A cowslip for Bigwig
SiteMeter tells me that somebody Googled their way to my post on the Monty Python skit at USAFA. That reminds me that Bigwig posted the
lines of that skit recently.

Blogroll adjustments
New to the blogroll, Aubrey Turner. Found through MusicPundit's post proposing a right to keep and bear digital arms, through Instapundit.
You know you are working with a public school teacher . . .
. . . when you see him repair a 5-cent file folder with packaging tape, rather than discard it and get a new one.

Bloggin' been berry berry good to me
The Fat Guy posts about paid blogging, and Whether Blogging Has Been Berry Berry Good for Him. I went over the 2500 character limit of his commenting system, so I post the comments here instead.

Re: "I know in my gut that [blogging has] hurt my reading skills...I expect everything I read to be packaged up nicely in one or two paragraphs with pithy and/or snarky comments."
I see that in myself, and in others. To wit, more than once I've commented on other people's blogs after just skimming, without having fully read the post upon which I am commenting. I miss who wrote the post, in the case of a team blog, or the appearance of one idea that I, helpfully or so I think, add to the thread. Only to check back days later to find that, e.g. Woundwort wrote that post and not Bigwig, or Matthew Edgar already acknowledged he's a Deist.

That bothers me. Am I that inattentive in real life?

My own response to that:

  • hesitate on the Submit Comment key, but comment everywhere I go. I wish half of my posts on my blog were as brilliant and thoughtful as this comment here today.
  • read more widely, different blogs, instead of falling into the rut of Instapundit, Vodkapundit, Volokh, Instapundit, Vodkapundit, Volokh, DenBeste ... I'll never make their blogrolls anyway.
  • open my own blog to comments.
  • read all the comments, both on my own blog and everywhere that I post comments. I especially like commenting systems that scroll the post itself along with the comments.
  • read something other than blogs, i.e. have a life to blog about. I won't give up ink-on-paper.

And like you, I don't read "the stuff being commentaried on" (unless I suspect the blogger's interpretation). Why bother? I don't necessarily want to know who's being hacked by the RIAA, for example, I want to know whether it's likely to happen to me, and who I need to talk to, or give money to, or vote for/against, to keep it from happening to me. Blog content is partially-digested news, news I have an idea what to do with.

And I think there's a trend growing in the Blogosphere, as the truly talented bloggers build brand recognition and market share, they start getting too much mail to respond to it all and picking to which mail they'll reply or post about, much more carefully than in the humble beginnings. They've started turning inward, to each other.

They will become the Establishment, The Big Wheels as the Fat Guy called them, instead of the Young Turks, the Outside Looking In. They will slowly cut themselves off from the flow of esoteric/unusual incoming content that gave them their starts as bloggers. Content that they don't read is content they don't post, which is content that We Wonder What They Did Withtm when we hear about it from another source, instead of from them.

What they will have left is their subject matter expertise, and their point-of-view, which for most of them is enough to keep blogging, but not enough to promote new readership of the kind that made these überbloggers famous. What was new will be made old. It's an inevitable, natural process.

Going to paid blogging? As much as I wish them well, I think good, memorable blogging depends too heavily on dialog with readers and other bloggers, hitchhiking on their ideas or proving they're full of shit, or anywhere in between. Any limit or hurdle to readership is a limit to incoming content that blogs depend upon. Blogging isn't a source of content, it's more like a brokerage---or a flea market.

What I find more exciting are proposals (Like NZ Bear's BlogMD initiative) for metacontent mapping
systems. I'd maybe pay for one that allows me to query the whole Blogosphere about a given topic ("Who's writing about Army suspicions that anti-malarial meds are a factor in the murder-suicides in Ft Bragg?") instead of trying to Google it. The blogs and bloggers who want to be read will adopt these meta tagging conventions, because those who have adopted them will be read, commented, and quoted more often than those who do not, caeteris paribus.

In this post, I've far exceeded my quota of sentences ended by prepositions. Sorry, Mrs. McGill; sorry, Mr. Gigliotti.


Those who would trade liberty for frequent traveler miles . . .
In the mail today:

[edited] Airlines
Frequent Traveler Programs Coordinator

Mr. Fusilier Pundit
Front Range, Colorado 80XXX
Frequent Traveler Account number XXX XXX XXXX

Dear Mr. Pundit,

Thank you for taking the time to answer [edited] Airlines' recent passenger satisfaction survey. We understand your concern, as expressed in the comments section of the survey, regarding the inconveniences and discomforts of Federally-mandated airport security measures. We are committed to giving you the highest possible comfort, safety, and satisfaction with our service, while observing Federal law.

One way to show our commitment to you is our introduction of [edited] Airlines' new Freqent Traveler Security Assurance Plussm program, tailored specifically to frequent travelers like you, Mr. Pundit.

In return for a few minutes of your time, to complete an expanded Frequent Traveler profile, we guarantee you an enhanced Passenger Security Screening experience while you receive the level of personal attention that you deserve, both in flight and on the ground.

You will join an exclusive class of Frequent Traveler who receive distinctive complementary travel apparel, designed by today's top fashion consultants---a fresh ensemble every time you enter our Security Assurance Plussm Lounge:

  • A comfortable and stylish one-piece Tyvektm Security Assurance Plussm travel pyjama, in distinctive [edited] Airlines orange, custom-marked with your ticket number and name across the shoulders.
  • Luxurious and convenient underclothes that not only enhance the security of our boarding gates and aircraft, but allow relief in those stressful 30 minutes before your flight lands.
  • Easy-care nitrate-free travel slippers that allow your feet to breathe on those coast-to-coast flights.

Our Security Assurance Plussm Lounge staff will screen your street clothing, vacuum-bag it, check it with your luggage and carry-ons, and return it to you in the Security Assurance Plussm Lounge at your destination.

After every flight, keep this ensemble as our gift to you, our most valued Frequent Traveler, to wear at poolside, in the workout room, or anywhere you relax during your trip, while quietly showing that you fly in the most exclusive tier of Frequent Travelers.

To enroll, please update your clothing sizes in your travel profile. Fax or mail the attached form, or go online to the [edited] Airlines Traveler Profile page. A sizing chart is provided on the form and at our online profile update page to help you.

Then, the next time you check in for a [edited] Airlines flight, follow the [edited] Airlines orange signs to the exclusive SAPsm Lounge. The first check-in after enrollment, we ask you to arrive about 15 minutes earlier than usual so we can take front and profile photographs of you for our records.

Other airlines would charge hundreds of dollars per year to offer you this level of attention, convenience, and privilege. But we offer this program to you free of charge, except for a one-time $75 fee for the criminal records background check (double miles if you use an [edited] Airlines credit card). And we'll credit your Frequent Traveler account 200,000 miles when you enroll as a SAPsm.

As you can see, we're anxious to get you back in the air, Mr. Pundit. Please enroll today.


[edited] Airlines