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It's A Bloggy Holiday

by digby

Yes, it's that time of year again, the time when I ask all of my loyal readers to pitch in a penny or two to keep Ye Olde Blogge up and running for another year. And this year it's harder for me to make that request. Everyone is hurting a little bit, or scared they will be shortly. And we've all just spent an exhausting year throwing our spare money to politicians to try to end the horrors of the Bush years. So, I know it's tough.

But I decided to ask anyway in the hopes that we will be able to keep this blog going, and the financial model that supports it, through this treacherous time ahead. A lot of businesses are going to fail and a lot of people are going to be out of work, but I'm hopeful that independent blogs like this one can continue to be a source of information, analysis and community while we all go through it together.

Thank the Gods and Goddesses of your choice that we have a new president, blessed with brains and common sense, during this period. (Seriously, if the Republicans had managed to extend their run I don't think I could have kept doing this while I amassed my survival gear and headed out to the Brook Range in Alaska to await the end times.) But as it is, there is cause for hope (yes there is!) and good reason to stick this out and remain engaged as we face these tough times ahead.

Everything's about to take a bit of a shift, of course. The netroots and the Progressive Movement are no longer strictly an oppositional force. And I, like bloggers everywhere, have struggled with how to deal with that. But I think I pretty much always come back to the same place, which is that I just muddle along daily like everyone else, sorting out what I think is happening and how I feel about it, right here in front of all of you. And I admit that with the new political order, it's sometimes hard to figure out exactly what that is --- I simply don't know yet how the Obama revolution is going to affect the village or how they are going to react to it. It's all unfolding in a most fascinating and absorbing way.

When I started this blog six years ago, we were a very tiny group of liberal political junkies fighting against an overwhelming tide of jingoistic conservatism everywhere. The community was intimate and friendly, like a small group of outcasts banding together for comfort and validation. Obviously, a lot has changed since then. The blogosphere has been professionalized and monetized and little blogs like mine are now dinosaurs. Indeed, Tina Brown's new venture The Daily Beast is backed by Barry Diller with untold millions and she's hired professional writers like Tucker Carlson(!) to write for big bucks. Reporters and editors are all blogging and tweeting and IMing like crazy these days. It's a new world.

But I'm hopeful that there will still be room for the outsider types like me to keep doing this based on the shoestring model we developed back in the day --- reader donations, ads and some help here or there from liberal institutions if it's offered. It's the freest form of writing there is, we do not answer to any single entity (certainly not Tina Brown and Barry Diller) and no advertiser pays enough to make it worthwhile to sell ourselves out. If we get any support from liberal institutions it's with the understanding that it's to keep doing what we're doing. It's a great model as long as you don't have any ambition to get rich, but rather just want to maintain the privilege of writing your blog every day.

And I do mean every day. I realized last night as I was thinking about this that I haven't taken a day off in over a year. Not one. But the amazing thing is that I didn't realize that until I thought about it. Blogging isn't work, it's just ... my life. But obviously, I have to generate money like everyone else and your kind contributions over the last three years have made it possible for me to keep this up. So, if you have it, and can spare it, I'd be grateful once again for any change you can put in the paypal tip jar over there (or via snail mail at the address shown) to make this a Very Bloggy Holiday.

On behalf of my friends and contributors, the fabulous dday, tristero and Dennis, I want to thank all of you for spending time with us, slogging through our scribblings, sharing our passions and keeping us on our toes whether we like it or not. There would be no Hullabaloo without community and none of us would do it weren't for you fine folks reading and participating and always making us feel like it's a worthwhile way to contribute.

Happy Hollandaise everyone.