10 thoughts on “Back in the Olden Days”

  1. I can’t remember when I began checking Instapundit every day but it was very early. I got into the newsgroups early. They were sort of blogs. There was a very active Tom Clancy group that he sometimes posted in. It was still all text, of course. I still remember when Mosaic arrived.

  2. If I remember right, I got to Instapundit via Drudge, RIP. And I got to here and Althouse from there. I might still have the disks with Mosaic I got from my first ISP around ’96. Dial up, of course, at a blazing 14,400K baud. I probably still have a book of URL’s, some numerical, because no one was quite sure what a search engine was about although Alta Vista had been around for a year or so.

  3. I’m not certain when I got to Insty, early on. I was following some Slate groups, and Salon when it was “mostly” sane immediately following 9-11, but the Slate comment threads were so soon going totally bug-nuts … yeah, the nuts took over, which was a pity, since some of them were really supportive and not totally bugnuts. I think that I followed a link to Insty somewhere about then, and Insty had Sgt. Stryker on his link list … and I began following that blog … and when Stryker put out a call for other contributors, I signed on.
    The odd thing was, while the original Stryker took on the persona of the hard-core bro-vet as a lark… he was actually rather more liberal. Ravingly liberal, as it turned out. He ditched the blog and left me in charge, eventually.
    But I didn’t mind, because it gave me an outlet for writing, for trying to explain the Weird Wonderful World of the Military to civilians, when the Iraq/Afghanistan War tuned up…

  4. Blogging is getting a second wind, I think, with Substack. The combination of SS for long-form essays with Twitter for short commentary and traffic-building makes a lot of sense.

  5. My inclinations towards writing in the traditional sense got me into online writing. I started writing for the Naval Institute, and our mutual editor introduced Tom Clancy and myself. We had numerous shared interests and got into a word processor correspondence [ I have boxes of them] that became an email correspondence. He, of course, was into novels, and I find myself doing commentary on blogs along with occasional longer, in depth, pieces on various political and military/naval topics among a couple of groups of like-minded friends.

    Subotai Bahadur

  6. I enjoyed Reason magazine, found Virginia Postrel’s blog, found Instapundit through her blog, started this blog. Nobody read it. Then I tricked Lexington Green into putting up a thoughtful, erudite post about something or other. Instapundit linked to it. And here we are, twenty-plus years later.

    Substack is a nice development. I hope that it, conventional blogs and other forms of written self-expression are still around, twenty years from now.

  7. Some blogs I remember from 2010 and earlier, a few of which are still around:
    –A Small Victory (Andrea Harris)
    –Erin O’Connor
    –Five Feet of Fury
    –Bookworm Room (still here)
    –NeoNeocon (now The New Neo)
    –Lead & Gold (still here)
    –Common Sense & Wonder (still here)
    –One Hand Clapping (still here as sensingonline.com)
    –Joy of Knitting (only briefly active, but profound)
    –University Diaries (margaretsoltan.com)
    …and the great Neptunus Lx

  8. Like many of you, I started reading Glenn immediately after 9/11 and it was an eye-opening experience. Here was someone who was offering not only game-changing commentary on the day’s events but providing linkages to other quality blogs as well, the Grand Central Station of blogging indeed.

    A few other thoughts…

    I’m still amazed by both the quality and quantity of his posts. I was part of a group blog in the ‘aughts that focused on Arizona politics and it was tough to keep up with the daily grind, let alone the internal workings of the City of Yuma Water Dept. Glenn is still pumping it out in large quantities (even under his own name, let alone the current group format) and it still remains a must-read. I’m amazed.

    I think his success presaged the political saliency of Twitter. There had been quick-hit blog formats before him, but most of the good stuff was in long format. He took the quick-hit format to another level in showing the social impact of providing 15-20 annotated posts/links on the day’s events and themes.

    One of his earliest mottos was one of the best, “a pack, not a herd.” I have used that as a meme in presentations as an aggressive, distributed approach to solving problems/situations. I think the attitude that quote engenders, assertiveness and initiative as opposed to passivity, is especially relevant given the challenges we face today. Realizing that you are not alone in the world and that you can go on to the attack works wonder for morale.

    Another motto I liked was “You want more Trump? Because this is how you get more Trump” and for two reasons. First it recognizes that the populist movement that Trump created has its foundations deeper than any one man. However the second annotates the first in that it captured Trump’s political genius in recognizing an untapped political opportunity existent in the culture, appealing to itm getting it to self-recognize, and then leading it to election. You cannot get one without the other, Trump couldn’t have done what he did without that underlying sentiment already existent but that sentiment would never have found political form with him.

    There’s much more but I’ll finish with one more tribute to the man and his blog/. The current obsession of the Left with “misinformation” is due in large part to the world that Glenn helped create; that of a distributed network that taps into other minds in order to create a counter-narrative that is rooted in presenting not only the powers-that-be with an attack on their preeminence but also attacking the moral pretensions of the Left by demonstrating that the Right is the true grass-roots, revolutionary force.

    Maybe all of the Insty-readership should take up a collection and build a statue to the Man, perhaps depicting him standing triumphant atop the prone figure of an Acela-corridor establishment type with him pointing forward into to the future, and the plinth titled “Misinformation Delenda Est ”

  9. The other example of recognizing a share of the population begging for an alternate to the “main stream media” was Roger Ailes and Fox News. Sadly, that seems to be fading as Fox is no longer serving “a niche that includes half the population.” They are a shell of the old institution and seem to be turning into a sort of entertainment source and avoiding politics. My wife leaves it on all day but does not watch much. I don’t watch any now that Tucker is gone. I noted that facebook had a WSJ post about Tucker biographies that brought out hundreds of hate comments from Democrats. He may be as hated as Trump on the left.

Comments are closed.