No new ideas here, but if I can’t think out loud on my own damn blog, where can I?
It is an interesting coincidence that just as the Boyz are recruiting our splendid new personnel, the mighty Glenn Reynolds finds himself reaching a physical limit on what one guy can do. In his post he notes that both Lileks and Sullivan are similarly hitting a wall. Iain Murray, busy with work and family, has recruited assistance. And, the creation of blog-collectives, beyond even a “group blog” is epitomized by The Command Post.
The number of people who can maintain a high quality blog single-handedly, over the long-run is, not surprisingly, small. Reynolds has tenure, so he can “blog at work” and get away with it. And Sullivan is a journalist, so he can work on any schedule he wants. But the only way to be a solo blogger and still be very good without running yourself into the ground, it seems to me, is to be retired from any other work, like Den Beste. (This idea is contradicted in part by the phenomenal “Wretchard” of Belmont Club; I just hope he can keep up the frequent, lengthy, high quality posts.) My idea when I joined Jonathan on this blog was for it to be less ideologically coherent, and perhaps lighter in tone, with more of a finance focus, but otherwise to be something roughly like Libertarian Samizdata, which has long been my favorite blog overall. We seem to be heading satisfactorily in that direction, with a decent mix of “linkers” and “thinkers.”
I think the 2000 election and 9/11 and the war, plus a dissatisfaction with the mainstream media, and the sudden easy availabiliy of cheap or free programs came about in close sequence. This combination got a lot of people interested in blogging. But several years later, the war goes on, and a new election looms, and even the best of the blogosphere’s warrior chieftains get (very) tired or start repeating themselves. The evolution toward more group blogs composed of larger groups of contributors will, I suspect, continue for this reason.