Saturday, March 17, 2007

Blogging Ballet

The impression I've been getting from strolling around Blogtopia (© Skippy, the Bush Kangaroo) is that, now that things seem to be on the "right track" in terms of progressives taking back the government we should never have lost in the first place, bloggers are starting to eat their own, and themselves.

To-wit, I've seen any number of controversies regarding the A list bloggers (that would include Atrios, Kos and any number of folks on my blogroll), from some silly things such as who is on whose blogrolls to who controls the leftist agenda on blogs.

Frankly, none of this concerns me, because a) I'm a B list blogger (and have the star to prove it) and b) even if I was an A list blogger, I got more important things to do than to pay attention to nonsense like that.

Kos wants the agenda? Fine, let him have it. He runs a crappy blog that exists mostly because of the diaries people post, so maybe it's time he cowboyed up and took some responsibility for what he's claiming to have created. Atrios? Does even less than Kos, so he's welcome to it.

Let them see what herding cats is like. I have no problem with this. Nor do I lose any sleep at night wondering what I can do to get onto their blogrolls.

I pay as much attention to my various ratings as anyone, I suppose. I can usually quote you how many links Technorati credits me with (400 from 133 blogs as of this writing), and yes, I get a small thrill when I see those numbers jump (they're based on the past six months' linkages) and a bit deflated when they lower. Why isn't anyone reading my beautiful, eloquent and thought-provoking prose? I whine.

And then go back to work.

See, I understand what this blog is about, and why the couple of hundred of you return, day in and day out. TBogg and them can "report" (read that as "rehash the news in sumamry form, like newsradio") the news. I tell you why I think things happen, and try to put some sense into the world. That's why I never just post for the sake of posting a post every day (some of my midday posts will be rather short, I admit).

Would I love to do that full time, to sit and explain why this or that happened and what it means? Hell yes, but you know what? This gig pays nothing and I have other fish to fry than to sort every story out.

To put it in musical terms, I'm jazz to the Top 40 pop of Crooks and Liars, or whomever. I don't rip people off, at least not knowingly. I try to ask permission before posting, and if I can find something interesting to post, I will post it.

If by being jazz I limit my audience, well, then it's an audience that I welcome and am not slave to. It's not an audience that I end up resenting and angry at.

Which is why I also try to stay engaged in the comments. I value you just as much if not more than you value this blog. I know a fact: I would miss you guys more than you would miss me.

The curious thing for me is how many stories I "break" (because in truth, is it "breaking" a story to report on something I found in the Burundi Daily News?) that end up being covered later by the big boys (and girls). If I'm bleeding edge, then I'm doing the right thing, both by you and for myself.

Too, I find the blogs I'm most attracted to, blogs like Martini Republic (and it's little brother Big Apple Martini), the ones I spend a lot of time commenting on, treat me the way I hope I'm treating you: like an adult who understands that history didn't start ten minutes ago. Tell me what happened, why, and how it fits into a common story. That's what the really good blogs, like Skippy, or Shakespeare's Sister, do.

So, Duncan? Markos? You can keep your blogroll sacrosanct of this blog, if you choose to. I'll still link to you, and I'll even come over and read on occasion. I understand your philosophy.

I just don't choose to genuflect to it.