Of all I have read recently, no one has put it together better than William A. Jacobson over at LegalInsurrection.
He starts out reviewing what some of those younger readers never knew - the salad days when I started blogging in 2004;
I’m so old I remember when conservative blogs and websites used to communicate with each other on email lists and by frequent linking to each other.I remember it well. From bookmarks on the browser, to RSS feeds, to email - even pimp'n posts to those who started earlier. Checking where you were in the TTLB Ecosystem. Sigh.
When Legal Insurrection started in October 2008, that was how we let the world know we existed and what we were writing. So-called “blog whoring,” whereby smaller blogs clogged the inboxes of people at larger websites hoping for a link, was how it was done. This website would not have thrived without the appreciated links from Instapundit, Hot Air, Michelle Malkin, and dozens of other blogs.
Our Twitter page says we joined in December 2008, but I think it was another year or so before Twitter became a central communication focus for conservatives. In those “early” days I remember conservatives dominating Twitter — the common wisdom was that liberals ruled on Facebook and conservatives ruled on Twitter. That has changed over time, and liberals are just as if not more influential on Twitter.
Along the way Twitter changed how conservatives interacted. Who needed mass emails when we could send a tweet and be seen by other conservatives? That ease of interaction and ability to mobilize people had a downside. I credit/blame Twitter for the demise of most smaller conservative websites.
I went through our blogroll recently, and deleted dozens of links to defunct or barely functioning conservative blogs. It was truly shocking how many no longer exist or rarely post. Part of it certainly is dreaded Blogger Burnout. But part of it is that Twitter is the new blogosphere.
Twitter helped destroy the conservative ecosystem of small blogs by replacing it with something easier to use and more effective.
But in the process, I can’t help but feel we have become prisoners of Twitter.
I remember it too,
I was never very good at it, but occasionally Ace or the guys at Independent Sources (defunct) or some of the mee.nu sites would throw me a link but not very often. As a measure of how bad I was (am) at this I have been blogging since 2004 and have barely crossed 200,000 page views and I swear most of those are from me checking my page views.
I am far more successful at twitter. I don't have 23.7 billion followers or anything like that but I do have some and I do get responses, not many and not often, but far more than I ever got here.
But, you know what I preferred the old blogosphere. It was fun, people actually laid out some thoughts that couldn't be encapsulated in 140 characters and that went deeper than "Bush Evil - Trump Good" or the opposite.
I still have my RSS Feed, I still go thru it daily, although mostly the tech sites now since most of the conservative blogs I used to follow have whithered away. I still plug away here, although why I don't know. Probably for the same reason I am the last remaining supporter of George W. Bush and the last person who still thinks Iraq was the right call, although poorly executed in the occupation phase. Just too stupid to know better.
I would say that if we wanted to we could bring it back, but it's not true. There isn't the camrarerie that there used to be. We have become too polarized. It's no longer enough to be conservative, you have to be the right kind of conservative. It's no longer enough to agree with 80%, 90, or 99% of what someone else believes. It's all or nothing.
Oh well, what can you do. I'll ride it out to the bitter end. Fortunately I don't have to worry about my facebook or twitter accounts getting yanked, I attract far to little attention, and even if I did I still have Google Plus (where I rule) and blogger.