s skippy the bush kangaroo

skippy the bush kangaroo



Monday, September 27, 2004

more (more or less) on billmon - a skippy rant

so billmon is calling it quits ("it" being "blogging").

many in blogtopia (y!wctp!) are discussing it at different sites here and there. we are a bit saddened by it, too, but not much, because, after all, he's the guy who was writing a whole lot, he should be the guy to decide not to write a whole lot.

but we'd like to go out on a limb here and say that his stated reasons ("blogging isn't what it used to be") are probably not his real reasons.

we don't know what his real reasons are. likely they have to do with a variety of his own real life viewpoints as to his time and efforts and where to put his focus to feel fulfilled these days.

but here is why we think his argument that "blogging has changed for the worse," while possibly true, would have absolutely nothing to do with his decision to quit.

blogging is, with the possible exception of masturbation, the most solitary pursuit one can engage in. all it takes is a computer, an isp, and an opinion.

there are, as it has been bemoaned by the dead trees media, absolutely no editors, publishers, bosses or other traditional pains in the butts for writers to make life miserable for a blogger (at least most of us. maybe msnbc gets on eric alterman's case once in a while, but we doubt it. and kevin drum has said that washington monthly doesn't bug him at all about the content on his blog).

so, any point that billmon makes about blogging having changed in the last two years because of any corporate ownership of any kind is a specious complaint. unless some corporation bought the whiskey bar and is ragging on billmon to write shorter, more shallow pieces, the end result of other people's blogging doesn't, didn't ever, and never, ever will, affect anybody else's work.

atrios and dkos make money from advertisers? kevin gets paid to blog? good on them, mates! but how, and more importantly, why should that change billmon's attitude when he sits down to write?

even if all this revenue stream turned the paid bloggers into lazy, innocuous, narrow-minded gossipers, why, oh why, is that billmon's (or any other bloggers') concern? again, we repeat, in blogging, the end result of someone else's work should have absolutely no affect on how you approach yours.

blogging isn't the same as it was two years ago? we would posit that billmon isn't the same as he was two years ago, (and we don't mean to put a value judgment on that, we just assume that none of us are). and that, dear reader, is more of an explanation as to why he's quitting than anything that advertisers or paypal has to do with it.

billmon had recently suffered a severe case of ted barlow disease, and now it looks like it's a terminal case. so be it. writing for free on the net is time consuming and minimally rewarding in the real world.

trust us, mrs. skippy thinks we could be spending our time doing a hundred other more productive things, and, we are loathe to admit, she's very probably right.

the majority of us simply have a need to put our words out there for others to read. and someone else's pay check, success or failure, profit or loss, fame or fortune in this silly game has nothing to do with it.

we blog because we want to. when we stop wanting to, that's when it's time to quit.

[ed. note: new bloggers who keep bugging us for links, please read atrios' excellent steps to becoming a popular blogger. follow steps a thru c religously, then get back to us in a year].
posted by skippy at 9:50 PM |

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