Just to keep everyone in the loop, I wanted to let you all know that Agonist.org has a new owner.
There will be some technical improvements coming soon, primarily to make the site more responsive and mobile-friendly, since web access is increasingly being done via mobile devices.
The editorial policy will not change. We will still be free to post & comment as we always have.
In preparation, I will soon be simplifying the existing site, removing unnecessary clutter.
We would like to solicit feedback from bloggers and readers and a feedback form will be made available for that purpose.
Once the site is repackaged for better service and functionality, we will explore ways to attract more bloggers and blogging.
I believe we need a “read count” on every post.
It would be interesting to know the number of time a post is read, as it would be a measure of interest.
The number of Comments measures one level of interest, number of readings another.
I can gather hits/post – maybe I should have a widget that I updates daily with the top 3 posts. 😀
For example, Where have all the bloggers and comments gone? got 19 comments – and 158 hits when it posted on Thursday and another 75 on Friday,
Yes, that’s the kind of measurements I was thinking about…
There are plugins that display hits for the site or posts, but are ugly or overly complex. Will keep looking. Manual daily updates would be tedious. If I can’t find good code, maybe I’ll do a weekly recap of our stats.
I think when blogs first began to get traction, they had more influence than they do today. Maybe it was because they were new, sort of Forums 2.0.
I suspect about 80% of the blogs 10 years ago were well left of center and there were a considerable number of them with some influence – enough that it was useful to have blogrolls and directories of blogs.
When the Establishment woke up to the presence of renewed leftism, they responded. Today the blogosphere seems to have been distilled to a much smaller number of influential blogs. And the left/right percentage has changed. It’s hard for John Doe blogging in his spare time to compete with a well-funded group of professional presstitutes.
Maybe I keep on keepin’ on less because I think I’ll change the world than because I’ll be damned if I’ll let Rupert Murdoch and his ilk be the only voices of our time.
Before the blogosphere, the left had been almost totally eradicated from the public discourse. There were a few small circulation magazines, the largest of which was probably The Nation, and that was about it. Media Whores Online was like the skies opening for the angel of the Lord to those of us who thought we were going crazy so far outside what was presented as the range of American thought.
You’re right that the Establishment responded, although we might argue about whether the leftism was renewed or simply finally able to make its views visible. I don’t know that blogs are less influential so much as that their influence is more routine now.
A lot of the proliferation of blogs was laying groundwork and publishing views and approaches that had not previously been articulated. Once that’s been done, it isn’t necessarily crucial to keep doing it. Look at what Ian Welsh is doing now — he’s publishing collections of some of his posts going back as far as BOPNews, as you were working on a compendium of older posts from here.
There are of course external issues as well, but I’m not as pessimistic about the perceived deterioration of blogging as some seem to be.
I had been mulling over the idea of compiling a ‘Best of Agonist’ collection into a free ebook for Kindle and Nook. A few folks volunteered blogger names and one mentioned specific posts, but there wasn’t much response. I really didn’t want it to be “Steeleweed’s Favorite Agonist Posts’, but it may come down to that.
The blogs-cum-books I’ve seen haven’t impressed me. But then, the blogs hadn’t impressed me. All too often it was just ego trips. I do think an ‘Agonist Anthology’ would be nice to have, if only for historical reasons.
I’ve been pretty busy lately with webwork and republishing several books and I just haven’t had time to move forward with the project.
I’d suggest that while it may not seem like it sometimes, participating in a public forum like this is not shouting into a well. You never know who might be reading.
I know Michael Collins worked quite actively with Susan’s lawyer and wrote a lot about her case. There was discussion here and at some of Mike’s other sites.
A search on ‘Lindauer’ reveals 16 posts here.
SPK suggested and eventually agreed to a 3-month trial deal with the former owner. I think he wasn’t sure being EIC would fit in with his schedule of graduate school and travel.
Perhaps he was also unsure if he still had the ‘burn’ for heavy posting. After that 3-month period ended, he hasn’t been active. Whether that is a permanent situation I don’t know. He is active on FB.
I just finished Susan Lindauer’s book, Extreme Prejudice. In it, she credits bloggers for helping to get her released from the clutches of our own government in essence saving her life. Among the blogs mentioned was the Agonist and Michael Collins, a former participant at this site. I’m ashamed to have ignored this work. Is Sean Paul Kelly still participating on this site?