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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Blogging won’t stop

In the small hours of Monday morning I went to visit A Coyote at the Dog Show, on account of it being the first on the blog list on the Samizdata sidebar links. The Coyote man quoted (on Thursday March 28) an interesting opinion from Bill Quick:

Tens of thousands of folks are getting a charge out of creating and maintaining blogs, with absolutely no financial rewards – except for a handful of bloggers so tiny their numbers are statistically meaningless noise. The charge is enough for now, but it won’t last, and the blogosphere, currently in full expansion, will shrink like a popped balloon in another year or so, as hundreds of thousands of blogs go dark and dead.

The problem is simple: it requires too much work and talent to maintain a good blog, work and talent that brings in nothing tangible for the creator.

A similar thought had been occurring to me. Patrick Crozier tells me that keeping UK Transport in full flow is already an effort. Natalie Solent is off at the seaside. Will they go dark and dead? I do hope not.

I don’t think Samizdata will expire soon. Perry seems like a stayer to me, and is not arrogant enough to assume that he can keep Samizdata going indefinitely all by himself. Maybe he could, but why take the chance? There’s a team of us, and Perry is always on the lookout for more. (Libertarian, supermodel, good sense of humour, advanced philosophy degree, is the kind of CV he seems to like best, if you’re thinking of applying.)

Plus: We’re ideologically motivated. We have something big to say, and to keep on saying. We don’t get money, but we do get prestige within the libertarian movement. The Libertarian Alliance has chuntered along for two decades fuelled by little else, inspired by the mere dream of readership numbers per year of the sort that Samizdata now gets in a week. Samizdatans will come and go, but Samizdata itself could well continue into the 2020s.

Nor will Samizdata be the only survivor. Blogging won’t go away, any more than insects will merely because so many of them die per hour. Bill Quick thinking that it will sounds to me like the wishful thinking of a professional writer (which the talented Bill Quick is), wanting to believe that these damned amateurs will vanish and restore the status quo ante. Many will, true. Blogging, like the internet as a whole, will have downs as well as ups, but enough blogs will stick around to prove Bill wrong. Even if blogging is for many only a brief shining moment, millions will want that moment, and then millions more, until some even better way of writing your mind comes along.

And some of the blogs that do stick around will become much bigger than any blog is now.

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