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"I came here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubblegum." -- "Rowdy" Roddy Piper (1954-2015), They Live
Friday, December 26, 2008

You Damn Kids Get Off Their Lawn!!!
Posted by Jill | 10:47 PM
In which He Who Must Not Be Named uses Ezra Klein as a human shield to once again pontificate from Mount Olympus on what we rabble should be doing.

Are you as sick of A-List bloggers telling us why we suck as I am?

I'm actually quite fortunate. I currently have a full-time job working with great people on interesting projects, and I get paid well. My only hope is that I can stay there indefinitely. The drive is not fun, but that's really a minor concern. I can't sit and monitor what's going on in the world and then write intelligently about some topic in which I specialize, because in the mornings when I write, I'm racing the clock from 5 AM to 6:30, at which point it's time to feed the cats and get ready to go to work.

But while it's lovely to think about what it would be like to blog full-time, I don't think I'd enjoy everything that the full-time bloggers have to deal with -- things like having to buy individual health policies, accepting every ad that comes along even if it's for something you hate, and of course having to beg your readers for donations.

It's not that I object to bloggers trying to get paid for their work. Digby does a quiet and tasteful harangue once a year, and the Group News Bloggers are trying to get help for one of their own who's in danger of becoming yet another casualty of the Age of Bush. John Aravosis wants to give his bloggers end-of-year bonuses. I have no problem with any of this. After all, you subscribe to magazines, why not throw a tip at the people you read every day? What I do object to is when A-list bloggers, some of whom (and I won't Mention Names) write four sentences on a prolific day, and then tell those of us who at least try to long-form blog when we can, what we're doing wrong. And I object to people like Arianna Huffington, with money and connections up the wazoo, who hire dozens of IT people and their friends to create gobs of content and then go on The Daily Show to tell the rest of us how to blog after we've been at it longer than they have.

I congratulate and admire people like Josh Marshall and Ezra Klein and Kevin Drum and some other people who have managed, whether through being early adopters or having a particular expertise, for being able to turn blogging into a career or a business. But with the exception of Ezra, now an associate editor at The American Prospect, who touches on the notion of specialization, most of these people don't feel the need to lecture the thousands of us, some of whom are represented on the blogroll (and over to whom I hope you'll consider clicking every now and then), on the One True Way of Blogging. It's also ironic that He Who Must Not Be Named's first post after telling us:
The easiest way to drum up an audience is to find a some topic, issue, or unfolding event, and make it your own. Your blog doesn't have to just be that, but it has to be the go-to place for that, and then you can fill it up with crappy music videos or whatever else makes you happy.

...is titled "Late night" and consists of one word: "Enjoy."

So in what respect, Charlie, is Big Blue Smurf the go-to place for anything, Charlie? And who the hell is he to be telling the rest of us how to be "successful"?

This blog IS successful. Our readers are almost always people I'd want to know in real life. I've posted almost every day for four-and-a-half years, even when I don't feel like it, and even when there seems to be little to say. And some of it is even good. Some of it is even writing in which I can take pride. For me, THAT'S what a successful blog is -- something that people want to read. Traffic is great, but until and unless someone is willing to pay me to blog, I'm just fine with working a paid job and doing this on the side. And if this means I'm not a "serious" blogger, well, so be it.

And this holiday season, if you have some free time, please click around the blogroll. Leave comments. Let these good people know you're reading. And if you're inclined to throw money at your favorite bloggers, you might consider throwing them at people like Digby and the Group Newsbloggers, or anyone on the blogroll who has a donation button, or at any blogger you like who may be struggling to make ends meet and who doesn't think that putting up one-sentence posts entitles you to tell other people how to blog.

And mark your calendars: February 3 is Blogroll Amnesty Day. And we're gonna party like it's Inauguration Day.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Yeah, Jill! I say fuck that asshole: link vomitus and no content. Who the fuck needs that garbage?

Jill, you write over a thousand words per day, and it's all brilliant and profound. And let's partay on blogroll amnesty day! I'll bring the motherfucking Jameson!!!!! w00t!!!!!!

Blogger Ezra said...
For what it's worth, none of that was meant as a lecture. Slate asked me for the thoughts, and I figured they'd be of use to some folks. The issue isn't how people should blog in some cosmic fashion -- it's your blog! -- but was just a distillation of what I've found to work for attracting an audience. I certainly didn't want it to come off as some sort of judgment on how others conduct their sites...

Blogger TinaB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I knew there was a reason I dropped Atrios from my list of feeds.

Oh, and HI EZRA! =)

(Oh, and to date, I have not accepted one cent of advertising on either of my sites -- not even a donation bleg -- although I'm seriously considering ads for my personal site.)

Blogger Jill said...
Thanks for visiting, Ezra. I'm kind of sorry I had to use you as an example for the kind of thing I'm talking about, because I know that you've achieved what you have through knowledge and hard work. I also know that it's not your habit to lecture other bloggers. But when He Who Must Not Be Named points to a piece you wrote to ONCE AGAIN position himself as King Shit of Turd Mountain, when he (unlike you) usually doesn't even bother to write anything, it gets my goat.

It was actually quite an epiphany I had last night when I realized that I am probably happier blogging as a sideline than I would be if I relied on it to pay the bills. If I were younger it would probably be different. I'm glad there are opportunities for good bloggers to be able to do this for a living (though for the most part it's as an employee of an established online publication, it seems). But for someone else who a) still uses Blogger the way we do; b) doesn't even bother to write; and c) doesn't seem to be the go-to guy on anything, to dare lecture us YET ANOTHER TIME, as HWMNBN does, is really annoying.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Yeah... I don't get it with that guy, the one we're not naming. Or what he's talking about, when he talks.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I agree, his blog is third rate at best. Almost no content and lots of open threads. boring. Your blog is a regular stop on my stroll through blogtopia. I am glad you have been able to keep it up with the new job. I really enjoy reading your posts!

Blogger Phil said...
You go lady!!

I get a bit of a kick out of anyone who goes off on this clown.
Why he has the traffic he has in regard
to the contents of his posts is a mystery akin to the Bermuda Triangle

Fuck him, I do not waste my time or pixels on that sorry fucking site.

You, on the other hand are kind of a personal hero to me.
Since I rediscovered you, I am here every fucking day.

Smooches honey.
Now have a nice cup of tea and flick a booger at The Big Blue Smurf.


Anonymous Anonymous said...
One correction. This blog is always well-written.