all soon.
EuanSemple: Writing “to” people not “at” them.
Agreed wholeheartedly. Because you realize I’m talking to YOU, right?