Cacophany of Pundits and Commentariat

Discuss this article inside the Frosbite Falls Insider

(Edit: Preface this with an apology to the Slogger. He did in fact cross post the Theory of Everything Part II on The Slog. I just missed it in the vast volume of stuff he writes himself every day. Otherwise, most of the observations made here about the difficulty of getting cross communication between blogs still remain true. IMHO.)

One of the biggest complaints I have with the Collapse Blogosphere is the vast number of Redundant Blogs out there with NUMEROUS pundits spinning the collapse, but for the most part interacting very little with each OTHER. Besides the fact the Blogger/Admins of these various sites do not much chat with each other, neither does the Commentariat who follows a particular Blog and becomes an Active Participant.

Many reasons for this from the POV of the Commentariat, NUMERO UNO is one of TIME. Since I spent MOST of my early years as a member of the Commentariat rather than Blogging myself, I can speak from Experience here on this problem.

When I first became engaged on the Forum, it was an EYE OPENER for me. I became engaged in conversation and debate with many people more knowledgable than me on Collapse issues at the time. At the time, the Peak Oil forum was VERY active, on any given night when I returned home from work there were a Dozen new threads started, with sometimes hundreds of comments in them each. Just to comment on those threads and then respond to other comments made to what I wrote took ALL my writing time. Participating in the commentariat of any other Forum or Blog at that time was impossible for me. In my Fantasy Understanding of the Collapse Blogosphere of the time, it seemed to me that Peak Oil had THOUSANDS of readers, and just participating on that board would be a good way to get the Message Out I wanted to send to enough people, who would then bring still MORE poeople onto the Peak Oil Board, and we could expand coverage this way.

Sadly of course, I eventually got my ass booted off Peak Oil after getting into innumerable Conflicts with the Mods of that board, and then Sequentially moved my way through a few other boards and blogs, notably during this period Ticker Forum where I met Peter; Raging Debate/TBP where I met Surly, and eventually Economic Undertow as well where I met Ross and Jb among others who are now also Diners.

My involvement with TBP was by far the most time consuming for me, besides getting into innumerable Napalm Contests with the rest of the commentariat there, I also wrote the Frosbite Falls Daily Rant during the time Jimbo Quinn gave me Author Priveledges on his Blog. No way during that period did I have ANY excess writing time to get involved in the commentariat of other Blogs and Forums. I did still READ other ones of course, Zero Hedge of course is a daily read for me still, and TAE as well during this period though I never commented there during that time.

When I finally got my ass booted off TBP, I decided the whole Bizness of Commenting on OPBs was just a big waste of my time, even though very occassionally I would find a Peter or a Surly to chat with on those boards. So, I retreated then to the Yahoo Group I created of Reverse Engineering as a place to continue to write my thoughts, and get some feedback from the friends I had found during my travels around the Commentariat of a few different Collapse Blogs and Forums.

After about a year or so over on Reverse Engineering, due to some Censorship Issues emebedded in the yahoo software running the groups, Peter convinced me it was time to set up the DD Blog, and foolishly volunteered his skills and abilities to put up the platform. He said he could create a good platform, so I said sure, let’s GO FOR IT!

So, we Launch the Diner here, with a good group in the Mod Squad, a fabulous Platform for Blog Authors and the Commentariat also, and of course my own ability to write enough each day to keep the Blog fresh with new material all the time. A good initial Recipe IMHO for a succesful Blog and Forum, which has overall proved so far to be pretty true. Spiders notwithsdanding as the likely primary reason page hits have increased exponentially, the Diner is clearly growing and operating pretty well these days.

At the same time though, I never wanted the Diner to be “All RE all the Time”, I always have seen this project as a place for Bloggers and Commenters to congregate and hash out issues of Collapse. With that philosphy in mind, I reached out to a few of my favorite Bloggers to come Dine here, repost their articles and discuss them here in the Diner as well as on their OWN Blogs. A few of the Bloggers I have invited in here in such a manner would be Steve from Economic Undertow, Gail from Our Finite World, Brandon from Alt-net and most recently John Ward from The Slog. I did NOT invite Ashvin or Ilargi and Stoneleigh from TAE in thsi manner, it was actually Ashvin who suggested Cross Posting between TAE and DD, and Ashvin also who has joined int he commentariat here, as I comment regualrly on TAE as well now. This IMHO is a very good and healthy relationship for both Blogs which can benefit both.

With the EXCEPTION of Ashvin who I did not myself invite in, so far my entreaties to the other Bloggers to join in Diner discussions have been a Magnificent FAILURE. Far as Steve, Gail and Brandon are concerned, all were quite OK with reposting their articles on DD as long as I attribute Authorship correctly and provide Linkbacks to their blogs, which I always do when I post up material others wrote. None of these fine authors though participate in Diner discussions, and I am not even sure if they read the Diner either. Probably not in most cases.

The most recent attempt at Collaboration with The Slog is what is causing me to write this post though. In this case, rather than simply asking John Ward for Permission to repost his articles in the Diner Blog, I suggested to him we Cross Post articles from both Blogs, so that both readerships would have the chance to see and read the articles from both places regardless of which one they originate on. I gave him Authorship priviledges on the Diner, and he posted up his “A world terrified by impotent ghosts from the past” article, which is just marvelous. Sadly however, he WELSHED on his end of the bargain, and never posted up anything from DD on The Slog! I attribute this mainly in all likelihood to the fact I am so Over-the-Top in much of what I write plus the fact the Diners here engage in so much “Tinfoil” speculation he doesn’t want his Slog to be contaminated by such nonsense. LOL. Just a WAG on my part though on the reasons for his renege on the agreement.

The deeper problem here that this FAILURE demonstrates though is that bringing together Bloggers and Commentariat from many websites all discussing the same issues is pretty close to impossible. Each of the individual Authors/Admins of these websites all have their own Spins, and both EGO and MONEY get in the way of collaboration. Nobody wants to Join with somebody ELSE’s Website and make it Bigger and Better, they want others to join THEIR website and make it Bigger and Better. You have a few “Compilation” sites like Seeking Alpha and Financial Sense and Zero Hedge which attract some Bloggers, but mainly they post there as a means to hopefully generate traffic for their OWN Blogs/Newsletters etc. You NEVER, ANYWHERE get say Karl Denninger, Stoneleigh, Chris Martenson et all all together on one website not just Posting their Articles, but actually DEBATING the issues with each other on a regular basis.

OCCASIONALLY, you get your “Battle of the Titans” debates, such as the famed Stoneleigh vs “Speedy” Gonzalo Lira debte of Hyperinflation vs. Deflation, but overall the “Famous” bloggers do not confront each other regularly anywhere, they all just write their own perspectives independently on their onw Blogs, with their own Commentariat who for the most part tend to agreee with their spin, that is why those fols are Members and Commenters on those Blogs.

IMHO, overall this is just a LOSING Game, a very poor way to communicate and analyze the problems we have before us. It is too diffuse, and all these Bloggers are making their arguments in ISOLATION, confronted only by their OWN Commentariat that basically engages in Group Think and agrees with them.

I don’t knw how to solve this problem, I only will say here that I hand a HUGE THUMBS UP to Ashvin Pandurangi of TAE as being the ONLY Blogger so far I have had contact with who will both do cross posting AND respond/comment on other boards. OK, Steve does it some also, just not here on DD where he seems to think it is too much like having Dinner at Ted Nugent’s house. LOL.

Anyhow, if all this Net discussion of collapse variables is ever to have anythign MEANINGFUL result from it, all the people who think on these subjects and postulate solutions cannot keep writing in isolation. It is just spinning wheels and gets us nowhere. Selfishly, I would like the diner to become a place where everyone cna come to hash out these issues, but really I don’t care where it is or who runs it either. We UST bring it all TOGETHER though, a bazillion websites all discussing the same shit a bazillion times over just does not WORK, it does not Cut the Mustard.



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