April marks my fifth year blogging, with over 2,000 postings.
When I started I had no idea where this was going. It provided an outlet for writing and thinking and it became a public notebook of my thinking and reading. After five years the blog has developed some focus.
I write to learn. It solidifies thinking, and the availability of comments and points from others helps even more. Yes, there are those who quickly degenerate into uncivil discourse, but most are constructive even when they disagree. The rest are easy enough to block.
What I find interesting is how the blogosphere has developed. There are the blogs associated with long stabled media outlets that carry the same names, such as The National Review, Investor’s Business Daily, The New Republic, Commentary, etc.
Then there are the new names that are professional bloggers. This includes American Thinker, where over twenty of my submittals have been published, Red State started by Eric Erickson (I started my blog after hearing him at my Rotary Club), The Huffington Post, and hordes of others. This group has hundreds of thousands of hits a month and much higher and are viable commercial enterprises. They also feature the works of many contributors. I would also include Breitbart and The Drudge Report in this group although they have really gone beyond mere blogging to include news gathering (and news making) capabilities of many professional media outlets.
Then there are the committed bloggers. There are two groups in this strata. There are those professionals who use their blogs for largely non commercial purposes. There are a number of economic bloggers who serve to broaden their prospective outside of their classroom. Among my favorite is Carpe Diem, Calafia Beach Pundit, Café Hayek, and the new Grumpy Economist.
And also among the committed bloggers are those that display a professional attitude and love of their subject. They are resistant to unsubstantiated rumors and mindless rants, even if they do show partisan leanings. They do check sources before reprinting spurious stories; it is just too easy to do in the modern internet.
This group, which is where I currently put Rebel Yid, acts as a vibrant resource. They all read various segments of the internet, and then blog their favorite articles on perspectives of their choices. Each blogger filters the best after their readings and this filters down to the best of the best.
If you read Rebel Yid you will read excerpts from the other categories distilled by my perspective and interest, with my comments often added afterwards. The original sources will always be credited and linked for your reference. There will also be numerous excerpts from books that add more than can be deemed from the current media. There will be articles that are original in content.
Bloggers are accused of amateurism and spreading false and misleading info. I have found that those bloggers who will pass on anything they get are few and short lasting. Coming up with posts for any extended period of time is time consuming. Those that blog regularly are committed to their work even if it is not their primary source of income.
In fact we have seen better research among many amateurs and alternative professional media sources than we have seen in much of the mainstream media. It was Drudge who broke the Lewinski scandal, the National Enquirer broke the John Edwards scandal, and it was an amateur blogger who broke the manipulated evidence about George Bush’s military career that cost CBS veteran Dan Rather his job.
The bloggers act more as independent editors and this has been their biggest contribution. No longer is news and opinion restricted by either column inches or a corporate editor’s bias or preference. With RSS feeds it is easy and fast to cover numerous resources in less time than it takes to cover any newspaper or TV news show. And bloggers have the luxury of covering an idea or perspective with as much depth as they choose.
Economics writer and blogger Tyler Cowen noted his perspective on the blogdom in this video:
I concur with his mission and purpose.
While I enjoy the depth and variety of the economics and political bloggers, much of the base information still originates from the news gathering resources of traditional media. Their role will change but will remain a central source of much of the current event information we use.