"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance

 and a people who mean to be their own governors

 must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The Downside Of Blogging

The sheer volume of craziness going on in New Jersey, not to mention in the country, has left us in a state of paralysis, along with a bad case of writers block. This after our blood pressure was high enough to cause the casual observer to assume we had returned from vacation with a bad sunburn. A closer look revealed throbbing veins popping from our neck on up and nails being spit out every time we opened our mouths. This state is not conducive to writing.

Calm down and be rational, but where to begin. We start a post on one issue and twenty more catch our attention. We begin research on one, which leads us to another and the next thing you know we have become completely overwhelmed with about 20 posts in various states of readiness. So here we are, sitting in front of the keyboard alternating between mumbling to ourselves and ranting to anyone unlucky enough to pass by.

Instapudit once said "there are two downsides to blogging. One is that it can fill up your time, one five-minute chunk after another. The other -- much worse -- is that it forces you to pay attention to the news, which is usually depressing, infuriating, or frightening, or some combination of all three." Glenn Reynolds has captured our thoughts and mood precisely.

We have an acquaintance that does not follow the news and therefore, believes it would be inappropriate to vote, so she doesn’t. When asked about her lack of interest, she says she is much happier not knowing. In other words, ignorance is bliss. We happen to agree, people without a clue on issues or candidates should not vote. We wish every potential voter that hasn’t bothered to educate themselves would stay away from the polls. We’d all be much better off.

We also realize, more importantly, if no one paid attention to what’s going on we’d all be in real trouble, the kind that no one, no matter how hard they tried, would be able to ignore. It really is our duty as citizens to pay attention. This is the reason we started this blog, to force ourselves to pay attention and hopefully to provide information to others lacking the time to sort through all the clutter.

With that in mind, for at least the time being, we will keep blogging. If nothing else, we're learning a lot. Now, if we could only learn to clam down. Any tips or suggestions would greatly be appreciated.


At 9:18 PM, Blogger Ken Adams said...

Sit down, take a deep breath. Look at New Jersey and realize that it's a mess. Then look across the river, either the Hudson or the Delaware, and be thankful that we aren't anywhere near as screwed up as New York City or Philadelphia.

That should help you clam down.

At 10:25 PM, Anonymous Jim - PRS said...

Bourbon. Or, if brown wiskey is not your thing, then vodka.

At 5:10 PM, Blogger Mr. Snitch said...

I made this comment on Jerseystyle.net, but it's appropriate to this post also, so I'll bring it up again. The problem you're describing, as I see it, is that you're tackling a job that should be done by several people, by yourself. (Or if there are several of you posting here, you're still badly undermanned. You get the point.) I've been in this situation myself, doing the job of several people, and have experienced similar symptoms. Fortunately, the solution is readily evident: create an InstaPundit-type edited forum where any number of Jersey bloggers can post, and concentrate on doing fewer posts (for now anyway) but marketing your site more (especially to journalists and bloggers and others whose business it is to talk about Jersey things). There's a real searching going on out there for a central source of Jersey news and insights, IMHO. You can still maintain your basic points of view (you don't HAVE to post anything with which you strongly disagree, after all... it's still your site, and other voices can find other forums). If your POV is widely shared, both postings and site traffic will grow. If not, well, you would have experienced the same failure to reach out on your own!

The key is your editorial voice. There are plenty of unedited and badly edited message boards out there. We've all seen them. They sink under their own weight and don't change any miinds. A well run-forum serving as a clearinghouse for quality commentary is the InstaPundit model. Hard to emulate (many have tried), but clearly a success when properly implemented.

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