The lawn is open

Your friendly neighborhood AAA Homophobic Sexist Patriarchal Theocratic Right-Wing Swine, aka Robert Stacy McCain, opines on what he calls the New Media Proletariat:

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 blogosphere (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.

If anyone is standing on my shoulders, he’s probably hoping I quit slouching already.

But I don’t feel as though I have reason to resent those upstarts. For one thing, I’ve never been a household word, so it’s not like I’ve suddenly slid into obscurity. In fact, as I’ve said before, I’ve “gone from having no influence whatsoever to having extremely little influence.” Extremely little influence is better. (And that remark got me an Instalanche. Go figure.) And if I’m not showing any positive cash flow, well, it was never my intention to do so. I have, however, met some incredible people along the way, and after churning out several million words, I believe the quality of my writing has improved from absolutely horrible to merely relatively horrible. No small accomplishments, those.

So I am not inclined to tell the new kids in the ‘sphere to get off my virtual lawn. They’re not hurting me, and sometimes they give me something worthwhile to read.

Besides, as McCain observes:

[P]erhaps, 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.

I’m not claiming that this site is the best buy for one’s entertainment dollar; but there are a lot of endeavors on which I’ve spent more yet achieved less.


  1. Francis W. Porretto »

    18 February 2012 · 10:34 am

    Charles, you seriously underestimate the entertainment you bring to us your devotees…unless all that forelock-tugging was pro forma.

    (Apropos of nothing in particular, Duyen recently asked me if you’d “found a honey” yet.)

  2. CGHill »

    18 February 2012 · 11:00 am

    There have been times when I wondered if there was any entertainment at all to be had on the premises; by that standard, mere underestimation should count as a step forward.

    And since she asked — well, no, actually.

  3. Bill Peschel »

    18 February 2012 · 12:10 pm

    Hard to believe, but I’ve been following your commentary all these years, long after others have left the scene or gotten stale (and, no, I won’t say who, except they’re still out there).

    And I think there were bloggers back in ’03 and ’04 who were saying the same thing, but not realizing that they have the same size pipeline as the big boys. They just have to be as good. Just because Instapundit is huge doesn’t mean you can’t attract just as large as an audience.

    But that’s also what is so scary about it. Because if a newcomer doesn’t attract a large audience, that says something about the quality of the work.

  4. Tatyana »

    18 February 2012 · 12:27 pm

    Agree with Bill on his 1st paragraph.

    “…if a newcomer doesn’t attract a large audience, that says something about the quality of the work.”

    -or of something else entirely.
    Some have no ambition to attract any sizable audience whatsoever; some (am included) actively afraid of it and periodically weed out dubious commentariat and/or blogroll. Some have totally different ambition, or their subject matter meets very limited interest and appreciation. Some are intimidated by trolls and just don’t like to argue endlessly. Some just have better things to do with their life than spend much time and effort “doing work” on internet.
    &&&. Any number of reasons.

  5. Jean »

    18 February 2012 · 1:30 pm

    ditto what T said.

    I started my blog strictly without any expectations of having an audience. It began as an outlet in a time of serious personal stress as a way to (hopefully) keep me from blowing my brains out. Due to recent serious personal stressors, that reason occasionally recurs.
    Friendships have been made in the days since January 2006 and continue to be a source of support and comfort. My blog has a busy day when there have been more than 25 visits besides my own.

    I rely on all you Big Boys & girls to add to my entertainment and education in select topics. Thank you.

  6. Kim »

    18 February 2012 · 3:33 pm

    You’re infinitely more entertaining, varied and provoking than most of the institutionalized bloggers, who have become formulaic. Some are beginning to resemble hangnail-pickers.

  7. Tatyana »

    18 February 2012 · 3:53 pm

    Thought it obvious, so didn’t mention it – but it might need repeating: you remain one of very few bloggers on my blogroll whom I visit regularly and in any mood the morning finds me. Sure others find other lasting qualities in you -so do not belittle yourself.
    Unless you’re fishing for compliments – well you’ve been successful in that, too.

  8. Roger Green »

    18 February 2012 · 4:20 pm

    Well, you’re one of the few people I’ve added to my blogroll since I actually started one five plus years ago, FWIW

  9. McGehee »

    18 February 2012 · 5:48 pm

    I still blog for the same reason I still bite my fingernails and engage in unwise food and drink choices: Bad habits are hard to break.

  10. Jeffro »

    18 February 2012 · 8:14 pm

    Well, IMHO, if writing ability really did draw big crowds, you’d have one of the largest hanging around here. I have forgotten when I “found” you, and it was certainly lucky on my part.

    One of your abilities that put me in awe is how you can comment on an issue that the more caustic out there will require columns of heated invective, but you can make the same point without all the strident bloviations. Then you switch to something somewhat obscure and interesting, and fun to read.

    Heh. Chrome does not like bloviations.

  11. Roxeanne de Luca »

    18 February 2012 · 9:05 pm

    The blogosphere was a lot smaller when I began writing in 2006. Back then, I definitely had a “bigger” audience, but I put more time into it, wrote about more topics, and had more time to find smaller blogs and develop relationships with bloggers.

    The best part of this whole thing, IMHO, is getting to know bloggers in real life and developing friendships with people that I never would have known – a modern version of pen pals.

  12. Teresa »

    19 February 2012 · 10:00 pm

    If I wanted to blog for an audience then I have failed miserably. Ha!

    It looks like everyone else has covered the high points, to wit, your wit and word ability keep us returning for more. Not to mention you manage to continue at a pace that astounds. Excellent!

    I continue in the blogosphere because of the wonderful people I have met here. So far it’s been a fun ride and thus I see no reason to jump off. For those with driving ambition rather than a love of words being shot out into the vastness of the internets as a way to connect with others of like mind (or unlike mind)… for them I feel sorry. They miss so much. I OTOH type too much. ;-)

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