Rubbish, Whimsley, rubbish! I have to give you some points for coming up with an el coolo new word, but other than that, well, geeze... I think you're being a curmudgeon.
You don't have to jump on stories to get an audience. You just have to join some blogrolls and write some good posts (which, I should add, Whimsley does). Many of my favorite bloggers (like James Laxer and Baghdad Burning) don't write regularly. I don't.
Being a blogger is a glorious activity. You get to be the editor of the New York Times. You never have to worry about having a piece accepted for publication or writing in a particular style. You write exactly what you want and presto - it's in print! And people read it.
I don't claim to be widely read, but I get enough comments to feel that I have some sort of readership. In addition, a quick google search shows that this blog has been quoted in Mother Jones; the Huffington Post; the Ken Dryden Liberal leadership site; a Judy Rebick-Elizabeth May dispute in Blue Wave Canada; a Canadian Armed Forces in Afghanistan web site; and numerous blogs.
Over the year and a bit that I've been blogging, I've had lots of good results:
- I'm writing better and faster.
- I'm getting better at finding ways to get through to readers. Sometimes I write a well-researched, ponderous post and find noone comments, so I rephrase it in a briefer, breezier style, and get a much better response.
- I'm less thin-skinned about comments that are critical of my posts. I find myself enjoying dissenting comments, even when they're inarticulate or nasty, and empathising with the writer.
- My opinions are becoming better informed (because, believe it or not, I actually do research my posts).
- Laying out my opinions in public has made me question a lot of things I took for granted and made my convictions stronger on other things.
- I have an unending flood of things I want to write about, and am held back only by time and energy constraints.
- I feel I'm part of the public discourse in a way I never was before.