There's been quite a few posts around the blogosphere lately about people getting tired of blogging, especially the political/news blogging.
Been there, done that. And now I'm about to give up reading the damn blogs, too.
There seems to be this phase going on where people have forgotten what blogging really is, or have turned it into some kind of Internet vigilantism. Pretty soon they'll be donning capes, giving each other clever nicknames (Hindrocket is already taken, guys!) and emblazoning their blogs with the motto "Somewhere, in some newspaper in some shit town in America, someone got a fact wrong. And we will be there to right the wrongs!"
Hey, that's great, but most superheroes don't spend their entire existence flaunting their status or going on and on and on about that one great collar they had back in 2004. And they don't go out and actively search for people to rescue, and in the process maybe make a heroic stab at saving a little girl from drowning, posing for pictures with the poor girl, signing autographs and smiling for the cameras as they retell their daring deed, and then it turns out she wasn't drowning at all, but just out for a leisurely swim.
If I could stretch the metaphor to include something about pop-up ads on blogs, I would, but I'll just say something like the worst of blogging together with the worst of the Internet, at last!
Sometimes people ask me, how do you become a popular blogger? How do you make a name for yourself and get readers? I'll tell you. Controversy. Raging anger. Venom and spitfire. That's what sells, for the most part. If you aren't a forerunner in the specific area of blogging you want to get into (those guys have it good, they can just be themselves), you have to carve a niche and more likely than not, that niche needs to be carved with a serrated knife coated in lemon juice and salt. Leave some scars and some pain. That will bring them running (yes, I've been there, done that, too. And apologized for it I still haven't been able to wash the stench off my keyboard yet). Also, try to work ass-fucking into your posts. That will also get you a major book deal. And never, ever admit to being wrong about anything. When you're called out on something, just bring out a straw man, light him on fire, and hope that no one notices you're being a giant fucking asshole. Oh, and don't forget to bleat about how damn important you are and how influential you are. Hey, look! Not one single blogger made the Time 100 most influential people list! You mean you're not as important as world leaders and scientists? Ann Coulter made the list and not you? You're going to lose sleep over that, aren't you?
You can also just be a fucking idiot. Really. Write on subjects you apparently have no clue about, make baseless accusations, talk down to your commenters, delete their comments when they don't agree with you, never admit to maybe not knowing all you think you know and then whine about it when someone calls you out on your ignorance. Oh, don't do this on a blog of your own. Hitch your wagon to an already popular blog. Voila! You're Paul from Wizbang and you're a blogging phenomenon, complete with sycophant readers who follow all your guidelines for dealing with opposition.
Also, make sure you talk a lot about slippery slopes and how the world is going to hell in a handbasket and anyone who doesn't agree with you is not only leading the charge into hell, but is the reincarnation of Hitler as well!
Controversy, people. That's where it's at. Be a controversial vigilante.
Before you ask, this is not sour grapes or jealousy. I still get about 9k hits a day. I'm making decent ad money. And I am quite enjoying the blogging that I'm doing the past few months. I'm just sick of what the blogosphere looks like these days.
It reminds me of the days back before there was war blogging, before there was such a plethora of news blogs. There was this sudden phase where bloggers just started throwing rocks at each other. Who was saying what about who, who was being attacked in the comments, lots of he said/she said and a general eruption of bad blood. A lot of people stopped reading blogs or blogging all together at that point. And that's where I'm at now. It's ugly out there. And if there's one thing I learned from being stuffed in the cocoon of Internet politics for too long (most leading up to the election) is that it's never as bad on the outside as it seems in the vacuum of the blog world. It's like a tornado in here.
Which is why I'll stick to reading blogs that don't make me want to bang my head against the wall. I want to read things like Does Your Child Have Porn Face? I want to laugh and smile and not get bogged down in an afternoon debating creationism with someone who has their fingers in their ears all the time.
Now, back to your regularly scheduled blogging about controversial things like best guitar solos and such.
Update/Paul related: Carnival of the Coward