Hugh Hewitt notes that we've enjoyed some small praise from a left-wing blogger named Kathy. He'd expressed a hope that other 'center-right' bloggers would join in linking to her; I'm not sure if we qualify as 'center-right' or not, but I'm happy to comply. She writes...
Do you think Jihad Watch and LaShawn Barber’s Corner and BLACKFIVE and Mudville Gazette and Wizbang got to be in the top 25 at TTLB only (or even mostly) because of their writing or their core fan base? Not at all! They zoomed to the top because bloggers like Michelle Malkin, Powerline, and Hugh Hewitt talked them up, linked to them, befriended them. It does not make me happy to know that people whose worldview is so narrow, intolerant, exclusive, and hateful are so much better at supporting their ideological soulmates than we on the left, whose values run to diversity, inclusiveness, a place at the table for everyone, human needs before defense contractors’ wish lists.
Well, I said it was small praise.
Having made a quick review of the posts currently up on her personal blog, I can confirm that Kathy has a due and proper complaint. Her writing is every bit as good and insightful as KOS or Atrios', and yet they're pulling down the big bucks and she has trouble getting links from them.
I don't think any of us here at BLACKFIVE actually make a living blogging, nor really would I wish to do so. The reason we have something to say is because of things we've done other than blogging, like serving in the Special Forces (Jimbo) or Airborne units (Matty), or running one of those evil defense contractors (Mr. Wolf), or engaging in scientific studies of wolves (Mr. Powers). That's what has given them the interests and the voice they have.
Blogging is just a way of conveying information and thought. The source of that information and thought has to be somewhere outside of the blogosphere. Even if you are "in love with blogging," you've got to go back to the mountain.
It's worth noting what the promoters of this 'business' concept are after:
"When blogs understand the power that they have--when they all start talking about the same story, they can break through into mainstream media news," observes Joel Silberman, a communications consultant who has trained bloggers for network television appearances.
Great God, that's the last thing we need: more echo chambers.
What we do need from the blogs is their ability to bring real experts in a field or a locality to bear on news stories. Whether it's the ability of people on the scene to report news they actually saw happen, or the ability of experts in a field to bypass the media's filter and explain the real story -- that's valuable.
It's also individual, and it explains how a small blogger can rise -- for a short time -- to the very top. It won't last forever, but if you've really got something to say about what's going on, we can hear you.
If it turns out you've got something to say on a regular basis, you could become a co-blogger at BLACKFIVE! And then, you'll find that you still can't make a living as a blogger. Indeed, I've never made a dime blogging here -- but I do get to make fun of Jimbo's favorite bands, so it's all worthwhile. :)
Actually, what makes it worthwhile is the chance to talk with a lot of intelligent, interested people, both in and out of the military, about the issues of the day. It's the philosophy, in other words, that makes it. I'd do it for free -- and I do.