For a little over a year I have not blogged. Have not even commented very often.
For the first three or four months it was a relief simply because I had, repeatedly, said much the same thing on much the same topics to much the same people for the proceeding year. Nothing wrong with that but not terrifically interesting for me or, I fear, my readers.
So off I went and spent a year building a business (which hit a wall recently and is being rebuilt on stronger foundations), threw the football around with my kids, sailed little tiny Flying Juniors and watched the great and the good lose more and more of the thread.
To some extent I kept up checking in at Kathy’s, Arnie’s and Kate’s. Reading Instapundit and Watts Up with That; but mainly I left the assorted blog battles to others.
In large part because I was coming to believe that in the rush to score points (and avoid litigation) a good deal of the fun and the promise had been lost to blogging. I don’t think this was, by and large, deliberate – although Richard Warman’s apparent unwillingness to proceed expeditiously with any of his lawsuits suggests a degree of contentment with the mere silence of the bloggers involved, but then Lucy never was a blogger in any serious sense. Rather I think it arises because tribalism overwhelms the very real possibilities of the medium.
At the same time, the wholesale adoption of Twitter by the blogosphere and MSM journalists has mean that snark has found its perfect venue. 144 characters pretty much defines one liner and defeats argument. Twitter and IPO darling Facebook are certainly distracting; but they suck a good deal of air out of the blogging enterprise.
The proliferation of MSM blogs was entirely foreseeable – it is a publishing platform first and foremost – but the sheer number of those blogs limits the capacity of anyone but the retired and the unemployed to really stay current.
There is a lot of noise out there.
So why come back?
Certainly not to add to the noise. While I am delighted to have the link from Blazing Catfur to kick this off (and I hope to have many more) what I realized over my sabatical is that I enjoy the writing for itself. And I enjoy my readers’ comments.
My own sense is that blogging in Canada has been incredibly successful in a few quite narrow areas: s.13 really is dead and the credit for making its destruction a matter of principle goes, in part, to bloggers. On a much larger scale, the political defeat of the CAGW hysterics and the underscoring of the very real uncertainty – not to mention out and out fraud – which characterizes some of the more incendiary “science” upon which their claims have been based – has been driven by bloggers. (Of course it has not hurt that windmills don’t work and temperature has ceased to rise significantly for the last 17 years; but those facts have needed to be brought to public attention.)
Where blogging has been less successful is on the broader questions. We still have so-called conservative governments unwilling to reduce the size of government. We still have governments which believe they have a positive right to tell their citizens how to live and what to think.
So there is lots to write about and lots to do.