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Join us as we discuss the first Democratic presidential primary debate!
I wanted to take a minute to request that all of you who comment here take a few minutes to read Blogging Blue’s comment policy.
The reason for my request is simple: I’ve seen entirely too many personal attacks here on the blog, and quite frankly I’m tired of having to remind people in different comment threads to try to maintain a basic level of civility.
Further, I’d just like to add that there’s absolutely no need to delve into the personal details/lives of commenters here in order to attack them. That’s absolute bullcrap, and I’m going to start moderating anyone who feels compelled to engage in that kind of behavior.
It’s been eight years since the first post here on Blogging Blue.
Back then, the blog was just me and a few readers (most of whom were my immediate family), but since then it’s become much more than that. Though we’ve had some fits and starts along the way, I’m really proud of what Blogging Blue has become, and I’m proud to be included in an amazing group of bloggers here in Wisconsin – folks like the group at Cognitive Dissidence, Political Heat, Monologues of Dissent, blue cheddar, Uppity Wisconsin, The Political Environment, Wisconsin Soap Box, and Caffeinated Politics, among others. I’ve long believed that Wisconsin’s bloggers are some of the best around, and I’m thrilled to be a part of that group.
Most importantly, I’d like to thank all of you who’ve made Blogging Blue what it is today, from all of our current contributors (Ed, Steve, Joanne, and Nancy) to our former contributors, not to mention all of you who read the blog and contribute so much to the debate through your comments. You all have made this a truly enjoyable experience, and it’s because of you that I look forward to doing this for eight more years.
As many of you no doubt noticed, Blogging Blue was out of commission most of today while I worked on some updates and behind-the-scenes technical stuff.
The blog is back up and running, but a number of posts & comments are in the process of being recovered, as they were lost during the update. If any of you notice any other technical issues, please let me know so I can remedy them.
Before I start, I just want to note that what I’m about to write is my opinion and my opinion alone. It doesn’t represent the opinion of anyone else who contributes to Blogging Blue.
As most of us know, the DPW Chair race has gotten increasingly nasty and personal in the weeks leading up to next week’s Democratic Party Convention in Milwaukee, and I’ll be the first to admit this blog – and and yours truly – has played a part in some of the nastiness and attacks. This isn’t about any one blog post or comment either – I/we have been guilty of our fair share of criticism/negative attacks in the months leading up to next week’s DPW Chair election. With the benefit of hindsight, I would have preferred for this blog to focus on only the positives each candidate would bring to the Democratic Party of Wisconsin if elected, but that didn’t happen, and the blame falls on me for that.
Truth be told, each of the five candidates for DPW Chair has undeniable strengths, and each brings a unique perspective and set of life experiences that could benefit the Democratic Party of Wisconsin if elected Chair, and for candidates or their supporters to tear each other down is counterproductive in the bigger picture. No matter who wins the DPW Chair race, there will be four folks who didn’t win whose opinions, perspective, and ideas could still be useful to our party as we try to move the party forward and regain some of what we’ve lost over the past five years of Republican control in our state.
What’s happened in the DPW Chair race has given me a lot to think about as relates to this blog and what we’re really trying to do here. I know all too well how easy it is to go on the attack, and while that may certainly bring eyeballs to the blog, I’m not sure that’s what I want Blogging Blue to become known for.
For those of you who may not already have heard, I’m pleased to announce I’ve joined the blogging crew over at DownWithTyranny. I’ll be writing a lot about Gov. Scott Walker over at DWT, in order to provide some background on his history here in Wisconsin as he continues to make moves towards a formal announcement of his 2016 presidential campaign. My first post for DWT is a update of a post I wrote here on Blogging Blue, and I expect that my blogging for DWT will be a mix of original material and re-posts of material written here at Blogging Blue. If you all aren’t already reading DownWithTyranny, I’d encourage you all to check it out.
And just to be clear, I’ll be continuing my normal blogging here at Blogging Blue, so nothing will really change in that respect.
I’m testing out a new system for posting comments. Please let me know what you think of it.
For those of you who haven’t already heard, Andrew Sullivan is leaving blogging.
Why? Two reasons. The first is one I hope anyone can understand: although it has been the most rewarding experience in my writing career, I’ve now been blogging daily for fifteen years straight (well kinda straight). That’s long enough to do any single job. In some ways, it’s as simple as that. There comes a time when you have to move on to new things, shake your world up, or recognize before you crash that burn-out does happen.
The second is that I am saturated in digital life and I want to return to the actual world again. I’m a human being before I am a writer; and a writer before I am a blogger, and although it’s been a joy and a privilege to have helped pioneer a genuinely new form of writing, I yearn for other, older forms. I want to read again, slowly, carefully. I want to absorb a difficult book and walk around in my own thoughts with it for a while. I want to have an idea and let it slowly take shape, rather than be instantly blogged. I want to write long essays that can answer more deeply and subtly the many questions that the Dish years have presented to me. I want to write a book.
I want to spend some real time with my parents, while I still have them, with my husband, who is too often a ‘blog-widow’, my sister and brother, my niece and nephews, and rekindle the friendships that I have simply had to let wither because I’m always tied to the blog. And I want to stay healthy. I’ve had increasing health challenges these past few years. They’re not HIV-related; my doctor tells me they’re simply a result of fifteen years of daily, hourly, always-on-deadline stress. These past few weeks were particularly rough – and finally forced me to get real.
As Ezra Klein of Vox noted, Sullivan’s departure from blogging has given rise to “blogging is dead” columns, but like Klein I don’t believe that blogging as a means of sharing ideas is dead. I know I’m biased given the fact that I run a blog or two, but I absolutely believe that despite the “instant gratification” of social media like Twitter, Snapchat, and Vine and the ubiquitousness of Facebook, there’s still a place for dialogue, discussion, and a sense of community, and that’s why I believe blogs are far from dead. As I’ve written before, I know Blogging Blue is far from a perfect community, but we’re still a community, even more so than Blogging Blue’s presence on Facebook.
Andrew Sullivan’s decision to leave blogging is certainly a loss for the blogosphere, but I know blogging will persist as a means of sharing information and discussing ideas.
Earlier today I asked for your help with an unforeseen cost for Blogging Blue, and you all came through in a big way.
I just wanted to extend my sincerest thanks to those of you who made a donation. It wasn’t easy for me to ask you all for help, but I appreciate your generosity from the bottom of my heart.