Stacy McCain has some advise for all us bloggers out in the blogosphere. The gist of it is…don’t take yourself so seriously ,and as in the real world…life aint fair.
It seems that there were some complaints of a tiered system of bloggers at the recent CPAC convention. If you weren’t a blogger of a certain caliber, you didn’t get on Blogger’s Row. All I can say is…try a little harder next year, eh?
Stacy also gives us a brief history lesson of the blogosphere and gives kudos to the oldtimers. Here’s a brief excerpt;
It is rather a painful thing to acknowledge that Joy McCann is onto something when she remarks about the advent of a two-tiered blogging hierarchy. And it is even more painful to see my friend Jerry Wilson’s expressions of resentment toward Ed Morrissey about this.
In all honesty, despite what anyone may suspect from certain previous writings here (ahem), I recognize Ed as one of the great selfless souls of conservative New Media.
The growth of blogging, including the ascent of certain sites and individuals to pre-eminence within the ecology of the blogosphere, has fundamentally transformed the online environment. People who were still in high school when Bill Quick named the blogosophere (more than a decade ago) now wield more influence and throw more traffic than does Bill Quick himself. Those who have toiled long years as bloggers obviously have reason to resent the upstarts, who may not recognize how they stand on the shoulders of giants. By the same token, newcomers to the ‘sphere understandably resent the difficulty of carving out a readership in an environment where a certain hierarchy has seemingly become already set in stone.
Is some sort of revolutionary movement necessary to unleash the strength and satisfy the ambitions of the New Media Proletariat? Is the existing online hierarchy an engine of systemic injustice?
I think not.
Then Mr. McCain goes on to explain about the error people make about thinking they will advance on merit or the fact that some people just have tremendous luck- you know- step in a pile of shiite and come out with a gold watch. Sometimes it’s just about being in the right place at the right time.
And there are also some folks out there who have inherent advantages and they aren’t so dumb as to not take advantage of that fact. Stacy McCain is a good example: reward winning journalist, a published author, and a blog with tremendous readership that he runs completely on donations from his readers.
By the way,Hit his freakin’ tip jar!
Yet nobody’s participation in this field is compulsory. I could quit this blog tomorrow and go drive a forklift, and probably make more money doing that than I’ve earned in the past year. There is no one in the blogosphere holding a gun to my head, no one with the authority to issue me any commands that I am obliged to obey. My participation is entirely voluntary, as is true of everyone who decides to create a blog and try to make themselves heard above the incessant online din.
Do I have advantages others do not? Indeed I do, and I exploit every one of these advantages to the fullest extent I can.
Do others in online media have advantages over me? Of course, and they will certainly employ those advantages to obtain for themselves the greatest possible personal benefit. It would be foolish for anyone to expect them to do less.
As he says, you don’t have to blog. Hell, take your significant other on a nice vacation or read a good book…”Donkey Cons” comes to mind, or the newest book by Mark Levin, “Ameritopia”, or just read a trashy romance novel. There’s a whole wide world of stuff to do besides sitting in front of a computer and blogging. ( Hope my wife doesn’t read this. ;) )
If you feel yourself chained to your laptop, the chains that enslave you are forged by your own mind. You can quit tomorrow, walk away for as long as it suits your fancy, and begin again anew whenever, wherever and however you decide.
You may never be “equal,” my comrades, but never doubt that you are always equally free. And perhaps, indeed, the lowly and neglected among us have far greater liberty than do those who, by merit or mere luck, have succeeded in obtaining an income on which they are dependent, so that they are compelled daily to strive for new successes, to crank out the content like so many factory workers manning an industrial assembly line.
Comrades! I beseech you: Consider for yourself what value you add to whatever cause it is you seek to advance, and ask whether the success of that cause is an end greater than your own personal benefit. Your labors and your sufferings — real or imagined — can only be justified by one or the other, and it doesn’t matter which it is.
I started blogging because I thought it would help me become a better writer and because I thought perhaps I might have something to add to the conversation.
Why do you blog? What do you expect to get from blogging? If you’re an amatuer like me and thought you were going to become independently wealthy by blogging…well…how’s that working out for you?
If it is your goal to be a New Media professional, you should seek the maximum compensation for your skill. If it is your goal to be a volunteer activist online, you have no measure of your success other than the advancement of whatever cause you embrace. It is certainly true that the larger your readership, the greater your impact either way. Yet it is incumbent upon you to expand your own readership, rather than to think of others as obligated to share their readership with you.
A blogospheric Welfare State can no more be the goal of online friends of liberty than would we wish an Internet dictatorship that would allot online traffic according to some egalitarian formula. Blogospheric free enterprise may not produce “social justice” in the virtual environment, but whatever it produces — for good or for ill — a capitalistic New Media will triumph over any other online equivalent of a planned economy that “experts” could invent or imagine.
Hey, I’ve suffered through many days of single digit views and am just now getting to where I get an average of a hundred or so views a day. But I don’t get discouraged. I know that one of these days, I’ll write something so profound, that folks will be beating the proverbial door down to read my stuff. That’s how you have to look at blogging if you want to keep your sanity, eh?
A guy from Detroit has his own view of the lowly blogger’s plight;
A few things I would like say about this:
- Ed Morrissey has always, unless he was very busy; has answered my e-mails. Further, he has always treated me with respect and has never had a cross word to say to me at all. Now I do not know if this will change due to recenteventsinvolving me. Nevertheless, I digress.
- Ed Morrissey has been blogging for a very long time. He used to blog over at Captain’s Quarters. I used to read him over there, back when I was rooting for the “other team,” which was back around 2007. I found him then to be one of the more reasonable Conservatives out there.
- I was no happier about HotAir.com being off-loaded to Salem than anyone else. I have never liked the idea of media consolidation at all. Mostly because I felt that, the writers there would lose their independent voice. However, so far, I have not really noticed that there has been any corporate change in the tone of the blog. AllahPundit is still — AllahPundit and Ed is still the little bald-headed beauty that he was before at his old blog. I think so anyhow; I have not noticed that corporate paychecks have changed either of them, not that I can see.
- As for Tina, her skirt choices aside, I really do not have any objection to her writings. They are, admittedly, a bit fluffy — But I have not seen anything that made me want to wretch yet.
Now as for the whole thing about the blogosphere being a meritocracy, as Mr. McCain put it. One of my biggest gripes about the Blogosphere is this here; some people take this Blogging gig waaaaaaaaaaaaay too seriously. Ladies and Gentleman, I am just going to tell you the God’s truth. I have been writing on some form of a blog or another since 2006; and I really do not see myself as anything other than a guy with a bit of an opinion, which has changed over the past 7 years —- and a internet connection and a laptop. Because frankly, that is all bloggers truly are. I am not a journalist, I am not a lawyer, and I am not an expert at anything at all. I am just someone who seems to have a decent grip on the English language and grammar — although I grip it much batter with Microsoft Word — and happens to have opinion about the direction of my Country, which frankly now sucks!