I previously have posted about doom and gloom for the small conservative blogosphere, first in response to a post by John Hawkins about how bloggers need to go big or go home, Is there a place for me?
Later as to what I was sensing leading up to and after the 2012 election, Whither small conservative blogs?:
When I first started blogging in 2008, there was a vibrant group of small independent conservative blogs, many if not most composed of newbies like me…. We survived emotionally on the kindness of bigger blogs which generously spread not just traffic, but more important, attention….
There is no way Legal Insurrection could have grown without the help of others. I have done my best to pay back that kindness by spreading links to smaller conservative blogs.
I’ve noticed a change.
There has been a corporatization and consolidation of the conservative blogosphere, and the kindness to strangers seems to be waning.
This network/community concept seems to have been lost by (or, more likely, was never known to) newer arrivals in the ‘sphere. The idea that each of us is contributing to a common project is not just some kind of “Stone Soup” idealism, but is in fact the only way to build any genuinely meaningful alternative to that pathetic exercise in groupthink we call the Mainstream Media….
The problem is that if every blogger starts thinking of his own site as a destination, then the site’s value as a portal — directing readers to interesting material elsewhere — is necessarily diminished or eliminated. And if this destination mentality takes hold at all the larger sites, then there will be few opportunities for new bloggers to join the community, and fewer incentives for smaller bloggers to participate in the conversation, because nobody with any significant readership will ever link them. What will eventually happen, in such a scenario, is that the independent blogosphere will wither and die from neglect, and be replaced by a corporate simulacrum.
Which is already happening, to an extent. This was what John Hawkins was talking about two years ago as “The Slow, Painful Coming Death Of The Independent, Conservative Blogosphere” (with sequels here and here). Despite the fact that there have been notable successes in recent years — e.g., William Jacobson’s Legal Insurrection has not only succeeded, but has produced a promising spinoff, College Insurrection — the fact is that the original idea of the blogosphere as an informal network of independent sites is being lost, not because independent bloggers are “taking the Boeing,” but because so many newer arrivals in the ‘sphere never even bothered with the concept of collaboration.
Thanks for the kind words, but I wish the reality weren’t so true that the days of collaboration and mutual support are waning.
It’s nearly impossible to get a link out of the new big names in conservative media. It’s not even a conservative blogosphere anymore, it’s for-profit and non-profit corporate media which are protective of eyeballs.
Look at the list of shout outs in my post Thanks a Million! on September 29, 2009:
I survived on this blog through the kindness of strangers. I could not have kept up the good spirits, and survived Blogger Mood Disorder, without the encouragement of and repeated links from Professor Glenn Reynolds and Honorary Professor Michelle Malkin. These are two people who are sufficiently successful that they don’t need to help struggling bloggers, but they do anyway.
There were others who offered early words of encouragement at a time when it was needed, including Claudia Rosett, William Katz, Prof. Darren Hutchinson, and Ron Coleman. It didn’t hurt to have two Grandmas on my side, as well.
And along the way, I marveled at the generosity of the conservative blogosphere, including (but not limited to!!!), Ed Morrissey and Allahpundit at HotAir, Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit, John Hawkins, Ace of Spades HQ, Robert Stacy McCain and Smitty at The Other McCain, Pam Geller, Doug Ross, Jules Crittendon, Dan Collins, Don Surber, Tim Blair from Down Under, Dan at GayPatriot, Patterico, Lance Burri, Moe Lane, Cythia at A Conservative Lesbian, Dan Riehl, Jeff at Protein Wisdom, Tom Maguire, JammieWearingFool, Sister Toldyah, The Anchoress, Pundette, Small Dead Animals, Jimmie Bise, all the Chicago bloggers who helped with my Blago coverage (Backyard Conservative, Marathon Pundit, Bill Baar, Illinois Review), Donald Douglas, Pat in Shreveport, Fausta Wertz, Little Miss Atilla, Bill Roggio at Long War Journal, and the folks at Real Clear Politics.
Not to fail to mention recent acquaintences such as Left Coast Rebel, NeoNeocon, Rosita, No Sheeples, Keith Burgess-Jackson, TigerHawk, Soccer Dad, Da Tech Guy, Another Black Conservative, Viking Pundit, The Stray Dog, Hugh Hewitt, and many, many others.
Most of them are still around, and blogging, but many are not. (Soccer Dad is David Gerstman, btw.) Everyone linked to everyone else, big and small alike.
And we were all better off for it.
Times have changed. I’m not going to dwell on what has been lost. We’ll keep up the spirit of collaboration here, and figure out a way to survive in the new reality.