STUMP » Articles » On Publishing and Blogs » 19 March 2015, 17:15

Where Stu & MP spout off about everything.

On Publishing and Blogs  


19 March 2015, 17:15

I saw that Mickey Kaus quit the Daily Caller over one of his pieces being yanked, and this made me think of my own publishing/blogging experience.

But first, let’s take a round up of reactions:

As an aside, here is the bit that was yanked from Daily Caller:

Axelrod’s Wish: On page 424 of his recent memoir, Obama’s former top strategist David Axelrod describes running into Fox chieftain (and immigration amnesty supporter) Rupert Murdoch at a dinner in the fall of 2010:

‘During the dinner, Murdoch, who was seated beside me, insisted that the president had to move on immigration reform. ….

“But the solution has to be comprehensive,” I said. “We can’t just attack a piece of the immigration problem. And you know, there’s one big thing that you can do to help, and that is to keep your cable network from stoking the nativism that keeps us from solving this.” [Emphasis added]’

Four years later, Axelrod may be getting his wish. Most of the mainstream broadcast and cable networks avoided giving excessive coverage to the recent congressional fight over the Department of Homeland Security, which was all about Republicans trying to block Obama’s executive amnesty by attaching restrictions to DHS funding. NBC Nightly News went a step further and avoided mentioning the immigration issue even when covering the funding fight — treating the threat of a DHS shutdown as if it were some sort of out-of-the-blue natural disaster.

And it continues.

Note to Mickey Kaus: it says on the top of the page [an s at the end], but your site is actually [no s]. I tried going to and got nada, not even a redirect (oops, looks like I picked up a virus… don’t even try going there). You might want to fix that. Or get somebody else to fix that.

UPDATE: Looks like it is fixed. That’s what one gets for being an early adopter.

But eh, who types in an URL anymore (except me)? They can get there via google.

I have some sympathy for Mickey Kaus — I mean, wtf did Tucker Carlson think he was getting when he signed Kaus on? It would be like bitching about Jim Treacher making some questionable jokes. Kaus’s thing is immigration, and if Fox doesn’t want its own stance on immigration called out, perhaps it was not a good hire to make.

Anyway, as Althouse notes, Kaus was one of the few reasons to go to the Daily Caller. Every so often they break some real news, but usually it’s just nattering about the same things all the other conservatives are nattering about, or doing Buzzfeed-y clickbait titles. (Sometimes they do sucker me) So I will be going there less often.

Wet noodle slaps all around.

Here is something different, that has me scratching my head: Jane the Actuary has moved to Patheos. (I’ll change my link in my blogroll later). She had a blogspot site before, and I don’t know how she ended up at Patheos. Yes, she had some religious content on her blogspot blog, but I never thought it was such a high percentage that it makes sense for her to be blogging about non-religious topics at Patheos. And it’s pretty clear that one has to be invited to join one of the channels. It looks like they just ported over her blog, because the oldest posts definitely have more of an actuarial and not a religious flavor.

Which brings me back to my own blogging and blog-reading habits. I started writing online, on USENET, a long long time ago. Here is one example from twenty years ago, and would probably send me to some college gulag in today’s climate. Here, if that one wasn’t offensive enough, try this one. I hope you’re not scarred for life.

When I graduated college, and went to grad school, I started a new online writing venture:

12 June 1996

Hey there, whoever. Since I’m on the computer alot, waiting for
runs to be completed, I’m usually wasting my time on netscape or some
similar time-sucker. I thought I’d do something productive/creative. So
here’s a little thought journal. I don’t believe in anything like secure files (even if I encrypted
them — but it might take a little more being on the spot), so I’m just
going to put mundane, conversational stuff here. Things I’d say to
anyone. So hello, if this isn’t me. If I feel like it, I’ll put it up on
the vanity pages I call my web pages.

Oooh, I was blogging before it was a thing. I stopped that one around the time I left grad school, in 2002. I had the files on my old NC State account, maybe moved it to my NYU account (don’t remember), but it came to its current home when Stu gave me as a Christmas gift in 1999.

In April 2000, I picked up a livejournal, because that’s what my friends were doing. Initially, most of my stuff was the sort of thing you post on facebook now.

Hey, does anybody know when Mac’s OS 10 is coming out?

We’re still on OS X. Interesting numbering scheme.

I’ve tried different blogging platforms – I’ve got a few abandoned blogs on blogspot and tumblr. I tried doing group blogs twice, on somebody else’s site. I’m a frequent poster at the Actuarial Outpost, and own a few threads.

Nobody pulled anything I ever posted, but I have had frustrations trying to use other people’s platforms (whether or not I knew the site owner personally). I’ve followed specific bloggers around, such as Mickey Kaus and Megan McArdle, as they kept getting hired by different media groups, but they also had started out with their own sites.

I assume they’re getting paid by those sites when they were blogging there. But still, it’s obvious that someone else could yank what you wrote.

My day job involves getting heavily edited and even not having a byline on a lot of the stuff I put loads of work into. So I have written a lot for fun, but it required writing topics of interest to the particular editors. I’ve gotten republished quite a bit by places (which my permission, of course.) This Dante essay was published by a Dante e-zine (defunct, so no link) as well as Larry Niven’s own website.

But the blogging – yeah, from my experience I want to own the site, and the material. I do get small amounts of money when people buy through my Amazon links (I put a link to the store below). Checking on the last year’s take, I made about $23 from those clicks. That helped me buy a Weird Al live concert DVD and a peppermill. My old peppermill fell apart, so it was good timing. Also, the concert DVD is lots of fun. I highly recommend it.

This is a hobby for me. I am willing to pay the hosting costs to post whatever I want, when I want to, and in the manner I want to.

Anyway, if you want to incrementally support this site (I need to replace some of my Pratchett paperbacks that got ripped up from over-reading), check out my Amazon store below. [2019: THIS NO LONGER EXISTS]

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