Thursday, November 14, 2002


Since I decided to profile, in this space, some of the lesser known blogs I have been astounded by the sheer quantity of great work that is being done out there. I for one am not surprised that this body of work is done by hobbyists; the opposite is true. Hobbyists are not hacks, and have little entrenched interest to protect. When a blogger screws up, well, he just screws up. There are no editors to complain about it, no subscription department to threaten one with Armageddon. We can't be fired, but we do have to live up to our own expectations, and I, for one, have a very high standard for myself. That is why we are so quick to issue corrections and link to alternative points of view. If the work doesn't stand up, so what... just blog on. (I never remove a post to this site) Learn and grow, get better, or not. Maybe practice makes perfect, maybe practice makes permanent. But one gets plenty of practice writing a blog!

There are, of course, quite a few bloggers who maintain their blogs in some measure to support, by symbiosis, their regular writing gigs. But even there the work has a quality that the paid word can not surpass. Compare the blogs of, say, Lilleks or Sullivan with their paid work. Very different, more relaxed, still more the flavor of a hobby than a career. And, there's nothing wrong with a certain mixing of one's hobby with one's career. I, for instance, have begun instituting blogs as a communications medium in my real career. I have no dreams that anyone will be paying me for my writing, at least not for a very long time, and lots more practice. (Now, if I could only learn how to type, I could practice more!) But I have no compunctions about taking what I learn here and making a buck on it. I do, however, have somewhat of a problem with trying to make money here. Maybe I would if my stuff was a bit better. I don't mind if others manage to make some dough. I have been known to leave tips, and have bought a fair few books through bloggers' Amazon accounts. But one can go too far in the quest for the legal tender. For a sample, click on over to Daily Pundit. Please. I know that Bill can use the money, and he has threatened to stop blogging if he can not figure out how to make a buck at blogging. And, if you know what you are doing, the ads on Bills blog are optional anyway. His blog is not. I stop in at Daily Pundit every day.

Jim Miller's Political Blog has one of the best, most concise roundups of the most popular, or, at least, the most necessary blogs out there, here. Those offerings which I choose to review here, in this space, are the more esoteric, deeper, less necessary but more enjoyable.