The new era

With a lot of changes going on lately, I’ve taken a bit of time to think about the future of this blog. It will be ten years old in June, which makes it one of the longest running Australian blogs (a few, like Catallaxy, are a little older, IIRC, but their archives seem to have been lost). Those ten years have seen the rise and decline of blogging, particularly individual, independent blogs like this one. The XKCD cartoon linked in this Crooked Timber post tells the story.

The writing was on the wall as early as 2004, when I saw lots of my favorite blogs being assimilated by the Borg that became Crooked Timber. Seeing that resistance was futile, I joined the rush, but have kept this blog going with lots of crossposting, but more specifically Australian content here. Still, group blogs were clearly the wave of (what was then) the future. The most successful in Ozplogistan (the briefly popular name for Australian political blogs) have been Catallaxy, Club Troppo and Larvatus Prodeo. But there haven’t been any new entrants successful enough to attract sustained attention, and now LP is gone.

There are two obvious reasons for the decline of blogging. First, after disdaining everything to do with blogging for years, the mainstream media embraced the idea with enthusiasm five years ago or so, putting much of their content in blog form. The big media blogs now attract much larger audience than independent efforts like this one. Second, there has been the rise of Facebook and Twitter, both of which supply a lot of what attracted people to blogging in the first place. Twitter, in particular, can be quite close to the original form of blogging, based on short (very short in the case of Twitter) links to interesting material found on the web.

So, with the closure of LP and getting booted from the Fin, it seemed like a good time to reassess what I’m doing here. I’ve decided to put most of my effort into work that I can post in larger sites (I’ve had invitations from several, and at this stage I think I will try to play the field, rather than picking just one), but I will make it a condition that I can crosspost here. That will enable the discussion that goes on here to continue, and also make this blog a convenient point to collect all my material.

I’ll close by reproducing this post from 10 years ago

My blog is just about a week old, and I haven’t found the Internet this exciting since I discovered Usenet in the early 90s. Even setting up my website five years ago was not as good. Despite wildly varying ideological views, I’ve had a friendly welcome from bloggers across the board, and I’m already getting links and referrals (My return links will be up soon, I promise). It really seems as if blogs might deliver on the original promise of the Web – certainly the technology seems ideally suited for individuals and small groups, with no obvious way of scaling it up to corporate level. No doubt I’ll get jaded and disillusioned one day, but I hope it will be a long way in the future.

82 thoughts on “The new era

  1. @Chris Warren

    Rose has doubtless heard that Popper was a noble crusader against all things Marxist in one of the haunts he frequents — and had imposed his own caricature onto Popper’s account.

    I don’t think opposition is banned at Catallaxy. Good sense is however an endangered species there because the crowd in those parts responds to it with something of the attitude of orchardists to fruit bats.

  2. Maybe Rose would be better off at Catallaxy – a closed society where opposition is banned.

    heh. Nice.

  3. Fran Barlow :

    I don’t think opposition is banned at Catallaxy.

    You are joking? Some months ago I saw a post where they were bragging about a list of banned posters.

    A simple check now turns up banning of, at least;

    ‘wm is censored’
    ‘philomena’
    ‘maryt’

    and I recall streams of others which would pop-up if I searched more..

    Here is a typical comment by Catallaxy … made against “kennedy”.

    [This comment is too moronic to stand – you are a thread wrecker. You will be banned if you don’t lift your game. Sinc.]

    It is impossible to be too moronic on Catallaxy.

    Catallaxy is a banning-machine.

  4. @Chris Warren Chris is correct; Catallaxy (the self elected bastion of free speech) regularly bans, deletes or modifies posters and postings. When pressed the argument is that as they are a private site the “owners” are responsible and need to protect their liability.

    When push comes to shove they go to water.

  5. To put it into some perspective; Jason Soon, Sinclair Davidson and other unmentionables are absolutely petrified that JQ will proceed with a threatened legal claim for defamation.

  6. Popper’s two volumes of “The Open Society and its Enemies” are worth a read. Although,eventually you recognize he is not exactly even handed.. Also. He was not beyond being afounding member of at least one quasi secret closed society, so he didn’t walk the talk.
    His most notable contribution was falsification but the Duhem Quine Thesis shows the problem with that.

  7. Defamation is the only way to go. The Catallaxy defamation has malice embedded in it. Their whole right-wing tactic is to hold people up to ridicule for political purposes.

    Catallaxy is pure unadulterated politically motivated defamation.

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