What I have learned in three years…

Three years of nearly constant blogging- who knew I could be such a gasbag? It’s been a genuine pleasure 99% of the time. The worst days were when I was besieged by trolls at the very beginning of the Iraq War, and some old, good friends galloped to the rescue and passed out the smackdowns like communion wafers. (“This is my refutation of thee. Take, eat, shut up.”)

I have learned a lot, including the fascinating exposure to different media sources (when the SCLM/US media so glaringly failed) and brilliant writers like Juan Cole, Robert Fisk and Seymour Hersh, writers who I would never have encountered if it weren’t for blogging and reading blogs. Additionally, it has introduced me to people who I consider to be friends, though we have never met face to face- Shakespeare’s Sister, The Fixer, Gordon, Travis(♀), Michael and the people who I already knew, but now know even better from having spent time with them online- my twin brother, Amber, Hope, Neil Morse, eponymous and more. (I just know I am forgetting someone….) Then there are my blog heroes, who I think deserve fame and fortune and servants to butter their toast in the morning- Norbizness, TBogg, The Women of firedoglake, James Wolcott, Bob Harris, Sasha Frere-Jones and god, a dozen others…

But it’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to- the Lefty Blogosphere ain’t perfect. Don’t get me wrong- the big boys who do the heavy lifting in the LB perform an amazing public service, and if it weren’t for Atrios and Kos and Josh Marshall, my life would be measurably less happy. However, it’s no coincidence that the Righty Blogosphere dominated the discourse for a long, long time. I have seen discussions about this rage back and forth, but the bottom line is that Right Wing Bloggers link to each other, whether it’s from one Big Boy to another, or from Instyknuckahead to some guy in Peoria who had thirty hits yesterday. I have never had more traffic than I had the day I got linked to by INDC. I was able to watch it in my Sitemeter stats- first INDC, then five bloggers who read INDC, then twenty five who read those blogs, and the next thing I knew, it was 2000 hits that day. And, you will notice if you read the post, it wasn’t like it was right wing backslapping. They gave me a ton of hits because they thought what I had posted was funny, even if it did rub their boy’s face in it.

I don’t know if it’s Dittohead culture or some sort of tendency to take Marching Orders that is part of the Right Wing personality, but the bottom line is that the Right Side of the Blogosphere is different- it has been my observation that the big lefty bloggers are way more likely to link to other big lefty bloggers and ignore most of the rest of the field. This could be, I should mention, a desire to try to produce more original content and not just link for linking’s sake. There’s no reason for me to link to Eschaton unless I have something to add to the discussion. You’re probably reading Atrios well before you come here. However, each and every one of us speaking about different nuances of a topic does not a chorus of voices make. Now, is this a bad thing? I dunno. As Jesse used to say, I’m just saying.

Other quick observations-
1. trolls suck. I think trolls have dragged down several blogs, just by making them less pleasant places to go. The toll trolls take on the blogger can be a real drag, too. You have to have a pretty thick skin to endure being called an idiot over and over and over, even when you know you’re right.

2. taking weekends off just kills your hits count. On the other hand, blogging on the weekend? It’s worth it for me to have a day or two that I don’t spend pasted to the machine.

3. Men who write “Where are all the female bloggers?” posts are fucking idiots. That’s like announcing you can’t find your toes. Dude. Just look around. Sheesh.

4. Proof-reading? Add that to my list of “things to do.”

And, let me just say, after three years of blogging, I have noticed that being a (proudly) southern-progressive-redneck white guy isn’t exactly the ticket to lefty blog fame and fortune. Either that, or my writing just ain’t that interesting. The jury’s out on that one, I suppose. πŸ˜‰

Well, thanks for coming back, folks. I plan to stay at it, lousy numbers be damned.


  1. Either that, or my writing just ain’t that interesting.

    That isn’t it.

    Congratulations on three years πŸ™‚ That’s like three thousand real time years.

  2. Men who write “Where are all the female bloggers?” posts are fucking idiots. That’s like announcing you can’t find your toes. Dude. Just look around. Sheesh.

    Heh. Indeed. And you put it so well! πŸ™‚

  3. Great post. You hit the nail right on the head.

    Re ‘hits’: Fixer doesn’t tell me and I don’t give a rat’s ass. I do this because I like to, and the comments and other blogs are a fine reward.

    Re ‘trolls’: We don’t have too many. I think it’s because F-Man calls ’em on the phone and has a moment of prayer with ’em. πŸ˜‰

    Anybody who can’t find a female blogger he likes to read and interact with has no appreciation of the finer things in life – nekulturny. I’ve learned a lot of (ahem) interesting things from “my” gals, and a few new cuss words as well. Strangely, no makeup or fashion tips. Most of the ladies can out-think and out-write me in a NY minute. Maybe that’s what those guys who can’t seem to find them are afraid of having to admit to themselves.

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