Where have all the bloggers and comments gone.

For ten years I used to click thru a number of websites each day to get a feel where indie thought was at. The past few years I have found that I no longer visit blogs. I know the authors sites on facebook and trust their fans to move things thru twitter. I notice over the past six months that The Agonist has become in the main a weekly catblogging and jukebox site, with the occasional glimpse of Numerian and other writers.

I went a googling and note that Nathan Bransford has similar experiences. Bonnie views Instagram as the new noir. Even Jack Handey votes for Instagram.

Remember Wonkette? Moar words and glitzy ditzy panels keep that blog alive.

Ian Welsh maintains some rage, also crying for money.

Little Green Footballs is praising Twitters failure to address troll abuse.

How about you gentle reader, what blogs do you read / and or/ comment at?

23 Replies to “Where have all the bloggers and comments gone.”

  1. The denizens of the internet like plumbing the shallows for the most part.
    Since I refuse to Facebook, twitter, Instagram, Line, or any other of the social media; I’m relegated to searching for serious sites. I still come to Agonist mostly out of habit and for a few good posters. Discussions have become rare birds indeed. I’m likely fading away…
    I use only two U.S. based news organizations; Democracy Now (Amy Goodman) and TRNN (Paul Jay).
    Not including Agonist, I follow Ian Welsh, TAE (The Automatic Earth), and Club Orlov.
    For accurate news on the U.S.’s coup in Ukraine I follow The Saker.
    The U.S. and most European MSM are a one trick pony, propaganda bullhorn. RT (Russia Times) is proving an antidote for the venom coming out of western media.

    1. I would add; a quick scan of the posts reveals very few if any posted responses to posted threads; so, why bother?
      IIRC, there was a serious issue around

    2. There was also a serious issue regarding censorship of comments. Many posters were lost after that row. I was involved in that and quit Agonist for a while. Tina was the driver of that situation. That IMO, was the beginning of the end of Agonist.
      I’ve seen some pretty nasty exchanges at Ian’s place and his method of dealing with heated disagreements is most satisfactory over time. Tina would have none of that method.
      The end.
      I think nothing can bring back this blog to its pre-emanence; pity…

      1. IIRC…, Celcius 223…,
        If I Remember Correctly…, Tina kept the site from going into a nuclear meltdown. I was ready to push the button myself…, and if it hadn’t been for her reining your mount ( and my mouth) in…, we likely would have had a stampede for the exit during a very turbulent change over in the shot caller ranks. I hope we can hold it together here. Got to admit that I get more grins out of Facebook…, but there are still enough of us here that it keeps me around…, and you are one partner. Right on partner…, write on. I always check your comments at Ian’s…, but things aren’t the same there either.

        And I can’t believe that no one has mentioned CounterPunch…, I may have to start posting the best of the week from them. If I had more time I would do a once a day…, and Agonize over which to pick from.

        1. Well, I didn’t start that conflagration; a poster named Arnie was threatened with banning. I objected and backed him on calling it censorship; it was all downhill from there.
          Anyhoo, past is past and it’s not my intention to restart anything. Just using it as a marker.
          Appreciate your comment; Ian’s place is my favorite blog du jour.

  2. Ironically, Agonist has seen an uptick in postings.

    For my part, I’ve had a lifestyle change. When I was chained to my desk, posting at my blogs helped keep me from sharpening a pencil and going on an eye-stabbing rampage. Now, I’m calmer and have a collection of pot holders and mittens for sale at the gift shop.

    It’s a bit unfair to judge blogs in the fourth quarter of the year: people have many other things to keep them occupied, and blogging falls down the list but your point is valid. Many blogs have suffered in a shake out in general. Not many ever made a ton of money from blogging except for right wingers willing to sell their souls for eyeballs, like Breitbart or The Daily Caller, and it’s easy to find people to write for you but hard to motivate them when all you can offer is exposure. Even Wonkette, which has a long history of launching careers like Cox and Pareene, has suffered from this (full disclosure, I was once Wonkette, Jr for a brief time. That was the nym of someone who was trying the assignment on for size)

    And I think the midterm elections took a toll on people’s psyches. The “drubbing” knocked a lot of wind out of the sails and despite the later analysis that determined it was not as bad as it first appeared, it’s hard to get people back.

    I don’t do Instagram but I do Twitter under @simplylefbehind and I see the familiar names out there. I’m not sure what they’re all doing, tho.

  3. I never use my Twitter account and use FB to stay in touch with family and friends; i.e.; as a social media (duh!). I rarely see FB as a site for serious dialog, although I do see some attempting to use it that way. IMHO FB isn’t really set up right for that. Nor is Twitter – snappy one-liners do not constitute discussion.

       Sites that are well-financed and/or adjuncts to other online activity may be doing okay, but the Voice Crying In The Wilderness – and generating a response and following – seem to be behind us. I don’t think blogging will go away or that it’s time to pull the plug on Agonist, but I do think that the role of blogging within social discourse is still developing.

       Our expectations and the utility of blogging may change; it may come to fill a different role, serve a different purpose than it did in 2002. Communication has gone through many variations since the first narcissist chiseled ‘Kilroy Was Here” on a stone.

       Blogging 1.0 is past; blogging 2.0 is passing. We will see what blogging 3.0 brings.

  4. Raja posts more on newswire (despite very few comments) than we do on the “lite” Weekend Threads, which often get a decent number of comments.

    They’re our way of keeping the camp fire burning..
    It’s not your younger self’s Agonist

    That being said, we do what we can .

    As for my own usage, For breaking news, I read Twitter. I also use a fair number of “subscribe to daily email” sites, like Spiegel, on an id just for them, so they don’t clog up any “real email”.


    1. Ian Welsh is still writing well on what matters, He sometimes frames his moral arguments so selectively now, though, that I feel I’ve been maneuvered into a false agreement with his conclusions.-

      take The Burning of the Jordanian pilot ” agreeing” with
      the badly written but incendiary: http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2015/02/why-did-isis-kill-the-jordanian-pilot.html,
      and then writing a piece quite a distance from the flame.

      But each to their own taste at this point.

  5. My blog views on a weekly if not daily basis go to:

    For pop news, not blogs per se, (satisfies my CNN + National Enquirer urge) = Huffington Post
    Complaint: it is a super slow-loader with all that advertising, and constantly shifting the location of stories on their web-page.

    For headline news: Buzzflash and Raw Story. Buzzflash is a nice compendium of links to story-sources like Common Dreams, Truthout, Hullabaloo, etc. which can be a mix of reporting and blogging.

    For analysis: Ian Welsh, Agonist, sometimes (though rarely these days) Left Coaster and BradBlog.

    For video news: TRNN and The War & Peace Report

    I still drop in on New York Times for some things, not so much blogs as straight news accounts.

    For philosophy & science: 3 Quarks Daily

  6. I ran a twitter wall a few years back and got overwhelmed with input. I now subscribe to a few media outlets facebook feeds and catch my breaking news there.

    Lenghty thoughtful discourse appears to have died. Yet i do visit a lady in her nineties who maintains a copious written correspondence with the children of her deceased friends. Her husband was a diplomat so her letters go worldwide.

    1. Thoughtful discourse hasn’t died, at least not entirely. My experience has been that much of what remains has moved “underground” into more private fora. What has shifted is that it tends to be quite specialist and smaller.

      Those heady days of the early blogs? That was a sorting process. Now folks have moved into their own little rarified market slices where they never have to hear other views if they don’t wish to. I venture out into that Internet only rarely, mostly out of nostalgia and usually only when there’s a piece of contextualizing technical arcana that I can contribute that folks aren’t likely to be able to establish without difficulty. It has generally led to lower blood pressure…

      1. I too find a number of blogs focused on one thing or another, rather like the forums of earlier days (many of which are still active but not widely known).

           I visit a few; mostly dedicated to writing, history or language. There’s certainly nothing wrong with special-interest groups, but one wonders if the narrow focus doesn’t produce a lot of ‘idiot savants’. True understanding of anything requires not only knowledge of the thing itself, but also of the thing’s relation to the rest of the world.

           In theory, one might be well rounded by following enough sites, but the ability to extrapolate, to generalize, is a valuable skill. We seldom see much evidence of that today.

           At one time, this site had enough active bloggers that whatever the matter under discussion, we were likely to find several people with reasonable knowledge of the subject. Especially important, as most important matters are complex enough to make room for different viewpoints. (Of course, we also found people with firm opinions and limited knowledge. That’s what democracy does in pubic discourse).

  7. It might have to do we are all have to live so close to the ground time wise or because those that have jobs don’t have the time or are on line any more.

    Everything is on schedule please move on a long

    What sad nation Amerika has become

  8. Comments above are a good mix of ‘all of the above’ for me. I have various newsfeeds going into my outlook via rss. I glance, possibly go to the site and then move on. I miss actual discussion but I have seen this drop not only on ‘news’ blogs but to a greater extent on my yahoo groups. I can not explain why this is happening, perhaps it’s socialogical, and we are all getting sensitized from the horror of reality and it is just too much to feel you can change the outcome of the slowly approaching inferno on your windscreen.

  9. I used to read CNN, but they quit allowing comments. I like to know what others are thinking. The also have moved too much to human interest stories. I also use the NBC website for news and NPR.
    I use facebook only to see what friends and family are doing.
    I don’t do much commenting on Agonist because there are so many more brilliant minds. I use this site to read what smarter people than I are saying like Numerian, for one example.
    I read political wire and talkingpointsmemo daily. I go to those sites to read the postings and sometimes make comments. Political wire is still good, but talkingpointsmemo has gone downhill to the point I may quit reading it. Also, the owner of that blog does not allow comments on any of “his” posts.
    The problem with so many sites is if they don’t like your opinion they remove your post even when it violates none of their rules. NPR is one site that will do it. I also like Hullabaloo because it seems to have very thoughtful posts generally. I don’t go there often though.

  10. Hullabaloo
    Ian Welsh
    Washington’s Blog
    Washington Monthly
    Echidne of the Snakes
    The Rude Pundit
    Obsidian Wings
    Balloon Juice

  11. Life is short. The days with a 2-hour block of time to scan a half-dozen serious blogs are gone.

    I’m one of those “old” Agonistas and while I don’t post anything anymore, I’m still here reading almost every day. And I think there are a lot more out there in similar situations. My hat comes off to the core of stalwarts here who still do the heavy lifting.

  12. I think a lot of blogs are still around, there’s been some shakeup and turnover over the years. But that’s to be expected. My current list:
    The automatic earth: excellent financial commentary, good grasp of climate change and peak oil.
    Zero hedge: 40/60 mix of mostly sane economic reporting vs assorted kookery. Some of the Tyler’s are raging randians. The comments are always a cesspool. : p
    Moon of alabama: good perspective for the most part, but if you take a shot at every time “false flag” is said you’ll likely die.
    Vineyard of the saker: mixed bag but good overall. A lot of times his analysis and insight is great, but there’s a strong current of conspiracy’ism. Take a shot whenever “anglozionist” is said and alcohol poisoning is en route.
    Sic semper tyranis: good overall, some times seems a tad jingoistic.
    Naked capitalism: good stuff, a bit heavy on economics.
    Lamberte: always entertaining.
    Antiwar.com: always interesting.
    Juan cole: mixed bag
    Digby: good for monitoring the. Dc tribe, tidally locked to dem tribalism.
    Balloon juice: only rarely, too politically tribal and wedded to Obama. (Though I’ve seen cracks in the wall there lately.)
    Dimitry orlov: good stuff, can be a bit crackpot
    Kunstler: same as dimitry.
    Archdruid report: simply phenomenal, my personal favorite. Great grasp of history, I look forward to his weekly postings.
    Firedoglake: good stuff overall, good antidote to knee-jerk dem tribalism.
    Ian welsh: good stuff overall.
    Stirling newberry: smart dude, challenging to read.
    Mish shedlock: smart guy, very randian, but makes good points.
    Empty wheel: good overall, gets a bit lawyery for me, but that’s her specialty.
    Greenwald/the intercept: I’m very forgiving of the intercept due to the personal risks theyve taken with snowden.
    Matt taibi: I love that guy.
    Vice/gawker: good for seeing what the kids are up to these days.

    Also, typing on an iPad sucks…

  13. Firedoglake and Emptywheel still seem to have commenters willing to hold extended conversations about topics. I admire that. I read these sites and comments, seldom contribute. Emptywheel’s site is hard for me to follow because there is so much detail layered in their stories and commentary. I am easily lost unless I arrive at the beginning of a brand new thread on a brand new topic. Firedoglak holds book parties–guest authors come to talk about their books in real time with regular visitors. I think that is a good feature of their site.

  14. Marco.org: Google and blogs: “Shit.”

    Publishers are relying more on social traffic not because Google’s squeezing them out, but because that’s where everyone went. The dominance of mobile usage, social networks, and YouTube, plus attention-competition from apps, are the real problems for web publishers and blog writers.

    The social and app revolutions haven’t been purely additive — much of the time people spend on those now has come at the expense of search, RSS, and bookmarks.

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