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Some thoughts on blogging

Ever wonder why the same bloggers seem squared off against one another all the time, on issue after issue? The blogosphere is enormous and incredibly diverse, and yet it has this bizarre tendency to divide neatly into two distinct camps.

Why is that? I took one of those bonehead political quizzes before the election, and it pegged me as 60% Bush and 40% Kerry. I'd say that sounds about right, and yet time after time I find myself firmly ensconced within the blogosphere's "red" team.

I used to attribute this phenomenon to the fact that the right half of the blogosphere is basically libertarian in character, focusing far less on social issues than on economics and national security.

Now, however, I'm beginning to think something more fundamental is at work. Joe Carter has an interesting post about this over at Evangelical Outpost. It has to do with micromotives leading to macrobehavior, and how diverse populations have a natural tendency to self-segregate. (As a physicist, I see parallels in the physical world: the tendency of clock pendulums in a clock shop to become synchronized, for example.)

It certainly explains a lot, but it's a bit depressing to think about how naturally we divide ourselves. It takes a great effort not to devolve into a sports team mentality.

During my own political life, I go through certain periods where I'm more partisan than others, depending on world events and which side of the bed I woke up on that morning. I've noticed a distinct, undeniable correlation between my own partisanship and the readership of my blog: The more partisan I become, the more readers I get.

I'm convinced I could easily double my readership by simply tossing red meat to the right wing day in and day out. Now you'd think that market would already be pretty much saturated, would you not? Evidently it isn't.

I have to admit, I find that a bit discouraging. Although I'm not always successful, I try to take the "high road" here, eschewing unnecessary partisanship, and post what I really feel, regardless of how easily it is or isn't classifiable as "conservative" or "liberal."

The result? My readership suffers, my conservative friends call me a liberal, and my liberal friends, as always, say I kiss Bush's ass.

Well fortunately, fame and popularity are not my primary motives for doing this. As I've said before, maintaining this blog is a form of therapy for me. Still, I think it might be time for a change. I've been doing this for well over a year now, and it's time for an overhaul, in terms of layout as well as content.

This site won't go away (I'm not ready to leave therapy just yet,) but I think it will undergo some significant modifications sometime this spring. I just need to take some time to think about what they will be, and which direction I want to go in the future.


Barry, when you first started posting on another site, I was taken by the fact that a) I agreed with virtually everything you said and b) you stated matters better than I did.

That has not changed through the time that has passed.

Both sides have what one could call 'litmus' tests which they employ to ascertain your 'true' colors politically.

Those tests are, and always will be, total BS. I didn't like them as a liberal Democrat in the 1960s and 1970s and I don't today as a relatively conservative Republican.

I got your back, whatever you do.

"The result? My readership suffers, my conservative friends call me a liberal, and my liberal friends, as always, say I kiss Bush's ass."

Well, if its any consolation, your "moderate" friends think you're on target.


Heh, called a liberal by conservatives and vice-versa. Sounds familiar :)
Don't be discouraged. There may be two camps, but blogging is not a team sport. You're free to be whoever you really are here, and as long as you stick to it, you will get readers. Trust me.
After all, on being called a conservative by liberals and liberal by conservatives, don't you think that Glenn Reynolds would fall into that category?
I personally also believe that this side of the blogosphere is a little more open. We have outright liberals here, because the big name lefty bloggers like Kos and Atrios will crucify anyone who steps even the tiniest bit off of the accepted line. I'm not a part of their brigade because I value open discussion as much as anything.

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