Monday, February 27, 2006

Blogfather on C-SPAN

Glenn Reynolds was Brian Lamb's guest yesterday on C-SPAN's program Q&A.
At the link you can watch the program (If you let your cursor find the "Theatre Mode" icon it will fill the monitor, improve the sound and look like TV.) or read the transcript. I caught a replay this morning and saw the last half which I thought was interesting, if you can find interest in a couple of dry guys in chairs doing an interview. In this case it happens to be two of the smartest people alive today, both of whom exemplify the most amazing humility about their respective journalistic excellence and represent the most prodigious outputs of any two people now working.

LAMB: Well, go back to the beginning of your political interest. I read somewhere you were a Democrat.
REYNOLDS: Yes, I mean, I have been. I was a card-carrying Democrat for a long time and I guess I’m not really now. I was a card-carrying Libertarian for a while, and now I’m not really affiliated with any political party.
But I worked for Al Gore’s campaign in ’88, did a little work with my friend Gene Sperling from law school on the Clinton campaign in ’92, became somewhat disenchanted with Clinton as the Clinton administration went on.
And I was pretty much ambivalent, I really didn’t have much of a preference with regard to the 2000 presidential election. I voted Libertarian in ’96 and 2000.
LAMB: Is it fair to assume that the people that read your blog or involved in it think you are conservative?
REYNOLDS: I would say the people who read my blog regularly don’t, but the people who don’t read my blog regularly but know about it probably do.
LAMB: Why is that?
REYNOLDS: It’s the war. I mean, that’s the litmus test, and it’s the thing that I think a lot of bloggers comment on. I know Ann Althouse, who is a law professor at Wisconsin who blogs has the same kind of thing. And she frequently, you know, will put up a post that says, you know, how come I’m pro-gay marriage and, you know, pro-choice and all this stuff, and yet everybody thinks I’m a conservative?
And the answer is, it’s the war. I mean, that has become everybody’s single-issue litmus test.

LAMB: What does it cost you a month to do this?
REYNOLDS: I hate to say, because people will laugh, but it’s $36 a month.
LAMB: For everything.
REYNOLDS: For everything.
LAMB: Including your podcasting.
REYNOLDS: Including my podcasting. The hosting company gives me a deal because I run a little button for them on the site. So I guess it’s -- $36 a month is just their standard charge and they are willing to give me all the extra bandwidth I use in exchange for the ads. So it’s a pretty good deal.
LAMB: Now in your book, ”An Army of Davids,” you tell people how to do all this or?
REYNOLDS: I do have some discussion on how to be a good blogger and how to do a lot of this, and some discussions on what the impact of all this is. And, you know, one of the things that a lot of the discussion of all these phenomena brings out is it’s fun. It’s fun to make your own radio shows. It’s fun to make your own music in your basement. It’s fun to put up your own blog. I mean, it’s just lots of fun.
And people talk about how you are going to make money out of it and monetize it, and I mean, that’s all fine and I’m happy for people who make money any way they can, but, you know, it’s fun. That’s really why people do it.

Great interview. Not much new to bloggers, but a great affirmation for what we do. Very impressive and worth your time...if you have any left.

I stopped reading Instapundit several months before I started blogging because it was like the company employee newsletter. Okay to look at in the break room, but pretty much old news for an active blogger. By the time Reynolds gets hold of something it is already a thousand or so links old. I'm more attracted to obscure stuff. I suppose that's why I don't ever expect to get a lot of traffic. Like the amateur who hopes to be the one who finds an unknown sub-species of insect, newly-seen comet or archeological relic...I'm happy just poking around the small stuff.

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