Sunday, December 12, 2004

Anniversary for a Pioneer of the Blogosphere

I stumbled across The American Mind (TAM for short) shortly after I launched this blog, about 6 months ago. It found an early and comfortable spot on my blogroll.

Today the blog's proprietor, Sean Hackbarth, marks his five year blogging anniversary. Sounds like not much time, but by blogosphere measure, it's ancient history. Note his intro:

Before Power Line helped take down Dan Rather, before James Lileks showed people beyond the Twin Cities how funny he was, before Michele made lists, before Kos said, "Screw 'em," before Andrew Sullivan begged his readers for money, and before Glenn Reynolds first wrote, "Indeed" on Instapundit, there was The American Mind. Five years ago yesterday, TAM started with this post (scroll all the way down):

Jill Stewart of the New Times Los Angeles has a interesting story of how the LA school district is ignoring Prop. 227 which was supposed end bilingual education.

The link is dead, but with that post a weblog was born.
Time passes fast in the Internet age. I've been blogging for all of six months, and almost feel like a veteran already. But age means little in an era when attention spans are measured in minutes. And that can prove frustrating:

"There have been even more times I've grumbled privately about young weblogs grabbling attention. It didn't seem "fair" these newbies were jumping ahead of a weblogging veteran like myself. ...

It proves age means nothing in the blogosphere. That's painful to me. The final blame must rest with me. Other people are better marketers, writers, and attention grabbers. More power to them."
Yet despite the frustrations and disappointment, is it worth it? After five years of pouring so much time and effort into a blog that never seems to quite return what you expected, would you still keep plugging away?

"Five years from now, I can see myself still posting, still commenting on political economy, sports, music, and whatever catches my eye. To me, TAM is my version of talk radio only I type instead of yap. (No, I don't see myself podcasting. Maybe once or twice just to see what I'd sound like.) I'd love to have a bigger audience that comments more, sends me e-mail (unlike some webloggers, I get little because of TAM), and bugs Glenn Reynolds to put me on his blogroll. Even if that doesn't happen I'll still write TAM. I need TAM. It's an outlet for griping or arguing or trying to make people laugh. Since I like to write why not do it someplace where someone will read it? Weblogging is still fun, and I can't imagine it not being so."

Go read the rest for a fascinating personal perspective and a little history of the blogosphere by one of the early pioneers.


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