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December 06, 2012

A Programming Note

Posted in: Uncategorized

I want to share some news. I am going to be ending my association with FDL News Desk. My last day will be December 21, two weeks from tomorrow.

This was an agonizing and difficult decision that I made over the course of many months. Those of you who have been kind enough to read my scribblings for the past three years (or, for the real old-timers who go back to Hullabaloo or Calitics or my original blog D-Day, eight) deserve at least an explanation for this, and so I’m going to try and provide one.

Let me start by telling you that this has nothing to do with the fine people at Firedoglake, from Jane on down to the editors and moderators and backstage folks. I have nothing but respect for what this site has been able to build and sustain through a challenging time in media, particularly for ad-supported liberal blogs. FDL has long carved out a niche as a destination for in-depth information relegated to the back pages, if at all, of most news outlets, combined with an activism arm that takes that information and actually transforms it into action. Jane has been extremely generous and patient with me as I attempted to contribute to this in my meager way, and I couldn’t be happier with how things turned out. Together we accomplished a good deal. And I’m sure the site will continue to accomplish much more.

Though I have no future plans at this point, there are other things I would like to accomplish as well. But I don’t feel like I can accomplish them until I get myself off this treadmill I’ve created for myself.

Blogging began for me as a hobby, something to do in my spare time, in between trips to the water cooler. I was fortunate to come up in a different time, with a vital and important liberal blogosphere that served as a true alternative community for the politically engaged. I don’t know if that community exists anymore. I truly don’t know because I don’t have the time to check it out. Maintaining and delivering this blog every day is a massive undertaking, and I think I’ve lost the plot a bit between tending the site’s numerous gardens rather than actually doing something I feel is worthwhile. I’ve invented a number of shortcuts for myself to make things work, but I don’t only feel like that cheats myself, but cheats the site’s readers.

It’s not that I feel burned out or overwhelmed, it’s that I believe that the playing field for blogging, particularly the dinosaur of broad-based general news cycle blogging, has truly changed, and I must change with it. I have never been someone contented by standing still.

It would be entirely possible to carry that new mission out here, to narrow my focus and drill down into a smaller set of topics and deliver true insight rather than back-end analysis. That prospect has been discussed. Over the past couple months I have tried to evolve in that direction, dropping some subjects entirely. But I just feel that, before moving forward, I’m going to have to take a step back.

I find myself extremely fortunate to be in a position in my life where I can step back without fear or insecurity. There are tens if not hundreds of millions of people in this country who could never afford such a luxury of a reassessment period. I consider myself very lucky to have the wherewithal to spend some quality time trying to figure out my place in this fractured landscape.

I want to thank the many readers and commenters who took time out of their day to click over here or express their opinion; it always made me think and really made me marvel that anyone would give up so much as a minute of their time to react to little old me. I will miss that feedback, and hopefully I’ll be able to experience it again sometime.

I’m not planning a hermit’s life of solitude while I figure this all out. You can find me on Twitter, and I urge you to stay in touch.

Again, I’ll be here for two more weeks before going away, and as I understand it, FDL News will carry on. Keep checking back for more updates on that. Thanks.


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