As much as I feel ambivalence toward the blogosphere, I have to confess it is a guilty pleasure. I write. People by the hundreds come here daily to read. Or at least to check headlines and see what I’m blathering about. The internet keeps telling me there are hundreds of millions of blogs, billions of posts, and trillions of words being written. I have no reason to doubt it.
One curiosity with me is less how people get into blogging, but what goes into the decision to stop. I surfed over to a friend’s page this morning and read a cryptic message “Bye,” which was later clarified into a departure from the blogosphere. I went through the blogs listed on my bookmarks today and deleted about a half-dozen inactive sites. If I were ever to stop blogging, the reason would likely be “my own good.” How many bloggers have agreed, and were courageous to take the shut-down step?
I’ve also seen a few good bloggers “graduate” into the msb* and catch on at big sites. Presumably they write there for money. I had a brief gig on one of the msb wannabes last year. It was the wrong site and the wrong year for entry. People in the blogosphere want to dish, but almost as many are very leery about getting as good as they give. They want to think they are the Wild West of a new medium. But in the end, if its not about money, it’s about power. And if they can’t get either, many want to be comforted. They really don’t want a loose cannon in the pasture–as much as they style themselves lobbing bombs at the castle on the hill.
That said, I think a lot of people are doing fine work for places like BeliefNet. And lots of people seem happy in the group blogging experience. I confess I was hoping to attract more talent here than Neil–good as he is. But unfortunately, in this operation, everybody gets paid what the founder reaps–which is nothing. Some analysis thingy once told me I could bring in a few dollars a month by setting up advertising. I don’t see that it’s worth the bother.
Any of you reader have any telling observations about the blogosphere these days? Who’s left that you miss? Who (besides Neil) do you wish you could read more of? Dare I ask you suggest a few bloggers who should retire? Is it a good thing that blogging has gone mainstream? I don’t surf the big blogs at all: is there anything worthy there?