I miss living up there. I remember that one March we had four snowfalls of three feet or more. I was forever, it seemed, shoveling a trough up to the driveway and digging my car out of the snow and ice. I had to stuff rags in the door frame to conserve heat. But I seemed to be making lots of money and had a budget for everything I needed, and lots more. Maybe I just lived on a lot less.
Anyway, I have concluded that I'm not a very good blogger. I appreciate the readership of all of you, to be sure, but the truth is I struggle to get more than a mere 100 hits a day, even after all these years. Whatever it means to be a successful blogger, I don't have it. Maybe I don't post enough. Maybe I'm too analytical and not opinionated enough. Maybe I'm just a lousy writer.
Also, I think that except for some big time names, blogging is winding down. It seems to be taken over now by the magazines and places like Politico, and all those guys linking to each other. I don't want to be part of that, like the poor Matthew Yglesias who is so terrified of not posting on each and every little development in the day that he freaks out. That strikes me as a ridiculous way to live -- and think -- though maybe not if I was getting 100,000 visitors a day.
Even Kevin Drum, who was once one of my favorite bloggers, seems now to be kind of mailing it in. What do I really learn there? A short comment on a news story. No big deal.
Frankly, all that blogging by these types just seems to me to be a bunch of words with little insight or meaning. It's great Drum or Yglesias can make a living at it. I can't. It's time to face that.
So I'm cutting back severely on my blogging and focusing on a few other things: (1) income, which is not so easy as a freelancer right now in the recession, (2) book-writing, and (3) the podcast show I mentioned briefly last fall. I really want to talk to scientists, mostly climate scientists, about the state of their science, and the state of the world. Climate change seems to me to be the most important subject in, perhaps, the history of civilization, and we are doing essentially nothing to try and solve it. And those working the hardest aren't getting heard from enough. The Chris Horner's of the world go on all kinds of sympathetic venues where they spread a skeptical message, all along avoiding any hard questions by real interviewers with real knowledge. I'd love to interview him, if he's willing to entertain a few honest questions. But most of all I want to interview the real scientists producing the real science.
I also want to let scientists talk about science. There is a terrible dearth of understanding about science in this country, and it's seriously harming us. Some scientists talking about what attracted them to science in the first place can't hurt. Nobody is personalizing them.
So I'm going to seriously cut back on blogging and setting up a podcast shop, perhaps someday to be a video shop. I don't know how I'll afford this -- I'm applying for some grants here and there. (If you or your organization have an interest in a partial sponsorship, please contact me.) The main cost isn't the Web space, but some of the Web programming and especially the ~ 1 day/week preparing to do a decent interview.
We'll see how that goes. I'm just trying to stay ahead of the future. After a few years of this, and after my beautiful cat Eli passes, I'm going to get a dog and a pickup truck with a camper bed in the back and travel around, with a laptop and WiFi and just two changes of clothes, writing about everything I see -- especially all the labs, department projects, and undercovered scientists I can possibly visit.
PS: Wow, I can't believe that after all these years none of my regular readers has anything to say about the demise (?) of blogging, or maybe just of my blogging, or of the potential role for a weekly podcast of interviews with scientists. Or do I just look weird here? Or have I cried wolf too many times?