Saturday, May 28, 2005

The Empire

Bloggity Blog Blog:
Go away for a month and suddenly everyone's turning their blogs into mini empires.

Don't want to be left behind. So, next month Gil Gerard and Erin Grey will join the brain trust here.
This parallels the forthcoming TPMCafe, created by Josh Marshall, and hosting a bunch of smart progressive and centrist Washington insiders. Also the Next Hurrah, comosed of several former posters at DailyKos.

What's up with that? Sometimes I'm tempted to rustle up a second Kansas Thinker to guestblog or co-blog here.

In the end I reject it. If someone else wanted to blog, why not start their own site? Am I not verbose enough as it is? TPM and Atrios are tremendously prolific; do we really need 3 people all blogging like that at once?

In part, I think that this consolidation represents the realities of blogging. No one who starts blogging today will ever get nearly the readership and linkshare that Atrios has. Never. So the only way to break into the top levels of the Ecosystem is to write on a blog that's already up there.

But that leads to trouble. I read Atrios for a particular Atrios-perspective. While he's been away, I've noticed the guest-bloggers. I appreciated one guestblogger's link to TfK, and I know Atrios probably wouldn't have done the same thing. I can't complain, I like their work, but the guests, good though they are, aren't Atrios.

The other problem arises whenever any group of people tries to do a thing. One person gets it 90% done, then they let others take a crack at it. Soon everyone wants to start over from scratch, and it's a disaster.

The great thing about blogs is that you choose the writers you like. The move toward these mini-empires undermines that process.

And this isn't (just) sour-grapes that TfK wasn't chosen to join the Eschaton empire.

Update: It's unclear whether Atrios's new bloggers are pseudonyms or just an odd joke.