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We don’t agree very often with Andrew Sullivan, but he is without a doubt a very significant figure in the rise of professional blogging. So this development is of interest to the blogosphere. As most reading this probably know, in 2013 he went from blogging at various host sites (New Republic, Time, Atlantic, The Daily Beast) to blogging at his own subscription site. At the time, many wondered if this business model would work out.
Now, Sullivan has announced that he is stepping down from blogging. There is much speculation as to why. Is it his health? Is he just tired of it? Did he make a lot of money and pocket it? But I do think you have to ask if this is a reflection that his business model didn’t work as well as planned. Perhaps there is a way to determine this, but I haven’t heard the financials.
I blog here because I like writing, I like letting others know my opinion and I want to change things or at least influence the conversation. I suspect my co-bloggers feel much the same way. I don’t expect to make money. I’m not sure how you make blogging, political blogging in particular, a professional endeavor. A few high profile people may be able to make a decent living being paid by host sites to blog, such as Rod Dreher at The American Conservative, but my hunch is that the future of blogging is going to be amateurs like us and writers who are employed by websites (and increasingly websites that are click driven) to draw traffic. I don’t see much of a future for pay sites. People have become too accustomed to getting what they want on the internet for free.
Noah Millman at TAC has some thoughts on the economics of the issue.
Everyone welcome de Vallete to CHT. He made his first post below. He is a paleoconservative oriented Republican activist. He can tell you more if he wants.
Also, look up de Vallete on Wikipedia. You’ll probably learn something.
Kimbo Slice is coming back to MMA. He has reportedly signed with Bellator. I say Kimbo vs. Ortiz at heavyweight puts eyeballs on TV screens. What say you, Scott Coker?
Shhh… don’t tell anyone, but I sometimes post about stuff like this just to tweak the obsessive racialists who don’t think white people should like any sport unless it is lily white or like any black athletes. And those who think we should be 100% serious 100% of the time. Someone on Twitter just scolded me for the Joe Pa post. Should I tweet this one out, or just leave it here?
It has long been the policy of CHT to allow the comment threads to go whichever way they will, and to not moderate comments based on political positions. It would be hypocritical for us to exercise a heavy hand with comment moderation when we frequently complain about thought policing by the PC cops or about ideology enforcement at some “conservative” sites.
That said, there is a difference between moderating comments because we disagree with them, vs. moderating them because they are deliberately offensive or crude. As trad cons, we should adhere to traditional ideas about civility and good manners. We should strive to be gentlemen and our site should reflect gentlemanly decorum. Without being specific, it should not be difficult to figure out what is meant and intended by this standard.
While it should go without saying that the comments here do not necessarily reflect the beliefs of this blog or its bloggers, it is still the case that comments can reflect poorly on a site if they get out of control.
I [Red] understand trolling as a strategy, and sometimes it is an effective approach, but I don’t think it is as across the board effective as some people believe it is, because a lot of people don’t pick up on it right away. If trolling is not easily identified as trolling, then how does it have its intended effect? In those cases it just ticks people off and seems to me designed more to amuse the troller than to shake up and move the people being trolled.
If someone is trolling people in some IMDB forum (where I see it a lot), for example, then the purpose is to amuse the troller and to make the trollee look silly. But if someone is doing it at a political site it is more likely that he is attempting to make some sort of political point. I think it is important to assess how effective that strategy is and where it can be best employed and not just resort to it as a default.
Update: I will also add that the editorial policy we have generally practiced at CHT is to let the post author moderate his own threads. This is to make the delegation of labor clear, but also reflects that different authors might have different levels of tolerance for different things. My [Red] preferred method is generally to modify the comment and leave an editor’s comment that I did so, rather than to delete the comment entirely.
Ha ha. Got an email today from Godfather Politics with this title:
Yeah, they call that being a thought leader. Read CHT, and we’ll keep you in the know.