Monday, January 22, 2007

Cassilis Gives Up Blogging

A few weeks ago I added the Cassilis blog to my daily reads. It had become an increasingly unmissable blog and was well written, to the point and entertaining. So it was a bit of a shock to discover this morning that its author has decided to give up blogging. He says...
Looking back over what I've written is a depressing experience
- there's a few half decent posts and I know I can pull a half-decent paragraph
or two together but by the standards I set myself (however ludicrously high they
may have been) I haven't succeeded. What's more the medium itself isn't what I
envisaged it to be - the hype surrounding blogs is all about an alternative
media, the democratisation of journalism and the 'voice' of the ordinary people.
But bloggers aren't ordinary people - most of them, like me, are political nerds
or obsessives who get off on the idea of interacting with like-minded people.
Looking back over the six months or so I've been doing this the posts that have
generated the most comments are those that deal directly with blogging itself
(or comments from mainstream pundits on blogging). I've already acknowledged
that my writing isn't a fraction of what I wanted it to be but there's no reason
to think it's any better or worse when I write about blogging. So the fact that
the topic that generates most interaction is blogging itself tells you something
about the medium - most of us read blogs to see if anyone has read our blogs,
given us a link or has any interesting widget in their sidebar that we could
pinch. Comments are used rarely to advance genuine debate or discussion - simply
to say ' hey, here's what I think and I have a blog too'. It's all about the
traffic no matter what anyone tells you.


You can read Cassilis's full explanation for giving up blogging HERE. Each to his own, and all that, but is he right? Has blogging failed to live up to its potential in this country? Are we all self obsessed and unwilling to'advance genuine debate'? Answers on a postcard please. Meanwhile, I'm off to give a little talk to business people over breakfast on the issue of 'trust'. The things I do to earn a crust...

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Self obsessed? As if! Certainly not you Iain.

At best bloggers are the shining light of freedom in an ever increasing global police state. They are modern pamphleteers and heroes, the voice of ordinary folk - addressing the issues that the establishment dare not.

Oh by the way please visit my blog and leave a comment, better still, link back to one of my inane posts :)

Gammarama said...

Has blogging failed to live up to its potential in this country?... for most people i think it is only begining to catch on.

Anonymous said...

It is the only place to confirm you are not the only one in the world that sees it like you do. The TV stuff you do Ian is excellent and I think is the real future of political interaction. We cant all be great writers or have the scoop but many out there have interesting views and we are not going to get anything valuable from teh mainstream press.

Anonymous said...

As Gamamrama says

Its all a little early to tell.

Anonymous said...

The traffic issue does seem to crop up a lot when people give up blogging. But this comment on an American blog sums up why most of us do it:

"Some bloggers are 'big' because they got in early, before the wave. Others are 'big' because they were big in 'real' life, so people were drawn to their blogs. A few bloggers are 'big' because they have something truly interesting to say and they say it in compelling ways. The rest of us blog because if we didn't we'd explode."

The Long Tail of the Blogosphere »

fr said...

I've just restarted my blog after a gap of 4 to 5 months. One of your header captions should be, "Blogging - It's not as easy as it looks!"

gm said...

It's absolute nonsense to suggest that people comment just in order to draw attention to their own blogs. As I have said on my blog, which is easily accessible......

malcolm said...

No, I think he's wrong. Personally I've learned a huge amount aboiut politics from the eighteen months I've spent in the blogging world but probably more importantly at this stage blogging is only now starting to feed into the mainstream. In 2 or 3 years we will know exactly how much influence blogging will have. We certainly don't know at the moment.

Anonymous said...

QED

Anonymous said...

I find this very odd. When I write self indulgent posts about blogging (or indeed about the internal workings of Conservative Future) I don't get nearly as many post as when I right about political issues. Admittedly it varies from issue to issue but still. I no longer read a daily paper anymore and instead get my news from the blogs and the BBC home page. So no I don't think blogging has failed to live up to anything.

Anonymous said...

Cassilis seems a bit down on himself, which is a shame. I thought it was a great blog too.

raincoaster said...

You can't judge the success of a blog by the number of comments: the ratio of readers to comments on my blog is something like 500:1 on a typical day. And you get far more comments and readership if you make a mistake or insult someone in your post.

No question that blogging is a bit of a circle jerk, particularly in the A-listosphere, but there is also no question that blogs have really got what it takes to make a difference in the world. Of course, that only applies to the blogs that are being written, not the ones that have been put aside. Same as books, really.

Anonymous said...

The besetting sin of bloggers is taking themselves too seriously. I have no doubt that alternative medias of all sorts will gradually become pre-eminent but Bloggers will always be Pooters running chat rooms without the sex.

Fine by me , I like chatting and sex is so messy


Oh god I can`t stand it pleeeez someone comment on my blog.Sorry .

Neil Craig said...

"No man but a fool writes except for money" Dr Johnstone

"Or unless you enjoy pontificating"
Me

Anonymous said...

I too always found what he had to wrote interesting and of great value. It is a shame.

uk-events said...

I think he's wrong.

I write mine for me. I don't care if others read it or what they think.

I read other blogs because i'm interested in the subject matter.

That said, if he's getting nothing out of it, I don' blame him for stopping.