Thoughts on Success

Over at EUReferendum, Richard North mentions us in passing. James was concerned about the negative implications of the following paragraph:

On the other hand, organising the independents makes herding cats look like a gentle stroll, while the one recent attempt seems to be going nowhere. The great British public seems happy to be led, rushing to the corporates, and feeding in their comments, needing little encouragement to ignore the independent blogs.

I can see why James was miffed, but it isn’t something that bothers me. Success or the lack of it is something that is decided by the people who make the initial creation. Bear in mind here that Richard is comparing our first few weeks with the recent launch of the Huffington Post. Our launch was advertised among ourselves and potential contributors, not the wider media at large, with whom we don’t have a convenient cosy relationship. Yet despite that we are seeing regular visitors, most posts receiving comments and people coming back –  along with new people dropping by. Our hits, while being modest are consistent.

I know from time to time you will see a post from James saying that we are out of posts, but I am relaxed about this. Both James and Julia produce multiple posts per day on their own blogs. In this, I differ as I have rarely tried to achieve such a high output. Consequently, if we run out of posts I am not unduly concerned. It simply means that we are settling down. Samizdata and Liberal Conspiracy do not necessarily produce multiple posts per day and they have survived well enough. There is a by product of this as well. The longer a post stays at the top of the page, the more time it will be subject to discussion, so it is possible that the comment count per post will rise.

Either way, it is something best not to worry about. Even if ultimately, we do run out of steam and we have no posts at all, ever, well, we had a go and for a while we had a following of sorts and held some fine discussions. As these were the criteria against which we originally set this place up, I dispute Richard North’s assertion that we are going nowhere. By our criteria, we are a success. The HuffPost we are not and we never set out to be. And as mentioned in the comment thread to Richard’s article, 2400 comments is an awful lot to wade through. I tend to lose the will to live following a Cif thread of a few hundred –  too much noise, not enough signal. Nor, for that matter, did we set out to achieve what Richard North is hoping for, either. This is just a group blog, nothing more, nothing less. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

7 comments for “Thoughts on Success

  1. July 11, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    I think this is a good attitude to take. MSM comment threads are often far too long, comment quality can be poor and they too frequently degenerate into abuse or go off-topic.

    • David A. Evans.
      July 11, 2011 at 9:31 pm

      The only heartening thing about the long comment threads on the clogs is the number of disgruntled comments.
      Unfortunately, Richard has a limited group of commenters, which I can understand as he doesn’t wish to sift through the spam he gets when he leaves applications open.
      I comment infrequently for reasons I’d rather not discuss.
      I DO think he’s right to an extent that people seem to view independent as unreliable, a view I view with disdain.
      I am capable of reading and making up my own mind as to the reliability of the comments I am reading, using my experience.

  2. MarkF
    July 11, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    I agree with A K Haart. I no longer bother to give even a cursory glance to the comments sections on MSM blogs. They appear to be populated by morons whose main occupation is to slag one another off. The comments on independent blogs on the other hand are usually well informed and worth reading.

  3. July 11, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    Better to have one good post per day than an ocean of trivia. I can supply crap to the masses on my blog at no charge. (Note to self: Must get around to hacking a phone or two and finding a corruptable policeman or three).

    Seriously. Keep up the good work.

  4. July 11, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Not so much “miffed”, LR but concerned with the impact on a fledgling project. Richard himself replied and that was good and then, during today, some very positive statements have come through as to whether we’re on the right track or not.

    Like you and Julia, I think we are. It’s a pretty happy forum, it seems to me, though we’re quite unhappy about the issues we write about. We all hope it will translate into action and maybe we can look at a more active role – see what people think. Our mission statement is pretty well Luikkerland’s opening post.

    I think we’re pretty well agreed now about the number of posts – we’ve set a cracking pace and as you say, not everyone is as prolific as Julia and I. I need to be a bit less anxious and just let things flow and it will take care of itself. We’ll take care of new commenters, of course.

    So, nice reality check and let’s keep on keeping on now.

  5. ivan
    July 11, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar or maybe even a good smoke.

  6. luikkerland
    July 12, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    I’m a bit late in saying so, but I reckon there is no need to react to North. Folks will just make up their own minds.

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