Old backwater, keep on rollin’

Change the world? With a blog? Not gonna happen, says Jeffro:

It amuses me when bloggers get into “fights” or others bask in their supposed influence based on the traffic they get. When it comes to the big ocean of the intertubes, blogging is just a small backwater in the overall scheme of things.

So stipulated. To continue:

Not that I don’t enjoy the social aspects of blogging and the experience of encountering so many different personalities over time — that is the reward for the efforts, and I feel quite rewarded, thank you very much.

But the whole idea that blogging is a platform for moving and shaking things in a big way — well, let’s just say I have my doubts about that.

The A-list folks may be able to pull off moving and/or shaking, but so many of the A-list blogs are multiple-author operations that it’s probably safe to say that only a handful of individuals up there in those rarefied heights really have any clout.

Still, in a decade and a half of slogging away at the keyboard — and the same keyboard at that, I’ll have you know — I personally have gone from having no influence whatsoever to having extremely little influence. To me, that’s a major upgrade.

And that may be the whole point. Few of us are big-time operators, and that’s not likely to change; but we’re right on the edge of the Era of Decentralization. Why else would the Bolshevik 2.0 crowd in Washington — which isn’t just government, by the way — be working so hard to build up their forces? Because they know they can be replaced. In such an environment as this, even the least of us matters more than he thinks.



  1. McGehee »

    27 December 2010 · 12:25 pm

    The A-list folks may be able to pull off moving and/or shaking,

    Generally we’re talking about people who moved and/or shook before they started blogging, the only difference being the reach and scope of said M/S’ing.

  2. CGHill »

    27 December 2010 · 12:34 pm

    I dunno. The Instant Man was simply a mild-mannered law professor before he declared for punditry, and arguably he has more control over the publishing market than anyone this side of Oprah.

  3. ak4mc »

    27 December 2010 · 2:55 pm

    Google “Tennessee Law Review” and “second amendment symposium.” I had heard of Prof. G.H. Reynolds long before there was a Blogspot.

  4. McGehee »

    27 December 2010 · 2:56 pm

    …and apparently I need to update cookies on my mother-in-law’s computer…

  5. Brian J. »

    27 December 2010 · 4:51 pm

    I personally think I’m responsible for Fred Thompson’s brief dabbling in the 2008 Republican primaries. I wrote a piece about it that got an Instalanche, and Fred made a move, sort of.

    Although to be honest, I really didn’t get into the thing for moving and shaking. I got into it to photoshop McGehee as a female Klingon, and after I accomplished that, it’s all been gravy.

  6. Jeffro »

    27 December 2010 · 5:19 pm

    Thanks for the link!

    I’m convinced that blogs (plural) act as a force – look at what the second amendment bloggers have helped push – concealed carry in just about every state among other accomplishments. I doubt that could have happened without the cumulative efforts of the gun blogging community. The “fake but accurate” documents about W.’s Guard service come to mind, too.

    But then take a look at eBay’s or Amazon’s traffic in a day. Perhaps even divide it by the NYT’s. The Daily Kos, Instapundit and The Huffington Post simply can’t compare.

  7. Guy S »

    27 December 2010 · 7:01 pm

    There may well come a time, when blogs will become a larger part of the “information landscape”. It has bee suggested (and argued no doubt) that bloggerrs (and blogging in general) is the re-emergence of the old “pamphleteers”. And there may be more then a little merit to that idea. Certainly they (with some exceptions) tend to be very local to regional in the people who view same. Or limited to a specific portion or faction of society. Wasn’t that the same with those who passed out their pamphlets?

    Also, when brought together (the forged Bush documents being a great example) blogs can become a voice to be reckoned with. Admittedly, once the agent that brought all voices to the fore, is effectively dealt with, they tend to go their separate ways. But the ability for all to congregate on any given issue, should give one pause, before dismissing blogs or blogging as nothing but fluff and or agita.

  8. McGehee »

    27 December 2010 · 10:48 pm

    got into it to photoshop McGehee as a female Klingon

    Wait — that was photoshopped!? Talk about your “fake but accurate!”

    Who were we talking about again?

  9. Lisa Paul »

    27 December 2010 · 11:31 pm

    I always thought of the blogging platform as being sort of like Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park and we bloggers being those earnest (or not so earnest) folks who show up to speak. We may gather a crowd from time to time, but mostly it’s bored tourists pausing for only a moment to gawk at us.

    But then I’m currently in England and searching for appropriate metaphors.

  10. Brian J. Noggle »

    28 December 2010 · 5:00 pm

    Face it, brother. I have changed the world with my blogging. As a result of our little blogwar way back in the day, I’ve just about knocked you off of blogging, and you’ve been reduced to an ever-revolving set of URLs designed to keep me off your track, you little bloguerrilla.

  11. About this whole blogging thing… « Blog de KingShamus »

    28 December 2010 · 9:46 pm

    […] by KingShamus on December 28, 2010 …Mr. Dustbury has some interesting observations. Still, in a decade and a half of slogging away at the keyboard — and the same keyboard at that, […]

  12. Linda »

    29 December 2010 · 7:25 am

    Great post. I’ve always been a fan of “it’s the little things that matter most” attitude, a la It’s A Wonderful Life. (If he hadn’t saved his brother, that Navy ship would’ve sank! If he hadn’t lived, Bedford Falls would be Pottersville!).

    Maybe b/c little things are all I’ve ever accomplished. ha. But still, the whole butterfuly/cascade effect appeals to me and makes blogging gratifying. My hub’s friend said he used logic from my post when debating at work, and that he influenced at least one person’s opinion. Who knows where it went from there? Bet it reached Kevin Bacon in just a few steps!

    And oh yeah. Before the whole blogging thing, Glenn Reynolds was writing articles and having his opinion quoted in very major news sources, if memory serves me correctly. He’s even more influential now, though. Maybe even Rush Limbaugh-influential.

  13. CGHill »

    29 December 2010 · 7:50 am

    Without some of El Rushbo’s imputed negatives, I suspect. If Reynolds and Limbaugh said exactly the same thing — not that unusual a prospect — people who have already made up their minds to ignore anything Rush says might still believe it from Glenn. Not that it would do you any good to point this out to them.

  14. Jeff Brokaw »

    30 December 2010 · 1:19 pm

    I’d say the main benefit of my 8+ years of blogging is becoming a blog reader.

    Blog writing however is a mixed bag at best.

  15. Happy Blog-a-versary To Me! « NoOneOfAnyImport's Blog »

    17 February 2011 · 10:04 pm

    […] a good year.  I’ve gone from an average of ten readers today to more like a hundred.  Dustbury probably puts it best: I personally have gone from having no influence whatsoever to having […]

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