Archive for ‘blogging’

July 20, 2009

It’s New! It’s Improved! It’s . . .

. . . Jimmie Bise’s Sundries Shack!

A few weeks ago, Jimmie and I were talking about page design. He asked me what I thought, and so I made a couple of suggestions — larger font, etc., etc. — and then last week, he said, “I’ve decided it’s time to just do it!”

And so he did. I like it. Let Jimmie know what you think.

Jimmie’s also now writing regularly for the American Issues Project, so check him out there, too.

July 19, 2009


About 3 p.m. today, The Other McCain recorded its 2 millionth visitor. It took slightly more than 11 months to hit the 1-million mark on Feb. 13, and barely five months to knock down the next million.

We must therefore begin by thanking Carrie Prejean nude. Any other famous people who want to take on hot political issues that offend the Left, please do us a favor and e-mail Smitty as soon as you find out TMZ has posted those topless photos taken when you were 20. We need the traffic. (C’mon, don’t be so coy, Hillary . . .)

In addition to thanking Googlers of topless celebrity photos and our regular readers — to the extent that these are not coterminous categories — Smitty and I are grateful to the numerous bloggers who have linked us. Here are the folks who’ve thrown us the most traffic, according to

Loyal readers, please congratulate yourselves in the comments. You bloggers . . . OK, story time.

It was the last night of CPAC, back in February. As I was circulating around trying to squeeze every last schmooze opportunity out of the event, I came out of the hotel bar and there in the lobby stood Professor Glenn Reynolds and the magnificent Dr. Helen. I’d never met either of them before.

Walked right up, reached out to shake the professor’s hand, handed him a business card and, by way of introduction, said, “Hi, I’m Stacy McCain. You haven’t been linking me enough lately.”

Our slogan: All Your Links Are Belong To Us!

UPDATE: You like me! You really like me! Linked at Memeorandum, and by Jimmie at Sundries Shack, Doug at Daley Gator, Fisherville Mike and Professor Douglas at American Power, who is pounding “controversy” into a coma. (Megaphone voice)


(Voice from inside bullet-riddled hideout.)


Sigh. Remind me to amend No. 5 in The Rules v2.0: “Unless images of the aforesaid hottie shall constitute evidence in a criminal investigation . . .”

UPDATE II: On the other hand, if the Professor is trying to make a point about the sheer insanity of celebrity culture and how it intersects with the voyeuristic impulses rampant in the TMZ/Perez Hilton Epoch, he might have the makings of a Los Angeles Times op-ed essay there.

Look, over the last month, a typical day for American Power — that is, a day without any especially “hot” new post that spiked up the traffic — was in the 1,400-1,800 hit range. He’s currently knocking down about 500 hits an hour, which should easily put him at 5,000 hits by the end of the day, and that extra 3,000 is almost entirely due to people Googling for the notorious video of a cable-sports reporter almost nobody ever heard of before.

When you get a hot meme, you gotta ride it, like Professor Jacobsen rode DijonGate to SiteMeter glory. The demand calls supply into existence. There is something important in this thing, and if Donald Douglas can distill it into 700 thoughtful words, he might find real value here.

But I still wish more people would follow the upstanding example set by John Hawkins at Conservative Grapevine, and only link classy, tasteful Rule 5 stuff like Miranda Kerr in a Victoria’s Secret photoshoot.

Do I have any inkling who Miranda Kerr is? No. But until about a month ago, I’d never heard of Gerald Walpin, Fred Wiedersdorf or Judith Gwynne, either.

July 13, 2009

How to Blog?

I’d love to be asked that question, but instead they asked Felix Salmon of Reuters:

Blogs are a conversation. Remember that. They’re not a sermon, they’re not a news article, they’re much closer to a discussion in the pub, or sometimes a graduate seminar. They can be funny, or serious, or angry; they can be two words or 20,000 words long; they can be pretty much whatever you want them to be, including heavily reported. But they’re distinguished by having voice, which is one necessary part of a conversation.

Hmmm. I’m tempted to react to that, but then there’s this:

Of course, having a good blog can get you hired, too: there are two sides to that coin, and right now the market in good bloggers is pretty hot, and the number of bloggers making six-figure incomes has never been higher.

Donald Douglas goes apeshit on that one:

I can’t imagine anyone making $100,000 a year blogging . . . I want some names! Let’s hear ’em: Who’s making 100k?

What intrigues me more than the $100K number is Salmon’s bland assertion that “having a good blog can get you hired” and that “the market in good bloggers is pretty hot,” which I’m tempted to translate as: “Your blog sucks, otherwise somebody would be hiring you to do it.”

Salmon, however, wrote his notes on blogging for the South Asian Journalists Association, and they are probably not perfectly applicable to the conservative blogosphere. I know conservatives who are getting paid to do political blogging of one form or another. But they aren’t being paid for “voice.” They’re doing fee-for-service work, delivering an online product rather than personality.

‘New Ideas’ and Old Mistakes
Adding a personal perspective without becoming entirely personal, conservatives face a demand-side problem in the current blog market. The people who might have the wherewithal to provide $100K incomes for bloggers don’t seem particularly interested in regular conservatism — that is, conservatism of the sort that the average Republican voter wants.

Instead, the money people want “new ideas” from kids like The New Establismentarians or perhaps even, as Professor Douglas notes, Scott Payne’s “Twenty-First Century Conservatism,” which looks very much like a formula for re-making the GOP in the image of Susan Collins — a conservatism that NARAL, AFSCME and the Sierra Club could love.

We see here a disconnect, a manifestation of the same problem that the Culture 11 disaster exemplified. Steve Forbes (and other investors whose identity we do not know) correctly believed that conservatism needed “something new,” but they didn’t have the slightest clue what that something should be. So they hired David Kuo and got Conor Friedersdorf and “The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage.”

Mercifully, the investors had the good sense to pull the plug before Culture 11 could give us “The Conservative Case for Cap-and-Trade,” “The Conservative Case for Keynesianism,” “The Conservative Case for Infanticide” . . .

Steve Forbes has been a free-marketeer his entire life, and yet where was the free-market voice at Culture 11? Where was there anything remotely like the cheerful Reaganesque sensibility — “Hope, Growth and Opportunity,” to borrow Forbes’ 1996 presidential campaign slogan?

Why is it that whenever someone like Steve Forbes gets the urge to give somebody a wad of money to generate “new conservative ideas,” the money never ends up in the hands of actual conservatives? It’s like watching a cable channel whose programming consists entirely of reruns of the David Brooks biopic: The Republicans Who Really Matter.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat
Immediately after the election, I warned against exactly the problems that are now affecting the conservative movement. Defeat inevitably induces doubt, and when the GOP gets its ass kicked, the experience characteristically induces in some Republicans a desire to emulate the liberal victors — ergo, “new ideas.”

In “You Did Not Lose,” I argued against the tendency to see election results as an ideological referendum, a rejection not only of conservatism as an idea, but of conservatives as people. In “Don’t Overthink It,” I argued against the tendency to make an electoral debacle an occasion for the sort of intellectual navel-gazing which predictably leads some to conclude that Republicans could win if only they were more like Democrats.

The reason I warned against these tendencies was because I’d seen them displayed after the Bob Dole debacle in 1996, when both David Brooks in The Weekly Standard and Christopher Caldwell in The Atlantic Monthly launched vicious attacks on the red-state conservative grassroots.

My warnings evidently went unnoticed by anyone important, for once again we see the same gormless quest for “new ideas” we saw 12 years ago, a quest that produced George W. Bush and “compassionate conservatism” and — eventually — brought us full circle, right back to Square One. Except that this Square One is not 1997 (when at least the GOP still held its congressional majority) but more like 1965, 1977 or 1993, when the liberal Colossus bestrode the world triumphant, scornful of any restraint.

What the Official Conservative Movement really needs now, as in the wake of those previous electoral catastrophes, is not “new ideas,” but rather courage and confidence in some very old ideas — cf., “How to Think About Liberalism (If You Must).”

However, because my blog sucks, nobody’s offering to pay me $100K to promote those ideas, so please hit the tip jar.

June 3, 2009

‘Hate-F***Gate’: Fire Them All

Over at NTCNews, we have a daily editorial called “300 Words Or Less,” the idea being to address a timely topic in the specified length. Today’s entry addresses the media scandal known as “HateF***Gate”:

Obscene insults and raw hatred are not new in the online world. What made Guy Cimbalo’s article about “hate-f***” fantasies so shocking was that it was published by Playboy.
Did no one in the editorial process at think twice before hitting the “publish” button on an article that said of Rep. Michelle Bachmann, “Chemical castration has begun to look appealing“?
Cimbalo’s article required someone to build multiple Web pages, someone to find, crop and embed photos, someone to write headlines and captions — hours of paid labor during which various editors had the chance to say, “Hey, wait a minute. Maybe this isn’t a good idea.” . . .

Please read the whole thing. We hope that our blogger friends will find NTCNews a useful resource, It’s a work in progress, so have patience if you haven’t been blogrolled yet.

Frequent Commenter Smitty (who has been known to wear bowties, alas) and Jimmie Bise Jr. of Sundries Shack are my partners in this latest insane project. Of the site’s inspiration, Jimmie says:

Tucker made a big mistake in calling out the HuffPo before his site was anywhere close to being live. Three weeks is an eternity in the blogosphere and, by the time his site finally does make it to the masses, all the buzz will be gone.

I won’t tell you which one of my partners described the Underpants Gnome business plan of NTCNews:

  1. Post a metric ass-load of brief news pointers.
  2. ? ? ? ?
  3. Profit!

Don’t try this at home kids. These men are professional bloggers. We’re already showing up occasionally in the Memeorandum feed and being linked by Fisherville Mike, So It Goes In Shreveport and No Sheeples Here, among others.

If you want to be a guest contributor to the “300 Words or Less” series, please e-mail Smitty or e-mail Jimmie. Remember (a) the subject must be timely, (b) it must include linkage to articles and blogs about the topic, (c) your entry will be competing for publication against other offerings, and (d) it must be 300 words or less, including the title and you signature. (Try composing it as a Word document, which automatically counts the words.)

As payment for your contribution, you’ll have your choice of three lucrative options:

  • 100% of the cash value of the traffic generated by your entry, not to exceed $1 (one U.S. dollar);
  • Reciprocral linkage to your blog at The Other McCain and; or
  • One cold beverage, if you are ever able to catch me, Smitty or Jimmie in a bar with cash in our pockets. (Good luck.)

What a deal, huh? At any rate, even if you don’t decide to take us up on this offer, we invite you to visit NTCNews, where we strive to prove daily that you have to be a rich preppy to aggregate the news.

And please hit the tip jar, so I can afford to buy one of those spiffy bowties like all the smart pundits wear.

UPDATE: Smart pundits? Dan Collins:

Stacy McCain is quite right . . .

And speaking of inspiration, I owe a lot to Protein Wisdom for their slogan: “Because not just anybody can summarize the news.” Ironic implications, you see.

Tucker Carlson seems to believe that you have to be a rich famous TV pundit to summarize the news. I hate that kind of stuck-up attitude. A little story:

At CPAC 2006, I was engaged in my usual CPAC activity — schmoozing like a mofo — when I decided to take a smoke break. So I go outside, light up, and start talking to this guy with a beard who was puffing Marlboro Reds.

He looked familiar. Kind of like . . . an Ewok.

At that point in time, I had very little idea of just how big Ace of Spades was in the blogsophere, and didn’t know the guy from Adam’s housecat.

Which is the point. You can be huge in the blogosphere and yet be an obscure nobody compared to the famous TV pundits. And that’s OK, but the problem is when the famous TV pundits get the idea that you actually are nobody.

In Tucker Carlson’s mind, Ace of Spades and Jeff Goldstein are zilch compared to the 26-year-old assistant producer at Fox News, because the 26-year-old can schedule him on TV — so we all can admire Tucker’s wisdom and good looks — and Ace and Jeff can’t do that.

Yeah, well, Ace and Jeff are all right with me. You know who else is all right with me? Carol at No Sheeples Here. Because she lets me steal her cool Photoshops:

UPDATE II: Speaking of obscure people I met at CPAC 2006, Little Miss Attila says, “Fire them all? Works for me.”

OK, let’s talk obscurity and fame. All acolytes of The Rules (or, as Jimmie calls them, “The Million Hit Squad”) know Little Miss Attila as She Who Must Be Linked, the Kharma Queen of the Blogosphere. She’s like the blog-fu temple goddess. If your traffic is sucking, just ask yourself, “When was the last time I linked Little Miss Attila?”

Two days after I met Attila at CPAC 2006, Ann Coulter gave the speech destined to be known to history as The Raghead Heard ‘Round the World. And somebody on Bloggers Row decided to circulate a petition denouncing Ann. (Which even Ace signed, having succumbed to the fever of civic-virtue Joiny McJoinerism that was apparently pandemic on Bloggers Row that year.)

Well, I’m sort of Coulter Fanboy No. 1. Don’t judge me.

Having done a stint as a humor columnist for The Rome News-Tribune — after Lewis Grizzard died, my Menshevik editor, Pierre Rene-Noth, decided I should try my hand at the Bubba McGrits schtick — I know how hard it is to be consistently funny.

If a columnist can give three good laughs in 700 words, that’s success. Four good laughs per column, that’s national syndication. Five laughs in a column and you are a newsprint Vishnu: I Am Become Death, Destroyer of Worlds.

Coulter is funny, and if you’ve never tried to be funny in print, you’ve got no idea how hard that is. It’s like stand-up comedy. Next time you’re watching some brick-wall third-stringer doing a routine on cable TV and thinking to yourself, “Ah, he’s not so funny. Anybody could do that,” how’s about you take a stroll down to the next open-mike night and try it yourself, asshole.

So I leapt to Coulter’s defense after the “raghead” comment, and one of the people I leapt on — figuratively, no matter what any gossip tries to tell you — was Little Miss Attila. She had put up a post slamming Ann and so, with all the vitriolic ad hominem I could muster, I told Attila to get herself a nice hot cup of STFU. Hulk Hogan never slammed Andre the Giant so hard. Meghan McCain never slammed tequila shots so hard. Matt Sanchez never . . .

I regret slamming Attila like that. But it’s out there somewhere on the Internet, and you can’t retrieve those pixels once you hit the “publish post” button. But Attila has forgiven me, and this is one of the reasons (certainly not the only reason) she’s the Kharma Queen of the ‘Sphere.

One of these days, Attila will write a post called “Ann Coulter Is Da Bomb,” admitting that her 2006 anti-Ann posts were wrong. At which point, she’ll begin knocking down Instalanches like she knocks down vodka martinis. And then we’ll all be grateful we’re on her blogroll.

Er . . . not that we weren’t already grateful.

June 2, 2009

NTCNews on Sotomayor

Dig the groovy aggregation, people. I love working to keep up with a breaking meme like this one.

Some people talk about “aggregation.” Some of us just jump in and start aggregatin’ like a mofo.

Dibs on the slogan, “Aggregatin’ like a mofo.” Don’t try to ace me out of that one, Trog.

May 13, 2009

Basic HTML code for bloggers

I’m currently helping someone learn to blog, and this is a post to explain that learning a few simple HTML commands is very useful in blogging.

Why? Because the “what you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG) interface doesn’t always give an exact rendition of what the page will look like. Sometimes the coding gets screwed up, and if you don’t know how to fix the code, the page will look like crap. Every blog software has an “edit HTML” that lets you go in and alter the code yourself. Eventually, every blogger has to learn to use HTML.

Don’t be intimidated by thinking, “Oh, that’s high-tech geek stuff. I don’t know what I’m doing. What if I screw up?” The answer is, if you screw up, you’ll go back and fix it. It ain’t rocket science, and your computer is not going to blow up because you used the wrong code on your blog. Besides, nobody’s reading your blog yet. So relax.

The Bare Bones Guide to HTML is a good place to start. Most of those codes you don’t need to know. Basically you need bold, italic, “link to something,” blockquote, paragraph and line break. But go ahead and print the whole thing out, staple the pages together, and keep it handy.

April 30, 2009

A linky-love recession?

How hard did I work to own the Carrie Prejean breast implant meme? Like a mofo.

So I’m checking SiteMeter and notice traffic off an Ace of Spades thread, check it out and it’s Ace blogging about Carrie’s fake tits. But it’s not Ace that’s linking me, it’s a commenter.

Instead, Ace links Jammie Wearing Fool, whom I beat to this meme by at least a week. And then I go to Jammie’s place and see that he got a freaking Instalanche.

So then, I notice I’m getting traffic from a Hot Air thread, but when I go there, it’s not Allah linking me, it’s also a commenter. Allah won’t link me even though I was blogging about this at the Green Room this morning!

WTF? Is my blog-fu fading? Is it my breath? If I wanted to be treated like crap, I would have stayed in the newspaper business.

UPDATE: Welcome to the Linky-Love Deficit Syndrome Encounter Group, where we sit around and talk about our feelings about our anemic traffic. And hug and cry a lot.

UPDATE II: When it rains, it pours, and your protege gets linked by The New York Daily News. It makes a guy feel . . . inadequate.

UPDATE III: Brother Jimmie offers comforting words. We covet the linkage.

UPDATE IV: Carol at No Sheeples Here gives me a hug. And you know something? I think maybe Allahpundit is jealous because my wife of 20 years is still so freaking hot. And I’m going to rub his face in it by posting another hot photo of her from back in the day:

Yeah. They’re real. And they’re spectacular.

April 21, 2009

Don’t believe the blog hype!

Somebody’s lying to the Wall Street Journal:

It takes about 100,000 unique visitors a month to generate an income of $75,000 a year. Bloggers can get $75 to $200 for a good post, and some even serve as “spokesbloggers” — paid by advertisers to blog about products.

What a load of crap. Once again, the media can’t get the basic facts right. I average more than 100,000 visits per month and anybody who thinks that generates $75,000 a year is delusional. As for this “$75 to $200 for a good post” — Heh! Maybe Jane Hamsher expects that kind of money. Or maybe Harvard boy Ross Douthat.

This WSJ nonsense about $75,000 a year is almost a rumor too good to deny., but I’ll deny it anyway, because it could hurt my business. Most of my blog income comes from people hitting the tip jar, which you should do immediately.

Otherwise I might be tempted to sell out. But that would require a willing buyer, and so far my promotional work as “unofficial spokesblogger” for Corona Beer isn’t a paying gig. But if you’ll just click that bottle, maybe . . .

UPDATE: Jeff Jarvis: “He says that bloggers with 100,000 readers a month are making $75k. Name a few.” And buy that man a Corona!

UPDATE II: Pat in Shreveport: “That’s why he gets the big bucks.” No, they give the big bucks to Ross Douthat. Because he’s so witty and insightful, we laugh at the mere mention of his name. Har. Har har har.

UPDATE III: James Joyner at Outside the Beltway:

I’m quite dubious of these figures. They are likely self-reported and inflated. $75,000 a year is $6250 a month. Who is it that’s getting paid $6.50 per thousand visits? At that rate, Andrew Sullivan and Glenn Reynolds, who average around 4.3 million and 10 million monthly uniques, should be atop the Forbes 500.

Joyner’s got a Ph.D., so he’s got those def math skilz. Buy that man a Corona!

UPDATE IV: Another professorial blogger, Donald Douglas, says he ain’t ready to quit teaching merely because he’s raking in the sweet blog-o-bucks.

UPDATE V: Little Miss Attila is rattling her tip jar, too. She talks about a recent dearth of advertising income, but at least she’s in BlogAds, a network that won’t even allow me to join. So instead I’m doing G*o*o*g*l*e A*d*s*e*n*s*e (you’re not actually supposed to mention it on your blog) which threw me a whopping $153.25 for 243,000 page impressions in March.

Maybe Dr. Joyner (who’s also a member of the BlogAds network I’m not allowed to join) can do the math and tell me how many page impressions per month I’d have to get in order to gross $75,000 a year from Google. Short answer: A freaking lot.

UPDATE VI: Linked by The Anchoress, who’s got more traffic than me and ain’t even close to $75K/yr. And I’m not linked by Megan McArdle, who’s probably getting paid at least $75K/yr. by The Atlantic Monthly, but only a fraction of what Ross Douthat (who never linked me, either) is being paid since leaving the Atlantic for the New York Times.

The way I see it, there are two kinds of bloggers in the world: Bloggers who link me, and assholes.

UPDATE VII: Linked by Rusty Shackleford, who is not an asshole:

The Jawa Report gets over 100,000 hits every 3 – 4 days. It averages out to about 750,000 hits a month or about 9 million hits a year.
So by that math I should be making like $500,000 a year from this thing.
I actually felt kind of guilty for making some money last year from blogging since so much of the content of the Jawa is written by others. Pajamas Media, I thought, was a pretty sweet deal. But it was nowhere near what it needed to be for me to quit my day job.
Seriously, nowhere even close. Not even in the ballpark. Think minimum wage.

Blogging works best, it seems to me, as a promotional medium. That is to say, it’s a good way to call attention to something: A news story, a video, an event, or photographic evidence that Miss California’s had a boob job.

While it is possible to use a blog as a venue for long-form writing (and all the updates are turning this post into a War and Peace), the key function of a news/politics blog is as an aggregator — link, link, link. To that basic work of aggregation, you then add your own personality or specialized knowledge.

Since no two people have exactly the same set of interests, no two blogs will have the same linkage. Ergo, from the reader’s perspective, the key to getting the maximum value from the blogosphere is to identify a small number of blogs that share your general interests and then following their links. Your favorite bloggers thereby function as intake funnels that pre-select and present information.

From the blogger’s perspective, it helps to have some (more lucrative) service or product that you can promote through your blog. If you’re a journalist, an author, a political consultant, a radio talk-show host, or the idiot daughter of a failed presidential candidate, blogging can function as a way to establish your “brand” and promote your work in an interactive format.

Given this dual nature of the ‘sphere — blogging as promotion and blogging as aggregation — some people will gain far more from its non-monetary benefits than from direct income. It’s a way to “get your name out there,” or to get your ideas “out there,” and so you’re willing to overlook the fact that blogging per se is not particularly lucrative.

April 6, 2009

The TBoggolanche!

Welcome, moonbats! Remember: Hits is hits. Linky-hate is just as valuable as linky-love to the capitalist blogger and, having twice been nominated for Andrew Sullivan’s prestigious “Malkin Award,” I sure don’t complain about linky-hate.

Now, TBogg told you that Rule 5 is about “giving wingnuts something to masturbate to,” but in the spirit of bipartisan cooperation, here’s something extra-sexy especially for TBogg readers!

And since the spirit of generosity requires me to do you such excellent favors, let me suggest three books you should read:

Y’all have fun!

April 4, 2009

What Instapundit is linking . . .

. . . instead of linking us:

Maybe you’re starting to get the picture here. Attempting to reverse-engineer the Insty algorithm is a favorite parlor game among conservative bloggers and I’ve been SOL the past 10 days or so. How pathetic am I? Today I got excited about a TrogloLanche. (I mean, that dude’s from Wisconsin. It’s practically Canada.)

So if you’re a blogger sitting around depressed because you’ve blog-whored Insty with your six latest vicious rants and still no linky-love, join the crowd. Meanwhile, if you happen to find a news story involving space, robots, terrorism, Chris Dodd and electric cars, let me know.

Maybe if I linked Attila more often . . .

UPDATE: Headline on major news story:

Binghamton Gunman Felt
‘Degraded and Disrespected’

Dude, I can so relate to that. OK, so he’s a Vietnamese immigrant who slaughtered 13 innocent people. But it says here “Jiverly Voong was angry about poor language skills and lack of job prospects.” Exactly like a blogger with no linky-love.

I feel lower than a hypoallergenic dog that’s been run over by an electric car . . . driven by Chris Dodd Cthulhu.

UPDATE II:I’ve designed in a randomness component just to foil the reverse-engineering efforts.” As the man said, “Heh.” Welcome, Instapundit, readers! This is what’s known as a PityLanche, but . . . well, here are some of the things I’ve been flogging lately:

Browse around. Check the blogroll and headlines. Bookmark me. Add me on Twitter. Hit the tip jar.

UPDATE III: A commenter notes the Professor’s “timely” link to an article about narcissism. Actually, I don’t believe the world revolves around me. But that doesn’t mean the world wouldn’t be a better place if it did revolve around me.

For starters, I’m the guy who explained the principles of advanced blogwhoring (Rule 1) and reciprocal linkage (Rule 2) to the conservative blogosphere. In a single post, “How to Get a Million Hits On Your Blog,” I thus jocularly* solved a mystery that had baffled all the conservative “Internet gurus”: Why is the Left side of the ‘sphere bigger and more effective than the Right? Two basic reasons are these:

  • We don’t cooperate. People on the Right side of the ‘sphere tend to place a high value on personal independence and integrity. Very good. But the flip side of this is that it’s very hard to get everybody on the same page, pulling together as a team.
  • Everybody wants to be a “pundit.” One reason that small bloggers don’t become big bloggers is that they can’t resist the temptation to pontificate, to analyze and comment. But the real value of the blogosphere (and Insty demonstrates this every day) is in aggregation: Collecting together a distinctive mix of links to news, research, information and entertainment, and then contributing the “value added” of your own knowledge, you own experience, your own personality.

If you’re going to tell me what I should think about Afghanistan or the federal budget, please demonstrate why I should care about your opinion. What special knowledge or experience do you have about these subjects? American Spectator managing editor J.P. Freire says that the Right needs fewer Bill Buckleys and more Robert Novaks: More reporting, less commentary. He’s absolutely right. But too many conservatives seem to have turned their disdain for the news media into a contempt for reporting.

Yet there’s something else even uglier at work on the Right: Envy. Why do so many conservative wannabe pundits routinely bash Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter? If it ain’t envy, I’d sure as hell like to know what it is. Success should be admired, praised and emulated. It doesn’t matter whether you agree or disagree with Limbaugh or Coulter. They must be doing something right or else they wouldn’t be successful. But some people always envy rather than emulate, and the negative attitudes of losers like that will inevitably destroy morale and make teamwork impossible.

People have sometimes called me a suck-up because of my enthusiastic praise for successful people, including successful conservative bloggers like Insty, Michelle Malkin, Allahpundit and Ace of Spades. In an atmosphere poisoned by the negative spirit of selfishness and envy, sincere praise is a rarity, and backstabbing criticism becomes the norm.

“For want of a nail, the shoe was lost,” and for want of blunt talk about the problems of the Right, we have President Obama, Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Harry Reid. Some small bloggers — including blogs that didn’t even exist two months ago, as well as a certain pathetic Wisconsinite — are now operating according to The Rules, especially the reciprocal-linkage Full Metal Jacket principle of Rule 2.

The spirit of teamwork has resulted in growth for these little bloggers, as Instapundit and others (including blog-fu master Moe Lane) have rewarded them with linkage. So as always, we express our gratitude to the man who inspired it all, Gunnery Sgt. Hartman, who now has a few words of cheerful encouragement for you:


Well, at least I’m not the only one. . . . Maybe I go about it the wrong way.

Tell me about it. Smitty rocked a ‘Lanche with his second post. Talk about humiliation. And then there is this clever fellow:

“But you are erroneously assuming the flux capacitator is calibrated for this type of environment. I would re-think the whole matter.”


UPDATE V: She Who Must Be Linked:

Of course, Insty kept my traffic at its normal bad weekend level, rather than letting it sink into the realm of “abysmal,” by linking R. Stacy McCain, who essentially badgered him into doing it. Fortunately, there are “good karma” links to me all over McCain’s page. We likes that.
Here’s the dilemma, though: if Insty keeps giving in like this, that dis-incentivizes the showing of restraint; Professor Reynolds is essentially subsidizing bad behavior, no?

See, here’s my theory of why you don’t get ‘Lanched, Attila: Dr. Helen is insanely jealous of you. So Insty can’t link you, or his wife would get suspicious. (She’s got a kitchen drawer full of knives, and he’s got to sleep sometimes.) This is why you’re the Kharma Queen of the Blogosphere. Bloggers who link you regularly get more traffic, because ‘Lanching them is Professor Reynolds’ way of satisfying his unrequited bloglust for you.

Ah, but it works both ways, you see. Maybe you haven’t noticed that Dr. Helen hasn’t linked me in forever, but . . . Heh. (Shhhh! Don’t say a word, Chris Muir!)

*”Jocularity” I prefer to explain these things by joking, because I don’t want to help the Left figure out what I’ve figured out. If there’s one thing we know about the Left, it’s that they can’t take a joke. I just flew in from Cleveland, and boy, are my arms tired!